Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • 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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  • Open Farm and TerraCycle team up to offer ethically sourced dog food — with recyclable packaging

    We want our food organic and ethically sourced.

    We care about packaging: we want less of it, and for it to be recyclable or reusable — or even edible.

    ThinkstockThinkstock
    And apparently we want the same things for our pets.

    Human food trends are increasingly influencing pet-food product development, in part because we humanize our pets and want to offer them treats that reflect our food-buying values, writes Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry.

    (And, like us, pets are getting fatter and we’re starting to pay closer attention to their diets.)

    Open Farm, a new family-run Canadian pet food company devoted to sourcing ethical, high-quality, local ingredients, is catering to our increasingly high standards when it comes to feeding Fido or Fluffy.

    “Consumers are more educated than ever when it comes to their own food choices and are increasingly applying high standards to what they look for in pet food. This is because, more and more, dogs and cats are viewed and cared for as members

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  • Digital health: tracking your kids’ health information online

    We already keep track of our busy schedules, holiday shopping and fitness routines online.

    And while some of us are starting to use technology to monitor our own health, parents are being encouraged to start tracking their children’s health digitally, too, to make their records more easily accessible — and so that the kids can more easily access their records themselves when they’re older.

      
    “It is already busy enough raising a child, so having quick and easy access to health information in a digital format can be very helpful for parents,” Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe, medical director at the Immigrant Women’s Health Centre and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, writes in an e-mail to Yahoo Canada.

    “Tracking growth parameters such as height and weight can be quickly input into an app or electronic graph as well as the electronic medical record in your doctor’s office. These methods allow for us to graphically produce information to get an accurate picture of how growth is

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  • As seen on Pinterest: Making pie crust from cake mix

    The challenge: to make a pie crust out of cake mix.

    The recipe, first spotted by one of our editors on Pinterest, promised to be easy and “taste really good.”

    And who can say no to pie made out of cake?

    So I gave it a try.

    The ingredients.The ingredients.

    Following the directions from HoosierHomemade.com — blogger Liz got the idea from a trip to the Duncan Hines headquarters — I set out to make a crust/filling combo sure to hit the spot: Turtle Cheesecake Pie.

    Making the crust

    The cake mix: Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Devil’s Food Flavour cake mix.

    I added the egg, extra yolks and butter. At first, the dough was dry and crumbly.

    “There’s not enough moisture!” I complained to my taste-tester/husband in the other room, who offered no support.

    The dough will initially look dry and crumbly.The dough will initially look dry and crumbly.

    Once I turned out the dough on the dusted-with-cocoa-powder counter, however, everything started to come together nicely.

    Note that this “dough” will stick to your hands. Wear rings at your own risk.

    After letting the ball of cake/pie dough sit in the fridge for the obligatory 15

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  • Eat for prosperity this Chinese New Year

    Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, falls on February 19th and runs through to the Lantern Festival on March 5th.

    If you’re hoping to plan your own Chinese New Year party, here are some “lucky” tips from the experts to ensure a prosperous year to come.

    (Thinkstock)(Thinkstock)

    Do your research.

    Shirley Lum, a culinary historian who gives lunar Chinese New Year food tours in Toronto, recommends that newbies join a meal hosted by someone like herself to learn about the food, traditions and symbolism important to a Chinese New Year banquet. Once you’re acquainted with these traditions, consider hosting a potluck dinner with friends.

    “If this is not possible, then keep it simple. Make it a potluck and aim for 8 dishes: chicken, fish, pork, shrimp, green vegetable, noodle, rice & a dessert with coconut/sugar/peanuts,” she recommends.

    Lum adds that, over the years, she’s seen “traditional meals” evolve with Canada’s changing demographics.

    “Railway workers until early 1950s we saw plenty of Cantonese-style

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  • Never throw out stale bread again: Bread hacks to know

    This week, POPSUGAR offered a solution to a very common food headache: stale artisanal and homemade bread.

    (I don’t know about you, but my homemade bread is usually rock-hard by the end of day two.)

     Thinkstock Thinkstock
    Instead of throwing the whole loaf into the freezer, POPSUGAR’s Nicole Perry suggests slicing up the still-fresh leftover loaf — within the first 24 hours of first cutting into it — and arranging those slicing on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Freeze the bread, uncovered, until it’s frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the break slices to an air-tight resealable freezer bag.

    Whenever you need a slice or two of bread, take what you need from the freezer and let it thaw, or just toast them from frozen. The bread will be almost as good as if it was fresh — and certainly better than dry second-day bread.

    POPSUGAR’s helpful hack got us thinking: what other bread hacks do we need in our carb-loving arsenal?

    Bread hack: Revive stale bread with ice cubes

    Courtesy Real SimpleCourtesy Real Simple

    This trick from Real

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