Monday, August 22, 2011

Goodbye Muskoka

photo by Harley James on Flickr

Today, I said my goodbyes to Muskoka.

As I awakened, but had yet to open my eyes, I thought I was still at home. When my eyelids fluttered and slowly took in my surroundings, I realize I am under the snug security of cozy cabin quilts with cedar logs encasing my morning's world. I peak through the blind that hides nature's early activities and immediately shoot out of bed upon realizing this is our last weekend in the Muskokas this summer.

I scramble out of my oversized T-Shirt and into my bathing suit, still a little wet from yesterday's dip in the warm waters. I tiptoe into the children's bedrooms, inviting them with whispers to join me for an early morning jet-ski ride on water so still, it mirrors the cloudy, blue sky with precision. They grumble and turn away, sinking themselves deeper into their blankets and wrestle their minds back to dreamland where their superpowers are real and not just make-believe.

It is early and the cabin is quiet. Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins sleep. I tiptoe back to my room and, without expectation, nudge my husband to come and join me on the water as I saunter out of the cabin and down to the dock. 

I ready one jetski, untying the boater's knot and slipping it off the ramp when I hear him approach. My husband did roll out of bed and proves he is the smartest one in the cabin, aside from me, to take in this early morning gift. We untie the second jetski and we are soon off, keeping the engines at a low hum until the narrow channel opens itself up before us.

The vast lake is incredibly smooth, like glass, and the sky's image stamps a copy of itself atop the water. I open the throttle and break through the mist and it is like riding on soft pillows of air. I am floating on top of clouds rather than skimming water below them.

Once miles out from shore, I slow down then turn off my engine and pull the key from its socket. I float, listening to the water lap the sides of the ski. My husband pulls up and does the same. We sit and rock and say goodbye to a great summer at the cottage as the sun rises above the Canadian Shield. I relfect on the memories we made and I store them safely within my mind until old age threatens to steal them from me.

But I have a strong feeling that these moments --these summers with family and friends -- are much like the the Muskoka ground on which we play. Made of rock and unmovable.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Factory Workers' Chicken

Right now, I'm listening to a gang of kids over at the house. Kid #1 is filming yet another movie to add to her list of creations. I'm trying to stay out of the way for fear of getting pummeled with whipping cream, jello and other assorted props I see laying around the 'set'.

Monday also comes with trying to get through laundry, a piled-up 'in' box from procrastination of last week's office emails, a bare-looking fridge. Trying to multi-task all these responsibilities all within the confines of working from home and sharing said work space with my little Steven Spielberg.

I'm also planning to join the group ride tonight. Looking to hit some hard hills to work off another summer weekend of over-indulgence. Can you blame me? We were in Montreal and discovering all the awesome flavours of that great, old city. Mmm, salmon bowtie pasta I will miss you.

Something fast for dinner. I have chicken thighs and other half-empty jars in the fridge. Saw this and it looked easy and reviews spoke highly of this one. Will give you the verdict after I hammer through the day. At least something hot will be on the table and I'll be able to load up my bike in time to feel the wind through my pony tail as I careen over logs and roots in this beautiful playground we call Earth.

photo by pollo campero on flickr

Factory Workers' Chicken

2 lbs. Chicken Thighs
1 Bottle Italian Dressing
1 Jar Salsa (2 cups)

Mix above together and marinate for at least two hours. Luckily, I'm trying this four hours before dinner time!

Remove chicken from marinade and grill for about 20 minutes. Serve with whatever you have in the fridge....I'm thinking rice and a salad.

Happy Monday All!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Breaking the Fast

photo by made by moxie on flickr

Aaah, food. How I've missed you the past 36 hours. Gave my digestion system a well-needed break. What am I making for dinner then, you ask? Well, no better way to break a fast with a good ole' breakfast for dinner. Eggs, Turkey Bacon and some summer fresh tomatoes from the farm.

My Grandma used to whip up breakfast ahead of time when feeding a crowd and she had this great recipe for brunch. I will share it with you now as this is great for summer mornings at the cottage too.

(funny...I just reached for my Grandma's hand-written recipe collection and magically opened it to this exact page. Must be fate that you make it for your own crew!)

photo by cookincanuck on flickr

Grandma's Brunch Pie

2 cups Frozen Hash Browns
1/2 tsp. Celery Salt
3/4 cup Fresh Mushrooms
1/2 cup Chopped Onion
1/2 cup Chopped Green Pepper
5 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Defrost and spread potatoes in even layer in glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with celery salt and stir.

Sprinkle onions, mushrooms and green pepper over potatoes. Beat together eggs, milk and pepper. Pour mixture over casserole. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees until set.

Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over dish. Let stand until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with bacon.

Serves 6

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Christie's Cheese Ball

As you can tell, the food of late has been appetizers and snacky stuff to munch on while poolside or on the dock. I love appetizers for lunches and dinners! This cheese ball is not like any other I've had and very easy for dipping and spreading. Thanks to my fun-lovin' sister-in-law, Denise, who got it from her friend Christie. Thanks Christie!

photo by michaelkmak on flickr

Christie's Cheese Ball

1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 tsp mustard
3 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise
dash of worcestershire sauce

Mix all of the above well and add:

3/4 c. chopped dill pickle
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1-1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all of the above well and roll into a ball.

Roll ball in a little extra shredded cheese and put in refrigerator.

More to Chew On...

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