• Easter Sides We Love

    Mar 28, 2018

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    There are many ways to celebrate Easter, but pretty much all of them involve food. And while the glorious and traditional Easter meal tends to oscillate between lamb and ham, what makes it different and delicious is a bountiful variety of sides. From scalloped potatoes to string beans and squash, your options are seemingly endless. To help you fill your plate this Easter, Timbercreek brings you these great side dishes.

    Scalloped Potatoes

    Perhaps the #1 most traditional Easter side dish, scalloped potatoes are irresistible. Whether gratin, creamed, slow-cooked, or oven-roasted, they provide the starchy backbone to any Easter dinner. Check out some options here.

    Asparagus

    In season from February to March, Asparagus is a popular Easter side dish. Toss some in olive oil, salt, pepper (and cayenne for a kick), then bake until browned. Or cut into 1” sections, slice in quarters lengthwise, and dress with vinaigrette for an asparagus slaw. Read more here.

    Roasted Heritage Carrots

    Heritage carrots are beautiful, have you tried them? They come in amazing colours like purple and red. Pick some up from an organic store or produce market, wash and peel (not even necessary) them, trim their stalks to be even length, and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until tender but still firm, then drizzle with balsamic glaze, and garnish with parsley or basil. See more.

    Peas with Bacon and Shallots

    Pass the peas, please! We love peas -- they are an iconic symbol of spring. Take them to a whole new level with this Peas with Bacon and Shallots recipe. Cook ½-1 pack of bacon until crisp, remove, and keep 2 tbsp of bacon fat in the pan. Toss in chopped garlic and thinly sliced shallots, cook until soft, add ¼-½ cup cream, lemon zest/juice, salt and pepper, and bring all to a simmer. Throw in frozen peas, cook through, crumble bacon on top, mix, and serve immediately.  See more.

    Snap Pea and Radish Salad

    Radishes and snap peas scream spring. They're totally in season, crisp and fresh tasting. Combine them with a killer creamy avocado dressing in this winning side dish recipe. In a bowl, combine 1lb sugar snap peas and about 12 quartered radishes and set aside. In a blender, combine avocado, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro. Blend and gradually add olive oil (and water as necessary), blending until the mixture is a smooth purée. Toss salad with dressing to coat and serve immediately. Check it out.

    Timbercreek hopes you try some of these amazing Easter side dishes this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

     

     

  • Asparagus Recipes We Love

    Mar 26, 2018

    Asparagus can look a little intimidating if you don't know what to do with it, but it's actually a totally non-threatening and delicious spring vegetable that you should stock up on. It’s a surprisingly versatile ingredient that lends itself well to many dishes.  It’s best bought when in season, from February to June. Timbercreek has some tasty ideas for how to use this crisp veg.

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    Orzo Pasta with Grilled Asparagus

    Try two new-to-you ingredients in one recipe! Have you ever tried orzo? It's a delicious rice shaped pasta that pairs brilliantly with asparagus. Boil your pasta until al dente, drain, and leave on low heat. Add olive oil and one chopped onion, cook for 2 minutes, add 2-3 cloves of garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Drop in halved snap peas and asparagus cut into 1” pieces, and cook until soft but crisp. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, zest, mint, and ¼ cup of feta cheese. Stir well, season with salt and pepper, and top with another ¼ cup cheese. Get the full recipe here.

    Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette and Poached Egg

    This delicious salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Best of all it can be made super quickly! Whisk together 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, 4 tbsp grapeseed oil, salt and pepper until smooth.  Blanch asparagus in boiling water, then toss in salt, curry powder, and olive oil, and grill (or pan sear) until lightly charred. Next it's time to perfectly poach an egg -- boil water, stir vigorously, and crack in the egg. Cook for 3 minutes, remove, and place carefully in a bowl of ice water. Remove, and trim off any white edges. Plate 6 or more asparagus spears, drizzle with vinaigrette, top with the poached egg, and fresh parmesan reggiano cheese. Get the recipe here.

    Asparagus and Panko Crusted Salmon

    Asparagus and salmon are an elegant and classic pairing. If you want to impress a date, make this Asparagus and Panko Crusted Salmon recipe! Blanch asparagus then place in a blender with garlic, dill, salt and pepper, a touch of cream, and puree. Lightly season salmon filets with salt and pepper, then coat top and bottom with asparagus puree. Dab the filet in panko breadcrumbs until coated (top and bottom). Sear in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until edges are white and the middle is slightly pink. Plate over a smear of puree with potato or salad side. Get the recipe.

    Oven roasted Asparagus with Cheese Sauce

    This one’s an easy and healthy game-day classic. Trim asparagus stalks and toss in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder. Heat oven to 350F, place asparagus on a baking tray, and cook until lightly browned. Meanwhile, make a cheese sauce by whisking cream or milk and shredded cheese together in a small pot over medium heat until soft. Plate asparagus, drizzle with the cheese sauce, and sprinkle a pinch of chili spice or cayenne over top.

    Asparagus and Prosciutto

    Looking for a great spring appetizer? Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with apple slices and boursin is a killer offering. Blanch asparagus for 1-2 minutes.While blanching, slice aged cheddar and green apples as thinly as possible (i.e. use a mandoline). Once cooked, remove the asparagus, dry and cut into 2” pieces. Lay out prosciutto slices on a cutting board, spread a layer of boursin, and lay apple slices on top. Add asparagus pieces near one end, and roll until covered. Place onto a baking tray, and roast at 375 F until cheese is melted and/or the prosciutto is starting to crisp up. Get the recipe here.

    Timbercreek hopes that these recipes inspire you to take advantage of asparagus season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 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.

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