Activities, featured, Food, Trips

It’s Up to you New York, New York…

Ok…ok….My family is NOT from New York City. Not at all. Not even a little bit. But that doesn’t stop me from blasting that song every time we drive north! Everyone always assumes that when you say “I’m from New York,” you clearly mean the city. Nothing could be further from the quiet country truth my family grew up in.

My family is rooted so far north that we’re practically on the US/Canadian border. I absolutely love it. It’s quiet, sparsely populated, and everything just seems simpler up there. Despite all of this, there are still some GREAT places to visit and eat! I will highlight a few of my favorites in case you ever get the opportunity to visit.

My family lives on Black Lake, but as I mentioned before, we’re almost on the Canadian border. The St.Lawrence river is just a few miles away. There is always a huge amount of boat traffic, and the river is a pretty popular tourist area. Places like Alexandria Bay get TONS of visitors each summer. While Alex Bay is nice, and going to visit Boldt Castle is pretty much a requirement, it is not my “go to” spot on the river.

*Read about the Castle & the tragic love story that left it unfinished

canada_usa_border_mille_les_castle_residence_architecture_heritage-800204.jpg!d
Boldt Castle
Screenshot_2018-07-30-21-54-09.png
A pic of Neyland and I headed out on the tour boat to see Boldt Castle.

A bit closer to Lake Ontario you’ll find a hidden gem, and my favorite spot on the River.

Clayton, NY is the beautiful, well-kept, quiet, artistic town that Alex Bay certainly is not. It is full of amazing restaurants, super cool shops, and breathtaking views.

Without question- My Number 1 FAVORITE spot is Bella’s on the River.

11930820_10204748956952992_2482839804737370429_o

This place is a restaurant and bakery. They locally source all their produce off of the nearby Islands. I have been there numerous times, and have never been disappointed. In fact, my mother just returned from a trip up north bearing gifts that I specifically requested….

A Box of giant chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

Here are a few pics from meals we’ve enjoyed at Bella’s!

Check out their Website Here

Dawn's Phone 392
The view from their dining area on the porch ❤
20160722_113932
My Mom enjoying brunch last time we were there.

After an amazing meal at Bella’s, we typically stroll down the main street in town and poke around in all the neat little shops. We always find the most amazing treasures! One stop along the way that we simply must make, is to one of our favorite wineries in the area. Coyote Moon Winery is right in the heart of Clayton. They carry a wide selection of wines and various products made with wine. As with Bella’s, the riverside views simply can’t get much better. They also have a room dedicated to live music and entertainment. It is certainly #2 on my “must visit list” in Clayton.

You can check them out here: Coyote Moon

I feel comfortable saying that my Mom would highly recommend “Twisted Sister.”

11907200_10204748955792963_1669396733104960300_o
Yay for “artsy” photos that turn out well!
11889984_10204748954952942_5666138583040654111_o
My Mom in her “natural habitat.”

From Coyote Moon, we continue to check out shops along the main road until the road finally ends here….

The Clayton docking area has a lovely park with beautifully colored Adirondack chairs allowing you to relax and watch the water. The cool breeze that blows in off that river is like NOTHING you’ll find in the south. It’s a little slice of heaven.

Welcome to the Yankee heart of this Southern girl. ❤

Advertisements
featured, Food, Uncategorized

Fried Green Tomatoes

0725181945.jpg

So last wednesday I got home from work a bit later than usual. I was somewhat at a loss about what to cook for dinner since the majority of my week had been spent cleaning up an recovering from Neyland’s Circus birthday party. I poked around in the fridge, but nothing seemed to jump out at me. Neyland had already informed me that she just wanted leftovers, but I was in the mood for something more exciting.

I walked out to toss some chlorine tablets into the pool and just happened to peek over the fence and glance into the garden to see if anything needed my attention. My tomato plant that was stunted by a late frost, had recently decided to “earn” his keep, and start producing. Upon closer examination I noted 4-5 medium sized tomatoes looking big and beautiful hanging from the vine. Only 1 problem- They were completely green. Then it hit me…..FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!

For the record, I have never made fried green tomatoes before, and it had been some time since I had eaten any. I shrugged off the uncertainty. After all, how hard could it be?

Neyland helped me harvest 4 of them and I got to work searching for a quick recipe. The one thing I KNOW about fried foods is a complete necessity to “double dredge” and get a good crust. I found a recipe that included this vital step, it was pretty highly rated, and seemed relatively simple. Hmmm…maybe too simple? It seemed like perhaps I could kick it up a bit in the flavor department. I quickly gathered the ingredients, with the exception of buttermilk (which I didn’t have on hand.) Thankfully if you ever find yourself in a pinch (which this certainly was) there is a handy way to make “cheater buttermilk” using regular milk with a splash of vinegar.

I prepared my dry dredging ingredients that I kicked up with extra flavor along with my “buttermilk” + egg mixture and got my pan/oil preheated while I sliced the tomatoes and coated them. Always make sure and let your pan/oil get up to temp before attempting to fry anything. If it isn’t hot enough, it will just cook the food slowly and make it mushy rather than crispy.

Fried Geen Tomatoes 7/25/18

When the oil is hot enough, you quickly get a nice golden brown crust that forms. It helps keep the inside from getting too soft, while creating a magnificent crunchy shell on the outside.

I fried them in batches to prevent overcrowding and slowed cooking. After they were all done, I drained them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil and simply sprinkled them with some Himalayan pink salt. Most FGT that I’ve had in the past needed some type of dipping sauce, but these were simply fantastic straight from the pan. I was astonished when Neyland agreed to try one and she LOVED IT!

For a great southern recipe, give this one a try!

0725181929b.jpg

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or “cheater buttermilk”- see post above)
  • 1/4 cup All purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (depending on if you like heat)
  • 3-4 medium sized green tomatoes, sliced in 1/4-1/3 inch slices
  • Vegetable oil- for frying
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Combine the egg & buttermilk in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Dredge the tomato slices first in the dry mixture, then dip into the egg mixture, and follow again into the dry mixture.

Pour oil into pan (preferably cast iron skillet) to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat on medium heat until hot. Approximately 375 degrees. Drop the slices in batches into the hot oil and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until a crispy golden brown crust is formed. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy while hot.

*For an extra “southern” experience, eat these guys while watching Fried Green Tomatoes the movie!