homemade beaver tails, eh?

Beaver Tails… it doesn’t get more Canadian than this!  If you like them as much as I do, well I’ve got you covered.  I’ve made my first batch over Canada Day weekend and we’ve been craving them ever since.  Honestly, it’s kind of easy to do, you just need a bit of time to do it.  Topping possibilities are endless… and that’s really exciting!  So take some time this weekend and try them!

What you need:

1\2 cup warm water

2 packs of active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup warm milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1\2 cup sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups regular flour

1\3 cup vegetable oil

vegetable oil for frying

How to:

I always use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the hook attachment when making dough.  In the mixing bowl, add water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Let rest for a few minutes, until foamy.  Pour in the milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt.  Mix well with the hook.  Add in batches, the flour.  Mix until nothing sticks to the side of the bowl.

Use another bowl and cover with a bit an oil.  Take the dough from the mixer, knead a minute on a floured surface, then place in the oiled bowl. (I always preheat my oven at 175 and then turn it off and place the dough in, with a damp cloth on top).  Let rise until it doubled in size, between 45 minutes to an hour.

On a floured surface again, knead the dough gently and then roll it out in a rectangle with a rolling pin.  With a pizza cutter, slice the dough in small rectangle about the size of your hand.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover while you prepare the rest.

Heat oil in a large pot.  You should have 4-5 inches of oil in the bottom of your pan.  One piece of dough at the time, stretch and shape in an oval or like a Beaver Tail.  Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden on both side, turning once.  Take it out, place it on a paper towel and repeat with all the dough.

I suggest doing this recipe with an helper (adult).  Do not let the kids play around you while you do this.  They will have plenty of time to have fun while topping their Beaver Tails later on!  As for my toppings… well I have a thing for Nutella, so obviously mine was chocolate with powdered sugar.  The boys had the classic cinnamon sugar (brush melted butter and mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 cup of sugar).  Dip the buttered tail in the sugar and voila!  I’d say that maple butter, or jam or Dulce de Leche from Chocolats Favoris would also be pretty delicious.

You could easily divide this recipe.  It makes around 20 pieces of dough depending on the size of your Beaver Tails.  You can store them, without toppings, in an airtight container for a few days on the counter.

This is a great recipe for a party, where you could have a cute topping bar and where everyone could customize their own Beaver Tail!

So try this, it’s a winner!  Let me know about your favorite toppings, as I’d like to try them all!  Enjoy!

 

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strawberry jam forever

It’s official, we’re on vacation.  And what did I do on my first day of vacation?  Wake up super early and went strawberry picking.  Dragged the boys, as I thought they would like it, but within 5 minutes they were already bored.  Turns out they really like jam but not as much working for it and picking up berries.

So I woke one minute before my usual 6:10 am alarm.  Way to go.  Lounged with the boys and then got ready to visit Les Jardins Lamoureux in Hawkesbury.  Jojo, Lulu and my Mom tagged along.  Within one hour we had 7 huge baskets filled to the brim.  It was a gorgeous morning, perfect weather, but boy, picking strawberries is not easy!  I will now have much more appreciation for the berries that I will buy at the store!

Logan had a meltdown.  He picked about 11 berries before he called it quit.  So I decided to fill his basket for him, but as soon as I started putting some in the basket, he started balling.  You can’t touch his food; I should have known better!  Well, nothing like a 4 years old meltdown in the middle of a strawberry field.  He kept on saying ‘I only want 11’.  Oh well, too bad.  I filled the rest of it!

We came back home and took our first summer vacation nap.  Two glorious hours of sleep and then waking up to the smell of strawberries in the entire house.  Heaven.

I think we made 5 batches of jam in a 12 hour period.  The boys didn’t liked the strawberry picking, but making the jam, they loved it… with all the licking and the sticky fingers and the happy faces.

I used a Club House envelop.  The recipe is on the packets but I’m sharing anyway!

No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

What you need:

4 cups of strawberries

1 1/2 cups of sugar

Club House Freezer Jam packet

Glass jars

How to:

Wash jars.  Chop the strawberries and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar and mix.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Even though they say not to, I blended the berries.  I’m not a fan of chunky jam.  So at this point, I used a hand held mixer and blended the berries.  Sprinkle the gelling powder and mix well for 3 minutes.  Let stand for 5.  Stir again before pouring in the jars.  Seal tight.  Store in fridge for up to 6 weeks or in the freezer for a year.

So now I think we have more jam than what we’d probably be able to eat over the next 3 years… so if you’re in a jam, drop by our place and pick up a jar!

I know what’s for lunch today: Strawberry sandwiches.  Our fav!  Now, if only the warm weather would cooperate it would actually feel like a vacation and I could enjoy some freshly picked strawberry outside by the pool.

Have an awesome week mylemondroplife followers!

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a mess, a pool and a pic nic

For the first time this year the sun came out for an entire weekend, and what did we ended up doing?  Striping off the paint from our deck, oh yeah, almost all weekend long.  BORING!

We’ve been pushing back this tedious task for weeks now, but we’ve finally started.  When I start something, I like to finish it as soon as possible, but I don’t see this one being finished anytime soon… and that’s so discouraging!

Friday night we attended the Confirmation of my niece Nini and nephew Jay-Jay.  So right after work, we drove down to our hometown, ordered pizza from our favorite pizza place, and then headed to church for the celebration.

Saturday morning, I slept in!  Not sure when was the last time I slept until 8:24; which is when my phone rang!  Oh well, we had a lot of work to do, so I had to get up eventually anyway.  Let just say that we’re not the best at doing renovation.  We have no clue what we’re doing.  Give me crafts any day of the week, but renovations, well it seems like it often ends up as fail.  And we did fail.   We had borrowed my father-in-law water pressure machine to clean the deck and get it ready for painting.  Brian thought there was not enough pressure, so he texted our friend Mat to borrow his gas pressure washer.  Well that one had a lot of pressure, like way too much as it literally stripped the wood from the deck!  When wet, while Brian was doing it, I couldn’t really see the damaged he was doing, but as soon as it dried up a little, I couldn’t believe it, it was a disaster!  At least we didn’t ruined all of it, since I’ve noticed he wasn’t doing it right after about 30 minutes… but still, we now have to sand 1/4 of the deck before we can paint it.  Brian’s response when I came out to see how he was doing with the deck and realized he was ruining it was: ‘well, the guy on YouTube said…’; oh boy, don’t quit your day job honey!  We spent the entire day on Saturday working on this task.  So long, and boring.  At least we had friends over for BBQ and drinks to make it a fun day!

Sunday morning, back to cleaning the deck.  I would say we are now 3/4 done with the stripping and cleaning part.  Then sanding and painting.  Brian left for golf and the boys and I had our first swim of the season.  Yay!  I have no clue what was the water temperature, and I don’t want to know, but let me tell you it was really cold.  The boys didn’t care either… and Logan jumped in it without even touching it first and stayed there for at least 40 minutes.  We had a blast, jumping, splashing and swimming around.  I bought the most awesome pool float, a TACO!  Not sure who gets all these ideas for amazing pool float, but I’m obsessed with them and I keep on buying some more!!!

After our swim, we took a nap.  Nothing better than a nap after spending time in the sun and the pool.  We then packed a lunch and headed to the park for our first pic-nic of the summer.  Perfect weather, with lots of mosquitos and lots of rocks to throw in the water.  We found a table near the water to eat our snacks and then played in the structures and slides.  When I asked the boys what they liked the most about our day, Logan said jumping in the pool while Liam preferred throwing rocks in the water.  He just loves to throw rocks in the water!

So for the first nice weekend of the summer, let say we worked hard and played hard!  Can’t wait to do it all over again next week… minus the mess we made on the deck… hopefully, by then, my backyard patio will be nice again!  Hope your weekend was great as well and that this week goes by fast!

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cinco de mayo

To end my Mexican recipe week, I decided to invite a few friends over to try out some of my favorite dishes!  It ended up being quite the feast; a Cinco de Mayo kinda feast!

I spent a few days making paper flowers, a piñata and some more recipes.  Made a raglan taco shirt for Liam and found a watermelon tank top for Logan… although I am clearly not a fan of tank tops for my boys!  The best part: fake mustaches.  The boys looked hilarious wearing them… although, once again, I’m not a fan of mustaches, and I hope they never get a real one when they grow up!!!

So we drank Corona’s, ate tacos, quesadillas and some tortillas.  And just before we ate way to much guacamole and homemade salsa my friend Eric had made.  For dessert we had some delicious churros with dulce de leche dip.  Let’s just say that by the time we were done with the churros we looked like six full fake Mexicans.  But there was still a surprise for the kids : a candy filled piñata.

I should have bought the damn thing… I made it at 11 pm the day before, with box/carton and about 20$ worth of duct tape; which made it indestructible!  The kids got tired of hitting my cow/donkey with the plastic baseball bat, so Brian had some fun breaking it open with a golf club!  Then the kids had a few tears because of who got what, but I guess it’s all part of the fun of having a piñata, and in the end they were all pretty happy to eat some candy although they were already so full!

I think I will celebrate Cinco de Mayo for years to come.  All the colors and the amazing food are perfect to get me in the summer spirit!  Let’s just hope that next year we’ll get to do it outside, with a bit more sun and wayyy less rain/water!

Te quiero!

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may the fourth be with you

In our home, any reason is a good one to celebrate!  So now that the boys are into Star Wars, ‘May the Fourth be with you’ was a good reason enough to have our own little Star Wars waffle party.

I found a Star Wars waffle maker back in December at Wal-Mart; and of course I had to buy it 5 months in advance just for May 4th; and as I expected, it was a hit with the boys.

So we whipped up some batter, dressed up in our Star Wars pj’s, and ate whipped cream and delicious maple syrup waffles.  All that while watching Star Wars Lego.

We will also have a Star Wars week during Camp Wood this summer, so I didn’t want to go overboard with the activities.  I’ll have to keep them entertained all summer long after all, which won’t be an easy task, so I must keep some interesting stuff up my sleeves!  Last week we ended up painting terra cotta pots with their favorite Star Wars characters and then planted a plant in it for their room.  Let see how long these last… as they are supposed to take care of it!  Yeah right.

It’s fun to have some out of the ordinary day in the middle of the week.  It changes the routine, and they just love doing stuff during the week that we usually do during the weekend.  So find a day, find a theme, and go along for some out the ordinary fun this week!

I’ve also included a little video of Liam, playing the Star Wars Theme song.  I’m so happy he’s playing the piano.  Let’s hope he continues to love it.  We’re so proud of you!

May the Fourth be with you!

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who wants some taquitos?

So for my second day of awesome Mexican recipe, I’ve tried a new one.   And I will definitely make it again and again.  Great to make in advance for some lunches; or you can cut it up and serve it as appetizers; or even serve for diner with some lime and cilantro rice.  Beware: lots of spiciness!  I used some jalapeno in a jar… and I thought they’d be less spicy, but boy oh boy, was I wrong!

Here the recipe for the awesome Creamy Jalapeno Taquitos!

What you need:

4 boneless chicken breast

8oz cream cheese

2 TBS of pickled jalapeno chopped

pinch of cumin

1 TBS garlic salt

salt and pepper

12 tortillas

tex-mex cheese

sour cream

How to:

Preheat oven at 400.  Place chicken, cream cheese, jalapeno, cumin, garlic salt, salt and pepper in a baking dish.  Mix well and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, mix well again and replace for another 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, grate the cheese and set aside.  Remove the chicken and let cool for 5 minutes.  Shred the chicken mixture.  Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Take a tortilla, place some cheese in the middle and add a few spoonful of the chicken mixture.  Roll the tortilla tightly and place on the parchment paper.  Repeat for all the tortillas.  Heat up (at 400) in the oven until golden.  Serve with some cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, lime wedge and cilantro.

I’ve stored the leftover taquitos in a Ziploc bag, ready to be heated up for lunch.  Once again, these are spicy, so beware.  If you’re not a fan, cut out half of the jalapenos or leave them out entirely.  But these are so good with the full 2 tbs of chopped pickled jalapeno!!!

Enjoy!

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my kind of fest

Short and savory post!

Yesterday evening, with the most beautiful weather, we decided at the last minute to go to my new best festival EVER: PoutineFest!  Oh yeah, you read that right… a festival dedicated to my favorite food, POUTINE!

If you’re in the Ottawa region this weekend, and like poutine, then you have to visit Sparks Street.  Right in the heart of Ottawa, food trucks are lined up, waiting for you, and serving all sorts of poutine.  Brian picked me up after work and we drove downtown with the boys.  As soon as we arrived, we could smell all of that fried food!  I’m a cheap date, you know, since I don’t drink, but if you want to make me happy, buy me a poutine!

With so many choices to choose from, it was hard to decide which one to try.  Plus the boys were getting hungry, so we went for a food truck with a short line.  It turned out to be a really good decision, as it was delicious.

I had deep-fried-curds poutine… I wouldn’t say it was ‘good’, I’d describe it better as saying it was ‘life changing’!  OMG.  Brian had an onion ring poutine, which looked really good as well, but WTF… ketchup on a poutine?  Sometimes I just don’t understand him… oh well.

So we got our poutine from the Golden Fries truck.  The boys had some fries, Pogos and donuts.  Well, I might have had a few donuts as well!

Next time, I want to go with lots of people who can order all kinds of poutine and share.  Here’s some of the type of poutine you can find on Sparks Street this weekend:

-Cinco de Mayo Poutine

-Lobster Poutine

-Pad Thai Poutine

-Pulled Pork Poutine

-Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine

-Deep Fried Cauliflower Poutine

-mini donuts and more!

So if you have a bit of free time this weekend, it’s quick and fun.  Spring as arrived and finally we can spend some time outside; so why not spending it downtown Ottawa eating a poutine while sitting on the sidewalk (yeah, there’s not many option when it comes to sitting and enjoying your poutine… so we picked an open spot on the sidewalk and ate there).  Go have fun and eat an amazing poutine!  If you do, let me know which one you had and if it was worth it!

Have a great weekend!

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yearly girls getaway

It was our fifth anniversary this year… every year we plan, we book, we prepare what we need to bring and then we leave our families for an ENTIRE weekend!  Last weekend was our annual girl-only-spa-weekend-getaway!

We have one rule: never go to the same place twice… but I have to admit that this might change next year as this year’s location was almost perfect!

So back in January, we all met and started to look at the available deals online.  We previously went to St-Sauveur, Mont Tremblant, Montréal, and Québec city, but this year we all really needed/wanted to relax, so we decided to go somewhere more on the ‘country side’ where we wouldn’t be tempted to go out as much; and Fiddler’s Lake was the perfect fit for what we had in mind.

Friday morning we dropped off our kids to school, and on our way we were!  Our first stop was Ofuro spa in Morin Heights.  A Zen-like spa, with Nordic baths, relaxation zones and massages.  It was rainy/snowy, and we felt like we had the place to ourselves.  After 5 hours of total relaxation, we picked up food and drinks for the weekend out and headed to the cottage.  As soon as we got there, we were already in love with the place.  It was huge and luxurious, but with a country look to it, three bedrooms, and floor to ceiling windows with a beautiful view of the nature and trees that were surrounding us.  To make this place even more awesome, we had our very own outside sauna and spa just to ourselves.

On our first night we ended up eating comfort food, watching old music videos and singing crappy songs!  We made a gigantic nacho platter, my ‘famous’ guacamole, and some wings.  And then, as full as we already were, we still decided to heat up a Chocolats Favoris chocolate fondue can with some fruits around midnight!

Ok, so it looks like all we do is sit and eat.  But there’s more to that.  Every year, we set up some personal goals to achieve.  Anything goes.  Last year, I wanted to create a blog (check!) run half a marathon (10km is a half marathon right???) and start up playing guitar again.  So clearly, the blog part got done, the guitar, not so much but I started playing piano again with Liam.  So it’s almost the same…or so I kept telling myself.  As for the half marathon, I just added it to the 2017 list!  We also share our favorite products we discovered throughout the year.  It’s so funny, we never know what’s in store!

Saturday morning, without any kids to wake us up, we all slept in.  Which means we were up by something like 7:30!  It was nice though to spend a lazy morning in our pj’s until 10 and then go out and jump in the spa.  We stayed in there for 3 hours, then had some cheese and charcuterie for lunch.  Then, well of course, it was nap time.  It’s harder to nap when you hear your girlfriends talk and want to sit there and have fun with them, as I didn’t want to miss a thing… but my vacation-mode-laziness and crave for a nap took over… so yeah, I ended up taking a short hour nap, and then went back outside in the spa for another 2 hours or so.  God it felt good.  And it was all we needed, a lazy no rush day with nothing planned, with sunshine, a nap, and all of us lounging in our pj’s.

After a day-long of doing nothing but relaxing, we all got dressed up and ready to go for diner in Saint-Sauveur.  I had the best Goat Cheese salad ever and then some pasta.  It was nice to be out but all we wanted to do was to go back to the cottage and enjoy some more time in our spa (where we spent another 2 hours that night!!!).

You know what, as much as I love love love my spa weekend, at some point I think about my boys and wonder what they are doing and what’s happening at home.  I just love being at home.  I was a stay at home Mom for almost 4 years and not one day I wished I was elsewhere.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always so excited to leave on this little getaway, but a part of me sometime makes me miss them.  At least I know they’ll have an awesome time with my husband!  So before I left, I packed up their little suitcases for the weekend and prepared them some snacks.  This year, they had a sleepover at my mother-in-law on the Friday, and then on the next day, the 3 of them met with my girlfriends’ husband and kids for a playdate that turned into another sleepover.  Our four husbands, with our 9 kids, under one roof, with countless pillows and blankets, chips and candy, and I’m pretty sure without any curfew!  It must have been quite the evening…  Even I wouldn’t tackle such a task!  But my boys were pretty excited to tell me all about their last minute sleepover at their friends and their ‘party without Mommy’!  Apparently it’s happening again next year.  We’ll see about that!

So, back to us at the cottage!  The next morning came by way too quickly.  We packed up our things, tried to find a nice terrace for lunch, only to find hot dogs and poutine!  We did a bit of shopping, and then we were on our way…

It’s always fun to go away but there’s nothing like coming home.  I was greeted by my babies with more kisses than I could have asked for, and that was the best thing ever.

Now it’s all over, and I can’t wait to plan our next getaway.  I really hope we get to do this every year.  I just love spending some relaxing time with my girlfriends; we’ve all changed so much since University, and we sometimes don’t see each other’s enough, but in the end, we’re still the same we’ve always been: just an amazing and truly unique crew that loves spending time together, doing nothing else than alternating between our pj’s and couch and our bathing suits and spa for an entire day!

On my list of places to visit for our annual getaway: Lake Placid, Niagara on the lake, New York and Las Vegas!  Let’s see where we go next time!!!

2016
2016 Cache a Maxime
2016 Québec
2016 Québec

 

2015 Montréal
2015 Montréal
2015 Mont Tremblant

 

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easter, we’re ready for you

I am so ready for the extra-long weekend that Easter brings!  We always have a jam-packed weekend, and this year if no different.  Shopping on Good Friday with Jojo, followed by a no-meat-family-dinner at Lulu’s with fish, omelets and poutine!  On Saturday we’re celebrating Easter at my Mom’s with a nice Prime Rib, and Sunday is our annual Chicken N’ Rib feast at Brian’s mom.

The boys are ready to have a few days off, and so am I.  They’re anxious for the Egg Hunt on Saturday and all the chocolate they’re about to eat this weekend (and so am I!)

So here’s a few pictures of a few dessert options for this weekend.  Easy, fun and delicious!  My boys love to bake with me, and they love all the icing colors and sprinkle; cupcake decorating is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen!  Must be because they get to eat so much sugar while doing it!

As much as I love chocolate, I try to mix it up when it comes to the Easter Basket; and the boys already get so much chocolate from others at Easter.  I always get them summer stuff, like Crocs or shoes, pj’s, books or movies, and of course one candy.  I also try to make one for my husband, so I guess this year he knows what he’s having: Beau’s beer, t-shirt and chocolate!  Maybe I should post here what I want in my basket?!!

So, what’s your favorite Easter tradition?  And your favorite Easter treat?

Remember to have fun this weekend, to spend time with your family, and to drive safe.  Happy Easter everyone!

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keep calm and eat maple taffy

They’re a tiny little gap I enjoy every year between winter and spring; and it’s called Sugar Shack time!  So every year, since as far as I can remember, I went to the Sugar Shack, always on a Saturday night, and always with family and friends, to enjoy some of the finest maple syrup you can find!

I know most of you go yearly, but I’m pretty sure that some of mylemondroplife followers have no clue what I’m talking about!  So, at the end of winter, the maple trees release some maple sap.  You collect and boil it.  It then thicker and becomes something marvelous: Maple Syrup!  It’s basically Buddy the Elf’s dream come true from the Christmas movie ‘Elf’!

So two weeks ago we met up with my family at one of our favorite Sugar Shack and tried to eat as much as possible. Such an easy task!  Before we ate, we enjoyed a nice horse wagon ride in a maple tree forest.  The boys learned all about the syrup and they counted way too many cans.  I love wagon rides, I wish they would last longer.

This year, we got to meet my cousin’s so adorable brand new daughter Evely and had time to chat up with some relatives we hadn’t seen in a while!  We also ate copious amount of ‘bajoues’, or pork jowls!  These are definitely Brian’s favorite.  I always end up bringing some in my purse for him to eat later.  On top of that, there’s also omelet, ham, bacon, potatoes, sausages, and various pickled jars.  It doesn’t seem sooo special when you say it like that, but the difference it that at the Sugar Shack you don’t just eat all that food; you eat all that food with maple syrup poured on top of it and all over your plate!

I have a tip for you.  The Sugar Shack has so many deserts, but you should always go for the pancake AND sugar pie.  Combined them together and you’ll have the best desert ever!!!  All you need to do is scrap off some of the sugar filling from the pie and spread it on the pancakes!  To die for!

The boys had been great up until it was time to taste the maple taffy.  Then it was all downhill from there, with them doing things they would have never even thought of doing with a normal level of sugar!  So we decided to go burn off some of that energy at grandma’s!

Usually, during the March break, I do maple taffy at home.  We all love it.  The boys love to watch the sugar boiling and becoming syrup; and then we spread it on snow and enjoy.  There’s always a fight for who gets the first piece, but it’s not too long before everybody’s full of sugar and happy anyway!

Hope you’ll get a chance to visit a Sugar Shack this year.  And if you do, don’t forget what I told you about the desert!  You’ll think of me and want to thank me as soon as you take that first bite of that pancake!

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