• Holiday Checklist: Entertaining

    Dec 20, 2017
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    It’s Holiday time! Tis’ the season to deck the halls, buy or make heartfelt gifts, and strategically place the mistletoe. With Holiday celebrations comes great expectations.  If you’re planning on throwing a party this Holiday, Timbercreek  has created this Holiday Checklist for entertaining so you won’t miss a beat.

    Caroling party

    You don’t have to be Adele, Holiday songs are made for for everyone to sing -- tone deaf and vocally blessed alike.  So belt out some carols this year! With a little prep, you can host a caroling party that’ll be fun for all. Choose a setlist, print out some lyrics, find karaoke versions (or if someone plays guitar or piano go for it), and get busy. Healthy doses of wine or eggnog tend to make voices much, much better.

    Holiday Craft Hang

    For most of us, ‘busy’ is an understatement during the holidays. With so much to do before the big day, time with friends can fall by the wayside. Why not invite some friends over to tackle your Holiday crafts? Everyone has to take time to handle card writing, gift tagging,  gift wrapping, and (for the ambitious) gift making. So get together to plow through your collective to-do lists while swapping stories, blasting holiday tunes, and enjoying cookies and rum toddies.

     

    Holiday Cookie or Dessert Potluck

    When in doubt, delegate and diversify. Get more for less by hosting a Holiday cookie (or Holiday dessert) pot-luck. It’s super easy to do -- just invite a group of friends and ask everyone to bring their favourite Holiday treat. Have each person make one type of cookie or dessert to share (and a display plate). Then bring everyone together to sample the goods, and trade and package up leftovers in takeout containers or cookie tins. Easy peasy.

    Timbercreek hopes this list helps you entertain with style this holiday season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.
  • Top Holiday Events in Canada

    Dec 18, 2017

    The holiday season is here again. It’s time to dust off the decorations, put up the stockings, and whip out your ugliest Christmas sweater.  From hot chocolate to festivals, mall Santas to apple cider, there’s no shortage of seasonal events to tuck into this year. To help you celebrate the holidays, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of events happening in your area this fall.

    Distillery District: Toronto Christmas Market

    Perhaps the best holiday event of the season, The Distillery District has once again transformed into the luminous Toronto Christmas Market. The popular event is on now until December 23rd.  Don’t miss the glowing sights, the merry sounds, and the decadent tastes of this annual holiday market. A monstrous Christmas tree dots the center of the action, while kiosks selling everything from chocolate covered bacon to St. Nick knick knacks, litter the Distillery’s brick streets. The market is free during the week and just $6 on weekends. Get more info here.

    Blue Mountain: Christmas Gift Show

    Blue mountain comes alive this season with a Christmas Gift Show. This vibrant, fun marketplace celebrates the holiday season in style. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas with over 100 vendors including artisans, crafters, jewelry makers, décor vendors, body and wellness brands, tasty treat makers and more. Learn all about it here.

    Edmonton: Singing Christmas Tree

    Running from December 14th through 17th, don’t miss the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. Imagine a stage decorated with whimsy, a 35-foot singing Christmas tree, and an audience in wonder. With dancing Santas, stunning ballerinas, amazing acrobats, and 150 phenomenal singers accompanied by a live orchestra, this performance is a seasonal sensation.  Get more info here.

    Quebec: German Christmas Market

    Celebrating 10 years of magic, Quebec’s German Christmas Market is “Exquisitely European” and “Exquisitely FREE”!  On now until December 23rd, 2017, this magical holiday wonderland never ceases to amaze. Featuring one-of-a-kind gifts, the market has a festive atmosphere with wooden kiosks and scintillating lights.

    Ottawa: Vintage Christmas Village of Lights

    Come out to the Cumberland Heritage Museum for some holiday celebration this Christmas. Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, or take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through the illuminated village (lit by 5pm every evening). None other than Santa Claus himself will be there! Find out more here.

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    Timbercreek hopes this list of the best holiday events in Canada inspires you to get out there and celebrate the holiday season in style this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Hot chocolate, 5 ways!

    Nov 20, 2017

    The weather is cool, crisp and comfortable. It’s perfect for long walks in cozy sweaters and makes cozying up with a cup of hot chocolate feel great! To keep your hot chocolate options interesting this season, Timbercreek Communities presents hot chocolate, 5 ways!

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    Nutella Hot Chocolate

    For a hazelnut twist on traditional hot chocolate, switch out the cocoa for nutella and make Nutella Hot Chocolate. It’s so easy! In a small saucepan, combine milk and nutella over medium high heat. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. For an extra creamy treat, serve with a dollop (or two) of whipped cream.

    White Hot Chocolate

    The White Hot Chocolate trend is red hot right now, and for good reason - it’s delicious and easy to make! Make your own by mixing together chopped white chocolate, your choice of milk (almond, rice, or half and half cream) with vanilla extract. If you want to go the extra mile, try this homemade vanilla extract. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it simmers -- don’t let it boil! Serve it with marshmallows and whipped cream for an over-the-top treat.

    Oreo Hot Chocolate

    Take hot chocolate to the next level with this Oreo Hot Chocolate recipe. Yes, it is as good as it sounds! We’ve all done the oreo dunk. This drink infuses every sip with that same great flavour! To make it, blend milk with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, cornstarch and of course, Oreos! Heat more milk in a saucepan and add in the Oreo milk mixture. Whisk it together over medium low heat for a few minutes and serve.

    Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

    Before you enjoy this amazing Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate you’ll need to prepare the Salted Caramel Sauce! Store it in the fridge and use it to make a mug at a time, and also enjoy it on ice cream, toast, oatmeal - or anything else! Mix together milk, caramel sauce and finely chopped dark chocolate and stir over medium heat. When it becomes a thick and rich liquid it’s ready to serve.

    Peppermint Hot Chocolate

    This Peppermint Hot Chocolate is cool and refreshing, and warm and relaxing, all at once! It’s made by combining milk, cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. As the mixture starts to steam, stir in finely chopped chocolate. As it thickens, add the peppermint oil and serve with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

    Timbercreek hopes that these  decadent hot chocolate recipes help make fall even cozier! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.
  • Why And How To Buy Organic On A Budget

    Sep 26, 2017

    There are many benefits to eating organic. Fruits and veggies that are certified organic are grown with limited pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic produce is not irradiated and the seeds are chemical and GMO free. Animal products sold as organic means the animal was not given antibiotics or growth hormones. It means that they were fed with organic feed and were not medicated, except for vaccinations or for specific illness.

    There are many environmental benefits of organic farming. It makes for cleaner groundwater and healthier soil. It reduces non-renewable energy inputs and can reduce the greenhouse effect and climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. Overall, organic farming can lead to stronger biodiversity and greater sustainability. The benefits are clear, but they also cost more. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you buy organic on a budget.

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    Join a co-op

    Becoming a member of a co-op can help reduce your grocery costs and help connect you with you local food community. Membership fees and/or volunteer hours help to keep overhead costs down and provide local and organic food at fair prices.

    Delivery services

    Organic delivery services can ensure that a steady supply of organic food arrives at your door, often for a lower price than large grocery stores. SPUD services several cities in western Canada, including Calgary and Edmonton. In the Toronto area, Wanigan Organics provides weekly or bi-weekly deliveries of package deals as well as custom orders.  Look for a provider near you, including Fresh Option in Winnipeg,  Ecollegey in Montreal and HGOF in Halifax.

    Shop smart with an affordable food list

    Knowing what to buy and what not to buy is crucial to keeping your grocery bill under control. Not everything has to be organic. The thick peel of produce, such as avocados and bananas, protects the flesh from absorbing agricultural chemicals. Be sure to wash the peel first, as the chemicals can be transferred as you cut into it. To help simplify, buy organic on the Dirty Dozen and save money going conventional on the Clean 15 -- the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

    Timbercreek hopes this post helps you buy organic on a budget! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Meatless Meals You Can Grill This Summer!

    Jul 04, 2017

    iStock-538168264Summertime is officially grilling season. Not everything you grill has to have grazed on grass or been grain fed. Timbercreek Communities wants to share some recipes for meatless meals you can grill this summer!

    Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Halloumi

    These delicious Grilled Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper and Halloumi Sandwiches are a tasty way to enjoy some summer produce while you fire up the grill! Halloumi is a firm Greek cheese (from Cypress) that can stand up to the grill. This is one serious grilled cheese you'll never forget.

    Grilled Tofu Tacos with Avocado Cream

    Looking for a great gluten-free vegan meal to throw on the grill this summer? Try these Tofu Tacos! The tofu is marinated with chipotle and paprika for a smokey, summertime flavour that pairs perfectly with a tangy red cabbage simple-slaw and a cooling, avocado cream with lime. If you really want to go all-out, you can make your own corn tortillas (it’s easy!).

    Seitan Negimaki

    These Seitan (pronounced: say-tan) Negimaki are beautifully grilled vegan teriyaki rolls stuffed with vibrant scallions marinated in a simple (and simply delicious) hoisin and mirin marinade. They are juicy and delicious -- the perfect blend of savoury and sweet. You’ll never miss the meat!

    Grilled Portobello and Peach Burger

    You may never have thought to put them together, but you’ll be glad you did when you try this Grilled Portobello and Peach Burger. The texture and flavour are amazing. The combination of beefy herb-marinated portobellos and sweet peaches is perfect -- especially when combined with creamy guacamole and sweet potato fries.

    Cilantro-Lime Marinated Veggie Kabobs with Barley Kale Salad

    If you want a versatile grilled veggie meal and you’re not really into following recipes, then these Cilantro-Lime Marinated Veggie Kabobs with Barley Kale Salad are for you. This is a rough recipe, a guide. Simply use whatever veggies you have on hand and add some cheese if you’re in the mood (try feta, goat, or a little queso fresco). The non-recipe comes together quickly and the skewered veggies are fun to toss on the grill.

    Timbercreek hopes these grillable vegetarian recipes make you want to fire up the grill. These meatless meals are tasty, easy to make and filling! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 5 Seriously Tasty Burgers You've Got to Try this Weekend

    Jun 14, 2017

    It’s grilling season and nothing tastes better on the grill than a juicy and delicious burger. If your burger game is getting a little played out, we have some suggestions for how to step it up. Here are 5 seriously tasty burgers you’ve got to try this weekend!

    iStock-607299584The Perfect Burger

    When something is called The Perfect Burger, you’ve simply got to try it and see for yourself. You only need eight basic ingredients to form the patties: egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper and medium ground beef. Then you can customize the recipe to make your perfect burger with suggested “stir-ins” like caesar dressing, curry powder or hoisin sauce.

    Umami Burger with Port and Stilton

    Umami is known as the “fifth taste”, it falls right after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. It is a deeply satisfying, savoury taste. Resist the urge to pile on any of the usual toppings on this Umami Burger. The only toppings you need are Port wine and Stilton cheese.

    Quinoa-veggie Burger

    Burgers don't need meat to taste delicious. If you’re avoiding meat you can still have a satisfying burger this summer. This super-nutritious Quinoa-veggie burger is sandwiched between two grilled portobello mushrooms for a protein-packed, low-carb twist on a classic.

    Guacamole Turkey Burger

    Not into red meat? These Guacamole Turkey Burgers are topped with a delicious dollop of guacamole. Dark-meat turkey makes the patties juicy and the chili powder, lime zest, and cilantro lends a Southwestern flavour.

    Butter Chicken Burger

    These amazing Butter Chicken Burgers are a rich and perfectly spiced twist on two classic dishes. Serve them with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and a little plain Greek yogurt for an international taste sensation!

    You really can’t go wrong with any of these amazing burgers. We hope they help you take a big bite of summer!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • The Best Easter Main Courses

    Apr 10, 2017

    Spring has sprung and it’s almost time for Easter! The big day falls on Monday April 17th this year. If you’re planning a feast with family and friends at your Timbercreek home, Timbercreek Communities wants to help out in the kitchen with some delicious recipes for the best Easter main courses.

    iStock-177695439Crown Roast of Lamb

    This Crown Roast of Lamb is an impressive cut of meat for a special culinary occasion. It’s perfect for an Easter dinner. It’s prepared in about 45 minutes by arranging two racks of lamb in semi-circles and cooking for 8 to 12 minutes per pound with minced garlic, fresh thyme, coriander, and rosemary. The video will help guide you along.

    Sugar Glazed Ham

    An old fashioned Sugar Glazed Ham, with it’s sweet golden brown coating, is a fabulous main course for Easter. The sweetness of the brown sugar is complemented perfectly by the mustard and vinegar. Best of all, it only takes 5 minutes to prepare, so you’ll have more time to spend with your family while it bakes for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

    Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

    This hearty Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna is an excellent vegetarian Easter entree.

    It’s loaded with five pounds of fresh (or frozen) spinach and 3 pounds of wild mushrooms, and topped with a Madeira wine and parsley sauce. Frozen spinach can be used in place of fresh in this recipe.

    Salmon with Dijon Dill

    This Salmon with Dijon Dill will make a refreshing change to your Easter Holiday meal. The rich sauce is made with butter, dill, Dijon mustard, shallots and white wine. The sauce is a rich addition to the delicate flaky fish. This dish only requires 20 minutes of hands on time and another 20 minutes of cooking time.

    Lemon-Thyme Split-Roasted Turkey

    The classic pairing of lemon and thyme gives this Split-Roasted Turkey a springtime feel that is perfect for your Easter feast. The split-roasting method also saves time when compared to a traditional roast turkey. You’ll need 30 minutes of prep time and only an hour and a half to 2 hours in the oven.

    Happy Easter from Timbercreek Communities!

    To learn more about Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Gardening Without a Garden: 4 Ideas for Your Own Apartment Garden

    Mar 28, 2017

    Spring is just around the corner! If you’ve ever wanted to get into gardening but thought you didn’t have the space, we have some tips on gardening without a garden. 

     

    iStock-532303411Windowsill Garden

    A Windowsill Garden is an easy way to add a lot of life to your apartment. All you need are a few containers, some living herbs or flowers, and a few minutes of your time to transfer them into the containers. Be sure to keep your curtains open for good light exposure.

    Mason Jar Herb Garden

    A Mason Jar Herb Garden is an incredibly easy space saving gardening option -- and it will make your apartment smell amazing! All you need is soil, some easy-to-care-for living herbs, and a few large mason jars.

    Shoe Organizer Planter

    This one is super easy. Simply repurpose (or purchase) a hanging shoe organizer to create a hanging garden. This garden project will also help keep your cats from messing with your plants. Find detailed instructions here.

    Tiered Herb Garden

    Create your very own Tiered Herb Garden using galvanized containers stacked in order of size. They work together -- drill a hole a few inches from the bottom of one container and the water will trickle to the next one below, and so on. Leave the bottom container intact.

    Timbercreek hopes these ideas help you give a green-thumbs-up to gardening this season.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • 10 Ways To Get Your Vegetables This Winter

    Jan 24, 2017

    Winter is all about comfort food. The cold weather makes most people want to curl up with something rich and delicious and ride out the storm. Its very important to eat your vegetables in winter because you are more prone to illness during the colder months. The Timbercreek team has a list of 10 ways to get your vegetables this winter.

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    Start With Soups

    A hot bowl of soup can be incredibly comforting on a cold winter night. This basic vegetable soup recipe is easy to make. All you need is vegetable (or chicken) stock, lots of veggies and a little salt and pepper. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Prefer broccoli instead of cauliflower? No problem. This recipe is so easy to follow, it’s hard to make a mistake.

    Sneak Veggies Into Hearty Meals

    A great way to get some extra veggies into your everyday life is to sneak them into a hearty meal. This Veggie Bolognese Pasta is satisfying and substantial. The meaty sauce is secretly full of veggies like carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes (technically a fruit, but let’s count it here). We promise you won’t miss the meat.

    Roast Them For A Sweet Treat

    Roasting veggies brings out their delicious sweet flavour as their natural sugars caramelize. When you come in from out of the cold, hot roasted root veggies can be deeply satisfying on their own or as a side dish. Leftover roasted veggies taste delicious cold the next day.

    Sip On Them In Smoothies

    Green smoothies are a great way to get some extra veggies in. This Veggie Cocktail, is a healthy take on a Bloody Mary, complete with a classic celery stalk garnish. This version of the cocktail is packed with 2 cups of kale! That’s a lot of greens in a delicious package.

    Hide Them In Pancakes

    Having trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? Hide some spinach in your next batch of pancakes! Hulk Pancakes are delicious, healthy and vibrantly green. Kids will love their fun name and bright colour, and won’t be able to detect their healthy secret. 

    Embrace Stew

    Hearty beef stew with veggies is perhaps the perfect winter meal. The stew’s flavour is so rich and meaty you’d never guess this recipe packs in so many vegetables. Make a big pot of it, keep it in your fridge, and heat up a bowl to warm you up whenever the craving strikes.

    Turn them into pasta

    Spiralized vegetables offer an amazing new way to eat your veggies. Zucchini Noodles are the most common and a great option if you are looking for grain-free pasta or a way to pack more vegetables into your diet. They are easy to make, all you need is a vegetable spiralizer or mandoline. Add your favourite sauce with even more veggies and you’re on your way to getting your five a day.

    Turn Them Into Wings

    If you love the taste of buffalo wings, but are trying to eat more vegetables, consider whipping up a batch of cauliflower wings. This video will walk you through the process of preparing your cauliflower and buffalo sauce. Serve them with some blue cheese dressing, carrots and celery sticks.

    Bake With Them

    Is there anything cozier than baking? Vegetables aren’t just for savoury recipes. This winter, bake a warm loaf of Zucchini Bread to share with friends and family. Grated zucchini keeps the sweet loaf moist and delicious. It’s basically a spice cake with the added benefits of vegetables!

    We hope these ideas will help you sneak extra veggies into your meals this winter. To learn more about Timbercreek’s rental communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Top 10 Winter Salads

    Jan 16, 2017

    Winter is the perfect time of year to enjoy hearty, rich foods. They fill you up and warm your soul on cold, blustery days. But rich foods can become overwhelming after months of indulging. Your body may be ready for something light and refreshing. Try a tasty detox this week with one of our top 10 winter salads.

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    Apple Pecan Arugula Salad

    Peppery arugula pairs brilliantly with crisp apples and crunchy pecans in this Apple Pecan Arugula Salad. Make your own (vegan!) dressing and throw this salad together in just 15 minutes. Best of all, you only need 8 ingredients!

    Warm Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

    We love this Warm Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette. Mushrooms are amazing for your health and will help you ward off the flu this season. The warm temperature of the salad will also leave you much more satisfied than a typical cold salad when it's cold outside. Pro tip: simmering some oil with garlic will create the perfect flavourful base for your mushrooms-of-choice.

    Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

    Quinoa, sweet potato and kale is an amazing superfood trio. Try it for yourself in this Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad which packs a powerful punch of protein, vitamins and minerals. Give yourself 40 minutes to cook everything and combine all the ingredients of this healthy and tasty weeknight winter meal.

    Winter Spa Salad with Lemon Chicken

    Brightly coloured cara cara oranges, avocado, pomegranate and fresh herbs come together in this stunning Winter Spa Salad with Lemon Chicken. Marinate the chicken as you prepare the rest of the salad for approximately 30 minutes. This recipe tutorial includes a recipe and instructions for the marinade, as well as step by step instructions for an easy homemade salad dressing that you’ll want to drizzle on everything.

    Crunchy Thai Kale Salad

    If you haven’t embraced kale, we don’t blame you. On its own its bitter, hard to chew and very green. Despite being hard to love for its taste, your body loves kale and you should try to add it to your day whenever you can. We LOVE this healthy alternative to Thai takeout. Make this sweet and savoury Crunchy Thai Kale Salad, it may just make you love kale.

    Kale & Butternut Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing

    Turn an ordinary combination, like kale and butternut squash, into an extraordinary pairing by topping it with a bold Japanese dressing. For this Kale & Butternut Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing you will need rice vinegar, miso, sesame oil, honey and finely grated ginger to finish.

    Fig, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

    If you’re looking for a delicious salad that borders on indulgent, this Fig, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette is for you. A perfect balance of creamy (goat’s cheese), sweet (fig), salty (prosciutto) and sour(citrus), take just one bite and you’ll be hooked!

    Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

    For a weeknight meal that calls for the seasonal brussels sprouts you snagged at your local market, try this Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. If you’ve never paired brussels sprouts with bacon before, you’re in for a treat! The combination takes the cruciferous vegetable to a whole new level of deliciousness. This recipe is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes. Best of all, this salad is hearty enough to be enjoyed as a meal.

    A “Christmas” Salad

    The holidays may have come and gone, but you can keep the festive spirit alive with this Christmas Salad of Winter Greens and Fruit. We love the combination of crunchy cabbage, radicchio and kale with sweet and tart organic cranberries and pomegranate. Top this festive salad with a homemade clementine-coriander vinaigrette.

    Chickpea Shawarma Salad

    Chickpeas are hearty and tasty, loaded with protein, easy to throw into any salad, and make delicious leftovers. If you love them as much as we do, you have to try this vegan Chickpea Shawarma Salad. This salad is healthy, light, and bursting with shawarma flavours thanks to a delicious blend of middle eastern spices. It also has a great balance of crunchy and creamy textures.

    Give your body a little love this winter with a tasty salad, like one of these 10 amazing winter salads from our foodies at Timbercreek Communities.

    For more information about Timbercreek Communities apartments, located nationwide, please visit our website today. 

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