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How to remove corn from the cob quickly and easily

Irene Ngo | posted Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

We love our fresh Ontario sweet corn! While it’s delicious grilled and eaten straight from the cob, the sweet kernels also make a great addition to summer salads and sides. Removing corn from the cob can be a messy job, so I’ll show you an easy way to keep those kernels under control.

Sweet corn season only lasts until early fall, so make sure to pick up a bushel on your next farmers’ market trip to use in these recipes!

Harvest corn pancakes
Easy chicken tostadas
Sausage and corn salad
Herbed miso corn
Summer corn-pasta salad

Mairlyn Smith’s tips for food safety in the home

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Aug 19th, 2014

We love that Cityline viewers like to prepare and cook so many meals at home, but it’s important to do so safely! Protect yourself and your family from food poisoning (something over 4 million Canadians suffer from every year!) with these basic food safety rules from Mairlyn Smith.

CLEANING:

  • Make sure your hands and the counters are clean before and after touching food.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, sing a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to yourself, or pretend you are in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy just before a surgical procedure.
  • Designate a cutting board for fruits and vegetables and a separate one for meat, fish, and poultry.
  • Never transfer cooked meat, fish, or poultry onto a plate that was used for raw meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Avoid kitchen sponges — they are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Wipe counters with paper towels OR change your dishcloth daily. Wash the dishcloth in hot soapy water and air dry.
  • To sanitize counters use Health Canada’s recommendation of 5 mL/1 tsp bleach to 750/2.5 L water.
  • Wash your reusable grocery bags often.
  • Wash out your cooler bags often.
  • Wash out lunch bags every day.
  • Rinse all produce under cold running water just before use including hard-peeled vegetables and fruits, i.e. watermelon, squash, etc.
  • Use a vegetable brush on skinned produce like potatoes, apples, pears, etc.

CHILLING:

  • Let the food safety rule “keep hot foods hot and cold food cold” become your food safety mantra. The temperature danger zone for food is between 4 °C (40 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F). Keep foods above or below these temperatures.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 40°F/4°C or lower and your freezer at -18 °C (0 °F) or lower.
  • Bring raw meat, fish, or poultry home from the grocery store and refrigerate as soon as possible or within two hours in the cooler months. If it’s in the summer, put it in ASAP.
  • Store raw meat, fish, and poultry away from other foods in separate containers to prevent any raw juices dripping on other foods. Best place to store them is on the bottom shelf.
  • Store raw meat, fish, or poultry no longer than two to three days in the refrigerator. If it’s any longer than that, freeze and thaw as needed.
  • When freezing foods, place in a freezer bag or container to avoid freezer burn and label with the date.
  • Don’t overcrowd your fridge as you need proper cold air circulation.
  • Thawing: even though your mom may have thawed frozen meat, fish, and poultry on the kitchen counter, doesn’t mean it gets the green light. NEVER thaw anything on the kitchen counter. Thaw in the fridge, in the microwave, or in a sink full of cold water changing the water every 30 minutes.

COOKING:

  • The only way to tell that meat, fish, and poultry is cooked is with a food thermometer. Investing in one is the most important tool in food safety you will have.
  • Have a pot of chili on the stove for a crowd? Keep hot foods at or above 60ºC (140°F).
  • Cooked meat, fish, and poultry should be stored in separate containers within one – two hours after being cooked and should be eaten within two to four days. Remember you can’t smell bacteria until it’s so far gone that food poisoning is sure to occur. When in doubt, throw it out.

For more of Mairlyn’s great tips, check out the videos here at Cityline.ca

City accepts the #IceBucketChallenge

Winston Sih | posted Monday, Aug 18th, 2014

Breakfast Television stations across the country and CityNews have accepted the challenge and have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS.

The icy initiative began when former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates was diagnosed with ALS at 27 in 2012.  He’s been a tireless advocate, and the ice water idea started as a dare to his buddies.

Since then several prominent athletes have accepted the challenge, including Arizona Coyotes tough guy Paul Bissonnette.

Donate here and watch below as we take on the frigid feat!

Breakfast Television Toronto

Toronto’s Jennifer Valentyne and Winston Sih accept the challenge and nominate Frank Ferragine and Entertainment City’s Brad Smith.

Frank Ferragine and Brad Smith accept.

Followed by Dina Pugliese and producer Paul Schmidt live on air!

Breakfast Television Calgary

Calgary’s Tara Sloan braves the cold, nominating Entertainment City’s very own Brad Smith.

Breakfast Television Edmonton

Ryan’s wife Kari and Kate Gallagher dished out an ice-cold dousing on BT! Thanks to sponsors AJB Safety Consulting Services, KMG Events and Companions and Friends Dog Daycare for helping raise $1,800.

Bridget gets soaked to raise awareness for ALS… and challenges a few others along the way!

Breakfast Television Vancouver

Vancouver’s Riaz Meghji nominated Rick Hansen and his co-host Jody Vance to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Watch them follow through!

Breakfast Television Montreal

Montreal’s Wilder Weir takes the challenge, nominating co-host Joanne Vrakas, Akshay Grover and Laura Casella. Get on it!

Breakfast Television Winnipeg

Cityline

Even Cityline’s Tracy Moore got on board and nominated some of her guest experts!

CityNews Toronto

CityNews reporters Danielle Michaud, Stella Acquisto, Cynthia Mulligan, Shauna Hunt, and Amanda Ferguson all took part in the frigid feat.

A dump truck packed with 60 bags of ice made Subban’s challenge one to remember.

A soaked Subban then issued his own challenges to Leafs star Phil Kessel, Raptors ambassador and 416 rap sensation Drake, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, and President of Sportsnet and NHL Properties for Rogers, Scott Moore.

With files from CityNews.ca

Weeknight dinners to make life easier when school’s in

Suzanne Ellis | posted Thursday, Aug 14th, 2014

There’s hockey practice and homework, piano lessons and playdates with friends. So how do you get a healthy and tasty dinner on the table for your kids and still ensure a reasonable bedtime?

Our friends at Cityline.ca have assembled a few of their favourite weeknight-friendly recipes from their roster of trusted guest experts — they’re quick, easy, and full of flavours your whole family will love. Use this page as a cheat sheet next time you’re not sure what to make!

Meatless and delicious: We love making at least one meal a week a meat-free one. These meatless dishes are filling on their own — but it never hurts to add some extra veggies or a salad on the side!

Mexican egg bake

Roasted portobello mushroom burger

Blistered corn, asparagus and pesto pizza

Maple Cheddar Granny Smith grilled cheese on the BBQ

Weeknight roasts: Roasts sound like a Sunday affair, we agree, but that needn’t be the case! The best part about a roast is that most of the work is hands-off, meaning you can help the little ones with homework while the main dish cooks away!

Weeknight roast chicken

Weeknight roast beef with carrots and spuds

One-pan wonders: Can we all agree that the worst part of cooking on weeknights (or any night, really) is the clean-up? You will love these dishes first because they’re delicious, and second because the clean

One-pot chicken with spring vegetables

One-pan pasta with tomatoes and basil

Provencal pan salmon

Making the most of leftovers: Here’s a great case for making too much food one night — the extras can help you get a head-start on the next evening’s meal. Leftover roast chicken, pork, or beef can be made over into a wrap, a veggie-packed dinner bowl, or a simple pasta dish.

Dinner bowl ideas

Chicken pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes

Everyone loves a burger: Your kids won’t argue when burgers are on the menu — set up a station with toppings so that everyone can build their own.

Oven-roasted burgers

Sweet potato and chickpea quinoa burgers

Quick-cooking seafood: Seafood dishes save us when we’re especially pressed for time! Most filets take only 10-15 minutes to cook through, and shrimp are even faster if you can find ones that are already shelled and deveined.

Chili mint shrimp noodle salad

Farfalle with creamy tuna and red pepper

Mahi mahi tacos

On the grill: While the weather’s nice, take advantage of the ease of BBQing. The grill heats up quickly, and also means easy clean-up. We love that we can often grill our main AND our sides!

Grilled salmon with orzo

Grilled shrimp salad

Citrus grilled chicken with pineapple salad

We love to hear your ideas! What’s your favourite weeknight dinner? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

For more great back-to-school coverage from Cityline, click here.

Ask Bruce: Should the higher earner in a household pay more?

Bruce Sellery | posted Tuesday, Aug 12th, 2014

When two people buy a house, is it normal for them to split the monthly mortgage payment 50/50, even if one person makes more money? M.S., Toronto

Dear M.S.,

Relationships are funny. What’s considered “normal” behaviour for one couple may be considered completely absurd by another couple living right next door. In my opinion, “normal” doesn’t matter. What matters is what works for the two of you, based on what you want. Take a big step back and talk about what you want for the future — both as individuals and as a couple. Then figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Not just the mortgage — all of it: house maintenance, groceries, vacations, cars, kids, retirement savings and your respective vices. Sure, when there is a disparity in income, it can be a challenge to decide on priorities. When thinking long term, it is best if your retirement incomes are as close as possible, in order to minimize the tax you pay. This means the higher-income earner should pay more of the expenses until retirement. Hopefully you’ll have a long and happy life together.

Bruce Sellery is a personal-finance expert and author of the bestselling book The Moolala Guide to Rockin’ Your RRSP. He’s a columnist for MoneySense magazine and a regular guest on Cityline and the Lang & O’Leary Exchange. His website is moolala.ca.

Click to buy on Amazon.ca.

Click to buy on Amazon.ca.

Actor Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide at 63

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 11th, 2014

robinwilliams-featured

Actor Robin Williams has been found dead of a suspected suicide inside his California residence, Marin County police said in a release.

He was 63.

According to CNN, Williams’ wife and press representative both released statements Monday confirming the death, saying the actor had been suffering from “severe depression.”

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,” said Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider.

“On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

The Marin County sheriff’s department says Williams’ death appears to be suicide due to asphyxia, but a full investigation is underway and an official cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday and toxicology tests will also be performed.

Earlier in the summer Williams announced he was entering rehab to deal with addictions.

Williams shot to fame in the late ’70s as the alien in TV’s Mork and Mindy. He conquered the big screen in comic films such as Good Morning, Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire. But he won his Academy Award in a serious role – as the therapist in Good Will Hunting.

His performing style was at its purest in his standup act, as he impersonated a Russian immigrant or parodied anyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards.

Friends of the Oscar winning actor took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Marin County Sheriff’s Office announces death of Robin Williams

With files from the Associated Press

How I tackled Tough Mudder: Part 2

Alexandra Davies | posted Thursday, Aug 7th, 2014

Missed part 1 of Ali’s Tough Mudder journey? Click here to catch up!

With Tough Mudder in the back of my mind, I was determined as ever to be as prepared as possible. In order to feel and look my best, it was time to clean up my diet and hit the gym.

I’ll admit I didn’t take the smartest route at the beginning. I was so set on making HUGE changes, that I got a little (a lot) carried away. I went to the gym multiple times a day and drank green smoothies for almost every meal. I do not suggest this method. Ever. I was so focused on achieving immediate results in a short period of time that I didn’t take my body’s health into consideration. Sure I lost some weight, but I was so tired, moody, and even felt super weak despite my countless hours hammering it out at the gym.

THE (“LIFESTYLE CHANGE”) DIET

Clearly, I was doing something wrong. For the amount of work I was putting in at the gym, I wasn’t getting enough fuel to compensate. I cut back the multiple classes and threw back in solid foods, but I kind of went overkill. PB&J sammies would accompany my green smoothie breakfasts, bruschetta sometimes made appearances on my dinner plate, and the midday snacks were increasing quickly. Here I go again…I had to put the brakes on a repeat of first year university.

This is when a close friend talked to me about a diet she was doing and loved, something she called “Paleo.” I was intrigued by the idea and inspired by her raving reviews, so I decided to commit the month of June to being strictly paleo. This eating plan meant no dairy (farewell, cheese), no grains (sayonara, sourdough bread) and no sugar (so long, my beloved chocolate almonds).

The first week was the hardest. Conveniently, National Donut Day fell on the third day of my new diet and, of course, the office celebrated. All I wanted to do was bite into that sugary, doughy goodness —but I refused to give in. After only eating salads and pieces of chicken day after day, I started researching ways to make this diet not suck. From there, everything started getting a little easier. I found dozens of paleo food blogs that provided hundreds of fun recipe ideas. I ended up making paleo meals that you wouldn’t even believe were paleo. I made Pad Thai, vanilla-chai pancakes, and spiced pumpkin muffins, people! How cool is that!? It’s all about the ingredients you use.

The hardest part of paleo was the inconvenience of meals. I had to make everything from scratch using natural, organic ingredients — making it hard to whip up anything in a hurry after a long day at work. Though my meals take their sweet time to be made, the best part of paleo was how it made me feel — I have never felt so content inside. Generally, it made me happier, which was really my goal in the end.

THE WORKOUT PLAN

I have never been someone to loathe working out; in fact, I thrive off it. Whenever I’m upset or just need a pick me up, you can find me at the gym or running around my neighbourhood. The issue was the intensity — a light jog here and there wasn’t going to cut it. I knew if I wanted to keep up with the rest of the Mudders, I’d have to up my workout game. I needed to focus on cardio and major muscle building. I wasn’t looking to become a body builder, but I wanted to be able to do an actual push-up. I created my own personal “Summer Workout Schedule” made up of early AM fitness classes, running intervals, and even some hot yoga thrown in there. My absolute favourite is the Body Combat class at GoodLife. My good golly, this is an amazing class to release any pent up stress or worry. Every Tuesday morning I was able to beat up the air and feel like a real-time karate kid without looking insane (well, I probably looked insane, but the class was always packed so I blended in…hopefully).

I even took it a step further and signed myself up for a TRX bootcamp class. Though I’m still unsure of what it stands for, this was the hardest workout I’ve ever endured. A TRX workout simply uses your own body weight to do a zillion different exercises, all while suspended by two straps. After 12 gruesomely hard sessions, I felt a huge difference in my core and strength — and heck yes, I can do real push-ups now!

But what would be a good story without a little hiccup, am I right? TRAGEDY STRIKES! (Dun dun dunnn!)

Remember that pesky herniated disc of mine from way back when? Well, it just had to make an appearance a month away from Tough Mudder. Major buzzkill x100. How did I do it, you ask? I went to bed. I innocently went to sleep and woke up with a very sore back. I still have no idea what dream I had, but it must have involved some kick-ass parkour.

My workout plan was halted, along with my motivation. I was beyond upset, and very worried I wouldn’t be ready/capable of doing Tough Mudder (you can probably hear my heart breaking into a million pieces from wherever you are reading this). I went straight to my physiotherapist who has dealt with all my past injuries, including my year-long recovery of the herniation. After about a week of appointments, taking a forced break from my intense workout schedule, and resorting to only a couple of back exercises and stretches, I finally felt better. The constant pain was gone, but I was very wary on stepping foot in the gym. Making sure I took it easy, I slowly started introducing  more exercises to my days. At this point, I wasn’t focused on muscle building and running X number of miles as fast as possible — it was about doing simple exercises with perfect form, ultimately protecting my back from any further injury. Though it was extremely discouraging to take my workouts down a bunch of notches, I knew it was for the best if I wanted to be able to endure the craziness of the Tough Mudder course.

From this day, Tough Mudder is in exactly 17 days. And yes, I am totally freaking out.

I’ll be back with part 3 after I compete on Saturday, August 16th! Wish me luck!

More health coverage at Cityline.ca

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