Ultimate Camp Food at Bottle Lake

Share It!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUpon
Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Our first canoe trip of the summer was out to Bottle Lake, a pretty, peaceful lake just north of Peterborough in the Kawartha Highlands.  After a short 300m portage, we set off on this beautiful morning in our very full canoes across the sparkling, calm waters.  We took our time canoeing across the lake taking in the calls of birds and bullfrogs echoing from the shores.  Our site was one of the furthest from the portage launch, nice and private and we spent the afternoon lounging around our very own sandy beach.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Creek, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Later in the afternoon, we headed out for a magic hour canoe ride down Bottle Creek, snaking our way along the winding waterway, exploring the marshland and searching for frogs.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

As the sun began to set we headed out to the middle of the lake, relaxed and fished a bit.  While we didn’t catch anything, we snapped some lovely sunset photos.

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

Bottle Lake, Kawartha Highlands, Ontario

While we were hiking around our campsite we found some discarded tiki torches.  My boyfriend came up with the brilliant idea to turn them into campfire roasters by removing the top portion, sharpening the edges and wedging little pieces of wood in between the base sticks to keep them separated.  There you have it folks…s’mores for everyone!

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

The Ultimate Smore, Bottle Lake

The Ultimate S’more, Bottle Lake

I shall now bestow upon you a new level of s’more making.  My friend brought along those butter biscuits that are covered in chocolate.  Why has no one thought of this before?  No more drunken fumbling in the dark trying to align all your ‘mellow ingredients!  This biscuit – or two if you dare – holds everything together with one quick smush!  We made some Jiffy pop – another must-have campfire snack – so I stuck some kernels into the oozing marshmellow and BOOM!  Sweet, salty, creamy, compact goodness.

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

Tiki torch campfire roaster, Bottle Lake

For my next trick,  I would like to bring back those canned sausages, you know the ones I’m talking about…those tiny cans of Vienna sausages that sit around gathering dust on your grocery store shelf.  Forget all you’ve been told about the evils of canned food for the sake of backpacking convenience and give these sausages some love – there’s nothing a campfire can’t fix!  Who doesn’t want a roasted hot dog?  And with this handy dandy tiki torch, everyone can enjoy their crispy, salty perfection together.

Dehydrated Swiss Chalet Festive Special, Bottle Lake

Dehydrated Swiss Chalet Festive Special, Bottle Lake

Finally, we ended off our canoe trip with my favourite dehydrated meal: my homemade Swiss Chalet Festive Special.  After marinading and slow cooking a whole chicken in the Swiss Chalet marinade, I dehydrated the chicken, packed up some instant mashed potatoes and stuffing, and brought along some Swiss Chalet sauce and gravy packets.  Ta Da!  Swiss Chalet, wilderness-style – you can’t get any more Canadian than this!

I loved Bottle Lake – it was the perfect quick canoe getaway for the weekend.  Approximately 2.5 hours from Toronto it’s the perfect balance of portaging and car camping, as the short portage allows for some luxuries like a full Coleman stove, chairs, a regular tent and a small cooler.  I think we’ll have to add tiki torches to our camp list from now on as well…

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Share It!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUpon
Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

This twist on a traditional Shepherd’s pie is my go-to recipe for a family dinner. Filled with delightfully sweet and salty flavours that are guaranteed to impress, this dish can be made a few days in advance, making a weeknight dinner a breeze! The recipe is a modified version of Gordon Ramsay’s “Shepherd’s Pie with Branston Pickle” from his “Cooking for Friends” cookbook. His use of gherkins in the pie really tickled my taste buds, their sweet crunchiness cutting through the fatty richness of the lamb. Over the years this recipe has morphed into the ultimate Shepherd’s pie, and is packed full of some of my favourite ingredients.

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

I adore lamb, besides being so tasty, lamb is also a great source of iron, zinc and B vitamins, and though high in fat, the fat in lamb meat is unsaturated which is good for you. I have added veal, to give some tender richness to the filling. Sweet potato has been combined with the potatoes for the topping, as I love how the sweet potato compliments the sweetness of the gherkins. I made the pie dairy-free as my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, substituting milk with almond milk, and by using the ricer the potatoes remained fluffy.   The filling is rich enough that the parmesan cheese is hardly missed but feel free to add a few tablespoons to the potato topping if you would like a more golden finish. I also increased the amount of garlic, wine and gherkins, because you can never have too much garlic, vino and pickles! Finally, I added some liquid smoke to give an element of smokiness to the lamb and veal.

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

With Father’s Day around the corner, I felt this was an appropriate recipe to post. My dad is of British descent and fully appreciates a hearty meat and potatoes meal. Also, I’m pretty sure I inherited my love of pickles from him. While the sauce is deliciously rich, the pickle cuts through nicely and helps to balance out the mince, and the generous topping of potatoes is light and slightly sweet. Making this spin on a classic pub dish with some healthy substitutions is a lovely way to say thank you to anyone you love!

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 large portions

Calories per serving: 387

Lamb & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 300g lean ground lamb
  • 300g lean ground veal
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 x large carrots, peeled finely diced
  • 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 x sweet gherkins, finely chopped + extra for serving
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • liquid smoke
  • For the potato topping
  • 2 x sweet potatoes
  • 2 x white baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 x large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 6 x sprigs of parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat a teaspoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl lined with paper towel.
  3. Lower heat to medium and add two teaspoons of the olive oil. Cook the onion, carrot and garlic until the vegetables start to brown approx. 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and tomato puree, stirring for another minute.
  5. Working quickly, add red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the browned bits. Simmer until reduced by half.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a simmer.
  7. Return the meat to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt, pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke to taste. Turn down the heat to low and loosely cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every once and awhile until the sauce has thickened.
  8. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350C.
  9. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15-20 minutes until a knife can easily pass through the potato. Drain well, and return potatoes to the hot pot over low heat to dry out briefly.
  10. Bake sweet potatoes in the microwave on the potato setting until soft.
  11. Press potatoes through a ricer and into a large bowl. Using a large spoon, remove sweet potatoes and their juices from their skins and add to the bowl.
  12. Mix in butter, almond milk and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  13. Add the chopped gherkins to the meat mixture and spoon into a 2.3L oven proof dish.
  14. Using a large spoon, top with sweet potato mixture by carefully spooning in large dollops over meat. Top with paprika.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and the sauce begins to bubble around the sides.
  16. Serve with parsley and extra gherkins.

Notes

Can be made in 1-2 days in advance.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/06/17/lamb-sweet-potato-shepherds-pie/

30 Minute Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Share It!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUpon
Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

I love being able to come home from work in the summer and head out for an evening run. The warm air along the lake cools to the perfect temperature as the sun sets on the horizon. I return home feeling so relaxed…and ravenous for dinner! On a night like this, I don’t have the patience for a complicated dish. This shrimp fried quinoa is one of my go-to post run meals, as I often have leftover quinoa in the fridge, and some frozen shrimp or scallops in the freezer. I like to add a lot of ginger to this dish because ginger is really good for muscle recovery, as it helps to reduce inflammation and is a natural muscle relaxant, as is lavender. I had some lavender salt from Prince Edward County Lavender, and sprinkled a bit at the end to finish off the dish as the mild floral infusion along with the thyme compliments the seafood nicely. Packed with protein and classic Asian flavor combinations, this shrimp fried quinoa is completely addictive. You’ll need to go for another run just so you can finish off this tasty dish!

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings (or 4 small side dishes)

Calories per serving: 575 per meal, 288 per side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 package frozen shrimp or scallops, thawed & drained
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1" inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 chili peppers finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • lavender salt (or sea salt)
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa and two cups of water in a rice cooker or on the stove top (covered, on medium high heat) approx. 12 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok on high until oil starts to smoke.
  3. Turn down to medium high and stir fry the eggs, set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to wok and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic and chili pepper until onion is translucent approx. 4 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper and stir fry one minute.
  6. Add shrimp and toss, then cover wok for 4 minutes, tossing once at the two minute mark.
  7. Add cooked quinoa, eggs, soy sauce and thyme, stir fry for one minute.
  8. Remove wok from heat. Season with lavender salt and ground pepper to taste.

Notes

Quinoa can be made the day before.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/06/07/30-minute-shrimp-fried-quinoa/

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa