Photography by Jeff Coulson Credits: Photography by Jeff Coulson
A few quick tips that will help you create a beautiful artisanal cheese board that will wow a crowd.
From coast to coast, Canadians are making some seriously world-class cheese.
Hit up your local cheese shop and get to know our country’s offerings, then showcase your favourites on an artisanal cheese board that reflects your style and taste.
The ideal cheese board should include three or four types of cheese: hard, semi-firm, soft and blue.
To please many tastes, consider including both cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses.
Add dried fruit, such as cranberries and apricots, as well as fresh figs, sliced pears and a selection of good quality crackers and crusty bread.
Check out our tips for creating an impressive charcuterie board.
Dairy-free drinks. Credits: Getty Images: AlexPro9500
We needed help demystifying the seemingly endless list of milk alternatives, so we went to the experts for real talk on dairy-free drinks.
Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just like the taste, there are plenty of reasons to experiment with adding milk alternatives to your diet. But with more varieties than ever before, how do you know which option is best for you? We asked two registered dietitians, Carol Harrison and Crystal MacGregor, for the skinny on dairy-free drinks.
Why does cow's milk get a bad rap?
Carol Harrison: Some people are worried about hormones or antibiotics in milk. But the truth is, growth hormones are not approved for use in dairy cattle in Canada. As well, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports compliance for veterinary product residues in milk is greater than 99 per cent.
Crystal MacGregor: Cow’s milk is a nutritious and safe choice. Non-dairy beverages are actually not suitable for children under the age of two because they do not contain enough calories, protein and fat to support children’s needs.
Which beverage is closest to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional profile?
CM: Soy is the closest to dairy in protein per serving at 7 grams of protein per cup. When possible, choose organic versions, as many conventional soy milks can come from genetically modified soybeans, which may contain higher levels of pesticides and fertilizers.
CH: The only beverages I consider nutritional substitutes for cow's milk are goat’s milk fortified with vitamin D and soy beverages fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
What are some things a person should consider when choosing a dairy-free beverage?
CM: If choosing a non-dairy alternative for a source of protein it is important to note that not all are created equal—most nut milks such as almond, coconut and cashew milk contain less than 1 g of protein per cup.
CH: Aim for 30 per cent daily value calcium and 45 per cent daily value vitamin D. Also choose unsweetened options to curb unwanted added sugars.
Check out our slideshow of popular dairy-free drinks, with pros and cons from our experts.
Pros: Almonds naturally contain vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium. It contains no saturated fats and is typically low in calories.
Cons: Almond milk is low in protein. Look for ones that do not have added oils.
Pros: Cashew milk is creamy, sweet and less nutty tasting than other nut milks. It makes a great addition to oatmeal and savoury dishes like curry.
Cons: Cashew milk is very low in protein and is not suitable for those with a tree nut allergy.
Pros: Great for those with, nut soy, and dairy allergies.
Cons: They are often higher in sugars, and added oils. Look for whole brown rice in the ingredients list.
Pros: Contains healthy natural saturated fats, and is lower in carbohydrates and calories than cow's milk and other plant-based beverages.
Cons: Higher in fat than other nut milks.
Pros: A good source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. The watery consistency makes it a smooth addition for coffee and shakes.
Cons: Low in protein like other nut and seed milks and many are yet to be fortified with calcium or vitamin D.
Cherry Icebox Cookies
Any of these traditional cookies are sure to be a hit at your cookie exchange.
These red and green-speckled cookies are the perfect way to spread the festive spirit.
Get the recipe: Cherry Icebox Cookies
Everyone loves chewy toffee and melted chocolate. Mixing the two into a net little shortbread cup is a brilliant way to unite these two decadent treats.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cups
Canada, meet your new favourite cookie.
Get the recipe: Maple Shortbread
Eggnog is a rich indulgence, and these cookies live up to the name.
Get the recipe: Iced Eggnog Cookies
The holidays wouldn't be complete without sweet, buttery shortbread, so we've perfected a classic.
Get the recipe: The Ultimate Shortbread Cookies
Buttery shortbread gets a warm hug from spiced gingerbread dough in this mash-up of two favourite holiday cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone gingerbread and shortbread cookies
Tested Till Perfect.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Cookies
Rich dark chocolate and fragrant orange zest make these cookies ultra-sophisticated.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate, Orange and Cardamon Icebox cookies
Sweet chocolate chips and crunchy toffee bits give these buttery cookies a festive touch.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cookies
Easy to make and undeniably popular, thumbprint cookies are the perfect no-fuss holiday sweet.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies may look intricate, but they couldn't be simpler to make.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies
Cinnamon and sugar make these cookies smell like everyone's favourite holiday breakfast.
Get the recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Use this classic ginger cookie dough to create four deliciously different ginger cookies.
Get the recipe: Basic Ginger Cookie Dough
Coarse sugar coats these delightful cookies, giving them an icy glow.
Get the recipe: Chewy Ginger Sparkles
Similar to French shortbread cookies called sables, these treats have a slightly sandy texture and rich flavour.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies
You’ve seen the pictures—Princess Diana, wearing a pale pink coat and a bright smile, engaging with patients at Toronto’s specialty HIV/AIDS hospital, Casey House. The pictures were taken 25 years ago, when many feared that HIV could be contracted through casual contact with those who are HIV-positive. During her visit, Princess Diana shook hands with patients, kissed them on the cheek, and engaged with them and their families in an effort to dissipate misconceptions around the disease, raise awareness, and show love and warmth towards those affected.
Before Casey House opened in 1988, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were being treated coldly at hospitals. “Nurses wouldn’t tend to their bedside; They wouldn’t deliver them food,” says Joanne Simons, present CEO of Casey House, “they were obviously really concerned about contracting HIV themselves and [there was] really a lack of understanding that it couldn’t be transmitted through touch.” The first client at Casey House was “brought in by paramedics and they were fully gowned, top to bottom,” says Simons. But, June Callwood, one of Casey House’s founders, welcomed the client by wrapping her arms around him “to emphasize that fear didn’t need to be there and people needed to be treated with compassion”—a message Princess Diana also sought to elucidate upon her visit to the hospital in October 1991.
“The thing that stuck out in my mind over the years…was how approachable she was,” says Richard Silver, a founding volunteer and former chair of the Casey House board of directors, who was present for Princess Diana’s visit. He recalls that upon her arrival, “the Princess, rather than standing above and bending, bent her knees completely and sat on her heels and chatted with this person, one of our clients, who was there to greet her.” She went from room to room, met with the patients and their families, wearing no gloves or a mask—and this was in a time when there were parents who wanted to be masked and gowned when they went for a visit and wouldn’t hug their kids. Silver recalls, “here was the Princess who…casually talked to people, sat on a bed, chatting with somebody about their families…[it] was so uplifting for the residents and their families.” Her openness and the way she embraced those with HIV/AIDS played a huge role in getting people to “understand the disease and not being afraid of it.”
After her visit, Silver says Casey House received donations that helped them expand to in-home programming and home hospice where people could be cared for where they lived.
Today, Casey House is constructing a 58 000 square foot redevelopment, which will allow them to offer clients a day health program. Simons says, “When we’re up to 100% capacity, we’ll have about 30 000 visits a year from clients.” Clients will be able to go to the hospital two or three times a week for six to nine months, depending on their needs, “and either see nurses one-on-one in a clinic setting, or they’ll be working with mental health therapists, harm reduction case workers, [and] they can access things like massage and rec therapy.” The goal is to create a social community for Casey House’s clients, keep them connected to resources and adherent to their medications, and help them feel as respected, cared for, and supported as possible.
When asked where she hopes to see the hospital 25 years from now, Simons replied, “I hope that it is used for something else.” As today’s tools and resources continue to develop, we can help people maintain their health or not be affected by HIV at all. There are medications people without HIV can take to ensure they don’t contract it if having sex with someone who is HIV positive or coming in contact with needles. But, stigma around the disease, cost for the medications, and access to treatments create barriers to achieving such progress. “In 25 years, there’s no reason why we will not be able to see people living well and healthy, and really slow the infection rate of HIV,” says Simons, “but that will require very assertive effort and focus Canada-wide to ensure that those who are at risk understand what they need to do to be able to protect themselves.”
And so we fight. We fight to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS, we fight for access to treatment and testing, and we fight to ensure those affected continue to be treated with the utmost care and compassion, as Princess Diana did 25 years ago.
For information on Casey House’s events for World Aids Day December 1, including a candle ceremony in honour of those who have died to HIV/AIDS and the Voices of Hope concert, visit caseyhouse.com.