Saturday, 29 June 2013

Enjoy Your Long Weekend



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Friday, 28 June 2013

Chard Rolls


I looked at the recipe from the Eating Well website and changed it up. This turned out to be a great meal, and easy to make. I was wanting something with pasta sauce, but didn't want the pasta. This was a great solution.



*1 pound lean ground beef or ground pork
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1 medium shallot, minced, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
8 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed
Approx. 14 oz vegetable broth (I used my homemade broth)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Garlic squeezed from one roasted garlic (I roast several a week and keep them in the fridge)
Handful of fresh herbs (I used parsley, chives, basil and oregano) from my herb garden



**1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix beef or pork, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon shallot, roasted garlic, fresh herbs chopped, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until combined.


Remove the stem and thick inside portion of chard. Take a small handful of the meat mixture and place in the center of the chard. Tightly roll the chard around the beef. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet. Heat, and place each roll, seam-side down, in a large skillet. Pour in broth, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook for about 25 minutes. Add more broth as necessary for the first 15 minutes. Discard any remaining broth, but if you are paying attention, broth should be reduced to a small reduction.

While chard rolls are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot, small handful of fresh herbs, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 8 minutes. Add sea salt to taste. Serve the chard rolls topped with sauce and Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Tips & Notes:

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the chard rolls in the sauce; reheat in a covered baking dish at 350°F for about 10 minutes.

Tip: Remove chard stems, including the widest section of the rib at the base of the leaf, by making narrow triangular cuts.


*I buy more pork from Valleyfield Farm Local 638



Martti & Melanie Lemieux from Echo Bay: produce, grass-fed lamb and beef, pastured pork and poultry, eggs and baking. They are at the farmers market in Sault Ste Marie every Saturday morning.


**I use EDEN canned tomatoes. They are organic and the cans are BPA free. (I rarely use anything canned, but these are not too bad at all.

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Front Hall Organization




If first impressions mean everything, then making certain your entryway is neat, tidy, organized and inviting is a very good idea!  Smart storage solutions will help sell your home too - and a lick of fresh paint.

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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Industrial Building Possibilities


Have you ever considered a different kind of home?  The ideas are endless (within correct zoning approvals). Have a look inside.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Scallops with Rice






6 Wild Scallops (not farmed)

5 cloves Roasted garlic
Olive oil
½ tablespoon butter (Organic is best)
1/3 cup Coconut water
Sea Salt, Pepper to taste
Drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon)
2 tablespoons Tamitillo Salsa (I used President’s Choice)
1 tablespoon Mrs Renfro’s Pomegranate Salsa (Any fruit based salsa would work)

Cook garlic in butter for a minute or two. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil. Add Scallops. Add a little salt and pepper. Pour in ½ of the Coconut Water. Let scallops cook several minutes, gently turning. Add more coconut water as needed. Add the Tamitillo Salsa and let continue to cook until scallops are done. You should have a nice reduction sauce with the garlic, oil and salsa.
Serve over a bed of dirty rice. Add a tablespoon of fruit salsa.
I served this with roasted asparagus and a salad.

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Secret Garden Retreats



Today's home owners are extending their square footage to the outdoors.  Another trend I'm seeing is fully walled (brick?) secret spaces.  I imagine the candlelit evenings entertaining on hot summer nights. Amazing.



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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Summer On The Porch


It's finally time to be on the porch; decorating it - hosting friends, unwinding.  There are so many homes with lovely porches. (Are you looking?)  I would also like to invite you to check out my pinboards. Lot's of inspiration there. 


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Monday, 24 June 2013

Kitchen Knives


Kitchens are the heart of most homes.  A kitchen can make or break a sale. Buyers love to be happy with their new kitchen.  Do you have a kitchen that 'shows' well?  Part of my professional service, I happily stage your kitchen for you!

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

5 Lovely Ways to Use Lavender in Your Home


Wanted to share a terrific article with you - all about lavender. 

You may also enjoy these articles on 

and



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Thursday, 20 June 2013

12 Smart Tips for Hosting a Successful Yard Sale






I really enjoyed this Country Living article on how to 'stage' a profitable yard sale. You might too. Go here.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Honey Mustard Chicken



8 free range chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)

*3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
*1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons raw honey
Sea salt and pepper to taste









Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper to chicken thighs. Mix together mustard, olive oil and honey in small bowl. Spread over chicken. Bake about 45 minutes or until chicken is 180 degrees on meat thermometer. 
I used my Pampered Chef Clay Baker to make this. It cooks beautiful and clean up is a snap.

I served this with:

½ butternut squash cubed
3 parsnips sliced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper





Peel the squash, cube, scrub parsnips slice. Toss in a bowl, mix with maple syrup, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (add to oven half way through cooking the chicken.
(this was a great way for me to use up veggies that were in the fridge. 
I baked mine on my Pampered Chef Pizza Tray.

Add a nice salad with romaine, kale, spinach, endive and whatever ingredients you have in your fridge. It only takes a minute to throw together a nice, healthy dressing. 

I used the juice of ½ orange, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil**, 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar and some fresh herbs.


* I used Savvy Chef Apple Mustard purchased from The Country Way in Sault Ste Marie
**I used Maura Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Sarafino purchased from The Country Way in Sault Ste Marie


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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Online tool lets you 'try on' stylish door hardware


(NC)—The fine-tuning of fixtures and features tends to make a house stand out in a crowd. Better still a few targeted upgrades also have the ability to add thousands of dollars to the resale value.
So what features deliver the biggest bang for the buck? If you start, experts say, with upgrading the hardware on all entry doors, you will get two necessities for the price of one: home security and good looks. Once the exterior doors are perfected, you can turn your attention to d├ęcor appeal and consistency on the inside.
The choices are dazzling, but numerous, so do let digital technology save you some time. To readily find the style, colour, finish, plus the security features you like best, take a look at the Design Centre tab on the Schlage website (consumer.schlage.com), a leading brand in this field.
Since homeowner needs are never exactly alike, the Design Centre menus help the viewer to pinpoint their own objectives. For example, you may place more importance on function and security, rather than looks. Others may want both equally, but can't decide the right colour and finish. Many homeowners want to know how to choose between knobs and levers and handlesets – and others only want to know about the latest innovation, like an actual alarm built into the lock.
Use the Style Selector tool to show you all the choices – and even better, how each one will look in different rooms and on a variety of door styles.
For example, do you want levers on bathroom doors, or knobs? Will that choice look different on doors with a glass inset, or with recessed panels? What colour and finish would be best in the main hallway? A few clicks on the Style Selector will let you try on all the choices until you decide.

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Monday, 17 June 2013

Marsala Pork Chops


This was so easy to make. I didn’t really measure anything, so I am estimating what I used.
2 Naturally raised, pork chops

2 tsp Coconut oil

Sea Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup Marsala wine
2 handfuls organic mushrooms sliced

Brown the chops in coconut oil. (about 3 min each side) Add a pinch of Salt and pepper. Add about ¼ cup Marsala wine, cook about 2 min. Add organic mushrooms, and a bit more wine if it looks like it is drying. Cover and let cook for about 5 min, then remove lid and let sauce cook into a nice reduction.

I served this with roasted butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower.

Turn on oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the squash, toss with a tad of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Roast 5 minutes in oven. Meanwhile, cut up broccoli and cauliflower. Toss with a tad of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Add to baking try with squash. Cook for about 10 min. Remember to always use good quality olive oil. Most grocery store brands are not good. (Read my Tip #2 about this)
I also made a salad – Romaine, spinach, kale (massaged with olive oil), orange pepper.


Dressing: 

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt, pepper and a variety of fresh herbs.



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Prefab Outbuildings



Need a little more space for a home office? Consider building it from a kit on your property. Don't have a big enough yard and looking to 'Buy and Sell'?  I can help. 

As you research prefab outbuildings, remember to first investigate local municipal building codes governing construction on your property. For starters, you will need to pour a foundation. You will also want to bring electricity to the pad and maybe even water. 
Have a peek at my pinboard featuring some amazing outbuildings! 

More details for Sault Ste. Marie region.

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Friday, 14 June 2013

NXNE Toronto




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Summer Porch Sleeping Porch






How nostalgic and familiar looking!  Do you have memories of summer rooms like these?  Are you looking for the perfect property to do this?

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Majority of Canadians believe parks and green spaces are vital to their families



(NC)—Whether it is a place to meet, connect with the community or just somewhere to spend time with family and friends, Canadians truly see the significance of green spaces. A recent survey conducted by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) revealed that 87% of Canadians believe a reduction of green spaces would be a detriment to their children and community. And, while Canadians and their families express a fondness for green spaces in their community, 68% of Canadians fear these spaces may be lost.
“It's evident that a loss of green space will impact our current and future generations and at TD FEF we continue to support thousands of grassroots environmental projects to help Canadians have a greener community. And the great news is that the majority of Canadians (73%) believe they have the ability to contribute to a greener community,” says Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD FEF. “There are many ways that Canadians can get involved in greening their communities including volunteering with local environmental groups, becoming a neighbourhood gardener or even organizing a group for a summer cleanup to help tidy up local parks, creeks and other areas.”
Over 80% of Canadians also stated that they want to see more funding go towards maintaining natural spaces – and through TD FEF, Canadians can help support local environmental projects in their community, including environmental education or urban greening projects. “TD FEF has been funding environmental initiatives across Canada for over 20 years, and all donations made to TD FEF stay in the local community where donations are received, however, Canadians can also make a difference by simply planting native shrubs, plants or trees in their own backyard.” For more information about TD FEF and to see if a local greening project in your community might qualify for funding, visit www.tdfef.com.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Getting your green thumb – safely


(NC)—Gardening can be a fun family activity. In the warmest months of the year, many of us head outdoors to tackle home improvement projects and get our hands dirty in the garden. It's important to make safety a top priority before you put your shovel in the ground.
Know what's below
Whether you are planting trees or designing a new garden, it's important to call before you dig There could be utility lines or natural gas pipes buried beneath your lawn and it's the law in Ontario to determine their location before you start digging. Contact Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or www.on1call.com, at least one week in advance. They will coordinate with member utilities to locate underground lines, mark them, and leave a locate sheet providing instructions on how to proceed safely. This is a free service.
Planting trees
Trees offer many benefits for your home and for your neighbourhood. Privacy, cleaner air, shade, and habitats for wildlife are all benefits that can be enjoyed by planting trees on your property. Trees can also add to the curb appeal of your house, and even help reduce energy costs. As Enbridge Gas Distribution suggests, planting evergreen trees on the north and east sides can protect your home against winds and help reduce heating costs. Planting deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the fall) on the south and west sides of a home can provide shade and help to lower air conditioning costs during the summer months.
Be mindful of the meter
When planning new gardens, or planting trees, be aware of your natural gas meter. Try to keep gardens and trees away from your meter to allow workers access if they need to read or work on your meter. More tips are available online at www.enbridgegas.com/safety.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

New Heritage Discovery Centre Approved








(Sault Ste. Marie, ON) It is with great pleasure that the Historic Sites Board of Sault Ste. Marie announces 
it has received the necessary funding and City Council approval to proceed with the construction of a 
new Heritage Discovery Centre at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site (ECNHS). Construction 
will include the expansion and modernisation of the Site to allow for year-round educational 
programming and increased exhibition and interpretative space. 

Funding for this project is generously supported by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, NOHFC, and the 
City of Sault Ste. Marie. The $4 million combined contribution constitutes the largest single investment 
in the Site’s history since it opened its doors to the public in 1970.

“Our mandate is to protect, promote, interpret and recognize the importance of investing in our culture 
and heritage, so we require a facility that attract tourists, students and can accommodate various 
program demands,” said Kathy Yukich, Chair, Historic Sites board. “The Heritage Discovery Centre will 
provide the community with a state of the art, accessible facility that serves to interpret the rich 
heritage of the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site.” 

The Centre will include: a new exhibition gallery, an 1812 gallery, a multimedia theatre, expanded gift 
shop and an environmentally controlled storage space for its permanent collection. Improved 
administrative space and flexible learning spaces will be constructed to accommodate program growth. 
The installation of specialized equipment and renovations to the current Site will enable the expansion 
of the existing summer kitchen.

“The Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site plays an important role in our community’s 
understanding of Canada as a whole. The creation of the Heritage Discovery Centre will be a reminder of 
defining moments in our history and illustrate a rich cultural tradition that lies at the heart of our great 
city. The Centre will enable the continued protection of years of history and nation building,” notes Sault 
Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso. “Thank you to the Historic Sites Board for their continuous efforts in 
moving this project forward. I’d also like to extend appreciation to the federal and provincial levels of 
government for generously contributing to the transformation of the Ermatinger Clergue National 
Historic Site.”

For more information, contact:
Community Services Department
City of Sault Ste. Marie
705-759-5310
n.apostle@cityssm.on.ca


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Photo Source: Google

Monday, 10 June 2013

Ginger Peach Glazed Turkey Cutlets

Ginger Peach Glazed Turkey Cutlets
This recipe was in the June 2013 issue of Oprah Magazine. I didn’t use quite as much honey as the recipe calls for – I have adjusted it here.
Hint – Prepare this and let marinate overnight or all day. The taste will really come through that way.





(I used organic ingredients and free range turkey)

2 medium ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp raw honey
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
½ tsp sea salt divided
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 turkey cutlets (about 6 oz each)
1 tbsp Olve Oil
1 tbsp minced chives

In food processor combine peaches, honey, ginger ½ salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup puree for glazing. Transfer remainder to a large shallow dish. Add cutlets to dish and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill to high. When hot, oil the grates. Remove cutlets from Marinade, letting excess trip off. Season with remaining salts. Grill over high heat until marks appear, flip and cook until done (this won’t take long)

Spread reserved puree on each cutlet and flip again. Transfer to plates and garnish with chives.

I served with vegetables I had in the fridge that needed to get used:
Roasted Veggies:
2 parsnips, julienned 

3 carrots, julienned
Mushrooms
Roasted red pepper
8 cloves of garlic

Place in bowl. Squeeze roasted garlic (I usually have this in the fridge – I make about 4 heads at a time and leave in fridge). Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and some fresh herbs. 

Roast for 20 min at 400. Delicious.


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Friday, 7 June 2013

Secure your home effectively when you go on vacation


(NC)—Vacations are one of the best parts of summer and nothing is worse than returning home to see your house was broken into while you were away.
“Losses due to burglary or theft are one of the most common types of home insurance claims,” says John Jenner, vice-president of marketing and communications at Western Financial Group. “Homeowners can greatly reduce the chances of being targeted by a thief if they take precautions before leaving, such as making the house look lived in and protected.”
Jenner suggests the following guideline:
• Ask someone to check your property when you're away. Have them take mail inside and mow the lawn. Make sure they know how to reach you if they do find something out of the ordinary.
• Put your lights and even the stereo or TV on timers. Lights turning on and off at different times in the day will fool anyone watching into thinking there is someone inside.
• Consider installing motion lights, an alarm system and sturdy deadbolts and window latches. A well-lit and protected-looking house will dissuade would-be burglars.
• Don't tell people you don't trust you're leaving. That includes putting a note on the door for deliverymen, leaving a phone message saying you're way, and talking about your vacation to people you don't know well.
“It is also important for homeowners to tell their insurance company if they're going to be away for an extended period of time,” adds Jenner. “Homeowners are also advised to keep an inventory of their possessions in case the worst happens and they do have to make a claim.”
More information is available online at www.westernfinancialgroup.ca.

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tip of The Week #3

Help! 
I want to start this clean eating thing I keep hearing about. I know it is a healthy lifestyle. I do believe that good, proper nutrition cannot be found in processed foods, but I don’t have time to cook all the time. It also costs so much money. I just can’t afford it.
Does this sound like you?
Here are some ideas that may help you. I also went through the same feelings and thought process.
Avoid grocery shopping on the weekends. Stores are the busy, check out line ups longer. The longer you are in the store the more $ you will spend. Shop mid week. Just rework your schedule a bit to make this happen.

Have your vegetables washed and ready. When you come home from the store take a few extra minutes to wash your veggies, make some carrot sticks, celery sticks and whatever else will be good ‘grab and go’ veggies. If you buy something like asparagus, wash it cut it for later in the week and store in a bag. 
When you come home from a busy day at work, if all you have to do is open the fridge, take the food out and cook you will save tons of time and this will save you from resorting to the old ways of taking a pre cooked, processed meal out of the freezer. That meal will be full of sodium, fats, artificial flavour enhancers and colours. Not so good for you.









Have your fruit washed and ready to go. You will be more inclined to grab that as a snack if it is ready to go.
On the weekends, make more than one meal of what you cook. Put it in a glass container, label and freeze. Then when you know you will be really rushed after work, you can put it in the fridge in the morning and it will be ready to reheat when you get home.

I will have tons more tips in the weeks ahead. Step by step, we will get healthy together.








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