Turning the Page: Tools for a Healthy Lifestyle

Are you starting 2016 with a healthier perspective? Here are two of some of the tools that have helped me gain a healthy outlook and lose bad eating habits (more like leave them, and extra pounds, behind in my dust!).

DietFix

The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work
Author Yoni Freedhoff, MD

The keys to long-term weight loss are not denial, sacrifice, and hunger. The Diet Fix teaches a healthy perspective that you can learn to love and live with for the rest of your life. Whatever changes you make to lose weight now need to be what you continue to do to keep those pounds off; so you better enjoy what you are doing now.

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Let’s Be Jolly

Merry Christmas

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Sweet Bliss: Le Delice Pastry Shop

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Lorne Park, Mississauga is a darling, French-inspired bakery: Le Délice Pastry Shop. It’s been there for 27 years. How did I not know about this?! Actually, my friend has been raving about it for quite some time. It is her neighborhood’s tried-and-trusted, go-to spot for desserts with wow factor; the Raspberry Clafouti is renowned at dinners in her neck of the woods.

She took me there for the first time yesterday. What took me so long?! I nibbled on samples of Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pecan Shortbread – sweet bliss! I came back with some photos to share with you and some pies and croissants for my family. So worth the trip.

Husband and wife team, LeRoy (pastry chef) and Lisa MacDonald, pour a lot of love into their business. And only the best ingredients: fresh whole eggs, sweet butter, 35% whipping cream, and the very best Belgian chocolate. Everything is handmade and beautiful. Thank goodness they seem so young and energetic. Let’s hope they continue for another 27 years.

Yesterday was the last day for pre-ordering from their Christmas menu. From now to Christmas choose from what is available behind their counter. They are trying hard to keep the selection plentiful but get there on the sooner side of now! Oh, it’s going to be a very Merry Christmas chez nous! Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2016.

Open Monday December 21st
Tuesday to Friday: 8 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 8 am to 5 pm

Le Délice Pastry Shop
(in the Centennial Plaza)
1150 Lorne Park Road
Mississauga, Ontario
L5H 3A5
905-278-9684
www.ledelicepastryshop.com

For more details, please visit their website or my instagram.

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Hubby’s Favourite Weekday Chicken: Curried Mustard Chicken

The say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I’m not entirely certain of that. My husband comes from a family of great cooks. He, himself, survived a year of chef school. So I was downright nervous the first time I cooked for him, in that tiny kitchen of my upper duplex apartment in Little Burgundy, Montreal. My friend assured me her ‘foolproof’ recipe for chicken would cast him under my spell with the first bite (that Best of Bridge recipe with mustard, curry powder, honey, and butter). Would you believe I managed to blow the recipe? It was the worst chicken I have ever made! He ate every bite like a true gentleman and fell in love with me anyways.  I’ve created our own healthier version of Curried Mustard Chicken that he now adores. (Honey, this link is for you – a little trip down memory lane or should I say 2222 rue Coursol. I still love that little, white dormer kitchen window).

As easy as this recipe is, it is well worth searching out a few special ingredients. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Arvinda’s makes artisanal, premium Indian spice blends, using Canadian grown spices whenever possible, like mustard seed and coriander. I love Arvinda’s Curry Powder; it is a rich, fragrant blend of spices – so fragrant that I often pop the lid just for a whiff. Definitely my favourite curry powder, outshining any others I have tried to date. Use Arvinda’s Curry Powder and not their Curry Masala for this recipe. You can find Arvinda’s finely crafted range of Indian spice blends in fine food stores throughout Ontario. Check their website for a store near you.

I really don’t like typical grocery store garlic salt. Get yourself a bottle of The Garlic Box Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt and bring your recipes up a notch. Made with roasted Ontario-grown garlic; finely crafted in Hensall, Ontario. Check their website for where to buy.

Use whatever chicken you prefer. We eat skinless; my husband prefers thighs, so I cook both thighs and breasts. For a treat, Burton Meats sells a beautiful, restaurant-style Chicken Suprême: a boneless chicken breast with the skin and upper portion of the wing bone attached. Gently force your fingers under the skin to rub a little of the sauce both under and over the skin – the end result will be incredibly moist and flavourful (you can choose to discard the skin after cooking). Check their website for two Mississauga retail locations.

Olive’s Curried Mustard Chicken
Serves 3 – double the recipe to serve 6

Sauce (makes 10 tablespoons – enough for 3 servings):
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Arvinda’s Curry Powder (mild curry powder)
1 teaspoon Garlic Box Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

Chicken:
3 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs or 3 Chicken Suprêmes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Arrange chicken in a single, evenly-spaced layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray. Spread sauce thickly and evenly on all sides of chicken. I like to throw the lemon halves on the baking tray to caramelize while the chicken roasts. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes depending on what cut you use. Using tongs, carefully squeeze the lemon over the chicken (juice will be very hot).
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Bucket List Job: Carl Laidlaw Orchards

Since I will probably never live on a farm, the next best thing just might be working on one. I recently had the privilege of working at Carl Laidlaw Orchards during their apple harvest. On such an exceptionally beautiful farm, the job perks were bountiful.

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Photo contributed by Laura Kelly.

Best bosses ever. Mark and Laura. I think anyone who knows Mark and Laura – from employees to farm guests to family and friends – would agree they are such sunny-souled, kind-hearted people.

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Laura and her sunflowers.

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Mark in his orchard.

Awesome staff. Supportive and so fun to work with. Sorry to miss the farm dinner. Nice working with you all.

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Top quality, farm-to-table products. Pick your own apples and pears. If you think you don’t like apples, you haven’t tasted a ripe, juicy apple plucked from a Carl Laidlaw Orchards tree.

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As the season progressed, I snacked on a different variety of apple every week, each with its own unique characteristics; the flavours and textures were brilliant. How can I go back to boring, red delicious grocery store apples, now that the season is over?

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Freshly picked corn, squash, pumpkins. Aren’t these ghost pumpkins adorable?

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Freshly baked pies and gorgeous, gourmet flatbreads.

Pretty candy apples. Artisanal jams, salsas, mustards, and honey, including Mark and Laura’s very own small-batch honey produced from hives right on their farm. Heaven for a foodie like me. Nothing like selling a product you love and then coming home with it.

Laidlaw Honey

Enjoyable tasks. Chatting with the customers as I checked them out. Teaching them what Mark and Laura taught me about the apples. Getting hugs from our happy, wee visitors.

Spending the day making candy apples. Just call me the bee whisperer – the friendly little chaps thankfully found the candy sweeter than me (we gave them a taste of their own).

Picturesque space. Charmingly nostalgic thanks to Laura’s ultra creative touch. Described on instagram as “if Kate Spade opened an apple orchard”.

I loved working in the barn – every corner was picture perfect. With the doors wide open on both ends of the building, I was protected from the elements but felt like I was in fresh air all day long.

Breathtaking surrounding. Stunning orchards rolling down to the scenic Credit River.

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Photo contributed by Laura Kelly.

Best commute. Through farmland accented with cricket’s song.

Hard to pick what I loved best about my job. Maybe the terrific customers, whose love of the farm brings them back year after year, and whom Laura and Mark greet with a warm farm hug like they are part of the farm family.

And so, for those of you who scratched their heads when I said I was working on a farm, now you know. What a pleasure it was to work at Carl Laidlaw Orchards. The harvest is over for this year. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit next season. Follow Laura’s blog for updates (www.carllaidlaworchards.blogspot.ca).

Thank you, Mark and Laura. Warm farm hugs to you too, and Spencer and Margo. xxxx Olive.

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