Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • Put a stick in it: Celebrating ‘Something On a Stick’ Day

    We already celebrated Waffle Day this week. Now it’s time to embrace food on a stick!

    March 28th is Something On a Stick Day.

    To participate, the rules are simple: eat food off a stick.

    We’ve rounded up a few fun ideas outside of the obvious: popsicles, lollipops, candy apples, barbecued kebabs and corndogs.

    When in doubt, serve fondue. For dinner and dessert.

    Breakfast:

    Courtesy Circle of Moms/PopsugarCourtesy Circle of Moms/Popsugar
    Stuffed Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam French Toast

    What’s better than French toast? Mini French toast on a stick — with strawberries. Even picky eaters will fall for this sweet breakfast.

    For a healthier alternative, try this Breakfast Date Bread On a Stick recipe from Super Healthy Kids.

    Breakfast Quiche Kebabs

    Courtesy Big Red KitchenCourtesy Big Red Kitchen

    Prefer a more savoury start to the day? Skewer mini quiches and chunks of kielbasa on a stick and — voila! — breakfast is ready. (Bonus, this is a one-bowl, one-pan recipe. Easy cleanup.)

    Lunch:

    Pizza Skewers with Garlic Dipping Sauce

    Courtesy Baked BreeCourtesy Baked Bree

    This recipe found on Baked Bree’s blog is actually from “On a Stick!,” a

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  • New ways to cook with your waffle iron on Waffle Day

    Waffle Day is March 25.

    While it’s primarily celebrated in Sweden — apparently binging on waffles marks the beginning of spring — we’re celebrating here, too. Because we can. And because we love waffles.

    (In the U.S., National Waffle Day is August 24, marking the anniversary of the first patented waffle iron.)

    Waffles are pretty easy to make at home with an iron — and even easier to order at brunch — so we decided to seek out alternative uses for our waffle iron.

    Wanna eat “waffled” food at home all day?

    Here are some ways how:

    Breakfast:

    Eggs

    I tried this for lunch. (Breakfast should be eaten three times a day, right?)

    The simple recipe left a lot of room for play. I beat four eggs, added one minced shallot, some grated Parmesan and seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper.

    I poured the eggs onto the waffle maker at medium-high heat and waited. When I could see them get puffy, they were done. Easiest eggs ever. They tasted great, too, once I got over the expectation that they were

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  • A plus side to the cold winter? Maple syrup could actually be better

    ThinkstockThinkstock
    We had a very, very cold February. 

    But with spring finally arriving on Friday (and as we finally kind of begin to thaw), we’re left wondering: did the bitter cold hurt maple syrup production? (GASP)

    The answer is yes. And no.

    Yes, for some producers, the season is off to a slow start. But so far, they don’t seem too concerned.

    “Sometimes we have to work a little harder to get a sweeter reward. I have found in the past that maple syrup harvested slowly can be sweeter and taste better,” Fred Martin, a maple syrup producer in West Montrose, Ont., tells The Weather Network.

    Tom Shaw of Shaw’s Maple Sugar Bush in Hawkestone, Ont., tells Yahoo Canada that the freezing temperatures were actually good for the harvest:

    “Cold winters helps keeps pests in check and we like that,” he says, adding that his maple bush’s season is typically from mid-March to mid-April.

    In fact, last year’s abnormally warm spring temperatures shortened the season significantly, CTV News reports.

    The cold weather is

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  • This St. Patrick’s Day, eat Guinness — all day

    Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day. We can’t exactly drink Guinness all day — some have tried, we’re sure, but it is still a workday, people — so we’re rounding up recipes that will let us eat our favourite Irish stout all day.

    To begin, I tested this recipe from Food52:

    Garlic, Parmesan and Herb Beer Bread

    Courtesy Nadine KalinauskasCourtesy Nadine Kalinauskas

    It was almost too simple. And most people will have all the ingredients on hand. (You can use any beer, at any temperature, just as long as it’s still carbonated.)

    I followed the recipe as written — I included the optional sugar — popped the thick batter into the oven for 50 minutes and…voila!

    The verdict: sweet, garlicky perfection. (Not appropriate for date night with a vampire. There’s a whole head of raw garlic in there.) Would likely be best served with soup, stew or chili.

    It will be made again and again. Regardless of calendar date.

    Not a fan of garlic? There are a few ways to use Guinness in your bread-making.

    There’s this popular oats-and-buttermilk Guinness Bread recipe from

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  • Baking a pie for Pi Day

    All photos courtesy Nadine KalinauskasAll photos courtesy Nadine Kalinauskas
    I am not a pie baker. In fact, until this week, I had made exactly one pie in my life (unless you count this cake-mix pie). My first pie turned out well. And then I quit while I was ahead. 

    But in honour of Pi Day (3/14/15), I thought I’d give pie-baking another go. 

    Before I dove in, I asked Kyla Eaglesham, pastry chef and owner of Madeleines, Cherry Pie and Ice Cream in Toronto, for some expert advice.

    Yahoo Canada: Homemade pies — especially pie crusts — are intimidating. What should a beginner know before tackling their first pie? 

    Eaglesham: Keep all your ingredients cold. Especially the fat. Do not overwork the dough. Allow sufficient time for the dough to rest before you roll it.

    Shortening, butter or oil: Which do you recommend in pie crusts and why?

    Lard is the best. It is naturally trans-fat free and makes the flakiest crust. There are non-hydrogenated shortenings on the market but have less flavour than lard. Butter makes a heavier crust.

    We’ve seen recipes with add-ins like

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  • Cold brew coffee: The hottest new java trend

    Get ready for the newest trend in coffee: cold brew. And no, we're not talking about the pre-made bottled drinks from your local Starbucks.

    While the bottled cold coffee “has already made a splash in coffee hotspots like Portland and New York,” it’s only now starting to pop up on-tap at restaurants and bars here in Canada. 

    Station Cold BrewStation Cold Brew
    Mike Roy, brewmaster for Station Cold Brew, Toronto’s first independent cold brew company, is giving Yahoo Canada readers the lowdown on this new way to drink java.

    How is it brewed?

    “Cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water over an extended period of time and never touches heat,” Roy explains. “Our responsibly sourced beans are infused in cold water for 18 hours. We brew in small batches with a temperature controlled environment and a specific double filtration system to create a naturally sweet and refreshing cold coffee." 

    Euan Ferguson of Time Out London blog tried his first cup of cold-brewed coffee (from London-based Sandow’s) last summer and agreed with the

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  • McDonald's Shamrock Shake has as many calories as a full meal

    ’Tis the season for frothy green milkshakes from Mickey D’s.

    The Shamrock shake is back — and it’s still not even slightly good for us. Not that that’s ever stopped us from indulging before.

    At 1,100 calories for a large, the Triple Thick Shamrock Milkshake is the second-highest-calorie single item on the McDonald’s menu, trailing only the chocolate milkshake (which has a mere 60 calories more).

    To put that number into perspective, 1,100 calories is also the equivalent of a Big Mac (530 calories), medium fries (350 calories) and medium Coca-Cola (220 calories).

    And with 155 grams of sugar, you’ll be drinking more of the sweet stuff than the amount found in more than five Snickers bars.

    The Shamrock shake is still a far cry from reaching “worst beverage in America" status. In 2010, that title was bestowed upon the Cold Stone PB&C, which when purchased in its “Gotta Have It” size, clocked in at a whopping 2,010 calories with 131 grams of fat.

    McDonald’s green milkshake has “only” 28

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  • Making homemade peanut butter for Peanut Butter Lover's Day

    March 1st is Peanut Butter Lover’s Day.

    As a peanut butter lover, I thought I’d celebrate the day for the first time by doing something new: making my own from scratch.

    The delicious final product!The delicious final product!
    It turns out that making your own peanut butter is surprisingly cheap and easy. And it tastes great. I’m a convert.

    Fun fact: in 1884, a Montrealer named Marcellus Gilmore Edson was person the first to patent peanut butter. Enjoying your PB&J is clearly a very Canadian thing to do.

    Peanut butter is packed with vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6, and has a healthy combo of fibre and protein that can help keep you full for longer. The store-bought stuff, however, typically ruins its health-food status with sugars and trans-fats.

    Make your own, and you can get the most, health-wise, out of those peanuts.

    You only need four ingredients to make PB at home.You only need four ingredients to make PB at home.
    Here’s how I did it:

    The Recipe

    Before beginning, I reviewed recipes from Alton Brown, The Kitchn and Inspired Taste. My final recipe pick: The Kitchn.

    Note: Brown’s recipe includes great advice if you’re using

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  • In season: Everything you need to know about rhubarb

    With the promise of spring just around the corner, we're excited to see rhubarb start showing up at markets and in grocery stores. 

    Here's what you need to know about the tart celery-resembling veggie. 

     Thinkstock Thinkstock
    Season
    Despite being a vegetable, field-grown rhubarb is often considered the “first fruit of the season,” so expect to see it pop up in grocery stores as temperatures rise. (It has to get warmer, right?) 

    In Ontario, “forced” varieties’ roots are stored in a darkened shed all winter until buds appear in early spring.

    According to Foodland Ontario, shoppers can find the vegetable in stores from January to June. 

    Greenhouse-grown rhubarb can be found in some stores year-round, but it's also pretty easy to grow your own. Find out how here.

    Health Benefits
    Rhubarb contains disease-fighting antioxidants, is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C, calcium, potassium and magnesium, and is a good source of fibres that help blog the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, helping to lower

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  • Helpful or harmful? Artist Photoshops female celebs to make them look bigger

    Sick of seeing Photoshopped images of unrealistically thin celebs?

    Spanish artist David Lopera is using the editing tool for a different reason — to plump up our favourite stars, hoping to show that plus-size woman “can be beautiful, too,” he tells the New York Daily News.

    But can an image of a plus-size Kim Kardashian really challenge current beauty standards?

    Kim Kardashian (Courtesy David Lopera/Facebook)Kim Kardashian (Courtesy David Lopera/Facebook)
    “Look at my pictures and you will see that big is beautiful…but there are many people today who don’t agree with that,” says 20-year-old Lopera, who has up-sized everyone from Iggy Azalea to Mila Kunis to “The Little Mermaid”’s Ariel.

    “However, when they see my gorgeous, fat celebrities, I think they might realize how wrong they are.”

    Since his first Photoshopped image — one of Katy Perry — went viral last year, Lopera has received more than 200 requests for plumped-up celebrities.

    However, some aren’t convinced that Photoshop is an effective tool in promoting body positivity and size acceptance.

    Iggy Azalea (Courtesy David Lopera/Facebook)Iggy Azalea (Courtesy David Lopera/Facebook)
    There are plenty of beautiful

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