The “Canadian Living's Cookie Twitter Party” (the “Contest”) will begin on December 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on December 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 PM ET (the “Contest Period”).
Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada, excluding Quebec residents, who have reached the legal age of majority in their province/territory of residence at the time of entry, except employees, representatives or agents (and those with whom such persons are domiciled or directly related) of Transcontinental Media G.P. (“Contest Organizer”), its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, advertising/promotion agencies and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of the Contest. “Directly related” shall mean father, mother, brother, sister, children, wife, husband or common law partner if such employee, representative or agent of a Contest Party.
HOW TO ENTER:
No purchase necessary.
Completing and Submitting Your Entry
Internet access and a valid account with Twitter (the “Account”) are required to complete your entry into the Contest.
To enter, go to http://twitter.com (the “Website”) and
Use the hashtag #CLchat and engage in the conversation (the “Entry”);
To be eligible, your Entry must be submitted and received within the Contest Period. All eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period will be entered into a random prize draw.
In order for the Contest Organizer to determine if an Entry has been completed, the applicable entrant’s Account settings must be public and it is each entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure that his/her applicable Account settings are public for Entry verification and Contest eligibility purposes.
The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter orany other third party service provider. You understand that you are providing your personal information to the Contest Organizer and not to Twitter. The personal information you are providing will only be used and processed by the Contest Organizer and by any of its authorized third party service providers for purposes of administering or operating this Contest and the Website, the whole in accordance with TC Media’s, and any authorized third party service provider’s respective privacy policies subject to the uses you may have authorized in relation to your Entry. Twitter and any other third party service provider is completely released of all liability by each participant in this Contest. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Contest must be directed to TC Media and not Twitter.
Your Entry must comply with these Rules and with the Twitter terms and conditions of use, contract or other applicable guidelines (collectively, the “Third Party Terms”). Any Entry (in whole or in part) that does not comply with these Rules and/or the Third Party Terms, or that is otherwise deemed unacceptable by the Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion, will be discarded and your Entry will be deemed ineligible. Twitter and any other third party service provider shall collectively be referred to as the “Third Party Contest Suppliers”.
Additional Entry Requirements
Each entrant is responsible for uploading/transmitting his/her Entry. The Entry must: i) be developed by the entrant or be fully owned by the entrant; ii) be an original work; iii) not have been previously published or be the subject of an agreement with a third party; iv) not have been considered for or won previous awards; v) not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; and vi) have been created in a legal and safe manner.
The Entry must not:
a) contain defamatory words/statements (including words or symbols that are widely considered offensive to individuals of a certain race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic group);
b) threaten any person, place, business, or group;
c) disparage persons or organizations associated with the Contest Parties;
d) invade privacy or other rights of any person, firm, or entity;
e) contain material that is in any way unlawful, in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, provincial or municipal laws and regulations where the submission is created;
f) contain material that is inappropriate, indecent (including but not limited to nudity or pornography), profane, obscene, hateful, tortuous, slanderous or libelous; and
g) refer to any person or organization without their prior express written permission.
By participating in this Contest, you hereby grant an exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, fully sublicenseable and transferable right and license to the Contest Organizer to use the Entry at its entire discretion, including without limitation the right to edit or modify the Entry for commercial or promotional purposes without any compensation whatsoever owed to you. You also waive all moral rights you may hold in or to your Entry to the extent required for the license granted hereunder.
Entry Limitations and Restrictions
There is a limit of submitting one (1) Entry from one (1) Twitter account permitted during the Contest Period. For greater certainty, you can submit one (1) Entry, using one (1) Twitter account, associated with one (1) email address to enter the Contest. The sole determinant of time for the purposes of a valid Entry during the Contest Period will be the Contest’s server machine(s).
Entry Verification and Entry Rejection
All Entries are subject to verification at any time and for any reason. The Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to require proof of identity of entrant and/or eligibility of its Entry, (in a form acceptable to the Contest Organizer – including, without limitation, government issued photo identification) for the purposes of administering this Contest in accordance with these Rules. Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of the Contest Organizer in a timely manner may result in disqualification in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer.
If it is discovered by the Contest Organizer (using any evidence or other information made available to or otherwise discovered by the Contest Organizer) that any person has attempted to: (i) use (or attempt to use) multiple names, identities, email addresses, accounts and/or any automated, macro, script, robotic or other system(s) or program(s) to enter or otherwise participate in or disrupt this Contest; (ii) not respect these Rules and/or (iii) behave in a manner that otherwise undermines the integrity, fairness or administration of the Contest, then he/she may be disqualified from the Contest in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer.
In the event of a dispute regarding who submitted an Entry, Entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the Authorized Account Holder of the Account and the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address.
Your Entry may be rejected if (in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer) your Entry is incomplete or is not submitted and received during the Contest Period or is otherwise in breach with the terms and conditions set out in these Rules. The Released Parties (defined below) are not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, delayed, incomplete or incompatible Entries, all of which will be void and rejected. The Contest’s Organizer decision to disqualify an Entry or entrant shall be final without right of appeal.
PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE:
There is one (1) different prize available to be won:
One (1) Canadian Living Baking Set ($92 CDN) For a total of $92 CDN
The Prize must be accepted as awarded and is not transferable, assignable or convertible to cash (except as may be specifically permitted by Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion). No substitutions except at Contest Organizer’s option. Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to substitute the Prize or a component thereof with a prize of equal or greater value, including, without limitation, but at Contest Organizer’s sole and absolute discretion, a cash award. Prize will only be awarded to the person whose verifiable full name and valid email address appears on the Account associated with the Entry in question.
On December 3, 2014 (the “Draw Date”) at the offices of Contest Organizer at 37 Front St E, in Toronto, Ontario, at approximately 2:00 pm, one (1) eligible Entry will be selected by random draw from among all eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period in accordance with these Rules. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period in accordance with these Rules.
The Contest Organizer or a designated representative will make a minimum of one (1) attempt to contact the selected entrant via Twitter Direct Message, within seven (7) business days of the Draw Date. If the selected entrant cannot be contacted within seven (7) business days of the Draw Date, or if there is a return of any notification as undeliverable; then he/she may, in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer, be disqualified (and, if disqualified, will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected entrant).
Before being declared THE CONFIRMED PRIZE winner, the selected entrant will be required to: (a) correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without mechanical or other aid; and (b) sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt of the declaration and release form for the benefit of the Released Parties (the “Release Form”) confirming namely (i) compliance with these Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Prize as awarded; and (iii) releasing the Released Parties from all liability in relation to this Contest. If the selected entrant: (a) fails to correctly answer the skill-testing question; (b) fails to return the properly executed Release Form within the specified time; (c) cannot accept (or is unwilling to accept) the Prize as awarded for any reason; and/or (d) is determined to be in violation of these Rules (all as determined by the Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion); then he/she may, in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer, be disqualified (and, if disqualified, will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected entrant). There is a limit of one (1) Prize per participant and per household.
Each winner agrees to the publication, reproduction and/or other use of his/her Entry, name, address, voice, statements about the Contest and/or photograph or other likeness without further notice or additional compensation, in any publicity, advertisement or other promotional or commercial use carried out by or on behalf of the Contest Organizer in any media, current or existing, including print, broadcast or the internet.
All Entries become the property of the Contest Organizer. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws. The decisions of the Contest Organizer with respect to all aspects of this Contest are final and binding on all entrants without right of appeal, including, without limitation, any decisions regarding the eligibility/disqualification of Entries and/or entrants. By participating in this Contest, you are agreeing to be legally bound by the terms and conditions of these Rules. ANYONE DETERMINED TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THESE RULES FOR ANY REASON IS SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION IN THE SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION OF THE CONTEST PARTIES AT ANY TIME.
The Contest Organizer, the Third Party Contest Suppliers and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) will not be liable for any loss, damages or injury, claims or fees related to or arising out of: (i) your participation in this Contest; (ii) any failure of the Website during the Contest; (iii) any technical malfunction or other problems relating to the telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment or software; (iv) fraudulent calls; (v) any delay or inability to act resulting from an event or situation beyond their control, including a strike, lockout or other labour dispute; (vi) the failure of any Entry to be received, captured or recorded for any reason, including, but not limited to, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website; (vii) any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer or other device related to or resulting from participating in the Contest; (viii) the award, use of misuse of any Prize or any portion thereof; (ix) Prizes that are lost, damaged or misdirected during shipping and/or (x) any combination of the above.
The Contest Organizer reserves the right to withdraw, amend or suspend this Contest (or to amend these Rules) in any way, in the event of an error, technical problem, computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure or any other cause. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest in any way (as determined by Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion) is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Contest Organizer reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Contest Organizer reserves the right to cancel, amend or suspend this Contest, or to amend these Rules, in any way without prior notice or obligation, in the event of any accident, printing, administrative, or other error of any kind, or for any other reason whatsoever. Without limiting the generality of the forgoing, the Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to administer an alternate test of skill as it deems appropriate based on the circumstances and/or to comply with applicable law.
The Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, and without prior notice, to adjust any of the dates and/or timeframes stipulated in these Rules, to the extent necessary, for purposes of verifying compliance by any entrant or Entry with these Rules, or as a result of any technical or other problems, or in light of any other circumstances which, in the opinion of the Contest Organizer, in its sole and absolute discretion, affect the proper administration of the Contest as contemplated in these Rules, or for any other reason.
These Contest Rules are available at Transcontinental Media G.P.’s offices located at 25 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 100, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6S7 and on the Website.The name of the Contest winner will be available on the Canadian Living website at http://www.canadianliving.comten (10) days at the latest after the Draw Date, for a minimum period of ten (10) days.
In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of these Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials, including, but not limited to: the Entry Form, Website, and/or point of sale, television, print or online advertising; the terms and conditions of the Rules shall prevail, govern and control to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Here are some scary truths: 70 percent of new Alzheimer's patients in Canada will be women, and we're diagnosed with depression and dementia at twice the rate of men. But new research says there are three simple lifestyle changes we can make right now to keep our brains healthy as we age.
You brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay and check your blood pressure to monitor for signs of heart problems. But are you doing anything to keep your brain in tip-top shape? Because you should be. Brain health, which experts define as a combination of cognitive (memory, attention, thinking) and mental (emotional well-being) fitness, is a major, albeit under-the- radar, health issue for Canadian women.
It's major because as we age, so do our brains. Vascular changes can decrease blood flow; we can lose volume in key areas, including the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the regions responsible for learning and memory. Myelin, a fatty material that makes up the protective coating around nerve fibres, starts to deteriorate, causing the brain to slow down. And nerve cells can develop plaques and tangles— structures caused by the buildup of proteins called beta-amyloids that can disrupt the brain's normal function. In some people, these and other signs of normal aging can cause mental health problems, strokes and brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's, and increase the risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Brain health is an under-the-radar issue because, though women are more likely to experience cognitive decline (thanks to dementia or Alzheimer's) and to suffer from depression, most of the research on these conditions still focuses on men.
Thankfully, studies are showing that straightforward lifestyle changes—exercising regularly and not smoking are at the top of the list—help shore up what researchers call "cognitive reserve," a buffer that "delays the changes or makes your body better equipped to handle those changes," says Lauren Drogos, a brain researcher at the University of Calgary.
In fact, Drogos says there's evidence to show that, in some people, even serious symptoms do not necessarily develop into cognitive impairment. She points to the Nun Study, a famous long-running research project on aging and Alzheimer's that has been tracking 678 nuns from convents across the United States since the mid-1980s. One of the nuns, Sister Mary, died at the age of 101 showing no outward signs of cognitive decline—but when researchers examined her brain, they were shocked to find she had "abundant neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques, the classic lesions of Alzheimer's disease." Scientists don't know exactly why some people can have severe symptoms, such as plaques and tangles, without experiencing cognitive decline, but, happily, cases like Sister Mary do show that dementia isn't an inevitable part of aging.
And since women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with many of these problems, the more we consider brain health when making our day-to-day lifestyle decisions, the better. (Bonus: These changes also benefit your heart and help prevent other diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.) So here's what you can do to take care of your brain.
This is your brain on exercise If you had to pick just one lifestyle change to make in the name of brain health, experts agree exercise tops the list—especially for women.
We consider neuroplasticity, the brain's capacity to form new neural connections, an exciting part of a child's development, but we now know our brains can continue to grow, repair and improve as adults, too. Physical activity is a well-researched trigger. Not only can working out bolster our day-to-day functioning and alertness but it also appears to help us repair brain damage. Plus, it slows down aging and the onset of age-related brain diseases.
Working up a sweat and pumping up your heart rate can lead to a healthier vascular system in the brain, which decreases blood pressure and oxidative stress (when your body's antioxidants can't fight off free radicals), and increases antioxidant activity, according to Marc Poulin, an Alzheimer's researcher and professor of physiology at the University of Calgary. Vigorous exercise also floods the bloodstream with a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which readies the body for repair and heightens the brain's ability to learn and form new memories. Plus, hitting the gym helps the brain repair myelin; a lack of the nerve fibre–protecting substance is a factor in developing multiple sclerosis.
Exercising can also restore crucial brain volume. Research has shown that the hippocampus— home to memory, learning and emotion—starts shrinking after age 55 by about one to two percent a year, but just one year of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise done three days a week can increase its size by two percent.
And while most of the research is about the benefits of getting in your cardio, Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, says strength training is also effective, as it can enhance brain performance and function by 11 to 17 percent. "Women live longer [than men], and age itself is the greatest risk factor for dementia," she says. "But the good news is when we look at the benefit of aerobic exercise on cognition in older adults, women seem to benefit more."
The takeaway: You can reap the rewards from even a 15-minute walk. Of course, the longer you exercise, the better, especially if you get your sweat on and your heart rate up. If you want to tick a few other brain health tips off your list, consider joining a team sport. It blends physical, social and cognitive skills, and "can also add pleasure and meaning to our lives," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
If you have an office job and find you're sedentary most of the day, take a few minutes every hour or so to get up and move around. Research also suggests switching to a standup desk may improve your brain function.
Did you know? Taking care of a loved one—most often a spouse in your later years—can be a risk factor for developing depression and, eventually, dementia . But research out of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto found, for the first time, that cognitive behavioural therapy, a form of talk therapy, can improve both mood and cognition.
This is your brain on sleep After a good night's sleep, you feel alert and ready to tackle the day. But that's not just because your brain has been resting. It has also been busy filing away memories and taking out the trash, so to speak, thanks to the glymphatic system, which washes the brain of waste materials. For example, a protein called betaamyloid, which is known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's, acts as a neurotoxin when it builds up, killing neural cells in the brain. But a good sleep removes excess beta-amyloid and other waste materials, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
Because one of the common symptoms of Alzheimer's is disrupted sleep, it's unclear whether a lack of shut-eye should be considered part of the progression of the disease or a risk factor on its own, due to the buildup of beta-amyloids.
Nevertheless, poor sleep hastens your brain's aging process—much like sitting in the sun sans SPF speeds up your skin's aging process. And disturbed sleeping has been linked to all aspects of brain health, including an increased risk of depression and a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning. In one U.K. study out of University College London Medical School, middle-aged women who reported a drop in the average number of hours they slept had lower scores on cognitive tests involving reasoning and vocabulary.
What's more, our central clocks—a.k.a. our circadian rhythms—can drift from the patterns of our childhood, making it hard to get that much-needed rest. "As we age, our central clock is less sensitive to stimuli like light, food and physical activity," says Dr. Liu-Ambrose; this change makes it harder to fall, and stay, asleep. We can also become more vulnerable to stress and anxiety, which further disrupt those rhythms.
One way to combat these fluctuations is to try what seasoned travellers do for jet-lag recovery: Get exposure to real daylight and eat your meals on time to nudge your brain into a routine. And don't use bright screens at night, especially before bed, because they mimic sunlight and tell our circadian system that it's day, not night—and, therefore, not time to sleep. Those who need more help might consider light therapies that have been developed to treat seasonal affective disorder, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
The takeaway: Many researchers consider six to eight hours of sleep a night to be the standard sweet spot, though this can vary by individual. If you're routinely getting less than that and waking often in the night, not feeling refreshed in the morning and experiencing bouts of sleepiness during the day, talk to your doctor about sleep strategies—especially if you're experiencing anxiety or depression. In the short term, napping can reverse some of the effects of poor sleep, including memory loss and increased stress. And you only need a 30-minute catnap to feel the results.
This is your brain on a healthy diet There's no perfect "brain food," but eating a nutritious diet (lots of veggies and fruit, lean meat, fish and healthy fats) is the smartest way to maintain long-term brain function and memory, and to slow the development of brain diseases.
Getting enough of specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids is important but not the holy grail. University of Pittsburgh researchers recently found that people who eat broiled or baked fish at least once a week have larger brain volumes in the areas used for memory and cognition, despite varying levels of omega-3 in the fish they ate. Senior researcher James Becker concluded that he and his colleagues were "tapping into a more general set of lifestyle factors that were affecting brain health, of which diet is just one part."
In a 2015 study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, researchers looked at the broad set of eating habits of more than 900 people over 4 1/2 years and found that those who adhered to a diet high in fish, vegetables, nuts and berries, and low in fat and sugar, slowed down their brains' aging by about 7 1/2 years when compared to those with less-healthy diets. The healthy eaters cut their risk of Alzheimer's by up to 53 percent. And even when those people only adhered to the diet part time, they saw some benefits— an effect that has not been found in other diets, says Drogos.
The researchers dubbed the most promising cluster of these eating habits the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which blends the longevity-boosting Mediterranean diet and the heart-healthy low-fat DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet that doctors recommend to patients at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. More studies need to be done on why it works, but in the meantime, there's no downside to eating healthier and ditching the junk.
The takeaway: Add more veggies to your diet. Research shows that older adults who report eating more of this food group perform better in mentally stimulating activities than those who don't.
Did you know? "Menopause brain" is a real thing. As with "pregnancy brain," its more famous counterpart, women approaching menopause really do experience memory problems and brain fog. Researchers think a drop in estrogen levels might be the cause.
Can you train your brain? Does firing up a brain-training app actually help improve your memory and ward off dementia? Sorry to disappoint, but right now, evidence for the benefits of computer-based brain games is weak, says Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal HealthResearch Institute. Brain games appear to help you learn to play them better, but research doesn't show that those tasks transfer to other aspects of brain performance. The same goes for crossword puzzles and sudoku, which help your vocabulary and math skills, but nothing more.
How to maintain your mental edge at any age
In your 30s: This is the time to make sure you establish healthy habits—such as getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and eating a good diet—that will affect your brain health throughout your adult years. "When it comes to maintaining brain health, the best time to start is yesterday," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. If you feel you need a boost at work, consider old-fashioned writing instead of typing on your computer. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that university students who made handwritten notes were better equipped to recall conceptual ideas from their professors' lectures than those who had typed notes on their laptops.
In your 40s and 50s: People in this age group are part of the "sandwich generation," and often face caring for their aging parents on top of dealing with their other work, financial and parenting obligations. So, unsurprisingly, they're super stressed—and this can affect both mental health and day-to-day brain function. Dr. Khatri says it's essential to prioritize and edit out activities and commitments that increase stress without adding value to your productivity or happiness. That's because "maintaining mental health in early and mid life is key to safeguarding cognitive health later on," she says. "Untreated depression in midlife doubles your risk of developing dementia in later life."
In your 60s and beyond: In your senior years, socializing with friends and family, and picking up activities that allow you to connect, such as volunteering, are key to maintaining brain health. And sorry, keeping up with folks on Facebook isn't enough. "Ask yourself: Is social media rounding out my real-life social experiences?" suggests Dr. Khatri. What you need is face-to-face interaction.
The rich, crisp and flaky crust. The syrupy-sweet filling.
Eating your first butter tart is an experience like none other.
“The reason I like butter tarts is that [they] fly in the face of all political correctness,” says
Marion Kane, food sleuth and former food editor for the Toronto Star.
“It's fattening, it's high in sugar, it's caloric–but it's delicious and I have yet to meet somebody that doesn’t like butter tarts. You’d have to be crazy!”
Canadians are quick to agree that the sticky tarts are by far one of the most iconic Canuck foods out there. But if there’s one topic that gets us otherwise polite Canadians up in arms, it’s the debate over what makes the perfect butter tart.
Gooey or firm? Should it include raisins? What about nuts? And should you use butter or lard in the dough?
To get to the bottom of this patriotic parley, we polled three Canadian butter tart enthusiasts to get their take on what makes the perfect butter tart.
“I believe the pastry needs to be made with lard–at least some of it,” says Marion Kane.
“Crunchy-crispy at the edges, even semi-burnt,” says Canadian artist and butter tart enthusiast
Charles Pachter. His secret to the best crust: lard cut with a bit of cider vinegar.
Barbara Rowlandson, festival director for
Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival in Midland, Ont., evaluates more than 3,000 tarts for inclusion in the "Best Butter Tart in Ontario" contest. She's less picky when it comes to her crust.
“You can have sort of a traditional flaky pie pastry, which we are all sort of used to, or you can do a shortbread pastry, which is also acceptable. It’s more like a shortbread cookie and that's a really nice way to have your butter tart.” However, one unique way she enjoys tarts is with a phyllo pastry.
For Rowlandson, the most crucial part of a butter tart is the filling–it has to tread that fine line between being overly runny and being firm and overset.
“I like them to be in what I call the ‘goo zone,’ where they just sort of gently goo out,” she says.
The so-called "goo zone" was a common theme among our pollees.
“It's crucial that the filling be right. In my mind, it should be soft and gooey but not liquidy,” says Kane.
Pachter agrees: “Chewy towards the middle, gooey-runny in the middle."
"Raisins, of course,” says Pachter.
Rowlandson admits to being anti-raisins in her butter tarts, she won’t object to the addition of a few walnuts in the filling.
Why we care so much about butter tarts
“Canadians, and Ontarians especially, do not have middling feelings about butter tarts,” says Rowlandson.
Rowlandson used to sell butter tarts in her store in downtown Midland, where customers would regularly argue over the iconic Canadian pastry.
“Complete strangers would stand there in my store for an hour having discourse on what makes a correct butter tart, and I even had to break up a couple of fights, including one that I swear was going to turn into a fistfight between a couple of ladies over the last butter tart.”
A true Canadian invention, the earliest published butter tart recipe
comes from Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod of Simcoe County, Ont., and can be found in the Royal Victoria Hospital Women’s Auxiliary cookbook, published in Barrie, Ont. in 1900.
“We have something that's dear to us and our invention and we should cherish it and treasure it,” says Kane. “Food is a vehicle for human connection and people feel good when they have a food memory that relates to being together with family, and I think butter tarts were made on an ongoing basis as the standard pastry in many homes.”
This year’s Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival takes place on June 11 in Midland, Ont. For more information, visit
buttertartfestival.ca or call 705-526-4275.
Craving butter tarts? Here are a few of our favourite butter tart recipes!
Canadian-made fashion, beauty and personal-care brands are just a click away! Whether you're on the hunt for minimalist stackable rings (British Columbia), colourful, affordable beach attire (Ontario) or handmade beard oil (New Brunswick), we've found it online and want to spread the good word.
Artifact Masque in Moroccan Tangerine Clay, Brazilian Supermask and Egyptian Honey Rose, $52 each, artifactskinco.com. Necklace, $189, jenny-bird.com. Handbag, $79, nella-bella.com. Hudson's Bay Company + Lacoste watch, $95, thebay.com. Anointment Natural Skin Care Woodland Sage Soap, $7.50, anointment.ca. T-shirt, $42, roots.com. Saje Natural Wellness Arnica Rescue Acute Injury Ointment and Saje Natural Wellness Stress Release Tension-Reducing Mist, $20 each, saje.ca.
Strong and free While Canada celebrates almost a century and a half, our red-and-white flag with a maple leaf at its heart is a mere 50 years old. To commemorate the design and the first use of our national emblem back in 1965, Roots has launched a clothing collection made entirely in Canada. If you're feeling particularily loyal to your hometown, choose a style with a city patch on the sleeve or back; the places represented are Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, Calgary, Mont-Tremblant, Montreal, Quebéc City, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Halifax—each available only in its respective location.
Dress, $78, roots.com. Under the sea Montreal-based twins Dexter and Byron Peart of Want Les Essentiels de la Vie are known for their simple yet luxe design esthetic. Their latest collection, A Life Aquatic, features a colour palette inspired by the ocean and its creatures.
Shoulder bag, $650, wantessentiels.com. Painted ladies Jolie handbag designer Ivy Chen first met illustrator Jocelyn Teng when Teng drew her portrait at a fundraiser. "I still have it framed in my house," says Chen, who approached Teng to collaborate on her Le Sac collection for spring 2015. "Illustration has always been my strong suit," says Teng. "My style is abstract and dramatic."
Tote, $295, and illustration, $60, worldofjolie.com. Office space Inspired by the shape of manila envelopes, these red vegan-leather handbags from Nella Bella by Tarek's Nu Essex collection are perfect for a working lunch or a boardroom presentation.
From left: Handbags, $139, $149 and $99, nella-bella.com.Canadian Maple Beloved Toronto lippy brand Bite Beauty has finally launched a collection that's exclusive to its Canadian customers. The new limited-edition lipsticks, from bright orange to lush berry, are maple-scented and come in five shades inspired by the changing colours of maple leaves. Or try the Agave Lip Mask in Maple, which smells (and tastes) sweet and is perfect for rough, dry lips.
Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lipsticks, $28; Agave Lip Mask in Maple, $30; sephora.ca.
Marriage material Whether you're planning your big day, leading the way down the aisle as a bridesmaid or simply attending as a guest, Canadian retailer Le Château now offers all the goods to get you dressed for a wedding from head to toe. The Wedding Boutique collection includes wedding gowns, flirty bridesmaid and guest dresses, jewellery, headpieces, clutches and shoes—all to make that special day easy and affordable (pieces run from $10 to $395). The online shop also features info on the latest in bridal hair, makeup, colour and decor trends from experts in the biz.
Shoes, $90, lechateau.com.
Face time Beards are having a moment and, contrary to popular belief, they require a healthy dose of care (tell your man!). A high-quality beard oil can work wonders, balancing oily and irritated skin and softening tough bristles. This oil from New Brunswick's Anointment Natural Skin Care features certified-organic sunflower and jojoba oils to moisturize, plus sage, cedar and lavendar essential oils to calm irritated skin. The plaid packaging bursts with Canadian cool. "I drew inspiration from the men in my life," says founder April Mackinnon. "Almost every Saturday, my father and brother can be found cutting trees for firewood or planting to replenish the forest. My childhood memories of my father largely include him wearing a black-and-red plaid work jacket."
Anointment Natural Skin Care Beard Oil, $16.50, anointment.ca.
Amazing lace A graduate of George Brown College's jewellery-arts program, Sarah Dobranowski of SarahAnaDesigns makes beautiful baubles cast from moulds of intricate pieces of lace. Indulge your feminine side with a sterling-silver bracelet or embellish your wedding attire with a sweet pair of earrings.
Necklace, $125, etsy.com/shop/sarahanadesigns.
Tiny treasures Vancouver-based Katherine Huie of Foe and Dear has always loved jewellery making but was especially motivated by a summer in Brooklyn, N.Y. When she returned to the West Coast, she took some classes and began designing refined minimal pieces in her Gastown studio.
Top to bottom: Choupette kitten ring, $33; Tiny sparkler point ring, $160; Point stacking ring, $30, all foeanddear.com.
Tressed to impress When Toronto-born hairstylist Marc Anthony first launched his hair-care range, there were six products sold at just one Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Now, the line's 20th anniversary year, the wildly successful brand's more than 60 SKUS are available in 45,000 stores across 20 countries. One of Marc Anthony's oldest and most popular lines is Strictly Curls, including the iconic Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream, which is great for waves and soft curls. For women with tight, coarse spirals, the brand-new Kinky Girls with Wild Curls line features coconut, avocado and argan oils to nourish and hydrate while eliminating frizz.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream and Marc Anthony Kinky Girls With Wild Curls Exotic Oil Treatment, $11, marcanthony.com. Working for le weekend Known for her colourful prints, Toronto's Virginia Johnson has released Le Weekend, a series of swimsuits, beach coverups, flip-flops and more, all inspired by her grandmother. "She is my biggest style inspiration—and she had a great sense of humour," says Johnson. "She loved polka-dots, Hawaiin florals and brightly coloured sunglasses." The collection honours her well. We're especially enamoured with the flamingo print and the fabulous price point—everything is $50 or less.
Swimsuit, $50, virginiajohnson.com.
Science says you should spend more time socializing. For more than 75 years, researchers at Harvard University have been studying what makes us happy and, according to current project director Robert Waldinger, strong social connections are the number-one predictor. "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period," he said in a 2015 TED Talk.
Save the day
Everyone knows about the pay-yourself- first rule, but when you're staring down a stack of bills, saving can easily drop off your radar. So take yourself out of the equation entirely. Talk to your bank about setting up a TFSA, or a regular preauthorized transfer from your chequing to your savings account, and soon you'll be watching your money grow. And don't forget to check in once a year to see if you can afford to up the amount you're tucking away, even by a few dollars.
If life feels too full and noisy, try a no-gadget night once a week. Switch off all electronics, turn down the lights, enjoy relaxing activities and fall asleep earlier. Take it to the next level with no talking! — Jo Bennett, life coach
Don't go to bed angry
No, really—don't. According to a 2016 study, going to sleep while angry might reinforce negative memories, making it harder to get over the things that made you mad.
Looking to get ahead at work? It may not be enough to just tell your boss. Research by Catalyst, a nonprofit that promotes inclusive workplaces, says we should get comfortable talking about our accomplishments instead. The study found that women who clearly articulated career wins, "advanced further, increased their compensation growth and were more satisfied with their careers."
Tools of the trade
Three must-have smartphone apps that make life better, easier or just more fun.
1. Flipp (free, iOS and Android): The high-tech version of coupon clipping, use this app to price match, redeem coupons or see who has chicken on sale.
2. Field trip (free, iOS and Android): Discover hidden gems as you walk through any city—the app sends restaurant referrals, trivia and shopping tips based on proximity.
3. Downcast ($4, iOS): If you've been meaning to get into podcasts, check out this highly rated app. Search for interesting podcasts, download them to listen later and catch up on back episodes.