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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.



Creamy Sausage & Mushroom Rigatoni

Enjoy this easy-to-follow Italian pasta dish at your next family dinner. The tubes of rigatoni are the perfect size to hold the creamy sauce and small pieces of sausage inside, giving you flavour in every bite.

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

* 12 ounces of rigatoni Pasta
* 12 ounces bulk Italian Sausage (mild or spicy)
* 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Butter
* 1 pound sliced mushrooms
* 1 small onion diced
* 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
* 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper 
* 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
* Minced Fresh Basil (optional)

Cook rigatoni according to package directions in salted water

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook sausage (remove from casing) over medium heat 4 – 6 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain and remove from pan.

In same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add Onions and salute until translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper, cook covered 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook and stir 2 – 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid is completely evaporated.

Stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. 

Return sausage to skillet; heat through. Drain pasta; serve with sauce, If desired, sprinkle with basil. 

Add a dash of red pepper flakes for some heat (optional)
 

 



Where Did Halloween Come From?

Halloween is an ancient, celtic, pre-christian New Year’s Celebration that over the last couple of thousand years lost its pagan context and has transformed into one of the largest secular holidays of modern times.

The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honour of Samhain, Lord of the Dead. The Pagan Druid priests believed that on the last night of the year October 31st, the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead was at its thinest. This meant that the dead could hang out with the living, not cool! It was believed that these spirits could harm the living or take them back to the underworld. To avoid this, people started dressing up as ghosts and spirits in hopes that this would confuse the dead. They would also try to appease the dead with offerings of food and nuts. They would leave little treats that the household had to offer, to satisfy the hunger of these spirits. If they were satisfied with the treat, it was believed it would not trick the person or cast an evil spell. Therein lies the origin of the present day trick or treat.

During the most celebrated festival of the year, Samhain, it was believed that the “Lord of Death” gathered all the souls of those that had passed during that year to take them to Druid Heaven. To help the souls get there, the living people would light fires to help them along their journey and to also keep them away from the living. 

Christian missionaries showed up and tried to change the Pagan celebration of Samhain by telling them that all the spirits they are worshiping are scary, evil and demonic. Than they created All – Saints day on November 1st as the new celebration. The idea being to celebrate the Saints rather than worship the dead during Samhain. Alas this did not work and people continued to celebrate Samhain as the time of the wondering dead.

Halloween traditions were brought to Canada by Irish and Scottish immigrants. Halloween is now celebrated in a range of other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. 

Through the ages, various supernatural entities — including fairies and witches — have come to be associated with Halloween. Dressing up as ghosts or witches became fashionable, though as the holiday became more widespread and more commercialized (and with the arrival of mass-manufactured costumes), the selection of disguises for kids and adults greatly expanded beyond monsters to include everything from superheroes to princesses to politicians. 

Join the Old Mill Toronto on October 31st to celebrate Halloween. Pump up the volume and boogie down in the historical Old Mill Dining Room to the spooky ghoulishness of monster hits by DJ Ian! 

Get those creative juices flowing! Prizes will be given for best costume, funniest costume and most creative. Although costumes are encouraged feel free to come as you like and join the party.



Radiance Replenishing Oil

A Replenishing And Enhancing Formula

ROSÉE SOIN Radiance Replenishing Oil immerses the skin in a deeply nourishing, beauty-enhancing blend of marine and plant oils, and is available at the Spa at the Old Mill Toronto.

A Quartet of Beneficial Oils For Perfectly Polished Skin

 

D-TOX MICRO – ALGAE OIL: ANTIOXIDANT and ANTI-AGING
Eliminates free radicals, toxins and pollutants that disrupt correct cell functioning.
*Result: skin is strengthened and its radiance is revived.

ROSE OILSOOTHING and PROTECTIVE
Intensely soothes and protects the skin.
* Result: skin is comforted. 

GORSE OILREHYDRATING and REPLENISHING
Activates the synthesis of urea channels (major component of the NMF/Natural Moisturizing Factor) within the skin, improving cell cohesion.

* Result: skin is rehydrated 

JOJOBA OILREVITALIZING and NOURISHING
Strengthens the hydrolipidic film and protects the skin against dehydration and maintains the skin’s suppleness and elasticity.
*Result:  skin is perfectly nourished. 

ROSÉE SOIN Radiance Replenishing Oil is a light and comfortable dry oil, ideal for all skin types. It quickly penetrates the skin, leaving a velvety, non-greasy finish. Once you use it you’ll realize how beneficial and effective it is.

How face oils work: Essential fatty acids are crucial to replenishing and maintaining the hydration and nourishment levels of the skin. The body can’t make them itself, it’s important to get them from outside sources such as face oil. Oils protect the skin’s acid mantle, rebuild and maintain skin’s lipid barrier due to external influences, like extreme temperatures, over-cleansing, low humidity, sickness and travel. They act as a carrier for other active ingredients to penetrate into lower levels of the epidermis. Since oil creates a lipid barrier over the skin, it can speed up the skin’s own healing process and repair.”

Why oily skin types should also embrace face oils: When skin is stripped of oil or is not properly replenished with natural oils and essential fatty acids, it continues to produce more oil. The best way to restore balance to oily skin is to use lightweight treatments that contain pure organic plant oils. By doing so, skin’s sebaceous glands can slow down natural oil production because the skin is replenished with the natural oil it needs to stay healthy and clear.

VERSATILE FORMULATION FOR APPLICATIONS:

MORNING:  Alone or mixed with a serum, day cream or CC Creme.

EVENING:  Alone or under a night cream.

AS REQUIRED: Mixed with a cream mask for enhances nourishment.



English Cheese & Onion Pie

This delicious and savoury British pie recipe will surely become your family tradition! It is an easy recipe to follow and pairs well with a tossed garden salad for dinner or brunch.

2 Frozen Pie Shells (or you can make your own)

1 Old Nippy Cheese or 1 Imperial Carefully Aged (comes in a tub)

1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese Grated

2 Onions Diced (you can’t have too much)

1 Egg

1/4 Cup Milk

1/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Teaspoon Dry Mustard

Salt & Pepper To Taste

Preheat Oven to 350 F degrees.

Sauté onions in oil or butter until translucent about 5 minutes. Shred the nippy cheese into a mixing bowl and add grated cheddar. Add sautéed onions, egg, milk and all seasonings. Mix all the ingredients together.

Spray a 9 inch square or round pie pan with pam. Line the pie pan with 1 defrosted pie shell. Pour the cheese mixture into the pie shell. Top cheese mixture with the second pie shell.

Wash the top with 1 Egg lightly beaten with 2 tbsp milk.

Prick the top of the pastry with a fork so air and water can escape.

Bake in the oven for about 30 – 45 minutes until the top is a golden brown.

Cool and cut up into bite size pieces.

Can be stored in fridge in airtight container for up to 1 week.

a recipe in memory of a lovely English lady, Joyce Lord…