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Aromatherapy

Power to treat each individual physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually

The art and science using plant oils for their therapeutic properties, treating medical and non-medical conditions or alignments in a truly holistic form either through massage, baths and inhalations. Oils are derived from natural sources such a seeds, flowers, fruit, peel, leaves, grass, roots, wood, bark and resins.

These natural plant oils are readily absorbed into the skin, our largest organ, providing a gentle physiological effect.  As a holistic practice, it is especially effective for stress release as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or disease.

The popularity of Aromatherapy may have enjoyed recent boom, but the property of these essential oils have been appreciated for centuries to balance the body, mind and soul. The sensual, relaxing aroma of these fragrant oils will transport the person being massaged into the realm of bliss. Before commencing treatment, a complete assessment of lifestyle, eating habits and personal habits are taken into account. From that assessment, the blend is then prepared specific to treat their concerns/alignment therefore each blend is unique only for that individual.  It is very important that the scent also appeals to the olfactory tract, in order for the treatment to be fully appreciated. The two ways that oils safely penetrate the body is by smell/inhalation (through the nose) and absorption (through the skin). Smell by far, is the fastest way for essential oils to penetrate into the body.  Common examples include inhaling eucalyptus essential oil when you have a cough or inhaling peppermint essential oil to reduce fatigue or nausea. 

Essential oils are extremely potent/concentrated and should never be used directly onto the skin always blend them with a base oil such as Grapeseed, Coconut, Sesame, Jojoba, Almond, Olive or Sunflower.

The blend is worked into the body using a variety of techniques (can invigorate, stimulate, strengthen, tone, condition, relax, relieve, soothe, regulate, cleanse/detoxify).  While the aromas stimulate the emotional level, the gentle form of massage affects the lymphatic system.     

Aromatherapy is one of many alternative therapies which is increasingly finding acceptance as a complementary treatment that can go hand-in-hand with conventional medicine.  It cleanses negative energies both physically and mentally, may also work effectively in conjunction with other alternative therapies.



Easter Brioche Recipe

 

Ingredients:

400 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5 g powdered dried yeast
10 g fine sea salt (I’ve put 8 gr)
90ml warm milk
2 Tbsp caster sugar 100 g butter, softened
4 medium free range eggs, beaten
zest of 2 lemons

To Glaze

1 medium free range egg
2 Tbsp milk
sugar for finishing

To knead by hand: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and bring it all together to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.

Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add all the dough ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, and leave to knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.

Shape the dough into a round ball, place in a bowl and cover tightly. Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day, divide the dough in two and form into the shape of your choice. Lightly flour the loaves, lay them on a wooden board or linen cloth and cover with a plastic bag. Leave them somewhere nice and warm to prove until almost doubled in size; this could take 3 or 4 hours, as the dough is cold.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. For the glaze, beat the egg and milk together. Transfer the risen loaves to a baking tray and brush all over with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar on top. Bake for about 10 mins, then lower the oven setting to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Brioche is best enjoyed the day they are baked, but will keep for a day in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.



Indian Head Massage

 

The Power of Touch

Champissage (the Hindi term for the practice, and massagealso known as an Indian Head Massage is a trademarked term for an alternative medicine massage therapy.

In Champissage, the neck, shoulders, head and face are massaged with the purpose of manipulating important energy channels. The goal is to clear blocks in these significant energy channels that cause a build-up of negative energy that are purported to cause ailments. The belief is when the energy does not flow properly negative energy builds up, causing common ailments, including stress, pain, inception (sensation of pains), aches, and/or even baldness or hair loss. Massaging the hair & head is soothing and deeply relaxing.  It improves circulation, helping to nourish the hair and drain away accumulated toxins. Indian Head Massage can also relieve eyestrains, headaches, sinusitis, congestion and insomnia and, by manipulating the blood circulation to the head and neck you improve your respiratory system, lymphatic drainage, muscle tone and mobility in the head, neck and shoulder area.  Base oils can be incorporated into the head massage to assist with particular concerns/disorders such as dry or oily scalp, promote hair growth or slow down hair loss. Mustard Oil is the most popular and traditional one used.  Other good base oils to use are Sesame, Olive, Almond, Avocado, Jojoba, and Coconut.  Essential oils may also be added to treat certain conditions, and its effect is not just physical but works on an emotional level by calming the spirit, promoting relaxation and stress relieving. You & your Practitioner can discuss and decide on an appropriate blend.

Champissage is practiced all over Europe but was first brought to the west by Narendra Mehta in the 1970s. Mehta, a physical and manual therapist, took the Indian tradition of family head grooming and massage and added massage of the neck, face, and shoulders, as well as energetic aspects including shiatsu. Utilizing the knowledge of mind, body, and spirit is what makes Indian head massage so effective. 



Chef Marty’s German Caramelized Apple Pancakes

Ingredients:

6 eggs
½ cup 2% milk
½ cup A.P. flour
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ lb. melted whole unsalted butter 

Caramelized Apples

3 pcs Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon

Whipped Cream

1 cup 35% cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp real vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon juice 

Method:

For the Caramelized Apples

Peel and core the apples and slice ¼ inch thick. In a medium sized pan (non-stick preferably) melt the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the apples and toss to coat with the melted butter. Sauté the apples until nicely browned on all sides turning only often enough to avoid burning. Once a nice browned colour has been reached add the sugar and ground cinnamon. Continue to cook until the sugar become a caramelized syrupy consistency. Remove the apples from the heat and keep in a warm place until needed for service.

For the Whipped Cream

In a cold stainless steel or glass bowl pour in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Whip using a hand blender on medium speed (medium speed will create smaller bubbles in the cream and therefore create a denser creamier whipped cream). Once the cream is half-way whipped add the icing sugar and continue to whip but on low speed at first while incorporating the sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Store wrapped in the fridge until needed to serve.

For the Pancakes

In a medium sized bowl whisk all of the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Whisk the eggs together until well blended. Add the milk and vanilla to the eggs. Make a hollow indentation into the center of the flour and slowly whisk in the eggs mixture until a smooth batter is formed.

Heat a large non-stick or very well-seasoned stainless steel pan over medium heat. For each pancake first pour 1 to 2 tables spoons of melted unsalted butter into the pan coating thoroughly (you can use whole cold butter is you so desire but this takes slightly longer and cools the pan each time). Once the pan has been well coated, pour in approximately 3 ounces of batter and lift the pan and tilt in a circular motion until the entire bottom is coated with batter. This needs to be done quickly to ensure the batter is of even thickness throughout. Fry until the top begins to dry slightly. Flip the pancake and fry for another minute or so. Slide the pancake onto the plate and fill with a good portion of caramelized apples and drizzle with a tablespoon of maple syrup before rolling up into a long tub. Repeat the process and serve two rolled stuffed pancakes topped with another drizzle of maple syrup and two nice dollops of whipped cream.

 



Let It Be GREEN

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Hotel guests of today are far more likely to be concerned about environmental issues such as recycling bottles, cans and paper at home as well as making greener lifestyle choices, such as organic food or fuel-efficient vehicles. As such, traveller’s today are concerned if their hotel is committed to environmental sustainability because travelling for leisure or business doesn’t mean we have to leave our green habits at home.

A “GREEN” hotel is an environmentally friendly property that take the initiative to implement very important practices and programs to reduce energy, water and waste. Hotels use an enormous amount of energy, collect an enormous amount of waste, and use a tremendous amount of water, it’s important that hotels embrace going GREEN and reduce the impact on our planet.

Ideas for going GREEN

Install thermostats & heating/air conditioning controllers in each room

Use non-toxic, earth friendly cleaning agents

Start a linen, towels and sheets, reuse program in all guest rooms

Implement fluorescent lighting. Use sensors /timers in frequently used areas

Switch to low flow toilets

Use low flow shower heads in guest rooms

Provide guests with bicycles, walking maps, information on public transportation

Apply window tint/film to reduce heating and air-conditioning demands in rooms

Educate staff & guests about going GREEN with brochures or signs for guests to follow

Use bulk soaps and toiletries (refillable dispensers)

Recycling baskets in all guest rooms, recycling bins in all public areas & back of house

Purchase Local Products 

Reduce food waste disposal

Implementing programs that involve management, employees, guests and the public to teach and encourage them to protect the environment and keep energy consumption to a minimum, hotels should create a ‘green team’ with the goal of continual improvement and scheduled re-evaluation and reporting.

The Old Mill Toronto has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies & practices. We participate with the Green Key Eco-Rating program which is a rating system designed to recognize hotels for improving their environmental performance.



Valentine’s Day

Every year on February 14th, we exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with our special “valentine” all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did this tradition come from.

The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the ancient Roman holiday Lupercalia, where young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Another legend has it that Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine.” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure.

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. 

In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.

This year why not make a special hand-made Valentines Day Card for your Valentine.



Creole Seasoning Mix

 

This Creole seasoning blend is great for seasoning rice, meats, soups and stews, or anything that needs a flavour boost.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Salmon or Trout Sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoon creole seasoning
2 or 2  1/2 tablespoons miracle whip
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 chili pepper finely chopped– optional

The above ingredients are guidelines/approx. measurements adjust to taste and quantity of fish (the above should do 2 to 3 fillets easily)

Method:

Season fish with Black pepper and oil
BBQ until desired doneness
Remove from heat and apply sauce liberally
Serve and Enjoy!



Health Benefits of Spinach

Among the World’s Healthiest vegetables, spinach comes out at the top of the ranking list for nutrient richness. Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of lutein, which makes it a particularly important food for the promotion of healthy eyesight and the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration.

This antioxidant – loaded green will keep you lean. Spinach is a fantastic source of carotenes, vitamin C and K, and folic acid. It’s a great source of magnesium, iron, manganese and vitamin B2. It’s also a very good source of vitamins E, B1 and B6.

Scientific study has identified no less than 13 different flavonoid compounds known as methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides found in spinach which function as anticancer agents.

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green colour provide more nutrients than any other food. Although spinach is available throughout the year, its season runs from March through May and from September through October when it is the freshest, has the best flavour, and is most readily available.

Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.

Do not wash spinach before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

Some Spinach Ideas: 

* For a nutrition boost, use fresh spinach leaves in a wrap or sandwich instead of lettuce.

* Add layers of spinach to your next lasagne recipe.

* Make a yummy healthy dip: Mix one package of frozen spinach (defrosted and drained of water) with 3/4 cup  of Greek Yogurt, and sprinkle any of your favourite herbs and spices.

* Stir Fry leaves with a little minced garlic, olive oil and a few chopped nuts.

* Serve any entree on a bed of spinach instead of over carbs, such as rice or pasta.

Come enjoy our Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad from our lunch menu, with Clementines, Red Onions, Candied Pecans and Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, a healthy and delicious option.



Planning The Perfect Wedding Menu

With so many options today, choosing the right menu for your wedding dinner has become more complicated.  Caterers offer a variety of meal packages that you can change or add-to, but remember to keep track of the costs as you make changes to the basic menu package.

The wedding menu can be a simple self serve buffet to an elaborate five course meal. Traditionally a seated dinner is generally preceded by a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, a first course, a main entree, and a dessert.

The cocktail hour is the best place to be adventurous about food selections. Be creative, make a statement, try sushi, dim sum and authentic ethnic food, like Thai or Indian. If your family and friends have conservative palates, you may want to limit the more exotic foods to simpler hors d’oeuvres.

You don’t want to spoil your guests appetites, but you want a server to constantly circulate with hors d’oeuvres and perhaps have two food stations with a small selection that guests can help themselves. Assume that each guest will eat about 5 – 6 hors d’oeuvres per hour and allow for 3 glasses of wine per person. You may decide to serve only wine during the dinner hour with no access to an open bar. The open bar can be reserved for the after-dinner party.  Also, keep in mind people do expect to stand at a cocktail party, but your older guests may need to be seated. 

The most common option for weddings is plated food served individually. The cost is typically higher then a buffet or family-style dinner. French style is a more refined version of plate service. Each course is arranged on a large serving dish and presented to each guest at the table.  The guests serve themselves with tongs or forks, however at most weddings, the waiter serves the food on to your plate.

For the couple who can’t decide on one or two items, they should consider food stations. A station is a buffet table featuring a particular type of food. A station reception should have 4 or 5 tables. Each table should offer a different course or style of cooking.

The cost per dinner depends on what you will be serving; the price of the food and the price of serving the food which includes, rentals, staff, service charge and gratuities. Negotiate with your caterer and be prepared to listen to your caterers advice. If your menu preference is not within your budget, you can always ask your caterer to consider serving smaller portions or alternatively if your menu includes expensive food, choose a more economical style of service.

Keep in mind that wedding etiquette dictates only that you need to throw a gracious and thoughtful party, not that you offer caviar and expensive champagne.

The cutting of your wedding cake should be a memorable one. If a tiered cake isn’t your style there are many alternatives. Cupcakes are all the rage right now and make a wonderful unique display.

The most important goal of any wedding is to express yourself as a couple, so be creative!

And Congratulations!



How to Kick Start Your Immune System

Even healthy people can catch a cold or flu now and then, but you can kick start your immune system’s defence against viruses and bacteria to limit your chances of getting sick this winter.

The basics are: Exercise, Rest and a Healthy Diet featuring whole foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation. Eating onions, garlic, ginger and sage can aid in fighting infections and following a diet rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables, support your immune system and combat free radicals known to damage DNA and suppress your immune system. 

Avoiding sugary drinks and drinking plenty of water helps to fend off infection by filtering out your system.

Regular moderate exercise can mobilize your T cells, a type of white blood cell known to guard the body against infection. A brisk 30 minute walk daily can cut your risk in half of catching a cold.

Getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night helps to regulate your immune function which is vital to preventing sickness.

Simply keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to ward of illness. In short boosting your immune system naturally will help you live a healthier life.

1.  Eat nutrient dense foods
2.  Exercise regularly
3.  Prioritize sleep
4.  Limit sugar consumption
5.  Use herbs for the immune system

Natural Immunity Boosters:

Oregano Oil – Helps improve your gut health by eliminating bad bacteria in your digestive system while boosting your immune system. 

Cruciferous Vegetables – Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Broccoli, Lettuce and Cabbage support your liver and immune function by boosting the liver’s ability to flush out toxins.

Ginger – Ginger helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, particularly in the lungs and sinuses.  Ginger also helps to cleanse the lymphatic system.

Garlic – One clove contains 5 mg calcium, 12 mg potassium, and more than 100 sulphuric compounds powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection, lower blood pressure and kill parasites in the body.

Here’s to staying healthy this holiday season!