Realistic Cooking Ideas

for Busy People! And sharing our life adventures along the way!

Bridal Veil Falls 5

Today we will take a view of the Bridal Veil Falls which is one of the Falls that make up Niagara Falls. Whether you are talking about Niagara Falls or the river leading to the Falls, the water is hypnotizing. I am not sure if the videos really relay the power of the water – you can hear it roar from a distance! The excitement builds up in you as it gets louder because you are almost there! Plus part of the experience is getting wet! That also happens as you are walking along the river. At the Horseshoe Falls I got misted pretty good and then add the wind – leads to an interesting hair day! In viewing the Falls you are literally on the edge of a very secured platform that is reinforced for safety. In the video you can see how we are at the edge of the platform when I am filming downwards for a view of Falls. The below picture also provides an example.

Niagara Falls platform

Over the years the Falls have shifted position due to erosion. Be sure to check out my earlier posts: A trip to Niagara Falls New York – Maid of the Mist and The Mighty Niagara Falls! Take a Journey with Me! The second posting includes a video we took walking along the river and then the Falls!

We saw this rope and realized if somehow you got yourself into the river, this is your last chance to grab onto something before going over the Bridal Veil Falls. I would suggest not testing out that theory!
Bridal Veil Falls 4

Bridal Veil Falls 3

The people you see below in this picture are part of the Cave of the Winds tour where you take an elevator down to the base of the Falls. Then you get to walk around, with a guide, which must be a fabulous experience. Take a look at this picture as it is taken from the base looking up! You are 20-feet away from the Bridal Veil Falls! I hope next year to do this tour though typically the lines are very long and I don’t have a lot of patience to wait.
Bridal Veil Falls 2

Bridal Veil Falls 1

Niagara Falls2

If you have never been to Niagara Falls you will be amazed by the beauty and power of nature! The first part of this series I focused on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Today take a journey with me along the Niagara River where you are just feet away from dangerous water without any fences or other obstructions between you and the water – where the power just keeps building and yet you are not at the Falls!

Niagara River

You may hear about people going over the falls in a “barrel” and as I understand they are going over the Horseshoe Falls which is split between the US and Canada. The bottom of the American Falls is boulders. The below picture provides an example but you will see them more clearly in the video.

Niagara Falls3

Now take a trip with us as we walk along the Niagara River with the water becoming more powerful as we get closer to the Falls! This is the best way to view the Falls – walk along the Niagara River to get the full impact!

Niagara Falls4

Enjoy your walk with us – but be careful to not get too close to the edge! Listen to the roar of the river! And be prepared to get wet from the mist!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls 28

This summer we went to Niagara Falls a couple of times taking many photos and videos. If you never been to the Falls it is an amazing experience of the power and beauty of nature! To appreciate the Falls many take a boat ride on the Maid of Mist. (Be sure to click on the link for an amazing picture!) You can take this boat ride on the American and Canadian side. It really allows you to get up close and personal with a powerful river! When we went in July I had my Canon camera and wasn’t going to risk leaving it in a hot vehicle nor getting it wet – because you will get wet! They provide a hooded jacket to help keep you dry…. When you see the pictures you can decide how well that works! We went back during Labor Day weekend and there was a 3 – 4 hour wait! I have been going to the Falls since I was a child and I have never seen so many people! The picture below shows the line over the bridge for people who already paid for the boat ride. From there they had to get to the bottom of the falls before getting on the boat. Before that there was a line maybe a mile long (or so it seemed) to even get a ticket! So needless to say we passed on going on a boat ride! But now unfortunately the temperatures have gotten cold and you really need a hot day if you are going to get wet!

Maid of the Mist line

The below picture shows people loading onto the American Maid of the Mist. The larger boat with people in green raincoats is the Canadian boat. Their boat is much larger and they did not have a line. If our boats were larger the wait time would have been reduced but honestly I have never seen such a line that goes on for miles to go on the Maid of the Mist! The American side is getting much nicer as the state is finally putting some money into this national treasure.
Maid of the Mist Loading

Before we move on to pictures of the Maid of the Mist, here are a few pictures of the Falls. I will be sharing many more pictures of the river plus a couple really nice videos! So stay tuned for a lot more information and photos!

Niagara Falls 1
Niagara Falls 2
Niagara Falls 3
Niagara Falls 9

This is the Canadian Maid of the Mist (it is called Hornblower) – notice how clearly you can see the boat.

Niagara Falls 10

Niagara Falls 8

Compared to this picture. Can you see the American Maid of the Mist boat?

Niagara Falls 25
Niagara Falls 27
Niagara Falls 26

Niagara Falls 13
Niagara Falls 14
Niagara Falls 15
Niagara Falls 17
Niagara Falls 16
Niagara Falls 18
Niagara Falls 19
Niagara Falls 20
Niagara Falls 21
Niagara Falls 22
Niagara Falls 23
Niagara Falls 24

Grilled Apple unwrapped 2

This is an easy dessert that you can prepare ahead of time including coring the apples and splashing them with lemon juice to keep them from browning. Just before grilling assemble your apples, wrap in non-stick aluminum foil and grill for about 20-minutes. It is like having an apple pie without the crust. The raisins and maraschino cherries add a nice sweetness with the walnuts adding a bit of a crunch. Overall it is a great dessert that is easy to make and easy to clean up!

I got the inspiration for this recipe from Camping Recipes: Foil Packet Cooking. I downloaded the recipes to my Kindle so I have them wherever I go! There are a lot of easy recipes to make on your grill and you do not need to be camping to enjoy them!

Grilled Apple unwrapped

4 – 6 Baking Apples such as Pink Ladies
Butter
Non-stick aluminum foil

Fruit and Nuts:
½ cup raisins – no need to chop
3 tbsp maraschino cherries, chopped
3 tbsp walnuts, chopped or your favorite nut

Spices:
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Core the apples and make a plug with the apple that you remove. If you are not grilling immediately, splash with lemon juice to reduce the browning. When ready to stuff, core the apple a bit larger to add the stuffing. Do not peel the apple! Mix together the fruit and nuts plus spices and ½ cup water. Divide the mixture into each apple, add some butter and wrap each apple in non-stick foil. Grill for about 20 – 30 minutes on medium heat until desired doneness. Serve the grilled apple in the foil because it becomes your plate making easy cleanup!

Grilled Apple ingredients
Grilled Apple Stuffed
Grilled Apple on the Grill

Bite Size Ginger Cupcakes Close up

This is a wonderful recipe if you love ginger like I do – topping the mini cupcakes with crystallized ginger adds another layer of that wonderful ginger flavor! I love bite-size desserts since you can try different options while maintaining some control over the calories! It is fun to make and serve different bite-size desserts such as Bite Size Cheesecakes, Bite-Size Bread Pudding with Strawberry Topping, Mini-Indian Rice Pudding Desserts – Slow Cooked, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chips Bite-Size Snack. You can take any recipe and convert it into bite-size desserts. Just remember to consider how long to bake the dessert if you are making mini cupcakes or something similar. Arranging the bite-size desserts can make a dramatic presentation and your guests will love a dessert bar to select different options from. Have you entertained with a dessert bar?

Bite Size Dessert Bar

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Appetizers – they have a lot of great recipes for inspiration!

Bite Size Ginger Cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup plus 3 tbsp sifted flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
About 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest, packed lightly
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, low-fat at room temperature

Remaining Ingredients:
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Topping:
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting with a Splash of Lemon
Sliced candied ginger, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three miniature muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Using a mixer, cream the butter. Add 3 tbsp of the sugar, the vanilla, grated ginger and lemon zest; beat on medium speed for about a minute. Slowly add the remaining sugar and mix well. Add the egg and beat until very smooth.

Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add half the sour cream and mix until blended. Repeat with half the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the sour cream, and ending with the last of the flour mixture. Stir in the crystallized ginger.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake until the cupcakes are pale golden and spring back when gently pressed in the center, about 17 to 20 minutes. Be careful to not over bake them otherwise they will dry out.

Frost the mini-cupcakes and I like to garnish with sliced crystallized ginger since I love the extra ginger! Below is a frosting recipe you can use or modify to your taste!

Cream Cheese Frosting with a Splash of Lemon
5 oz. cream cheese, low-fat at room temperature
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla (preferably homemade!)
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Beat the cream cheese with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining ingredients except for the confectioners sugar. On low speed, gradually add the confectioners sugar, beating until smooth. (Be careful you do not want confectioners sugar all over your kitchen by beating it on too high of a speed. Also another reason to slowly add the confectioners sugar.) Slowly increase the speed to high and beat for just a few seconds, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Berry Flaxseed Smoothie closeup

This summer I have been sharing a lot of our adventures but now it is time to get back to the purpose of this blog – recipes! I am, however, working on a new virtual-vacation series on Niagara Falls including videos that we have been taking – it is an amazing place! This year, at work, we participated in Wegmans Eat Well Live Well Challenge. We sampled different types of smoothies at work including an Extreme Spinach Smoothie. I made some changes to the recipe, as I am sure you will do the same! This smoothie is packed with nutrients from fruits, flaxseed, and protein. It will give you a good boost whether you have it for breakfast or a mid-day snack!

Berry Flaxseed Smoothie

2 tbsp Ground Flaxseeds
1 cup V-Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry
6 ounces Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 cup Frozen Berries
1 Banana Sliced and Frozen
1 to 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

Place all ingredients into a blender that can handle frozen fruits and blend until smooth!

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