Blog

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque Recipe

Discover eating well with this healthy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque recipe. Bursting with flavour and best served with crusty bread and a salad. 

Ingredients:

·         Canned tomato fillets (chopped tomatoes are also fine) x 2 cans (400 ml size)
·         Medium carrots, peeled & chopped x 2 pc
·         Celery trimmed and sliced x 3 stalks
·         Two cloves of garlic minced
·         Medium sized cooking onions chopped x 2
·         3 – 4 Medium to Large sized Red Bell Peppers approx. 1.5 lbs
·         Chicken or Vegetable soup stock (liquid or if in powder form follow the package                 recipe to make the required amount of liquid) x 1 litre
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
·         Olive oil x 1 fluid ounce

Method:

First  cut the red peppers in half and remove the core and all of the seeds. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Roast in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven skin side down until nicely browned. This will take 10 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. Once roasted remove from the oven and place in a tied plastic bag, large zip-lock bag, or makeshift plastic wrap bag. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins from the peppers.

In a medium sized sauce pan add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes more.

Add the canned tomatoes, roasted pepper halves and soup stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 -12  minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand emersion blender blend the soup until smooth. If using a traditional blender to blend the soup make sure you place a kitchen towel on top of the lid and allow some air to escape on low speed first. Just be sure not to fill the blender too full. This will prevent the pressure from building inside the blender abruptly and potentially burning you as the contents burst out of the blender.

Adjust the thickness of the soup by boiling it down to your preferred consistency prior to adjusting the seasoning.

If your soup is too thick, add some water or stock. If you like a little heat in your soup add a freshly chopped jalapeno.



What is Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathic Treatment is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. Osteopathic Treatment is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.

Osteopathy is a patient centred discipline, which means your treatment plan will be formulated for you as an individual, because symptoms sometimes show up in a different part of your body from where the problem actually is and there may be several factors contributing to the symptoms you experience.

Osteopaths use a gentle hands-on approach to investigate the underlying causes of pain and to administer treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques. This fundamental technique is called osteopathic palpation. 

Osteopathic palpation is what makes osteopathy different from other forms of therapy. Manual practitioners use it in the four major treatment techniques:

Soft Tissue Manipulation

The practitioner uses soft tissue manipulation in many different ways. In general, they use it to evaluate the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymphatic fluid) flow smoothly. Keeping fluids flowing smoothly reduces harmful fluid retention and makes the body’s immune system more effective.

Osteopathic Articular Technique 

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use this technique to:

  • reduce muscle spasms near a joint
  • ease neurological irritations around a joint
  • make joints more mobile
  • reduce pain and discomfort

click is sometimes heard when the correction is made. This is nothing more than the synovial fluid moving through the joint.

The osteopathic articular technique is a very small component of osteopathy. Patients who do not want to have this (or any other) technique performed on them are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their practitioner. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can use other methods to achieve similar results.

Cranial Osteopathy

This is the most gentle osteopathic technique, and it requires the most experience to use effectively. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use this gentle technique to assess and treat the mobility of the skull and its contents. They may also use it to assess and treat the spine, the sacrum, and other parts of the body.

Visceral Manipulation

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use visceral manipulation to treat organs and viscera of the body, including:

  • lungs
  • heart
  • liver
  • spleen
  • kidneys
  • stomach
  • pancreas
  • intestines
  • bladder
  • uterus

Clients may feel pain in one or more of these organs, or the viscera may be less pliable than it should be. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners gently move the structures themselves and the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds them to restore full movement.

Most patients treated with visceral manipulation feel only gentle pressure of the osteopathic manual practitioner’s hand. But the corrections are powerful enough to improve the mobility of an organ, improve blood flow, and help the organ function more effectively.

Note: It is important that you speak with your medical doctor for the complete diagnosis of any medical condition.

Alex Zaslavsky has been a registered massage therapist since 2008. Alex’s introduction to manual haling practices/therapy started in his early teens, when he was actively involved in contact sports. Sports massage during and after wrestling workouts or competitions provided him with certain skills and enough confidence to treat athletes or anyone who wanted or needed massage treatments.

Several serious injuries which Alex suffered in the course of his wrestling career, made him retire from the sport. Alex needed to heal himself naturally, which he knew would take a long time. In the process of observing and participating in therapeutic sessions in which he happened to be a patient, months of recovery from his many injuries, knowledge of exercise, and patience, combining with his education as a Massage Therapist, gave him a valuable ability and knowledge in treating people with musculoskeletal injuries, pain or discomfort.

Besides Massage Therapist, Alex is also a Registered Acupuncturist, he teaches massage technique classes at Euro Training Center and now proud to say an Osteopathic Manual Treatment Practitioner at the Spa at Old Mill Toronto.



Tuscan Kale, Squash, & Quinoa Salad

Tuscan Kale is also known as cavolo nero (black kale) or dinosaur kale. It’s slightly bitter flavour is a good foil for the sweet roasted squash. To bump up the protein, sprinkle with chopped almonds or walnuts, or top with a poached egg.

Dressing

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

3 cups (750 ml) diced squash
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 red onion cut into wedges
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) red or yellow quinoa
1/2 small bunch Tuscan Kale (about 3 cups/750 ml packed), stemmed and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 ml) cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
For the dressing, whisk lemon juice with mustard, then whisk in oil, set aside.
For the salad, toss squash, unpeeled garlic cloves and onion with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large, wide pot, combine quinoa with 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes until wilted. Drain off excess water, and then turn mixture into large bowl. Add roasted squash and onion, chickpeas, basil and Parmesan.
Squeeze garlic from skins onto cutting board. Using flat side of knife, mash to a paste. Which into dressing. Pour over salad and toss to mix evenly.

Serves 6
 



How to plan an Office Festive Party

The most effective way to plan a successful office festive party is to first understand the goal behind the event.

1. Are you using this as a motivational event 
2. Do you want to hand out awards to employees in recognition of performance 
3. Do you want to say thank you to everyone and Celebrate.

When you know what your goal is it will help you get started and organize things into place. But don’t go at it alone, you need to assign a team to help plan the party. This will allow the event to be the result of multiple perspectives and will make the party planning workload more manageable. 

The top key initiatives to begin with are;

1. Set a preliminary reasonable budget
2. Select the location for the Festive Party
3. Select the menu for the Festive Party 
4. Select the entertainment, decor, gifts and if necessary the awards. 

Remember to consider the time and location, it should be a place that is suitable to everyone. Is it close to public transportation, is parking included, do they have over night accommodations? Wether your hosting a cocktail party, a buffet, or a sit down meal it is easier to have a theme which sets the tone of the event and gives you a starting point when selecting your menu, entertainment and decor.

Knowing your budget will determine how much you can spend on food, entertainment, room rental, decorations and other items you may wish to purchase.

When you find a location suitable make sure you discuss room rental costs and what is included in those fees.  Do they provide security for your event? Do they provide bar tenders? Do they provide linens, plates, napkins and silverware? Do they have in-house Dj’s? Do they have any festive decorations? Take advantage of everything they offer for free to help with your budget.

As you get closer to your date it’s a good idea to make a critical path list, tracking all the details big and small. Make sure you have covered all the time-sensitive details and double check your list to make sure you have not forgotten anything.

Also think about planning some activities during the party, nothing is worse than walking into a decorated room with tables full of food and employees hiding in every possible corner. As awful as icebreaker games can be, you need to find a way to inspire your employees to interact with one another.

A slide show of memorable moments from the year can give shy employees something to focus on. Everyone enjoys a photo booth, which will give you images to post on your company blog or at next year’s holiday party.

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



Romantic Winter Weddings

While winter is not the most popular season for weddings, we are seeing more couples create a romantic wedding during the starkness of winter. A winter wedding can be truly spectacular. Bright colours and twinkling lights add a cozy warmth, that can not be captured the same way at a summer wedding.

Keep in mind, when choosing a winter wedding location, the indoor space should be warm and inviting, making your guests feel at home. Wood-burning fireplaces and rooms with windows, so you can see the soft fall of snowflakes outside, and, the sun flooding your room with natural light adds a cozy warmth to your winter wedding. It is also a good idea to select a wedding venue that can accommodate everything you need in one location; ceremony, reception and overnight accommodations for your guests.

The ambience around a winter wedding is similar to the first snowfall of the season, it’s magical and very romantic. Make sure to highlight and maximize the winter elements in your decor; faux snow and Christmas twinkle lights add to a perfect winter wedding wonderland, incorporate this with natural components, such as frosted pinecones, pine leaves and snowflakes. 

A romantic winter wedding provides the perfect opportunity to serve wintry comfort foods. Try hearty dishes, like pasta, lasagna, a roast, casseroles, classic filet mignon, hearty greens and warm soups. Also, be fun and creative with the dessert course and set up a hot chocolate bar or s’mores bar. Serve creamy eggnog cocktails and spicy mulled wines, it’s a sweet and stylish way to celebrate the season.

There’s a new take on self-service candy bars that’s perfect for trendy winter weddings: an all-white candy spread. Think white M&Ms, yogurt-covered pretzels, white chocolate-covered cranberries, white-coated chocolate mints, nonpareils covered in white sprinkles, and various white Jelly Belly flavours. Self service candy bars can serve as both dessert and party favours.

Have a look at some winter wedding inspirations on pinterest.

Don forget to have fun creating a winter-themed wedding invitation. You can play up the uniqueness of your chosen wedding date by including snowy scenes, holiday themes, snowflakes or cozy fireside tableaux.

And, when it’s time to shop for your wedding dress begin your search by browsing dress photos online. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice of material, brocade, faux fur and velvet will keep you warm in the winter, but, satin, shantung, silk and tulle are perfect year-round.

The entire wedding, from ceremony to reception, is guaranteed to make an impression in the memories of all your guests simply because it’s different from all of the spring and summer weddings they typically attend. Plus, your wedding will provide something to look forward to in the colder months.

Few Toronto wedding venues compare with the casual elegance and timeless style of our unique Old Mill Toronto, creating an unrivalled location for your special Wedding day.



What Wines Pair Best With Thanksgiving Dinner?

When it comes to selecting the best wine pairing for Thanksgiving Day it’s truly about what you prefer and what your guests will enjoy. There are no hard and fast turkey pairing rules, just plenty of pairing options to experiment with and see what works best for you and your guests.

Can one type of wine take you seamlessly from appetizers, all the way to pumpkin pie? Of course this can work, if thats your preference but what about having some fun selecting various wines to accompany each component of your meal.  The art of pairing wines with food is largely a matter of personal preference; however, some safe bets for Thanksgiving wines are Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel for red wine lovers and Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier for those who prefer white wines.

Best Thanksgiving White Wines 

Riesling: A white wine that may either be bone dry or fairly sweet, excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet. Whether from Alsace, Germany or Washington – Riesling wines are a top pick white wine for pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Riesling’s innate flavours of apple, apricot, honey and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat and spice-laden or herbed stuffing.

Gewurztraminer: This white wine tends to have the aromatic gusto and spicy palate appeal that give it a solid standing with turkey and gravy, bringing out the best in both. Gewurztraminer offers a delicious white wine option for Thanksgiving Day.

Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavours that can be surrounded by herb or mineral undertones, making it a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes.

Pinot Grigio: Capable of handling garlic and onions, herbs and rich, flavorful, high-fat dishes, this white wine is a natural for the demands of Thanksgiving Day.

Albarino and Viognier, while they may not boast the initial name recognition of say…Chardonnay, these white wines offer the perfect opportunity to shake up the Thanksgiving table and take your guests on a little wine adventure, while still maintaining perfect pairing power.

Top Red Wine Thanksgiving Options 

Pinot Noir: This red wine is a traditional favorite for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir’s subtle earthy undertones and often mushroom inspired flavors surround the fruit features of the wine and tend to show well with the traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing.

Zinfandel: A fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity from a Pinot Noir, but still maintains a balancing effect on many traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. This would be a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine with the capacity to accommodate spice, bitter and sweet flavor profiles.

Syrah/Shiraz: The Syrah grape can bring a spicy edge or a meaty character to the table often increasing the complexity, while graciously handling the cornucopia of flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The prevalent peppery notes of Syrah will partner well with the herb-infused stuffing and both the white and dark turkey meat.

Beaujolais Nouveau: A light, fruity red wine, from the Gamay grape, that goes quite well with turkey and all of the fixings. This wine is released from France on the third Thursday of November, just in time to highlight your Thanksgiving feast!

Rosé and Sherry wines, along with the sparkling wine are also worthy of consideration for Thanksgiving wine pairing potential. They all provide a capable go between for those that are not firmly camped in either the red or white wine trenches. If you are considering a sparkling wine you may choose one labeled as “extra dry” – which will offer a touch more fruit flavor than a “brut.” As for rosé wines, a drier selection will be the most versatile for pairing with virtually any part of the Thanksgiving feast. Keep in mind that if you are hosting 5 or 50 guests this Thanksgiving that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to offer a lovely selection of wines. There are many well-received, well-rated value wines that you can obtain for $10 or less.

For those of you who prefer to leave the wine selection in our hands, not to mention all the dishes too, treat your family to our delicious traditional Thanksgiving Feast with our Brunch Buffet or the fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet at the Old Mill Toronto. Prepared by our talented culinary team, dedicated to making your family get together a joyous Thanksgiving gathering.