Home for a rest

So for the past few weeks,  I’ve been lucky enough to travel and eat my way through New York City, Ottawa / Gatineau and Old Quebec.

I started my adventure by visiting an old friend who’s been living in New York City for the past two years.  I’ve known her since we were in grade 7 and even though she hasn’t lived nearby since we graduated from high school,  we’ve always kept in touch.

This was my third time visiting her in NYC and I didn’t really have any expectations.  The first time I went to see her, we did a lot of the touristy things.  The second time, my husband came with so we redid a few of the touristy spots and explored Brooklyn. This time, I only wanted to relax.  You see, my actual job is teaching (as much as I would love to bake full time!) so needless to say, hopping on a plane two days after school let out was an excellent idea.

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Brooklyn Bridge

I was in NYC for four full days and managed to treat myself to something unique every day : Carlos Bakery on day one followed by Momofuku Milk Bar on the second day, Big Gay Ice Cream on the third and Dylan’s Candy Bar on the last. By the way, eating candy in Central Park is a must-do!

 

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NYC “snacks”

 

We were also lucky enough to snag a table at Serendipity on my last night where I got to try their famous frozen hot chocolate and I have no words to explain to you how good it is! I suppose the fact that every table around us also ordered one (or two) speaks for itself.  I’ve dreamed of eating at this restaurant since I saw the movie way back when. I grew up in the eighties so I obviously love John Cusack!

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Frozen Hot Chocolate – Serendipity style!

We also saw Seth Rogen, did some shopping, went on a brunch cruise around the Statue of Liberty and, to top it off, I saw Air Force One take off into the sunset while on a layover in Ottawa.

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Brunch cruise

After four amazing days in NYC, I flew home for two days and then drove to Ottawa / Gatineau with another friend of mine to spend time with my goddaughter.  Unfortunately,  our time together was cut short by a stomach flu so my husband picked me up earlier than planned and we headed to Quebec City. We ate and walked our way through the city since we had no plans for those few days. We just wanted to explore the city and see the old section. As a bonus, we just happened to stumble upon a free outdoor Strumbellas concert on the way back to our hotel on our last night. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

Quebec City is known for its older section which is a beautiful fortified city. It’s absolutely stunninwp-image-1953045337jpg.jpegg  and the restaurants are abundant. The only place we absolutely wanted to check out was an ice cream / chocolate place called Chocolats favoris which good friends of ours had recommended. If I can give you a piece of advice, drop everything you’re doing at this very moment and go there RIGHT NOW!  Basically, picture a vanilla soft ice cream cone dipped in rich, velvety chocolate. Milk, dark, sea salt, praline, cookies and cream…it was hard to choose.  I had the milk chocolate dip since I’m a purist, but my husband tried the caramel sea salt which was also amazing.  Our only regret was only going once, especially after we noticed that the girls who’d ordered ahead of us were back in line when we left the shop! Smart girls!

 

All in all, the first two weeks of my summer vacation were amazing , but I was exhausted and looking forward to heading home to bake! Since I’ve been home, I’ve made three cakes and 36 cupcakes (check my Instagram to see my prettiest cake yet!) plus tried two new ideas (Rice Krispies squares with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Captain Crunch added in – YUM! – and red velvet cake pops with milk chocolate coating). I now have a few weeks to rest / bake some more before we head on our official vacation for this summer to the most magical place on Earth…until then, I’m looking forward to exploring a few more ideas in the kitchen and hopefully blogging a little bit more. Happy summer!

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