The sun is out, weather is gorgeous, snow is melting, and the sugar shacks season is right upon us! And I just love this time of the year; you know, when the mild temperature allows me to wear my light jacket outside and to open all of the windows of the house when inside. But also because of maple syrup! I’m actually more of a salty kind of person, but in the spring, bring me all the maple flavoured food you can find, and I’ll try it all. I can’t wait to hit the sugar shack!
So, since I’ve been craving for some of that delicious seasonal sugar shack food, I’ve decided to try – with a twist – a few maple flavoured recipes. And man did I hit the jackpot. I spent a day cooking up a storm to achieve this menu, but you don’t have to do it all in one day. Here’s mylemondroplife’s take on MAPLE! Oh yeah, by the way, may I present you my brand new Apple MacBook!!! I’m sooo excited about it, and about the fact that I can now create some awesome one-page recipe with it for my blogs… I promise I will now have at least one new amazing recipe a month!
First, pea soup…yep! So now you might all think, ‘how boring could this be after she literally just said she’d come up with some amazing recipe…’, well let me tell you that with the delicious bacon and roasted ham, hello, this recipe is nothing short of AMAZING!
Now, the piece of resistance, Chicken & Waffles with Maple Hot Butter Sauce. This literally blew my mind. I had been wanting to make Chicken & Waffles forever, but this Maple Hot Butter Sauce really took this dish to the next level. I served the C&W with a light Arugula salad with maple butter dressing. I also made some Oreilles de Crisse. Not sure how to translate this to English, but anyway, so salty and so good! Next time I want to make them on the Charcoal. Salty and smokey should be an awesome combo. And last but not least, Maple Baked Donuts. But today I’ll be sharing only the pea soup and the C&W recipes. I’ll be sharing the donuts another day.
In the coming weeks, gather some friends and family and recreate some of these recipes for an homemade sugar shack experience. They’ll be a hit! And then you can have some Maple Taffy in the backyard… but do it soon… as the snow is melting quickly!
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!!!
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!
So Friday night I was alone with the boys and we started talking about the month of April and that tomorrow was going to be April’s Fools day. They didn’t really know about it and how it was about playing tricks on people and fishies! We decided right then that we would celebrate ‘Fish Day’ on Saturday.
At 6:40 am the next day, we we’re busy tracing, cutting and drawing all kinds of fish. We made a mural with more than 40 fishes and made special ones for the people we love. Also found some fish t-shirt we already had and then we were ready for some food.
We made a cake and some individual fish pizza (themed pizza is my go-to food activity, I feel like we can make everything with a pizza and it’s always a hit)!
Then it was practice time, they had no clue how to stick a fish on other people’s back! It was so much fun watching them practice for the real thing… they just seem not to get that you had to be subtle when trying to stick the fish! After a while they got better, but once our family started to arrive, they were too shy to stick it to them! So I guess we have a bit more practice to do for next year.
So it was a spur of the moment kind-a-day and we had so much fun! Not everything needs to be planned ahead, make it happen and have fun. That’s what it’s all about anyway!
Have an awesome month of April and enjoy spring time!
I would have loved this activity as a child. I saw the ad online two weeks ago and within minutes I had recruited my cousins for an afternoon of fun with our kids. Two words and they we’re hooked; Chocolats Favoris!
Two amazing things put together: Easter and Chocolats Favoris… marketing GENIUS. Either online or in store, you can pick out everything you need for this great Easter activity.
Véro picked out the chocolate for everyone in advance, but it would be even more fun to bring your kids to the store and let them pick out their favorite one, and of course, have an ice cream cone while you’re there! The prices were very reasonable, with an average of 12$-15$ per child. An outing, a craft and delicious chocolates! A win for everyone. Once you have chosen your favorite mold, you pick out a chocolate color palette and voilà, you’re ready to go!
I would recommend a disposable tablecloth, which we didn’t use! We ended up scrapping off chocolate off my table for ever!
We melted the color palettes in escargot dishes, best idea, because in a plate I would think that the colors would run together… Within 5 minutes, the 5 kids were busy painting. We thought it would last two minutes, but surprisingly, they were entertained for over 25 minutes. They loved it!
I loved that each kids had their own chocolate palette and did whatever they wanted with it. They were mixing the colors as they felt; you can really see their personality in their work! Some were really expressive while painting!
It dries really quickly, so you can pile-up paint on paint on paint without ending up with the same color all over your chocolate. But of course, by the end, there was chocolate paint everywhere. Liam loved it so much he was licking the table while Jacob and Logan were eating the paintbrushes! All resisted eating their work of art. This activity was even more successful than expected.
I’m probably going to do this again before Easter, since it was such a great creative activity (but next time I’m getting one for myself for sure!). My favorite masterpiece was Logan’s! It almost looked like a piece of art I would buy. Finally, the artsy side of my boys is coming out!
I’m pretty sure these will fly of the shelves of Chocolats Favoris stores. So grab one and run! All these pretty colors sure made me ready for Spring; so be ready to be flooded with Easter and Spring posts in the next little while. Cause although I just spent an amazing March break at the cottage with Brian and the boys, tubing and snowshoeing with cold nights and fireplace, I can say that I’m pretty much done with winter for this year and ready for Spring… and so will you once you do this fun family activity!