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deerhurst resort

Cottage Country Cooking: Chef Rory Golden’s Muskoka Maple Barbecue Sauce

All summer long, Where Muskoka brings you fresh and tasty recipes courtesy of some of the region’s top chefs. Check back every other Wednesday for some great meal ideas!

Chef Rory Golden

This week, chef Rory Golden of Deerhurst Resort offers a maple syrup–flavoured barbecue sauce that’s especially good on grilled chicken, pork chops, ribs, and even as a burger topping.

Ingredients
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely diced white or yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup cider or white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest from ½ of same lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 tsp. Tabasco or other Louisiana-style hot sauce

Method
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened (but not browned).

Add the vinegar and lemon juice. Simmer for three to four minutes until reduced.

Add lemon zest, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup, and return to simmer for another three to four minutes.

Stir in ketchup and simmer the mixture, stirring often, for another five to seven minutes.

Remove from heat and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week. (more…)

Weekly Planner: August 6 to 12

Colin James plays Huntsville’s Algonquin Theatre on August 8

An eclectic evening of rock, pop, blues and evening swing music awaits on August 8 as Canadian music icon Colin James plays his hits as part of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts.

Prism Theatre brings the Bard to Bracebridge from August 8 to 11 (and August 14 to 16); the troupe’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It offers romance, intrigue and much Elizabethan-era comedy at Annie Williams Memorial Park.

Get ready to bust a gut this week in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst—the Cottage Country Comedy Festival returns with five shows scheduled from August 9 to 11. Among the highlights are Mike Wilmot’s “Going Over Board” show at the Gravenhurst Opera House, while Just For Laughs star Joey Elias takes the stage at Bracebridge’s Club One.

August 12 offers yet another opportunity to ogle some fantastic water-bound pleasure craft as Port Carling hosts the Muskoka Lakes Association’s antique boat show. The free event features approximately 75 classic boats, many of which have been owned by Muskoka-area families for several generations.

You’ll definitely be “Working for the Weekend” over these next few days—classic ’80s band Loverboy offers its enduring fans a night of stadium-rock hits on August 12 at Deerhurst Resort.

Weekly Planner: July 2 to 8

Real rodeo excitement comes to Muskoka in the Bracebridge Bullnanza (photo courtesy of Double D Rodeo Productions)

Thrill to the real rodeo action of the Bracebridge Bullnanza, taking place on Thursday at the J.D. Lang Activity Park. The show features bull riding, barrel racing, a performance by the Canadian Cowgirls mounted drill squad and more. Yeehaw!

Meet Muskoka artists and craftspeople—and perhaps purchase some of their beautiful ceramics, paintings, jewellery and more—as the Art in the Heart outdoor market opens for its fifth season this Saturday. Running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., it takes place along Manitoba Street and Chancery Lane in downtown Huntsville.

Craftsmanship of a different kind can be viewed on Saturday in Gravenhurst—the Muskoka Wharf hosts the region’s 32nd annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, with more than 100 exquisite wooden watercraft displayed in-water.

Should you find yourself salivating in Port Carling, it may be due to the aroma of fresh-cooked seafood. The town hosts its summer Lobsterfest on Saturday, so be sure to book your tickets in advance at the Apothecary Shop (86 Joseph St.). Not a fan of crustaceans? There’s a steak dinner, too.

Perk up your ears to some great music. Muskoka venues host three must-hear concerts this weekend. On Saturday, slide guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth takes the stage at Peter’s Players, while Canadian rockers Big Wreck reunite at The Kee to Bala. On Sunday, head to Deerhurst Resort, where Trooper will try to live up to its reputation as the country’s “greatest party band.”

Weekend Roundup, June 25 to 27

You’re in for a good laugh this weekend with hours of comedic skits ahead of you. Another exciting note: Muskoka hosts this year’s G8 Summit, a gathering of the world’s economic leaders.

Music on the Barge offers a Sunday evening showcase in Gravenhurst

Friday, June 25
Be on the lookout for famous politicians as economic leaders from as far as Russia fly in to attend the 2010 G8 Summit today and tomorrow at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort.

Discover the makings of Muskoka’s heritage by exploring historic buildings in Bala and Port Carling as part of the weekend-long Doors Open Muskoka event. Tomorrow, Bracebridge welcomes you into its most intriguing sites, while Gravenhurst opens its doors on Sunday.

Start your weekend off right with some belly laughs courtesy of Yuk Yuk’s and comedians Rob Ross and Ian Sirota. See their stand-up stylings tonight with with a reservation at the Muskoka Bay Club, 9 p.m. Tickets $30; call 705-687-7900, ext. 301.

Saturday, June 26
The Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre in Bracebridge also offers its share of chuckles this weekend. In the afternoon, CBC Radio’s The Debaters records Canadian comedians as they tackle hot topics and compete for the biggest guffaws. Later in the evening, the Cottage Country Comedy Festival’s performers will have you in stitches.

Shake your hips to the many hits of beloved Canadian blues-rocker David Wilcox, as he performs live in concert at the Kee to Bala.

Sunday, June 27
Enjoy such madcap performances as “Moose Bloop” and “Summer Fun by Jam Sandwich” as part of the family-friendly Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival.

Stay tuned this evening for the Bi-focals concert band as Gravenhurst’s Music on the Barge continues its summer-long concert series.

Top Chefs: Rory Golden, Deerhurst Resort

There are many reasons to visit Muskoka: the small town ambience; the pristine lakes; its world-renowned golf courses. These days, the region offers another excellent incentive thanks to the tremendous growth of its dining scene. We asked some of Muskoka’s most prominent kitchen captains about their restaurants, their cuisine and the area’s emergence as a foodie-friendly destination. Watch this space for a new chef every week of the summer! (more…)

Cottage Country Getaways

Want to learn where—and how—to make this your best ever stay in Muskoka? Check out these five amenity-packed resorts. By Viviane Kertész

Weekend Roundup: May 21 to 24

The Victoria Day long weekend marks summer’s unofficial start in the picturesque Muskoka region. Take your pick amongst concerts, shopping, spas and dining events that are sure to make your stay memorable!

Friday: Jim Cuddy and his Blue Rodeo bandmates hit the Kee to Bala stage (photo by Alison Cathrae)

Friday, May 21
Fulfill your lifestyle goals while perusing the many health, food, fashion and home decorating products and services at the Muskoka Lifestyle Show, running all weekend long. Door prizes and free gifts for the first 50 visitors are offered every day.

Rush out to catch Blue Rodeo at the Kee to Bala concert hall and discover for yourself why they’re one of Canada’s most beloved bands.

Saturday, May 22
Breathe in the fragrance of fresh produce at the Bracebridge Farmers Market. Browse the various stands, speak with the local vendors and choose from a wide variety of tantalizing fruits, vegetables and local delights.

Make a return trip to the Kee to Bala as Xavier Rudd & Izintaba top off the Victoria Day weekend with a concert hosted by Jesse Penwright, and featuring special-guest opener Justin Nozuka.

Sunday: Relax on Lake Rosseau

Sunday, May 23
Re-create the cottage experience at the Cottage Waterfront Grill. Bask on the dockside patio while indulging in your choice of pizzas, pastas, steaks and fish dishes.

Feel like a queen at the Spa at the Rosseau. Enjoy a view of Lake Rosseau while indulging in a massage, manicure, pedicure, facial or hair treatment.

Monday, May 24
Celebrate Victoria Day with a plethora of activities at Deerhurst Resort: rent a fishing boat, participate in a family scavenger hunt, stroll a scenic trail, or play a round on one of two excellent golf courses. To end the day, several dining options offer sustenance, including upscale Eclipse with a view of Sunset Bay and the lobby bar with extensive martini options, wines and light entrées.

Enjoy the cozy cottage feel of Spencer’s Tall Trees. The restaurant offers a lovely view of Hunter’s Bay, plus regional delicacies and an award-winning wine list.

Weekend Roundup, July 3 to 5

Cottage country welcomes friends from the big city this weekend as musical guests and international chefs reign over the Canadian Shield.

Friday, July 3
Spend a night with prominent international record producer and DJ Steve Aoki. He exudes an electric groove tonight at the Kee to Bala.

Sample savoury smoked meats, farm-fresh fruit and baked goods to boot at the Rosseau Market. There are handmade soaps, arts and crafts to take home, too!

Saturday, July 4
Witness the fervent fire of Latin guitarist Johannes Linstead—he takes to the Algonquin Theatre stage as part of the Hunstiville Festival of the Arts.

Dine at Deerhust Resort’s Thrill to Grill gala with barbecue guru Rob Rainford. Expert wine pairings and beer tastings compliment this culinary carousal.

Sunday, July 5
Refine your backswing and appreciation for nature by teeing off amidst 300 acres of pristine meadowlands at the Ridge at Manitou.

Nourish your body with the healing minerals found in the leaves and lakes of northern Ontario at Touchtone on Lake Muskoka’s Touch Spa.

Weekend Roundup, May 15 to 18

The Victoria Day long weekend marks Canada’s unofficial start of summer, and where better to celebrate than in the Muskoka region?

Friday, May 15
Take home a piece of Canadian country charm at the Muskoka Lifestyle Show in picturesque Port Carling.

Support local art at the Silver Bridge Gallery as it presents Metal Petals, featuring one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted garden art.

Enjoy French Cuisine and lakeside scenery in the charming Twigs dining room at the Inn at Christie’s Mill.

Saturday, May 16
Enjoy a tuneful day with the family at the annual spring concert presented by the Muskoka Children’s Choir and Inspiring Sounds Music Studio.

Relive the vivacious performances of Elton John circa 1970 at a tribute concert, the Goodbye Yellow Brick Roadshow, by Ronnie and the Jets.

Celebrate the season at Deerhurst Resort’s Eclipse restaurant with local gourmet flavours including Milford Bay smoked trout, spring lamb and fiddleheads.

Sunday, May 17
Revel in the spectacular vistas as you swing for the fairways at pristine Taboo Resort. Its challenging golf course is the home course of 2003 masters champion Mike Weir.

Sip cocktails and breath in the crisp cottage-country air aboard a Lady Muskoka Cruise.

Take a stroll through downtown Hunstville and marvel at the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery, featuring replicated murals created by Canadian artists.

Monday, May 18
Venture back to the turn of the century at Muskoka Heritage Place, where costumed interpreters teach everything from pioneer baking to candle dipping.

Treat yourself like Queen Victoria and pursue handcrafted natural soap bars from Huntsville boutique Soapstones. Fragrances like Algonquin Morning and Muskoka Blueberry stimulate the senses.

10 Must-Play Golf Courses in Muskoka

10 MUST-PLAY GOLF COURSES

Hit the links at one of Canada’s hottest destinations. 

Prototype Course In 1990, Muskoka’s golf boom began with the launch of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course, a superb Tom McBroom–Robert Cupp co-design at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort.

Par Three to Remember From the wildly elevated eighth tee at Lake Joseph Club near Port Carling, golfers hit to a valley green dwarfed by a giant striated wall of pink granite.

Celebrity Endorsed The official home course of 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, Gravenhurst’s Taboo Golf Course offers a roller-coaster ride through wetlands, rock shelves and a forest of birch, pine and balsam.

Blindingly Beautiful The Mark O’Meara Course at Huntsville’s Grandview Golf Club frequently forces golfers to blast blind shots over menacing rock faces. Daunting at first, the gorgeous forest layout grows friendlier with each playing.

Memories of Scotland Muskoka Highlands Golf Course, an appealing Scottish links-style layout in Bracebridge, meanders over 150 rolling acres on a routing that forces golfers to whack tee shots into the wind.

Fantasy Island Elevated tees—notably at the sixth and 18th holes—present glorious vistas of the surrounding Lake of Bays at Bigwin Island Golf Club, a design by Doug Carrick that numbers among Canada’s most picturesque courses.

Bogey Hole Perhaps Muskoka’s most feared hole is the 16th at Bracebridge’s recently restored South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club. The par four features a long approach over a ball-hungry gully to an undulating green.

Most Anticipated Re-Launch Closed last season for the refinement of several holes, The Rock Golf Club, an award-winning Nick Faldo design in Minett, is a tight and twisting layout that demands precision.

Golden Oldie An older, classically designed course not to be missed is Huntsville Downs Golf and Country Club. A local favourite since 1925, the tract was carved through dense forest and Canadian Shield granite.

Best Bargain North Granite Ridge, midway between Huntsville and Bracebridge, offers many of the thrills, challenges and rugged scenery of Muskoka’s best-known courses at about half the cost.

Tip! In Muskoka, green fees have climbed as steeply as the popularity of its golf courses. Many clubs offer twilight fees that allow you to play at a discount late in the day.

Brian Kendall is the author of Northern Links: Canada From Tee to Tee.

—Brian Kendall

Savour Muskoka Dining Guide

Celebrate unique Northern Ontario cuisine with the Savour Muskoka dining program and the region’s many outstanding restaurants.

Enjoy a salad at the Delta Grandview Resort (photo courtesy of the Delta Grandview Resort.)

Enjoy fresh, local tastes at the Delta Grandview Resort.

It was not so long ago that “eating out” in Muskoka meant a wiener roast following a placid canoe trip, or grilling up the fish you caught earlier in the day. In recent years, however, cottage-country dining has gone increasingly upscale, and acclaimed restaurants seek to please the palates of sophisticated residents and vacationers alike.

Muskoka is now home to superlative chefs capable of crafting the most intricate of entrees. Thankfully, these culinary stars, and the establishments at which they toil, still have a sense of what makes this expanse of geography so special—its natural bounty. From berries and mushrooms to myriad vegetables and maple syrup, the region is blessed with an abundance of indigenous and farmed foodstuffs. These often-organic ingredients are highlighted as part of the Savour Muskoka dining program.

(more…)