Friday, October 14, 2016

Enchanted October!

We're nearly half-way through October and the fall season is in full swing here. I snapped several photos this past week showcasing some of the beauty and splendor of autumn in Ontario.

Here we are driving along the Highway 60 corridor into Algonquin Park to see the gorgeous fall colours at their peak!  We're so lucky to live just a short two-hour drive from this, the oldest provincial park in Canada!  It is one of the most picturesque places to see the fall foliage in Ontario, with the dominant colours being red and orange.  I actually stood in the middle of the highway to get this shot!  

We pulled over to breathe in the fresh air and gaze at the vibrant colours reflecting in the water.  I will never tire of this view!

Annabel, sitting and reflecting...

 Anita and I posing for a photo amidst the gorgeous scenery. We are both in our element here.  I so love this picture. In fact, we got it printed at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on the same day! 

These are some of the trees we saw on our hike through the "Lookout Trail".   I spent most of the day in absolute awe of our surroundings.  We were even lucky enough to spot a Mama moose and her calf walking alongside each other in the forest by the highway.  I look forward to visiting again next year! 

Photo opportunities are lurking all along the old country roads in and around our city. I couldn't help snapping a photo of this pretty scene!  Don't you just love a rail fence?

And here's one last photo of Annabel enjoying a hay ride into a local pumpkin patch last Sunday! We picked out our pumpkins to take home where we will eventually carve them for Halloween. The tractor ride back to the barn was so much fun!  We ended the visit with a cup of hot apple cider before heading home. Our annual trips to the pumpkin patch always remind me of the Peanuts episode, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".  And not one October goes by that I don't watch it.  It's tradition!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CRISPY Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

Hello friends!  It feels good to be back in Blog Land after being AWOL for an entire year! I've really missed this space and the connections I made on here with so many of you.  I hope you're happy to see me, too!

I made this CRISPY lemon rosemary roast chicken for dinner last night and was inspired to write this post when a friend asked me for the recipe.  This meal is a favourite at our house, especially on chilly autumn evenings.  It really hits the spot!


1 whole chicken 
course salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in quarters
1 bunch of fresh rosemary sprigs 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (for brushing)

1 - 2 cups of chicken broth
assorted vegetables (I used cubed potatoes, butternut squash and carrots)
fresh rosemary and thyme leaves


In order to achieve the crispiest results, the skin of your chicken should be completely dry before you begin.  I suggest wiping it all over with paper towels until any visible moisture is gone. If you have the time, place the fully dry chicken in your fridge, on a plate without any wrapping or covering and let it sit there for an hour or two.  This helps the skin dry even further, hence producing an even crispier skin.  The drier the skin, the crispier the chicken will be.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Sprinkle coarse salt and black pepper into the chicken cavity, as well as a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon quarters.  

Place your chicken, breast side down on a roasting pan and brush the skin all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper.  Now flip the chicken, breast side up and repeat the same step (brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper).

Your chicken is now ready for the oven.  Place the roasting pan in the center rack of your oven at the preheated temperature of 375 degrees Farenheit.  

I roasted my 3 pound chicken for 2 hours.  Adjust cooking time (more or less) depending on the size of your chicken.

After 30 minutes in the oven, add approximately 1-2 cups chicken broth to your pan, enough to cover the base of your pan.  I used approximately 1 cup, but you can add more if you like. 

With 45 - 60 minutes left on your cooking time, add the cubed potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots to your pan.  You don't want to add them too soon, as they will overcook and fall apart by the time your chicken is ready.  

At this point, check to see if you need to add more chicken broth or not. You want your vegetables to be sitting in the broth, but not fully immersed. Sprinkle a little salt to taste over the vegetables if you wish, as well as fresh chopped rosemary and thyme leaves. 

Allow the chicken and vegetables to roast until the chicken is done.

I added steamed broccoli and cauliflower to the pan once my chicken was done.  This is optional, if you like.  

Now gather around the table and enjoy!  Bon Appetit!