Realistic Cooking Ideas

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Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes 5

Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes sunset

Saturday night we experienced a beautiful sunset and view at Chestnut Ridge Park since we were at the top of the toboggan chutes. I took pictures of the toboggan chutes from different angles including walking to the bottom of the hill so you get the full perspective. It is good exercise walking back up that hill! They were built in 1930 and refurbished and reopened in 2010. It is a treasure to have something that old in our area that is still being enjoyed by generation after generation! The below picture provides an idea of what the toboggan hill looks like in the winter. (This is a picture posted at Chestnut Ridge Park.)

Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes winter photo

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Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes 4

Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes 3

Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes 2

Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes 1

The Casino is an old building and is really rustic inside. It was locked otherwise I would have taken pictures of the inside.

Chestnut Ridge Park Casino

Chestnut Ridge Park Casino 2

Chestnut Ridge Park Casino 3

Chestnut Ridge Park Casino 4

And you never know what might be going on in WNY! This guy was building a plane and his friend was taking pictures. He was wearing a cape and looks like he has a crown on the plane!
Chestnut Ridge Park Toboggan Chutes plane

Lastly here is a bit more information about Chestnut Ridge Park! It is a great place to visit. The Eternal Flame is located here and is a fairly easy hike to get to. And last year I shared some fall pictures when we took a walk.
Chestnut Ridge Park Sign 1
Chestnut Ridge Park Sign 2
Chestnut Ridge Park Sign 3
Chestnut Ridge Park Sign 4

Green Lake Cover

Saturday was a beautiful fall day that felt more like summer with temperatures in the mid 70’s with a pretty intense sun making it feel much hotter. We took a nice evening walk at Yates Park that is a hidden gem in Orchard Park. There were several bridal parties having their pictures take and what a great day they had for a wedding! There was also a limo picking up a bridal party for a fun evening ahead! Children were in the splash pad and playground having a great time with watchful parents making sure they were okay. There are a few picnic areas, a basketball court, and a softball game was in progress. They have a short season for swimming and boat rentals. Plus as you can see in the one picture there is a launch for canoes and kayaks. It was a beautiful evening that everyone was taking advantage of since we know the weather will be changing at some point. I hope everyone had a great Saturday!

Green Lake 4

Green Lake 3

Green Lake 2

Green Lake

Wood Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese with a Lemon Butter Sauce

I hope you enjoyed the last few postings about our day-adventure at Buffalo’s waterfront enjoying the Tall Ship that came into town. Today, I am sharing a delicious recipe for a wood-grilled Chicken topped with goat cheese and a wonderful lemon-butter sauce! This wood-grilled chicken is packed with a lot of different flavors making a fantastic gourmet meal that is easy to make. This recipe is inspired by a dish we had at Carrabba’s Italian Grill restaurant. Recently I have shared a lot about our day-adventures so today we are going straight to the cooking!!

2 Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade
½ cup olive oil
2 tsp garlic, diced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tbsp sugar
Salt
Dried Oregano and parsley

Toppings
Seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano)
Goat Cheese

Finish Sauce
6 tbsp Lemon-Butter Sauce (I bought mine from Wegmans)
Dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Sun-dried tomatoes
Fresh basil, chopped

Marinade
Prepare the marinade and place the chicken in a plastic, sealable bag with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. Reserve some of the marinade in another bowl to baste the chicken before grilling. You might want to pound your chicken and cut it in half if the chicken breast is large. This marinade was sufficient for two large chicken breasts that I cut each in half with extra marinade to baste the chicken. Most likely I could have added a third chicken and would have had sufficient marinade. Luckily it is an easy recipe to put together so you can always make more marinade.

Finish Sauce
Heat the lemon-butter sauce adding the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a splash or two of dry white wine to your taste.

Grilling
Prepare the grill to wood-grill your chicken. Click here for my posting on Wood-Grilled Dinner on a Gas Grill.

Season the chicken with your selection of seasonings.

Before placing chicken on the grill, brush with the reserved marinade on both sides. Wood-grill the chicken on both sides and during the last minute add goat cheese to the top of the chicken breasts. Plate and top with your finish sauce and extra basil for presentation.

Buffalos Waterfront third 1

A few more photos to wrap up this weekend’s afternoon on Buffalo’s waterfront and touring a tall ship, the S.S.V. Niagara, that sailed into town! My first part can be located here and the second part here. The first few pictures are from the S.S.V. Niagara and some of the instrument panels on the ship.

Buffalos Waterfront third 13

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Buffalos Waterfront third 10

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Buffalos Waterfront third 12

Buffalos Waterfront third 8

There were several food trucks serving a variety of food!
Buffalos Waterfront third 7

Plus we had the opportunity to watch some first-time kayakers give it a try! They looked a bit shaky at first including holding the paddle incorrectly but I give them credit as they figured out what to do and were off on their adventure! As a disclaimer you would never get me in a kayak – far too close to the water for my comfort!
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Buffalos Waterfront third 2

Buffalos Waterfront third 3

SSV Niagara and water

SSV Niagara back of the ship

Saturday was a beautiful day to be on Buffalo’s Waterfront – yesterday I shared the first part about the S.S.V. Niagara that came into town. During our tour of this beautiful ship, we went downstairs which was a challenge for everyone but the children. This is the sleeping quarters and where they prepare their food. The kitchen area allows people to stand upright (for the most part) but the sleeping quarters you need to bend over to avoid hitting your head. They sleep on these hammocks and need to coordinate everyone sleeping since you can not stand up directly! We start our journey with a rope rug that takes us down a set of steep stairs!

SSV Niagara rope rug to downstairs

SSV Niagara stairs to bottom deck

SSV Niagara downstairs 5

SSV Niagara downstairs 4

SSV Niagara downstairs 3

SSV Niagara downstairs 2

SSV Niagara downstairs 1

SSV Niagara downstairs

SSV Niagara hammock

It was windy on Saturday so there was a bit of chop in the water so walking along the dock was a little rocky and going on the tugboat you really could feel the movement of the water.
SSV Niagara and water

Buffalo Waterfront 8

Buffalo Waterfront 7

Buffalo Waterfront 6

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Buffalo Waterfront 4

Buffalo Waterfront 3

Buffalo Waterfront 2

Buffalo Waterfront 1

Buffalo Waterfront

USS Niagara

SSV Niagara sign

This weekend we went to Buffalo’s waterfront to see the tall ship that came into town – it was the S.S.V. Niagara from Erie, PA, which was a replica of the USS Niagara that was built for the war of 1812. It launched on July 4, 1813 and played a key role in defending Lake Erie coastline from the British. In 1820 it was sunk for preservation on Presque Isle. When we visit Presque Isle this summer we saw the monument dedicated to United States Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (August 23, 1785 – August 23, 1819). For a small fee you could take a tour of the S.S.V. Niagara. A lot of students were on board to answer questions. They sailed with the ship to Buffalo and can sleep in the below, very tight, quarters. There certainly were a lot of ropes! I guess they were a weak point during war as the enemy would try to take out your sail to disable your ship. But back to the ropes – you certainly would need to know how to tie a correct knot and be able to climb pretty high to maintain the sail structure! Most of the pictures taken on deck had a rope since they were everywhere.

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SSV Niagara ropes

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SSV Niagara ropes 2

SSV Niagara ropes 3

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SSV Niagara ropes 9

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SSV Niagara canon

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

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