Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • Foods that taste better when frozen

    Baby, it’s cold outside. And while it’s easy to nosh on warm comfort food this season, let’s not overlook the joys of cold food, too. Really, really cold food. 

    Here are some foods that taste best when frozen. Eat slowly, or risk the dreaded brain freeze.

    Frozen bananas make a delicious ice cream-like treat. (Thinkstock)Frozen bananas make a delicious ice cream-like treat. (Thinkstock)

    Bananas

    Peel bananas before you freeze them. You’ll be surprised at how creamy a treat they become when frozen. If you’ve got an extra minute or two, toss frozen chunks of banana into a blender for one-ingredient ice cream.

    Grapes

    If you haven’t tried frozen grapes — they’re nature’s candy — you’re missing out. Epicurious reminds us that grapes are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, so try to buy organic. 

    Also great frozen: raspberries and frozen canned fruit, like peaches and pineapple.)

    Frozen avocadoes are an unexpected treat. (Thinkstock)Frozen avocadoes are an unexpected treat. (Thinkstock)

    Avocado slices

    This is one snack we can’t wait to try. The Food Network recommends freezing avocado slices for up to four hours, then sprinkling them with chili powder and salt before eating. 

    Iceberg lettuce wedges

    Another

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  • How to set (and decipher) a formal dining table

    ’Tis the season to impress dinner guests. 

    And while the winter holidays are the perfect time to throw a formal dinner party, for those of us who’ve never set a formal table, the task can seem pretty daunting.

    A formal setting can intimidate guests, too: “Which glass is mine?” “Is that your bread knife or mine?”

    Shine On asked Toronto-based etiquette writer and advisor Karen Cleveland for some help in navigating formal table settings. 

    Shine On: What makes a table setting a “formal” one?

    Cleveland: A “formal” table setting is really subjective, but a good gauge is that it is set for multiple courses.

    In mid-to-late nineteenth century, we started dining a la Russe, meaning that each type of food was served in its own course, and the table wasn’t reset between all of them. All the forks showed up on the table at once, and it was up to the hostess or butler to know which order the meal was coming out in so that the cutlery could be arranged accordingly. That began our (relatively modern)

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  • Citrus hacks: Tips and tricks to brighten your winter diet

    It’s finally citrus season again. To celebrate, Sunkist has released a series of helpful citrus-hack videos: creative, time-saving ways to peel and prepare citrus fruits. 

    Watch them all above. 

    Those cute grapefruit bowls would be perfect for a holiday brunch.

    Sunkist advertising and public relations manager Joan Wickham also shared her top citrus tips with Shine On readers. 

    How to buy citrus:

    “Unlike some fruit, like stone fruit or bananas, for example, oranges are actually what’s called a non-climacteric fruit, which means they don’t ripen after they’ve been harvested. So our growers actually handpick every piece of fruit to make sure it’s ripe,” Wickham tells us. 

    “But in terms of what you should look for at the store, you should look for fruit that’s firm and heavy for its size and also with a bright, colourful skin. You want to avoid fruit that’s bruised or wrinkled or looks kind of discoloured. Because that will indicate that it might be old or it maybe hasn’t been stored

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  • Expert tips for low-stress holiday entertaining

    There are many things you can do to reduce holiday entertaining stress. (Thinkstock)There are many things you can do to reduce holiday entertaining stress. (Thinkstock)
    Hosting a holiday party this winter and dreading the stress that inevitably comes with it?

    Shine On recently asked Sebastien Centner, entertaining expert and director of Eatertainment Special Events, how to keep stress levels at a minimum when entertaining this holiday season. 

    Shine On: How early should we start planning a holiday party?

    Centner: The earlier the better! But of course then life gets in the way, doesn’t it? My suggestion is pick the date and send out a invite or save the date as soon as possible. While the planning and organization can always be done closer to your holiday party date, with how busy the holiday season can get you want your party on people’s calendar before everyone else’s! 

    When do invitations go out? Do they need to be snail-mailed or are email invites acceptable?

    I personally tend towards printed invitations for my events both because you rarely receive printed invites anymore but also because the invitation sets the tone for the event — stylish,

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  • How to take your oatmeal to the next level

    Warm oatmeal is the perfect breakfast for cool-weather mornings. (Thinkstock)Warm oatmeal is the perfect breakfast for cool-weather mornings. (Thinkstock)With temperatures dropping, we’re opting for cozier breakfasts this November. 

    Shine On recently spoke to registered nutritionist Joey Shulman, who told us all we need to know about oatmeal — and why we should feel good about our new heartier breakfast choice. 

    It’s good for us. 

    “Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast for the cooler months as it gives us that warmth and comfort we are often looking for!” Shulman says. “Oatmeal is filled with fibre and iron. It is a gluten-free grain that helps to stabilize our blood sugar levels and a serving provides us with about five grams of protein. Steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index so they will not cause as much of a spike in our blood sugar levels.”

    Soak before you cook. 

    For the time-crunched, overnight oats is an easy go-to breakfast. We asked Shulman if there was a nutritional difference between soaking and cooking our oats. Apparently we should do both!

    “Soaking your eats before consumption increases their digestibility. I always

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  • Everything you need to know about Daylight Saving Time coming to an end

    This weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST), so be sure to turn your clocks back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.

    Actual time the “fall back” comes into effect: 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 2.

    “Springing forward” often gets a bad reputation for throwing us off kilter — and increasing risks of heart attacks and car accidents — every spring, but does “falling back” have any effects on our health?

    Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. Don't forget to change your clocks and smoke alarm batteries. (Thinkstock)Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. Don't forget to change your clocks and smoke alarm batteries. (Thinkstock)

    Better sleep. 

    Finally, we’re back to normal. 

    Last year, German researchers claimed that sleep cycles never get on track during DST, with night owls suffering the most. 

    "The circadian clock does not change to the social change," researcher Till Roenneberg said, according to HealthDay News. “During the winter, there is a beautiful tracking of dawn in human sleep behaviour, which is completely and immediately interrupted when Daylight Saving Time is introduced in March.”

    The extra hour of sleep can also tell you if you’re sleep-deprived. If you wake up before your

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  • Florida man orders world's most expensive Starbucks drink

    This July, 23-year-old medical student Sameera Raziuddin thought she broke the record for most expensive Starbucks drink by ordering a 60-shot frappuccino worth $57.75.

    She even brought her own jug to hold the 192-ounce beverage. 

    But earlier that month, Jarrod Johnson in West Virginia ordered a record-breaking 77-shot $71.35 Starbucks drink. He had baristas fill a cooler with the massive drink

    Yesterday, a Florida man broke the record once more. 

    William Lewis ordered a 101-shot “Mega” latte worth $83.75 and because he’s a holder of the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program’s Limited Edition Metal Card, the drink was actually free

     

    William Lewis' 101-shot “Mega” latte. (Image via Facebook)William Lewis' 101-shot “Mega” latte. (Image via Facebook)

    Into the 160-ounce novelty cup Lewis ordered online, a barista poured a grande latte, followed by 99 more shots of espresso and 17 pumps of vanilla syrup. 

    "It’s an internet challenge," Lewis, a political and business consultant and talk show host tells TODAY. “I wanted to beat out the record.”

    Lewis shared the giant cup of coffee, which contained

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  • The latest beauty craze: pumpkins?!

    Pumpkins: they aren’t just for eating — or carving — anymore. 

    In fact, pumpkin, which boasts a long list of beauty benefits, has recently been popping up in skincare products and spa treatments.

    Pumpkins are rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, make great exfoliators, and are packed with carotene, vitamins A and C, anti-inflammatory properties and even have natural UV protectors. 

    “The pumpkin facial is nourishing and skin brightening—it removes dead skin cells and it’s very suitable for sensitive skin types because it’s gentle,”  Maria Angelica Hurtado, a spa manager at Equinox in New York City, tells Forbes. 

    “Pumpkin masks and moisturizers nourish your skin and promote the absorption of nutrients like vitamins A and C,” she adds.

    ThinkstockThinkstock
    Skincare expert Kate Somerville agrees. 

    "Pumpkin, a fruit enzyme, is considered a natural ‘chemical’ from fruit and is a protein-digesting enzyme, which means that when applied topically it ‘eat dead skin cells," Somerville tells StyleList.

    Celebrity facialist

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  • How to keep your jack-o'-lantern from rotting before Halloween

    Keep your jack-o'-lantern looking fresh with a few simple tips. (Thinkstock)Keep your jack-o'-lantern looking fresh with a few simple tips. (Thinkstock)

    Worried that your freshly carved pumpkin won’t last until Halloween? We’ve rounded up some of the best tips and tricks to keep those jack-o’-lanterns from rotting before the big night. 

    Bleach it. 

    The top tested-and-recommended tip online involves bleach. 

    Before carving, fully submerge the pumpkin in a bleach-water mixture — 1 tsp of bleach per gallon of water — for about eight hours. 

    Pat dry with paper towels before carving your pumpkin. 

    Once you’ve carved the pumpkin, spray the outside and inside with the bleach solution, then, to prevent mould from growing in any moist spots, soak up any excess moisture. 

    Repeat the bleach-spray method every day. 

    Lifehacker suggests using a bleach-based spray like Clorox Cleanup with Bleach if you don’t want to mix your own mild bleach mixture. 

    What if that pumpkin starts to look wilted? Rehydrate it the same way. 

    "Pumpkins put out for less than a week, especially in a cool climate, generally don’t need to be rehydrated. If your pumpkins are

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  • Candy corn-inspired desserts perfect for Halloween

    This week is a candy-corn lover’s dream. We’ve rounded up some crave-worthy candy corn-inspired recipes sure to satisfy every sweet tooth.

    Celebrate the season with candy corn-inspired recipes. (Thinkstock)Celebrate the season with candy corn-inspired recipes. (Thinkstock)

    Make your own:

    You can satisfy your cravings year round if you know how to make candy corn yourself. 

    You don’t need industrial equipment — or four to five days — to make your own candy corn, thanks to this Homemade Candy Corn recipe from Cakespy’s Jessie Oleson. 

    “This surprisingly simple recipe yields large, plump candy kernels infused with a sweet vanilla flavour. I found that using salted butter adds a nice, rich finish. Conclusion? These homespun tricolour treats are definitely worth the time and effort. Once you’ve tasted them, you may never buy candy corn by the bag again,” Oleson writes

    Bright idea: use red and green food colouring and you might be able to get away with snacking on these at a Christmas party, too!

    Alton Brown also has a recipe for Candy Corn — and offers step-by-step photos of the process.

    Desserts inspired by the look of

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