2. Mailing a letter to camp ahead of time so it arrives mid-week during your child's stay: check in with the camp administrators to make sure mail will be delivered to campers.
3. Packing a special surprise in your child's luggage: this could be a note, a funny family photo, a new book to read or something your child can share with other campers, like a few small candies.
4. Trying out some of the activities ahead of time: If your child is afraid of canoeing, take her out yourself so she can experience it for the first time with you, building her confidence. You can also look up camp songs and teach her some lyrics so she will be ready for campfire sing-a-longs.
While most camps supply meals, it is best to ask them if anything else (like bedding) might be provided. Most often, children will need to pack the following for an average weeklong overnight camp:
• Any medication your child needs, along with instructions • Emergency contact information • Sleeping bag, pillow, stuffed animal • Shampoo, soap and toiletries • Swimsuit and towel • Sunblock and bug spray • Hat and sports clothes • Band-aids (just in case) • Flashlight with extra batteries • A book, small game or deck of cards • Rain gear • T-shirts • Shorts • Pants • Sweatshirt • Undergarments, socks • Pajamas • Sun hat, sunglasses • Water bottle • A journal or plain paper and addressed, stamped envelopes to write home
Finally, don't forget to send them off with excitement and hope -- the more appealing you make the camp sound, the more eager they'll be to leave Mom and Dad behind. Page 1 of 1
1. Honey-Caramel Apple Bundt Cake (Pictured above) Be sure to use in-season apples that are firm, sweet and somewhat tart. The cake alone is dairy-free. If you're making this for a kosher meal or for someone with a dairy intolerance, drizzle the cake with warmed honey rather than the honey caramel sauce.
2.Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake A double dose of chocolate gives this cake its rich flavour. Greasing your pan with butter and then dusting with flour is a foolproof way to ensure your cake comes out easily.
3.Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake This yummy pumpkin Bundt cake features flavourful pumpkin. Give it a try at your next dinner party.
9.Maple-Glazed Doughnut Bundt Cake (pictured above) This moist cake tastes like a blend of two of our country's most-loved doughnut flavours: sour cream and maple-glazed.
10.Hot Fudge Banana Bundt Cake Flavourful swirls of chocolate in the middle of a classic favourite that's baked then bathed ia a warm fudgy sauce guarantee its irresistible popularity for Hanukkah or any other special occasion.
You've spent all afternoon baking a cake only to have the centre cave in. Or perhaps it didn’t rise to begin with, and now you have a dense, stodgy brick. Here are the four main reasons why that’s happening and how to prevent it.
1) Your leavener is expired. Air bubbles are essential for a cake to rise, but if your leavener is stale, the chemical reaction that causes the air bubbles to form will never happen, leaving your cake dense, gummy, and flat. Before setting out to make any baked good, it’s smart to check your baking powder or baking soda for freshness, especially if you don’t bake very often.
To test baking powder for freshness, mix a small spoonful with a little boiling water. It should bubble and fizz vigorously. To see what that looks like, click here.
To test baking sodafor freshness, mix a small spoonful with a splash of vinegar. The same fizzy reaction should happen. If they don’t fizz, toss them out and buy fresh containers. 2) Your eggs are too cold. Eggs are a key ingredient when it comes to incorporating air into a batter, and room-temperature eggs will whip up far more readily than cold ones. In fact, in all our Canadian Living baking recipes, we assume all eggs are used at room temperature.
Before you start making a recipe, be sure to take your eggs out of the fridge first and let them stand while you collect all your other ingredients (30 minutes is usually long enough, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
In a pinch, place your eggs in a bowl and pour very warm water over them to cover. Let stand until the eggs are no longer cold to the touch, about 5 minutes.
Pro tip: If your recipe calls for the eggs to be separated, do it while they're still cold and then let the yolks and whites stand separately at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before using. The membranes of a room-temperature egg are much more delicate than a cold one, so you’re way less likely to break the yolk if you separate them while they're still cold.
3) You under-baked the cake, or peeked while it was baking. That old adage about not making any loud noises while a cake is baking is true! The structure of a half-baked cake is very delicate and anything from a loud noise to a drastic drop in temperature (i.e. opening the oven door to peek) can cause it to fall.
It’s easy to tell if a cake is under-baked: If it’s high and fluffy around the edges, but fallen, dense and gummy in the centre, it needed more time. To avoid under-baking your cake, check it for doneness no sooner than 5 minutes before it’s supposed to be done. To do so, insert a cake tester in the centre—it should come out clean. You can also gently tap the top with your finger. If it feels firm and springs back, it's ready. Pro tip: Unless directed, don’t try to remove a cake from the tin straight out of the oven — it can sometimes be a bit too delicate at this stage. Let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it directly to a rack to cool completely.
4) There isn’t enough flour in your recipe. This one is a bit trickier and only really happens when you’re adapting another recipe or playing around with recipe development.
A cake relies heavily on protein—in eggs and flour—to maintain its structure. The protein in flour is called gluten. Gluten is a bit of a four-letter word lately, but it serves an important purpose: over-develop gluten and you’ll end up with a doorstop; avoid it entirely and your cake will likely fall.
If you don't have enough flour in a recipe, there won't be a strong enough foundation to allow for proper expansion and the cake will collapse. You’ll notice gluten-free and flourless cakes are often sunken in the centre, and that's why.
If you're trying out your own cake recipe and the texture is gummy, or the centre is fallen no matter how long you bake it, try increasing the flour by a tablespoon or two until you get the desired consistency.
Remember that a sunken cake isn't the end of the world. Most of the time, it will still be delicious and you can cover up that fallen centre by piling it with some creative toppings, like whipped cream or sweetened mascarpone and fresh fruit.
The important part is to get into the kitchen and have fun! Everyone will love your efforts, regardless.
For a collection of 25 Tested-Till-Perfect chocolate cakes and cupcakes, click here!
Good news for chocolate lovers: You don't need to feel bad about indulging in your guilty pleasure.
Chocolate should no longer be deemed a "guilty" pleasure because, it's true, eating chocolate has health-boosting benefits. Yes—adding a little bit of dark chocolate to your daily diet can actually help improve your health. Here's how.
1. Chocolate can improve your mental performance
A team of researchers looked at recent data from almost 1,000 participants and found that those who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on cognitive tasks than those who ate chocolate less frequently. But watch out—eating too much chocolate (unfortunately, there is such thing) can cause high levels of cholesterol.
3. Chocolate improves your mood
Tryptophan, a plentiful amino acid that is found in chocolate, can help with depression or improving your mood in general according to this study. Chocolate even contains a "love chemical" (phenylethylamine), which can spike dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.
4. Chocolate improves vision
Chocolate's ability to improve vision is closely related to the way it improves blood flow. The flavanols that lower your bad cholesterol and blood pressure also protect the blood vessels in your eyes.
5. Chocolate prevents memory decline Scientists found a sweet way for older people to ward off memory loss and dementia: a dairy-based drink mix filled with cocoa flavanols. When consumed regularly, the mix promotes memory and learning by keeping the blood flowing in working areas of the brain.
6. Chocolate can help with weight loss
If you're having a hard time cutting sweets out of your diet, the good news is you can keep a little dark chocolate around. A recent study found that consuming dark chocolate lowers the desire to eat something sweet, salty or fatty. Indulging in a small amount of dark chocolate—not milk chocolate—every now and then should make it a little easier to stick to your diet.
Everyone should be able to eat chocolate cake. A few simple substitutions is all it takes to make our classic recipe free of dairy, gluten, eggs, white sugar and vegetable oil, without sacrificing the intense chocolaty taste and moist, fluffy texture you've come to love.
Image by: Canadian Living
By: Amanda Barnier andThe Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Source: Jodi Pudge
6 delicious chocolate recipes
The Ultimate Banana Bread
The aroma of baking banana bread is enough to drive just about anyone wild with anticipation. Our best version—made using the surprising (and mysteriously effective) technique of "marinating" the bananas in a buttermilk and baking soda blend—delivers on all counts. It's moist, buttery, sweet and chockfull of banana flavour. Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Banana Bread
Image by: Canadian Living
By: Adell Shneer and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Source: Leila Ashtari
6 delicious chocolate recipes
Dark Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones
This dark chocolate and tart cherry bits in these scones eliminate the need for any jam or topping. This is a terrific snack to grab for mornings on the go, or to pack for a long car ride to Grandma's house. Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones
Image by: Canadian Living
By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Source: Jeff Coulson/TC Media
6 delicious chocolate recipes
Chewy Quinoa Bars
These nut-free treats are chewy and packed with flavour, thanks to the tasty fruit and toasted quinor, which also add fibre and protein to stave off hunger. Pack one in your knapsack for snack emergenices! Get the recipe: Chewy Quinoa Bars
We polled family doctors from across the country, and they laid down the law on eight things they wish we'd do—or stop doing.
According to our panel of general practitioners, Canadians aren't always doing what they should to make the most of doctor visits—and skipping out on these crucial tactics could lead to a delay in diagnosing serious conditions. Here's what our experts say you should add to your patient checklist.
1. Stop feeling shy
Many of us hesitate to talk to our physicians about sensitive issues (think substance abuse or sexual health—or even gender identity). But honesty and openness are important, both for fostering a good doctor-patient relationship and for ensuring that you get the best care, says Dr. Laura Pripstein, medical director of the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto and a staff physician on the family health team. That's why it's OK to try out a doc before committing. Dr. Pripstein recommends booking an initial visit to see if your potential doctor is a good fit. "You want to see if this person seems like someone you can talk to, someone you feel comfortable with," she says. And if you don't think your doctor understands or respects your concerns, don't be afraid to find someone new. "If you feel you can't ask questions that might be embarrassing, you don't have the right provider," says Dr. Pripstein.
2. Don't come to your appointments unprepared
Get the most out of your time—and your doc's—by arriving at your appointment with a clear plan for what you want to discuss, says Dr. David Ross, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "It's good to have patients think about their problems from when the issue began, then look at it chronologically to the present," says Dr. Ross. Making a prioritized point-form list in advance helps ensure that you don't forget anything or mix up the order of events, he says. Then, work with your doctor to address the most serious issues first.
3. Choose your family doc over the walk-in clinic whenever you can
Yes, a clinic is convenient, but what we gain in easy access, we lose in familiarity. "I think it's really valuable if people can connect with a family physician who they'll be able to see long term, rather than just looking for the quickest way to access care," says Dr. Maurianne Reade, a physician with the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team in Mindemoya and M'Chigeeng First Nation, Ont. A family doctor will know your medical history and will keep it in mind when suggesting treatment—so, for example, if you've recently taken several courses of antibiotics for a UTI, your physician will likely look for a different course of action if you come in with another infection. According to the most recent statistics, about 4.5 million Canadians don't have a regular family doctor. If that's you, contact your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, or check to see if your region has an online registry (Ontario has Health Care Connect, while Quebec launched a web-based family doctor finder last year). "It's important to know that we doctors are privileged to share in your stories and to help you through difficult times," says Dr. Reade.
4. Share what's happening in your life
There's a reason your doctor wants to know where you're working, if you're dating and how the kids are—and it's not just because she likes you. (Though she does, we're sure.) Physicians need a picture of their patients' lives beyond their specific health symptoms and conditions, especially when they're first getting to know you, says Dr. Stephen Wetmore, the family medicine chair at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in London, Ont. "Doctors need to know these things to understand how your lifestyle and habits may be influencing your health," he says. So when you're talking about your exercise habits, your health history and whether you smoke, drink or use drugs, mention your employment status, family obligations and intimate relationships, too, says Dr. Wetmore.
5. Be a better googler
Doctors know you do it (hello, late-night web searches), but they would prefer you to ask about good sources of information, rather than going rogue online. They also want you to be honest about your fears if you've read something particularly upsetting. Physicians can't address your concerns or point you in the right direction if they don't know what your fingertips have been up to. "The thing we want our patients to do is ask us for the most reliable Canadian websites to go to as resources," says Dr. Heather Waters, an assistant professor of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.
6. Don't think your symptoms are "no big deal"
If you've noticed you are having more headaches than usual or are sleeping more or are eating less, you might not think to tell your doctor—but you should. There's no set of rules for determining which symptoms are worthy of investigation or discussion, says Dr. Wetmore, but make a note to mention anything that is new or has changed since your last appointment. "You should bring up things like sudden weight loss or fatigue that seems excessive," he says. "It could be a sign of a larger problem, or the cause of a developing problem." Evenif it doesn't end up being serious, seeing your doctor will help ease any anxiety you might be feeling, and that's worth the visit, too.
7. Talk about what you're taking
Tell your physician about any herbal medications and alternative treatments you take, says Dr. Mel Borins, a University of Toronto associate professor and author of A Doctor's Guide to Alternative Medicine: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why. It's important for patients to share what's working for them and for doctors to be open-minded about therapies outside their own practice or traditions, he says. This is also a concern when it comes to conventional meds, especially if you're pregnant; there are only 23 medications specifically approved for use during pregnancy— yes, out of every available drug—which can leave women feeling anxious about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs when they're expecting, says Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bridgewater, N.S. But don't stop taking your meds as soon as your pregnancy test comes back positive. "It's really important to talk to your doctor instead of stopping cold turkey," says Dr. MacQuarrie. Physicians can help you determine the risks and benefits of using different drugs, and they can let you know when the effects of not taking a medication while pregnant may be worse than taking it— which is the case with some antidepressants.
8. Avoid diagnosing yourself
You know doctors don't like it when you come in prepared with a diagnosis you've made thanks to the aforementioned Dr. Google. But do you know why? It's not because they think you're encroaching on their territory! Rather, they worry that a serious medical problem might get missed or you'll cause yourself unnecessary anxiety over something not serious. That's because not everyone has the most common symptoms of a particular condition. Plus, men, women and different ethnicities can have varying symptoms for the same problem. For instance, Dr. Reade's community has a large proportion of people with diabetes, which can affect the warning signs of cardiac disease, a major killer in Canada. Instead of the usual pain or pressure on the left side of the chest or arm, men and women with diabetes may instead have spells of profuse sweating with weakness. And, of course, women who don't have diabetes can have differing symptoms, too; sometimes, a heart attack can feel like acid reflux or come with sudden nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. So always tell your physician if your symptoms are surprising or strange—like a headache that feels different than usual, for example. And if you're worried about a specific diagnosis, be sure to bring that up, too.
While every Canadian faces his or her own unique set of health hurdles, there are a number of ailments that have become pervasive in Canada. Though medicine has advanced over the years, our modern lifestyles have introduced a new set of health challenges. Here are some of the top health problems that Canadians face today.