August 15, 2013

proof whisky, let’s go to the..., Vol. 137

It’s ex-time again. To celebrate the opening of Canada’s largest fair we are featuring an appropriate treat. Try out a couple of our midway recipes in your own backyard. For more information on proof brands visit

 We set up a snow cone syrup bar in the backyard. What a great way start a backyard party or bbq. You can experiment with different fruits and even some veggies and spirits, like cool cucumber and gin. Enjoy these suggestions.

blueberry basil snow 2 cups blueberries • 1/4 cup sugar • 3 oz water • 3 oz proof rum • 2 fresh basil leaves • crushed ice

Coarsely mash berries, sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, then boil uncovered for 3 minutes. Pour into food processor or blender and puree. Strain into clean jar and add proof rum and fresh basil. Let cool and refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour). Remove basil leaves. Pour about 1 oz over shaved ice. Garnish with basil leaf. (makes 6-8 cones)

mojito snow 1 cup mint leaves • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 3 limes (zested and juice, approximately 1 1/2 oz of lime juice)
3 oz proof rum • crushed ice

Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, stir in lime zest and mint. Let cool to room temperature, remove mint, then add lime juice and proof rum. Refrigerate unitl cold. Pour 1 oz over shaved ice and garnish with mint sprig. (makes 6-8 cones)

niagara peach snow 4 local peaches, peeled, pitted & sliced • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1/2 cup water • 1/2 cup proof whisky • crushed ice

Add peaches, water and sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes on low. Puree peach mixture in a blender and strain into clean bowl. Add lemon juice and proof whisky. Refrigerate until cool. Pour 1 oz over shaved ice, and garnish with peach slice. (makes 6-8 cones) (depending on the size of your peaches, you may need to add more water)

old fashioned snow 1 cup local cherries, halved & pitted • 1 cup sugar • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1 cup proof whisky • Crushed ice

Bring to boil with water and sugar to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes on low.
Puree mixture  in a blender and strain into clean bowl. Add lemon juice and proof whisky. Refrigerate until cool. Pour 1 oz over shaved ice, and garnish with a cherry and lemon twist. (makes 6-8 cones)


Ice equipment If you are in the market for an ice shaver or snow-cone machine, check out Target. They have a couple of different models. We also use our snowball maker for a perfect ball. (


Where else can you find a Creole Choir from Cuba, Sand Sculpting, a Casino, The Blitzer, Magician Mike D’Urzo, Gourmet Gringos, Superdogs, Mach 3, Frankie Fettuccine, The Proclaimers, The Flying Wallendas, Draogonette, Frankie Avalon, Kiss 92.5, Chuck Hughes, a zip line, David Adjey, PeeWee Baseball, The Beach Boys, Bacon Nation, Horsecapades and Susur Lee all under one roof (

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 24 degrees
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 25 degrees

August 8, 2013

Roadtrip to Ithaca, Vol. 136

Last month on our drive to NYC, we got sidetracked by the amazing upstate NY scenery. We decided to take a couple of extra days to explore the Finger Lakes. Ithaca was definitely a highlight. Today, we are featuring a cool cocktail from the famous Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. Cheers John! For more information on proof brands visit

the moosewood 1 1/2 oz proof vodka • 1/4 oz simple syrup • 2” piece of English cucumber, skin removed • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon • small bunch of mint (2-3 large stalks)

In a shaker muddle mint and cucumber. Add vodka, simple syrup, lemon & ice.
Shake very hard and strain into a chilled martini glass


Ithaca is gorges Sitting on the shores of Cayuga Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes, the hilly town of Ithaca is surrounded by dense forests, towering waterfalls, and many gorges. The natural beauty has a distinctly academic feel, as local universities have filled the woods with museums and education centers like The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which features a 220 acre wildlife sanctuary.

We were in Ithaca for two days, but we managed to see and do a lot of great things.
Our hotel was right on the Cornell University Campus. If you are into hiking, camping and the outdoors in general, you will love this place. Here were some definite highlights.

Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. Winding trails follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, to where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park. Campers can choose from tent or RV sites or cabins. Enjoy nine miles of hiking trails, or swim in a stream-fed pool beneath a waterfall.

Taughannock Falls This 215-foot waterfall is one of the most spectacular, in a region that is full of waterfalls. The stream has carved a long, deep gorge on its way down to Cayuga Lake. Hiking up that gorge provides a great build-up to the falls themselves.

Ithaca Commons Downtown Ithaca has a two-block pedestrian mall which has some neat shops, fine restaurants, bars, and galleries. The Ithaca Commons is the heart of downtown. Concerts and festivals are held here as well.

Cornell Plantations Cornell University has an attractive campus, whose main attraction is the Plantations. These extensive botanical gardens offer plenty of hiking and a lot of good photo ops. Dating back over a century, they have long been a favorite place for Cornell alumni to visit when the return to campus.


Moosewood Restaurant With their emphasis on healthful natural foods cuisine, Moosewood Restaurant has operated successfully for thirty-eight years and has been acclaimed as a driving force in the world of creative vegetarian cooking. Moosewood was named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th Century by Bon Appétit magazine. Visit their website for cookbooks, recipes and all other information.

We decided to dine at the famous Moosewood Restaurant, where we sampled our the moosewood cocktail. The food was decent, but we found ourselves eating a second dinner about an hour later.

Starting at 6:30pm Friday evening, make your way up to the Danforth in Toronto for Taste of the Danforth. It runs all weekend long. (


If you are in the Collingwood area, don’t miss Wakestock (
Featuring Death from Above, Sheepdogs, Less Than Jake, and more.

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Mainly sunny and a high of 22 degrees
Sunday: Mainly sunny and a high of 23 degrees

August 3, 2013

Camp Ivanhoe, Vol. 135

Hey strangers! We apologize for our ‘little break’ in weekly recipes. Things have been crazy. We hope to get back to business starting with the August Long weekend. We recently partied (and camped) with a fun group of creative foodie types. Here is a recap of the weekend and perhaps a few ideas and recipes for your own camp experience. For more information on proof brands visit

the campfire caesar 1 oz proof whisky • 1 tsp smoky bbq sauce • 2 dashes hot sauce • 3 dashes Worcestershire • 
3 dashes fresh cracked salt and pepper • 4 oz. Mott’s Clamato

Fill mason jars with ice. Add ingredients in order. Stir. Garnish with bacon or any other salty smoky treat. 
For a little more smoky flavour, add a dash of liquid smoke.

We had an amazing time backyard ‘camping’, if that’s what you want to call it. The theme of the night was ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, Wes Anderson’s quirky little movie set in the mid 60s. Everyone dressed up in their best scout gear and we were put into teams to play several fun games. 

We went on a scavenger hunt, created weiner sculptures, had a blind beer-tasting contest, played ping-pong (later beer pong) matches, badminton, dodge ball, volleyball and more. It was a hoot!

The food kept coming out. We started the evening off with this amazing bbq pizza, followed by corn fritters and spicy gazpacho.

We found this recipe from ABC’s ‘The Chew’ bbq pizza
After trying them all, here were our favourite three:

basic ingredients 1 ball of pizza dough (we bought it) • 1/2 cup olive oil • flour • tomato sauce (not on tapenade pizza)

 option one tomato sauce • caramelized onions • goat cheese • rosemary • olive oil
option two Olive tapenade • fresh mozzarella • red pepper jelly (my personal favourite)
option three tomato sauce • grilled salami • fresh mozzarella • basil • crushed red pepper

All three follow the same Instructions: Heat your grill to high heat.
Using your hands, or a rolling pin, stretch pizza dough into a round about a 1/4 inch thick, making sure there is no lip, and the dough is evenly flat. 
Oil your grill pan, and brush the top of your pizza liberally with oil. Place the dough--oil side down – on the grill pan, and let it cook until it begins to crisp and char, 6-7 minutes. Flip the dough, and begin topping the char side.
Reduce heat to medium-high, or move off the flame while topping with desired toppings and tomato sauce. Cover with large lid or metal bowl until toppings are warm and cheese has melted, rotating the crust to prevent over-charring.


corn fritters 4 ears of corns, kernels removed • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch • 1 egg, beaten • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp salt, and more for sprinkling • 1/4 tsp Black pepper • 1/4 cup of canola oil for frying •  basil leaves, torn up

Mix all ingredients together until combined in a bowl. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan set on a medium to high heat. Using 1/4-cup of measuring cup, spoon the mixture into the frying pan in batches. Fry each fritter on each side for around 2 minutes or until they turn a nice dark brown, do not flip before the patty is browned or it will fall apart.  Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Drain the fritters on paper towel and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remainder of the mixture.

Later we had a sit-down meal with salads, steaks and more drinks.

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 24 degrees
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 21 degrees
Monday: Sunny and a high of 23 degrees

Enjoy your long weekend!