Restaurant Review: The Konga Cafe

A restaurant review of the Konga Cafe in SaskatoonCan I give a restaurant a 7 out of 5 rating?  If I could, I would give it to the Konga Cafe.

It is located at the bottom of Caswell Hill in Saskatoon and features an amazing assortment of Caribbean food and fare.  Being from Guyana, it feels like I have travelled back in time and can eat some of the food that I grew up with.

When we go to the restaurant, it doesn’t feel like we are going out to eat in an establishment but rather like we are going over to a friends place to eat their excellent home cooking.  From the first time we went, we were made to feel at home at The Konga Cafe.  It has a festive laid back atmosphere.  Not only are you chatting with your server but chatting with other guests.

Of course the food is amazing.  Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Curried Shrimp, Spicy Peanut Shrimp, and an amazing steak.  If the kids just want a burger or chicken fingers, they have that as well.  For dessert, you need to try the key lime pie. 

The Konga Cafe has long been a favourite restaurant of both Jordon and I.  It is a great enough experience that makes it perfect for a special date night out but it’s casual enough that we can take the kids and enjoy it as a family any evening.  No wonder why it is so highly rated on TripAdvisor, Planet S Magazine, and Zomato.

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Konga Cafe
204 Avenue H N
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
(306) 244-7867

Website | Facebook

Egg & Cheese on Roll Recipe

Here is a classic New York Recipe and perfect when you need something to eat and go.

Egg and Cheese on a Roll Recipe

Rating: 31

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (6-ounce) package Stove Top lower-sodium Stuffing Mix for chicken
  • 3 ounces bulk pork sausage
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1.3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Directions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each muffin half. Place muffin halves on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.
  3. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add egg mixture to pan; cook without stirring until mixture sets on bottom. Draw a spatula across bottom of pan to form curds. Continue drawing spatula across bottom of pan until egg mixture is slightly thick, but still moist; do not stir constantly. Remove from pan immediately and place on muffin bottom.
  4. Spread ketchup (or don't) over cheese on muffin top. Sprinkle egg with hot sauce, if desired, and cover with muffin top. Serve immediately.
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Restaurant Review: Smoke’s Poutinerie (Moose Jaw)

A couple of weekends ago Jordon, Mark, Oliver and I drove to Moose Jaw for a day of taking some photos and exploring the sights.  It was a gorgeous day and the plan was to eat the famous Nit’s Thai Food.

Restaurant Review of Smoke's Poutinerie in Moose JawWe explored, had a good time and were about to go into Nits when the smell of a dirty deep fryer just about made us gag.  So that was definitely out of the question.  We walked further down main street until we noticed Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Two boys and a signed that said, “BBQ, Mac & Cheese Poutine”.  Even if I wanted to go somewhere else, I would not have been able to hold them back.

We went in and ordered four different poutiness.  Oliver got the BBQ Mac & Cheese Poutine, Jordon ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Poutine, Mark ordered the Rainbow Poutine, and I got the Chicken Fajita Poutine.

So while we were all starving when we walked in, none of us were able to finish our box of poutine.  We all gave a great effort but there was just too much excellent an amazing food.  The other thing about the food was that while we all got really different dishes, I would have been happy with all of them.  They were that good and I don’t know if any of us other than Oliver would say, “This is my favourite.”  They are all our favourites.

Of course as a diner style restaurant, they had Coke products in glass bottles.  It only made the experience better.

So while Moose Jaw is over 2 hours away, I would actually consider driving that far to try it again.  The food and the dining experience was that much fun.  If you haven’t been there, you really need to try it out.

Smoke’s Poutinerie
11 River Street
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
(306) 691-2873
Website | Facebook (local restaurant)

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How to capture brilliant firework photos

How to take brilliant fireworks photos

Summer is known for great fireworks displays. Olympus is known for great camera scene modes. Coincidence? No way. Your first step in taking great pictures of fireworks is to simply select the Fireworks Scene Mode. The camera will then slow the shutter speed value and set the focusing point to infinity (∞).

If your camera doesn?t have scene modes (i.e. the E-1, E-3 & E-5) or is able to support a high-level of manual control, set the camera to manual mode (M) and adjust the shutter speed and aperture. Setting the aperture to F8 and a shutter speed of 3 to 4 seconds should give good results. Set the ISO sensitivity to 100 or 80. And don’t forget to change to MF (manual focus) and set the focusing point to infinity (∞).

End of the school year

Well Mark and Oliver finished off another school year.

Oliver is finished grade 1 and did really well.  His report card was good although he made the classic mistake of not reading it before he came home.  Mark and Jordon told him that he failed gym which is his worst nightmare.  The kid takes a lot of pride in his effort he puts into gym everyday.  So after he told the truth that a) he passed gym and b) he is not a slow runner; things were fine.

Mark had a horrible first semester of the school year and dug himself a massive hole for math.  He managed to dig himself out of it by hard work and a lot of yelling by both Jordon and I but it wasn’t easy.  His grades were better in the second semester but the consensus was that he underachieved.  So he has a lot of work to do this summer.

He is also taking both apprentice math in the first semester and will take the advanced math in the second semester.  As Jordon said, “It’s like you have pre-failed math and have to take it again”.  Mark wasn’t happy with that but if it gets him into university it will be worth it.

We took the boys out for dinner last night and gave them a couple of things for the summer.  Mark was given a new Captain America shirt and a monopod for his camera while Oliver was given a Saskatchewan Roughriders shirt and Coleman watch.  They were both thrilled.

Carbonara with Peas and Bacon Recipe

This is a great recipe if you are looking for something quick and simple to whip up.  Everyone around here loves it which means that it is a great fall back recipe when I am too busy to cook up something more complicated.

Carbonara with Peas and Bacon Recipe

Carbonara with Peas and Bacon Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup of peas
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 pound of spaghetti

Directions

  1. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente.
  2. Fry diced bacon in pan over medium heat, until crisp.
  3. Toss in peas and let cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add cooked pasta into pan and toss together.
  5. Transfer to bowl and add egg yolk and Parmesan.
  6. Mix thoroughly and serve.
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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is complicated for me personally and it’s not a day I enjoy.

My father has two distinct personalities.  At times he can be loving, funny, and caring.  The other personality he embraces is cruel, mean, and destructive.  I have seen both in my life although for the last 18 years, it has primarily been the cruel, mean, dishonest and destructive side of him.

It’s easy to say that the problems started the night I told him and my mother that I had been molested.  He used to talk to my three times a week after moving to Saskatoon.  Then he just stopped talking to me for months.  Not a call, email, or letter.  Nothing.  It was like he no longer had a daughter.  That being said, my mother went silent at the same time.  It was really tough to take.

From there it go worse.  He started to lie about thing and then he would defend his right to lie.  Then he would be upset when I no longer trusted him.  He would scream that he wished I had never been born.  He would go on about how I wasn’t part of his family.

Later when Mark was two, he saw Mark for the first time.  He then told me he didn’t want a relationship with me or Mark because he had other grandkids and didn’t need another one.  He then stopped talking to me for almost a decade.  He’s seen Mark twice, never met Oliver.  He didn’t even know how old the kids were.

Recently he blamed me for being molested, backtracked on it when I called him on it, then said it again.

In the end, things will never get better between us because he has never done anything wrong and it is my fault.

Why is he like that.  We have never been able to have that conversation.  There is a lot of research and writing on Guyana where he grew up that shows that as a country, that are ambivalent and hostile to women who are sexually assaulted and are victims of sexual violence.  My mother told me that she was taught (and would teach me) that it was the women’s fault when she is raped for dressing too provocatively and “inviting it”.  Which when you look at my parents reaction, that is exactly what their reaction was.  Its up to me to make amends for being repeatedly sexually assaulted.

If anything, I wish he would be honest with others about how he feels about me.  It is really hard to hear his b.s. and then get lectured by someone from the church I grew up in about how much it hurts him that I don’t ever come back home or how horrible of daughter I am.  Many people have told me that they pray that I can find the strength to leave Jordon and come back home.  He’s always the victim and I am the one at fault.

In the end I take it out on Jordon on Father’s Day.  He is sick with the growing infection in his ankle.  He came home from work yesterday in a lot of pain, went to lay down exhausted and I kind of freaked out.  Twice when he has been hospitalized he sent me home from the E.R. because I get emotional and start picking fights with him when he is sick.  I did it again last night and then today.  Of course I never get him anything for Father’s Day or do anything other than threaten to leave on Father’s Day.

Today instead of letting Jordon sleep in, I woke up and picked a fight largely because the idea of him having his leg amputated scares me.  To his credit, Jordon just went back to sleep but then I was an ass all day to him.  Instead of doing something special, Mark and I just wandered around in a bad mood until finally Jordon kicked all of us out of the house and made us go for dinner without him.  It was that kind of day.

So yeah, I really hate Father’s Day.

Restaurant Review: Ricky’s All Day Grill

Ricky’s All Day Grill is local to where I live so we eat there often. 

A couple of years ago Jordon ate in the Prince Albert Ricky’s and liked the French Onion soup and Focaccia Bread.  It was good enough to draw us into the Saskatoon location where we have gone back and tried several things on the menu since then.

It’s a great place for breakfast.  With decent food and good service.  The breakfast fare is what you would expect.  Eggs and bacon in a variety of combinations.  Family favourites are the beef dip, French Onion soup (and their soup of the day), any of the breakfast dishes, and their fish and chips (of which they offer three different choices of fish).

The restaurant is clean with several historical photos of Saskatoon present throughout the restaurant.  They have redecorated what used to be Partner’s Bar and integrated it into the restaurant which I don’t mind.  The VLTs are at the front of the restaurant and are in their own room which means that if you are in the lounge, you don’t hear any of them.  They have installed several big screen TVs in the lounge which makes a nice place to watch a ball game while you eat.

In short, they offer a wide selection of comfort food at a reasonable price in a quiet atmosphere with good service.  It won’t blow you away but it’s consistently a good place for a meal when you are away from home.

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Baked Cream Cheese Wonton Recipe

Baked Cream Cheese Wonton Recipe

Rating: 41

20 minutes

10 minutes

30 minutes

4 servings

Baked Cream Cheese Wonton Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 2-inch won ton wrappers
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, cream cheese, garlic, green onions, ginger, sesame oil and Sriracha, if using; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. To assemble the wontons, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with egg. Fold all sides over the filling to create an "X", pinching the edges to seal.
  4. Place wontons in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet; coat with nonstick spray. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve immediately.
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