“It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing”!

big band is a type of musical ensemble of ten or more musicians, usually featuring at least three trumpets, two or more trombones, four or more saxophones, and a “rhythm section” of accompanists playing some combination of piano, guitar, bass, and drums. A big band is associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s.

Jazz began in New Orleans in the early 1900′s. Steamboats using the Mississippi helped spread the sound of jazz as many of the New Orleans jazz bands performed as entertainment on the boats. In the 1920′s, the music of jazz began developing into a big band format combining elements of ragtime, black spirituals, blues, and European music. Some of the more popular early big bands included band members that would become future jazz stars and future big bandleaders such as Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Red Allen, Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter, and John Kirby.

When the depression hit the U.S. in 1929 the entire music business suddenly failed. The decline in record sales, coupled with the closure of speakeasies and jazz clubs after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, forced many jazz musicians to move to New York or other highly populated cities and seek work at dancing venues in large ballrooms. Swing bands played a large part in people’s lives in the late 30′s as people tried to shake off the depression by dancing and while records and radio made swing music widely available, this mediated music soon inspired fans’ the desire to experience their favorite swing live.  

Big Bands still hold a special place in the hearts of many as it is a positive and optimistic music and an inspiration during one of the more difficult periods of American History. No person living at the time was not touched in some deep way by it as it helped guide them through the Great Depression, World War II and the post-war recession.  Swing music fulfilled the yearning for a sentimental, romantic escape from the mundane and at the same time was appreciated for its excitement and even as fine art. 

Today more than sixty years later the sounds of Big Band music can be heard at the Old Mill Toronto, reviving the spirit, style and sound of 1930s and ’40s. The Toronto-All-Star Big Band is performing Saturday May 14th with a tribute to the Dorsey Brothers and on Saturday June 11 The Swing Shift Big Band pays tribute  to the Jazz Divas with special guest vocalists June Garber and Larisa  Renee.

Remember, It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing”!



French Gratin of Potatoes Recipe

There are many ways to make a potato gratin, but this one is our favourite…cream, butter & garlic, how can you not be tasty!  This indulgent gratin will be sure to please everyone.

Butter for gratin dish
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter melted
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic
1 tsp (5ml) chopped fresh thyme (can be substituted with tarragon)
2 lbs (1kg) red-skinned potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin or by hand
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream

Topping
1 tbsp (15ml) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 c)

2.Butter the base and sides of a rectangular 8-cup (2-L) gratin dish large enough to hold the potatoes in layers. Rub with whole garlic clove. In a seperate bowl combine melted butter, chopped garlic and thyme (or tarragon).

3. Layer potatoes into the dish, mounding slighly in the centre. After each layer, spoon a small amount of the butter garlic mixture overtop and season with salt and pepper. Finish with a layer of potatoes.

4. Heat milk and cream together until simmering. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over gratin. Liquid should come just to the top layer but not cover the potatoes. Drizzle with extra butter.

5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender and browned on top.

Serves 8

VARIATION

* Sprinkle goat cheese between the layers

* Layer onions and tomatoes between layers

* Use stock instead of cream

* Make it cheesy with 2 cups (500 ml) cheddar sprinkled between layers. 



The Importance of a Romantic Getaway

 

The Only thing better than a family vacation is a romantic getaway for two! Taking time out for a romantic getaway with the person that you love gives you a chance to relax, unwind and helps you regain the balance and focus in your relationship. This is very important because too many times in our day to day lives, we get obsessed with work, running errands, school, household chores and other things that are going on, so we need to take the time for each other to rekindle what is so often lost in our everyday lives. 

A change of scenery and time alone allows you to reconnect with one another while enjoying each other’s company. It’s just you and your partner with plenty of time to talk about the important things in your lives. It heightens the intimacy and keeps the romance alive.

Sharing a romantic getaway together creates lasting memories.  The gifts of love and sharing quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to your significant other. Relationships are about spending quality time together and bonding, and there is no better place to do that then at the historically romantic Old Mill Toronto, nestled in the beautiful Humber Valley and adjacent to the Parkland and Toronto Bike & Walking Trail System.

The Old Mill Toronto’s ideal location invites you to Escape The Ordinary, where your Romance Package begins the moment you enter the lovingly appointed tranquility of your luxury accommodations. No detail has been overlooked to help take you ‘away from it all’. The luxury king-size bed strewn with heart-shaped rose petals, wine, signature truffles, lush bathrobes, and deep-soaking jacuzzi tub for two invites you and your loved one to begin your revitalizing escape by sinking into a candlelit bubble bath.

Let’s not forget the importance of the Spa, where you can escape your world and luxuriate in ours. Experience relaxation and solitude together as you enjoy side by side Swedish Massages.  

A Romantic Getaway allows you to focus your attention on the present moment while you reconnect with each other, and with a little effort, you can bring that same level of mindful awareness to your time together on a daily basis, outside of your getaway.



Bringing Yoga To Meetings

 

There is a trend in the corporate world moving towards supporting the well-being of employees by placing greater value on their emotional and psychological health. Introducing yoga and other meditational practises into the work day, will provide an environment focused on mental health, emotional support, and stress management.

Working long hours and sitting for long periods of time can leave your mind feeling less productive and your body stiff and tense. Yoga can improve brain function, raise emotional intelligence, and even heighten our ability to absorb and retain information. 

Yoga helps people use their mind in different ways and also helps you relax within the work structure. Gentle yoga and breathing techniques can be practiced at the beginning or end of the work day or during the lunch period, to break up the long hours spent sitting and to inspire and rejuvenate you for the remainder of the day. Yoga breaks do not need to be long to be effective, as little as 15 to 30 minutes will help improve the work team’s ability to focus and problem solve.

Yoga in the office or meetings can even help prevent or alleviate shoulder and back aches commonly experienced by office workers. There is no need for a special space as yoga stretches, breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation can all be successfully performed in a chair. A study in The Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that 20 minutes of Hatha yoga stimulates brain function more than walking or jogging on the treadmill for the same amount of time.

Chair Yoga Postures

 

         Overhead Stretch

  • Raise your right arm slowly over your head, gently stretching at the shoulder.
  • As you fully extend your arm, feel the stretch along your side.
  • As you lower your right arm, raise your left arm over your head, stretching at the shoulder.
  • Alternate one arm and then the other breathing easily with each extension.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 times per side.

    Forward Fold
  • With your hands over your head and arms extended, slowly bend forward from the waist.
  • Gradually bring your hands to the floor next to your feet.
  • Let your head relax between your knees.
  • Rest your abdomen on your thighs and breathe slowly and deeply, allowing your breath to massage your organs.
  • After a few breaths, slowly come up one vertebra at a time.

    Side Twists
  • Cross your right leg over your left thigh.
  • Place your left hand on your right thigh.
  • Reach behind you with your right hand and grasp the chair, using it to assist a rotation in your spine to the right.
  • Keep your head aligned with your spine and remember to breathe.
  • Hold for a couple of breaths.
  • Release and repeat on the other side.


    The Arch

  • Sit up straight with your bottom on the edge of the chair. Stretch your arms out straight behind you and place both hands on the either side of the chair, grasping the back of the chair.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply, lifting your chest both forward and upward, arching the lower back.
  • Extend your neck and stretch from the lower back.
  • Hold for two breaths and then relax.
  • Repeat three times.

    Knee Stretch
     
  • Grasp below your right knee with both hands.
  • On your exhalation, pull your knee up to your chest, feeling the stretch in the hip and thigh.
  • Drop the shoulders back and down, lift the chin and pull the knee closer into the chest.
  • Hold for several breath cycles and then repeat on the opposite side.

The benefits of bringing the practice and philosophies of yoga into your next meeting are endless. Yoga is mindful awareness of the breath, postural alignment and patterns of thought giving us more energy, and a deeper intuition.

Namaste



Linguine With Roasted Butternut Squash & Crispy Pancetta

Pancetta is Italian streaky bacon rolled into a cylinder. Pancetta is cured, but not smoked, and comes sweet or hot, much like Italian sausage. Autumn squash has a deep orange interior and butternut squash is especially delicious when roasted.

1/2 medium butternut squash or 12 oz. (375 g) peeled squash
6 cloves garlic
6 to 8 oz (175 to 250 g) thinly slice pancetta, preferably not paper thin
1 lemon
1/2 cup (80 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1/2 tsp (2 ml) hot red chilli flakes
several grindings of black pepper
 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 lb (500 g) dry linguine or fettuccine
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Cut off narrow neck of squash just where it joins bulbous lower half; set lower half aside for another use. Cut off stem; standing up-right, thinly cut away peel. 

2.  Cut squash crosswise into 3/4 inch-thick (2-cm) rounds. Cut each round into irregular pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5 – 4 cm ) long. Peel garlic cloves; leave whole but thinly cut off rough end. Set Squash and garlic aside. 

3. Arrange oven rack just above oven centre. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 c).

4. Line a large, rimmed baking tray with aluminium foil. Lay pancetta, overlapping as needed, in a single layer. Bake above oven centre for 10 minutes; remove from oven. Pancetta has shrunk, arrange so slices are not overlapping. Continue baking, checking every 3 to 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove pancetta to drain on paper towels; leave fat on tray.

5. Place squash pieces on tray; so they are coated in fat. Arrange in a doughnut fashion. Place garlic cloves in centre; stir garlic so coated with fat. Roast 10 minutes; turn squash and stir garlic. Continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is golden and tender. Leave squash on tray to keep warm. Remove garlic to a plate; mash with a fork.

6. Meanwhile, zest lemon; set half aside for garnish. Squeeze 2 tbsp (30 ml) juice. Stir mashed garlic cloves into oil along with lemon juice, sugar, chill flakes, pepper and half of lemon zest.

7. Bring a pasta pot half-filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add linguine; boil according to package directions, usually about 8 minutes, or just until al dente. Scoop out about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of pasta water; then drain pasta.

8. Turn linguine into a large warm bowl; toss with olive oil mixture until coated. Leaving 12 pieces of pancetta whole, crumble the rest over the pasta. Add spinach. Toss, adding some reserved pasta water, if needed, for extra moisture.

9. Serve right away in warmed bowls garnished with roasted squash, pinches of lemon zest, a sprinkling of Parmesan and reserved pancetta pieces as garnish. Pass remaining Parmesan and a shaker of hot chilli flakes at tables.

Serves 6



Not Your Typical Wedding

Helen Pispidikis from Weddings by Design has been planning Weddings and Events for over 15 years. Many trends have come and gone but says Helen “the key to creating a unique and memorable wedding celebration is to make the trend your own”.

As an Event Designer, her goal is to fuse the personalities of today’s couples, with inspiration from the latest trends in colours and fashion / design to create a unique and memorable experience for all to remember. “A wedding is a chance for each couple to create a celebration they’ve always dreamed of — the story of who they are as a couple representing their personal taste and style. Elements of design are than added to the mix to bring the event to life in its own unique way.”

The wedding featured in this article illustrates how current trends in fashion, colour and floral design can be adapted to create a very organic and eclectic approach to wedding design. “In 2016 floral trends are more organic rather than structured. The trending colours for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue. In fashion we are seeing a lot of large floral prints. When we merge all the above with the couples personality and the look and feel of their venue — magic happens! Love is in the details and no details should be overlooked”.

“The floral inspiration in this wedding design was the Tulip which was used in the floral arrangements throughout the space.  However, taking our inspiration from the large floral prints in the 2016 Dolce Gabbana Spring Collection, we decided to create drama in the space by translating the tulip motif on the Dance Floor, with a custom vinyl floor — this was the WOW factor in the space.”

In this above photo the dresses on the left are from the Dolce Gabbana Spring 2016 Fashion collection, you can see where the design was translated onto the dance floor.

There are many ways to incorporate colour and interest into the design of a space. “Design elements can include cutlery, glassware, charger plates or even dessert plates — small items can make a big statement.”

The floor plan and the use of different size and shape of tables along with the use of coordinating linens and florals all play a role in creating a unique and interesting event space.

“Don’t be afraid of mixing things up. In this space the floor plan incorporated square and round tables. The round tables featured coordinating linens and napkins in Serenity Blue and black, with two styles of centrepieces — a mixed organic floral arrangement on some tables, alternating with tall candles with garlands and a deconstructed floral design on others. The rectangular tables featured a garland of greens accented by tall candles at different heights and clusters of florals in different vessels. The black tulip overlays were used to match the black wrought iron chandeliers and wall sconces in the event space.”

Let’s not forget the cake!!! “Wedding cakes have come a long way and today they are not only one of the design elements in a wedding but a work of art. Hand painted florals and designs on weddings are a big trend in 2016.”

From start to finish your wedding theme should be reflected in every element of the design. “Your invitations are the first impression of what is to come. Stationary at the event including menus, table numbers and seating charts all play a role in the design and theme of a wedding.”

For inspirational ideas and creativity a Wedding Designer can help plan a memorable wedding that reflects your style.  #weddingsbydesign



Shrimp Crêpe Recipe

   

Crêpe, a pancake, made by cooking a thin batter sparingly in a very thin layer in a frying or special crêpe pan. The word comes from the Latin “crispus,” meaning curled. In French rural society, crêpes were also considered to be a symbol of allegiance: farmers offered them to their landowner. In western France, particularly in Brittany, crêpes are prepared throughout the year and served with salted butter. Crêpe consumption is nowadays widespread in France and is considered the national dish. Crêpes can be compared to the African injera, the tortilla, the Indian dosa and the Mexican sope. In traditional cookery, Crêpes are served as a hot hors d’oeuvre, filled with a fairly thick mixture of veloute sauce with mushrooms, ham, Gruyere cheese or seafood. They may also be cut into fine strips and used to garnish soup. Most often, however, crêpes are prepared as sweet dishes.

 Our crêpe Recipe is easier to make then you think!

Shrimp Crêpes

Shrimp, Wild Mushroom, Asparagus with a Tarragon Cream Sauce 

For Crêpe Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken or beef broth
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves or a mixture of other minced fresh herbs, such as chives, coriander, or tarragon
  • melted unsalted butter for brushing the pan

To make crêpes:
In a blender or food processor blend the flour, the broth, the eggs, the butter, and the salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container, and blend the batter for 20 seconds more. Transfer the batter to a bowl, stir in the herbs, and let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes enough batter for about 16 crêpes.

Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6 to 7 inches across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make crêpes with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.

For Filling: 
13 – 15  shrimp- peeled and deviened
1 bunch of Green Asparagus
½ lb assorted Mushrooms (*Button, Oyster, Shitaki or Portobello) finely sliced
2 cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 oz White Wine
2 oz Butter
2 oz Olive Oil
1 Lemon juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 
Cut Asparagus into small spears; blanch for 2 min in boiling salted water.

Add 1 oz of Olive Oil to hot pan, add mushrooms, sauté for 1 min, add garlic and nutmeg, butter and White Wine, sauté for another 2 min, add salt and pepper.

Put Juice of Lemon on Shrimp, add salt and pepper sauté in hot pan till shrimp is               cooked through. Add Asparagus and Mushrooms to shrimp, let mixture cool. Place crepes on cutting board, fill crepes with mixture, roll crepes and set aside.

For Cream Sauce

2 Garlic Cloves Minced
½ cup White Wine
¾ cup 35% cream
½ oz Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 teaspoons Fresh Tarragon 

Method:

Sauté Garlic in Olive Oil till translucent, add white wine and reduce by ½, add cream and Reduce by 1/3, add fresh Tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Put Crepes in an oven at 350 Degrees for 8-10 min, take out of oven and pour cream sauce over top and serve.

ENJOY!     



Easter Brioche Recipe

 

This brioche recipe is soft, light and deliciously buttery.
 

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.



Live Longer, Feel Better

Live Longer, Feel BetterDon’t Miss the recipe at the end…

Anti-Oxidants

Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain many components that are beneficial to human health. Research supports that some of these foods, as part of an overall healthy diet, have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases. These observations have led to continuing research aimed at identifying specific bioactive components in foods, such as antioxidants, which may be responsible for improving and maintaining health.

Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colours—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. The most well-known components of food with antioxidant activities are vitamins A, C, and E; β-carotene; the mineral selenium; and more recently, the compound lycopene. Antioxidants have anti-aging effects because they are scavengers of free radicals (and other reactive oxygen species) which are linked with human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and with aging. Free radicals are also associated with other aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage induced by free radicals and reactive oxygen species by (1) suppressing their formation; (2) acting as scavengers; and (3) acting as their substrate.

Few fruits have quite the provocative allure, the fragile charm or the nutrients of berries. They’re full of fiber, minerals and vitamins, and loaded with healing antioxidants. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid, a plant compound that combats carcinogens. Blueberries also appear to delay the onset of age-related loss of cognitive function.

 

Tomatoes are fast becoming one of our favourite modern foods, and for good reason — they can ward off certain kinds of cancer, prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and help maintain mental function as we age. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a relatively rare member of the carotenoid family, also found in pink grapefruit and twice as powerful as beta-carotene. Other studies suggest lycopene can help prevent lung, colon and breast cancers. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant glutathione, which helps boost immune function

The “stinking rose,” perhaps the world’s oldest known medicinal and culinary herb, is packed with antioxidants that can help fend off cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent odour are thought to be responsible for its healing benefits. Studies have shown that garlic keeps the heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, fighting free radicals and keeping blood from clotting. Other studies suggest that eating garlic regularly can help prevent cancer. It also has potent anti-fungal properties and can help treat asthma and yeast infections. 

Popeye may have thought eating spinach gave him strength, but it also allowed him to hit a nutritional jackpot. Because lutein (an antioxidant found in spinach) is the main pigment in the macula – the region of maximum visual sensitivity – it can help protect your vision. Studies have shown that people who eat spinach are less likely to develop cataracts and macular degeneration, the two most common causes of vision loss. Lutein appears to work by shielding the retina from sun damage and fighting free radicals that can harm the eyes. Some preliminary studies have suggested that lutein can also help prevent heart disease. 

The most frequently consumed beverage in the world may also be one of the best ways to prevent a number of degenerative diseases. Tea has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. It was originally thought that green tea had more antioxidants than black tea, but recent studies suggest that they are equally beneficial. The catechins in green tea are oxidized in the manufacturing process of black tea, forming free-radical fighting theaflavins.

Other Anti Oxidants:  Grains, Red Grapes, Cranberries, Artichokes, Prunes, Apples, Carrots.

Smoked Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole and Red Chili Salsa

  • 4 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • ½ c. fresh chopped basil
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper
  •  ½ t. cinnamon
  • 1 6oz. Can tomato paste
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • Salt as needed
  • Pepper as needed
  • ½ cup Sherry or Port
  • ¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  1. Prepare 3 handfuls of wood chips, hickory might be best, by soaking them for ½ hour to an hour.
  2. Smoke 4 lbs of ripe tomatoes. Rinse them and spray with olive oil . Place the tomatoes in a grill basket. It is easiest if it is one that can be turned. Otherwise, the tomatoes will have to be turned by hand. Add half the soaked wood chips and wait a moment for them to begin to smoke. Over a moderate fire use direct heat. If the fire is hot, use indirect heat. Roast the tomatoes checking to see when the bottoms begin to blacken. When they have, remove the basket and grate. Add the rest of the wood chips. Turn the tomatoes or basket. Roast until done on the other side. The tomatoes should be soft and thoroughly cooked through. This process will take 10-20 minutes depending on the heat of the fire. The secret is to make sure they get smoke without burning up. They can be covered and used 1 or 2 days later.
  3. Start the soup by sautéing 2 chopped onions in olive oil in a heavy soup pot until soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes, cut in half, with the tomato juice that has accumulated, 3 bay leaves and 2 T. crushed garlic. Cook together about 10 minutes over moderate heat.
  5. Add ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, 1 t. crushed red pepper, 1 ½ t. cinnamon, and 1 6 oz can tomato paste. Cook a few minutes until it becomes fragrant.
  6. Add 1 sherry or Port and 5 cups chicken broth Adjust the soup with salt and Pepper
  7. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom to prevent sticking and burning. Adjust the seasonings.
  8. Cool and then puree in batches.
  9. Reheat when ready to serve

 Goat Cheese Guacamole

½ cup Goat Cheese
1 Avocado (Peeled and Pitted)
1 Lime Juiced
Salt & Pepper

In a bowl break avocado into small pieces, add goat cheese, lime, salt and Pepper, mix until folded in but still little lumpy.

Red Chili Salsa

2 tomatoes (deseed and chopped
½ shallot finely chopped
1 Serrano Chili or Red Chili chopped finely
Salt , pepper to taste
½ bunch of Cilantro chopped

Mix all ingredients together.

Place Guacamole on bottom of bowl, then a large table spoon of the Salsa, pour hot soup over and enjoy !!!



“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