Friday, October 31, 2008

Tidal Bore Rafting on the Shubenacadie River

A couple weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to go tidal bore rafting.

Tidal Bore Rafting in late October?

Yes! We wore survival suits :)

According to Wikipedia a Tidal Bore is "is a true tidal wave (not to be confused with a tsunami)." This wave comes from the Bay of Fundy (flowing in one direction) and meets the Shubenacadie River (flowing in in the opposite direction).

Picture this, you're in a power boat and you are heading full speed into a 10-20 foot wave STRAIGHT ON. While you're very instinct would be to flee, you are powerless as this giant wave splashes over you. No sooner can you say "let's do it again" the boat operator is turning around to go just ahead of the wave then turn around to ram into it again. Pow!

What is really eerie is just before the wave approaches, you can see and hear it coming like a locomotive up the river. First you see a ripple and then one minute later there is churning water all around you. All this while gigantic bald eagles are watching you from the trees along the bank. Silently laughing at the silly humans.
Sea of Shoes
Before you knew it, it was time to go back to the dock, step out from the boat onto the muddy shore and then tear off the survival suits. The feeling was exhilarating and I can't wait to go back during the summer months on a 4 hour excursion that includes a bbq and mud sliding.

Here's where to get further info:
Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Park

Bay of Fundy Tourism Information:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Creepy Witch's Fingers

Last night I made Creepy Witch's Fingers.

These yummy sugar cookies, with a hint of almond extract, are a hit with any Halloween party.

While you are savouring these cookies, the garlic will help fend off vampires. It's a "win-win"!

Get the recipe from Canadian Living.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Leafing through fall

There's just something about leaves. So pure, so beautiful.
Here are a few snapshots of leaves in my backyard last weekend:

Though prime leaf watching season is nearly over, you can still see Nova Scotia Leaf Watch updates. A website with posts from people all over Nova Scotia giving updates on the status of leaves.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Donair l'egg roll

We Atlantic Canadian's have a weakness for donair's. For a select few, especially at 2 a.m. on a Saturday - when any knowledge of Canada's four food groups is kicked to the curb.


Wait one sec.

Let's get something straight.

I am NOT up at 2 a.m. (anymore) I'm NOT 19 (anymore). I prefer a stick of celery as a snack (these days).

Not all Atlantic Canadian's even like donair's. Just thought I'd add that disclaimer.

So. Here's an egg roll with a twist. It's yummy and it comes with "donair sauce" to dip them in. What is that delicious white sauce called anyway? Never mind, there are some things one doesn't need to know in life, like what is donair meat made of anyway? Don't matter, it's still good.

Someone told me today I should be a food photographer. I scoffed. Then reached for my bag of celery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Favourite Food Blogs

Here are blogs that I love to follow closely:

Sexy Girls Eat
Rochelle Bilow is a student who lives in Syracuse, NY. I adore her writing style and how she tells a story.

with bite
This gal is from Halifax, is passionate about food and it shows in her writing. Watch for this girl someday soon on The Food Network...Rachael Ray, eat your heart out! Miss you K!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Falling for the leaves from the west

My dear friend from Vancouver Island just sent me this beautiful picture taken from her front yard. Definitely no yellows here!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Falling for the leaves

When I lived on the west coast, I longed for the bright reds and fiery oranges of fall. Since the leaves there were predominately yellow, a dear friend took pity on me and mailed me red and orange leaves from the east. The thing was, when they arrived in the mail, the leaves had turned brown because they were in a Ziploc bag. Guess it wasn't in the cards for me to see gorgeous east coast leaves that year.


But I get my fair share now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The French Basin Trail

It's funny. For the past 5 years my family and I have visited the town of Annapolis Royal and it wasn't until this past weekend that I realized how much there was to explore. Don't gasp when I tell you that I have YET to visit Port Royal National Historic Site. I told you not to gasp!

For the past few years, while driving past the Tidal Power Interpretive Centre, I've always noticed people walking along a marshy wetland. Well, on an overnight trip to Annapolis Royal this past weekend we went on a hike there. It was along this marshy wetland that I discovered its name, the French Basin Trail.

Basically right in the town of Annapolis Royal, the French Basin Trail is a 45-minute walk around a Ducks Unlimited wetland. Home to several species of ducks, at least one pair of Great Blue Herons, a family of muskrats and, if you're lucky, foxes. The well-maintained gravel trail around the marshland leads into an old Dominion Atlantic Railroad line railbed/trail that goes east or west as far as your feet will take you.

Along the trail were decorations hanging from trees or lying on the ground made from pine cones, birch bark and other natural materials that were a hit with the squirrels and birds. I was told later that these were made by art students at a local school.

Next time I visit the area, I am definitely taking along my running shoes. With no hills and lots of scenery, this trail is a runners dream.

To get there: In Annapolis Royal, drive along Saint George Street until you see the set of traffic lights (Historic Gardens will be on your left), turn onto Prince Albert Road then drive 300 meters and turn right onto the gravel parking lot.

More info:
Annapolis Valley Vacation
Annapolis Royal Recreation

Each Wednesday 12:15pm (January – March)
French Basin Trail
Shoes available
Info: 902.532-3144

At the French Basin Trail & pond: watch for the skating sign in the parking area (green indicates skating; red - no skating).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pomquet Acadian Trails (Sentiers Acadiens de Pomquet)

Last weekend, my family and I made a quick visit to the village Pomquet. Located on the Northumberland Shore, this area was settled in 1761 by Acadians and it is one of the friendliest places in Nova Scotia.

We hiked a series of trails that led us through the Monks Head Provincial Park Reserve. The trail started just behind Chez Deslauriers, an Acadian historic site overlooking the magnificent expanse of Pomquet Beach. There are five trails starting with the Beach trail and ending with the Coastal trail. These trails (with the exception of the Coastal Trail) shoot off the main trail to their own loop. We decided to hike along the main trail along the coast.

The trail led us through a field, a wooded area and along the rocky shore of St. George’s Bay that offered stunning views of Cape Breton from across the water. Every now and then we’d have an opportunity to look (from a safe distance) over the edge to see the cliffs below. These cliffs are rapidly eroding and many well posted signs reminded us of this.

The only animals we encountered were two friendly red squirrels, very cute to see as they were as curious about them as they were about us. What weren’t so cute were Poison Ivy plants that were scattered along the outskirts of part of trail. As long as you steer clear of them, there would be no problem. We discovered cranberries along the shore were abundant and ripe for picking. Note to self for next fall: bring a bag.

This was a wonderful easy to moderate level hike with amazing views.

How to get there?
Pomquet is a 20 minute drive from Antigonish. Follow the 104 hwy (east)and watch for the large Pomquet sign.

Pomquet Beach

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

I received these cookies in a basket a few years ago. These beauties are soft and chewy. I add chocolate chips and sometimes walnuts.

Pumpkin Cookies:
1/2 cup margarine (or softened butter)
1 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1 cup chocolate chips (or raisins)
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar together, mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and pumpkin. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake in 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Then invite me over for tea :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Annapolis Valley Apple Torte

This torte cuts into firm slices, each studded with apples, a fresh change from apple pie.

1/2 cup butter 125 mL
1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
1/4 tsp vanilla 1 mL
1 cup all-purpose flour 250 mL
1/2 cup raspberry jam 125 mL

1 cup cream cheese, softened 250 mL
1/2 cup granulated sugar 125 mL
1 large egg 1
1/2 tsp vanilla 2 mL

4 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1 L
1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 mL
1/2 cup slivered almonds 125 mL

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla; add flour and mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into bottom and 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Spread raspberry jam on the bottom crust. Mix filling ingredients until smooth and spread evenly over base. Toss peeled and sliced apples with sugar and cinnamon and arrange gently on filling. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue baking for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool and serve with whipped cream. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Print 4 x 6 Recipe Card (pdf)

To find fall recipes, go to pumpkin cookies!