1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Blogs

GrillMistakes

5 common grilling mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Jul 16th, 2015

Even if you’re a master of the grill, after a winter spent away from the barbecue, you may find your skills are a little rusty. And if you’re a grilling novice, these tips are a great place to start. It’s the perfect time to get acquainted with your barbecue; avoiding these common mistakes will result in a delicious summer filled with effortless eats.

Here are five common grilling mistakes, a few simple tips for avoiding them:.

1. Using the wrong grilling method.
There are two ways to grill: direct heat and indirect heat. The direct heat method cooks foods that are placed directly on the heated grates. This is the commonly used when you want a good char on your vegetables, like when grilling asparagus or green onions, or for when you want a golden crust on your meat, like burgers andsteaks. With indirect grilling you create a heated zone on one side of the barbecue and use residual heat to cook food evenly – this method works perfect for grilled pizza.

Direct heat: Cheesy sliders with red onion marmalade.

Indirect heat: Grilled margherita pizza.

How do you know which method to use? Go for the indirect method when cooking foods that require more than 25 minutes of grilling, for cuts of meat over 2 inches in thickness or for highly delicate foods that can burn or scorch quickly.

2. Overcooking meat, poultry and fish.
It can be difficult to precisely control the level of heat on a barbecue, which can lead to dry, overcooked food. The best way to avoid this is to use an instant-read thermometer to check doneness. Fish can be a little trickier; a great tip is to grill fish at five minutes per 1/2-inch of thickness.

3. Food sticking to the grates.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent food from sticking to the grates. Start by cleaning the grates before each use and follow-up by brushing them with cooking oil (this will season the grates and allow food to release). Be sure to preheat the grill for at least ten minutes before grilling and allow the food to cook long enough to form a sear before flipping.

4. Vegetables falling through the grates.
Grilling adds a unique smokiness and complex flavour to vegetables. They cook quickly, but depending on their size, they are notorious for falling through the grates. Try using a veggie basket, or a favourite trick of the Chatelaine Kitchen is to create veggie packets out of aluminum foil like in our warm potato salad.

 5. Over-marinating the meat.

Marinating is one of the easiest ways to add a ton of flavour to meats and vegetables. Unfortunately, it is also easy to over-marinate leading to tough meat. Marinating times are impacted by the cut and size of the meat, but here are a few to keep in mind:

Flank, skirt and brisket: These tougher cuts should be marinated at least two hours, but can withstand up to 12 hours (keep in mind that brisket can be marinated for up to 24 hours).

Steak and chops: These cuts of meat benefit from a shorter marinating time as they will become tough if left in the marinade too long. Thirty minutes to four hours is plenty of time to soak up flavour. Try a shorter marinating time with our tandoori lamb chops.

Chicken: If you’re tight on time, 20 minutes will make a difference to chicken, but try to marinate for two hours or overnight for optimal flavour. For an easy weeknight dinner, try this citrus grilled chicken.

Fish: The acidity will start to cook the fish, so marinate for 15 minutes and no longer than an hour. No time to marinate? Try this cedar-plank salmon recipe – the flavouring is brushed on just before cooking.

Safe home remedies for garden pests

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jul 14th, 2015

Pests

We love animals, but they’re not always welcome in the garden — especially when they’re eating your plants! Carson Arthur shares his solutions for keeping creatures out without harm.

For cats:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 rosemary spears (or lavender)
  • 1 litre boiling water

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle. Let cool before applying to areas where cats have been.

For deer and rabbits:

  • 6-8 rhubarb leaves
  • boiling water

Method: Pour boiling water over rhubarb leaves in heatproof container. Let cool before applying to inedible plants, like cedar trees. The leaves are toxic, so the mixture shouldn’t be sprayed on vegetable  or fruit plants.

For aphids:

1 regular-strength Aspirin
1 litre water bottle

Method: Dissolve Aspirin in water and apply to aphid-infested plants.

For more tips, watch Carson’s segment below!

5 ways to get your family outside this summer

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Jul 9th, 2015

FamilyOutdoors

After 13 years, I found the silver bullet: the trails. Lacing up for a run, walk or bike ride slays my kid’s grouchiness within minutes (or at least half an hour). We’ve always been an active family, but it was only after tween angst hit (hard) that I noticed the correlation between trail time and better moods. Since then, it’s become my go-to parenting tool.

Studies show being outdoors doing physical activity lowers depression risk, reduces anxiety and improves behaviour—but that’s moot if you can’t get your brood outside. So my advice is: Don’t ask, tell. Bribe. Threaten. Cajole. Whatever works. Because the payoff is pretty sweet.

Within minutes, Esmé typically takes off, power walking with the dog. Or cycles ahead as I follow on foot. Or pushes herself to breakneck speed, to drop her dad and I on family trail runs, eager to be alone with her thoughts.

Sometimes she doesn’t notice me catching up, and I hear her humming to herself, an unguarded moment for my taciturn introvert. Other times, she slows down so we can walk and talk. Or she gets silly: On a recent outing, I wondered why she was lagging as I jogged ahead. I found out when she rode past me, hitting me with the brushy end of a five-foot-long reed that she’d fixed, jousting-rod style, to her bike.

If you’re not already an especially active family, it can be hard to know what to do beyond hanging out at the local playground or splash pad. Here are a few ways to enjoy summer outside with your kids.

• Open-water swimming. Check local lake and river water-quality updates. Then put down the Kindle and wade in!

• Orienteering and geocaching. Go on a high-tech treasure hunt using your GPS. Be prepared for trails and mud.

• Explore a provincial park. Even better—explore at night. Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park hosts guided wolf howls.

• Pick up a rod. Google “learn to fish” and your province to find free programs.

• Search for creatures. Look for snails after it rains. Go out after dark and watch bats swoop for insects. Bring a flashlight and see what bugs are underfoot.

12 best sunscreens for every skin type and adventure

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Jul 7th, 2015

OSunscreen

Maclean’s: What it feels like to be Canadian

Maclean's | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

canada148-featured

To celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday, Maclean’s has produced 148 short videos that showcase the vibrancy and breadth of Canadian experiences from coast-to-coast. “What it feels like to be Canadian” bring audiences closer to the action.

From joining the Sourtoe Cocktail Club in Dawson City and climbing an ice-covered Niagara Falls to an intimate concert with the Barenaked Ladies, the diversity of content reflects the lives of Canadians from across our nation.

Categories include sports, outdoors, heritage, experience, adventure, and arts.

Click here to watch the series of 148 videos.

10 Canadian movies to watch this Canada Day

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015

canadafireworks-featured

Ok, we’re not suggesting you sit and watch 10 movies back-to-back this Canada Day — particularly if it’s sunny outside! But once you’re home from that Canada Day party and ready to kick back for a few, toss on one of these Canadian flicks for a little entertainment.

We’ve selected some older movies, some newer, and a few from our favourite Canadian directors. We think it’s a good mix of light-hearted, and more dramatic fare. Hope you agree!

Goon (2011): We admit, we weren’t the biggest Seann William Scott fans until we saw him in this surprisingly sweet comedy about a bar bouncer with a heart of gold who’s hired to be the resident goon on his town’s minor-league hockey team, despite the fact that he can’t skate. Doug Glatt (Scott) soon finds himself at odds with both his team’s star player (Marc-Andre Grondin) and the league’s top goon (Liev Schreiber). Will this unlikely hero lead his team to victory? You’ll certainly be rooting for him to!

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006): When the body of a hockey league executive is discovered on the Ontario-Quebec border, the police forces from both provinces are forced to work together on the case. Enter strait-laced Martin Ward (the always excellent Colm Feore) representing the Ontario Provincial Police, and wildcard David Bouchard (Patrick Huard) of the Surete de Quebec, and you have the makings of a classic buddy cop film.

Canadian Bacon (1995): *Family-friendly!* Michael Moore directed this satirical John Candy vehicle about a low-in-the-polls U.S. President (Alan Alda) who tries to up his approval rating by starting a cold war against Canada. While this hilarious film is rife with talented comedy actors, among them Alda, Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak and Wallace Shawn, this film belongs to the late Candy, playing a sheriff who takes the U.S.’s new stance very seriously.

Les triplettes de Belleville/The Triplets of Belleville (2003): *Family-friendly!*Nominated for two Oscars, this animated film is as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to. The story revolves around Madame Souza and her dog Bruno, who team up with the Belleville Sisters to find her missing grandson Champion, who disappears during the Tour de France.

One Week (2008): Michael McGowan’s film about a young man (Joshua Jackson) who takes a motorcycle trip from Toronto to Tofino following a devastating medical diagnosis is a true love letter to Canada and all its beauty and eccentricity. Given its at-times heartbreaking subject matter, this is a wonderfully uplifting and funny film. We also adore Campbell Scott’s narration.

Goin’ Down The Road (1970): Doug McGrath and Paul Bradley star as two friends who move from Nova Scotia to the big city, Toronto, in the hopes of finding jobs and a better life. This classic Canadian film was subsequently parodied on SCTV. It’s interesting to see how much Yonge St. has changed since the film was made.

Juno (2007): Starring Canadians Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and directed by Canadian Jason Reitman, we’re claiming this film as one of our own! Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, 16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Page) makes the controversial decision to carry her child to term so that she can place it with an adoptive couple. Diablo Cody won an Oscar for her smart script.

Away From Her (2006): Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie turn in wonderful performances as an aging couple dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Sarah Polley proves she’s as talented behind the director’s chair as she is in front of the camera in this heart-rending film.

Eastern Promises (2007): David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen follow up the excellent A History of Violence with this equally powerful and disturbing film about a midwife (Naomi Watts) who becomes entangled with the Russian mafia while investigating the death of a pregnant teenager. Mortensen is fantastic as mafia driver Nikolai, but it’s Armin Mueller-Stahl who steals the show as the outwardly warm, but secretly brutal and cold-hearted, restaurant owner/mob boss Semyon. Not for the faint at heart, this film has scenes of brutal violence.

Barney’s Version (2010): Based on the acclaimed Mordecai Richler novel, Paul Giamatti is perfectly cast as the irascible Barney Panofsky, who falls in love with a woman (Rosamund Pike) at his second wedding. This touching drama also stars Dustin Hoffman as Izzy, Barney’s father, and Minnie Driver as Barney’s second wife. A film that proves how important good writing is to good moviemaking.

Happy Canada Day! Share your favourite Canadian films (or films directed by Canadians) in the comments below!

10 mistakes to avoid when decorating a small bedroom

Alexandra Gater | posted Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015

chatelaine

Mistake 1: Ignoring the corners.

Use the corners of your bedroom to create more storage. A corner hanging bar such as the one below can be used for sweaters or blankets.

Bedroomcorner

Mistake 2: Buying furniture that doesn’t have a dual purpose.

Invest in a bed that has storage underneath or a desk that folds against the wall to maximize space effectively. This simple and practical storage bed frame is from West Elm.

SmallBed

See more common mistakes here

Hot weather warnings: What to remember

Claire Gagne | posted Tuesday, Jun 16th, 2015

HeatWarning

Strong Sun

The UV Index is a measure of the intensity of the sun’s rays. Environment Canada (weather.gc.ca) forecasts the highest level of UV for the day, which you can expect around midday. If the UV Index is between three and five, simply slather on the sunscreen and head outdoors. But if the forecasted UV Index for the day is six or higher, plan your outdoor activities for before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m., as the sun will be less intense. Check The Weather Network (theweathernetwork.com or download the app) for current readings, and be especially careful when the UV Index is eight or higher, as skin can burn very quickly. (Though rare in Canada, a UV Index of 11 or higher can cause skin to burn within minutes!) “Young kids can get bad sunburns before you even realize there’s a problem,” says Michael Dickinson, a paediatrician in Miramichi, NB.

Bad Air

The Air Quality Health Index tells us how much pollution is outside on a scale of one to 10, and is more likely to affect people in large cities, near industry or close to areas prone to forest fires. When pollution is high—at seven or above—young kids and people with asthma or heart conditions should limit strenuous outdoor activity, according to Health Canada. That doesn’t mean you can’t go outside at all—just use Environment Canada’s hourly air quality readings and next-day forecasts to plan. Keep activities low-key and monitor children closely. “If your child is getting tired more easily than normal, or if she’s coughing, wheezing or seems to be working harder to breathe, those are signs of respiratory trouble because of the pollution, and you should bring her indoors,” says Dickinson. 

Heat Waves

The definition of extreme heat varies by where you live, but generally, a heat warning is issued when it’s deemed the temperature increases the potential for health problems such as heatstroke and dehydration, which can be fatal. All children can be affected by heat, but it’s most dangerous for infants, young children and people with asthma or heart disease, says Dickinson. It’s best to plan a movie day or hit an indoor playground when a heat alert is issued.

Pollen

In warmer months, trees, grasses and weeds procreate by releasing tiny grains of pollen, which are carried by the wind. The Weather Network tells us how much and what kind of pollen is floating around. Pollen is high on dry, windy days, is released in the morning and typically peaks in urban areas midday. “Pollen counts are particularly important if you’re prone to allergies and asthma,” says Dickinson, so monitor the pollen forecast and plan your outdoor time for when counts are low. If your allergic child will be outdoors when pollen is high, speak to your doctor about giving him an antihistamine before he goes out.

TP06_HH_LittleBodies_660x300

A version of this article appeared in our June 2015 issue with the headline “Weather warnings,” p. 24.

Page 10 of 31« First...89101112...2030...Last »