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YORKREGION.COM/GOODLIFE

GoodLife Aurora, Newmarket and Area Edition

Festive Feel 8 ideas

to deck your halls that won’t break your holiday budget

Shrimp Cocktail Reinvented Your NON-STUFF Holiday Gift Guide SERVING Aurora, Newmarket and Area


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4 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


contents

28 10

10 Fireplace Focal Points 18 Planning the Perfect Party 24 Reinventing the shrimp cocktail 28 Ready for the holidays 32 Mix It Up With Mocktails 38 On Tap 42 Vintages 44 Festive Feel

Eight ideas to deck your halls that won’t break the budget

Four festive ways to add holiday magic to your mantel

Stress-free strategies for a great holiday get-together

Three fresh takes on an old favourite

Make-ahead recipes give you more time with guests

18 6 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

Who says perfect party drinks need to contain alcohol?

38

Keep a variety of craft beers on hand this festive season

Be holiday ready for any situation with these wine picks


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contents 46 ‘Non-Stuff’ Gift Guide 52 Star Power 54 Events 56 A Gardening Dynasty 58 Travel 60 In the Crowd 66 Priority Seating

Ten easy DIY placecards to add oomph to holiday dining

Some great ideas for those on your list who shun presents

46

Michael Barbuto realized his dreams of becoming an actor

Arts, culture and outdoor events for the whole family

Bradford Greenhouses’ history spans three generations

54 58 60

Adventure and beauty abound at these African safari camps

Magna Hoedown raises funds for the community

8 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


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holiday|home

e v i t s Fe l e e F Eight ideas

to deck your halls that won’t break your holiday budget By JOANN MACDONALD | PHOTOGRAPHY By JIM CRAIGMYLE

10 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 11


holiday|home

N

ow in its 12th year, the Pickering College Holiday Home Tour invites decor enthusiasts to tour six homes in Newmarket, Aurora and Stouffville, each resplendent in holiday decor. With teams of decorators and florists outfitting each home in sparkling splendour, you might wonder how easily or affordably you can decorate your own abode using some of their ideas. We turned to Pamela Byer, senior design consultant with Aurora’s Design Line Studio, an interior decorating and design studio that handles both residential and commercial projects. For the 2015 Holiday Home Tour, Byer decorated the grand home pictured on these pages. With soaring ceilings and spacious rooms, the home called for large-scale Christmas decorating to capture the spectacular feel befitting the tour. Fortunately, the decorating concepts behind the look translate easily to more modest dwellings. Here are eight easy and budget-friendly ways to decorate your home for the holidays:

Use fresh flowers, cedar and pine to create a festive feel. If you’re a country dweller, you may be lucky enough to pluck fresh greenery and pine cones from your own property. 12 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


1. Shop Your Home First and foremost, use what you have. Walk around your house to take stock. Maybe you have a collection of white vases? A half-dozen brass candle holders inherited from your grandmother? Silver or green glass vases and bowls? You don’t necessarily need items specifically marketed for the holidays. Bring out special pieces like your crystal candelabra to increase the wow factor. 2. Think Long Term Build your holiday look around items that don’t shout “Christmas” and you won’t have to tear down your décor on December 26th. That’s what Byer did when she made use of the homeowner’s vases, trays and crystal pieces. In the dining room, she topped silver woven placemats with a white charger and formal dinner plates in white and silver. She filled a silver bowl with frosted glass and silver ball ornaments. “People could take them out and put artichokes in there after the holidays,” she says. “They could put in lemons and limes.”

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holiday|home 3. Add Natural Elements Use fresh flowers, cedar and pine to create a festive feel. If you’re a country dweller, you may be lucky enough to pluck fresh greenery and pine cones from your own property. Working with Schomberg’s Seasons Floral Studio, Byer added natural elements to the space such as magnolia leaves, orchids and mini “Grinch” trees made from moss and pine. Think beyond traditional Christmas flowers to get longevity from your blooms. “Air plants last forever,” says Byer. “You could leave them on the table yearround.”

14 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


To save on ornaments, use inexpensive shapes like balls and pine cones to cover the majority of the tree. Create a theme by using a few well-placed, pricier ornaments.

greens, you could tuck Christmas balls or snowflake ornaments in among the natural greenery,” suggests Byer. Same goes for your Christmas tree. “Even if you have the bulk of your tree in silver or gold, add in little splashes of colour,” says Byer, noting pops of colour add pizzazz. Buy a big container of mixed ball ornaments in traditional colours like red or green or notso-traditional colours like orange or navy.

4. Build Around A Neutral Base Start with neutral decor elements and add accent colours. That way you can switch up your look based on trends or when you desire for change. “If you like reds or blues or

5. Invest In A Quality Christmas Tree Byer recommends investing in a goodquality artificial flocked Christmas tree. The “snow” effect on the branches means you won’t have to add quite so many ornaments to make the tree appear full. And a good tree will last many years. To save on ornaments, use inexpensive shapes like balls and pine cones to cover the majority of the tree. Create a theme by using a few well-placed, pricier ornaments. Byer dressed a tree in the homeowner’s basement with oversized pine cones and introduced just a few special ice skate ornaments. Add unexpected tree toppers such

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 15


holiday|home as fresh greenery or magnolia leaves. “It’s a great hat on the tree,” says Byer. “Almost like the ladies who wear hats to the Queen’s Plate.” 6. Use Candles Candles are an inexpensive way to create the cosy feel we all crave during the holidays. For example, Byer placed cream-coloured candles in hurricane lamps of various sizes on the living room’s coffee table, tucking fresh greenery around them. To update your colour scheme each year, simply add new candles in your chosen hue. Never leave candles unattended. If you have little ones or are worried about fire safety, battery-operated candles are a great alternative. 7. Add Twinkle Lights Nothing is more festive than twinkle lights. Byer recommends battery-operated LED versions on thin wire. They don’t need to be plugged in and can easily be wrapped around railings, trees and garlands. White lights are a classic choice, but you can even find pink twinkle lights for a fun touch. Wrap twinkle lights around a magnolia leaf garland and drape it on your mantel. 8. Introduce Cosy Accents Chances are you already have a bunch of toss pillows and faux-fur throw blankets. Bring out your greys, creams, silvers, golds and browns for an instant cosy feel. Animal images on pillows are popular for the colder months. If you like, add in a couple of holiday-themed pillows in December. Byer likes to drape furry throws around the base of the Christmas tree as a tree skirt.

Sources Flowers: Seasons Floral Studio in Schomberg Decorating: Design Line Studio, designlinestudio.ca

16 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


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holiday|mantels

Fireplace

Focal Points

By TRACY SMITH | photography by Jim Craigmyle

Four festive ways to add a little holiday 18 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


N

othing inspires the feeling of the holidays quite like a decorated fireplace mantel. Use it to showcase the season with coniferous clippings, pine cones and twinkling lights or bring in the bling for a totally different kind of look! Whatever your style, here are four fireplace mantel designs sure to inspire you this holiday season.

Classic Christmas

By Andrea Henderson, Sara Standfield and Janine Angotti, Saturday Afternoons, Aurora This stunning mantel is decked out in rich cream tones, simple greenery and sophisticated blacks and greys. It radiates an elegant Christmas vibe while still possessing a hint of fun with the trio of reindeer and playful accents. Key elements: Creamy whites mixed with black accents, simple greens, twinkle lights and neutral figurines and word signs. Tip: You can’t go wrong by adding warm, white mini lights or candles to a mantel; they provide depth and dimension and bring the area to life in the evening.

magic to your mantel GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 19


holiday|mantels

A Walk in the Woods

By Kasie Savage, lifestyle expert/TV personality Just because you don’t own a dreamy log cabin nestled in the woods doesn’t mean that you can’t create the feeling of one. This room’s gorgeous reclaimed wood wall (by stikwood.com) brings warmth and texture to this room all year round, and by adding simple and beautiful natural elements like cedar, birch branches, berries and burlap, the fireplace area becomes a seasonal showcase. Get creative and involve the family by hunting for natural items in your own backyard. Key elements: Nature-inspired items (cedar, boxwood, birch, berries and reclaimed wood wall) Tip: Try to pick a look for your mantel that will work from December straight through to March with a few minor tweaks for the holidays to spice things up.

20 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Farmhouse Floral

By Karrie McFee, Inside Out Design Vibrant shades of green and red turn a mellow white-bricked fireplace into a stunning focal point. You can almost smell the fresh scents of cedar, roses and eucalyptus floating in the air. The look is topped off with a berry-coloured sign featuring a friendly sentiment of the season. Key elements: Fresh florals (eucalyptus, roses, cedar boughs, dogwood and red berries), and a fun family-friendly sign. Tip: Start with a pre-lit faux garland underneath everything and then embellish it with fresh floral items and greens. “It’s way easier to achieve a ‘full’ look this way, costs are reduced because you don’t have to buy as many fresh items, and best of all, there is much less mess to clean up after the holidays (no dead needles!).”

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 21


holiday|mantels

Merry & Modern

By Karla Wilson, Haven Contemporary Décor, Newmarket Modern mantel designs are minimalist and colourful. This one, designed by Haven Contemporary Decor, features eye-catching pops of colour and elements of whimsy that add streamlined seasonal charm. Don’t have a fireplace? Any ledge in your home or apartment can substitute. Key elements: Bright colours, central wreath, metallics and a lot of open space. Tip: Start with a focal piece and work outwards, choosing a dominant colour to use throughout (in this case it was red). Symmetry and simplicity are key in a modern design so balance things out and remember the “less is more” mantra.

22 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

Symmetry and simplicity are key in a modern design so balance things out and remember the “less is more” mantra.

CONTRIBUTORS Saturday Afternoons, saturdayafternoons.ca, 905-841-8559 Karrie McFee: Inside Out Design (McFee Maintenance & Landscapes), mcfees.com, 905-505-6388 Kasie Savage, kasiesavage.com Haven Contemporary Décor, havencontemporary.com, 905-235-3528


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holiday|party planning

Perfect Party PLANNING THE

24 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Stress-free strategies for a great holiday get-together By JULIE MIGUEL

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 25


holiday|party planning The holidays are a time to catch up with family and friends, and celebrate the season. But for many people, the idea of hosting a party sounds more stressful than it’s worth. The good news? It doesn’t have to be. Some upfront planning and simple strategies can go a long way in making your next event one you – and your guests – will enjoy. Plan for Success A great party begins with a plan. Forget about the things that could go wrong and focus on what you can realistically handle. Choose a date and your guest list and then send off those invites asap. The Menu Skip the complicated sit-down menu and consider cocktail foods and desserts instead. (You’ll find recipes for shrimp cocktail on page 28). If the budget permits, start calling some local caterers and nail them down as soon as possible. If you’re handling the menu on your own, be sure to offer a mix of dishes that can be made ahead of time. Lighten the load by picking up dessert from your favourite bakery. Come party day, set up the store-bought desserts on a festive platter and sprinkle with icing sugar to create that “just-baked” feel.

26 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

Not sure how much food to prepare? The magic number is eight appetizers per person per hour. Choose a combination of hot, room temperature and cold foods. For example, serve a variety of hot appetizers with room-temperature dips and spicy charcuterie with mild accompaniments such as cheeses. (A cheese and charcuterie bar is a great option because it can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.) It’s always a good idea to have some lower fat options as well as at least one vegetarian option. The Drinks Don’t forget about the crucial step in planning a great holiday party – cocktails! Keep your drinks simple (remember, this is supposed to be stress-free). For example, offer white and red wine and make sure you have non-alcoholic options available as well. (Turn to page 38 for four festive mocktail recipes.)For something a little fun, why not consider a cocktail bar? It’s a great option because you can prepare it way in advance and you only have to worry about chilling the day of the party. For example, you could set up a bellini bar. A bellini is basically a juice or nectar combined with Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine). Add fruits and seasonal flavours such as pomegranate, persimmon and

A great party begins with a plan. Forget about the things that could go wrong and focus on what you can realistically handle.


apple cider. The bonus about having a party during the winter months is that you can often store your drinks outside where they will stay cold, freeing up valuable space in your refrigerator.

uncomfortable. Create a playlist on iTunes or Sound Cloud and include holiday tunes as well as some party favourites. The goal is for your guests to unwind and enjoy themselves and music is a great way to set the mood.

The Look Plan to set up your food and drinks around the space. This will create movement and encourage mingling. Lay out lots of small plates and cocktail forks so your guests can create a plate to their liking. If you want to keep your party glam, be sure to use real plates, cutlery and linen napkins. Nothing is worse than trying to fork an olive on a floppy plastic plate. (If the budget permits, these items can be rented.) If you have a specific décor in mind, write down everything you’ll need on a to-do list. Setting up a Christmas tree or wrapping the fireplace in garland is often all the decorations a party requires, and bonus, you will likely have them set up already for the holidays. Light a few candles the night of the event, and you’ve created a wonderful ambiance for your guests to enjoy for the evening. Centerpieces can be easygoing too. Pick some branches of evergreen and bundle them with twine in small vases with pine cones spread around them. This will look beautiful and rustic. Finally, don’t forget about the music. Relying on party banter alone to fill a room can create awkward moments that make guests feel

Ready, Set, Enjoy The key to stress-free success is to set up as much as you can the night before. This way, all you have to do on the day of the party is put out the food and drinks. Rearrange any furniture and gather extra seating if needed. Restock the powder room with toilet paper and clean towels. When guests finally arrive, have a few appetizers ready to go and offer drinks immediately (or delegate this task to a friend while you work on gradually bringing out the rest of the food). Now, take a deep breath, make yourself a cocktail and go and enjoy your party!

Serve a variety of hot appetizers with roomtemperature dips and spicy charcuterie with mild accompaniments such as cheeses.

York Region resident Julie Miguel is a digital content producer with a specialization in food media. Her experience includes hosting, food journalism, recipe development, branding, food styling and photography.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 27


food|shrimp cocktail

Reinventing the Sh

Cock

Three fresh takes on an old favou 28 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


hrimp ktail

By JULIE MIGUEL

photography by Julie Miguel and Michael Rao

urite

When I see a basic shrimp cocktail ring sitting out at a party, I always wonder why someone wastes valuable table space on such a boring dish. It wasn’t until last holiday season that I began to think of ways to infuse the standard shrimp cocktail recipe with some new flavours. I took it to the kitchen and here’s what I came up with. For the first recipe, I came up with fried shrimp on a waffle. This recipe features a crispy shrimp served on a soft waffle with sweet and spicy “syrup”. I don’t know anyone who would turn down this appetizer! Next, I brought in some Indian spices and a little bit of heat for a smoky and sultry flavour.

Pair with herbed yogurt dip to cool down the heat, if needed. Last, but definitely not least, I grilled the shrimp and added scallops, as well as sausage and some sweet fruit (mango) to balance it all out. I call it Gumbo-style Shrimp Cocktail. What I like about this recipe is that you can serve it with the standard seafood sauce that you’re used to buying since the flavours taste great together. There you have it – three delicious takes on the shrimp cocktail. The next time you feel the urge to pick up that shrimp ring at your local grocery store before a party, consider making one of these recipes instead!

Bangin’ Shrimp & Waffles with Honey, Sriracha and Lime Syrup Makes about 50-55 appetizers

METHOD

INGREDIENTS

Toss the shrimp with 2 mL (1/2 tsp) Old Bay seasoning and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, 15 mL (3 tsp) Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder and ground cumin and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and 375 mL (1-1/2 cups) whole buttermilk and set aside. Toss the seasoned shrimp with 80 mL (1/3 cup) of the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading. Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dip each piece of shrimp in the buttermilk-egg wash. Toss in the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading, shaking off any excess and lay in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Heat 4 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or heavybottomed saucepan to 350 F. Fry the shrimp in batches for about 2-3 minutes (depending on the size of the shrimp) until golden and crispy. Adjust the heat periodically to maintain the temperature of the oil while frying. Prepare a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy golden shrimp to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat until all of the shrimp is fried.

700 g large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed 625 mL (2-1/2 cup) all-purpose flour 15 mL (1 tbsp) baking powder 125 mL (1/2 cup) plain yellow cornmeal 17 mL (3-1/2 tsp) Old Bay Seasoning, divided 2 mL (1/2 tsp) garlic powder 2 mL (1/2 tsp) ground cumin 2 large eggs, beaten 375 mL (1-1/2 cup) whole buttermilk Canola oil for frying 12 buttermilk or Belgian-style frozen waffles

Honey Sriracha Lime Syrup 125 mL (1/2 cup) honey 45 mL (3 tbsp) Sriracha sauce 60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice

Toast your waffles until golden brown. Cut each waffle into 2”x 2” squares and use a cocktail pick to secure a shrimp to a waffle square. Continue until all of the shrimp are secured to a waffle square. (You may have leftover shrimp.) Prepare your syrup by mixing the honey, Sriracha and lime juice in a bowl. Whisk until incorporated and then funnel the syrup into a bottle or a bowl with a pour spout. Serve immediately with the syrup.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 29


food|shrimp cocktail Indian Spiced shrimp With Herbed Yogurt Dip INGREDIENTS 1 900 g package (31-40) large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 cloves garlic, grated 2-1/2 cm (1 inch) of ginger, grated 2 mL (1/2 tsp) turmeric 2 mL (1/2 tsp) garam masala 2 mL (1/2 tsp) coriander 1 mL (1/4 tsp) cumin 1 small pinch cayenne pepper (optional) Salt and pepper, to taste

HERBED YOGURT DIP 250 mL (1 cup) plain Greek yogurt

Gumbo-style Shrimp Cocktail

1 clove garlic, finely grated

Makes 10 Skewers

15 mL (1 tbsp) freshly-chopped cilantro

INGREDIENTS

5 mL (1 tsp) fresh lime juice Salt, to taste

METHOD In a large deep oiled skillet, cook the garlic and ginger on low heat until softened. Add the spices to the pan and mix together. Add the shrimp to the pan and mix to evenly coat the shrimp in the spice mixture. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque. In a medium-sized bowl, add the ingredients for the yogurt dip and mix until fully incorporated. Place the shrimp on a large serving platter and serve with yogurt dip.

454 g (1 lb) Italian sausage links 454 g (1 lb) tiger shrimps 454 g (1 lb) scallops Olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 250 g cured bacon 1 large ripe mango, peeled and cut into wedges Metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

METHOD Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill sausage until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Keep warm and set aside. Toss shrimps and scallops in olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them just until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Grill mango just until soft with grill marks. Cook bacon according to package directions. Cut mango, bacon and sausage into bite-sized pieces. Assemble skewers, adding mango, bacon, shrimp, scallop and then repeating sequence. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly chopped parsley. Serve warm.

30 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


I Am Known

When students are genuinely known, their learning can be fully understood and beautifully supported. They can thrive. TMS creates opportunities for children to be inspired by learning through experimentation, exploration, and selfdiscovery. Located in Richmond Hill, our Montessori Lower School is for students 18 months to Grade 6. You hear the laughter, see the joy on students’ faces, and feel the trust parents have as they drop off their children. Our Upper School (Grades 7-12) offers the only

independent International Baccalaureate Programme IB in York Region. On any given day, this modern campus may showcase a student art exhibit, impromptu ping pong game or a pop-up lab for group projects. But don’t just take our word for it. Finding the right school for your child is too important. You have to visit and see and feel it for yourself.

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GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 31


food|make ahead

y d a e R s y a d i l o H for the

RECIPES AND PHOTOS By EMILY BLACKMAN

When entertaining during the holidays it is always great to have a few make-ahead recipes that you can have on hand when you have surprise guests or a busy schedule. Elements of these featured recipes – with the exception of the soft pretzel sticks – can be made ahead, saving you precious time during this busy season. One holiday menu staple is a cheese plate and with such great Canadian cheeses it is easy to put together a wonderful selection for your friends and loved ones. When assembling a cheese board it is nice to include at least one hard cheese (such as a sharp Ontario cheddar), one blue cheese and one soft cheese (such as Oka or Quebecois Camembert). Add in a couple of your favourite cheeses but try not to overwhelm the palate with too many choices. A piquant onion jam is always a nice counterpoint to provide, as is a homemade pâté.

32 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Make-Ahead Baguette Bites Makes 24 pieces INGREDIENTS 2 baguettes 10 slices of prosciutto 1 wheel of Camembert Spicy red pepper jelly 6 plum tomatoes 1 pkg basil 1 ½ cups goat cheese 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper

Method Preheat the oven to 250 F. Slice the plum tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking tray, cut side up. Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake the tomatoes for 3 hours. Slice the baguettes through the middle. For the prosciutto and cheese baguette, slather each side of the baguette with the jelly. Place thin slices of the Camembert on one side and top with the prosciutto and the top half of the baguette. To make the tomato baguette, warm the goat cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds. Thinly coat each side of the baguette with cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on the bottom half of the baguette and top with the basil leaves and the top of the baguette. At this point, the sandwiches can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day. When you are ready to serve, slice the baguettes into 2-inch pieces and place on a platter ready for your guests.

It is always great to have a few make-ahead recipes that you can have on hand when you have surprise guests. GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 33


food|make ahead

Onion Jam

INGREDIENTS

Bourbon-Spiked Chicken Liver Paté INGREDIENTS 1 2/3 cups butter, softened 3 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 1 lb chicken livers, trimmed of fat and stringy bits 8 sage leaves, finely chopped 1 sage leaf for garnish 4 tbsp bourbon Salt and pepper to taste Method Place 2/3 of a cup of the butter in a glass dish in the microwave. Heat for 1-2 mins, until melted and separated. Carefully pour off the melted butter, leaving the milky solids behind. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan. Slowly fry the shallots and garlic for 10 mins, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate. Clean the pan, place back on the stove and turn up the heat to medium high. Add 2 tbsp olive oil

34 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

and put in the livers and the chopped sage. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle. If overcooked, they lose their smooth texture, becoming grainy. Pour in the bourbon. Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and place them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, then transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Place the sage leaf on top of the paté and carefully spoon the clarified butter over the top. Leave the pate to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The paté tastes best at least 1-2 days later and will keep with the butter undisturbed for up to 2 weeks.

3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced 3 tbsp olive oil ½ cup brown sugar 2 tbsp maple syrup ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp brandy 2 springs of thyme 1 tsp hot sauce, Sriracha Salt and pepper to taste Method In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until browned, at least 10-15 mins. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and add the brown sugar, maple syrup, thyme, hot sauce and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking over low heat until the liquid has been evaporated and the onion mixture has reached a jam consistency, approximately 15 mins. Remove the thyme sprig and place in a mason jar. Store the jam in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature with your favourite cheeses and paté.


Soft Pretzel Sticks Makes 24 INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups warm water, 110 F 1 tbsp sugar 2 tsp kosher salt 2 ¼ tsp (1 pkg) dry active yeast 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbsp butter, melted Olive oil 10 cups water 2/3 cup baking soda Kosher salt Method Combine the 1 ½ cups warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 mins, or until the mixture foams.

Antipasto Spiedini

Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 5 mins.

Makes 24

INGREDIENTS

Cocktail Skewers

12 mini tomatoes, halved

VINAIGRETTE

24 bocconcini, cocktail-sized

¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar

24 basil leaves

½ cup olive oil

1 can artichoke hearts

1 tsp Dijon

24 pieces of salami, thinly sliced

3 tbsp maple syrup

Sprouts for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinated mushrooms (see below) 12 cremini mushrooms, small

Method

4 tbsp olive oil

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pinch of chilli flakes, optional 1 lemon, juice and zest 4 thyme sprigs Salt and pepper

To marinate the mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and chilli flakes to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-5 mins until just cooked. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and add the lemon juice, zest, thyme and extra olive oil if needed. Let the mushrooms marinate in the fridge for 4 hours. Drain the artichokes and slice in half lengthwise.

Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl, then oil it well. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place for 50 to 55 mins, or until the dough has doubled in size. Heat the oven to 450 F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Set aside. Bring the 10 cups water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or a roasting pan (something wide and shallow is best). Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Cut each quarter into 4 equal pieces and roll into a log. Place the pretzels on a half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. One by one, place the pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return them to the sheet pans and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown, 12 to 14 mins. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 2 mins before serving.

Skewer cheese, meat, basil and one of each vegetable on skewers. (Or mix and match your own.) To serve, dip the skewers in the vinaigrette, place on a plate and garnish with sprouts.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 35


Make Ahead ahead food|make

Raspberry Vanilla Mini Cupcakes CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

Method

1/3 cup canola oil ¼ cup full fat yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2/3 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 ½ tsp vanilla 1 ½ cup flour ¼ tsp salt 1 ½ tsp baking powder VANILLA SWISS BUTTERCREAM ½ cup egg whites from about 4 large eggs 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature Pinch of salt

36 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together the oil and sugar until well incorporated. Beat for at least 3 mins. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Line a mini cupcake pan with liners and fill to three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 10-15 mins (until a toothpick comes out clean). Transfer the mini cupcakes to a rack to cool. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the butter cream. Bring a small saucepan with 2 inches of water to a boil, then lower to a simmer.

Place the sugar, salt and egg whites into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together. Put the bowl over the simmering water to heat the mixture slowly and evenly. Whisk to dissolve the sugar into the egg whites and to keep the eggs from turning into an omelette. When the mixture reaches 150 F, remove from heat and put into a large bowl or stand mixer. Whip on medium high speed with an electric mixer until the meringue has reached stiff peaks and cooled to room temperature. Add the butter one cube at a time, whip on a slower setting until all the butter has been incorporated. If the mixture curdles at this point, do not worry. Keep beating and it will smooth out. Add the vanilla and whip until incorporated.


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GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 37


holiday|mocktails

p u t i x i M

Who says perfect party drinks need to

The perfect seasonal drink is like a Christmas tree—it’s not complete without all of its trimmings. Get creative and add something original to top things off. (Gold bowls: Superstore. Glass bowl: Bowring)

38 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


By TRACY SMITH | photography by Jim Craigmyle

contain alcohol? Not us!

Mixologist Adrian Stein works with restaurants to revamp their cocktail and mocktail menus, and also provides his services for private events and offers mixology lessons.

E

very great host needs a fabulous mocktail recipe to wow guests with during the festive season. The best thing about mocktails is that everyone can enjoy them. And don’t be fooled; non-alcoholic drinks can be even more tasty and fun to serve than their alcoholic counterparts. GoodLife enlisted Adrian Stein, award-winning mixologist, to create these four exclusive mocktail drinks. Read on for his recipes and steps to create the perfect mocktail this holiday season.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 39


holiday|mocktails Holiday Solstice

Glassware: Highball Garnish: Cranberry/mint sprig skewer Serves 1 INGREDIENTS 2 oz fresh lime juice 1-1/4 oz maple syrup

Method Add lime juice, maple syrup, cranberries, mint leaves and bitters to a cocktail shaker and top with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and pour into glass. Top with ginger beer, adding club soda if you find it too spicy. Garnish with a mint sprig pushed through a cranberry.

7 frozen cranberries 9 mint leaves 3 dashes cranberry bitters or Angostura bitters 3 oz ginger beer 2 oz club soda (optional)

Reindeer Juice Glassware: Highball Garnish: Lime wheel Serves 1 INGREDIENTS 2 oz cranberry juice 1 oz lime juice 1 oz simple syrup (recipe follows) 1 oz diced cucumber 7 frozen cranberries 3 dashes Angostura bitters 1 sprig rosemary sprig 2 oz tonic water Method Add cranberry and lime juices, simply syrup, cucumber, cranberries, bitters and rosemary to cocktail shaker, then shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Pour contents into glass and top with tonic water. SIMPLE SYRUP To make your own simple syrup, add 500 mL of sugar to 500 mL of water and bring to boil. Reduce volume by approximately 10 per cent, remove from heat and let cool.

Choose a glass with some personality and pizazz to present your drink in and add to the “wow” factor. These also make great gifts for other hosts!”

40 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


“

To avoid last minute disappointment, remember to shop ahead and stock up on special ingredients, such as ginger beer, tonic water, simple syrup and bitters.�

Santa Shake

Glassware: Milkshake glass or giant mug Garnish: Crushed candy cane and a mint sprig or cookie straw (optional) Serves 1 INGREDIENTS 500 mL 2 per cent milk 2 scoops PC Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle Ice Cream (or other mint ice cream or frozen yogurt) 1 oz simple syrup (recipe follows) 3 dashes mint bitters Whipped cream Method Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker and top with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and then pour into glass. Garnish with a mint sprig or apple fan.

Winter Cider Smash

Glassware: Highball Garnish: Mint sprig or green apple fan Serves 1 INGREDIENTS 3 oz apple cider 1 oz butterscotch syrup

Contributors/Sources Recipes: Adrian Stein, mixologist, 289-338-2070, stein.adrian@gmail.com Glassware: Yonge Street Winery, Aurora, yongestreetwinery.com Ginger beer, tonic water, bitters: Yonge Street Winery, Aurora, yongestreetwinery.com Gold bowls: Superstore, realcanadiansuperstore.ca Glass bowls: Bowring, bowring.ca Location: The Citizen, thecitizento.com (522 King St. W., Toronto)

1 oz lemon juice 1 oz diced green apple 7 mint leaves 5 dashes Angostura bitters Method Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker and top with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and then pour into glass. Garnish with a mint sprig or apple fan. GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 41


on tap

Holiday

Essentials by Robin LeBlanc

One of the fantastic things about beer is how varying it can be. We’ve reached a point now where there is a perfect beer for every shade of fancy you may have and there is no other season that showcases that better than winter. There’s the dark and boozy, the light and crisp, and even beers that are right in between those two. Some are good for sharing, and some are perfect for those times where you just need a break from all the festivities the season brings.

So with that, here are a few selections that are essential to making your holiday season a comfortable and joyous one.

St. Bernardus Abt 12Brouwerij St. Bernardus ABV: 10% LCBO#346197 This one isn’t often picked as a holiday favourite, but it’s become a tradition for me to bring out a bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12 this time of year and share it with my family, often over good food and good conversation. This Belgian brewery has been creating world-class beers since its founding in 1945 and in no other beer is this more evident than in their fabulous quadrupel, with flavours of dark fruits, dates, bread, and rich caramel – creating an almost religious experience for your tastebuds.

Enter Clutch Pale Ale from Redline Brewery. With bright hits of grapefruit, orange, peach and pine in the flavours, this favourite from Barrie’s youngest brewery is several steps above the typical pale ale and is sure to quench your thirst.

Clutch Redline Brewhouse ABV: 4.8% LCBO#461756 I find this beer is a lifesaver if you are one of the true heroes of the holidays who spend all their time in the kitchen preparing unforgettable meals for their loved ones. Stouts and other dark beers are great, but if you’re in a piping hot kitchen you want something cold and crisp to drink.

42 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

Robin LeBlanc is an award-winning beer writer and owner of thethirstywench.com. She is also the coauthor of The Ontario Craft Beer Guide, which – hey – would make a perfect gift this season.

Invictus Solera Aged Russian Imperial Stout Flying Monkeys Brewery ABV: 17.5% LCBO#442673 During the cold months, nothing really quite beats a dark and boozy beer that you can sip quietly in the comfort of your nice and toasty home. Keeping that feeling in mind, the new release from Barrie-based Flying Monkeys Brewery, the Invictus Solera Aged Russian Imperial Stout, is guaranteed to get the job done. The aroma is very much on the boozy side, but the taste is a warming dance of sweet milk chocolate, port and stone fruits that come out more as it naturally warms in the glass. It’s a beer that will definitely help you wind down, but at a whopping 17.5% ABV, you may want to share this one.


• R E S T A U R A N T S • F O O D • E N T E R T A I N M E N T

diningguide

Owner and Chef Mike Ingrosso first learned to cook back in Italy helping his mother serve up dishes when they entertained… and he’s never looked back. He has opened and owned seven restaurants and banquet halls since 1979, making him a long time member of this community for over 30 years. Best known in Newmarket from 1991 to 2005 with his successful La Spiga Trattoria, Mike has returned to his roots in Newmarket with Ristorante Orsini. Whether your taste buds crave Calamari or Carpaccio, Linguine, Lasagna or Lamb, Ristorante Orsini’s Authentic Italian menu has something for everyone. We also specialize in catering, have a full take-out menu and are available for private functions. Buon Appetito!

16700 Bayview Avenue, Unit #1 Newmarket, Ontario L3X 1W1

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Let’s Be Frank - Best ItaLIan CaterIng In town! Whether it is a business function or special occasion such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary, nothing will wow your guests more than a mouthwatering meal catered by Let’s Be Frank Italian Eatery. Proprietor Sam Farnaghi and his accomplished team use only the freshest ingredients to achieve the most authentic Italian culinary experience. Let’s Be Frank features a wide selection of menu options to suit all tastes including entrees such as veal, chicken and salmon cooked to perfection, meat or vegetable lasagna as well as a variety of pastas with a choice of meat, tomato or cream sauce. Delicious appetizers, soups, homemade pizzas, sandwiches, salads and chicken wings are also available. Let’s Be Frank can accommodate groups of 10 to 500 people. Call today to place an order for your next event or visit the Newmarket location if you prefer to dine in for lunch or dinner. Let’s Be Frank……. it is truly the best Italian food for miles around. 1100 Davis Drive (southeast corner of Davis and Leslie), Newmarket 905-967-1122

www.letsbefrank.ca

CYNTHIA’S CHINESE RESTAURANT ENJOY AUTHENTIC CHINESE CUISINE We have dedicated ourselves to offering two things: fine dining and a truly authentic Chinese cultural experience. Your meal begins with your host dressed in costume leading you to the table. Once seated, you’ll be greeted by your cocktail waitress and your drinks and appetizers will be brought by a cocktail waitress trained to understand both Chinese cuisine as well as every customer’s specific dietary needs. Cynthia’s was founded by Cynthia & Joe Lam, in 1993. Joe learned the restaurant business in Hong Kong where he trained as a chef at one of the top restaurants. When he met Cynthia in Australia, they married and opened a series of successful restaurants in New South Wales and Victoria. In 1992 they came to Canada and opened Cynthia’s in 1993, working with Cynthia’s brother Andy, another accomplished restaurateur. Nothing is overlooked as Cynthia’s entire experience is designed to make your meal an event to remember!

16715 Yonge Street (at Mulock), Newmarket | 905-836-8113 | www.cynthiaschinese.com GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 43


vintages

Holiday ready Thoughts from our expert on being prepared for anything By Michael Pinkus

I

t’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corn It’s not just the gifts, it’s all the other stuff that comes with the holidays: parties; simple get-togethers (which never are); dinners; open houses; and the list goes on and

on – family, friends, the office. A large part of many holiday events is about beverages: there are before-dinner drinks, after-dinner drinks, during-dinner drinks; there’s also New Year’s Eve to think about, and

For New Year’s Eve, sparkling doesn’t have to be expensive.

government. A real mouth-filling affair that’s pretty from nose to palate to finish. Fruity with loads of plum, black cherry and raspberry plus the addition of vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. It’s well-rounded and totally satisfying, plus it has great potential for the future.

Chateau D’Eternes Saumur Brut France | $15.15 | LCBO#429696 Hard to believe the price of this traditional method bubble from the Saumur region of France (Loire), delicate bubbles with citrus and fresh biscuit notes. hhhh

Special gift – either for you or for that special someone – sure to please (order on-line or call the winery). Pillitteri 2012 Exclamation Commendatore Ontario | $50 | winery only A wine named in honour of Gary Pillitteri, who achieved the title of Commander of the Star of Solidarity by the Italian

44 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

h h h h½

Dessert ... ice is nice but sometimes there are other cool drinks that will satisfy your sweettooth. Fratello Hazelnut Liqueur Italy | $35.95 | LCBO#455758 For those who dig the taste of hazelnuts this is for you, heck even if you don’t you’ve gotta try this stuff; it’s creamy, it’s smooth and it’s a pure delight for after dinner sipping. h h h h+

of course there’s gift giving. Below is a list of some holiday favourites, both new and old, that should really put you in everybody’s good graces. So get ready to make your list and check it twice ...

Red for dinner? Pinot Noir is appropriate this time of year but sometimes you need to walk on the wild side. Two Hands 2015 Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Australia | $29.95 | LCBO#660043 You’ll totally dig the fruit-spice mix that leans dark-fruited, it’s delicious all on its own; grab a glass and try to stop sipping. h h h h+

Michael Pinkus is a multi-award winning wine writer, past-president of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and creator of the Grape Guy Events App. You can follow him through his website: MichaelPinkusWineReview.com


Wishing you a Safe & Happy Holiday Season And a Peaceful, Prosperous New Year

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GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 45


holiday|placecards

PRIORITY

Seating

10

easy

DIY place cards

to add oomph to your holiday dining By TRACY SMITH | PHOTOGRAPHy BY JIM CRAIGMYLE

46 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Why We Like It: Classy and pretty, stands upright to save space and add height. Supplies: Silver branch place card holder; various construction paper and silver marker. Tools: Scissors and glue gun.

When it comes to a holiday table, there’s something rewarding about putting a little extra thought into the details and taking the time to include things that you normally wouldn’t, like a centrepiece, good china or place cards. The latter have the added bonus of helping with the chaos of seating, meaning there’s no fighting over who sits closest to the turkey. Listed below are 10 creative and easy ideas to make your own place cards, using nothing more than a few craft supplies, scissors and a glue gun. What are you waiting for? Get your craft on!

Fancy

Why We Like It: Pretty and sophisticated — a great way to add a bit of bling to your table. Supplies: Clothes pin, jewel, silver paint and sparkles, white construction paper and silver/ black markers. Tools: Scissors, glue gun and paint brush.

Why We Like It: Colour and sparkle! Supplies: 3 mini ornaments, silver ribbon, black construction paper and silver pen. Tools: Scissors and glue gun.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 47


holiday|placecards

Why We Like It: Gold sparkle adds texture and guests can take their ornaments home. Supplies: Gold snowflake ornament, construction paper, black chalk label, twine and gold marker. Tools: None.

Why We Like It: A perfect combination of nature and elegance and will match almost any colour scheme. Supplies: Pine cone, metallic berries, cedar and pine sprigs, white paint, silver and white construction paper and silver marker. Tools: Scissors, glue gun and paint brush.

48 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Why we like it: Simple and sophisticated, incredibly easy to do and adds a wonderful aroma to the room. Supplies: White cardstock, rosemary sprig and black marker. Tools: None.

Simple &Natura l Why We Like It: Embraces the season and natural elements of a Canadian winter. Supplies: 2 twigs, pine sprig, white construction paper and black marker. Tools: Scissors and glue gun.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 49


holiday|placecards

Why We Like It: A perfect craft for kids. Supplies: Cork, twig, 2 googly eyes, red sequin and red/white construction paper and red marker. Tools: Scissors and glue gun.

Fun for the Kids

Why We Like It: Adds a dash of fun and whimsy to any table; who doesn’t like a friendly gingerbread man? Supplies: Foam gingerbread man, red felt, 2 googly eyes, white construction paper, 3 silver sequins and white/ gold markers Tools: Scissors and glue gun.

Why we like it: adds pops of classic Christmas colours. Supplies: 3 candy canes (real or fake), a few metallic berries, ribbon, construction paper and red marker. Tools: Scissors and glue gun. SOURCES Supplies: Michaels 50 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


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GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 51


holiday|gift guide

The Non-Stuff

y a d i l Ho ift Guide G Give your Time Sometimes an afternoon together is the most wonderful gift. Grandma would love an afternoon out, and the Sorelle & Co. bakeshop and café is a gorgeous setting for catching up and enjoying each other’s company over hearty soups and sandwiches, artisan lattes, and gourmet treats. What’s more is that everything on the menu is gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free to make sure all can enjoy. sorelleandco.com

e that on s y a lw nt e’s a ay, ther hey do not wa d li o h y st o Ever ho claim !” they’ll say, n ift w n o s r pe u ask. G u No gifts o “ y . g s e in h o im anyt many t ption, but if y w o h r an o give matte always nd beyond to ciate, e r a s pre ea card go abov -free they’ll ap ift o t t n a g r w g clutte ese non-stuff in h t e som m th cue fro y season. a e k a t da his holi ideas t

Give a Class Giving the gift of life skills is one of the best. Any young adults or newlyweds in your life will welcome a day at The Kitchen Academy – a recreational cooking school for all ages to learn everything from knife skills and wine pairing, to gluten-free cooking and baby food prep. Find the class that best fits your loved one and think about joining them. thekitchenacademy.ca

52 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Give a Challenge Nix the traditional Secret Santa exchange with friends, and get locked in a room for an hour instead. Escape rooms combine gameplay, suspense and brainpower for an interactive experience you can all enjoy together. You’ll have fun as a team hunting for clues to solve the mystery and free yourselves before the clock runs out. Caption Escape Rooms, Vaughan, captiverooms. com | Trapped, Markham, trapped.ca | Crypto Escape Rooms, Newmarket | cryptoescape.com

Give a Surprise Holidays tend to come with jam-packed schedules, and there’s not always time to see everyone you would like. A lovely way to let someone know you’re thinking of them even when your schedules aren’t meshing is a surprise luxury flower delivery. When a gorgeous fresh bouquet from Lux Flower Box arrives at their door perfectly packaged, their day will instantly be brightened. Use the GOODLIFE10 coupon code and get $10 off orders. luxflowerbox.com

? The donation wards a een providing to k t e c g a d B u b has Give gift b milies put your Toy Drive Why not roes Food and of York Region fa p off e ro s d H Holiday eer to thousand 2008. You can etary n h e o c c m y in a r s d o e li g c ho assistan t of toys, clothin cility to get f o d e e gif in n e fa wrapped ion polic a new un at any York Reg s n donatio . involved yrp.ca

Give Some Fun A relaxing spa day isn’t just reserved for adults these days, thanks to Glama Gal Tween Spas. The kid-friendly atmosphere makes for an exciting day of pampering that young girls love to experience. What’s more is while they’re getting a manicure and enjoying a facemask they can partake in motivational workshops to learn about selfesteem and confidence. Locations in Newmarket, Markham and Vaughan | glamagalparty.com

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 53


portfolio |Michael Barbuto

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54 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


starpower

HHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Michael Barbuto turned his dreams of becoming an actor into a reality He’s a successful actor, writer and producer making a living in Los Angeles, but Michael Barbuto hasn’t forgotten his roots. Born in Newmarket, Barbuto’s family moved to Aurora at the age of 12. “I attribute a lot of my values and who I am as a person to having grown up in a place like York Region,” says the married father of one. “When I’m not on set working there’s no other place I would rather be than at home with my wife, Andrea and my son, Jackson; and I guess my upbringing in Newmarket and Aurora instilled that sense of family and community in me.” Barbuto’s family values have translated well in his current role where the 35-year-old stars on the popular YTV sitcom The Stanley Dynamic. “For the last two years I’ve been playing the role of Lane Stanley who is the dad on the show. It’s kind of cool when my wife and I go into a Toys‘R’Us and kids recognize you right away,” he says. The actor credits his dad, Lu Barbuto, for teaching him the importance of a strong work ethic and having the courage and determination to chase after his dreams. “My dad has always been my biggest hero and the guy I’ve always looked up to for advice, and he’s the guy I still call almost every day,” says Barbuto, a former Pickering College student. During his high school years, Barbuto says his interest in acting was inspired by Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt. “I feel he’s our generation’s version of James Dean. He just seemed like such a cool guy and was someone that I really looked up to and admired as an actor,” says Barbuto who met his idol briefly during a premiere of Oceans Twelve. In 2003, after completing his bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph, Barbuto was accepted to the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. He fondly recalls his first gig fresh out of school in Los Angeles back in 2006. “I had one line in a horrible cheesy vampire movie but that

was the first time I was on a big million-dollar professional set and I remember thinking ‘This is so cool.’” It was difficult, he says, to break through in the competitive entertainment industry in Los Angeles. “I got told ‘no’ all the time. I used to want to keep a list of all the people that said no to me so that one day I can give them a call and say ‘how about now?’” he laughs. To support his dreams, Barbuto maintained a full-time job delivering pizzas. That changed in 2012 when he landed a role as one of the leads in a Hallmark Channel original movie Banner 4th of July where he starred opposite Oscar-winner, Mercedes Reuhl. “The exposure that I got from that movie really helped start my career along as far as people seeing me as someone who could be the lead in something as opposed to someone who is good just a guest star.” Things took off from there, he says. “That’s when I went from being an actor who delivered pizza to being a professional actor.” The 35-year-old has also found success with his writing and producing. In 2008, he started up Hogtown Productions, a boutique film and television production company. In its early days, Barbuto collaborated with friends to make independent short films and web series. The company has since moved on to bigger projects. “I wrote a horror movie under Hogtown’s banner called Happy Camp in 2014 and we pitched it to Drew Barrymore’s production company, Flower Films. She loved it and thought it was a brilliant idea, and they came on board,” says Barbuto. “Up to that point I had produced a low budget TV show and a couple of award-winning shorts but I had never done a full, feature film that was going to be distributed across the U.S. and around the world,” he says, adding he learned a lot from the project and made a lot of contacts. According to his wife Andrea Bauer, who acts as Hogtown Productions entertainment attorney – that collaboration with Flower Films has done a lot for the growth of the company. “It’s pretty

by David Li

surreal to say that we produced Happy Camp with Drew Barrymore. It was challenging, but instrumental in getting ‘HP’ to that next level,” she says. The company’s latest project is a comedy called Ash Global, which is scheduled to air on Dish Network in the spring, says Barbuto. “It’s something that I’ve been working on for eight years now. It’s been my baby and I couldn’t be more thrilled for it to be airing.” Given his success at seeing his dream through, what advice he would have for young aspiring actors looking to make it in the industry? “Don’t ever get discouraged when someone says ‘No.’ Instead, Barbuto says to use it as a way to prove them wrong. “Number one thing that I want to say to anybody when pursuing their dream, in any field, is not to be discouraged by rejection; instead use it as motivation.”

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 55


events

12

THINGS to DO

in your community

Aurora Parade

1

Santa Under the Stars Parade November 26 Aurora Dress up in your winter woollies with a cup of hot chocolate and join your neighbours for an evening parade as Santa comes to town. The parade will travel south on Yonge Street from Orchard Heights Boulevard to Murray Drive. Information: aurora.ca/thingstodo

2

Raw Material: Double Door Artists Exhibition and Sale December 1 to 17 Raw Material is an exhibition and sale that brings together seven artists working in seven different mediums: Jennie Clark, mixed media; Michael Coughlin, acrylic on panel; Cheryl Goleski, glass painter; Chum McLeod, fabric, wood, watercolour, metal; Jill Price, mixed media drawings; Kyle Thornley, metals; and Bernice Vasey, woodworker/furniture-maker who re-purposes heirloom pieces and found objects. Information: aurora.ca/thingstodo

3

Simple Gifts with the Newmarket Citizens Band and special guests, Take Note December 2 Old Town Hall, Newmarket Join the Newmarket Citizens Band and choral ensemble Take Note for some classical and seasonal favourites. A very special holiday musical treat has been prepared. Tickets are available at the door. Info: info@newmarketcitizensband.ca

4

Winter Wonderland December 2 to January 8 Newmarket Riverwalk Commons Enjoy a beautiful light display, outdoor skating, train rides on the Tim Hortons Express Train, music and treats. Information: newmarket.ca/thingstodo

56 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

5

Sutton Santa Claus Parade of Lights December 3 Sutton This sparkling parade starts at 5 p.m. in Jackson’s Point, moving down Dalton Road to High Street and ending at the Sutton Fairgrounds. Warm up before the parade with firepits, hot chocolate, kids activities and carolling in Market Square in Sutton from noon to 5:30 pm. Information: suttonbia.com

6

Cocoa and Cookies with Santa December 3 Elman W. Campbell Museum Enjoy an afternoon of hot cocoa, cookies and photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Presented by the Friends of the Museum. Don’t forget to bring your camera. Information: newmarket.ca/thingstodo/

7

Heroes and Monsters - A Holiday Concert December 9 Trinity Anglican Church, Aurora The Aurora Community Band presents holiday entertainment like no other: Heroes and Monsters - A Holiday Concert. Join a musical journey to celebrate indomitable human spirit with heroic fanfares, lyric chorales, movie monsters and tuneful witches. Tickets are available at the door. Info: auroracommunityband@gmail.com

Newmarket Skating

online

Looking for something fun to do? Check out events on yorkregion.com

8

Holiday Artisan Pop-Up Market December 10 Aurora Cultural Centre Meet the artists and purchase a unique, handcrafted gift from local talented artists. Shop from the extended collection of glass, pottery, jewelry and fine art created by these talented gift shop artists. Information: auroraculturalcentre.ca

9

Jingle Bell Walk December 10 Hollidge Tract, York Regional Forest Join merrymakers in a walk along a forest path. Learn about the holiday traditions of bells and Christmas trees. Bells are provided. Please bring a donation of non-perishable food for the local food bank. Registration required. Information: york.ca/forestevents


Sutton Parade

10

Live Nativity Pageant December 21 to 23 Fairy Lake Park, Newmarket Enjoy this annual Christmas tradition with the whole family. A Journey to Bethlehem features a live cast with real animals representing the nativity scene and birth of Jesus Christ as told in the New Testament. Dress warmly as the pageant takes place outside in Fairy Lake Park. Information: newmarket.ca/thingstodo/

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Giinwint Aadizookaanaan: Reflections of Ogemawahj Until December 17 Aurora Cultural Centre Artist Clayton Samuel King’s solo exhibition is an interpretive journey through the Potawatomi stories of Chief Ogemawahjiwon, Migizi Doodem (Bald Eagle Clan and his descendants, the King Family of Georgian Bay). Ogemawahj was a Potawatomi chief from Wisconsin who travelled to Ontario in 1835. In the 1870s, his descendants took the surname King, as he had been “honoured by the King,” receiving a medal from King George during The War of 1812 for leading Potawatomi warriors in many battles. These stories come from oral history as well as published documentation from his grandsons in the 1920s. Information: auroraculturalcentre.ca

ConCerneD Aboutyour

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12

Gallery of Festive Trees Until December 31 Elman W. Campbell Museum The museum presents a Gallery of Festive Trees to celebrate the holiday season. The Royal Family celebrated the holiday season with Christmas trees even before the custom became popular. Whether your style is Victorian, Edwardian or retro, there’s something to inspire everyone. Information: newmarket.ca/thingstodo/

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Tottenham 1-855-390-0093 www.intouchhearing.ca GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 57


profile|Bradford Greenhouses

A

The Ferragine Family:

Gardening Dynasty

Bradford Greenhouses’ history has spanned three generations and just as many continents. The stewardship of botanicals began first in Italy where the Ferragine family ancestors farmed the land.

W

hen the Second World War broke out that all changed. The patriarch of the family and founder of the garden centre, Francis Ferragine Sr., found himself in the clutches of the Allied forces in Africa. “My father was born in Italy but became a prisoner of war in Africa,” explains son Len Ferragine. “He was a cook in the army.” After the war, Francis Sr. moved to England with his family and he returned to his farming roots, working on the estate of a wealthy aristocrat – a man known to socialize with royals. It was in the Preston Deanery nursery greenhouses that Francis honed the skills he would pass down to three generations of what would become Ontario’s most renowned gardening dynasty. In England, Francis was shown a series of films about new and promising lands where a good man with a strong back could make his fortune. Australia and the bountiful region of Niagara, Ontario drew his admiration. Francis chose Canada. The Canadian immigration story began in 1956 when Francis sailed the Atlantic on the famed Queen Elizabeth ocean liner, disembark58 | GoodLife • November - December 2016

ing in Montreal. After only four days in Montreal, he knew that learning yet another language was not for him. He headed to Toronto, arriving at Union Station with $20 in his pocket and a wife and four young children in tow. Farmer, Bill Watson, who was looking for an Italian family to work for him in the fields, met him at Union Station. The years that followed were less providential. The family soon discovered that the films they’d been shown in England had left out a very important aspect of Canadian life – harsh winters. Francis and his eldest son, Tony, toiled as labourers in the Cookstown and Holland marshes, paid a meagre 65 cents an hour for Francis and 10 cents an hour for Tony. The arrangement kept the family in the backbreaking marshes for nearly half a decade. When one of the farmers refused to pay him his wages after he sustained an injury, Francis decided it was time for a change. He put his savings to work, purchasing three acres of land on Centre Street in Bradford in 1961 and his first company, Francis Ferragine and Sons, was born. By 1975, Ferragine had expanded, purchas-

ing a parcel of land in the Bradford highlands. There the family tended their greenhouses, farmed a cash crop of cabbage, broccoli and carrots and, in time, ran a small fruit market. Over the years the family survived floods that destroyed field crops and Ferragine refocused efforts solely on their greenhouse operation, a decision that led to a reversal of fortune. “We all grew up in the greenhouses,” says Len. “Filling the planting boxes with dirt by hand, one at a time. We’d level out the flats with a hockey stick. That was our life. We’d come home from school and head right into the greenhouses. It’s just what we did and why we all have an amazing work ethic.” “We had great parents,” adds sister, Eileen Graham. “We worked together and there was always an amazing meal on the table. We didn’t have to make most of the sacrifices. My parents came to Canada with the clothes on their backs. They made all the sacrifices for us.” By 1975, the Bradford Greenhouses were flourishing and, in 1993, the family acquired another plot of land in Barrie to open their second retail operation, making Bradford Greenhouses Limited one of the largest retail growing


operations in Ontario. Today, 50-plus years later, Francis Ferragine’s botanic empire is still growing with both wholesale and retail divisions, and an online flower shop, yet it remains a family business. Len and sister Eileen, along with their spouses, siblings, uncles, nieces and nephews, all run the thriving enterprise together. “We’re all equal here,” says Len. “We all still do everything, working seven days a week in the spring.” Brother Mickey is in the wholesale division 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the spring season. Mary’s husband, Sam Gallo, is at Bradford retail seven days a week. And the eldest of the original Ferragine children, Tony, now in his 70s, still goes to the food terminal at 1:30 in the morning from two to four days a week, hauling the products down for sale. “He’s been doing that for 50 years plus,” says Len. Even Tony’s celebrity son, Frankie Ferragine (a.k.a. Frankie Flowers) is a recognized television personality, informing viewers of the dos and don’ts of gardening. But there are a few things that have changed.

No longer do tiny fingers fill flats with soil and level them off with hockey sticks. Today the greenhouse is fully modernized with mechanical transplanters that pick up seedlings and plant them out in three trays at a time, six rows deep. Special events at the greenhouse also draw thousands for their lifestyle and home shows, and the holiday displays are legendary attracting shoppers who wile away afternoons browsing through the rooms and rooms of wares. “Garden centres have evolved,” says Len. “Both of our stores are open year-round now. We think like a butterfly, morphing all the time, from season to season.” “We’re a destination,” says Eileen.

The Bradford Greenhouses now sells clothing fashions, home décor, giftware, patio furniture, wildlife supplies and fresh-cut flowers, in addition to water features, seeds, plants, shrubs, trees and mulches. “The business has progressed to total home comfort and style,” says Eileen. “People want to extend their living space today. They have active lifestyles. They want more space to entertain and they’re going outdoors. There are even outdoor lamps now. We have regular customers who come in every other day. I have a customer who says, ‘I love it here. This is my happy place.’ “When the winter is gloomy, it’s always happy in the greenhouse.” GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 59


travel|safari

African Adventur Travel writer Bart Card shares his experiences at 60 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


I

’ve been to Africa many times in my life but when I received an invitation to visit five safari camps with Adventure Life and Wilderness Safaris, I jumped at the opportunity. Adventure Life takes a pioneering approach to travel, offering award-winning itineraries designed to immerse the traveller in each destination. The company is committed to preserving wild places and creating positive benefits from tourism. They partner with NGOs, offer community grants and thoroughly research every aspect of their trips to ensure the most sustainable travel adventure possible. While safari camps may bring to mind visions of poaching and hunting, the game reserves and safaris of today are increasingly owned and managed by the environmentally conscious, and focus on promoting conservation. Wilderness Safaris is an example of one of those companies. Co-founded by Colin Bell, a staunch conservationist with a passion for safaris and ecotourism, the company offers access to some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa.

res five safari camps

By BART CARD GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 61


travel|safari

Kings Pool, Botswana

The game reserves and safaris of today are increasingly owned and managed by the environmentally conscious, and focus on promoting conservation.

62 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Jao Camp, Botswana

Jao Camp, Botswana Our first leg of the five-camp tour began in Botswana at Jao Camp. The camp is set in the heart of the Okavango, an inland delta with a unique geography that lends itself to an abundance of permanent and seasonal wildlife. The Okavango Delta has one of the richest pack densities in Africa, making it the perfect location to see everything from elephants, buffalo, hippopotamuses and baboons. The camp embodies all of the rich diversity and wonder that is the Okavango. Located on a remote island, there are nine luxurious tents each individually handcrafted with an ensuite, outdoor shower and dressing area. In addition to an elaborate dining room, the camp also features two pools, a library, a spa and a gym. One of the highlights of my time at Jao Camp was a ride in a mokoro (a dug-out canoe) to a traditional Bushman demonstration. The demonstration detailed what life was and is like for many people living in this area. Jackson, our demonstrator, showed us how to set traps and create fires in the middle of the bush. In the evening we went on a drive to look

for wildlife. The guides were accommodating to our requests, and extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of flora and fauna. Kings Pool, Botswana Kings Pool was our next destination. Located in Botswana, approximately 400 kilometres south of Jao Camp, Kings Pool is named for Scandinavian royalty. In contrast to Jao’s intimate and enclosed atmosphere, Kings Pool camp is an open-concept lodge with very few walls to obstruct views. The rooms of this exceptional camp are constructed of canvas and thatch, which creates a truly authentic African feel. Situated directly on an oxbow-shaped lagoon off the Linyanti River, Kings Pool is surrounded by reed and papyrus swamps, making it ideal for birdwatchers. The camp is also heavily involved in elephant research and is famed for its large elephant population. Our safari at Kings Pool included a sighting of a beautiful female leopard walking down the roadway and a search for wild dogs that had been sighted in the area.

Savuti Camp, Botswana For our last stop in Botswana, we visited Savuti Camp which is located in the lush and fertile Savute Channel. The camp offers seven large canvas and thatch rooms all of which feature an ensuite and a breathtaking view. It also boasts a thatched dining area, plunge pool, large GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 63


travel|safari viewing area and firepit. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the camp, guests can participate in day and night game drives, seasonal boating, guided walks or just relax on nearby platforms and observe the abundance of wildlife, such as giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs. During the stay, our guide offered up an impressive knowledge of birds local to the area and while out we sighted a Martial eagle, the largest eagle in Africa. Toka Leya Camp, Zambia Located in the western portion of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Toka Leya Camp is approximately 10 kilometres from the world-famous Victoria Falls. Overlooking the Zambezi River, the camp boasts 12 beautiful ensuite safari-style tents, all connected by wooden walkways to limit impacts to the surrounding environment. It also features a stunning dining area, lounge, bar and an infinity pool. Guests can appreciate the surrounding landscape, take part in guided walks, travel the short distance to Victoria Falls or participate in any number of adventure pursuits offered at the camp. After the fast-paced voyage through the wilds of Botswana, Toka Leya was the perfect place to slow down and relax. I spent the next few days enjoying all the area has to offer; I cruised up the Zambezi River and visited a small local village.

64 | GoodLife • November - December 2016


Linkwasha Camp, Zimbabwe In recent years, Zimbabwe has really begun to put itself on the map as one of the premier safari destinations in the world. Linkwasha Camp is located in a conservation area and overlooks a vast plain and waterhole, making it the perfect location for viewing a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, giraffes, wildebeest, impalas, lions, leopards and cheetahs. Birds are prolific in this part of the country, with more than 400 species found in and around the camp. If you are a birdwatcher, this is the spot for you. The camp features ensuite tents from which guests are able to view roaming wildlife. There is also a lounge and dining area, as well as a plunge pool to enjoy after a long day on safari. The wake-up call for safari came at 5 a.m. and after a light breakfast we were on the move. We were lucky enough to encounter a herd of elephants cooling themselves off in the water and to enjoy a cup of coffee in the middle of a field surrounded by zebras and impalas. Arriving back at camp after the morning drive, I spent the rest of the day resting and relaxing under the African sun. Linkwasha Camp was the perfect final destination on a splendid trip. For more information, visit Adventure Life at adventure-life.com and Wilderness Safaris at wilderness-safaris.com.

GoodLifeMagazine.ca | 65


in the crowd MAGNA HOEDOWN Magna hosted its annual Hoedown, Sept. 16 and 17 at its facility in Aurora. The event, which this year featured performances by Alan Doyle and Paul Brandt, raises money for local charities and community organizations. Naomi Hiltz photography

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Fred Johnson, Janice McMinn, Julie Rinaldi and Luigi Bevacqua

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Host Beverly Mahood

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Kyle Adams and Lauren Spinks

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Volunteers Natalie Hoard, Kayla Mete, Heather

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McAllister, Fred Stonman and Rosa Mete 5.

Cheryl Cunneyworth and Anna Wood

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Wendy Stock Wannamaker and Donna Schultz

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Kim Clement and Bruce Clement

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Ariane Byce and Kassy Smith

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Philippa Price and Glenn Price

10. John Banducci, Viv Banducci, Ford Moore and Bonnie Moore

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11. Elisabeth Eden, Kailee Budd-Bagnato and Conor Cymbalski 12. Geoff Chandler and Joan Chandler 13. Susan Shappas and Lissa Underwood 14. Lynn Pereira and Rhoda Williams 15. Stephanie Beevis and Valerie Aguanno

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Goodlife Newmarket November/December Edition 2016  
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