Saturday, 29 December 2012

Wylde on Health by Bryce Wylde

Wylde on Health
Your Best Choices in the World of Natural Health
by Bryce Wylde

Trade Paperback, 352 pages


I was pleasantly surprised at how thorough and insightful this book on health was. I have to admit, my early flower-child years with parents who eschewed regular doctors for naturopaths, etc., left me suspicious of alternative medicine for quite some time. (Note to all hippie parents out there - if your child wets the bed - suggest peeing before going to sleep, rather than vibrationally charged homeopathic medicines. Just sayin'.)

Bryce Wilde encourages his readers to take charge of their health through education, nutrition, exercise, traditional medicine and alternative medicine - together for a whole-being, whole-person, healthiest living possible. I love that. He also calls out the myths and snake-oil types of alternative medicines and gives you all the information you need to make healthy choices.

The well-organized, quite thorough book is also filled with links that can be scanned with a QR Smart Device and/or accessed by web page - to view video clips that further illustrate the subjects.

Wylde on Health goes above and beyond expectations and will be the perfect guide book for a healthier new year and a healthier new you.


Contents include:

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - How Healthy Are We?
1. They've Got Us Surrounded
2. The Digestive System
3. Of Men and Women
4. Pumping Iron
5. The Life of the Mind
6. A Pain in the Life
7. A Matter of Years

Chapter 3 - Getting Healthy 
1. The First Defence
2. What Goes In
3. Sexual Healing
4. Wide Circulation
5. Compos Mentis
6. Dealing with Pain
7. As Time Goes By

Chapter 4 - Staying Healthy
1. The Immune System in Balance
2. Your Guts, Your Glory
3. Libido for Life
4. Changes of Heart
5. Mind Your Own Brain
6. Anti-Inflammation
7. Beyond Your Years

Chapter 5 - Conclusion:
Past, Present and Future Medicine 


BRYCE WYLDE is the author of the national bestseller The Antioxidant Prescription. He graduated with a combined honours degree in biology and psychology from York University in Toronto. He went on to pursue a career in complementary alternative medicine and nutrition, graduating with a diploma in homeopathic medicine and health sciences (DHMHS) from the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine. Known as a world leader in complementary alternative health, Wylde is a highly knowledgeable and respected natural healthcare practitioner specializing in homeopathy, clinical nutrition and botanical medicine and whose focus is routed within functional medicine.  Wylde began his television hosting career with CTV in early 2008 with the highly-rated weekly television show Wylde on Health. Wylde lectures frequently on the prevalence of junk science in the natural health world and has made it his mission to “debunk the junk.” Bryce Wylde tweets @wyldeonhealth out of Toronto.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman

Born Weird
by Andrew Kaufman

Trade Paperback, 288 pages

It is apt that Weird is in the title and also the last name of the family featured in this book as it is an odd, quirky tale that reads like fable, although more modern than some.

The Weird family was given blessings that turned out to be curses (blursings) by their grandmother, each as they were brought into the world. In a "be careful what you wish for" sense, grandma (The Shark) realizes on her deathbed that the blursings must be undone for each Weird child (now semi-functioning adult) to live life fully.

Angie Weird has only two weeks to find and assemble all of her siblings to be present for The Shark's passing and the undoing of their curses.

Born Weird is a modern fairytale, effusively and joyously filled with the F word. It reminds me a little of the television show Pushing Daisies, with its quirky narration. A fun and unique book to brighten up these dreary months ahead.

Photo credit: Lee Towndrow
ANDREW KAUFMAN is the author of All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Tiny Wife, and The Waterproof Bible. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, the birthplace of Alice Munro, making him the second-best writer from a town of 3000. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into 9 languages. He is also an accomplished screenwriter and lives in Toronto with his wife and their 2 children.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!




Sing along - you know you want to!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Redpath Organic Agave Nectar

Redpath Organic Agave Nectar

Redpath Organic Agave Nectar is a natural liquid sweetener made from the nectar of the Agave plant, which is native to Mexico. Redpath's agave nectar is crafted from organically grown Blue Agave — a species that produces the best quality agave nectar.

Since agave nectar is a naturally sweet product, it makes for an extremely versatile sweetener. Agave nectar is a gluten-free product and it contains no allergens.

How to bake with Redpath Agave Nectar

Using Agave Nectar in your baking is easy. 2/3 cup Redpath Agave Nectar is the same as 1 cup Granulated Sugar; reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup.



Agave Sweet & Creamy Fruit Dip

    1/3 cup (75 ml) – Redpath Organic Agave Nectar
    1 package (250 g) – cream cheese, softened
    1 teaspoon (5ml) – vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon (2 ml)- cinnamon

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Enjoy with fresh fruit.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Better Food for Dogs - Complete Cookbook & Nutrition Guide

Better Food for Dogs
Complete Cookbook & Nutrition Guide
by David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton 
and Dr. Grant Nixon, D.V.M.
Paperback, 192 pages


Dogs are the best - aren't they? I can't imagine life without them. We have our little shih tzu dudes, Merlin and Jedi, at home, and our giant grand-dog Kimbo in Niagara. They are more than pets - they are family. And you had better believe they are spoiled!

And you know what it is like when your dogs are that special to you. They are members of the family and you want to feed them accordingly. But a dog's diet is a little different than a person's, and even though Fido might long for your Chicken Kiev, it might not be the best thing for him.

Whether you want to make all of your dog's food from scratch, or supplement his kibble diet with homemade foods - Better Foods for Dogs provides you with all the information - complete with tasty recipes, tested and approved by dogs.

The book contains:
  •     From basic everyday meals to gourmet dinners
  •     Special cookie treats
  •     Myths about dog and people food
  •     Nutrient sources for your dog
  •     User friendly charts provide important information at a glance
  •     How to identify good-quality processed foods
  •     Problems associated with low-quality diets

Here are just some of the easy to prepare recipes: 
Breakfast Burrito, Blueberry Banana Biscotti, Turkey and Rice, Divine Diner Burrito, Stir-Fried Ginger Beef with Greens, Chicken Fried Rice, Barbecued Hamburgers, Salmon and Dill Pasta, Basil Chicken and Vegetable Pasta. 

Try out these sample cookie recipes below for your favourite furry friend! 

Mom’s Famous Pumpkin Biscotti
MAKES ABOUT 1 LB (500 G) OF COOKIES

• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) • Nonstick baking sheets • Food processor • Rolling pin • Pizza cutter

4 cups whole wheat flour 1 L
1 tsp dried basil leaves 5 mL
1 tsp dried cilantro leaves 5 mL
1 tsp dried oregano leaves 5 mL
3⁄4 cup water 175 mL
1⁄4 cup cut (1⁄2 inch/1 cm) green beans, thawed if frozen 50 mL
2 tbsp each tomato paste 25 mL
2 tbsp canola oil 25 mL
1 clove garlic 1

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, basil, cilantro and oregano. In a food processor, combine water, carrot, green beans, tomato paste, oil and garlic. Puree until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

2. In the bowl and using hands, knead until dough holds together. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to about 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thickness.

3. With a fork, poke holes all over the surface of the dough. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut dough into bite-size rectangles or squares. Place about 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) apart on baking sheets.

4. Bake in preheated oven, in batches if necessary, for 20 minutes or until firm. Place pans on racks and let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (150°C). Bake for 30 minutes longer or until hard. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 30 days.

Tip: Over the years, one of the lessons we’ve learned is that dogs don’t care about the shape of their cookies. They’re only interested in the taste. We recommend cutting cookies into squares because it’s easy. But if you have cookie cutters, feel free to use them — with one word of caution: take care to ensure that the size and shape of the cookie is safe for the size of your dog. For instance, if the cookies are small and round, your dog may not chew them enough — and may even swallow them whole, which could lead to choking. Since cookies are hard, shapes with sharp pointy edges, such as stars, may cut your dog’s mouth or become lodged in his/her esophagus.


Excerpted from Better Food for Dogs by David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Grant Nixon, D.V.M. © 2002 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.


Carrot and Cinnamon Cookies
MAKES ABOUT 1 LB (500 G) OF COOKIES

• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) • Nonstick baking sheets • Food processor • Rolling pin • Pizza cutter

4 cups whole wheat flour 1 L   
1⁄2 cup cornmeal 125 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
1 cup chopped carrot 250 mL
1⁄2 cup water 125 mL
2 tbsp canola oil 25 mL
2 tbsp iquid honey 25 mL
1 large egg 1
1 tsp vanilla 5 mL

1.    In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and cinnamon. In a food processor, combine carrot, water, oil, honey, egg and vanilla. Puree until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.

2.    In the bowl and using hands, knead until dough holds together. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to about 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thickness.

3.    With a fork, poke holes all over the surface of the dough. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut dough into bite-size rectangles or squares. Place about 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) apart on baking sheets.

4.    Bake in preheated oven, in batches if necessary, for 20 minutes or until firm. Place pans on racks and let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (150°C). Bake for 30 minutes longer or until hard. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 30 days.

Excerpted from Better Food for Dogs by David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Grant Nixon, D.V.M. © 2002 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

David Bastin and Jennifer Ashton are the proprietors of Licks and Wags Ltd., an all natural dog cookie line located in Summerland, British Columbia. They have done a tremendous amount of nutritional research not only for their business but for their own dogs.

Dr. Grant Nixon, D.V.M. has been practicing compassionate veterinary medicine for ten years. He has a keen interest in nutrition and natural diets and the role they play in the health and well-being of his clients.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

300 Sensational Soups!

300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds
Paperback, 384 pages

Yesterday was rainy and cold. Today was rainy and cold. Tomorrow is forecasted to be rainy and cold. There may not be snow here yet, but BBQing is out. All I want to do is curl up with a nice hot bowl of soup. And bread (which goes without saying).

Sure, you might get the odd craving for the chicken and stars from your childhood. But how about something a little more fun - like Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons? Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder? Or how about Provencal Vegetable Soup with Pistou?

With 300 Sensational Soups you can make all different kinds of soup from exotic and far away recipes to homey and deliciously familiar. You will never run out of great soup ideas and never go back to that can!

Contents include:
Soup Stocks
Chilled Soups
Fresh from the Garden Vegetable Soups
Beans, Beans and More Beans Soups
Cheese Please Soups
Hearty Soups for Meat Lovers
Chicken and Turkey Soups to Comfort the Soul
Go Fish: Fish and Shellfish Soups
Chow Down Chowders
A World of Soups
Just Dessert Soups
Gilding the Lily: Toppings and Garnishes

Here are a couple of sample recipes to help warm you up!

Vegetarian Soups – page 88
Cream of Roasted Turnip Soup
with Baby Bok Choy and Five Spices

When turnips are roasted, they become so sweet and flavorful that we don’t want to eat them any other way. We love the cute and tender baby bok choy lightly sautéed with Chinese five-spice powder.

Tip
Five-spice powder is a blend of ground cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon, star anise and Szechwan peppercorns. Most large grocery stores stock it, but if you can’t find it, just use a mixture of the individual spices. It will still taste delicious.

Serves 6

•    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
•    Rimmed baking sheet

11⁄2 lbs    turnips, peeled and diced    750 g
1⁄4 cup    olive oil, divided    50 mL
3⁄4 tsp    salt, divided    3 mL
    Freshly ground black pepper
1    large onion, finely chopped    1
5    heads baby bok choy, sliced    5
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
1⁄4 tsp    five-spice powder (see tip)    1 mL
6 cups    chicken or vegetable stock    1.5 L
1⁄2 cup    half-and-half (10%) cream    125 mL
2 tsp    freshly squeezed lemon juice    10 mL
Pinch    ground nutmeg    Pinch
Pinch    cayenne pepper    Pinch
2 tbsp    minced fresh chives    25 mL

1.    On baking sheet, combine turnips, 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil, 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt and black pepper to taste; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven until turnips are tender and begin to color, about 20 minutes.

2.    In a large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add bok choy, garlic, five-spice powder and the remaining salt; sauté until bok choy is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate and keep warm.

3.    Add stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add turnips, reduce heat and simmer until turnips have flavored the liquid, about 10 minutes.

4.    Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, purée soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary. Stir in cream, lemon juice, nutmeg and cayenne; reheat over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Do not let boil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

5.    Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with bok choy and chives.


Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Chow Down Chowders / Seafood Soups – page 278
Rich Lobster and Roasted Corn Chowder
“Decadent” is the best word to describe this luxurious chowder. Fresh lobster is paired with sweet and toasty roasted corn for a unique and memorable taste sensation.

Tips
You can use either fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels.
If you prefer, you can replace the chicken stock and clam juice with 5 cups (1.25 L) fish or shellfish stock.

Serves 6

•    Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
•    Large rimmed baking sheet

3 cups    corn kernels    750 mL
11⁄2 tbsp    olive oil    22 mL
1 tsp    salt, divided    5 mL
1⁄2 tsp    freshly ground black pepper, divided    2 mL
4    slices bacon, chopped    4
2 cups    chopped onions    500 mL
Pinch    cayenne pepper    Pinch
1 lb    boiling potatoes, peeled and diced     500 g
3 cups    chicken stock    750 mL
2 cups    clam juice    500 mL
11⁄2 cups    whipping (35%) cream    375 mL
2 tbsp    unsalted butter    25 mL
3    cooked lobster tails (each about 10 oz/300 g),     3
    meat removed and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 tbsp    chopped fresh chives    45 mL

1.    On baking sheet, combine corn, oil, 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of the black pepper; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir and redistribute into an even layer. Roast
until corn is lightly but evenly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2.    In a large pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

3.    Pour off all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the fat in the pot. Add onions and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne and sauté for 1 minute. Add potatoes, stock, clam juice and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in roasted corn and cream; return to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Do not let boil.

4.    In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add lobster meat and sauté until heated through, about 1 minute.

5.    Ladle chowder into heated bowls and top with lobster. Garnish with reserved bacon and chives.

Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.



Hearty Soup for Meat Lovers – page 114
Wild Mushroom and Orzo Soup with Italian Meatballs
Wild mushrooms have a big, beefy flavor that partners well with meatballs. This soup’s gutsy Italian flavors are sure to make it one of your favorites.

Tip
Grocery stores sometimes carry uncooked meatballs, packaged in the meat case, that they have made up themselves. We think it makes good sense to take advantage of this step-saving bonus, especially when the meatballs are of good quality. One caveat, though, is that store-bought meatballs are usually on the large side. We cut them in half and then reroll them into a ball. It only takes a minute, and they are a more “attackable” size in your soup bowl.

Serves 6 to 8

2 tbsp     unsalted butter                   25 mL
2 tbsp     olive oil                         25 mL
1          large onion, minced                   1
112 lbs   wild (exotic) mushrooms, sliced   750 g
1          stalk celery, chopped                 1
1 tsp      salt                               5 mL
1 tsp      dried basil                        5 mL
1 tsp      dried oregano                      5 mL
6 cups     beef or chicken stock             1.5 L
           Italian Meatballs (Store bought)
1 cup      orzo                             250 mL
14 cup    minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley    50 mL
2 tsp      freshly squeezed lemon juice      10 mL
14 cup    freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 50 mL
           cheese
           Freshly ground black pepper
           Additional freshly grated
           Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.   In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, celery, salt, basil and oregano; sauté until vegetables begin to soften and mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes.

2.   Add stock and bring to a boil. Carefully add meatballs and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Stir in orzo and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Add parsley, lemon juice, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

3.   Ladle into heated bowls and pass additional cheese at the table.

Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Shadow Creek by Joy Fielding

Shadow Creek
by Joy Fielding

Trade Paperback, 384 pages

Get ready for a stay up late, wrapped in a blanket with all the curtains drawn kind of thriller.

What starts as a Noël Coward-esque odd grouping of companions thrown together in the Adirondacks turns into don't-trust-anyone, edge-of-your-seat tale of bloody murders and deceit.

Something evil lurks in the woods and this decidedly un-merry band of mis-matched people, each battling their own demons, are in for the struggle of their lives.


There's something deadly lurking in the shadows at Shadow Creek . . .

JOY FIELDING is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Charley's Web, Heartstopper, Mad River Road, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida. Visit her website at www.JoyFielding.com