On Monday pastry chef Katrina Walsh (she’s our associate food editor Victoria’s sister) came in to the Chatelaine offices to demonstrate some easy cake decorating ideas.
I can’t bake to save my life, but she assured me her designs work just as well when you use boxed cake mix. Phewf!
Below Katrina is pictured holding one of her creations. Look for full instructions on how to make this adorable flower pot cake in our July online issue.
Sue Marteleira, assistant our editor-in-chief Maryam, came by for a snack after we finished the shoot.
– Jen O’Brien
It’s funny how things start…..after reading the Victoria food bloggers quest for the best burger, I couldn’t help but think, well, what’s the best _______. I inserted chocolate chip cookie into that blank. I could’ve scoured all the bakeries around town (Bubby Rose’s does make a good one) but for someone who loves to bake, I mentally replayed all the good homemade chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten.
Memories from childhood are an obvious source to mine….the best I’ve ever eaten are Gail McCluskey’s chocolate chip cookies. We grew up with store-bought cookies and I remember tasting hers and thinking “now THAT’S a cookie”. However, I also remember Gail’s kids feeling out-done because we ate Oreos. Grass is always greener.
After years of trying many different recipes for chocolate chips (If there’s a cover line for chocolate chip cookies, brownies or banana bread on a magazine I must buy it) my favourite is one from, you guessed it, Chatelaine. It’s a recipe by Anna Olson and one I make all the time now. But because I can never follow a recipe to the “T” I do add 1/4 tsp almond extract to it – but that’s it, I swear. The crispy outside, chewy inside is her pure genius recipe. Oh, but I do mix milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips.
Try it out…. or please pass on your favourite chocolate chip recipe – I’d like to add it to my ever bulging file!
Anna Olson’s Cookie Recipe Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
After university I spent a few months volunteering abroad with The African Hope Foundation of Ghana. It was life-altering, and has made me a big proponent of HIV/AIDS awareness, education and fundraising. So while fashion and beauty are the main elements of this job (and I love it!) HIV/AIDS awareness is something I hope to stay involved with, both in North America and worldwide.
Huge celebs are teaming up with H&M to produce T-shirts, T-shirt dresses, bodysuits, and tank tops, with 25 percent of the sales going toward youth HIV/AIDS awareness projects. Superstars such as Katy Perry, Dita Von Teese, N.E.R.D. and Yoko Ono are all on board.
The tees are wearable and make a statement: N.E.R.D.’s graphic says “Use your brain,” while Cyndi Lauper’s (above) screams “ Girls just wanna have safe sex.” You go Cyndi. And I love Róisín Murphy’s body suit (below) that proclaims “Protection is power”.
Available for both women and men in H&M’s DIVIDED department starting in June, the collection is 100 percent organic cotton so it’s soft, luxurious, and eco-friendly. Prices range from around $20 to $30 depending on the item.
Yoko Ono’s shirt above.
This is the second year that H&M has teamed up with the charitable organization Designers Against AIDS to to educate youth about safe sex. For more info check out: www.designersagainstaids.com.
Who is to be believed in the Ruby Dhalla case of alleged caregiver abuse?
The more the days pass, the less clarity is brought to this story, which is thus far only being played out in a fuzzy she-said/she-said arena that’s light on proven fact-based persuasion.
Dhalla’s lawyer pointed weeks ago to a conspiracy, a political frameup. But who on Earth would be so motivated to take Dhalla, the former Liberal critic for youth and multiculturalism — hardly a power-broker in the political sphere — down?
Now comes news that the gentleman who first employed nanny Magdalene Gordo and brought her to Canada in 2007 will speak at a media conference to say that he was victimized by the nanny’s supposedly bogus claims.
Can anyone tell me: How properly is this mess being investigated?
According to the latest numbers, more than 10,000 cases of swine flu have been counted worldwide, but we’re hearing less and less about it — almost as if, suddenly, there’s nothing to be worried about. So, are you still at risk? Is swine flu going to come back? Dr. Susy Hota, an infectious disease expert with the University Health Network answers your questions:
Why has swine flu caused so much fear and worry?
It’s not so much swine flu itself; it doesn’t appear to be an unusual form of influenza, in terms of the way it’s acting. So far, it has caused only mild symptoms, especially here in North America. What makes it significant for researchers and health officials is that it’s a new type of influenza — the population doesn’t have any immunity to it. We don’t know how it’s going to affect people, or how it’s going to spread, so we want to keep an eye on it.
What makes swine flu different from the run-of-the-mill seasonal flu?
Clinically, the swine flu isn’t anything worse than the seasonal flu. Influenza tends to have vague symptoms that include fever, cough, runny nose, aches and chills, headache and fatigue — the same symptoms we’re seeing with swine flu, although this new strain seems to cause a bit more stomach upset. What’s different about swine flu is that it’s new — as, I said, the general population doesn’t have any immunity to it, and we don’t know how it’s going to spread.
Has the media blown the swine flu out of proportion?
There’s been a lot of coverage; maybe some sources have focused too much on the flu. But it’s a double-edged sword, because communicating the symptoms and risk factors to the public is so important. And in this case, it’s helping us track how the flu is spreading, because people who are infected are coming forward, so we can run lab tests to confirm new cases.
Are you expecting many new cases in the future?
I do think there will continue to be new cases in Canada and around the world in the weeks ahead. But we’re starting to slow down — the weather’s getting warmer in Canada, and flu bugs don’t like warm weather. It’s likely we’ll see a resurgence of swine flu in the fall, when cold-and-flu season hits. By then, we hope to have a vaccine that protects against swine flu.
How can people protect themselves now?
There are simple measures, such as washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing. If you’re sick, stay home. The vast majority of people recover after a few days of rest — it’s not necessary to run to the hospital if you have flu symptoms. People with other complications, such as asthma, lung disease or heart disease, should see their family doctors.
For a health issue like this, where should we go to find the best, most accurate information?
That’s a good question; it’s easy to get confused by all the information out there. I always suggest that patients go straight to official sources: Provincial ministries of health post up-to-date information on their websites and issue public health alerts; the World Health Organization is another good source.