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Corporate Culinary Experience

 

Corporate planners, event organizers and attendees are looking for more of a culinary experience, rather than your traditional “meal”.  Creating menus that provide the elusive balance of tantalizing flavors and exquisite presentation will lend subtle elegance and impeccable style to your next event.

Hors d’oeuvres are presented with more of an artist’s eye and a social conscience. Healthy, clean eating is fast becoming a popular choice in menus, it’s not just about the vegetarians or special dietary requests anymore, now it’s main stream.

Food stations are a great way to give people variety and get guests mingling and while creative menu items are important, don’t underestimate the power of presentation. Unusual food presentations can make an indelible impression on guests and enhance their overall event experience considerably.

Check out some unique food presentation ideas on pinterest.

Themes are more popular these days so consider adding sparkle and glitz to your next event with a farm to table theme by bringing people together to enjoy local food from local farmers and prepared by local chefs who are experts in bringing the freshest ingredients to the table in creative and unique ways. 

Wine Pairings and chef’s tasting menus and let’s not forget delicious craft beers served with a tapas style menu can bring a certain flair depending on your group size of course.

Events that have ethnic-specific themes allow event planners and the executive chef to work together to bring region-specific and international foods into your event, and this will definitely please guests. Common ethnic catering includes the following:

  • Asian/Chinese/Japanese
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Mexican
  • Middle Eastern

As with all event meal planning, it is critical for an event planner to find out if any of the guests have a special dietary restrictions such as food allergies, so that the catering manager can address those needs prior to the event. 

When you make the organizational experts at the Old Mill Toronto an integral part of your planning team, and utilize their event planning tips, you can be confident that together, we will accomplish your every objective for a successful event.



Wedding Decor Trends

Congratulations you got engaged, now on to the good stuff! 

Couples are keen on infusing their ceremonies and receptions with personality — their own. And while you want your guests to have lots of fun, you still want your wedding to be elegant and romantic no matter how grand or intimate the affair.  The decor or theme of your wedding should reflect who you are as a couple, achieving an overall personal and unique feel based on your tastes. Your individuality will come together in the details.  

The reception sets the scene, it’s when families meet and the atmosphere begins. In fact, the atmosphere set at the reception will continue for the rest of the day. Hungry guests never equate to a happy atmosphere, so it’s a good idea to serve hot and cold canapés, choosing from a wide selection of items, with high visual impact and lip smacking taste. 

 The top three trends for wedding decor…  

Vintage - this Victorian influx of stylish details brings to mind afternoon tea and garden parties (think Downton Abbey). For this look, dining al fresco is a popular choice. Tables are often left uncovered or simply adorned with a vintage lace cloth. Lush garlands get turned into runners and loosely styled floral centerpieces hang from above.  The standard Victorian flower is the rose, but other flowers such as pansies, hyacinths, tulips, and stephanotis evoke similar romantic emotions. Think chandeliers, vintage plates, white-wash vintage vanities.  Look on pinterest for some Romantic Vintage Table Settings.

Modern luxe - At the opposite corner of the inspiration board is a more sophisticated interpretation of romance. Brides who covet sleek style will gravitate toward clean color palettes with bolder accents. Think varying shades of white or ivory with a burst of poppy red, or black-and-white with a punch of emerald green. Modern doesn’t have to mean minimalistic.  Square dining tables, clear “ghost” chairs, geometric place settings, monogrammed napkins and sculptured floral arrangements help set a sophisticated tone for the evening.

Eclectic elegance - Falling somewhere between the above interpretations of romance is a resurgence of the grand wedding. “Many 2015 weddings, saw the return to classic elegance,” says Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Special Events in Los Angeles. That means formal tablescapes, butler service, candelabras and other soft lighting, dramatic cakes, lavish fabrics and formal floral arrangements. The eclectic element comes into play when couples choose to take their formal affair outside for a twilight party; opt for a gilded evening with lots of glittering blush-gold touches; replace centerpieces with champagne towers; or surprise guests with a midnight arrival of an ice-cream truck parked curbside.

Couples are rewriting the predictable pattern of a “traditional” wedding day, shunning routine for the chance to throw in unexpected elements designed to stop everyone in their tracks and create a memorable moment. Food wise this means weird yet wonderful flavour combinations (coffee-rubbed meats), live-action food theatre (oyster shucking stations), lavish self-service bars (jugs of fruit purees and magnums of Champagne) and show stopping canapé platters (with their own lighting). 

Sweet treats as a parting gesture – just when your guests turn to leave they are presented with something wonderful to eat on their way out. A cup of warm milk with a cookie, a shot of espresso and some Turkish delight, hot chocolate with mint marshmallows, a sweet treat from the late-night candy bar… Proof that you’ve thought of them right to the last moment!

Our wedding planners offer you personalized service to guide you in making the planning of your most important day as simple as saying “I do”.



Old Mill BBQ Sauce Recipe

Want to take your BBQ to the next level! Learn how to prepare this delicious Old Mill Toronto BBQ sauce recipe and you will WOW your BBQ guests. This Sauce is good on Chicken, Ribs, Burgers and Steak, just about anything you can grill.

BBQ Sauce

Yield: 2 Liters

Ingredients:

Tomato Ketchup  1 Liter
White Onion (medium dice)  1 Large
Brown Sugar  250 grams
Worcestershire Sauce  1/3 Cup
White Balsamic Vinegar  1/3 Cup
Water  2 Cups
Onion Powder  6 tbsp.
Mustard Powder  ½  Cup
Garlic Powder  ¼  Cup
Cayenne Pepper  2 tbsp.
Salt & Pepper  (to taste)
Liquid Smoke 1/4 tsp.

Procedure:

  1. Heat medium saucepan with Oil, add white onion and sweat until soft.
  2. Begin by adding all the spices and continue to sweat.
  3. Once the spices and onions have been fully incorporated and sweat until completely soft, add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Using a whisk, incorporate all ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Bring liquid to a simmer and continue to cook for an hour.
  6. Using hand blender or high speed mixer, blend until completely smooth.

ENJOY!



BIOEFFECT EGF SERUM

 

BioEffect is the next big anti-aging serum because it contains EGF: Epidermal Growth Factor, ‘a substance which occurs naturally in human skin and which has the ability to speed up the rate of cell turnover within the skin.’  This miracle serum took ten years to research and only contains nine ingredients.  Two of the scientists for BioEffect won a Nobel Prize for their research, only the most outstanding scientific discoveries receive a Nobel prize – this is pretty serious stuff!

Product Ingredients
Glycerine, Aqua, Calcium chloride, Sodium hyaluronate, Tromethamine, Hordeum vulgare seed extract, Alcohol (less than 0.9%), Sodium chloride, EGF (Transgenic barley sh-oligopeptide-1)

The BIOEFFECT skin care products are the world’s first skincare products to contain cellular activators made in plants. Using patent pending biotechnology, the cellular activators are naturally forged in barley seeds. The barley seeds are grown in volcanic pumice and watered with pure Icelandic spring water in state-of-the-art greenhouses in Iceland, using renewable underground volcanic energy for heating and lighting. Such green biotechnology bypasses the risk of including bacterial endotoxins or potential human infectious agents associated with conventional production in bacteria or animal cell culture systems.      

Testimonials on BIOEFFECT EGF SERUM   

Developed in collaboration with leading specialists in biochemistry and dermatology, the BIOEFFECT EGF SERUM and BIOEFFECT DAYTIME bring youthful glow and radiance to even the most stressed or sensitive skin.

BIOEFFECT skin care products replenish, nourish and repair the look of ageing skin. The Spa at the Old Mill currently has a BIOEFFECT Special - With your purchase of the BIOEFFECT EGF Serum (15 ml) receive a travel size of the EGF Serum (3ml), Daytime Moisturizer (7ml), and a luxury travel case FREE

Posted in Spa


Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial

It’s called an oxygen facial – a non-surgical, no-botox method that plumps up and firms the skin, reduces or removes wrinkles and makes your skin glow.

What do Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Victoria Beckham and a ton of other stars have in common?, they are all followers of Intraceuticals oxygen facial treatments.

Intraceuticals is the only brand to offer a treatment with a serum specially formulated to be infused deep into the skin with oxygen under pressure. Intraceuticals treatments are immediate, and you can see the effects within 24 hours of the treatment. The effects are also cumulative so their is lasting long-term benefits.

The intraceutical oxygen-infusion process begins with a thorough cleansing. Then a combination of hyaluronic acid is applied along with a vitamin combination of A, E, C, green tea and Aloe Vera – nothing abrasive or harsh.

There is an oxygen massage that follows – tiny puffs of pure oxygen help the creams get deep into several layers of the skin so the results are longer-lasting.

View this video for evidence

Three treatments are available:

Rejuvenate: To hydrate, lift and tighten. The pressurized oxygen stimulates the absorption of Rejuvenate serum and naturally improves moisture levels of the skin while vitamins and antioxidants protect and defend. The combination of lightweight Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, C and E and green tea instantly smooth the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, restoring volume and firming. The treatment promotes the production of natural collagen and elastin. 

Opulence:To brighten, balance and smooth. The Opulence treatment helps reduce hyper-pigmentation and lightens blemishes, scars and blemishes. Katy Perry, who has long battled with acne, swears by this treatment.  

Atoxelene: To clear, refine and calm. Atoxelene is a replacement to injections. Say farewell to fine lines around the eyes and lips. 

It takes about an hour and is available at the Old Mill Spa in Toronto. In addition, there is a skincare collection of Intraceuticals Rejuvenate + Boosters that come complementary and prolong the effects of the oxygen treatment.

Posted in Spa


What’s Cooler than COOLA

Coola is a mineral sunscreen that can be found at the Spa at Old Mill Toronto. Mind you it’s hard to keep on the shelves these days as this product is simply amazing and ideal for all skin types and tones, including those that are especially sensitive. Ditch the heavy foundations and powders this summer and try a tinted moisturizer instead, your skin will thank you for it!

Benefits

Keep the sun and environment at bay with this SPF 20 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen, a tinted, light Rose scented, Titanium Dioxide based formula (for those who are Zinc sensitive) made with 98% natural ingredients. Organic Acai Oil – high in Omegas-3/6/9, Vitamins B1/2/3, plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E – delivers a powerful defense against aging. Organic Sunflower Seed Extract promotes elasticity while organic Linseed Oil, containing Alpha-Linolenic Acids, reduces redness and irritation. The phyto-protector Plankton Extract rejuvenates, as organic Cucumber Extract calms skin.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Antioxidant Enriched
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles

Organic Ingredients
Cucumber Fruit Extract
Glycerin
Linseed Seed Oil
Orange Fruit Water
Safflower Seed Oil
Sunflower Seed Extract

COOLA’s Farm to Face approach describes their sourcing methods for local organic ingredients. They believe in sourcing many of their ingredients and vendors locally to promote communities and jobs as well as to cut down on shipping costs both financially and environmentally. In addition, they can use their platform to encourage and sustain local and organic farming! (And we think that’s pretty COOLA!)

BENEFITS OF BUYING LOCAL

 So…is there anything you can do to promote your local community as well as get healthy, nutritious produce? YES! You can buy your produce locally in your own community. By making these purchases you are selecting to choose local, traceable, eco-friendly, and natural food, which is better for you, your family, and the environment. Some other benefits include higher nutritional value, better taste, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Where to find local produce in your neighborhood 

  •     Natural, whole food markets and organic food stores
  •     A Share Program (or CSA- Community Supported Agriculture)
  •     Farmer’s Markets
  •    In your own garden!

Give your skin an immediate line-smoothing finish and fight signs of aging caused by the sun with this antioxidant-infused Farm to Face® sourced broad spectrum SPF mineral sunscreen.



5 Tips To A Healthier You

As much as eating your veggies and exercising is important, it’s just as important to focus on your mental, emotional and spiritual health. You need to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making healthier choices one day at a time. While there isn’t really a magical formula to follow, these 5 tips can be a great place to start.

Balance Work & Play

With virtually 24 hour access to emails, many people can not seem to disconnect from their jobs. Be honest, do you wake up in the morning and check your emails before even getting out of bed? While work is important, your work and health suffers when you don’t make time for yourself. Make sure you maintain a good balance between work & play and make time to keep doing the things you love to do, if thats going for a bike ride, working out, watching movies, just keep enjoying your life.

Practice Yoga Daily

Yoga lowers blood pressure, improves strength and flexibility and perfects your posture. There is no better way to relieve stress than to devote yourself to your yoga practise. Yoga can also inspire you to become a more conscious eater. If you keep practising you will benefit from the following:

1. A deep mindfulness which will make your perceptions vivid.
2. A mental calm and wellness that will make you enjoy every waking moment.
3. A leaner body and better digestive ability requiring lesser food mass.
4. A lower pulse rate like athletes and a longer life with reduced aging.

Drink Water

Drinking six glasses (8 ounces each) of water a day helps people to feel full and as a result consume fewer calories. Drinking enough water maintains your body’s fluid balance to avoid dehydration and helps transport nutrients, regulates body temperature and digests food. Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand where ever you go.

Treat Others with Kindness & Respect

We have all heard “Treat others the way you want them to treat you”. We should all live by this mantra because a habit of treating others with kindness and respect will make you feel good about yourself and will build strong relationships with the people around you. The power behind a kind word or a thoughtful gesture can go a long way and in turn may change someone else’s life.

Practice Mindfulness Eating

It’s not only about what you eat, it’s also about how much you eat. Your body will let you know when its had enough to sustain its nourishment. Consciously choosing smaller bites and chewing them well improves your digestion. Moderation is an essential component of mindful eating. Be in tune with your body’s messages and try eating slower, this will help you notice when you are feeling satisfied long before the bloated feeling sets in.

In short keep doing what you love, and try new things, meditate, go for a run, make a dinner date with your best friend and don’t worry about the occasional cheeseburger, no one is perfect and you may slip and revert back to your bad habits, but don’t let one setback hold you down because a healthy lifestyle is a daily choice.

Finally surround yourself with people who inspire you. What matters is a lifestyle pattern of enjoying healthier food, staying connected to others and keeping yourself moving.

Here’s to a healthier you!



Health Benefits Of Tea

Tea comes from the leaves of a flowering evergreen plant called Camelia Sinensis. There are four principal types of tea – black, green, white and oolong. All are from the same plant but the leaves are processed differently.

Tea contains enzymes that interact with the oxygen in the air when a leaf is broken or crushed. This reaction is called oxidation or fermentation, and it causes the leaf to darken and increases its caffeine level. Once the leaf is heated and dried the oxidation process stops.

BLACK TEA – is fully oxidized and dried and has a smooth taste. Most of the teas on the market use black tea such as Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey, English Breakfast etc. Generally you would add milk or lemon and a sweetener (sugar/honey) to black tea.

GREEN TEA – is unfermented tea. The leaves are quickly dried then heated and rolled, so it is not as processed as black tea. There is a great variety of green teas – some are light and mild tasting while others are grassy and vegetable tasting. You would not add milk to green tea. Green teas generally come from China or Japan.

OOLONG TEA – is a hybrid between black and green tea and is popular in China. The leaves are partly oxidized and some Oolongs are less fermented and more closely resemble green tea; other Oolongs are more fully oxidized and come closer to black tea. Generally you would not drink Oolong with milk or sugar – it has a strong flavour that holds its own.

WHITE TEA – has only recently become widely available and it is possibly the healthiest of all teas because it is the least processed. It’s picked before the leaf buds fully open, then it’s air dried or gently dried by steaming and that’s it. The buds are covered with fine white hair which gives the tea it’s white look. Like green tea, it is not fermented. White tea often has such a gentle flavour that it’s like drinking water. Now it is often blended with vanilla, spices and fruit flavours.

Herbals are a whole other ball game and some examples of herbal tea benefits are:

PEPPERMINT TEA is great for soothing an upset stomach and helping digestion. It is also good for killing mouth bacteria and giving you good breath.

GINGER TEA is great for aiding with nausea, motion-sickness, as well as digestion.

DANDELION TEA  is a great diuretic and also detoxifies the liver.

LICORICE TEA  contains valuable iron salts and is a good laxative. It is also said to fight stress and fatigue. It may not be good for people with high blood pressure.

CHAMOMILE TEA is supposed to help with insomnia. The natural mineral phosphates in chamomile tea help calm nervous energy. People also bathe in chamomile tea if they have a sunburn or rinse their hair with it if they are blonde…it’s supposed to give blonde hair a shine.

White Tea Boosts Stimulating Brain Waves
Even though white tea has the lowest level of caffeine of all the teas, it has the highest amount of L-theanine, an amino acid that perks you up naturally. L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves that makes you more focused and mentally alert.

Green Tea Protects Your Eyes
A study in the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry” says that Green Tea Protects your eyes. The Antioxidants in tea are absorbed by eye tissue helping to protect against glaucoma and other degenerative eye diseases. Since green tea has been proven to protect your heart and help prevent cancer, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is now testing green tea’s ability to fight Parkinson’s disease.

Black Tea Absorbs Heavy Metals
Fish is healthy and full of important omega – 3 fatty acids which help with everything from arthritis, to heart disease, to dementia. Were advised to eat fish twice a week but the problem is fish is also a source of mercury and other unhealthy heavy metals which are bad for the heart and blood vessels. Researchers at Perdue University did studies on tea and its ability to bind heavy metals like iron, lead and mercury. They found that the best inhibitor of mercury absorption in the stomach was BLACK TEA. Drinking Black Tea while you’re eating the fish  will help prevent up to 92% of mercury from entering your bloodstream.

Tea Tips 
The University of Iowa says that you can double the concentration of antioxidants if you dunk the tea bag up and down a few times instead fo letting it steep slowly. By the way, tea bags usually release more antioxidants than loose tea because the leaves are chopped up and there is more surface exposed to the water.

Never put milk in green tea. Green tea contains an antioxidant, EGCG and the casein protein in milk will bind with that and make it less effective. You can use soy or almond milk in tea which does not have casein.

The best thing to add to all teas is citrus. Squeezing lemon, lime or orange into tea increases the absorption of catechins by up to 80 %. Catechins are antioxidants that have lots of health benefits like shrinking belly-fat cells. The vitamin C in citrus stabilizes these antioxidants until they’re properly absorbed.

Join us for our traditional afternoon tea and enjoy a cup of your favourite tea!



Reiki Spiritual Healing

  

Reiki Spiritual Healing (A spiritual Practice)

An Energy Therapy using the palms of the hands

Reiki (pronounced Ray Key) is a combination of two Japanese words rei and ki meaning universal life energy. Reiki Healing Energy provides means to balance the human energy fields (Auras) and energy centers (Chakras) to create conditions needed for the bodies healing system to function.

The Reiki practitioner assists the client to heal themselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically by a simple lay on of hands. Reiki’s ki-energies flow out of the practitioner’s body through the palms of the hands while they are touching the recipient’s body. By the use of ancient healing symbols the practitioner channels the “Universal Life Force Energy” allowing it to flow where is needed to bring the energy centers into alignment.

The Reiki Practitioner must be a clear vessel through which the healing energy flows. Some Reiki practitioners will follow a predetermined sequence of hand placements, allowing their hands to rest on each body placement for 2 to 5 minutes before moving on to the next. Empathic practitioners will freely move their hands in no particular order to the areas where they “feel” Reiki is most needed. Some Reiki practitioners do not actually touch their clients. Instead, they will hover their lifted palms a few inches above the reclined body. Either way, Reiki energies flow where they are suppose to playing an instrumental part in the healing process, and ultimately it is up to the healer to manifest harmony and balance in their own life.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

Healing health benefits is stress reduction and relaxation, which triggers the body’s natural healing abilities, improves and maintains a balanced good health. Reiki healing is a natural therapy that gently balances life energies and brings health and well-being to the recipient.

Reiki therapy works remarkably in harmony with other alternative therapies and is an excellent stress reliever.



Handmade Herb Gnocchi

This Dining Room Special melts in your mouth! Executive Chef Martin Buehner shares the Old Mill Toronto’s Handmade Gnocchi recipe for you to enjoy at home.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

1 Kg Russet Potatoes
250 g (approx 2 cups lightly packed) All-Purpose Flour
1/4 a Bunch each of Herb Thyme and Fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
3 Large Grade A Eggs 
1/4 a Bunch Curly Parsley, chopped fine
100 g (approx 2/3 cup) Parmesan Cheese (Grana Padano or Reggiano)
2 tbsp Kosher Salt  
1 Pinch Ground Black Pepper 

Method:

1. Bake Potatoes with Skin-on in oven @ 375F for approx 20-30 minutes, or until soft on the outside but slightly hard on the inside.
2. Weigh all ingredients. Set aside.
3. Cut Potatoes in half and remove Potato from the inside.
4. Pass through a food mill or fine chinois.
5. Add all ingredients and mix by hand until mixture is thoroughly combined.
6. Roll out about 1/4 of the mixture into a long thin snake-like tube, ensuring even all the way throughout.
7. Cut approx. 1 inch apart using bench scraper or knife. Pinch the middle of each side with fingers.
8. Blanch in hot boiling water, until Gnocchi begins to float.
9. Place on Baking sheet with parchmant paper and oil, Let cool. 

Pan-fry in butter until light-golden brown and serve au natural with a pinch of salt and pepper and chopped fine herbs or with your favourite sauce topped with good quality shredded parmesan cheese.