How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

As Kristy promised the next few posts will highlight our latest road trip across North America. If you haven’t guessed by now, we like our road trips!Toronto
This time a business trip called me to Toronto right as school was ending for Mr. N and Miss A, and that was all the excuse we needed to jump in the car and head to the Great White North. The fact that some of our favorite bloggers are in the area made it an even easier call. After an all day drive on Friday, the first thing on the agenda was a Saturday morning trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hockey HOF
I highly recommend a visit. The trophy room is impressive to say the least – we actually got to touch the Stanley Cup before it was brought back home, and there are lots of interactive things for the kids to do. While Mr. N was clobbering me at NHL trivia (seriously), Miss A was trying her hand at the real thing. 2
Mr. N and I played the goalie interactive game, but it’s probably best there isn’t any photographic evidence of our performance. That evening, I took the kids to a movie, and Kristy got to have a girl’s night out with blogging friends Eva, Barb and Kelly. From all accounts, a great time was had by all. I’m told the conversation flowed (as did the drinks and food) and it was more a gathering of long-time friends than new friends. And don’t feel bad for me, after taking the kids to the movie (and getting them to sleep I might add) I got to kick back and watch the Hawks in a little playoff action. 3Like our weather at home,  Toronto was hit or miss, but the sun seemed to shine on the days we most needed it – like our second visit to Centre Island’s Centreville Amusement Park. (A few of you may recall we spent Miss A’s 3rd birthday at the park a few years ago.) Centreville
if the boat's a rockin
log ride
The next day, well, the weather was cold and rainy, but that didn’t deter Kristy and the kids. They spent the entire day at the Ontario Science Centre while I was at my conference. Now that the kids are older they can actually spend more than a few hours at a museum without needing a nap (us adults on the other hand…), so it was a FULL day of hair-raising fun. static electricity</a
mom and kids
Toronto was a non-stop whirlwind of fun with much of the thanks going to Eva, who provided a virtual tour book of activities for us including the other places we visited, the Distillery District, Eaton Centre, Marché, and Yorkville. We didn’t make it to everything else on the list, but the cool thing was that what we did see (except for Centreville) was new to us despite having been through Toronto twice before. Thank you again Eva. We’ll be back again to finish off the rest of the list for sure!

Now before we head back to the states (in our next post), and leave our Neighbor to the North we just had to make another stop at Niagara Falls. Niagara

Even though it’s our third visit, it amazes every single time. The amount and force of the water is just staggering. Every time. Again with the kids being older now, we figured a new adventure was in order (and no, not one that involved a barrel, much to the kids’ dismay). This year we braved the rapids on the Maid of the Mist. maid of the mist

And what can I say other than, it completely lives up to the hype. If you’re in the area, it’s an absolute must do. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (photos were taken on Kristy’s iPhone since the ride is a bit wet): maid of the mist 2Maid of the mist voyage 1
It was another good one for the books (or our memories anyway), there’s always a new adventure around every corner. Toronto and the Niagara region can provide weeks of sightseeing, and they’ll surely keep us coming back for more. (Not to mention – we’ve got some great friends to come back and visit again too!)

Later this week, Kristy will be back with the rest of our adventure. Until then, here’s something else that was new to us this year – lights on the Falls. Lights
Lights 2

It’s Gunna be a Bright Bright Sun Shiny Day

Somewhere in the world it will be bright and sunny. I don’t think that will be in our neck of the woods though. In fact the sun seems to be in hiding this month making for quite the dreary March. So we thought for our flashback this week, we’d bring you a little plate of sunshine. You know when life hands you lemons…well, we make lemon tarts! These particular lemon tarts were made in the summer of 2011 when we were cooking recipes from Ontario, Canada, and are easily another one of our favorites. For those of you that haven’t seen this one before, we hope you enjoy! Next week we will post a little bit about what we’ve been up to in our absence, and then we’ll be back, rested, and ready to go! “See” you all soon. Continue reading

Iced Apple Stack

We’re busy getting ready for Thanksgiving weekend around here. Fortunately we don’t have too much cooking to do as the big day’s festivities will be at my aunt’s house, but we do have a lot of things going on this weekend. So we’ll keep this short and sweet. We made this dessert a few weeks back for a friend’s fondue party. It’s a kind of apple pastry which we’re calling our Iced Apple Stack. It makes use of the Ice Syrup we ordered over the summer. Again, if you don’t have ice syrup, maple syrup will work just fine.

We started the recipe by boiling some water and sugar. 

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Since we’re enjoying our pears around here, we thought we’d share this one before we head off to Mr. N’s new international destination. It doesn’t really fit with any particular region or state; although we did use our Canadian Ice Syrup again. Not to worry if you don’t have any, maple syrup will do the trick. We’re calling these Grilled Pears with Iced Mascarpone.

Start with some Bosc pears, slice them in half, scoop out the core and remove the stem. 

Next it’s time to poach the pears. We used a combination of water, white wine, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar for our pears. We first dissolved the sugar before adding the pears to the liquid. Continue reading

A Cure for a Case of the Mondays

We’ve got one more recipe from the Niagara region of Ontario before we head off to a new international destination. This recipe again features the deliciously sweet and wonderfully inventive Ice Syrup, only this time we’re whipping up a dessert…because I need a dessert.

We chose to adapt a recipe from Lynn Ogryzlo who has created 1,400 recipes, most of which are dedicated to the seasons of Niagara. Our choice for this week is what we’re calling a Blueberry Ice Crumble.

We started by beating one egg to be cut into the dough.  Continue reading

Ice, Ice…

Don’t worry. I’m not going there (think 1989 really bad song). I won’t do that to you. Especially because I’m still trying to get the Spice Girls out of my head.

Instead I’ll just tell you how much we love Canada’s ice wines. Mike and I enjoyed our first ice wine in Ontario in 2007. Since then we also drank a wonderful German Eiswein and even found a few ice wines from Michigan that we enjoyed.

So we were excited to try some new ice wines this summer in the Niagara region, and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’d say they have even improved the overall quality of the ice wines in the past few years. One of our favorites we came across this year was a Cabernet Franc ice wine from Jackson Triggs. It was so balanced and smooth and had such wonderful flavors. Truly about as close to perfection as you can get with an ice wine in our opinion.

That’s why when we were planning our Ontario meals we knew we had to incorporate some Canadian Ice Syrup. Ice Syrup is derived from the same frozen grapes used for ice wine and which are harvested and pressed while still frozen.

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