Congratulations Doreen and Roy!

Back in January we had the opportunity to be a part of Doreen and Roy’s special day.
Doreen shared with us this recent post on wedluxe.com that featured their beautiful wedding held at the Hazelton Manor, as well as the three wedding cakes we had the opportunity to provide for them.

All photos are provided by avangard photography

A big thanks again to Doreen and Roy for allowing us to contribute something so special to their wedding day, and congratulations to you both! Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness.

 

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Eco-friendly Ideas: Tree Planting

There are many benefits to planting trees in your neighbourhood. Not only do trees increase a property value and provide a visual mask to unsightly air conditioner units (or pesky neighbours), planting trees also bring people together in an eco-friendly activity. Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement by empowerment that improves the quality of life and a new identity for the neighbourhood. Why not plant some trees …it’s a benefit for the community and the environment!

1) Trees combat the greenhouse effect

Global warming is the result of excess greenhouse gases, created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

2) Trees clean the air

Trees provide oxygen, absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particles out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. In one year, an acre of mature trees can provide oxygen for 18 people.

3) Trees conserve energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

4) Trees save water

Turn off the sprinklers to water the grass in the hot summer; the shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

5) Trees help prevent soil erosion and water pollution

On hillsides or slopes, trees slow the rain water runoff and hold soil in place. By breaking rainfall, trees allow the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters water naturally, using it to recharge groundwater supplies and prevent pollutants being carrying into water systems.

The City of Toronto has a tree planting program! Urban Forestry Services plants trees on City owned street allowances fronting residential properties for free.  Periodically, Urban Forestry Services will canvass neighbourhoods for tree planting opportunities. Please visit http://www.toronto.ca/trees/tree_planting.htm for more information on residential tree planting and how you can take advantage of the City’s environmental programs.

If you are interested in a tree for your backyard, contact LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests). LEAF is a local non-profit group dedicated to improving Toronto’s urban forest. They offer Toronto residents subsidized backyard tree planting. The service includes on-site advice on appropriate species and planting location, a 1.2 to 1.8m tall native tree and the planting service. Native shrubs are also available. Contact LEAF at 416-413-9244 or on the web at http://www.yourleaf.org/

 

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Food Trends: Microbrews

Who doesn’t love basking in the sun, on a beautiful patio, with an ice cold beer in hand?

A combination of 4 primary ingredients (water, starch source, hops and yeast), beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea.

At Jayne’s Gourmet, we love to support our local Toronto market, and our city is home to several microbreweries! A microbrewery, or craft brewery, is a modern brewery which produces a limited amount of beer per year. The Canadian standard for microbreweries is production less than 60,000 hectolitres of beer in a year (one hectolitre equals approximately 12.2 cases of 24 standard-sized bottles).

 

 

Steam Whistle Brewing: Steam Whistle is one of the top ranked microbrews in all of Canada. The company has a strong reputation and passion for fantastic locally brewed beer. They believe that world-class results require focus and dedication, so they have developed a distinctive recipe based on Europe’s renowned brewing standards. Using traditional brewing techniques and only four natural GMO-free ingredients, the Steam Whistle Pilsner is characterized by floral hop aroma, sweet graininess with distinctive grassy notes, and balanced by a clean, crisp finish and pleasant lingering bitterness. Delicious! Steam Whistle opens their doors to thousands of visitors each year who come for a guided tour. A visit provides the chance to see first-hand how they brew their Pilsner, try a sample and to meet some of the folks who make this beer a success! They also have one of the most sought after event spaces in the entire city. With it’s fantastic location, historic architecture and overall versatile nature, it can be booked for just about any event you have in mind. For more information, Visit www.steamwhistle.ca

 

Mill Street Organic: Named for its original location at 55 Mill Street in the historic distillery district of Toronto, Mill Street prides themselves as the creators of innovative craft beers, bringing interesting beers to the public (and winning many awards for their genius creations!) Their Original Organic Lager only uses imported organic hops and malt to create a uniquely refreshing lager with a distinct European flavour. This lager has a delicate floral aroma, light palate with malty flavour balanced by some happy bitterness. The Mill Street brewpub features 14 Mill Street beers on draught, including seasonal and other special/one-off releases. Visit www.millstreetbrewery.com

 

Junction Craft Brewing: Our neighbours in the Junction! Junction Craft Brewing is committed to brewing the highest-quality, hand-crafted beers. They brew only with the natural ingredients of water, yeast, barley and the world’s finest hops. Their signature brew is Conductor’s Craft Ale, a ‘hopbacked’ hybrid ale utilizing British, German and American brewing techniques. They use 5 different malts and 5 different hops to give this ale a biscuity, toasted, caramel base. To finish the beer they designed and built in-house a ‘hopback’ mechanism that infuses the hop aromas into the beer. Never tried this unique beer before? Their Tap Room features a rotating lineup of craft brews for customers to sample in 5oz and 10oz glasses, plus all brews are available to purchase. Visit www.junctioncraftbrewing.com

 

Amsterdam Brewing Company: Every beer Amsterdam makes, holds to the same promises followed while crafting their very first brews: made by hand, made fresh daily, and made for you. Their brewing passion is based on a philosophy that a beer should be honest, ingredients must be pure and of the best quality, and that time honoured recipes provide the pathway to creating wonderful beers. Amsterdam fans benefit from the dedication to knowledge and how process and ingredient can yield spectacular result; innovative beers that are designed to take you on an adventure in taste. Amsterdam Natural Blonde is the beer that started it all! Handcrafted, cold filtered, and non-pasteurized, this beer is brewed fresh daily using all natural ingredients creating a well balanced, hoppy beer with a clean, crisp taste and smooth, mellow (hint of citrus!) finish. Visit http://amsterdambeer.com/

 

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What’s this? Pickling Foods

For centuries we have been preserving food as a means to secure surplus food supplies for long winters, famine and other times of need. One such method is pickling. Pickling is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (salt) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing food in an acid solution (vinegar). With a pH less than 4.6 and antimicrobial herbs and spices, such as mustard seed, garlic, cinnamon or cloves, the resulting food is called a pickle. This process gives the food a salty or sour taste and increases the “shelf-life” of perishable items for several months in jars.

Pickling can be broadly categorized into two categories:

1)      Chemical Pickling: the food is placed in an edible spiced liquid that inhibits or kills bacteria and other micro-organisms. Typical pickling agents include brine (high in salt), vinegar (high in acid), alcohol and vegetable oil. Many chemical pickling processes also involve heating or boiling so that the food being preserved becomes saturated with the pickling agent and spices. Common chemically pickled foods include cucumbers, peppers, corned beef, herring and eggs.

2)      Fermentation Pickling: the food itself produces the preservation agent, typically by a process that produces lactic acid. Common fermented pickled foods include sauerkraut and kimchi.

Pickling is a global culinary art. You can find different items pickled around the world. Fruits, vegetables and meats are generally mixed with other ingredients (salt, local spices and vegetable oils) and set to mature in a sealed jar:

  • India: Known as Achar; pickling commonly from mango, lime, Indian gooseberry, chili, and vegetables such as egg plants, carrots, cauliflower, tomato, bitter gourd & green tamarind, ginger, garlic, onion and citron.
  • Indonesia and Philippines: Known as Acar or Achara; pickling commonly from cucumber, carrot, bird’s eye chilies, garlic, shallots and fruits, such as papaya and pineapple.
  • Korea (Asia): A staple dietary item is kimchi; pickled cabbage and radish. Also made with green onions, garlic stems, chives and many other vegetables.
  • Middle East: Known as mekhallel; pickling commonly from turnips, peppers, carrots, cauliflower, green olives, cucumbers, beetroot, cabbage, and lemons
  • Eastern Europe: Pickling commonly from beetroot, cucumbers, green tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, mushrooms, turnips, celery, cauliflower and melons. Meat is preserved in salt and lard.
  • Britain: Most commonly pickled items are onions, eggs, beetroot, gherkins, herring, olives, capers and other condiments. Other popular items are pickled mussels, salmon, and red cabbage.
  • North America: Pickled cucumbers (most simply referred as “pickles”), olives, and sauerkraut are most popular.

For more information on pickling, including “how to” recipes, please visit http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can6b_pickle.html

 

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Eco-friendly ideas: Composting!

Ever wonder what you could do to reduce the amount of waste in your home? Perhaps try composting! Composting is amazing for the environment and with some time and energy, you can change the habit of throwing everything away and will be surprised that on garbage day, there is only one bag to carry to the curb!

What is compost and what are the benefits?
Compost is the end product of a natural process which reduces organic waste to humus. Compost contains a good range of major and minor plant nutrients, trace elements essential for healthy plant growth, as well as soil microbes and organic fiber for building healthy soil.

Compost returns organic matter and nutrients back to the soil in a usable form. This improves plant growth by loosening up heavy clay soils so that air and water may get in. By adding essential nutrients and soil organisms back to all soil, plants have a greater ability to survive against diseases and harmful organisms/pests.

What to Compost?

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Corn husks and cobs
  • Garden clippings and leaves (no weeds)

What not to Compost?

  • Meat scraps and bones
  • Dairy products
  • Charcoal ash or vacuum bags and dust
  • Diseased plants or weeds
  • Animal feces

For more information on composting, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/compost/pubs.htm for a list of composting factsheets prepared by Solid Waste Management.

To purchase backyard composters, visit your local hard ward store or the City of Toronto offers backyard composters made of 100% recycled materials for $15.00 (additional charge for delivery). Visit http://www.toronto.ca/compost/composters_sale.htm for more information on purchasing your backyard composter from our beautiful city!

 

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