Tag Archives: Swiss Chalet

NYC – Exploring Long Island

After dinner in Manhatten I took the train to Long Island and though I’m generally very comfortable navigating around NYC, the construction at the train station threw me off and I ended up on an express train to Long Island!  My friend had to rescue me and thankfully I was only three stops from where I was supposed to get off. Oops!

That evening we went for a night out in Brooklyn, where my love for NYC truly lies.

"The Night Awaits" - Long Island, NYC

“The Night Awaits” – Long Island, NYC

"Spread The Love" - Brooklyn, NYC

“Spread The Love” – Brooklyn, NYC

The next few days I spent exploring Long Island, and while very suburban I still found had plenty of character.  A big, sprawling burrow with big box stores and shopping malls, the quiet neighbourhoods were lined with beautiful, charming houses – not the mansion like monstrosities that have taken over my hometown city but unique, sometimes fancy, sometimes cozy homes.  We took my friend’s kid to a small, local fair that had clothes, jewelry, craft and food stands and even a small animal farm.  While my friend took her kid for a ride on a mini pony, I poked my nose around the food stalls to see what looked interesting to eat.

"Time for a Ride?" - Long Island, NYC

“Time for a Ride?” – Long Island, NYC

I tried a cod fritter for the first time and ohmygod it was yummy!  The batter was crispy and bit spicy and the cod inside was sweet and juicy – ohhh yeah I could have had seconds, thirds – a whole handful for sure!  But – I wanted to see what else l could sample.

Cod Fritter - Long Island, NYC

Cod Fritter – Long Island, NYC

I also ate coco bread for the first time.  Another ohmygod moment – how have I never had coco bread?!  This sweet and fluffy bun complimented the spicy jerk chicken perfectly.  I need more coco bread in my life, period.

Jerk Chicken & Coco Bread - Long Island, NYC

Jerk Chicken & Coco Bread – Long Island, NYC

On my last day in NYC my friend took me down to Baldwin Bay, which reminded me of a quieter South Street Seaport.  We spend the afternoon strolling along the waterfront on this beautiful but chilly spring day.

Baldwin Bay - Long Island, NYC

Baldwin Bay – Long Island, NYC

Finally, no trip to NYC is complete until we have our Swiss Chalet dinner.  Back when we were students my friend and I would always order the infamous Canadian go-to comfort food – rotisserie chicken from Swiss Chalet.  So, whenever I visit her I stock up on packets of instant Chalet sauce and chicken marinade that can only be found in Canada – a nice little reminder of home.

A Homemade Swiss Chalet Dinner - Long Island, NYC

A Homemade Swiss Chalet Dinner – Long Island, NYC

I’m always so sad when I say goodbye to my friend.  I love how easily we reconnect after all these years but it’s still hard to leave, especially after such an awesome trip.  Until next time NYC!

Ultimate Camp Food at Bottle Lake

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…

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