Saturday, March 30, 2013

Italian Easter Bread

Adapted from: The Italian Dish 
makes 6 individual breads or 1 large braided loaf 
*I've included my notes in italics below if you want to make a braided loaf 
  • 1 package Rapid Rise (instant) yeast, about 2-1/4 teaspoons
  • 1.25 cups milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3.5 cups flour (approximate)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs *
  • sprinkles or pearl sugar
* tip:  the Easter eggs do not need to be hard boiled.  They cook when the bread bakes.  I usually just dye the eggs uncooked, without hardboiling them.  Saves time.  Just be careful they don't crack! 
In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter together, just till butter melts.    In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, salt, eggs and sugar.  Add the warm (not hot - it will kill the yeast) milk and butter. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook.   Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough.  Don't worry about how much flour it ends up being, just keep adding until the dough is not sticky anymore. I ended up using about 5 cups of flour before it wasn't sticky anymore. 
Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead.  Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. It took my dough about 2 hours to rise because it's still quite cold here in MA. Give yourself extra time esp. if you are preparing same day for a special occasion. I started at about 10 a.m. and it was done at 2:30 p.m. 
Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid", pinching the ends, and loop into a circle. 
If you are making a braided loaf, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, rolling the dough until each piece is about 19" long. Stack the end of each of the 3 pieces on top of eachother and tuck under the bread. Braid the bread, securing the ends and tucking them under the loaf. 


Place on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or on Silpat (1 baking sheet for the braided loaf).  Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again.  (Again, took about 2 hours for me)  Brush each  bread with beaten egg wash.  Put on the sprinkles or sugar.   In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg.Likewise, if you are making a braided loaf, gently tuck eggs throughout the bread and push town slightly. I initially was going to do 6 eggs, but as I started putting them in, I ended up using 4. I'll probably do 5 next time. 
If making individual bread, bake at 350 degrees until golden - about 20 minutes.  Cool on rack.
If making a braided loaf, bake at 350 degrees until golden- about 30 minutes. Cool on rack. 
When the bread came out of the  oven, I gently brushed it with a little bit of butter. Be careful when you do this because if the butter touches the eggs, it will cause the dye to bleed on the bread and then you'll have blue bread. Which I guess isn't the worst thing in the world. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

'BulletProof Vests'

Barbara Klunder, Toronto artist, designer and humourist, launches her 'BulletProof Vests', a collection of papercut undergarments made from hand-made Washi paper, satirically reflecting what Klunder calls ?the insane gun culture?.  

These sexy undergarments suggest protection for all species. ?This is a critical issue and it is not just humans against humans,? Klunder says. ?Weapons of all kinds are far too available everywhere and with the inevitable tragedies, my art this year comments on the state of things: all forms of life on this planet are in peril."  

From June 1 to June 30, 2013, at the David Kaye Gallery, 1092 Queen West, Toronto, the complete six-piece collection "BulletProof Vests" will be on view. Fish, skulls, birds, plants and animals, along with her usual acerbic comments are designed into the madly detailed, layered, full-colour papercuts.

Also on view will be her four "BeeJackets", first shown at the Ontario Craft Council, Queen West, 2012 show "Exuberance, the Garden".  

Klunder says, ?This previous collection of papercut jackets illustrates the very real issue of bio-diversity versus the fatal corporate monoculture in terms of bees and our agriculture.

About Barbara Klunder
Barbara Klunder has been an award-winning Toronto illustrator/designer for over 45 years.  She first attended OCAD when she was just 15.  At 17 she started working freelance for The Globe and Mail.
Her work was often seen as posters for musical festivals such as the Jazz, Blues, Afro-Fest, and the legendary BamBoo Club.  She has designed two fonts distributed by Fontshop, Berlin.
She has received several national and international awards including the very prestigious Lifetime Achievement award from the Art Directors CLub of Canada.

Klunder also has worked with a variety of mediums including: children's books, (published by Groundwood Books, House of Anansi),  hand-made rugs (Textile Museum of Canada), hand-knit sweaters  (Saks Fifth Ave, N.Y), and designed hundreds of good-cause t-shirts, helping to raise money for various environmental causes.  Her hand-made jewelry has been in the AGO and Gardiner shops.

Klunder's papercuts about Laura Secord were shown at Brock University, St Catherine's, Ontario, last year during the War of 1812 festivities. She also self-published, with Coach House Press, a papercut illustrated book about Laura Secord.
Tory Crowder
Jump Start Communications
416 998 9702

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Brunch Recipe

Get this egg dish for six in the oven far faster than making individual omelets one at a time on the stove.


Cheesy Baked Supper Omelet


1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or margarine
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped red or green bell pepper (1 small)
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped onion (1/2 medium)
12 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend


  • Heat oven to 325ºF. Spray 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 8-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • In large bowl, beat eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in bell pepper mixture and cheese. Pour into baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until eggs are set. Cut omelet into squares to serve.

Variation : Add a bit of spice to this recipe with Colby-Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers instead of the Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Macadamia Nuts

Liked · 47 minutes ago 

Wish macadamia nuts were not so expensive.....Beware- they are toxic to dogs.....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Banana-Almond Smoothie

Recipe ingredients

  • 2  ripe bananas
  • 2 ½ cups (625 mL) unsweetened almond milk
  • 4  fresh dates, pitted
  • 1 ½ cup (375 mL) fresh spinach, washed, stems removed and well drained
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) nature Greek yogurt 2% M.F. or Greek vanilla yogurt 0% M.F.
  • 1 ½ tsp. (7 mL) pure vanilla extract       

750 mL


In a blender, blend bananas, almond milk, dates, spinach, yogourt and vanilla until creamy.
Pour smoothies into large glasses and serve immediately.


0% M. F. vanilla yogourt may be substituted for plain yogourt. For a chocolate alternative, add 3 tbsp. (45 ml) high-quality cocoa powder.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Slim Down Snacks Under 100 Calories That Keep You Feeling Full
By Corina Tudose

*Featured in "Hot New Releases" in the Cooking and Weight Loss Sections*
**Quick & Easy Bestseller**
Bored of having the same cardboard tasting snack every day? It's time to spice things up!


Try all of these yummy and healthy snack options and rediscover what taste really means. Snacking has amazing benefits for both adults and children and is part of a well balanced nutrition. Healthy snacks, which are high in fiber and low in fat, help you feel energized throughout the day!

It easy to say on track when you have the right food handy. Achieving your healthy and weight loss goals has never been easier. Delicious and filling, these recipes give you all the nutritional information you need in order to make an informed decision: from protein content, to fiber, carbs and cholesterol, it's all there. 

The best thing, you know for sure each serving is 100 calories or less, so no worries there!


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Canadian parents struggle for short and long term care options

Many Canadian families struggle with short- and long-term care needs, especially during school holidays like the recent March Break.

 A recent entry into the Canadian market could help ease child care resource struggles., the largest online care destination in the world with more than 7 million members, has an extensive database of qualified Canadian caregivers providing child care, special needs care, senior care, pet care, tutoring, and housekeeping. On average, more than 50 jobs are currently posted daily to the site, with more than double the number of caregivers joining the site each day.

Recent media reports also highlight affordability as an issue, citing wide variations of daycare costs in Canada, from $7 a day at a Quebec subsidized daycare to $75 a day and higher for infants in some Canadian cities. For one-on-one care, nanny agencies can charge finder’s fees of thousands of dollars to place one nanny.

Parents struggle to find care to suit their unique needs. While some parents may be looking for a full-time nanny, others may need help only over weekends or for that occasional date night. So a one-size-fits-all daycare solution does not work. can help make care more affordable providing considerable savings to families with a competitive and flexible subscription structure for finding any number of caregivers providing any number of services.
Currently, the site is offering 20 percent off a premium membership with code SPRING20. This promotion expires March 22, 2013 so if you are in need of looking for care solutions we highly recommend you try it out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

Cornbread with Cranberries
1 pan of cornbread
8 slices of thick bacon (cut)
1 cup of cranberries (dried)
2 onions (chopped)
2 onions (minced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 apple (peeled and chopped)
3 tbsp of butter
1/8 tsp of pepper
½ cup of chicken broth
1 tbsp of thyme
½ tsp of salt
½ cup of applesauce
½ cup of pecans

Bake the cornbread according to packaging directions. Let it cool for 10 minutes and chop into small cubes. To cook this cornbread stuffing recipe, start by frying the bacon. Drain the juices. Toss in the onions and garlic. Stir this for 8 minutes until they become brown.
Put the cornbread in the pan. Toss in the cranberries, onion, garlic and pecans. Add the chopped apple and stir. Put the butter in a separate bowl. Pour in the applesauce and broth. Add some thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
Spray this over the cornbread. Pour this into a 2 quart pan. Store this in a fridge for an hour. Take it out and bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. This cornbread stuffing recipe is served hot.
Cornbread with Pork
1 lb of pork loin
½ cup of onion (chopped)
1 cup of chicken broth
1/3 cup of pine nuts (chopped)
1 tbsp of fresh sage
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of garlic (minced)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
4 cups of cornbread (crumbled)    
Melt the butter in a skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic until they become tender. Toss in the sage and cook for half a minute. Remove from the heat. Put in the cornbread. Put in the onions, egg and nuts. Stir it while adding the chicken broth. Sitr until it spreads. Add more flavor to this cornbread stuffing recipe by putting in some salt and pepper.
Roll the pork and put the stuffing in there. Roll it and fasten with a twine. Get the grill ready for indirect grilling. Put the pork on the grill (direct heat). Flip the pork over every couple of minutes.
When the pork is seared, place it at the indirect section. Cook for another half hour. If you’re using a thermometer, wait until the temp gets to 155 F. Let this rest for 5 minutes.
Cornbread Stuffing Quickie
1 green pepper (diced)
3 stalks of celery
1 onion (medium, sliced)
½ tsp of kosher salt
2 cups of vegetable broth
¼ tsp of ground sage
6 cups of cornbread (chopped)
½ tsp of black pepper
1/3 cup of butter
Start by sautéing the onions, garlic and celery. Stir and cook for 4 minutes. Pour the 2 cups of broth. Add some salt and pepper. Toss in the sage. Place it on low heat for 3 minutes. Put the cornbread in another bowl. Pour the vegetable mix over it. Toss it and put more broth if needed.
When you make these cornbread stuffing recipes, you’ll get to savor this classic dish in new ways, so you should give it a shot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Contech Enterprises – the makers of the ScareCrow motion-activated animal deterrent and Tanglefoot insect control products – recently announced the acquisition of Scenery Solutions – 
the company behind the Frame It All line of raised garden beds, landscape edging and playground borders

“The addition of Frame It All significantly expands our line of innovative lawn and garden products, “said Contech president and CEO, Mark Grambart.  “We continue to see growth in the lawn and garden sector and this product, because of its flexibility and range, shows incredible potential.”

Frame It All modular systems are easy-to-assemble, durable solutions that can be used for raised flower and vegetable gardens, landscape edging and water gardens.  Not just for yards, Frame It All beds can be tailored to fit any outdoor space, making them the ideal solutions for patio and other small space gardeners.

In addition to its range of raised beds – including curved and new classic white versions - Frame It All offers animal barriers, trellises, greenhouses, deck tiles, sandboxes, playground borders and composters; all of which work with its green manufactured, composite wood systems.

With an attractive look and endless creative design options, Frame It All has set the standard in do-it-yourself landscape design, delivering professional quality at an affordable price.  Frame It All products are currently sold through retailers in the US and Canada, including many of Contech’s existing customers.

For more information, videos or high resolution images:

Tracey Robertson
Contech Enterprises, Inc.
250.413.3250 ext. 124

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Savory Chicken Crepes Courtesy Egg Farmers of Ontario

Crepes are great to make ahead and stuff with your favourite fillings. Make these easy crepes for a delicious dinner for your family and friends.


1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour 

 /4 tsp (1 mL) salt 3 eggs 
 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) milk, 
1% or 2% 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted

Chicken and Garlic Filling:

5 tbsp (75 mL) butter 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried thyme leaves 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) chopped cooked rotisserie chicken 1/3 cup (75 mL) herb and garlic cream cheese 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh parsley, chopped  

To make the crepes: In a bowl, combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter. Whisk egg mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Strain mixture into a clean bowl. Heat small non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Brush pan with some oil. Pour approximately 1/4 cup (50 mL) batter into centre of pan, swirling pan to coat. Cook for about 1 minute or until bottom is a light golden colour. Flip and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

For the filling: In a skillet, melt 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the butter over medium high heat with garlic and thyme. Add chicken and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cream cheese until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and divide the chicken mixture into centre of each crepe and fold over. Place in shallow casserole dish, overlapping slightly. Melt remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter and drizzle over stuffed crepes. Place in preheated 350 F (180 C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: 14 to 16 crepes

Nutrition analysis per serving: Protein: 11 grams, Fat: 8 grams, Carbohydrate: 7 grams Fibre: 0g, Sodium : 130 mg Calories: 150 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Everyday Living ™  SHOP ON LINE for your HOME & GARDEN

Product Description

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Toro Power Sweep Electric Blower, 7-Amp 2-Speed
From Toro

Price:CDN$ 39.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $39.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Freshline Gourmet Feta Cheese

Freshline Gourmet Feta Cheese

feta 3d-1
Our P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) Feta Cheese is produced from fresh, pasteurized sheep and goat's milk in strict proportions (up to 30% of this milk is goat's milk).
Best Consumed:
In Salads, Cooked with other Foods, with Meat, in various Sauces, with Pasta & inside many Pies.
Offered in 13 formats:
Vacuum Packagings: 200 gr, 400 gr, 1 - 3 kg Barrel Wedge.
Plastic Packagings in Natural Brine: 400 gr, 1 kg, 2kg, 4 kg, 4 kg in Slices, 8 kg, 34 kg.
Metallic Packagings: 7.5 kg, 15 kg.
Wooden Barrel in Natural Brine: 62 kg Wooden Barrel.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to keep our New Year’s resolution (past January):

Whether it’s to shed a few pounds, stay in shape or make a lifestyle change, making healthier food choices is likely a top resolution among many us. But as the days and weeks progress (and temptations arise) most of us tend to fall off the wagon right about now. But why is sticking to resolutions such a challenge?

Perhaps one reason may be due to ‘biting off more than we can chew’ when it comes to goal setting. While we all want to set ambitious goals, they must also be realistic. For example, eating healthier options doesn’t mean you have to give up great-tasting food or even give up all your favourite treats. In fact, we keep fit and still enjoy nutritious and energizing snacks.

To help Canadians keep their fitness resolutions , Clif Bar & Company’s Registered Dietician and Nutrition Strategist, Tara Dellolacono Thies shared the following tips:

Moderation, not deprivation - Eating small servings of all foods will prevent feelings of food deprivation. It’s okay to say “Yes!” to that piece of chocolate cake. Just not every day and not several pieces at once, of course. Find balance and inner peace by giving yourself permission to have small servings of those decadent treats and you won’t feel guilty.

Plan ahead - Knowing what you’re going to eat in advance guides your food choices and keeps you from eating the whole bag of chips. If you pack your own lunch, you can determine your portion sizes and even save money, to boot! Keep healthy snacks like pistachios or almonds on hand for snacking on-the-go. Nutritional snacks like CLIF CRUNCH are also handy items to keep in your desk drawer, tote or gym bag.

Munch a bunch - Eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day may seem challenging, but it’s one of the healthiest gifts you can give your body! Dive into some seasonal fruits and veggies to liven up your diet, or if you’re adventurous, try a new vegetable or fruit you’ve never had before.

For more Information, Please visit: