While you are reading this, I’ll be on vacation.
Why? Because I love to exit the big city after Labor Day.
And why after Labor Day? So many reasons.
Historically, my husband and I were involved in a conference that took place the last weekend of August in Toronto. We were both required to be in Toronto for about five days and then we’d find a place to go on vacation that was no more than a few hour’s drive from there.
We went to several lovely inns around Ontario and Quebec provinces. A couple hours north of Toronto you’ll find what they call Cottage Country. You can get lost in the woods, boat on the lakes, or golf. We usually golfed. One thing I noticed several times as I strolled the fairways, is the leaves begin to change earlier up there and my favorite season is fall, so that made me happy.
When we ventured to Quebec, we sort of immersed ourselves in Canada’s version of a French culture. We checked into a couple of inns that specialize in French food and the décor is very French-Canadian. Most of those vacations we just sat under the shade of a tree and read novels. I really got a nice chance to relax, so those trips bring back fond memories too.
We don’t have to go to that conference anymore, so this year we are headed to Michigan. We have never been to Grand Haven or Muskegon. We are going to check those places out.
I hear from friends several things: One friend told me to check out the musical fountain in Grand Haven...
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Making gazpacho is super easy! It’s a lovely dish to have when it’s hot. I served this with a simple grilled chicken breast. It was a hit!
Servings: Serves 4
28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (undrained – use the juice, too)
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup of onion, diced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (you can also use garlic in a jar if you’re in a hurry)
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 of a jalapeno, finely minced (I used a rasp for this, be careful not to get juice in your eyes)
2 Tbl minced cilantro (or basil if you prefer)
In a blender, whiz the 28 ounces of tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar. Put in a large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients and stir. Chill until cold throughout and serve. If you are in a hurry you can put this in your freezer for 30 minutes to chill it.