Tuesday, September 2, 2014

summer, we hardly knew ye... { and a frittata recipe! }

Late summer sunset - Nobel, Ontario
Well, that was quick.  Summer, that is.  In fact, I feel like I'm still waiting for it to start...for that day where we say, "Okay, that's more like it!  Summer is finally here!"  Oh, we had a scattering of those super sweltering, sticky days this summer, but nothing like summers past where you actually complain about the weather being TOO. DAMN. HOT.  At least, that's how it was in my part of the world - and now...Labour Day weekend, 2014, is history. Seriously, where did the time go?

Well, in my case, I worked my way through most of the summer - putting off some extended time off until (hopefully) the new year, when, if things go according to plan,  we may be fortunate enough to make a winter escape to a Caribbean beach somewhere.  That said, it wasn't ALL work, work, work this summer...on the days I did have off, I managed to make the most of them - and thought I'd put together a little retrospective, to remind myself, (if no one else), that the summer of 2014 actually did happen... :)

There were quite a few lovely trips to nearby Niagara Wine Country:

An inviting back porch at Featherstone Winery
My favourite of all - The Good Earth

A gorgeous view of Lake Ontario from the Mike Weir Winery
Some memorable bike rides with Rob:

Our first of the season, just weeks after the snow left, near Welland, Ontario

An evening bike ride close to home in Port Credit, Mississauga
Along the banks of the Niagara River, near Chippawa, Ontario
I headed to downtown Toronto a few times, once for the AWESOME gay pride parade - this year Toronto hosted the World Pride event at the end of June:

And another evening in the city with my daughter during the Toronto Jazz Festival:

The reflecting pond in front of Toronto City Hall (not pictured - that's the Old City Hall in the background)
A mini-vacay to Letchworth State Park in Western New York, (which I wrote about here):

The Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park, New York
Lower Falls footbridge, Letchworth State Park
What's summer without an outdoor concert?  We thoroughly enjoyed James Taylor at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre:

We attended two antique boat shows in Ontario cottage country, and had STELLAR weather at both:

The Antique and Classic Boat Show, Gravenhurst, Ontario.  Note the two historic steamships, the RMS Segwun and Wenonah II in the backgroud - available for sightseeing and dinner! 
Muskoka Lakes Association Antique Boat Show, Port Carling, Ontario
Had a lovely tour of Georgian Bay's 30,000 Islands on the Island Queen, out of Parry Sound, Ontario, (which I wrote about here):

We spent a lovely sunny summer Sunday at Turkey Point beach on Lake Erie, Ontario:

What's SUP? ;-) 

Why does this remind of a scene from Jaws...?
And enjoyed several kayak/SUP adventures on day trips to Muskoka and Georgian Bay (with picnics along the way!)

On Georgian Bay - near Nobel, Ontario
Enjoying a yummy summer salad near Port Carling, Ontario
Hmmmm.  Well, looking back on it now, I suppose I have very little to complain about - seems that however short it may have felt, or despite the fact that I worked through most of it, I managed to find the free time to enjoy quite a few awesome experiences this summer.  One of THE most lovely experiences was having the invitation to visit my good friend Lynn at her cottage in Muskoka, Ontario - not once, but twice this year. Once when she and her family were there - always such a fun time spent with friends, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and socializing - and as if that weren't enough, Lynn was kind enough to offer her cottage to us on a weekend when she and her family weren't able to use it themselves.  I'm a lucky girl indeed to have such a friend - yet another thing to be very grateful for - she's as true blue as they come.  :)  A few shots from our time spent there:

I actually got to FINISH a book! (And this particular one was a great summer read)
Fill 'er up! 

Morning Mist
Sunset paddle on the Severn River, Muskoka, Ontario
Okay, so to those of you who tuned in here because you thought you saw something about a recipe for a frittata - thanks for hangin' in with me as I took a little trip down a summer memory lane.  As promised - there IS a recipe as a small reward for indulging me! :)

One of the pleasures of cottage life is cottage cuisine - everything just seems to taste better when you're up north - and of course, there's more time to experiment with different foods and flavours.  Cooking becomes a pleasure, not a chore - whether it's for a crowd or just for yourself.  You also discover how to whip up something out of nothing, especially if you're a distance from the nearest grocery store - and one of my favourite dishes to do that with is the simple frittata.  The beauty of it is that there really are no rules - you can add as little or as much to it as you like.  During our stay at Lynn's, one morning for breakfast, I used leftovers from the prior evening's dinner - salmon and asparagus - then added mushrooms, red onion, and tomatoes.  The result was a most delicious blend of savoury flavours - perfect for a breakfast outdoors in the morning sun!  So without further ado:

Summer's End Leftover Frittata 
Serves 4-6 


1-2 tbsp. of olive or butter
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. red onion, roughly diced
1 large tomato, roughly chopped (seeding is optional)
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, blanched
1 lb. fresh cooked salmon (preferably drizzled first with lemon juice, then grilled or baked to taste)
6 eggs
1/4 c. low fat milk (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Heat oil or butter in an oven-ready skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add mushrooms, red onion, tomato, asparagus, and salmon to skillet; sauté until all ingredients are tender.  
  • Beat eggs together in large mixing bowl with milk, salt, and pepper until frothy. 
  • Add egg mixture to ingredients in skillet, stir to mix evenly. 
  • Cook egg mixture on medium high just until eggs start to set (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Transfer skillet from stovetop to oven; bake for 8-10 minutes, until eggs are set, "puffy", and slightly browned. 
Enjoy!  And remember - if you can dream it, you can do it - you can add whatever strikes your fancy to a frittata (just as long as you remember to always add the eggs!) - it's a great dish to experiment with (and not just for breakfast! Makes a lovely brunch or light dinner too).  :) 

I hope y'all (apparently I'm from Texas now!?) had an AMAZING summer, however you happened to spend it.  It's a tough thing to let go of, but... "to every season, turn, turn, turn..." 


  1. Just beautiful pics again Noelle - thanks for sharing them..... :) Such beautiful places you go to and I love your recipes too....

    Spring has started here with cold, blustery winds & rain outside at the moment!!! But I'm actually a bit sad that winter is over already - I really love it now that I'm at that "hot" stage in my life :$

    Glenda :o)

  2. Aw thank you Glenda - for the lovely compliments, and for continuing to read my little blog! :) Not sure I'll ever be a lover of winter, but I do enjoy the changing of the seasons. One of these days I would love to travel down under and see your beautiful part of the world!! xo :)

  3. ghaaaa what a beautiful summer you had! james taylor on top of it all. oh girl!
    too bad it was so short. our's was also. :(

    gotta love a frittata! i haven't cooked one up in a while, i think this weekend would be perfect!

  4. Yep, in retrospect, not bad at all, Tracie....why do things always look better in the rear view mirror? :) Enjoy your frittata should you rustle one up this weekend! xo