• Top 5 Cheat Meals That Taste Great

    Apr 24, 2019

    Regardless of how clean you eat, and how great it makes you feel, sometimes we all need a cheat meal. Timbercreek Communities has 5 cheat meal recipes that taste great which you can make at home.

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    Buffalo Chicken Nachos

    Nachos are probably one of the most-craved cheat meals in North America. They tick so many boxes -- crunchy, cheesy, gooey and spicy. We love this nachos recipe because it's a mashup of two cheat meal favourites -- nachos and buffalo chicken! To make this delicious version, start by preheating your oven to 400F. Mix 2 shredded chicken breasts with bbq sauce and 2 teaspoons of powdered ranch seasoning, then set aside. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of heavy cream, adding 1lb of white American cheese and 8oz of Monterey cheese. Stir until everything is melted and add 1-2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning. Next, put a layer of tortilla chips in a cast iron skillet and top with half of the buffalo chicken. Drizzle the cheese on top. Add a second layer of chips and repeat. If you have some cheese left over, serve it as a dipping sauce. Finally, add jalapeno peppers, green onions and blue cheese. To finish it off, bake the buffalo chicken nachos in the oven for a few minutes, until the blue cheese melts.

    Mozzarella and Goat Cheese Pizza

    If you’re looking for a great pizza recipe, look no further. This four-cheese pizza might become your new favourite cheat meal! Start off by making the dough from scratch. Add 1 pack of instant yeast to ½ cup of warm water and wait for 5 minutes. Once it gets bubbly, add 1 ¼ cup of room-temperature water to the water/yeast mixture. In your mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Set your mixer to low speed and start pouring the yeast mixture and the olive oil into the flour mixture. Keep mixing it until the dough forms a mass. Once the dough is elastic and soft, pour it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 2 hours. Once it has doubled in size, deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured flat surface. Divide it into two equal portions and freeze one if you like. The next step is actually making the pizza. Set the oven to 450F and roll out the dough to your desired shape. Glaze it with the olive oil mixture (3 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic) and cover it with mozzarella, goat cheese, ricotta and parmesan. Let it bake for 18 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Finish it off by adding fresh basil.

    Chicken Pad Thai with Zoodles

    Everyone needs a healthy pad thai recipe! Try this Chicken Pad Thai for a healthier, low-carb dish that’s full of flavour. Season 1 pound of chicken breast with fresh pepper. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and cook the chicken until fully cooked. Set it aside and cut it into pieces once it cools. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of chilli garlic sauce and soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and ¼ cup of water. Next, you’re going to add 1 cup of spiralized zucchini in a pan and pre-cooked rice noodles, topping it off with chicken, pad thai sauce and 1 cup of bean sprouts and chopped cabbage. Once the zucchini has softened, the dish should be done. Sprinkle the meal with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. Enjoy!

    Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese and Toast Croutons

    Everyone loves a good soup, especially in the winter. Try this yummy Creamy Tomato Soup that's perfect for lunch and dinner. To begin, heat olive oil in a sauce pan and add 1 chopped onion. Cook until the onion is soft and add 2 cloves of garlic and 1 medium sweet potato. Next, add in 2 cups of vegetable stock, 3 cans of canned tomatoes in juice, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. While you wait for the soup, heat a griddle pan on high heat. Divide the cheese between two slices of bread and top with the other two slices, then brush with olive oil and fry in the griddle. Cook for about 5 minutes and slice them into cubes. Once the soup is done, you’re going to pour it into a blender and mix until it's smooth.  Add the salt, pepper and 4 tablespoons of cream. That's it! To serve, divide the soup into 6 bowls and top with croutons. Voila!

    Fried Chicken and Waffles

    Can you ever go wrong with waffles? We don't think so! These waffles are far from ordinary and they might just leave your mouth watering for days. It all starts with a basic buttermilk pancake batter, but a little less sweet. Begin by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 ¼  tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, salt, ¼ cup of brown sugar and black pepper in a large bowl. In a different bowl, whisk 3 eggs and pour them into the flour mix with melted butter. Chop 6 pieces of cooked bacon, 1 cup of cheddar cheese and some chopped scallions and add it all to the batter. Once your waffle iron is heated and ready to go, grease the bottom and cook the waffles for 4-6 minutes. Set the waffles aside and get ready to make the fried chicken! Start by mixing 1 pound of chicken in 1 ½ cups of buttermilk and some hot sauce. In a separate dish, mix in flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Grab the chicken and dip it into the flour mixture you just made, making sure to coat both sides. If the oil is nice and hot, fry the chicken until it’s golden and crispy. Now that the hardest part is done, you can make the sauce. Just mix maple syrup, spicy brown mustard and yellow mustard together. Now you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches. Top each waffle with a few slices of tomato and avocado, a bit of greens and the maple mustard sauce. You can have it as an open-face sandwich, or a full sandwich by adding the other waffle on top. Enjoy alone or with friends!

    Finding a good cheat meal recipe isn’t always easy. Timbercreek Communities hopes you enjoyed these 5 recipes that are both easy and delicious.

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

  • Spring Cleaning: Top Things to Purge from Your Closet

    Apr 16, 2019

    For some of us, getting rid of the things we've accumulated in our closets over the years is not a problem. But for most of us, it’s no easy task. If you’re looking for ways to clean out your closet, Timbercreek Communities has tips on how to build the courage to give things the boot and how to choose what to purge from your closet that will make your space feel more organized.

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    Purge things you rarely touch

    It’s time to ditch items you no longer wear or haven’t worn in a while. If it’s been sitting undisturbed in your closet for more than a year, it’s time to let it go.

    Choosing what to purge

    Create three piles and separate things by what you absolutely love, items you’re not sure what to do with and items you are 100% ready to get rid of. People tend to hold on to expensive purchases and sentimental items. The truth is, if you wore it only once since you bought it, chances are you’re never going to wear it again. And if something has sentimental value, don’t worry. The memories will always be there. If it helps, take a picture of it.

    Consider ditching your uncomfortable shoes and any costume jewellery you’ve been collecting for years.

    What to save

    When purging your closet, think about if your more questionable items work well in combination with others. The more you can match an item with, the better and the more worth saving it is.

    Don't just throw it all away

    Once you've chosen your items, one of the best ways to dispose of them is to donate them to places like Value Village or the Salvation Army.

    Clean

    Once you've purged, the next step is to clean. Empty your closet completely and do a deep cleaning -- something we all hesitate do. Try using Seventh Generation non-toxic products which are a healthier and more sustainable choice.

    Shop

    This is the fun part – well, sort of. Instead of shopping for unnecessary items, this is your chance to purchase items that will help you organize your space. Velvet or open hangers are great because they are thin, and allow you to neatly hang everything without slipping off. Wicker baskets are a nice way to store many items and they actually look stylish on open shelves. Another useful trick is to use shower hooks to hang your purses and scarves. They are cheap and available everywhere.

    Organize

    Organize your closet in a way that makes sense. Arrange things by colour or in groups (skirts, pants, sweaters), which will make your life easier when you’re in a rush. Keep the items that you use often within reach and reserve the top shelves for seasonal items. And finally, label everything - purses, swimwear, accessories! This will save you time and prevent you from making a mess.

    Light
    By decluttering your closet, you’ll naturally let in more light into the space. But if that’s not enough, it might be worth investing in brighter light fixtures for greater visibility. The other option is to get battery-powered lights and hang them inh dark areas of your closet. A well-lit space will encourage you to keep things tidy and clean.

    Plan to purge

    Don't let your refreshed closet fall into disarray. You can keep tabs on the items you're using and what you're not with a clever hanger system. Add an event on your calendar to clean up the closet again one year from the day you cleaned it. Place all clothing items on hangers facing the back of the closet. When you wear something, turn the hanger around when you return the item to the closet. When the year rolls by, you will be able to tell what you wore and what you didn't wear with ease and be able to ditch things with a clear conscience.

    Organizing your closet will save you time and money. You’ll be less stressed when searching for clothes in the morning and less tempted to shop for new items. Timbercreek Communities hopes these suggestions get you ready and excited for Spring cleaning.

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

  • Weekend Getaways From Toronto

    Apr 11, 2019

    Sooner or later, we all need a break from our busy lives, and weekend getaways are the perfect mini vacations that allow you to recharge your batteries. To help you plan the perfect getaway, Timbercreek Communities has some ideas for fun weekend trips from Toronto.

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    Wine Weekend

    Plan a weekend trip to Niagara on the Lake or Prince Edward County. These areas are known for great Ontario wines, beautiful wineries and charm. Niagara on the Lake is a 1.5-hour drive from Toronto, making it ideal for a weekend getaway or even a day trip. Spend some time exploring the Heritage District, where you’ll find all kinds of shops, restaurants and cafes. Next, visit some wineries (there are many to choose from), do wine tastings and even grab a bite to eat. To find a winery best suited to your taste, download the Niagara On the Lake Winery Map. Keep an eye out for upcoming events like the Shaw Festival and Sip and Sizzle.

    Prince Edward County is a bit further away from Toronto (about 2.5 hours by car) but it’s worth the drive. Choose between Wellington, Bloomfield or Picton when looking for accomodation. To choose, decide which wineries you’d like to visit in the area. Even though they are all pretty close to each other, Bloomfield is the most central. A great way to spend your weekend in Prince Edward County is to rent a bicycle and hop from one winery to the next. To plan your wine tour, check out the PEC Wineries Map.

    Camping and Glamping

    When planning your weekend getaway, consider camping in an Ontario Park. It’s a great way to recharge and reconnect with nature. There are many campsites available, but if you want to reserve a popular site be sure to book early. If you’re not much of a camper, but still enjoy the wilderness, glamping (luxury camping), might be your thing. Check out the Ontario Parks website for yurts (roofed accommodation) or book a fancy tent at Whispering Springs for an incredible glamping experience.

    Spa getaway

    There’s no better way to relax and alleviate stress then to visit a spa. Just 2 hours away from the city is the popular Scandinave Spa, which is surrounded by nature and is known for its specialty treatments and outdoor hot and cold baths. Another great option is St.Anne’s Spa, located 1.5 hours from Toronto. It's known for its traditional spa treatments and excellent service ans it’s one of the best spas in Ontario. In case you’re looking for something closer to the city, The Millcroft Inn and Spa is only 1 hour away. You can visit any time of the year, but if you want to enjoy the lush, picturesque surroundings then summertime is best.

    Winter Resorts

    Escaping to a winter resort is the perfect way to unwind in the colder months. It doesn’t have to be all about winter sports either. At Deerhurst Resort, you can enjoy spa facilities, gourmet food and a cozy atmosphere. Located 2 hours away from Toronto, the Deerhurst Resort is also close to Arrowhead Provincial Park -- a great spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating in the forest! There’s also Blue Mountain Resort, which is a safe bet if you’re looking for some good skiing and snowboarding. In addition to fun winter sports, Blue Mountain Village has a lot to offer -- from bars and restaurants, to the famous Scandinave Spa.

    Don’t delay your winter weekend getaway plans! Timbercreek Communities hopes these getaway ideas have inspired you to start planning a relaxing weekend away.

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

  • Respect Your Neighbours: 6 Tips for living with pets

    Apr 02, 2019

    Having a pet doesn’t mean that your place has to be chaotic or smell like them. Keeping your home smelling fresh and looking clean will make your friends and neighbours happy. Timbercreek Communities has 6 tips on how to get rid of unpleasant smells when living with pets.

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    A Good Vacuum

    Buy a good vacuum. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be strong enough to suck up all that cat or dog hair that's undoubtedly lying around your apartment. Try this Cordless Handheld Vacuum or something a little more heavy duty like the Bissel Pet Rewind. You should vacuum regularly, and that includes vacuuming your furniture -- especially if your pets love to take naps there. For a deep clean, wash all the covers regularly to kill all the bacteria.

    Self-Cleaning Litter Box

    Cleaning your pet’s litter box can be a hassle. To make your life easier, invest in a self-cleaning litter box. One litter tray can last up to 30 days and there is no scooping required. All you have to do is empty the tray. It also comes with special litter crystals which control odour better by absorbing the liquids faster.

    Designated Spot

    Create a special spot for your dog to hang out. By designating an area just for them, you can focus on one area when it comes time to clean up and deodorize. The easiest way to do this is to purchase a doggy bed. Something soft and cozy will be perfect and your dog will love it. You can also set boundaries by using a baby gate, which can be folded and moved around wherever you want.

    A Relaxing Environment

    Your neighbors will appreciate you keeping your pets happy and well behaved when they’re home. To pull it off, creating a relaxing environment is important. First of all, make sure they always have easy access to water and food. Secondly, designate a spot for your pet where they can get a good view of their surroundings. Knowing where you are can be comforting. And finally, don’t forget playtime -- especially if your pets spend most of their time indoors.

    Exercise

    This might seem obvious, but pets need plenty of exercise. Some of them, like dogs, have a lot of energy and they need to be exhausted each day so that they can come home from their walk or playtime and just relax. This usually requires taking them out for longer and more frequent walks. If you can manage it, you won’t have an anxious pet with unwelcome behaviour patterns.

    Living with pets doesn’t have to be messy or a lot of work. By putting these 6 tips into practice, Timbercreek Communities hopes you can live in harmony with your pet and create a comfortable and clean home that both you and your neighbours will appreciate.

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

    https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/tips-for-living-in-a-small-space-with-pets-aka-dont-be-the-smelly-house-friend-189466

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