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We’ve been getting lots of rain lately, an nothing’s better than soup: Beau’s Lug Tread French Onion Soup!
My favorite soup by far, that rich broth and all that gooey cheese! This soup is a meal in itself.
So run over at Beau’s Brewery and get yourself a few beers and you’ll still have time to make it before dinner!
What you need:
3 tablespoon of butter
6 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoon of flour
2 cups of Beau’s Lug Tread
5 cups of chicken stock
thyme, to taste
salt a pepper
cheese, lots of cheese (I used Swiss and Mozzarella)
Melt the butter and add the onions on high.
Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sugar, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Then add the flour, mix well, for 2-3 minutes.
Add the Lung Tread and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the broth and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Prepare bowls, bread and cheese.
Fill up the bowls, add the toasted bread and cheese.
Broil for a few minutes.
I used 3 Fois Par Jour recipe and changed it up a bit. It’s an amazing recipe, but I needed to make a few changes for the beer that I used!
Well let me tell you… I think I may have found it, the fairest of them all, and it’s actually not too far from home! My family and I have spent last weekend in some sort of winter wonderland fairy-tale, and I am so excited to tell you all about it.
So as I said in last week’s post, we were invited by the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid for the Holiday Village Stroll weekend; and I can tell you that we won’t forget a moment of it. It was a weekend filled with so many Christmas lights, numerous Holidays activities, breathtaking views, as well as memories that will last us a lifetime.
Here’s how it all happened… so earlier this year, while we were planning our summer vacation in Lake George, I was browsing online, looking for some activities for us to do over there; I remember Googling something like ‘what to do in the Adirondack’ and then stumbled upon this cute hotel in Lake Placid, the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa. Right there, simply by looking at the hotel’s website, I knew I had to visit it one day. So then later, like sometime in October, I looked further into it and saw some of their winter pictures on their website and Trip Advisor… and I simply fell in love with the place. I then decided to contact them to let them know I was planning on visiting Lake Placid in December to take some pictures and to blog about it… Fast forward a few weeks later and MLI had officially invited us to spend what seemed to be like the ultimate December-Holiday-weekend.
It felt like November would never end, as we couldn’t wait for our weekend getaway to arrive. The boys were so excited when we told them we were going on a family vacation; yet, kind of disappointed when we told them we were driving to get there. They always associate the word vacation with plane! But now, let me tell you, they are both quite happy that the Mirror Lake Inn is just a short drive away, as they both desperately want to go back.
We left on Friday at noon with snacks packed for the drive, as well as the iPad and Nintendo DS… which they played with until they both fell asleep right after we passed the US Customs. The ride was so smooth, and beautiful, mostly on country roads, with more and more freshly fallen snow covering the tall pine trees along the way up into the Adirondack. On our way there, we’ve listened to both our favorite Christmas albums, Michael Bublé for me and Zooey Deschanel’s She and Him for Bry (please don’t judge him!), while chatting the entire way. When we first spotted the Mirror Lake as we drove downhill towards it, the sun was hitting the mountains behind; and the view was just stunning. The boys woke up, and finally, we had arrived; all of us excited to be there. The first view of Mirror Lake Inn as we pulled in was just as expected: breathtaking. I knew it was going to be gorgeous, I mean I had already seen hundreds of pictures of it, but it was so much bigger, and even prettier.
One of my favorite moments of the weekend was the smell of the lobby the first time we entered the inn… I’d describe it as a delicate firewood-pine trees-oranges smell. It was welcoming, and comforting, and Christmassy, and I loved it. We made our way to the reception desk only to be greeted with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Let just say the MLI reception desk kind of does it all… and also kind of ruined the reception desk of all of our future travel destinations that won’t greet me with cookies!!! I will not share how many I ate during our stay, but I will say this… I fully took advantage of their chocolate chip cookie hospitality; and so did Logan!
We were then shown to our room. The first thing I noticed was the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows with a view on the lake and mountains. The view was simply the best, but the comfy king size bed, the pull out sofa bed for the boys, and the two leather chairs by the windows were also pretty awesome. While we were making ourselves at home, we heard a knock at the door… ‘Hello there’, as we were welcomed with a cheese tray, drinks, and some more cookies!
The first thing the boys wanted to do was to go to the pool, so Brian took them swimming while I took the opportunity to explore the inn and take some pictures. So many things and places to see, and so much beauty and history, everywhere I looked.
Here are some facts… Mirror Lake Inn is a family own business that started way back in the 1920’s. Mr. Wikoff created the Mir-a-Lac Inn and it became well known all over the States. It took an even bigger leap when the inn hosted an entire Olympic team during the 1932 Olympics. Since then, the inn has kept on getting bigger and better throughout the years. The MLI is now own by Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, whose son Andrew is a two-time Super G Olympic medalist. Andrew’s medals are shown at the reception and you can admire them for as long as you want while enjoying some cookies. MLI is known for its charm, its amazing staff and its delicious food. Here’s another fact: oh my god, the food is simply amazing!!! Every single item we ordered throughout the weekend was so delicious; but I have to say that the absolute best thing I’ve tried was the shrimp and squash gnocchi that Bry got at the Taste Bistro & Bar on Saturday night for dinner.
So, after the boys came back from the pool, we all changed and got ready for our 6:30 reservation at the four diamond restaurant, The View; and what a view it was! We were seated right by the windows overlooking the lake. Lake Placid was covered with snow when we arrived, but somehow, the lake was frozen and as clear as a mirror… I guess that’s where the name comes from! That’s actually not a fact, it’s just an observation, so don’t quote me on that; but it was truly beautiful. The lake was completely frozen, yet you could still see the sand at the bottom of it. So, back to The View. Well I’m pretty sure that all servers from The View or from all the other MLI restaurants are great, but Tess was just the best. She was so nice to us and the boys, bringing them special treats and making sure we all had a great time. Liam even asked her if he would see her the next day. Sadly he didn’t. But every time we would go close to the restaurant during the weekend, he would look out for her. He was so cute! You may or may not see this, Tess, but thank you so much for making our diner even more special. By the time we were done, Brian had one of the best salmon dish of his life, Liam probably now owns the world record for the fastest eaten spaghetti ever, while Logan was real super classy with his French fries and side of vinegar that we had brought from our last visit to McDonald’s (as the States only serve Malt Vinegar and Logan is NOT a fan of it but needs his vinegar on his fries!). As for me, well I was so full from my amazing filet mignon that I had to share a raspberry creme brulee with Brian! So good. But so glad we only ordered one dessert, because right after we were done, Tess brought us some nice chocolate truffles, mixed nuts and homemade mint chocolate. I could easily get used to that! Overall, the boys did really well (with the help of their Nintendo DS, of course), and I must say that it was one of our best meal ever.
After dinner we visited the library, my favorite room at MLI, which is located right beside the reception desk and common lounge. This room is so cozy, with oversized furniture, comfortable couches and a huge fireplace. We borrowed some games from the front desk and the boys played chess with Bry and then Chutes and Ladders with me. They also spotted an Elf on the Shelf and became obsessed with it, having to go find him every morning. It was actually a great start to our day to go visit the library; with lots of doors and windows and the sun pouring in… I could have sat there for hours to enjoy the fireplace and to relax. The library was mellow, and warm, and it really made us feel welcomed. It was a great place to spend our first night in Lake Placid. Right after playing a few board games, we decided to call it a night… well some of us did, as one of us decided to visit the Taste Bistro & Bar and listened to the live music while discovering some of their local craft beers as well as their amazing display of single malt scotch!
Next morning came way too fast for my Loggy boy, and by 6am, him and I were snuggling on the big chairs by the windows, in the little nook in our room, and played games and chatted. Once we were all up, we went down for breakfast where we ate way too much. The mini chocolate croissants were heaven! At 11am, it was Storytelling Time at the Mirror Lake Inn. Everyone from the village was invited and I’m pretty sure they all showed up. Set in the Wikoff room, right beside a huge Christmas tree and a gorgeous fireplace, a women made us sing carols and really got us to participate. Logan loved when she sang Rudolph, his favorite Christmas song. He was so cute, and I tried to make a short video of him singing along, but as soon as he noticed me filming, he stopped! Then the owner of the Bookstore Plus came to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The man who played the Grinch was AMAZING. You should have heard his voice… move over, Jim Carey!
It was now time to visit the Lake Placid village! So we got all dressed up and made the short walk to the central part of the village. We had to stop a few times to throw some snowballs on the lake, always a hit with my boys; especially on the frozen-like-a-mirror Mirror Lake! They had so much fun watching the snowballs explode on the ice, they kept on saying ‘this one was made of flour’. We then got to see Santa arriving in style on the local firetruck. The boys wanted to wait in line to see him, but I knew we would meet him later that evening, so I said no; felt like the Grinch there! We then browsed through the boutiques, ate freshly popped popcorn, and had Starbucks. We then came back for lunch at The Cottage at MLI, a small and cozy restaurant right on the water. The decor was so different, just like a ski lodge, and I loved everything about it. Delicious food once again. We had a pulled pork sandwich and French onion chicken burger sandwich. DELISH. After that, the boys wanted to go to the pool once again, so we decided to head back to the room.
So while they went swimming, I took what I’ll call “a holiday nap”, it’s a little fancier than a regular one, just because I was on a holiday, you know! The boys came back from the pool, but Logan was so tired that he immediately fell asleep with me, while the other two played some games… Logan was up since 6am, so letting him nap at like 4:30 pm was the biggest fail of all. MLI offers a visit from Santa and his Elf to its guests; so of course I was all over that. And of course I made sure they were wearing their new matching pj’s and all. Santa was scheduled to knock on our door at 6:30, so I tried to wake up Logan just past 6, but he didn’t want any of it. He was done. But when we heard the knock, we all ran to the door, even Logan who was still kind of asleep came with us to see who it was… and it was Santa! Sleepy Logan gave him a quick hug, then went back to bed and that was it for him! So Santa and his Elf came in, Liam told him what he wanted for Christmas, while Loggy was staying still, face first into the bed. So unlike him! Oh well, we’ve tried everything, we even tried to bribe him into coming to sit on Santa, but no, he was having NONE of it! Liam loved that Santa came to our room, although he became a little shy when Santa spoke to him in English (he really tried his best to speak a little French and I’m grateful for that!), so I had to be the interpreter. Santa then did a magic trick for us and Liam was really impressed! All in all, we ended up forcing Logan into a family picture with Santa, which actually turned out to be okay, so I take that as a win!
Santa left our room at 6:45, and since we were all still pretty full from our late lunch, we decided to go out to see all the beautiful MLI and village outdoor nightly Christmas decorations. So we all got dressed up once again and went out for a pre-diner walk. Probably took 500 shots of the beautiful outdoor holiday decors. The weather was perfect, and we had the best of time, just enjoying the surroundings and ourselves. Came back to the inn at about 8:30 for diner at The Taste Bistro and once again, the food was great. The gnocchi Bry ordered were simply to die for, and it’s my new mission in life to make as delicious gnocchi’s. I’m accepting all recipes; so if you have one, please send it my way! We then went back to our room, put the boys to bed and sat in our large chairs by the windows while quietly enjoying the view one last time. What a perfect day it was… minus the “Leave-me-alone-I-don’t-want-to-look-at-him” thing with Santa!
Already Sunday; our last day in Lake Placid. Well, at least we all woke up later than usual, which was great. Snow was gently falling outside, making everything white. Even the Mirror Lake was all white, no more mirror-like-lake. But it was perfect for some more pictures! So we packed up our stuff, talked about our weekend and what we had loved the most. We had a Breakfast with Santa planned, and finally, Logan was back to himself and real happy to see him! We had a great big round table by the fireplace and the Christmas tree all by ourselves; the brunch was so good, and the French toast were just awesome! We took some more pictures with Santa, and this time everybody was smiling and happy!
After brunch we made a final tour and said goodbye to our favorite places. My boys are really emotional, and they both cried, as they didn’t want to leave, but I can’t blame them, as I didn’t want to leave either. We took one last family selfie and we were on our way to Whiteface Mountain. Such a beautiful drive to get there on a snow covered road. But once we got to the ski resort, the snow and wind were stronger than at the inn, and we were told that the gondolas were closed because of a blizzard at the top of the mountain. We had planned to do the gondola ride to the top and the bobsled ride down the track. But we were so sad when we learned about the gondolas that we just left and forgot to ask if it was still possible to see and try the bobsled Olympic track. What a mistake. We both wanted to see it, and possibly try it. I only realized once back home that we had completely forgot to ask about it while at Whiteface Mountain.
So, since the mountain was closed, well we decided to take the long way back home, which actually consisted of the fastest way home with a stop at the closest Target. Of course, cause I just love Target!
During our drive back, we talked about what we had loved the best, which were the pool, the cookies, throwing snowballs onto the frozen lake, the Christmas lights, the smell of the inn, the people we had met, the restaurants we had tried, the stunning mountains, and much more. So many memories during such a small amount of time. That’s what the Mirror Lake Inn did to us, it created memories that will last a lifetime. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my family, traveling and having the time of our lives. And we sure did this weekend.
This wonderful weekend was put together for us by Mr. Caligiore, and from the four of us, Thank You so much for the amazing and wonderful opportunity, and for making sure we had the best of time. MLI surely knows how to make their guests feel welcome; and they do it in a way you don’t see everywhere. The staff was so nice to us, eager to help with anything, and always so friendly. When you’re there you can feel that it’s not just the one person you meet who’s nice, but that they all are, as a group, you know, like it’s just their thing! Well, that’s how we felt. Everyone was so nice to us.
So here’s my official review of the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa: if you’re thinking about visiting Lake Placid or its surroundings, you HAVE to stay at the MLI, or at least make time to visit and eat at one of their restaurants. The Holiday Village Stroll was an amazing weekend for a Christmas fanatic like me, but this place is clearly stunning all year round.
We will be back soon, that’s for sure. I just can’t wait to visit the Mirror Lake Inn again. For next time, I am debating between bringing our skis and going up in the gondolas or bringing our swimsuits to enjoy the MLI beach and Lake Placid sun; either way, I know we will have a great time. This place is simply the best.
Thanks for the memories Mirror Lake Inn.
So by now you probably know that I’m a crazy person comes October; but even if I try, I just can’t help it! October means it’s ALMOST Halloween, and yep, that gets me sooo excited!!! And when comes Halloween, I want people around me to be excited as well. So this year I’ve created a fun and exciting to-do list (hello checkmarks!) for the 31 days of October for you and your family.
It’s not a calendar, nor something you have to do every day (but you CAN if you’re even more into this than I am!!!); it’s just fun little ways to incorporate Fall into your daily life and spreading PSL (Pumpkin Spice Love!). So grab a pen and write these down.
31 ways to celebrate Fall
1- Buy festive PJ’s… hum hello… you should clearly do this for EVERY holiday!
2- Make scary pizza. As you know, pizza is my number one go to themed fun food. See the pictures of the fun pizzas I’ve made over the weekend.
3- Visit a pumpkin patch.
4- Decorate your house. And buy mini-pumpkins for the family rooms and fall garlands for the beds.
5- Buy a new cozy scarf. Find someone who needs to spoil you… or just do it yourself!
6- Watch Hocus Pocus… kinda cheated… as I’ve been watching it since early September.
7- Make homemade costume. My husband would surely like to cross that one off that list; as it’s been costume central in the entire kitchen for the last few weeks!
8- Jump in a pile of leaves… you’re never too old.
9- Make this French Onion Soup recipe.
10- Go on a hike to enjoy the Autumn leaves color.
11- Carve pumpkins and roast pumpkin seeds.
12- Buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte for a friend.
13- Buy a Fall scented candle.
14- Visit a corn maze!
15- Make a pumpkin spice loaf.
16- Go to an Oktoberfest party… of course we have our tickets for this weekend Beau’s Oktoberfest!
17- Wear Uggs… not going to wear mine this weekend at Beau’s Oktoberfest; supposed to be something like 40 degrees out there!
18- Sit outside and read a book or magazine with a warm blanket.
19- Watch football with a bowl of chili.
20- Buy yourself some Fall flowers.
21- Visit a Farmers Market.
22- Watch Baseball playoff and sing Sweet Caroline. Yeah, I’m a Red Sox fan! Go Sox!
23- Watch Nightmare Before Christmas.
24- Have a Fall picnic.
25- Watch Casper… still remember when I saw that movie at 12 years old… God I was in love with Devon Sawa!
26- Make pretzel… this recipe is awesome. Will probably make it on a Red Sox game day.
27- Do a Halloween craft with the kids.
28- Go horseback riding. That is just so much fun.
29- Make candy apples. The kids will love it!
30- Organize or go to an Halloween party!
31- Trick or Treat.
Hope this list inspires you to be festive this season. I know I’ve got plenty lined up for the next month… It’s on the list, but don’t do this just once; and enjoy as many pumpkin flavored anything as you can!!! It’s only here for a few weeks! So we may see each other at Starbucks in the coming weeks!
Happy Fall and Prost y’all.
First, I would like to announce the very lucky winner of the essential oils holder giveaway: Anne-Renée Caporicci! Kind of forgot about it over March break, but better late than never! Thank you to everyone who shared, liked and promoted my blog. And thanks a lot to our friend from Scotty Wood Design for the great gift! I wish I could give everyone a prize! You are all so great, thanks again for following mylemondroplife! I promise I’ll do another giveaway very soon.
So last week was March break, finally! We had been waiting for it for like forever. We had a long to-do list, but not much got a chance to be crossed off. It wasn’t on the list, but we did end up spending three straight days in our pajamas! It should have been on the list cause it felt sooo good.
On our first day off, we slept in… well past the usual 7am. A luxury! And then we took the boys and their cousins to a few games of laser quest. We met a friend from Liam’s class, played arcade games, had a lot of fun, and then we went for an ice cream cone at Chocolats Favoris. Laser quest followed by ice cream cone is one of my boys favorite things to do! One of my favorite as well.
Back home, we had Brian’s sister and brother over for dinner. My brothers-in-law practically took over my home and Brian’s toolbox and repaired every minor things our house needed fixing for! The question needs to be asked: where was my husband when they learned all of that? I don’t want to know! Well, thanks guys… please come back in May for the outside fixin’!
Sunday was snooze fest. We each took turns for naps and being lazy. These days are the best!
Monday was Trolls Day. The boys have been obsessed with the movie and CD. The music is awesome, or was awesome, for a while. Logan got the soundtrack for Christmas and it’s all the music we have been listening to in the car since. I can’t listen one more time to ‘Can’t stop the feeling’. The movie has also been on a loop at home since we got it. So, to make them happy on their first real March break day off, I decided to have a special day to honor Trolls. My mom made the most awesome Trolls hat, it’s hilarious! We also had popcorn and Trolls cookies and cones while watching -once again- the movie.
We had the best of days on Tuesday. I had planned the chocolate paint activity with my cousins! You can read more about that in my last post. The kids had so much fun being together. But it made me feel old, as I can remember spending time with my cousins during March break doing fun activities our parents had planned out for us. Now, it’s our turn.
On Wednesday, as soon as Brian came back from work, we left for the cottage for a three nights little family getaway. It was Brian’s first days off since our California adventure last summer, and the kids were really excited that the four of us were leaving on a ‘trip’. Logan was expecting we’d take a plane and go to Disney, but no, not this time Loggy; it was only a short road trip to my uncle’s cottage in Morin Heights. We were lucky enough to have the cottage for ourselves for the weekend (as my uncle was away down south with my mom for the week). Morin Heights is a cute little village near Saint-Sauveur in the Laurentians. We had packed our snowshoes, a bunch of kids movies and some snacks. First stop was for a late diner at Patate Labelle in Lachute, a snack bar where you can get some of the best fast food around. For me it was a poutine; HEAVEN!
Once we arrived, we made a fire and snuggled on the couch for what seems like hours. By that I mean the boys on the iPad and myself taking a nap!
Next morning, we braved the cold and got out to the Glissades des Pays d’En Haut. We met up with our friends ‘les Roy’ and went sliding/tubing. It was one of my favorite as a child and still is. That place is so much fun with some really fast rides, but with next to nobody on the hills, bonus, there was like no waiting time. After the first ride we already knew that our little Logan was not a fan. Poor Loggy, he saw the hills and he started to cry, so I decided to skip a few with him, but we did managed to bring him back with us later for some more rides… but he definitely had more fun jumping on the tubes and eating snow than going down the hill!
We did the rafting and tornado slides and they were crazy! I mean the 8 of us in one circle type of boat going down the hill while spinning and spinning, watch out! I screamed the entire way down!
So we went back to the cottage, and then, of course, I took another nap… what can I say, for me, cottage + fire = I need a nap. Well not only at the cottage, it’s actually one of my main priorities when on vacation. But then I was ready for our feast. Our friends joined us at the cottage, and we had cheese fondue, cheese raclette and another fondue. But even after that amazing meal and all that good cheese, I got to say that the best part was the dessert!!! Vero had made some croissants filled with Cadbury Easter eggs. To die for… while the guys’ dessert was another craft beer… they found a spot in Morin Heights where there was a ton of Beau’s beer that they can’t find at our local LCBO… but as excited as they were, nothing could have come close to what I felt eating that Cadbury Egg croissant! Shortly after we were done with the desserts, we were all so full, and the kids were all so exhausted that we called it a night.
Friday was already here and we went snowshoeing in the mountain trails. I’d say it was a tad dangerous and a little extreme for some 4 and 6 years old, but it was just gorgeous. After snowshoeing, we went for a French onion soup, then a nap, and then some main street shopping in Saint-Sauveur before ending up in a pub to celebrate St-Patty’s Day… with craft beers, burgers and an awesome dessert. And then, one last night at the cottage, with the end of March break approaching way too fast…
On our way back home, we had to go say goodbye to Brian’s aunt, and on our way there we went to the theater to see Beauty and the Beast. No spoiler alert here, just go watch that movie. Wow! We had dinner with Brian’s family, and then it was time to drive back to Rockland… and time to end our March break the same way we started it, in our pajamas! It was a week filled with great snacks, great adventures, great friends, and many great naps… just the way it’s supposed to be!
Next, summer break!