©iStockphoto.com/WildNerdPix Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/WildNerdPix
©iStockphoto.com/WildNerdPix Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/WildNerdPix
Pull out all the stops for Santa this year, starting with a batch of cookies that are ALMOST too good to share.
For a shift from standard royal icing, we've topped these sugar cookies with marzipan, a mixture of sugar and almond paste, which is easy to roll out and adds rich flavour.
Get the recipe: Marzipan Star Cookies
Drop cookies make a fuss-free base for these delightful sandwiches, as there's no rolling out or cutting required.
Get the recipe: Minty Swirl Sandwich Cookies
A crunchy chocolate topping adds a whole new level of deliciousness to the winning combo of chocolate and peanut butter.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Crunch Cookies
A creamy, sweet and nutty filling takes these cakey chocolate cookies to a whole new level.
Get the recipe: German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Slice-and-bake cookies are great for time-pressed cooks because there's no rolling or cutting out shapes—simply form the dough into a log, chill and slice.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Almond-Slice-and-Bake 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
Store a log of this oatmeal raisin dough in your freezer so you can enjoy freshly baked cookies at a moment's notice.
Gooey marshmallows and melted dark chocolate give these soft thumbprint cookies the irresistible flavour of the classic campfire treat.
Get the recipe: S'mores Thumbprints
Sesame seeds add the perfect amount of savouriness to these otherwise sweet cookies.
Get the recipe: Apricot Sesame Thumbprints
A buttery coconut filling takes these chocolate cookies into extraordinary territory.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Almond Coconut Thumbprints
Stuffed with a creamy cookie-crumb filling, these soft chocolate cookies are a cocoa lover's dream.
Get the recipe: Cookies and Cream Sandwich Cookies
Get creative when painting the glaze onto the trees. Windswept cedars, bending pines and evergreen boughs dotted with tiny bobbles look wintry and festive.
Get the recipe: Painted Tree Cookies
No ugly sweater party is complete without these themed cookies!
Get the recipe: Ugly Sweater Cookies
These colourful wreaths may look intricate, but all you need is a piping bag with a small star tip to give them their realistic look.
Get the recipe: Festive Wreath Cookies
White sprinkles give these stockings a fluffy-trim effect.
Get the recipe: Stocking Cookies
Every bite of these easy-to-make cookies will melt in your mouth.
Get the recipe: Classic Whipped Shortbread
Two buttery chocolate chip cookie doughs—one with an extra hit of chocolate—are baked together to make these scrumptious cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone Chocolate Chip Cookies
These soft and cakey molasses cookies are rolled in coarse turbinado sugar for a pleasant crunch and an extra hit of sweetness.
Get the recipe: Big Fat Molasses Cookies
These festive drop cookies are both chewy and crisp.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies
Christmas colours add holiday flair to these giant cookies.
Get the recipe: Festive Canvas Cookies
We've added a subtle blend of spices to basic shortbread for extra festive flavour.
Get the recipe: Spiced Ombre Snowflake Cookies
These chewy, mildly spiced cookies are covered in a pretty crunchy coating. They may appear soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool.
Get the recipe: Chewy Spiced Double-Chocolate Cookies
Boost your heart health Image by: Getty Images
Heart disease is the biggest cause of death for women, but Dr. Danielle Martin from Toronto's Women's College Hospital says there are ways you can improve your heart health.
What do you think of when you hear a phrase like "women’s health"?
Many of us picture high-profile campaigns about breast and other cancers, or reproductive health issues—but, in fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over 55.
In the past, health professionals were trained to think of heart disease mainly as a men’s issue. This mentality led to gaps in awareness (when Canadian women were asked to name the greatest health problem for their gender, only 13 percent correctly answered heart disease) and treatment (after a heart attack, women are less likely to be admitted to intensive care settings and â€¨cardiac rehabilitation programs, or to receive interventions such as bypass surgery).
Today, thanks to public health campaigns and the work of advocates, there is growing awareness that heart health is a women’s issue, too.
When it comes to your heart, there is good news on two fronts.
First, you have the power to reduce your risk of a heart attack right now. Some risk factors are beyond your control, such as age, gender and family history. But there is much that you can control.
Many of the risk factors for heart attack and stroke can be reduced or even eliminated. Smoking is a big one: If you smoke, the single best thing you can do is stop. Other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, can be significantly reduced by effectively managing those chronic conditions. Management includes eating a healthful diet with lots of vegetables and minimal processed foods; exercising and keeping a healthy body weight; and, when necessary, taking medications regularly and as prescribed.
The other piece of good news is that the Canadian health-care system has made some much needed changes to the way heart health is managed. One challenge in the past was the long wait times to see a cardiac specialist. In recent years, Canada has been a world leader in improving access to cardiac care. For example, back in 1990, the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario set out to reduce wait times. It increased coordination between family doctors and cardiologists by creating a central database and an urgency rating system.
The result? 17 cardiac centres across Ontario link patients, doctors, cardiologists and hospitals. The moment a patient is referred, they are assigned a maximum safe wait time and given a tool kit of educational resources.
Since 2004, regional differences in wait times have gone down, and nearly all Ontarians waiting for heart treatment and procedures are seen within their recommended wait times.
Both at the individual level and at the systemic level, there is much we can do to reduce the risk of heart disease and promote heart health.
Celebrate New Year's Eve in style with one of these fun party themes.
Five. Four. Three. Two. One! Say goodbye to 2016 and hello to the New Year by hosting a theme party for friends and family. Whether you're looking for over-the-top fun or a more low-key celebration, the countdown to midnight will pass in a flash with these ten fun New Year's party ideas. You won't want the night to end!
1. Decade party
We may be heading into 2016, but who says we can't party like it's the '60s or '90s? Centre your New Year's party theme around your favourite decade and invite your guests to come dressed to impress for your chosen time period. If the '60s are your decade of choice, think retro, whether it be with psychedelic décor colours (think electric blue, orange, pink and purple) or food that defined the era like crescent rolls stuffed with hot dogs, also known as "Pigs in a Blanket." The possibilities are endless with every decade, so be sure to get creative no matter which nostalgic way you decide to celebrate the New Year.
2. Old Hollywood glam
Serve up some Old Hollywood glamour as you celebrate the New Year with this throwback-themed party idea. Encourage your guests to come dressed to the nines—think red-carpet-worthy gowns for the women and classic tuxes for the men. A cocktail-party setup works best for this theme, as it allows guests to mingle while they sip on drinks and munch on appetizers. For your décor, use accents in classic Old Hollywood colours like black, red and gold. Wow your guests by adding a red carpet to your front entryway and place lit candles around the party setting to create a romantic mood. Remember, it's all in the details!
3. Countdown to the End of the World
With the popularity of TV shows like The Walking Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, zombie mania doesn't seem to be letting up, so why not throw a zombie-themed End of the World party? Sarah Conley, owner and operator of Celebrations by Sarah in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, suggests inviting your guests to dress up as zombies or a character from their favourite zombie-themed show or movie. To achieve an apocalyptic atmosphere, Conley recommends staging areas of your home with overturned furniture, having almost-empty kitchen cupboards and a playing a video reel of a fake news broadcast about the rise of the zombies. "At midnight you could really freak your guests out by shutting off the power, getting a strobe light going and having zombie actors move through your space," she says. It's a fun and unforgettable way to ring in the New Year
4. Potluck party
Invite your guests to contribute to the execution of a successful New Year's party by hosting a potluck. Ask each guest to bring a savoury food dish, dessert or drink. Ensure there's a variety of things to feast on by making a list of specific items you want (keeping in mind dietary restrictions) and assigning one to each guest. It's the best way to make sure you provide options for all your guests to enjoy. These 11 potluck recipes are sure to be a hit if you're looking for recipes that make great sharing dishes. Remember to let guests know ahead of time in order to avoid duplicate or disappointing dishes. In the end, it's all about coming together and counting down to a New Year.
5. Black and gold event
Deck your home with black and gold accents to celebrate the New Year in luxe style. Start by incorporating black and gold helium balloons—they will float up to the ceiling and hang dramatically as your guests walk through your home. If you plan on having a sit-down dinner, your dinnerware should follow the same colour scheme as your theme. Adorn your table with gold candelabras and black candles to add a touch of sophistication and romance to the overall setting. Hints of gold glitter add an extra-special touch and tie the theme together. Stuck for ideas? How about edible glitter on the rim of cocktail glasses, or a DIY gold glitter ‘Cheers' garland that can be used as a backdrop for a photo station where your guests can goof around with props and capture some of these memorable moments.
6. Minute to Win It game night
Who needs to get dressed up for a night on the town when you can stay in the comforts of your home and host friends and family for a fun-filled game night inspired by the popular show Minute to Win It? "Anyone can compete at these silly, yet challenging games, so this New Year's Eve party idea would be great for families, especially those with tweens tagging along," says Conley. The challenges require supplies ranging from pencils and plastic cups, to pantyhose and cotton balls—mostly items you'd have around the house or can be easily found at your local dollar store.
7. Masquerade ball
Bring out the masks and celebrate the New Year in Venetian style with a masquerade ball. Adorn your home with table linens, pillow throws and props in jeweled-tone colours such as quartz purple, emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue. And let's not forget the most important element: the masks. Encourage your guests to come dressed the part and remind them that over-the-top masks and elaborate costumes are welcome. Create an extravagant menu made of simple foods like hors d'oeuvres and other light finger foods. Set the mood by serving champagne cocktails as your guests arrive. It also wouldn't hurt to have the Phantom of the Opera theme song playing in the background to complete the overall atmosphere as you ring in 2016.
8. Indulgence party
Say one last goodbye to those decadent foods that most people plan on giving up after New Year's with this indulgence-themed party. Are some of your guests cutting back on sugar? Dairy? Red meat? Create a dessert table with everyone's favourite treats, or serve the cheese and charcuterie platters of their dreams! The possibilities are endless with this theme, so be sure to enjoy these guilty pleasures one last time with those you love before it's time to stick to those New Year's resolutions.
9. A Downton affair
Celebrate the New Year and a new season of the popular British period drama Downton Abbey by throwing a formal dinner party based around the 1920s aesthetic of the show. To execute, Jordan Maxey and Devon Dunn of Smitten Events, a Vancouver-based event planning company, suggest you focus your attention on the details. "Think place cards, menu cards, beautiful place settings and multiple forks," says Maxey. To create the perfect table setting, check out these helpful tips on how to set your dinner table. For the menu, start your posh dinner party off with class by serving up Raw Oysters on the Half Shelf as an appetizer. For the main, this Porchetta-Style Barbecue Pork Roast is the perfect dish to serve with sophisticated cocktails like this Orange Fizz. If a formal dinner party isn't your style, an elegant tea party is another way to execute this theme. Of course, you can't forget to look the part! Invite your guests to dress up in fashions from the 1920s: flapper dresses for the women and classic and sophisticated suits for the men.
10. Colourful confetti-themed brunch
If you're not a fan of staying up late and celebrating into the night, why not host a confetti-themed New Year's Day brunch? To bring this theme to life, simply purchase ready-made confetti, or source colourful construction or scrapbook paper from your local craft store and do it yourself by cutting small circles out of the paper. Scatter confetti around your brunch table and fill clear balloons with it to create a festive atmosphere. Invite your guests to wear pastel-coloured clothing to complement your theme. Serve brunch in style by creating a buffet table filled with brunch staples like, pancakes, waffles, crepes. Let's not forget the mimosas or Caesars—it wouldn't be brunch without them!
These sweet-tangy pastries are ideal for easy holiday entertaining.
Get the recipe: Apple and Canadian Blue Cheese Tartlets with Icewine Glaze
While the dip is cooling, slice up a fresh baguette and some crudités for dipping.
Get the recipe: Bubbly Bacon and Butternut Dip
We're bringing back the cheese ball with these bite-size versions of the retro party snack.
Get the recipe: Mini Cheese Balls
This baked one-pan version of rösti is our secret to feeding a crowd without spending the evening in front of the stove.
Get the recipe: Crispy Salmon-Topped Rösti Squares
Serve these bite-size fresh mozzarella balls with toasted baguette slices.
Get the recipe: Lemon Pepper Bocconcini
Store-bought pickled beets make a super quick and tasty garnish.
Get the recipe: Smoked Cheddar Pancakes with Pickled Beets
It doesn't get more retro than cheese fondue, and this twist on the classic Swiss recipe offers a hit of Calvados at the end.
Get the recipe: Beer and Cheese Fondue Dip
Topped with crispy golden panko bread crumbs, these jalapeños are full of satisfying spicy flavour.
Get the recipe: Crispy Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeños
These cute individual-size pies are delicious served either hot, as an elegant starter with a salad, or cold, eaten out of hand with a little HP sauce.
Get the recipe: Mini Leek and Bacon Pies
Serve these veggie patties warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream or our Chunky Applesauce.
Get the recipe: Mini Potato Zucchini Latkes
Sausage rolls are a sure hit at cocktail parties.
Get the recipe: Sausage Rolls with Honey Mustard Dip
With a perfect balance of creamy, spicy, sweet and savoury, we guarantee there will be no leftovers.
Get the recipe: Savoury Cheddar Cheesecake Spread
Serve this rich, creamy spread at room temperature with crackers or toast points.
Get the recipe: Wild Mushroom Pâté
Bring a little bit of Asian flair to the dinner table with this elegant recipe for spring rolls.
Get the recipe: Shrimp Spring Rolls and Yin Yang Marinated Vegetables
Move over, plain old french fries! Try an array of root vegetables served with our Chive Mayo dip.
Get the recipe: Rainbow Root Fries with Chive Mayo
Everyone will be reaching for these tasty sliders.
Get the recipe: Lazy Cheeseburger Sliders
St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick Image by: Illustration by Jeannie Phan
What to see, do and eat in St. Andrews and the surrounding area.
1. Off Kilter Bike Tour. Take in breathtaking ocean views, learn the town's history and get some exercise as you bike to local attractions–all while wearing a custom cycling kilt. Owner Kurt Gumushel's father, a tailor, moved to St. Andrews from Turkey in the 1960s and became known for the beautiful kilts he made. He started a new trend when he made kilts for local mountain bikers a few years ago–something tourists can experience during one of Kurt's bike tours.
2. Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Centre. Art and nature are two important themes in St. Andrews and they come together in this renovated workshop/exhibition space, featuring galleries, studios for painting, printmaking, jewellery making and gorgeous view of the Bay of Fundy. Sign up for a workshop or simply tour The Water Street Gallery, which features rotating exhibitions from local artists.
3. Symbiosis Fine Art. Artist and entrepreneur Matt Watkins opened his gallery/shop four years ago and features pottery, painting, jewellery and photography created by himself and other local artists. Watkins specializes in custom jewellery (most of the jewellery in the shop is made in-house), painting, silversmithing and sculpture. (He also teaches workshops in these areas at Sunbury Shores.) Symbiosis is just one of the many beautiful boutiques along the main strip that features one-of-a-kind artwork, jewellery, gifts and more.
4. Oven Head Salmon Smokers. Debra and Joseph Thorne have owned and operated their smoked salmon business for 29 years. Specializing in smoked salmon, smoked salmon pate and smoked salmon jerky, they supply their cold-smoked salmon products to Sobeys, catering companies and local restaurants, including The Algonquin Resort. And they ship anywhere in Canada and the U.S., so if you can't make it to their shop (or if you love what you tried there), you can get it delivered straight to your front door.
5. Ossie’s Lunch. Established in 1957, this retro roadside stop offers an extensive menu featuring all the local delicacies, including fried oyster sandwiches, clams and chips and lobster rolls. Can’t choose just one? Go for the seafood platter and taste a little bit of everything.
6. New River Beach. Dip your toes in the Bay of Fundy with a stop at the scenic New River Beach Provincial Park. Boasting sandy beaches, cliffside hiking trails and tidal pools, this is a must if you're traveling during the spring or summer.