Maybe you were too busy licking the bowl when Mom was explaining the secrets to her fabulous desserts. Are you now wishing you paid more attention? Don't worry, we're here to help. We've compiled the Canadian Living Test Kitchen's fail-safe tips and tricks to making perfect, beautiful cakes, every time. (Mom will be so proud you hung on to her every word.)
Ingredients Butter, eggs and milk should be at room temperature. Let stand on counter for about 1 hour. To speed up the process, warm milk in microwave until barely lukewarm. Place eggs in bowl and cover with warm water; let stand for 10 minutes.
Doneness Check cake about 5 minutes before time is up. The usual tests are: cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, cake springs back when lightly touched or edges come away from sides of pan. Some cakes may have specific indications in the recipe.
Removal Let cake stand in pan on cooling rack until firm enough to hold its shape, about 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of cake. Place cooling rack on top of pan. Wearing oven mitts, grasp pan and rack and turn over. Lift off pan. Peel off parchment paper, if present. If you are glazing cake and do not want to see indents from cooling rack through the glaze, invert cake again so top faces up.
Icing Before icing cake, professional bakers trim off edges if they are dark and level off top if it is not flat. • To keep flat cake plate clean, cut strips of waxed paper about 3 inches (8 cm) wide; slide strips partway under edge of cake so cake is framed.
• To prevent crumbs in icing, mask cake with thin layer of icing. Chill until firm. Spread remaining icing over top. Pull waxed paper strips out from under cake.
• Cover iced cake with cake dome. Or stick toothpicks in inconspicuous spots into cake; drape plastic wrap loosely over toothpicks, making sure wrap doesn't rest on icing.
Fruitcake For perfect slices, cut while frozen or cold from refrigerator with thin sharp knife.
Delicious cake recipes Now that you're a pro, put those skills to good use. Here's a few recipes to get you started:
• Apple Cardamom Cake Cardamom is that elusively fragrant spice associated with Scandinavian and Indian cooking. It's especially good with apples. This rich, moist apple cake doesn't need icing. Simply dust with icing sugar and serve it in wedges for afternoon tea, snacks, a coffee party or brunch.
We asked some of Canada's top celebrity designers to spill the beans on their best-kept design secrets—and did they ever! Read on for expert advice on everything from space planning and choosing paint colours to styling shelves and how to create a foolproof gallery wall.
The inside scoop on space planning
How much space do you need around your dining room table? Can you really make a room feel larger? Our experts weigh in.
Tip 1: Sofas should be two-thirds the length of the longest wall, and seating is placed close enough around so no person is more than eight feet from another to allow for easy conversation. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 2: One easy rule to figure out what size dining table you need: allow for a minimum of 30 inches walking clearance on all sides. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Space planning is critical. For a kitchen island, for example, leave three feet of space between the island and surrounding counters. Ensure that appliances (like the fridge or dishwasher) can open without blocking traffic flow or hitting neighbouring walls or cabinets. Not leaving enough room is a mistake people make all the time, before they call a designer in a panic to help fix it! — Lisa Canning
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 4: Use mirrors strategically to expand space and increase the amount of natural light reflected in the room. Framing a wall with floor-to-ceiling mirrors adds a dramatic effect to the feeling and scale of the room. — Brian Gluckstein
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 5: Allow for 18 inches between the sofa and the coffee table so people have enough room to pass by and to make it easy to reach for drinks or food. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 6: Want to make sure furniture fits before it arrives at your door? There are a host of free sites (like planyourroom.com) that allow you to put furniture onto a scaled floor plan. Another option? Many furniture and decor stores offer free design services, and they'll do the calculating for you. — Janette Ewen
Light it up
Follow these five rules and your lights will shine in all the right ways.
Tip 2: Install dimmer switches; they're a practical way to control light and energy consumption. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 3: The bottom of the shade of your bedside reading lamp should be at shoulder height when sitting in bed. Do the math! — Karl Lohnes
Tip 4: Choose a pendant or chandelier that's one-third the size of the table or kitchen island. Hang it approximately 30 to 36 inches above the table or island; if there are more than one, place them 12 to 18 inches apart. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Incandescent bulbs are great for atmosphere lighting, but LED bulbs are more suited to task lighting, when you really need to see what you're working on. — Janette Ewen
The inside scoop on paint and palette
Did you know that paint selection should be one of the last decisions you make when decorating a room?
Tip 1: I'm a firm believer in mood boards. They're not just for designers! Gather together fabrics, paint samples and inspiration images for a room before starting. It will create a picture and a trajectory that you may not have thought of. — Steven Sabados
Tip 2: When you design a room, pull your palette from one inspiration fabric. Whether you use a whimsical print or a more traditional pattern, take all the colours present in that material and allow those to guide fabric selection for pillows, throws, drapery and upholstery in the room. Take that same fabric to the paint store and have a custom colour mixed that matches one of the hues exactly. — Lisa Canning
Tip 4: Fine finish Choose a fresh trim colour in a semigloss, such as Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace OC-65. It creates a subtle separation from a matte wall, and it's a much more durable finish, which comes in handy since trims are usually the most touched, bumped and scuffed parts of our homes. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Colour pop If you buy that cool orange statement chair, give it a buddy. When you're adding a colourful piece to a space, always have at least one other subtle hit of that colour elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive feel. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 6: Want to make a room feel taller? Paint baseboards and crown moulding the same colour as the walls. Want it to feel huge? mix one-third of the wall colour into the ceiling paint. — Karl Lohnes
The inside scoop on styling
You've bought the sofa and painted the walls. Now what? Our experts show you how to style a room like a pro.
Tip 1: Shop at stores that have liberal return policies and buy three times as much as you think you need. This gives you plenty of merchandise to play with to see what works and what does not. Mix in unique family heirlooms and vintage finds with the new pieces you purchase to create a naturally curated look. — Janette Ewen
Photography by Magdalena M
Tip 2: For a no-fail pillow combination, you need only three: one 20- by 20-inch, one 16- by 16-inch and one 12- by 16-inch. Those sizes look good together no matter how you arrange them! — Jo Alcorn
Tip 3: Beauty is in the details When styling a console, include framed art on easels or leaning against the wall; it's a great way to display smaller pieces. Create a dynamic vignette by mixing in boxes, vases and vintage pieces in differing heights and dimensions. — Brian Gluckenstein
Tip 4: Mix and match Use these common elements when styling shelves: stacks of books, gorgeous flowers and at least one accessory that has a lot of shimmer and shine. Varying heights and textures is also really important for visual interest. — Lisa Canning
The inside scoop on art
Take the mystery out of hanging art.
Tip 1: Make your own art! Buy a canvas in a size you're looking for, then grab some paint in the colours you're decorating with, and see what happens. Great masterpieces are born of happy accidents or beautiful mistakes. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 2: When hanging art on an empty wall, the middle of the art should to be hung 66 to 72 inches off the floor. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Art relates to furniture, not the ceiling: Keep art about six to eight inches above the sofa, or any piece of furniture, when hanging it. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Tip 4: For a gallery wall, use different-size frames in one single finish and select artwork with a consistent theme in colour or subject matter to keep the display cohesive. — Brian Gluckenstein
Each year, top designers and brands showcase the best in innovative and inspiring design from around the world at The Interior Design Show in Toronto. We’ve picked our top Canadian designers that you may not have heard of yet, but should.
"I am the type of person who stops to smell the roses every day."
After having heart surgery at age 25, Barbara's life expectancy was 30. She's now 51 years old and enjoying life to the fullest. She is passionate about writing, so she started a blog and learned how to use social media to add more creativity to her life.
Watch the video to learn more about Barbara's inspiring story, her skincare routine and what being beautiful over 50 means to her.
Canadian Living x L'Oréal Paris present Perfect Age: Winter Beauty
After having heart surgery at age 25, Barbara was told her life expectancy was 30. She's now 51 and living life to the fullest. Learn more about her inspiring story and what being beautiful over 50 means to her.
Try the products below to get Barbara's gorgeous winter beauty look:
Hoping to bring your beloved furry companion into the United States for a work trip or vacation? The guidelines are pretty straightforward. Just make sure your paperwork is in order, or your canine or feline could be denied entry or placed in quarantine.
The first step to a smooth trip is to ensure that you bring a general certificate of healthfor your pet, as it is required by many states and airlines. Click here to download the Canadian International Health Certificate. It must be printed on legal paper (8.5” x 14”) and must be completed by a veterinarian in Canada and then endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There will be a fee for the service.
If your pet appears sick on the date of travel, border officials may deny her entrance to the U.S. or may require her to be examined by a veterinarian at your expense.
Dogs: The biggest concern for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the transmission of rabies, so you must bring proof that your dog has been vaccinated. If your pet is a puppy or is receiving the vaccine for the first time, she must be vaccinated at least 30 days prior to entry to the United States. If she is over 15 months old and is up to date on her boosters, she can enter the country without waiting 30 days.
Your valid rabies vaccination certificate must include:
1. Name and address of owner 2. Breed, sex, age, colour, markings and other identifying information for the dog 3. Date of rabies vaccination and vaccine product information 4. Date the vaccination expires 5. Name, license number, address and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination
Puppies under four months of age will be denied entry to the U.S., as they cannot be vaccinated for rabies before three months old.
Some states may require additional vaccinations, health certificates or even restrict certain breeds such as pit bulls. Check the import requirements for your destination state here.
Cats: In general, cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for entry into the United States, but some specific states do require it. To find out if your final destination requires the vaccination, click here for the contact information for the state veterinarian.
Cats arriving in Hawaii or Guam are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements. Click here for more information.
"You are what you wear." This quote holds true, at least in a social sense. Clothing may reveal your personality, your spending habits and even your type of employment. What you wear, however, represents so much more. Each garment has a story of its own, one that impacts us as consumers. Do you know how the shirt you just bought was manufactured? Have you ever questioned how much workers were paid to make it?
Today, it's becoming more and more important to choose your apparel consciously, and to make sustainable fashion choices. Fast fashion, a term describing low-cost clothing collections that are manufactured to mimic current luxury trends, is far from sustainable. The manufacturing of these garments often results in a high consumption rate of materials and the exploitation of workers who toil in mediocre conditions and receive low pay. But thankfully, more designers and clothing brands are recognizing the importance of eco-friendly and ethically made garments, and this has led to rapid growth of sustainable fashion.
Harricana: A Montreal fashion label that saves animals Sustainability is clearly on the radar in the Canadian fashion industry. Harricana, a Montreal clothing brand founded in 1993 by Mariouche Gagné, designs clothing with recycled materials such asfur, leatherand cashmere. "I decided to try fashion in a different way by using recycled or long-lasting materials as much as possible," says Gagné. "I've been doing for that 21 years now. I'm starting to recycle products that I made 21 years ago," she adds with a laugh. According to Gagné, Harricana has recycled about 100,000 fur coats and saved the lives of about a million animals.
Harricana offers made-to-measure options for its customers in addition to off-the-rack pieces. "For a lot of Canadians, fur is a legacy that's passed on from generation to generation. The later generations come to our store with an old fur and choose the products they want us to make out of it," says Gagné.
When asked about the stigma that may come with selling fur, Gagné says that Harricana pieces are well received. "Some people are conscious about fur, but they realize it's the same thing as leather—it lasts for 150 years, so it's not that bad for the environment and it's easy to recycle."
Harricana ready-to-wear clothing is already available in Canadian stores such as The Bay, Sporting Life and Simons, but Gagné has her sights on expanding to become a luxury brand. She also hopes to see increased sustainability practices across the fashion industry, through recycling materials and greater awareness of the manufacturing process. Gagné finds that due to the growth of fast fashion, it's still a challenge to buy clothing consciously. Elroy Apparel: A Vancouver-based brand with far-reaching effects Leanne McElroy, a creative director at Vancouver fashion company Elroy Apparel, takes pride in her ethically conscious company. "Strict labour policies are a key responsibility for the companies to adhere to, but the consumer also has to change their mindset around fashion for real change to occur," she says. "Fast fashion needs to take a step back and learn more about how clothes are made, who makes them and how quality is more important than quantity."
Elroy Apparel produces eco-friendly women's clothing and accessories. The company creates product samples in Vancouver, then manufactures garments in Indonesia with a team of between eight and 15 workers, using sustainable, organic and upcycled materials. McElroy worked in developing areas of Indonesia in 2009, where she established a grassroots sewing cooperative through a sustainable employment project. "Our production prices ensure that each worker gets paid well," she says. "Prices per piece are not that far off from production costs in Canada," she says. "Elroy has grown because of our quality and the way we are able to find unique fabrics in small batches."
These are only two of many Canadian designers who have embraced sustainable practices in fashion. But, we, as consumers of fashion, also have a part to play. The next time you're shopping for clothes, consider investing in garments that are eco-friendly and made ethically. What do you want your clothes to reveal about you and the world you live in?