Get ready, set, relaunch! Redesigning and relaunching a magazine such as Canadian Living is a wonderful endeavour. It's also a lot of hard work, but the changes we made with the September issue have been worth it. And that's because you, our fabulous readers, are worth it. We asked what you liked, what you didn't like, and what changes you'd like to see in our magazine and on our web site. We hope you are happy with the results. We felt our redesigned magazine was something to celebrate – so that's just what we did. A couple weeks ago we threw a special dinner party for select friends and associates of Canadian Living. We came together on a crisp fall evening to spend time together, to acknowledge and honour some people who helped make this redesign possible. Of course, the best ingredients for a great party: good food, good chat, good wine and good laughs among good friends – just the way you throw a party at your house!
Good Friends Approximately 40 special guests gathered in a historic church building in downtown Toronto. Partygoers mingled with popular TV host Marilyn Denis, Free the Children cofounder Marc Kielburger and Free the Children Creative and Communications Director Sapna Goel, Canadian Living Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Reynolds, Vice-president and Group Publisher Caroline Andrews and Canadian Living Food Director Annabelle Waugh, among others. [caption id="attachment_16012" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Marilyn Denis (R) with Michelle Crespi, Executive Producer of The Marilyn Denis Show[/caption]
•••[caption id="attachment_16013" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Free the Children team members Marc Kielburger, Sapna Goel and Canadian Living Publisher Caroline Andrews[/caption]
•••Good Food What else could we serve our guests but food from Canadian Living. That's where our amazing Food Director Annabelle Waugh got creative. "The menu was largely based on recipes from our " 30 Meals in 30 Days" feature from our September issue, with some complementary additions from the talented folks at Deelicious Catering. The desserts were from our apple feature from the same issue." So Annabelle's guiding culinary principles for the night:
Choosing a menu for the relaunch dinner was a fun challenge because we were taking these quick and easy weeknight meals and turning them into a fine dining experience. But it was easier than I thought. The food we created for that issue may have been simple, but it was scratch cooking, using real ingredients, which is how we do things in the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. The recipes were modern and eclectic, but ultimately, very Canadian. It was the exact type of food that I would have cooked in a restaurant, frankly. It was also served family-style -- where guests share from large platters, rather than being served individual plates -- which really reinforced our philosophy that food is the ultimate way to connect with family and friends. The menu ended up being quite sophisticated once served in that gorgeous setting with some elegant design elements from Canadian Living Homes & Garden Director Brett Walther. The table settings were made even more beautiful by the custom-made tablecloths and runners from Tonic Living .
•••[caption id="attachment_16022" align="aligncenter" width="278"] Canadian Living Editor-in-chief Jennifer Reynolds welcomes guests to an incredible dinner inspired by recipes featured in Canadian Living.[/caption]
•••Good wine For the wine pairings served throughout the evening, guests were treated to some excellent wines from E. & J. Gallo winery. Sommelier Courtney Henderson did a table-side presentation and shared her expert tips for choosing the best wines to go with the evening's mouth-watering menu. Good (Great!) Take-home Gifts Not only were the guests treated to a lovely dinner party, but each guest was surprised at the end of the evening with a gift package that included two Canadian Living cookbooks, a Canadian Living apron, a bottle of either Mirassou Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio from E. & J. Gallo Winery, and, because they're all the rage these days amongst foodies and home entertainers, a top-of-the-line soda stream machine from SodaStream. We welcome you to check out our photo gallery on Facebook for a more detailed peek at our Relaunch Party!