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Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée

From The Old Mill Toronto Pastry Shop

Ingredients:

*  5 Egg Yolks
*  2 Eggs
*  3/4 Cup Sugar
*  1L (4 cups) Whipping Cream (35%)
*  1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
*  150 g Pumpkin Puree
*  3/4 tsp Cinnamon
*  1/2 tsp Ginger
*  1/2 tsp Nutmeg 

Pre-Heat oven to 310F

In a large bowl, whick eggs, egg yolks & vanilla.

In a sauce pot, mix cream, pumpkin, sugar and spices.

Bring to a boil, and gradually add the hot mixture to the eggs, whisking the entire time to ensure that the eggs are not scrambled.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Pour into prepared ramekins/serving dishes, and bake in a water bath until set to a gelatine state. Depending on the size of the serving vessels, cooking time can vary 30 – 50 minutes.

Let cool, and chill in refrigerator for up to one week.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle with sugar and burn with a small torch until sugar caramelizes and creates a shell.

* Mix can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to one week without baking.



“Finally! Something that Works on Men’s Skin!”

The male target market within the skin care industry has grown significantly over the years, and Katherine Asmono had a chance to chat with the new President of Audi Canada and fan of Canada’s Clayton Shagal Skin Care Products about his fascination with the product line.

An Interview with Daniel Weissland, President of Audi Canada

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. From what I understand, your schedule has been quite busy since your appointment.

Yes. But I’m used to it. I’m up early and have long days.

Being President of Audi Canada is quite an accomplishment.  What does your job entail?

Lots of meetings and traveling across Canada, as well as to Europe. I also attend different functions like charity events, Chamber of Commerce meetings, and press or media events.

How are you and your family adjusting to living in Toronto?

It’s very nice here. We’re enjoying it so far. Good food, nice people, and interesting mixture of culture. I even took the subway a few times! Coming from Ingolstadt, Germany, and comparing the traffic, Toronto wins. Much more traffic here but I manage fine. I drive an Audi. (Weissland smiles).

Let’s talk about skin care and Clayton Shagal…How did you first come across the brand?

The first time I heard about the brand was in 1998 when I was still an intern for Audi and visited Toronto. My wife used it for awhile when she lived here back then. But I didn’t get into it for my personal use until 2015 and I like it very much.

What skin care brand were you using before Clayton Shagal?

Whatever was around the bathroom at home, like Shisheido or Clinique. I didn’t pay much attention because the products kept changing. My wife would spend hundreds of dollars on products that were supposed to perform miracles, and then she would throw them out because they didn’t live up to their claims and try another brand. As a businessman, I wasn’t happy because this cycle was more cost than any benefit!

What was most compelling about trying Clayton Shagal?

Finally! Something that works on men’s skin! Clayton Shagal Skin Care is something that appeals to a male audience, not just women. I like that it’s progressive. It’s innovative, which falls in line with what I deal with everyday in Audi. We’re about technology, innovation, and efficiency. And so is Clayton Shagal when it comes to collagen and building the skin’s foundation. It’s interesting that they can capture a market so differently than their competitors with a single product.

Do you have a skin care routine now? What products are you using now?

Yes. Every morning I wash my face with Clayton Shagal’s Gel Lotion Cleanser. I also use it as a shaving gel. It helps me get a smooth shave and saves me time. I use the Clayton Shagal Elastin Gel Plus in the morning, followed by the Clayton Shagal Illumine Cream. I use the Clayton Shagal Collagen Gel Plus at night. I love that the gels just go into my skin and I can use around my eyes.

I heard that there’s another favourite Clayton Shagal product that you use and make sure you have when you travel.

Ah yes! Sometimes, I use the Clayton Shagal Clear Skin Spot Treatment when I get a pimple. I use it a couple of times a day and then my pimple is gone. I’ve never come across any spot treatment that works like it. This spot treatment really comes in handy. It’s like magic!

Before a big event, my wife would get her “signature zit” between her eyebrows and she would stress about it. Now, she doesn’t get it anymore!

Seems like you have your skin care routine down pat and you seem comfortable using a moisturizer.

Yes, my routine is simple and efficient. Moving here from Germany, I found my skin felt dry sometimes. Both my wife and I use the products. She really loves it! She says her pores are smaller (which may mean more to you than me) and her skin is so soft… We’re both big fans of Clayton Shagal! We each have our own jars in the bathroom! His and hers…

How does great skin make you feel?

Good. Just like it does when I play some sports and eat healthy.  I really like that I don’t have that shiny look. Because the Clayton Shagal products I’m using help regulate my oils, I don’t need photo touch ups anymore! No need to “powder my nose,” as my wife would say. When we do media events or on-the-spot photos at functions, my skin looks good in pictures.

My skin felt very good after my Clayton Shagal facial at The Spa at the Old Mill Toronto. I almost fell asleep because it was so relaxing. The staff was very professional and courteous. I plan to take my wife there when we have some time.

What would you want to share with other men about using Clayton Shagal Skin Care Products?

I like how progressive and effective Clayton Shagal products are. It’s not complicated and I get results. Then, there’s also the cost-benefit. Good value for money because of how long the product lasts. You spend some money and get a good return on your investment. Skin care products aren’t just for women. Men also need to take care of their skin. It’s like the outside of a car; it’s what people look at.

But really, my skin feels great! It’s smooth and hydrated. Even the moisturizer I use doesn’t leave me feeling oily or looking shiny. Best of all, I can keep it looking young for a longer time!

So, if you could drive any car in the world, what would it be?

An Audi of course! My favourite right now is the R8. Unfortunately, you can’t drive it so fast here!

Many thanks to Daniel Weissland for sharing his viewpoints on men’s skin care. 

Interview by By Katherine Asmono



How To Choose Your Wedding Venue

 

Choosing the best venue for your wedding is important, and it may seem like a task consisting only of liking a space or not, but in reality there is way more to consider than that. Since the number of wedding venue options are infinite now, there are many important questions couples need to consider before booking their venue.  It’s always a great idea to be prepared with your questions and priorities and keep track of all your top points on a spreadsheet, allowing you to keep track of each venues suitability as you do your research.

Having a rough idea of your “wedding size”, whether you will invite 60,125 or 300 guests, will narrow down the venues on your list that don’t have the capacity to fit your estimated guest list. It is also a good idea to have your budget in mind, no sense in keeping a $12,000 venue on your list when you can really only afford $4,000.

Things you should consider;

Is this venue available on the date that I want? 
Do you have a specific day or month in mind? Always a good idea to double-check availability at the site visit.

Does this venue’s space fit my needs? 
If you want your ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one venue, does the space your considering have separate spaces for all of those events?  Does it require a space that is weather dependent, such as an outdoor space?  It’s also important to talk through the flow of the ceremony if you’re having one there and pay attention to the little details, like routes your guests will take, what the bathrooms are like, whether they have heating/air conditioning and where the power sockets are for your entertainment and speeches. 

Is the catering in-house or is there an approved caterers list?
Are there any sample menus you can look at and do they provide menu tastings? What type of menu service is provided, for example, plated, buffet, french service, food stations etc.

Location, Location, Location…
Will you have to provide transportation for guests from a hotel to your venue or do they have onsite accommodation for your guests? How easy is it to access by public transport? If everyone is driving, is there ample parking. 

How does the pricing structure work?
Is it based on room rental, price per head, minimum spend or are there set packages?  What are your bar options, can you supply your own beverages and will there be a corkage charge? Are there any extra rental charges for tables, chairs linen and flatware?  

What Kind of Venue are you looking for?
Consider whether you want a traditional or non-traditional venue. Are you looking for rustic, formal, romantic, elegant, relaxed, historical, the wedding style you envision will help determine your venue options. Hotels, Golf Clubs, Beaches, Vineyards, Formal Gardens, there are plenty of venues that regularly play host to weddings, even barns and galleries! Keep in mind if you opt for a totally non-traditional venue that’s not equipped to host a party, you’ll be responsible for a lot more details so make sure they are in your budget. You should also consider the decor of the venue, is the venue naturally beautiful and impressive or is it a blank slate that will need additional decor and pizzaz to warm it up?

Few Ceremony and reception venues compare with the casual elegance and timeless style of the Old Mill Toronto to help you realize your dream wedding. Our on site 16th century candlelit chapel and out door wedding garden add to the array of personal choices. 

Join us on Tuesday February 23rd for the Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House. Meet our preferred venders, view our beautiful venue, enjoy complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and beverages and enter to win a weekend getaway. 



Fifty Shades of White

It was the Ragtime era, when the phonograph became available to consumers. The first time guests were dancing at weddings; and in spite of high waists and high collars, long trains and long gloves it was the bopping head and flailing arms and legs of the Turkey Trot that was coveted by the youth and considered scandalous by polite society.

In 1914; the start of World War I the Toronto cityscape was dotted with horse and buggies as the population pushed 200,000. It was the year of the opening of the Old Mill Tea Room, the future venue for a legacy of weddings that would define the iconic Toronto landmark.

In 1929 the Old Mill Tea Room added a dance hall; and a nine piece orchestra that played six nights a week. It was the Depression so although couples continued to exchange vows brides were exchanging silk for rayon gowns or their Sunday dresses that could be worn again.

In the thirties with women supplying ¼ of Toronto’s workforce the world was introduced to mac ‘n cheese, instant oatmeal and canned soup varieties. The invention of kettles that whistled when they boiled and blenders for home use made it easier for women to go to work.

Amid World War II even more women were employed and weddings were planned with haste to young men in the forces. Vogue magazine wrote (1942) “Weddings nowadays hang not on the brides’ whim, but on the decision of the grooms’ commanding officer.”

Grooms were increasingly wearing wedding bands as visual reminders of their nuptials.

This era of rationing and practicality forced shorter hemlines (above the ankle for bike-riding ease) and lacy sweaters to get the most mileage out of a ball of wool. Brides were not exempt from frugality often using furnishing fabrics and lace curtains to fashion their wedding attire.

Life was better in the fifties. Toronto got a television broadcast system, TV dinners were on grocery shelves and portable dishwashers were being wheeled into kitchens.

Brides were wearing ballerina-length dresses with luxurious poufy layers and short fingerless gloves made of lace. Bolero jackets were in demand for ceremonies, covering strapless or laced dresses with sweetheart collars for the reception.

In the sixties women were making up 1/3 of the Canadian workforce and ¼ of the Canadian engineering profession. They were learning that ovens could (and should) clean themselves.

When they were grooving down the aisle brides were choosing short skirts or dresses and hair worn long, dotted with flowers or veils popping from pill box hats.

Toronto enjoyed architectural successes in the seventies, with Ontario Place, The Eaton Centre and The CN Tower being erected. Microwave ovens hit the Canadian market but the decade is generally associated with flower power and the peace movement.

Blame it on the hippies, but seventies brides had their own fashion senses. From pantsuits to smocked gauze gowns to Bohemian frocks this was an era of recreational duds.

O Canada became the official national anthem in 1980 kicking off an era of formality and tradition in wedding styles.

If one person can define the decade it was Diana, Princess of Wales who set the tone for puffy hair, puffy sleeves, long-distance trains and veils and the return to bodacious bouquets. Brides among the non-nobles dressed as princesses nonetheless.

The nineties were digital; as in cameras, answering machines and video discs. People were still using coin booth telephones but mobile phones were introduced to the marketplace.

In fashion, the ‘designer look’ was desirable. Brides were wearing strapless, sleeveless and sexy gowns. Cleavage was in (or out?) and dresses were form fitting.

At the turn of the century the vowels were ahead; with the arrival of iPhones, e-tickets, e-books, USBs and ATMs.

Drinks are frothy and wedding gowns more so. Pick-up skirts and asymmetrical hems fall from form fitting bodices.

Mermaids may be mystical in the sea but on the aisle the Mermaid dress is genuine and sought after, as is the Pandora, Princess, Sabrina or Tulip dress.

A century of changing styles, fashions and trends; yet the Old Mill Toronto is unwavering in their dedication to their brides and their special days.

You might say that the Old Mill Toronto, Toronto’s most romantic wedding venue, will go to great lengths to seek perfection.



Fig Glazed Chicken Recipe

In making this Fig, Balsamic Glazed Chicken you only require three ingredients to deliver  a tangy mouthwatering sensation.  This marinade doesn’t require a lot of time and is great for those nights when you had nothing planned.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fig spread, (jam)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard
  • 1.3 kg bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (about 8 pieces) 

In a bowl, whisk together fig spread, vinegar, mustard and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper until smooth. Toss half of the mixture with the chicken to coat.

Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once and brushing with remaining fig mixture, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, approx. 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!



Wedding Candy Bar Inspiration!

Here’s the scoop, pulling off a beautiful dessert or candy bar display isn’t as easy as it looks, but the end result can be visually stunning as well as yummy! Every Candy Bar should be unique and an expression of your own personality.

It is important to keep your candy bar cohesive with a theme or color scheme. To be visually captivating, you could choose a colour scheme that matches your wedding palette. Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established for your wedding can enhance your candy bar’s presence.

You can add depth and height in your display with simple boxes, creating a beautiful landscape on your candy bar.  You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or cover with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing look.

Consider where your candy bar will be located.  Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures?  Will it be open so people can access it from all sides, or will it be round?  Melting can be an issue in warmer seasons, so  keep your candy table in air conditioning or choose candies that won’t melt by the end of the night.

Now on to the good stuff CANDY:

Try to stock at least 1/4 -1/2 lbs of candy per guest. As long as you have a mix of flavours and treats, anything goes. Remember colour is key and having a specific colour scheme can really make your table pop. Make sure to consider different hues and shades of your main colour scheme. Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant. 

Try to be creative by bundling lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some candies to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless. Remember to keep it simple, having a variety of flavours and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavour profile.  Whether it be a sour candy bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush! Oh, and a candy bar doesn’t have to be just candy, consider mini cookies, mini cupcakes and coloured kettle corn.  

Don’t forget about guest allergies, you should either leave those candies off the table or make sure they’re clearly marked. The time of season can also dictate the type of candy you select—for example, cinnamon and pumpkin treats work for fall while tart lemon and citrus candies are perfect for summer.    

Final rule; there are no rules, the sky is the limit, so have fun with your selection and theme, and remember sometimes less is more.