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PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! DIANNA MALHIOT

MERIEL GORDON

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CARVER HOLINATY

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NANCY POLVI

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Christmas Time Book

2011

Sheet music Silent Night ..................................................................10 We Wish You a Merry Christmas ................................14 Deck the Halls ..............................................................34 Joy to the World ..........................................................65 We Three Kings............................................................87

Christmas is for children nd everyone’s a child at Christmas! People of all ages look forward to the get-togethers, the decorations, the food, the music and all of the other wonderful things that make this time of year so special. Within the pages of this year’s Leader-Post Christmas Time Book, we are offering ideas and helpful hints for making this Christmas memorable, but hassle-free. To help you add that special holiday atmosphere to your home, there are tips for all types of Christmas decorations, from lighting up that large tree in the front yard to creating miniature village displays that embellish a small corner of your room while celebrating everything from Peanuts to Harley Davidson. Even the youngest members of the family can help with Christmas decorating by colouring the pages in this book that were printed with little artists in mind. Once the masterpieces are complete, they can be proudly displayed on the fridge or wall, allowing the whole family to have a hand in decking out your home. A fun, but sometimes challenging, part of Christmas preparation is the shopping. Our experts can help you choose the perfect presents for seniors or teenagers, tots or pets. There are suggestions to help you find special gifts that range from the

Table of Contents

Lyrics

A

Holly Jolly Christmas ....................................................3 The Christmas Song ....................................................38 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer................................38 It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ....................38 Sleigh Ride ..................................................................55 Let It Snow ..................................................................67 Must Be Santa..............................................................67 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas........................94 Auld Lang Syne ............................................................94 The Twelve Days of Christmas ....................................94 Recipes and kitchen how-to’s Ice cream sandwiches..................................................12 Photo by Wendy Livingstone gleam of fashion jewelry to the warmth of snuggly pyjamas. Party-goers will appreciate our tips on how to be the perfect guest — or the host/hostess with the mostest— at holiday get-togethers. Our no-stress pointers include how to create gourmet meals using the supermarket as your chef, turn finger food into a stick-y party success, build perfect casserole, and make your own soda and ice cream. For those looking for the unusual or off-beat, try a pie-cake, the turducken of desserts.

After a satisfying meal, what better way to spend a nippy winter evening than with family and friends, singing Christmas carols? Within these pages, you will find sheet music and lyrics for many popular Christmas tunes, to help keep your get-togethers harmonious. It is our sincere Christmas wish that this book will help you to enjoy the Christmas season to its fullest. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Leader-Post and the advertisers whose support has made this book possible.

Gourmet meal from a box ............................................24 Turkey with a twist ................................................24, 25 Constructing a gingerbread house ........................26, 27 Easy peppermint ice cream ..........................................28 Irene Seiberling’s mini tarts ........................................29 Sticky rice stuffing ......................................................37 Veronica Rhodes’ ginger cookies ................................57 Piecake ........................................................................60 Pistachio and sesame crackers ....................................71 Candy cane soda ..........................................................72 Gingerbread soda ........................................................72 Dark chocolate egg cream syrup..................................72

Holly Jolly Christmas Johnny Marks (c) 1962 Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It's the best time of the year I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas; And when you walk down the street Say Hello to friends you know and everyone you meet. Oh, ho, the mistletoe hung where you can see;

Blueberry French toast casserole ................................79

Somebody waits for you; Kiss her once for me. Have a holly jolly Christmas, and in case you didn't hear, Oh by golly, have a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

Mashed potato bake ....................................................79 Sweet potato casserole ......................................79 Dark chocolate biscotti ......................................93 Lemon semolina cookies ....................................93

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COMMEMORATE

‘THE KICK’

LIMITED EDITION SERIES III RIDER SHARES AVAILABLE NOW The Series III Rider Share celebrates the most exciting game in Grey Cup history, featuring: Austin, Jurasin, Narcisse, and ‘The Kick’ that brought Lord Grey’s Cup back to Saskatchewan. As a Shareholder you will be able to vote on team leadership. Plus, you will receive exclusive discounts at The Rider Store, preferred seating upgrades, first rights to priority parking and more.

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You’re an

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So, you love Christmas. Know what that makes you an Alford’s customer? Alford’s customers like you love lazing around the tree. . . so Alford’s is making it easy for you to relax in time for the holidays! Right now, La-z-boy recliners, sofas, loveseats and sectionals are all on sale. It’s feel good comfort you can trust. Plus, they come in any style you like, and in your choice of fabric or leather. Stylish Christmas comfort that beats any other, hands down and feet up! La-z-boy.

Save today at Alford’s.

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Setting the

{ } Scene Mini

New iterations of the classic miniature Christmas village add a customized look to holiday décor Who wouldn't want to recreate Who-ville in their home this Christmas? Custom village pieces make choosing collectibles part of the fun. By Courtenay Edelhart CTW Features

T

here’s nothing like a miniature Christmas village to give a home a warm, festive look during the holidays – but don’t let that village be limited to snow-covered cottages and Dickens-style Christmas carolers. The holiday scene might be filled with tiny little Harley-Davidsons. Or the villagers could represent a mini United Nations of ethnicities. Maybe the villagers are Disney, Peanuts or Dr. Seuss characters. There are even villages bearing the colours and logos of National Football League teams. Today’s villages are evolving as fast as the world around them, and accommodate all creeds, colours and fan bases. Department 56, which has manufactured traditional Christmas villages for generations, is on the leading edge of the trend. “Our strategy has been to gain younger consumers through licensed villages,” said spokeswoman Pam Schechtman. “We look for properties that have stood the test of time and are multigenerational.” Department 56 began in 2000 with a building from Universal Pictures’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a Harry Potter animated scene. The company’s Classic

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Brands division, Schechtman said, “continues to do well for Department 56 and gives us the opportunity to create products for some of the world’s most beloved brands.” The idea is to draw new collectors to the hobby through affiliations. Fans of those affiliates may buy pieces for themselves, or people who enjoy collecting traditional villages will purchase pieces to woo children and grandchildren. The partnerships don’t alienate purists, said Carla Olson, owner of the online Peanuts retailer JoeCollector.com. Instead, they draw in people who might otherwise not consider a Christmas village. “My customers love it,” Olson said. “I’ve never heard anything negative about the Peanuts village, and I’ve been carrying it since it came out years ago.” If a whole themed village seems like overkill, tone it down by buying just one small vignette and displaying it alone, or if the scale is right, then intersperse individual pieces in a traditional village, said Larry Heard, owner of Robert Moore Christmas Town in Mobile, Ala. “People will put a Bass Pro shop in the middle of the North Pole somewhere,” he said. “That doesn’t work in every case, but there are pieces that go really well together.” There’s also demand for ethnically and

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racially diverse villagers who reflect America’s melting pot. Department 56 adds diverse new characters to its Snow Village and Christmas in the City lines every year, Schechtman said. Wayne Bronner, chief executive officer of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, said he’s carried black and Hispanic angels and village figures for years. People like to see villages that their families could live in, he said. Erecting an entire village can be expensive. Just one house in certain lines can cost up to $100. But most people assemble their villages one piece at a time, over many years. “You just buy a building and add to it,” Bronner said. “In time, you’ll have the whole streetscape with all the accessories.” The risk of buying them piece by piece is that a line will be discontinued before the set is completed, but even discontinued pieces can be found in second-hand stores, online auction houses and collectible shops. And, if enough people raise a stink,

manufacturers will revive a line. “Department 56 retired All Hallow’s Eve but had to bring it back for a limited time because so many people called and told them they didn’t get it all,” Heard said. The hobby can be a little addicting, he warned. For people who are devotees of, say, the Claymation TV classic Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer, it just won’t do to not have Rudolph’s misfit headquarters — and what’s a Peanuts village without Snoopy? Bronner said the more unusual villages are great conversation starters. “I think the traditional villages will always be the most popular, but the others really intrigue people,” he said. “Whenever we have them on display, people stop and talk about them.” © CTW Features

Disney Christmas villages have also been popular throughout the years, since their appeal is multigenerational.


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VANILLA EXT DARK 230 ML..................................2.06 VANILLA EXT DARK 450 ML..................................2.90 MAPLE EXT 57 ML..................................................1.92 ALMOND EXT 57 ML...............................................1.48 ALMOND EXT 125 ML.............................................2.35 ALMOND EXT 250 ML.............................................3.99 ANISE EXT 57 ML ...................................................2.05 BANANA EXT 57 ML...............................................1.50 BANANA EXT 125 ML.............................................2.62 BLUEBERRY EXT 57 ML ........................................1.85 BLUEBERRY EXT 125 ML ......................................3.39 BRANDY EXT 57 ML ...............................................1.50 BUTTER EXT 57 ML................................................3.10 BUTTER EXT 125 ML..............................................5.68 BUTTERSCOTCH EXT 57 ML.................................1.50 BUTTERSCOTCH EXT 125 ML...............................2.62 BUTTERSCOTCH EXT 250 ML...............................4.37 CARAMEL EXT 57 ML ............................................1.50 CARAMEL EXT 125 ML ..........................................2.62 CHERRY EXT 57 ML ...............................................1.50 CHERRY EXT 125 ML .............................................2.62 CHERRY EXT 250 ML .............................................4.37 CHOCOLATE EXT 57 ML........................................3.15 COCONUT EXT 57 ML ............................................1.50 COCONUT EXT 125 ML ..........................................2.62 COCONUT EXT 250 ML ..........................................4.37 COCONUT EXT 500 ML ..........................................6.84

COFFEE EXT 57 ML................................................1.55 LEMON EXT 57 ML .................................................1.50 LEMON EXT 250 ML ...............................................4.37 MAPLE EXT 125 ML................................................3.41 MAPLE EXT 500 ML................................................8.99 ORANGE EXT 57 ML...............................................1.50 ORANGE EXTRACT 125 ML...................................2.74 ORANGE EXT 250 ML.............................................4.65 ORANGE EXT 500 ML.............................................7.14 PEACH EXT 57 ML ..................................................1.99 PEACH EXT 125 ML ................................................3.49 PEPPERMINT EXT 57 ML .......................................2.59 PEPPERMINT EXT 125 ML .....................................4.69 PEPPERMINT EXT 250 ML .....................................7.99 PINEAPPLE EXT 57 ML ..........................................1.50 RASPBERRY EXT 57 ML ........................................1.85 RASPBERRY EXT 125 ML ......................................3.36 RASPBERRY EXT 250 ML ......................................5.75 RUM EXT 57 ML ......................................................1.50 RUM EXT 125 ML ....................................................2.66 RUM EXT 250 ML ....................................................4.29 STRAWBERRY EXT 57 ML .....................................1.71 STRAWBERRY EXT 125 ML ...................................3.09 VANILLA EXT PURE 57 ML ....................................4.72 VANILLA EXT PURE 125 ML ..................................9.53 VANILLA EXT PURE 250 ML ................................17.50 VANILLA EXT PURE 500 ML ................................32.07 VANILLA BAKERS WHITE 230 ML.........................2.89 VANILLA BAKERS WHITE 450 ML.........................4.59 HAZELNUT EXT 57 ML ...........................................1.55 HAZELNUT EXT 125 ML .........................................2.85 MANGO EXT 57 ML.................................................3.39 AMARETTO EXT 57 ML ..........................................1.50 KIRSCH EXT 57 ML.................................................1.79 LEMON EXT 125 ML ...............................................2.62

FRUITS FRUIT APPLE DRIED 250 GMS..............................2.70 FRUIT ORGANIC APRICOTS 250 GMS .................4.17 FRUIT ORGANIC APRICOTS 500 GMS .................8.12 FRUIT APRICOT SLIPPIT 250 GMS .......................3.05 FRUIT APRICOT SLIPPIT 500 GMS .......................5.94 FRUIT BLUEBERRIES DRIED 100 GMS................3.55 FRUIT CANTALOUPE SLICED 250 GMS ...............3.26 FRUIT CANTALOUPE SLICED 500 GMS ...............6.34 FRUITCAKE MIX DELUXE 750 GMS......................7.24 FRUITCAKE MIX REGULAR 750 GMS ..................6.69 FRUIT CHERRIES DRIED 100 GMS .......................2.85 FRUIT CHERRIES GREEN/RED 450 GMS.............6.11

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FRUIT CHERRIES RED 450 GMS...........................5.24 FRUIT CHERRIES GREEN 450 GMS .....................5.24 FRUIT CITRON PEEL 450 GMS..............................5.33 FRUIT CURRANTS 500 GMS..................................5.18 FRUIT DATES PITTED 500 GMS ............................2.35 FRUIT FIGS BLACK MISSION 250 GMS................3.05 FRUIT FIGS BLACK MISSION 500 GMS................5.95 FRUIT FIGS CALYMARYNA 250 GMS ...................4.55 FRUIT FIGS CALYMARYNA 500 GMS ...................8.85 FRUIT CRANBERRIES DRIED 200 GMS ...............2.80 FRUIT GOJI BERRIES - ORGANIC 250 GMS ......... 10.58 FRUIT GOJI BERRIES - ORGANIC 500 GMS ......... 20.56 FRUIT GINGER CRYSTAL 100 GMS ......................1.55 FRUIT GINGER CRYSTAL 250 GMS ......................3.70 FRUIT GINGER GLAZED 225 GMS........................6.60 FRUIT GINGER GLAZED 450 GMS......................12.69 FRUIT MANGO SLICES 250 GMS ..........................2.55 FRUIT MANGO SLICES 500 GMS ..........................4.95 FRUIT MINCEMEAT 1 KG .......................................7.25 FRUIT ORANGE & LEMON PEEL GLAZED 450 GMS ......... 3.60 FRUIT FIVE - OFF 500 GMS ...................................4.99 FRUIT MIXED HAWAIIAN TROP 500 GMS .............4.08 FRUIT PAPAYA DICED - NO SULPHUR 250 GMS .............. 2.88 FRUIT PAPAYA DICED 250 GMS ............................1.50 FRUIT PAPAYA DICED 500 GMS ............................2.80 FRUIT PAPAYA SLICED 250 GMS ..........................1.95 FRUIT PAPAYA SLICED 500 GMS ..........................3.80 FRUIT PEACHES DRIED 250 GMS ........................2.95 FRUIT PEACHES DRIED 500 GMS ........................5.69 FRUIT PEARS DRIED 250 GMS .............................3.92 FRUIT PEARS DRIED 500 GMS .............................7.62 FRUIT PINEAPPLE DICED - NO SULPHUR 250 GMS ....... 2.88 FRUIT PINEAPPLE DICED 250 GMS .....................1.89 FRUIT PINEAPPLE DICED 500 GMS .....................3.68 FRUIT PINEAPPLE RINGS 250 GMS .....................2.12 FRUIT PINEAPPLE RINGS 500 GMS .....................4.12 FRUIT PINEAPPLE GLAZED 450 GMS..................5.69 FRUIT PRUNES BREAKFAST 1 KG.......................9.15 FRUIT PRUNES BREAKFAST 2 KG.....................17.78 FRUIT PRUNES PITTED 1 KG ................................6.99 FRUIT PRUNES PITTED 500 GMS .........................3.60 FRUIT RAISINS GOLDEN 500 GMS.......................2.40 FRUIT RAISINS LEXIA 500 GMS............................8.46 FRUIT RAISINS SULTANA 1 KG.............................4.75 FRUIT RAISINS SULTANA 2 KG.............................9.20 FRUIT RAISINS THOMPSON 500 GMS..................3.99 FRUIT RAISINS THOMPSON - ORGANIC 500 GMS.........4.70 FRUIT DRIED SASKATOON BERRIES 100 GMS ..3.59 FRUIT DRIED SASKATOON BERRIES 200 GMS ..6.98 *Prices may be subject to change without notice.

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It’s all good Dutiful but dull, toys intended to enrich a child once sat at the top of adults’ shopping lists – and the bottom of the toy box. No more. Creativity, play value and green credentials combine in some of the season’s best bets.

Speed racer: the durable wooden Giant Vintage Sports Car by Vilac

By Taniesha Robinson CTW Features

S

omewhere on the spectrum between techno-dazzle (iPad apps for toddlers, anyone?) and fuzzy-wuzzy bears, there’s a sweet spot: toys that inspire kids to have fun, stretch their creativity and learn while they play. With a little effort — and some guidance from savvy toy shop owners — any attentive shopper can hit the mark. Toys that encourage the most beneficial play may not be the biggest spotlight-grabbers. Their attractions are often more subtle and require a shopper to search past the dancing dolls massed out in aisle one. “Toys today, especially toys in the mass market, you push a button and it does something — it lights up or it sings or it turns around and does all kinds of things. But they’re not toys that allow a child to be imaginative and creative,” said Jennic Law, owner of KangarooBoo toy store. “The child is playing and having a good time, but the toy is doing most of the actions or thinking for him or her.” Law said classic problem-solving toys like puzzles and blocks are much better for children. She likes boldly coloured Green Toys Blocks (six months and up), which are made from recycled plastic milk containers and come in many shapes. Wendy Lippman, owner of Tlaquepaque Toy Town seeks out toys that spur open-ended play. “I like toys where kids are encouraged to use their imagination,” she said. Lippman recommends toys that can serve as the focus for role-playing, where kids can act as cashiers or shoppers with a toy cash register, for example. Such toys also set up scenarios to educate children, she said. Science-related toys are no longer aimed at little Leonardos and can be packed with fun, said Jim Davis, owner of Kid’s Continued on Page 9

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Fun with dots: “Press Here” by Hervé Tullet

Tackling life’s little challenges: Remote-control machines by Thames & Kosmos

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Top Picks of Toy Store Gurus Continued from Page 8 Center toy store. Toys with magnets easily combine science learning with fun. The popular Discovery Set of magnetic blocks from Tegu (ages three and up) snap together and hang in balance, a perfect gift to spark the imagination of young children. Science kits from Thames & Kosmos are perennial award-winners. The RemoteControl Machines set (ages eight and up) lets kids build 10 different motorized vehicles (including bulldozer, crane, Formula One racer, three-blade dozer, robotic arm) and then guide them with a remote control unit. After following the instructions to construct the standard vehicles, kids can invent their own. Try re-imagining books as toys. “There’s a jillion different topics for books,” Davis said. “You just need to know a little bit about the child and then pick out the appropriate story book.” “Press Here” is the title and also the instruction for the new book by Hervé Tullet that launches young readers on a charming adventure. Watch them blow, tilt, shake, rub and tap colourful dots printed on the page to make them multiply, grow and rearrange themselves (Chronicle, ages 4-8). KangarooBoo’s Law advised avoiding electronic educational and leisure toys for

Spot It by Blue Orange (ages six and up) Kids can spot matching images on the play cards with up to seven others or have fun on their own. “There are five different ways to play the game, so it has great value.” Jim Davis, KidÕs Center

ages 5 and under. “If [children] are able to sit down and solve a problem or a puzzle or build something, it makes the foundation for them as a person,” she said. She also said toys that involve physical play help children develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, patience and other mental capacities. Fastrack, a new board game by Blue Orange, pits opponents who twang elastic cords to send wooden disks shooting across the board and through a narrow slot. The first to get all 10 to the other side wins (ages five and up). To get kids up off the couch and develop their physical well-being, Davis suggested new classic toys for outdoors, such as jump ropes and sports balls, and new throw toys, including Rhino Toys’ SkyO, a flexible flying ring that’s easy to catch and throw (ages three and up). The Z-Curve Bow from Zing Toys launches foam arrows a satisfyingly long way (ages eight and up). Whatever route you take to finding the best toy for a special boy or girl, Davis said, stop, think and proceed with inspiration. “You really need to know the child and try to engage the child in the purchase you make.” © CTW Features

Green Toys Flatbed Truck and Race Car (ages one and up) This 11-inch blue truck hauls a sleek red hot rod on its back, and has a flatbed that tilts up to allow the car to roll off.

Convoi by Haba (18 months) Ò Kids can pull it, stack it, sort it, and all the while they’re learning colour recognition, counting and patterns.” - Jennic Law, KangarooBoo

Eni Puzzle by Eni Puzzles (ages five and up) “Call it the round jigsaw puzzle or cylinder Rubik’s cube. It pushes problem-solving and brain-teasing to a new level.”

Our Quality & Service Is Clear!

Peter Halbgewachs

Jamie Halbgewachs

We would like to take this time to extend Happy Holidays from our families to Yours!

410 Quebec St l Regina, Sk. l 306.545.3990 Family owned and operated for over 30 years www.glacierglass.com

Here’s hoping you & your family enjoy a merry oldfashioned Christmas! May the spirit & traditions of the season fill your home with an air of peace & love during this magical time.

781-8007 Ross Ave. & Fleury St.

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The Weather

Outside is

Frightful

but gifts from the Red Wing Shoe Store are really quite delightful! g

Comfort & Joy

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Footwear, Comfort and Service … Every Step of the Way

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Stick ‘Em Up

Sweet and savoury ideas to turn the almost-finger-food into a stick-y party success

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES 4 Pop sticks Chocolate Chip Cookies: 1 cup light brown sugar 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chocolate chips 4 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened Preheat oven to 300° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Make the cookies: Combine sugars, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat eggs until light and fluffy; add butter and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Add dry mixture a little at a time to egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until ingredients are fully incorporated. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls (about 2 1/2 tablespoons each) onto prepared baking sheet and bake 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Top the underside of 1 cookie with 1 cup of ice cream and press a second cookie on top. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Tightly wrap each ice cream sandwich individually in plastic wrap and freeze at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

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By Matthew M. F. Miller CTW Features nce reserved for state fairs and carnivals, the food-on-a-stick concept has made its way into the upper echelons of chic eats. Even coffee giant Starbucks has gotten into the game with its popular “cake pops” — frosted cake bites on a stick. Matt Armendariz, author of On a Stick (Quirk Books, 2011), said food on a stick is more popular than ever because, in this economic climate, people are yearning for simpler, fun times. “We’ve always had food-on-a-stick around, but I think there’s a desire to return

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to nostalgic flavours and ideas,” Armendariz said. “Plus they’re just so much darned fun!” As the concept has become more popular, the trend toward using nontraditional fare as on-a-stick treats has taken off. If you’re not opting for corn dogs and lollipops, Armendariz said to keep in mind that you’ll need to apply a little bit of cooking knowledge, engineering and science to your kitchen mix to make it successful. “Think of different portions, ways of making them bite-sized and, most importantly, the right type of stick to make them stay put,” he said. Experiment with the stick itself. Sprigs of

thyme and candy canes can be flavourful alternatives to popsicle sticks, skewers and traditional pop sticks. Armendariz’s go-to treat for the holidays is ice cream sandwiches. “For the holidays, I love making ice cream sandwiches on a stick because I can take advantage of holiday cookies — provided they’re firm enough to use — as well as things like peppermint ice cream. You could also adapt the summery strawberry shortcake on a stick to be more holiday-esque.” Armendariz shared his recipe for holiday ice cream sandwiches on a stick (left). © CTW Features


254 University Park Dr. #5-4621 Rae St.

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Oh, Behave! How to be a courteous, responsible and interesting guest at this year’s holiday party By Lisa Iannucci CTW Features

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ut down the smartphone, close the laptop and bid adieu to that stream of Facebook updates for a few hours. When heading out to a holiday party, it’s time to focus on being a good guest — face-to-face. First, being a great guest and having a wonderful party experience start well before the day of the celebration. “No matter how you were invited, whether by regular invitation or by email, RSVP to it even if it isn’t requested,” said Daniel Post Senning, of the Emily Post Institute, great-great-great grandson of Emily Post and co-author of the upcoming 18th edition of Emily Post’s

Etiquette (William Morrow, 2011). “Even if you were invited to a party or to see a holiday movie with friends through an event invitation on Facebook, make sure they know you plan on attending.” Once a commitment to attend has been

No sooner do they walk in the door than your guests whip their cell phones out to check messages, text with their friends or call friends and family. It’s distracting to other guests and takes away from the mingling you were hoping for, so how do you handle the cell phone addict? Daniel Post Senning, of the Emily Post Institute, offers these tips: 1. The best line of defense is to model the behaviour you want to see. Don’t have your cell phone in your hand when you answer the door or engage your company. 2. Ask guests to take calls in an area where there aren’t guests. In a restaurant,

if someone is going to use their phone at the dinner table, it’s appropriate for a maitre d’ to say something to them. 3. If at all possible, your guests should leave their cell phones behind. If they don’t see a pressing need or use for their phone and they are entering a social situation, lock it in the glove compartment. 4. Whether you are the guest or the host, take control of the cell phone device and don’t let it control you. “I know a doctor who told the hostess that he was on call. When he got a call, the phone was on vibrate. He looked under the table to see who was calling, excused himself and left the room to answer,” said Dorothea Johnson, Founder of The Protocol School of Washington. “That’s the way to do it.”

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HOW TO HANDLE CELL PHONE ADDICTS

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made, Post said to make sure to arrive on time. “It’s a small, but important courtesy,” he said. Also, never arrive at an event emptyhanded. “Guests should always arrive with a gift for their host, even something small like a bag of coffee, and then send a thank you note after the fact,” said Leah Ingram, author of The Everything Etiquette Book (Adams, 2005). “You can send a thank-you gift if you’d like, too.” Now that you’ve arrived, it’s time to mingle. If you’re a bundle of nerves and don’t know how to “work” a party, do not rush in and head straight to the food or bar area, said Dorothea Johnson, founder of The Protocol School of Washington and the author of Tea & Etiquette: Taking Tea for Business & Pleasure (Benjamin Press, 2009). Instead, Johnson said that a good guest greets the host first but doesn’t take up much of their time. “You have to be considerate that the host has other guests,” she said. “Then it’s your duty to mingle with the other guests and make your presence known.” Once you’ve greeted your host, it’s time to turn your attention to the other guests. Johnson said she learned a lot from watching former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at parties. “Kissinger would come in, move to the right and look into the crowd,” said

Johnson. “I always thought he was looking for someone, but he was making sure everyone saw him. He would greet people and move his way around the room until everyone was in the center with him. He made eye contact and never walked away without saying ’excuse me.’ It was brilliant, and everyone should do that.” If you’re great at online chat, but talking face-to-face leaves you tongue-tied, Johnson suggested going straight to someone you know. “But don’t spend all evening with them,” said Johnson. “You should expand yourself and your knowledge by talking to people you don’t know.” While you’re enjoying the party, Ingram reminds you that you’re still a guest no matter how comfortable you are. “Understand that you are a guest in their house and don’t make demands of the host as if you were staying in a hotel — make my bed, turn down your music, et cetera,” she said. If you’re the one hosting the party, Ingram suggested finding out ahead of time what food your guests like so you don’t find yourself in uncomfortable situations where the guests aren’t eating or are complaining about the food (a no-no) because there isn’t anything they like. Together, a great host and great guests are guaranteed to create a great party. © CTW Features


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Personal shopping only. All merchandise sold “as is” and all sales are final. No exchanges, returns or adjustments on previously purchased merchandise; savings offers cannot be combined. No dealers; we reserve the the right to limit quantities. Prices do not include home delivery. Although we strive for accuracy, unintentional errors may occur. We reserve the right to correct any error. ‘Reg.’, ‘Was’ and ‘Sears selling price’ refer to the Sears Catalogue or Retail store price current at time of merchandise receipt. Offers valid at Sears (Regina) Outlet Store(s) shown only. Merchandise selection varies by store. For other hot deals, visit the Outlet Site at www.sears.ca c 2009 Sears Canada Inc. ®

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I can has

By Danielle Cadet CTW Features

prezents?! Yeah, we know who’s been naughty. And they’ll get gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah anyway, the little darlings.

W

ith waggly tails and rumbly purrs, they relentlessly show their love every day. What better time of year than the holidays to delight a four-legged family member with a special gift? “Pets get so much joy out of toys,” said Lorrie Shaw, a pet owner and pet blogger for annarbor.com. “They get to use all of their senses and identify something as theirs.” Pet ownership is at an all-time high, and we’re loving — and giving to — our animals like never before. In 2010, dog owners increased spending on their pooches by more than 30 per cent, and dogs and cats are among the small pets that are most likely to get gifts at Christmas time, according to a recent survey. Nine per cent of dog owners say they’ve held a holiday or birthday party for their dog, and four per cent say they’ve done so for their cat. Pet owners’ emotional ties with dogs and cats run deep. “A lot of baby boomers become empty nesters and still have that nurturing need,” said Kristen Levine, founder of a marketing company serving the pet industry. “A lot of millennials get pets before starting a family to fulfill that same need.” While most pet owners won’t hesitate to purchase a little something special for their pets this holiday season, the boom in products at retail means there’s more to choose from. Think before you shop, said Shaw. “Pay attention to what your pet likes to do. Does he run and play, or is he more cognitive?”

Gaga for green Natural, nontoxic, sustainable, recycled and locally produced products are hot for pets. Earth Dog offers hemp dog collars, leashes, beds and toys. Dog and cat beds made of soy-based material and recycled content are widely available. Many suppliers offer organic catnip. The Purr Highness cat scratcher from Worldwise is made of recycled corrugated cardboard and doubles as a lounger. Doggles Plush Bottle Toys come in the shape of animals and have two squeakers. Stuff a used plastic water bottle inside and the toy provides instant crinkly chewing fun.

Cognitive play Products that appeal to an animal’s intuitive side, engaging them and encouraging natural activity, are trendy. “Foraging toys are hot,” said Levine. They give owners a chance to do other things while their pet is occupied, she said. Shaw suggests the treat-dispensing Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble by Premier Pet. This activity ball stimulates pups mentally and physically by making them work for their food. Levine is a fan of the Physipet, a line of exercise and entertainment products for cats and dogs. The toys react to the pet, pulling back when the pet pulls, Continued on Page 19

Good, clean fun: BrushUp self-grooming post with massage-like silicone bristles

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Curiouser and curiouser: Seek’aboo paw puzzle for cats

Rough-and-tumble play: Bumi tug for dogs

Continued from Page 18 incorporating exercise with play and reducing boredom and separation anxiety, said company founder and inventor Jude Waddy. Interactive games from the Swedish company Nina Ottosson are designed to stimulate a dog’s brain and reinforce peoplefriendly behaviour. “Puzzle toys provide the mental stimulation many dogs lack in their everyday life,” said owner Nina Ottosson. Fill the new treat Maze and a pet will happily work away to “solve” the puzzle and get the treat. There are versions for cats and dogs. Self-grooming products that keep cats happy and entertained are on the rise. The Worldwise Smartykat Brushup self-grooming post was voted one of the Top 10 products at

the 2011 Global Pet Expo by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker of TV’s “Good Morning America” fame. Hundreds of flexible silicone bristles provide a feel-good massage while pulling away loose fur.

Chewers “If you have a chewer, it’s integral that you find the type of toy that can withstand that kind of abuse,” said Shaw. Don’t skimp on cheap toys that can easily tear apart. Instead, buy a heavy-duty toy that can endure tough teeth. California animal trainer and pet expert Diana L. Guerrero recommends the Kong Co.’s super-duty hollow rubber toys. The Kong Extreme toy, used by police and drug enforcement and specially made for aggressive chewers, can be filled with treats to help reduce boredom. It is available in five sizes. Brightly coloured twists, flyers, hurleys and hucks from West Paw Design are made of Zogoflex, a durable, pliable material that’s easy for a pet to pick

up and won’t hurt teeth. Other toys for chew-happy canines: bones and tugs made of tightly twisted cotton threads, which clean teeth while the pup chews, and plush toys for dogs who like to “mother” a toy. Nylabone hard nylon dog chews in a range of shapes and flavours last longer than rawhide bones and promote tooth health. A bacon-flavoured DuraChew comes in the shape of a hollow stick.

harness attached to a zip-line that runs between any two fixed points in the vehicle and allows a dog to walk back and forth, sit and stand. Car carriers are especially important for cats, who often are not fond of travel. Levine suggests that animal lovers bring water for their pets during trips. Pawgua makes a portable, BPA-free plastic dog bowl for thirsty, out-and-about pups. The bowl keeps water cool, and the top twists off. The best gift for a pet is simple and free: Stop, drop and play. “The best thing is for you to interact with your pets,” said Shaw. “It helps them hang on to their cognitive skills and reinforces that connection owners are seeking when they get pets in the first place.” © CTW Features

Life on the road “More people travel with their pets nowadays,” said Levine. She stresses the importance of pet restraint while driving. “Just like texting and driving, a loose pet in the vehicle can be dangerous,” she said. Kurgo makes a variety of pet-carrying products. A Skybox Booster seat for puppies and small dogs up to 30 pounds lifts them up to provide them with a window view; the Kurgo Auto Zip-Line tethers a dog safely, with a

For hot dogs on-the-go: a portable bowl with screw top

Merry Christmas to our families, friends & clients during this holiday season. All the best in 2012!

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Home for the

Caring at Christmastime — there’s never a better time

HOLIDAYS

— what is there to do in Regina?

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products

T

he Christmas season provides a wonderful opportunity to take part in gift-giving, sharing and togetherness. And in Saskatchewan, there are many unique ways to indulge in the Christmas spirit and take care of one another. If it’s a party you’re looking for, Camp Monahan's annual Christmas Supper and Cabaret is an excellent choice. This annual event is held at the Lazy Owl at the University of Regina and includes a delicious roast beef dinner and dancing the night away to live music. A silent auction rounds out the event, and proceeds go to Camp Monahan. The Camp Monahan Association runs a Christian summer recreation camp for young people every summer at Katepwa Lake. A great night out for yourself will help to provide a terrific experience for Saskatchewan youth. Looking for lighter refreshments and that perfect Christmas gift? The Regina Humane Society benefits from an annual Tea and Market (craft sale). You can find something unique for the Christmas stockings while helping Regina’s homeless animals. Maybe exercise is more your thing? Then look no further than the annual Santa Shuffle Fun Run and Elf Walk. This five-kilometre run is perfect for athletes of any ability, and the proceeds from entry fees, pledges and merchandise sales all go to feed families at Christmas. If the marathon is not your style, the event has a host of volunteer opportunities, from envelope-stuffing to manning water stations, so everyone can get involved in this terrific fundraiser. There are plenty of ways to help others this Christmas while staying warm at home as well. While listening to the radio, you can call in a Christmas song dedication to the CKRM Musical Christmas Card for MS. This unique event has been held in Regina since 1988 and donations for songs raise funds for ongoing research and service programs that benefit people with MS in Regina and the surrounding communities. The Lung Association’s Christmas Seals have been a familiar and welcome sight in our mailboxes since 1908, and when you apply the artistic stamps to your Christmas cards, you are supporting Saskatchewan residents affected by lung disease, and helping the Lung Association of Saskatchewan in their fight for healthy lungs and clean air. Possibly one of the most well-known and cherished traditions in Regina is the Rotary Christmas Carol Festival. Over 80 local groups are showcased in the concerts, and can be watched on Access Cable Channel 7. In addition to providing wonderful music for the holidays, the festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Clubs of Regina and their charity partners. Whatever your plans for the holidays are, there are many ways to show your Christmas spirit and help others in your community while enjoying all the festivities of the season.

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rom December 22 to January 5, Regina’s public and Catholic schools are closed for Christmas holidays. And even though children can be seen in September counting down the days until Christmas, sometimes they need to find things to keep them entertained during their time away from school. This year there are many different activities that you can do with your children to make the Christmas holidays fun and entertaining for the whole family. Winter sports are a great way to engage the whole family in something both fun and healthy. There are several indoor skating rinks in Regina, and outdoor skating at Wascana Center. Curling ice can be rented for individuals and families, and some curling rinks, such as the Callie Curling Club, even provide brooms and sliders for free. And of course, all you need is a hill and a sled, or even a cardboard box, for a great day of tobogganing. What Christmas would be complete without treats? Many children enjoy — and can learn from — all the mixing, measuring and decorating that goes along with the cookies, cakes and candies that are a part of our holidays. Baking is an activity that can be accommodating to children of any age, and provides short term, achievable goals. You can find unique decorating tips online, or stick with traditional recipes and share a little family history with your kids.

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If your children are getting restless at home, there are plenty of venues throughout the city that are open over the holidays. These include many places that sometimes get overlooked during our regular work and school schedules. What about a trip to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, or the RCMP Heritage Center? Regina Little Theatre will be putting on new plays over Christmas as well. Spending time at the Saskatchewan Science Center, or even a quiet day at the library can help break up continuous days at home. Of course, the simple joy of a car ride to view Christmas lights in your neighbourhood, followed by a hot chocolate at one of Regina’s many coffee shops, can make for a fun family outing. Many activities that are available for you and your children during the holidays are also fundraisers for charities throughout the city, and Christmas is the perfect time to instill a sense of sharing in your children. A day out of the house might include visiting a senior’s center or one of our local hospitals, or attending a specific event such as the Rotary Christmas Carol Festival. For older children, some time volunteering with Food For Learning or at Soul’s Harbour Rescue Mission can foster a true sense of caring at a time when many families need it most. The Christmas break is a fantastic time to nurture your relationship with your children. You can help them have a satisfying and entertaining holiday while building a strong sense of family and community that they will carry with them throughout the school year.


Create Memories & Make Dreams Come True May Peace, Joy, Hope and Happiness be yours during this Holiday Season and throughout this coming year.

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One gourmet meal, all the fixin’s, straight from the box A stress-free holiday meal? Can it be true? Buying dinner in a box from the local supermarket could save money, deliver great taste and lessen the cooking load. Here’s how to ‘prepare’ the meal of their dreams.

By Bev Bennett CTW Features

A

s you plan your holiday gathering with family and friends, you’re recalling the wonderful experiences of previous years. But cooking the festive meal, which some consider the highlight of the celebration, may not be your fondest memory. Maybe spending a day in the kitchen is as stressful for you as a root canal. There is an alternative, and it’s not making a dinner reservation for 24. Instead, you can order a pre-cooked dinner from your local supermarket. Imagine a roast turkey or baked ham. Mashed potatoes with gravy. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Sweet potatoes. Rolls.

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Dessert. All you have to do is warm the courses before serving. You’ll have a traditional menu on the table in a fraction of the time it takes to make it from scratch. However, you may feel a twinge of guilt — aren’t you supposed to work your culinary magic? Maybe you’re like Missy Chase Lapine, who’s not comfortable unless she puts her own stamp on dinner. That’s why “it’s fantastic to add your personal touch,” said Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals (Running Press, 2007). Decide what you want to leave to the supermarket’s culinary team and what you’d prefer to either prepare or embellish. For example, maybe you’d like to free

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yourself from babysitting a turkey for six hours. Many cooks consider the main protein source intimidating and time-consuming, said Lapine. Let a supermarket assume the turkeyroasting task while you exercise your ingenuity with the side dishes. “For some people it’s all about the bird. I think people need to be mindful of the things that come along the sides of the plate,” said Julie Jones, Ph.D., professor emeritus of foods and nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. If you’re only seeing white — stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls — ask for colourful enhancements or add your own. Add the supermarket’s green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and carrots to the order. Switch from white to wholewheat rolls if you have the choice.

Always add your own fresh salad. It’s easy to do and will be a welcome addition for those who don’t want to fill up on starches. “Buy a bag salad; add feta cheese, spinach and walnuts for crunch,” said Dee Sandquist, a registered dietitian spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Pick up raw, prepared vegetables in bags; add a yogurt dip and you’re adding nutritional value to the meal, she added. Although packaged meals usually include a dessert classic, such as pumpkin pie or fruit cobbler, your guests will appreciate a fresh and light alternative. Offer sliced pears, drizzled with honey and walnuts, or vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt with thawed frozen blueberries. © CTW Features


TURKEY WITH A TWIST MAKE WAY FOR TURKEY The day before your festive meal, your refrigerator is about to get very full. Make sure you have room for the food. If the dishes you bring home are still hot from the supermarket, divide the items into smaller amounts and pack in separate covered containers for faster chilling in the refrigerator. If the food was cooked and chilled at the store, place it in covered containers and refrigerate. Your supermarket may offer the option of a cooked, stuffed turkey. If that’s your choice, you should buy it hot to eat immediately, according to food safety experts. Otherwise, purchase a cooked, unstuffed bird to reduce the risk foodborne illness. To reheat a turkey, preheat the oven to 325° F. Place the bird in a shallow roasting pan. Add a small amount of chicken broth to keep the meat moist and lightly cover the bird with heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent it from drying. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, not touching bone. When heated through, the bird’s internal temperature should reach 165° F. To reheat a spiral-sliced baked ham, preheat the oven to 325° F. Place the meat in a shallow roasting pan, cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and heat for about 10 minutes per pound of ham. A meat thermometer should read 165° F. Heat vegetables and stuffing in covered containers either in a microwave or a conventional oven, using appropriate cookware. Soup and gravy can be heated in a microwave oven or on top of the stove over low heat.

If the meal-in-a-box approach is too outside-the-box for the holiday main course, perhaps a new-look turkey is in order. Preparing a fancy turkey and buying pre-made side dishes will still save time, but also keep it very personal. Try this recipe for Orange and Maple Roasted Turkey, which adds the traditional citrus and maple flavours of winter to the bird. – Matthew M. F. Miller ORANGE AND MAPLE ROASTED TURKEY Recipe created by: Marc Van Steyn, executive chef, Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile Brine 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup salt 10 black peppercorns, whole

1 medium orange, peeled and juiced 1 gallon cold water 1 12-pound whole turkey, fresh or thawed

1. Combine all ingredients, except turkey, in large pot and simmer over low heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. 2. Chill brine in ice bath until cold. 3. Place whole turkey into foodservice-safe grade container. 4. Pour chilled brine over top to submerge. Close bag and cover. 5. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. 6. Remove turkey from brine, drain excess liquid. Turkey Prep 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 celery ribs, peeled, cut into two-inch pieces 2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into two-inch pieces 2 medium white onions, peeled, cut into two-inch pieces

1. Place herbs and vegetables in body cavity and secure.

DRESSING UP THE MENU Think of a supermarket’s holiday meal as the plain white T-shirt. It covers the essentials, but, with some adornment, it can be a knockout. Accessories include nuts, herbs, olive oil, cheese, wine and/or spirits, honey and fruit. Start with appetizers, the course that sets the tone. Your simple but elegant opening gambit is fresh figs, stuffed with a little cheese, maybe Gorgonzola or Camembert, and wrapped in sliced prosciutto. You can heat it just until the cheese melts, said Julie Jones, Ph.D., who works with the California Fig Advisory Board. Dinner rolls don’t have to be an afterthought, not if you follow a tip from Missy Chase Lapine, author of the upcoming book,The Speedy Sneaky Chef. “I always warm them, no matter what. It makes them taste better,” said Lapine. She recommends heating rolls in a conventional oven, not a microwave. For another layer of flavour, brush the rolls with olive oil, sprinkle with a little coarse salt and chopped rosemary before putting them in the oven.

“It gives [the roll] a wonderful homemade taste,” added Lapine. Switch to an elegant fig and port reduction in place of the gravy, suggesed Jones. If you prefer an easy approach using the gravy that comes with the prepared meal, you can enliven the flavour. Pour the gravy into a small saucepan. Add a generous pinch of minced fresh sage and a splash of dry vermouth. Simmer for five minutes, or until your company crowds the kitchen. We all know nuts are delicious, but they’re even better after toasting. “If you’re serving nuts of any kind, toast them in a dry skillet for two to three minutes, adding a little rosemary,” said Lapine, who recommends herbtoasted nuts as an appetizer. Although you may not expect guests to clamour for vegetables, you can change that. Stir minced chives into the mashed potatoes; drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over baked squash, sprinkle toasted nuts on green beans or broccoli and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on baked potato wedges.

Cooking Procedure 1 pound unsalted butter, softened 2 medium oranges, juiced 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1. Combine butter, orange juice, salt, pepper, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a large bowl. 2. With fingers, slowly massage the compound butter into the skin of the turkey until well-absorbed. 3. Fold wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Turkey may be cooked in a 325° F oven or on a rotisserie. 4. If roasting in a thermal oven, cook on a rack for approximately three hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh. 5. If cooking by the rotisserie method, thread turkey evenly on the rotisserie-spit fork using a counterweight to achieve an even balance. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill beneath the area where the turkey juices will drip. Cook the turkey over indirect, medium heat in a covered rotisserie. 6. If cooking with charcoal, replenish briquettes with about 15 briquettes every hour, as needed, to maintain medium heat. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh (about three hours). 7. Allow turkey to rest for about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and herbs from the cavity prior to carving. Place slices on a platter and garnish with oranges. © CTW Features

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THE

GINGERBREAD

QUEEN

Johanna Rosson cooked with Paula Deen and threw down with Bobby Flay to earn her crown as the gingerbread queen By Cheryl V. Jackson CTW Features

J

ohanna Rosson’s decorating skills are sweet. Rosson designs and builds gingerbread houses — and she’s been head architect for some of the

best. In 2005, she appeared on Food Network’s “Paula’s Home Cooking.” After that, she was commissioned to make a special replica of a Springfield, Ill., train depot to be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. All this exposure attracted the attention of Bobby Flay, who (unwisely) decided to challenge her to a gingerbread battle on Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” Needless to say, the gingerbread queen held on to her crown. In a typical year, construction season for Rosson begins around midsummer, when many of the magazines she works with are completing their holiday issues. “Whenever I make the first gingerbread house of the season, it just brings me back to life,” Rosson said. “I actually listen to Christmas music to get myself into it. Last year, when I was working on a house, my air conditioning went out — and it was more than 100 degrees outside!”

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Her busiest season has seen her build about 50 houses. “There was an eightyear period where I didn’t sleep at all during the fall,” said Rosson, who works in marketing. Rosson’s culinary foundation was laid early on, as she was growing up. “I’ve always baked. I baked with my grandmother and my mother. It was a part of at least every week — almost daily,” she said. She married at 19 and her husband, Steve, immediately entered the military. With that, she began moving about with the Army officer. He is currently serving in Afghanistan. Wherever Rosson was stationed, she would take baking classes. Rosson spent some time in Germany in the early 1990s, where she became enamoured with the gingerbread houses displayed in bakery windows. “I was fascinated with them. I wanted to know how to make them,” she said. She cracked open a book on gingerbread houses, tried a few recipes and started to build a reputation. Continued on Page 27

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the depot replica. All of Rosson’s kids (besides Joshua, there’s also Scott, 11, and William, 8) are naturals at gingerbread building. Each creates an individual house each holiday season. “I think, for the longest time, they thought every mom did it. That was normal to them. They didn’t think it was that big of a deal until I was on Bobby Flay,” she remembered. That 2007 “Throwdown” episode saw judges declare her gingerbread recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield, Ill., home superior to Flay’s Empire State Building replica. In recent years, Rosson scaled back the number of houses she produces annually to about 20, mostly for fundraisers. She said she’s careful that it doesn’t engulf her holiday celebrations and family time. Nowadays, “I put off all gingerbread making to around the first week in December,” she said. “For so many people, it kind of takes over your whole holiday. I don’t want to be stressed out over the holiday.” Even the Gingerbread Queen herself admits, “You can’t let gingerbread get in the way.” © CTW Features

Get Kids

Continued from Page 26 “I started kicking up my creations. I started donating the houses for military fundraisers,” she said. “I knew that people would be buying raffle tickets for them. I wanted them to be worth donating money to.” Rosson cultivated a specialty in replicas of famous and historical structures. Her first was a 2005 recreation of the Richmond Hill, Ga., mansion of Henry Ford that was displayed at a retirement village. As a contributing writer for Cooking with Paula Deen magazine, she has also rendered the Southern celebrity chef’s home in gingerbread. Her favourite creation? That was the train depot for display at the Lincoln library. Rosson put about 400 hours into it: a labour of love. “I’m an Illinois girl. I love me some Abraham Lincoln. It was a huge honour for me,” she said. “We’re a patriotic family, anyway.” Family members frequently lend a hand to Rosson’s projects. Her father designed a special foundation board to facilitate the building of the Lincoln depot structure. Her mother has looked after her children while she completed high-profile jobs. Her oldest son, 13-year-old Joshua, crushed up candy to make coal for

Constructing Kids should definitely be brought into the gingerbread building, experts say. Here are some tips from the pros when it comes to this fun, educational (and messy) family activity. Be prepared for a two-day project if building from scratch, said Johanna Rosson, who’s appeared on several Food Network television shows. Bake the gingerbread and start construction one day; decorate the next. Even when using a kit, allow for plenty of time for the house to dry before decorating, Rosson said. “It’s also a good lesson in patience for a kid.” Use the opportunity to teach other lessons as well, said Suzanne Kanaly, 2008 winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition hosted by The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, N.C. Her boys started on houses when they were about four years old. “What better way to teach your kids math at an early age?” Kanaly said. “Why not get them involved right from the beginning? It teaches them how to count and how to do

fractions: a half cup of this, a quarter cup of that.” She also suggests having children keep an eye out for candy and other items with which to decorate. “It could be pasta shapes or cereal. You can teach them shapes at the same time,” Kanaly said. Try to have fun with it, and don’t stifle the kids’ creativity. “You don’t want to put pressure on kids when they’re learning. It’s all about good memories,” Rosson said. “Don’t take over. What they create is beautiful to them. You should also think so. You should not pressure them to do things a certain way.” Kanaly suggested soliciting input from little ones early on. “I’d ask them, ‘What are some ideas? Draw me a picture.’ ” Don’t fret the mess, Kanaly said. “Messy can be fun. You think about how busy families are nowadays,” she said. “You get flour on your face, or drop an egg on the floor; it’s nothing compared to the time you spend with your children having fun.” Cheryl V. Jackson © CTW Features

Among her many replicas, Rosson crafted a gingerbread version of Paula Deen's house, photographed here in Deen's kitchen. Photos courtesy Johanna Rosson

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Seasons Greetings

Cool dish, no ice cream maker required How to make peppermint ice cream using only three ingredients and no machinery

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1. Unwrap candy canes and place in a freezer bag. Seal bag and use a rolling pin to beat candy canes into tiny pieces. Pour candy cane bits into the bottom of an eight-quart freezer-safe container. 2. Pour whipping cream and half and half on top of candy cane bits. Stir until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours, stirring occasionally. 3. Remove from fridge and stir until blended. Pour mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until soft peaks begin to form. 4. Place cream back into freezer-safe container and freeze until setup, about 8 to 12 hours.

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Serves 12

By Matthew M. F. Miller CTW Features rowing up in the Midwest, there wasn’t a holiday that didn’t get a little merrier courtesy of a scoop of homemade ice cream. Aside from the Cool Whip-topped pumpkin variety, there wasn’t a pie baked in the twelve-month cycle that didn’t receive the hand-cranked à la mode treatment. Christmas was no exception. Sure, 12 inches of snow blanketing the cornfields was enough to freeze your outsides, but has your tongue ever really been too cold for ice cream? Really? On top of pecan pie? Nonsense.

G

Now that I have my own children, I try not to make ice cream the household staple it was in my youth. Since it’s not a regular occurrence (I prefer to see my feet when I look down) there’s really no way to justify buying and storing an ice cream maker to produce two to three batches a year. At least that’s what my wife tells me. Thus came my inspiration for Easy Peppermint Ice Cream, a three-ingredient recipe for the creamiest, fluffiest, richest and — frankly — cheapest ice cream around. If peppermint isn’t your flavour, feel free to use any hard sugar candy in its place. © CTW Features


KATHE SEIBERLING’S AMAZING TARTS Warning: These mini tarts are timeconsuming to make, require numerous difficult-to-come-by tart tins, and nobody can make them as perfect as my mom, Kathe Seiberling. But if you’re willing to invest the time, the effort, and the money to make them, they are FABULOUS! Enjoy! TART SHELLS: 8 oz. cream cheese 1 1/2 cups margarine 3 cups flour FILLING: 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 1/2 cups ground walnuts or pecans 2 eggs 2 tablespoons margarine 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 dashes salt Note: For best results, double the filling recipe. We do every time.

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Mix together ingredients for crust. Press small balls into mini tart tins. (Tins are only about 1 1/2-inches in diameter.) Place tins on baking sheet with lip. (We use 118 mini tart tins.) Fill tarts two-thirds full with filling. Bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove tarts from tins while hot. Do not cool tarts in tins, or they’ll stick. Cool tarts on tray lined with paper towels. Optional: Lightly dust with icing sugar when ready to serve. Irene Seiberling Lifestyles Editor Leader-Post

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Screen Test Where there’s a favourite TV show, there’s bound to be a favourite gift in the wings. By Daniela Garcia CTW Features

Z

ombies and mad men and superheroes, oh my! No, it’s not the nightmare before Christmas. The characters and creatures that star in the year’s most popular TV shows and movies have inspired T-shirts, toys and all sorts of gifts sure to delight the pop culture aficionado. There are great presents out there for everyone influenced by either the small screen or the silver screen.

fourth season, True Blood, the TV drama about humans and vampires in the heart of Louisiana, is still going strong. Catch up on the latest action and romance with True Blood: The Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu ray. For those that wish they could be patrons of Eric Northman’s dark vampire club, Fangtasia, a souvenir T-shirt of sorts ought to satisfy. Eric’s stylish, no-nonsense, right-hand woman Pam has shown countless times that even the undead can always look good. Delight a fan who’d love to replicate her look with the True Blood Collectors Palette by Tarte. The kit also includes instructions from the show’s lead make-up artist, Brigitte Ellis. The Walking Dead, a gripping TV drama about a group of survivors in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, is based on a graphic novel series. Gift individual print issues (from Image Comics) or a collection of eight. To satisfy a would-be zombie hunter, grab a Walking Dead shooting target poster. They’ll be ready to take on the undead in no time.

Mad about Mad Men The award-winning series about the lives of Don Draper and company, set in the New York advertising world in the 1960s, has managed to generate a cult following in a handful of seasons. Give the Maddict in your life any of the first three seasons of the hit series on DVD or Blur-ray. Collectors will be charmed with season one packaged in a limited edition case in the shape of a classic Zippo lighter. For the adman, or adwoman, in your life, Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man (Grove Press 2010), is filled with witty one-liners from Roger Sterling, the pithy founding partner of the fictional agency. A sample: “Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face.”

Red for the holidays The undead just won’t die. In fact, their grip on fans may be getting stronger. In its

(ages 5 and up) and Thor’s Lightning Hammer (ages 5 and up). Transformers are evil-fighting robots disguised as everyday machines, like trucks and cars. Their transformations look complicated on-screen, but the Transformers Rescue Bots from Playskool (ages three and up) help little kids make the magic in one big, easy step.

Tiding of comfort, and Glee

For the kids Superhero blockbuster movies Captain America and Thor both bowed at No. 1 at the box office this past summer, with Tranformers: Dark of the Moon also at the top of the pack with a worldwide gross of over $1 billion. Whether kids want to embrace their inner first avenger (Captain America) or their inner mighty avenger (Thor) they’ll have their weapon of choice to battle the bad guys: Captain America’s Disc Launching Shield

In Glee, the Fox TV hit, a few high school misfits find common ground (and their voices) by joining the McKinley High School glee club. The show that’s punctuated with spontaneous musical performances has gained a loyal fan following. Share Christmas classics as sung by the Glee cast with Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album CD from Columbia Records. Hardcore Gleeks who know practically every song sung on the show will love strutting their stuff with Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 2 from Koname (for Wii). The Glee-tastic Microphone is the perfect toy for younger fans who enjoy singing their hearts out.

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The board game contingent can get in on the act with Cranium: Glee Edition and Yahtzee: Glee Collector’s Edition, both from USAopoly. The Scene It? Glee! DVD game from Screenlife brings the McKinley High high jinks live to a living room near you. © CTW Features

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Sticky On the Inside Stuffing the bird wih sticky rice, a traditional Asian dish, is a gluten-free alternative to bread-based stuffing.

By Bettina Chang CTW Features

S

ticky rice. Hot pot. Long-life noodles. They might not sound like holiday dishes, but these are the types of entrées that graced my family’s holiday table when I grew up, both out of necessity and as a tribute to my parents’ home country. Our problem was that of many immigrant families — while we want to celebrate this ultimate North American holiday as North Americans do, we have our own traditions and (especially before the internet and Food Network) didn’t know how to make the foods we saw in the movies. That’s why my family settled on sticky rice instead of stuffing — that glob of cubed bread that my mom couldn’t figure out how to make, nor find appetizing. Years later, I asked my mom to explain the tradition behind sticky rice. In Taiwan, she said, it is customary for a family to give sticky rice with a hard-boiled egg that is dyed red (for good luck) as an announcement of a new child’s one-month birthday. When the receiving family finishes the food, they return the plate, filled with uncooked rice as a symbol of plenty. Nowadays, sticky rice is considered a comfort food that is often served at celebrations and family gatherings. Caroline Tsao, owner of 527 Café, a Taiwanese restaurant, said that the dish is a symbol of togetherness. “The rice itself is sticky, and there are many ingredients that all combine together for a flavour that everyone loves,” she said. “It means that everyone can stay

together and enjoy each other’s company.” The Taiwanese dish is unlike Chinese iterations because of the use of fried shallots, Tsao said. The rest of the ingredients, which typically include dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and pork, can vary, based on taste and preference. Jen Che, author of the award-winning food blog, Tiny Urban Kitchen, said that the recipe is particularly forgiving and open to experimentation. “There’s a lot of room for mistakes and flexibility,” she said. “The sticky rice itself, the texture is so good. You can add more soy sauce or pork, or Chinese sausage if you want.” Although the traditional recipe may call for ingredients that are only available at Asian grocery stores, substitutions are easy to make. Che recommends shortcuts for people afraid of the multi-step process. “The easiest way is to just make the sticky rice separately [in a rice cooker], then sauté the other ingredients and mix it all together,” she said. As with all types of comfort food, the best recipe is always the one you’re used to. “I’m sure hers tastes great!” Che said to me as we compared recipes. My mom maximizes the shallots and dried shrimp so she can cut down on salt and soy sauce. Her mom goes for the low-fat option, using less oil and cutting off the fatty parts of the pork. "At the end of the day, we like our mom’s food the best,” Che said. © CTW Features

Recipe Supplied by 1124 Devonshire Dr. N. 359-6266

www.setsfitness.com DID YOU O KNOW O S SETS S HAS: S SPICY GARLIC LEMON SEAFOOD LINGUINI A delicious healthy holiday meal made with fresh seafood that takes no more than 30 minutes. Since all the ingredients are fresh you will be able to adjust on the spot to your desired taste. Some people may like a spicier dish while others a stronger garlic taste. Ingredients: 5 ounces 5 ounces 5 ounces 20 3 3-10 ¼ cup 8 ounces Salt and Pepper 1.5 tbsp 3 tsp

Fresh Salmon Cut into bite size pieces Fresh Baby Shrimp Fresh Scallops Fresh Mussels Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped Small Red Chilli’s Lemon Juice Whole Wheat Linguini (Dry) Olive Oil Olive Oil Butter

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Heat a large pan with olive oil and add the seafood. Season the seafood with salt and pepper then add the chilli, garlic and lemon juice. Let the ingredients cook together for about a minute then deglaze the pan with white wine. Finish the dish with a spoonful of olive oil butter to help thicken the sauce and season with salt and pepper for taste. Cook the pasta and toss with the seafood/sauce. Makes 5 servings. Protein: 27 grams / Carbs: 35 grams / Fat: 10 grams (all healthy fat) Calories: 338

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Words by Robert L. May (c) 1947 Music by Johnny Marks

The Christmas Song

You know Dasher and Dancer And Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid And Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall The most famous reindeer of all?

Mel Torme (c) 1946 Chestnuts roasting on an open fire Jack Frost nipping at your nose Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir And folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe Help to make the season bright Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow Will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Santa's on his way He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh And every mother's child is gonna spy To see if reindeer really know how to fly. And so I'm offering this simple phrase To kids from one to ninetytwo Although it's been said many times, many ways Merry Christmas to you.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer) Had a very shiny nose (like a light bulb) And if you ever saw it (saw it)

You would even say it glows (like a flash light) All of the other reindeer (reindeer) Used to laugh and call him names (like Pinochio) They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph) Play in any reindeer games (like Monopoly)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Eddie Pola, George Wyle 1963 It's the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling, And everyone telling you, "Be of good cheer," It's the most wonderful time of the year. There'll be parties for hosting, Marshmallows for toasting and Caroling out in the snow.

There'll be scary ghost stories and Tales of the glories of Christmases Long, long ago. It's the most wonderful time of the year. There'll be much mistletoeing And hearts will be glowing, When loved ones are near. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

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Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say (Ho Ho Ho) Rudolph with your nose so bright Won't you guide my sleigh tonight? Then all the reindeer loved him (loved him) And they shouted out with glee (yippee) "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (reindeer) You'll go down in history!"

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Warmest Greetings! Copper Kettle Gift Cards Now Available Valid for Dining-In, Pick-Up, Delivery & O’Hanlon’s

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS From

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Youth

Movement Give Youth in a Jar. Or tube. Or bottle, box, vial, stick or compact. Wildly popular, anti-aging products make a perfect gift. By Lauren Parran CTW Features

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his season, select a gift that will make your friend or loved one glow with more than gratitude. Feel-good creams, serums, lotions and toners that promise to soften the ravages of time are hot, not just for women of a certain age (Hi, Grammie!) but for the younger set — men and women alike. Anti-aging products once purchased and used discreetly now sit boldly atop many gift lists. “These products have become really eloquently packaged and extremely desirable. Like ‘It’ handbags, there are ‘It’ creams,” said Erin Flaherty, executive beauty editor at Marie Claire. “You can even call some of these status symbols.” Baby boomers account for some of the surge. “The boomers are much more embracing of health and extending their youth and being very upfront about wanting to stay young and young-looking,” said Mark Lees, skin care specialist and author of “Skin Care: Beyond the Basics” (Milady, 2011). But a younger crowd also increasingly uses anti-aging products, seeking to forestall signs of aging, said Paula Begoun, author and creator of The Cosmetics Cop line of skin care products. “Anti-aging products, especially the pricier ones, make ideal gifts.” Prices for anti-aging concoctions can be sky high. But the lineup of moderately priced

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treatment products is growing rapidly at drugstores and mass merchants. Bethenny Frankel of Real Housewives of New York and low-calorie margarita fame, is launching Skinnygirl Face & Body solutions in select Walmarts this fall — at reasonable prices. “A $150 eye cream is ridiculous and absurd,” Frankel said.

Wrinkle-busters No one wants wrinkles, so give the gift of wrinkle prevention. Seeping deep into the skin and high in vitamin C, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster purports to prevent aging and brighten, firm and smooth the skin. “It’s a safe bet for someone special, regardless of their skin type,” said Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist. Give a face mask product for spa day at home. It’s an especially nice gift if a special occasion is coming up, Lees said. “It really does perk up your skin for about 12 hours,” she said. New Black Rose Cream Mask is Sisley’s first anti-aging mask. “It’s supposed to instantly smooth and plump and brighten,” said Marie Claire’s Flaherty.

Moisturizers Olay’s first daily nighttime moisturizer works while you sleep to accelerate exfoliation and hydrate for smoother skin. Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir

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No lie: anti-aging treatments come out of the shadows to the top of gift lists. Here, Truth Serum from Ole Henriksen

contains glycolic acid that is designed to smooth skin in one week. Nivea, the iconic skin care company that celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is reaching out to the next generation of customers, signing the singer Rihanna as the face and voice of its year-long 100 Years of Skin Care global party. Fans can win tickets to Rihanna’s LOUD concert tour and a chance to meet the star. Her face is on a limited edition tin bestowed only on lucky winners of online promotions. A classic blue jar of Nivea Crème, for use all over the body, is

easy enough to pick up just about everywhere.

Facial cleansing brush systems Soft-bristled, handheld facial brushes powered by rechargeable batteries have become an essential part of many morning beauty routines. The Cadillac of the brush bunch is the Clarisonic, which claims to clean deep into pores, reduce pore size, improve Continued on Page 47


Continued from Page 46 skin tone and help other skin care products be more effective. Modestly priced options are widely available, including the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System with a rotating brush. The Pretika SonicDermabrasion Facial Brush uses micro-pulsating technology to exfoliate and claims to reduce fine lines. A deluge of cleansers, toners and creams accompany the systems, so if you’re inclined to assemble a gift basket, this area is a happy hunting ground. If a friend or loved one is eco-minded, consider the old-school model. Facial cleansing brushes polish away makeup, dead cells and excess oils by hand, no batteries needed. The classic Bass has natural bristles and an acrylic handle.

Flaherty said. From cleanser to aftershave and even whisker lifters, Anthony Logistics for Men has solutions for every step in the shaving process. Neutrogena’s Triple Protect Face Lotion SPF 20 offers men a three-in-one Swiss Army Knife type of product. The lotion soothes razor irritation, heals dry skin and defends the skin with antioxidants. The soy combats wrinkles and SPF protects skin from damaging rays.

Sunscreens year-round Sunscreen should be worn throughout the entire year to prevent skin damage from the sun. “If you’re going to use anti-aging products, please use sunscreen every day,” Dr. Jaliman said. Sunscreen pads make it quick and easy to apply sunscreen to the face and would be a great addition to other spa and skin care gifts. Dermalogica Solar Defense Wipes contain SPF 15 with no fragrance, in an easy-to-tote package (available at beauty salons and spas).

Treatment gift certificates

Men’s products There are plenty of skin care gifts to go around for both sexes. “Men are increasingly getting cosmetic procedures done, and there’s certainly more products that are specifically for men,”

Old-fashioned scrub: the classic Bass facial brush

No-fuss skin care for him: Neutrogena razor balm, SPF and wrinkle buster

Anti-aging and skin care gifts don’t just come in bottles. Turn to local spas and salons for gift certificates for Forever young: 20-something singer popular skin care treatments. They are Rihanna, shown here on a limited easy to purchase and, along edition tin, fronts for Nivea Creme in with indulgence, provide its year-long 100th anniversary the ultimate luxury: choice. celebration. The top two non-surgical cosmetic procedures for No-fuss men are Botox and laser beauty hair removal, “particularly boosters: for ears and back,” Dr. Clarisonic’s Melanie Grossman, a batterydermatologist, said. “For driven women, I would say Botox cleansing and cosmetic system consultations.” Shave kits for the new man: pre-shave oil, post-shave balm and © CTW Features anti-aging glycolic cleanser from Anthony Logistics for Men

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Ready To Go

Back in the day – and back today: 1960s-era Diana F+ camera, left Vintage Norwegian bowls and kitchenware, below

Retro? “The fashion industry has caught on to this and are making efforts to include vintage in their styling and editorials.” Whether you’re shopping for a curious teen or a nostalgic grown-up, having an eye for the old this season will come in handy. Retro-themed products make for great gifts and fun shopping.

For him

Old stuff is cool again. Gifting old stuff is even cooler.

By Lindsey Romain CTW Features

R

etro style is in, and kids can’t get enough of it, from cutting-edge clothing and accessories that recall the classics, to thriftshop home goods straight from grandma’s

attic. A quest for individuality in a homogenized world is behind the vintage juggernaut, say trend watchers.

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“I think the resurgence started with kids rummaging through thrift stores,” said Bonnie VanKeersblick of Blue Flower Vintage, an online shop run through Etsy that specializes in vintage items. “Old movies help fuel the trend, and then the economic downturn and people wanting to be green justified it.” Stephanie Press, who runs the online store Hold Vintage, said the same. “I believe there is a desire to escape from mass manufacturing to things that are unique,” she said.

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Thank Don Draper from AMC’s popular series “Mad Men” for the resurgence in dapper formal wear for men. Draper’s crisp suits and affinity for good whiskey ignited a craving for both. Men looking for fashion inspiration will enjoy Icons of Men’s Style by Josh Sims (Laurence King Publishers, 2011), a guide to iconic menswear. The British fashion writer chronicles prominent garments of the past and the men who made them notable, including stars like Gregory Peck and classic characters like James Bond. Another way to bring a retro edge to men’s formalwear is with pocket squares. “[Pocket squares] are understated but stylish and not too far out of a guy’s comfort zone,” said Press. “You can go utilitarian with cotton or bold and bright in silk.” Club Room, a Macy’s clothing brand, sells pocket squares in everything from paisley to polka dot, and in colours like red, blue and black. No man who carries a smart phone needs a watch — but many of them want one anyway. The Timex Digital watch boasts an INDIGLO night-light feature and digital number display, but a shiny stainless steel expansion band and water-resistance gives it contemporary utility. Continued on Page 51


Continued from Page 50

For her Classic style for women is about finding the perfect statement piece. Think bold jewelry or anything with an Art Deco edge. “I love the idea of a great retro-print scarf,” said Press. “Not only can you wear it in a myriad of ways, but they are being used in interior design as framed art or for custom pillows.” Look for scarf designs with blocky shapes and heavy colours with a sharp contrast (like black, lime green and red) to achieve a polished Art Deco look. Vintage glass, tableware and cookware have great legs in the gift-giving world. VanKeersblick, a lifelong fan of vintage style, showcases a 1950s line of striped

Return of the return: 1950s manual typewriter in Pepto pink

and lotus-patterned tear. A turntable would be a bowls designed by great gift for a young music Grete Prytz Kittelsen fan fascinated by the crackling for the Cathrineholm sounds of a spinning record. factory in Norway. Crosley Radio, a classic brand Fresh, contemporary dating to the earliest days of takes on Scandinavian radio, offers a variety of tableware abound, models, including the Memory from Marimekko’s Master II. This turntable, in bright classics to the black or paprika, plays vinyl, retro retakes from CDs and cassettes, has an Sagaform, created by AM/FM radio and a USB a platoon of young feature compatible with PCs Swedish designers. and Macs for ripping and Typewriters have editing audio content. seized the imagination Retro-style headphones also of the Facebook appeal to young music fans generation. Search who appreciate both 1970s By the book: a guide to iconic menswear local antique stores design and contemporary high and thrift shops for fidelity. Eskuché’s Control, an antique brands and restored classics. on-ear style headphone, comes in basic Women with a penchant for the sound of black, shrimp, salmon and gold. keystroke may enjoy a 1950s Royal Teens also may enjoy capturing the portable typewriter in bright pink, or moment on old-fashioned film with a typewriter-inspired jewelry like a key Lomo LC-A, a cheap camera first designed bracelet or custom key earrings. in the Soviet era. Lomography rocketed to fame with this imperfect old camera (now For teens produced in China) that produces Young people on a quest for fresh, unexpected distortions, such as light leaks individual style have led the way in and saturated colours that give photos a refining the vintage aesthetic. To please a classic, artistic look. The Diana F+ is an 20-something, though, a vintage gift must update on a cheap 1960s camera known possess retro flair along with techno for delivering dreamy exposures. geewhizery. © CTW Features Old-fashioned vinyl records are on a

The Memory Master II turntable, conversant with PCs and Macs, above Old-school style: a brand new 1980s-style digital watch with stretch strap, right

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Sensible planning makes for smart holiday shopping The holiday season is among the most stressful times of year. With long lists of things to do, meals to prepare, family and friends to entertain, and gifts to buy, many people embark on the holiday season with more fear than cheer. Many people trying to spend less these days, so preparing for the holidays has become that much more challenging. But by planning in advance and establishing a holiday shopping game plan, men and women can save money and maintain their peace of mind.

Start at the bottom line The best way to avoid overspending during the holidays is to establish a budget — and then stick to it. Before making any holiday purchases, determine a holiday spending limit that is acceptable to you and your spouse or partner. The figure should include not only the cost of gifts, but expected expenditures for holiday entertainment and entertaining, decorations, travel, and items such as clothing and home improvements.

Know as you go Know what portion of a holiday budget is for gifts and keep a running total of expenditures as you shop. This way, you will have a sense of where you stand at any given point in the shopping season and can adjust accordingly.

Be an informed shopper There are deals galore in the run-up to the holidays and it pays to compare prices and offers before making any purchases. Check newspaper and online ads as well as retailers' websites to determine both where and when you can get the best deal.

Make a list and check it twice Plan your purchases ahead of time to avoid impulse buying. By having a gift in mind for each person on your list, you will save time, money and headaches.

Consider family gifts If there are a number of families on your gift list, consider giving a single gift — or gift basket — that everyone can enjoy. A waffle iron or ice cream maker, for example, is a gift that foodie families will savour for years to come.

Give the gift of your time Some of the most cherished gifts have no price tag attached. Homemade gift certificates for things like car washing, dishwashing, babysitting, lawn mowing and closet cleaning are always wonderful and welcome. As the giver, just make sure to make good on your promise.

TOYSthrough history that caused a shopping frenzy

'T

was the night before Christmas when all through the store, parents seek the hottest toy, while sales clerks shout, "No more!" Few holiday seasons have come and gone without a must-have toy causing pandemonium among shoppers. In the months leading up to Christmas, one toy always seems to grab kids' attention and become a must-have item. These could be quirky, digital-voiced animals or video game consoles. Naturally, children put these gifts on their letters to Santa or wish lists. But as the days wind down to Christmas, manufacturers often cannot meet the demand for the season’s most popular item. It’s then left to parents to find the toys and gadgets by whatever means necessary. Certain toys throughout history have caused a frenzy that has resulted in desperate parents scouring wiped-out toy stores or making black-market deals to land themselves a hot toy. Here is a list of them, courtesy of MSNBC. • Shirley Temple Doll (1934): Shirley Temple was the inspiration behind the first recorded toy to cause a shopping frenzy. The demand for the doll elevated after the actress's breakout film, Bright Eyes, was released three days before Christmas. • G.I. Joe (1964): Hasbro came up with the male action figure after watching Barbie dolls become such a popular toy for tots. The action figures were an instant hit, garnering over $16 million in 1964 alone. • Star Wars Action Figures (1977): No one expected George Lucas' franchise to become such a smash hit. The merchandising company associated with the project didn't have time to make associated toys beyond a few board games and colouring books once Star Wars fever took hold. Therefore, “Early Bird Certificate” vouchers were sold and the action figures were shipped out a few months later. These action figures can still thrill, with eBay auctions bringing in $1,200 and up for figures that once retailed for just a few dollars. • Cabbage Patch Kids (1983): What little girl in the mid-1980s didn't want a chubby-faced Cabbage Patch Kid to adopt as her very own? The demand for this fad

Not wanting to see the disappointed look on a little one’s face when he finds that the toy he was hoping for is not in the bottom of his stocking, parents have battled the crowds in toystore line-ups or made black-market deals to land the year’s most sought-after toys. As far back as the 1930s, parents have made great efforts to get hold of those hard-to-find toys and ensure that their children are not disappointed on Christmas Day. -Photo by Wendy Livingstone doll became so heated that adults fought over them and price gouging ensued. • Teddy Ruxpin (1985): If kids weren't seeking a Cabbage Patch doll, they may have been hoping to find a Teddy Ruxpin doll under their tree. Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic bear who interacted with the child and told stories. It was based on the animated figures kids would see at theme parks or at their local play areas. Shortages around the holidays played into frenzied behavior. The doll was expensive for its day, coming in at around $70. • Tickle Me Elmo (1996): Sesame Street fans fell right into the hype offered by Tyco Toys and Children's Television Workshop. Stampedes occurred in toy stores, people were injured and reports of extreme price gouging ensued, all in an

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effort for people to get their hands on the giggling, red furball. • Furby (1998): This creature reminiscent of the popular 1980s film Gremlins came out of the box speaking its own language and slowly learned English over time. The animated pet/friend became the must-have toy of the year, but production numbers were scant compared to demand. • Nintendo Wii (2006): Video game aficionados were wowed by the motionsensing game controllers of this new system. This helped push the Wii to the top spot for video game consoles for that year and created a demand that led to limits on units purchased, diminished inventory, and even vouchers or wrist bands being offered by stores to allow customers to get their hands on the Wii.

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CHRISTMAS & NEW YEARS PARTY SUPPLIES

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Sleigh Ride Mitchell Parish, Leroy Anderson 1948

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you, Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoo hoo," Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.

There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, When they pass around the chocolate and the pumpkin pie It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives!

Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, let's go, Let's look at the show, We're riding in a wonderland of snow Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, it's grand, Just holding your hand, We're gliding along with a song of a wintry fairy land.

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoo hoo," Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.

Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, let's go, Let's look at the show We're riding in a wonderland of snow Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, it's grand, Just holding your hand We're gliding along with a song of a wintry fairy land.

There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray It'll be the perfect ending a perfect day We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop At the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop. Pop! pop! pop!

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.

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Traditional

GINGER COOKIES

Christmas baking making the holidays sweeter

By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products

C

hristmas baking is a timehonoured tradition in many homes. When visitors come calling over the holidays, presenting a fancy tray of different cookies and “dainties” is practically a requirement. While everyone has their own traditional sweets, some treats are fairly unique to Christmastime. A gingerbread house makes an impressive holiday centerpiece, and is a great way to get everyone involved in the festivities. The basic cookie structure is fairly simple, but decorating the house with a wide variety of your favorite candies is fun for everyone and will make your gingerbread construction project truly unique. Sugar cookies, also sometimes called Amish sugar cookies or Nazareth cookies, are a tradition dating back to 18th century Germany, and they are another terrific way to get creative during the holidays. Simple cookies can become Christmas trees, candy canes, or snowmen, with just a few candy accessories. Making these is another great way to spend time with your children. There are a myriad of shortbread cookie recipes out there, and almost every family has a traditional one of their own. But whether you use brown sugar, berry sugar

or unique flavourings like mint or almond extract, these rich buttery cookies are a delicious staple for any holiday party tray. Yule logs, sometimes called chocolate logs or bûche de Noël, are log-shaped Christmas cakes that are an edible version of the traditional log-burned that was on the hearth during winter solstice. A French pastry chef in the 1800s came up with the idea of replacing the real log with cake, and the most common, bûche de Noël, is made of chocolate sponge cake and filled with rich whipped cream. Dusting your Yule log with powdered sugar to simulate snow will make it a perfect wintertime dessert. Fruitcake, commonly called Christmas cake in Canada, is a treat rarely seen at any other time of the year. Often a maligned gift between business associates, this dark, moist, fruit-filled cake is in fact a rich and delicious treat. Sometimes sweetened with almond paste or thick vanilla icing, and often bolstered with rum, fruitcake is a mixture of unique textures and has a taste that is pure Christmas. If you are looking to add variety to your usual holiday fare, consider a cookie swap at work or with friends. Each person in a group bakes one large batch of one type of cookie, and then brings them to the “swap,” where everyone has a chance to share out their treats, and bring home samples from other batches. It’s a great way to learn about other people’s traditions, make friends and fill your freezer with a variety of sweets for Christmas. In addition to being a perfect treat for

visitors, Christmas baking also makes a terrific gift. Wrapping up cookies or squares in pretty tins or reusable plastic containers is a great way to be eco-friendly and share a very personal gift. Whether it’s swapping Nanaimo bars for butter tarts, shipping a batch of shortbread to a special friend across the country or bringing out a tray of gingerbread men decorated by your children for guests, Christmas baking is a sure way to make the holidays happy and sweet.

3/4 cup shortening 1 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1/4 cup molasses 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt Extra sugar for topping Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream shortening with sugar. Stir in egg, then molasses. In a separate bowl, sift together all remaining dry ingredients. Stir into the molasses mixture to form a stiff dough. Roll into balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat. Place one inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake approximately 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies Veronica Rhodes Deputy Editor Leader-Post

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Crown the family feast by serving the perfect pie (NC) — Dessert is your menu's grand finale, so why not serve the most popular sweet-treat of all? Connoisseurs tell us, “don't be shy to make a pie,” even if you've never done it before. The anticipation of an oven-warm pie is tantalizing for them, rewarding for you — and with a dependable recipe in hand, it takes just a little guidance to perfect it. So what makes a perfect pie? “It starts with a willing chef as well as a few insider tips and tricks to make the flakiest crust plus an irresistible filling,” said Sonia Derhak at ACH Food Company, “and every great pie should give you a taste surprise. “How about, for example, the fascinating combination of delicate pear with a touch of ginger? The flavour is sensational. It's fresh but exciting at the same time and sweetened elegantly with a touch of corn syrup.” Located near Toronto, the ACH Food Company distributes a range of baking products including popular corn syrup brands like Beehive, Crown Golden, and Crown Lily White. The company also publishes a booklet called Perfect Pies For All Seasons, featuring 16 tantalizing recipes and available for the

mailing charge of two dollars if you send it to: 2730 Brighton Road, Unit B2, Oakville, Ontario L6H 5T4. Or, take a look at these quick tips, all as easy as pie: • If water is required for the crust, chill it ice-cold to interact correctly with very cold butter or shortening. This will give you the flakiest pastry. • The juice of fruit fillings tends to seep into the dough. Prevent this by shielding the bottom crust with one of these: finely ground nuts; a mixture of flour and sugar; or a light layer of egg white. • Corn syrup delivers just the right sweetness and texture for almost any pie filling. • Hot air bubbles can split the top crust. To prevent this, insert a vent in the centre of the pie for the steam to escape. A piece of tubeshaped macaroni is ideal. • For a golden crust, brush the top with milk just before baking. •If you want to freeze the pie, brush the crust with melted butter to prevent it from drying out. www.newscanada.com

PEAR PIE WITH GINGER TOPPING TOPPING: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup slivered almonds 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

LIGHT-AND-FLAKY PIE PASTRY (NC) — Serve a flaky pie crust without the heavy fats of shortening or lard. This recipe shows you how to do it with delicious vegetable oil. Combined with the sensational fillings of pumpkin, pecan, apple, or banana, the possibilities are endless. Ingredients 2-1/2 cups flour 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 2/3 cup Mazola Veg Plus (vegetable and canola oil blend) 6 tablespoons cold water Mix flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Pour oil and water into measuring cup — do not stir. Add liquids all at once to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until just moistened. Divide dough into two balls. Roll each ball between two sheets of waxed paper, forming a circle

approximately 12 inches in diameter. Note: Dampen work area by wiping with a wet dish cloth to prevent waxed paper from slipping. Remove top sheet of waxed paper; place hand under bottom sheet of paper and invert pastry into a pie plate, paper side up. Carefully remove paper while gently fitting pastry into plate (take care not to stretch pastry, as this will cause shrinkage). Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold extra pastry under (even with edge of pie plate). Flute edge using tines of fork or by creating a scallop pattern using fingers. Bake as directed in pie recipe. If recipe calls for a baked pie crust, generously prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Bake at 400° F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack before filling. Note: Makes two 9-inch, single crust pie pastries or one double-crust pie pastry.

FILLING: 3 tablespoons Fleischmann's Canada corn starch 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup BeeHive golden corn syrup 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1 teaspoon lemon juice 4 medium-size fresh pears, cored, peeled, thinly sliced (about 4-1/2 cups) 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust Vanilla or coffee-flavoured ice cream, optional Preheat oven to 400° F. For topping: mix flour, brown sugar and butter until coarse crumbs form. Stir in nuts and ginger; set aside. For filling: combine corn starch, lemon peel, ginger and salt in a large bowl. Stir in corn syrup, butter and lemon juice until smooth. Add pears, tossing until well-coated with corn syrup mixture. Spoon into unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle topping over filling. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until topping and crust are browned. Cool. Serve with vanilla or coffee-flavoured ice cream, if desired. www.newscanada.com Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes Yield: 1 pie

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Tea for the Heart collection from TeaForte

TatshteeSeason It’s time to eat, drink and be merrily generous.

By Mary Connors CTW Features

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as anyone ever made a truly grand entrance empty-handed? ’Tis the season to arrive at the homes of friends and family with a smile on your face and a small gift for the hosts — and there’s no better offering than a little somethin’ somethin.’ Gifts of food and drink needn’t be costly. A little sweet, a little gourmet treat — the newer and more uncommon, the better — is the perfect holiday calling card. Present it

home brew kit includes a two-gallon festively wrapped and fermenting container in the shape of a beer beribboned and you’re sure to be barrel, eight plastic bottles, caps and labels, welcomed back next time. Here are and the ingredients that will produce two some ideas: gallons of beer in 14 days. Throw Indulge your favorite in a six-pack of your favorite locavore with a mushroom local brew to get the brewing kit from Back to the Roots. party started. Find a store using Anyone with a taste for the locator link at mrbeer.com. risotto al funghi and a Give ’em a pop and they’ll be windowsill can grow 1.5 happy. Kids decorate their own pounds of oyster mushrooms holiday treats with a do-itin just ten days, right from yourself lollipop kit from the box. Kencraft Candy. The pops, Local craft brews are decorations and icing are edible. popping up everywhere — Booger. Vomit. Earwax. including, with any luck at Earthworm. Chances are, there’s all, a kitchen near you. With a Harry Potter fan in your life a beer-making kit, beer fans Bertie Bott’s that will fall on the floor can out-micro the Every-Flavour Beans laughing, more than once, as he microbrewers. A Mr.Beer

offers you a taste from the Jelly Belly box of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans. Insist on a blue one — innocent blueberry — and you may make it to dessert. TeaForte’s Tea for the Heart heart-shaped box contains sachets of green tea rich in antioxidants that benefit heart health. The company is promoting heart health for women in partnership with womenheart.org. The best gifts come wrapped with a story. Théo Chocolate’s new treat is made with “ghost chile,” reputed to be one of the hottest peppers in the world. Who are we to argue? Ghost Chile Salted Caramels are dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with organically-grown peppers and Hawaiian red sea salt, a startling combination of sweet and heat. The candy won an award at the summer 2011 Fancy Food Show. © CTW Features

Greetings of the Season The management manaagemen agement g and staff would like to take this opportu unity to wish everyone Happy Holidays, opportunity th hank you yo for your patronage in 2010. and thank lo ook forward forw We look to serving you in 2011.

1743 McAra Street

757-2284 1-866-373-2638 www.bathfittersk.ca w

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You Put the Pie Where? By: Daniela Garcia CTW Features

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fter one Thanksgiving jam-packed with desserts, Charles Phoenix took it upon himself to create what has since been dubbed the turducken* of holiday

desserts. “A year and a half ago, I was looking at the pile of trash filled with all these baked goods and thought, ‘we need to be more green, we’re wasting too many plates’,” said Phoenix, an author and pop-culture humourist. “So I ended up baking our pies into the cakes and so that was how the cherpumpple was born.” What exactly is the cherpumpple, you ask? It’s Phoenix’s three-layer piecake, which is made of an apple pie baked into a spice cake, a pumpkin pie in a yellow cake and a cherry pie in a white cake, all covered in whipped cream frosting. The super-dessert is as gigantic as it sounds, and at his family’s next Thanksgiving dinner, Phoenix presented it to his family. Their reaction? “They loved it, of course,” he said. “At first, they were a little horrified, but they realized it was delicious, and then it was completely gone.” Since then, Phoenix’s triple-layer phenomenon has caught on, with fans sending in photos and videos of their own attempts at baking the cherpumpple. “The craziest one was a couple of pastry chefs who made versions that were absolutely beautiful, like picture perfect,” Phoenix said. “My version is a little drunk, a little ‘I Love Lucy’-style.” One professional bakery that’s also picked up on the piecake trend is Three Brothers Bakery. Janice Jucker, co-owner of the bakery with husband and fifth-generation baker Bobby Jucker, explained that they were approached by Greg Morago, an editor at the Houston Chronicle, to create Phoenix’s dessert with a slight modification. “We were named best mail-order pecan pie before Thanksgiving last year by Country Living [magazine],” Jucker explained. “Greg had heard about the cherpumpple and thought that pumpkin, apple and pecan would be the best combination instead, and came to us. Things just kind of spiralled from there.” While Bobby sat down and worked out the baking logistics, Janice helped smooth out a new name for their piecake: the pumpecapple. Coming in at a foot tall and weighing anywhere upward of 25 pounds, the first version was cut into large slices with the use of a machete. The Juckers also used a cream cheese frosting, drizzled the piecake in caramel and trimmed it with pecans. The article about the creation of the pumpecapple ran a few days before Thanksgiving last year. “It was really just a joke to us,” Jucker

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explained. “But we sold 15 in a day, and it was the day before Thanksgiving.” A few months later, Three Brothers Bakery was featured on The Food Network’s Outrageous Food and has since added the pumpecapple to its list of regular baked goods. The Juckers are anticipating quite a few orders for the holidays. “For now, we’re trying to figure out how to ship them out,” Jucker said. “People from all over try to order it.” For those brave enough to try and make their own piecake at home, Phoenix suggests baking the pies in advance and letting them cool overnight. The tip also applies once the pies have been baked into the cakes. Also, Phoenix encourages bakers to use extra frosting, to help keep the layers from collapsing. “It’s a spectacle, a conversation piece,” Phoenix explained. “When you serve this, be prepared for some people to turn up their noses. But trust me, they’ll come to their senses within minutes and beg for a piece.” © CTW Features * A turducken is a dish that consists of a deboned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which is then stuffed into a de-boned turkey.

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Remember the turducken? Piecakes are the next big thing — literally — in holiday mega foods. Photos courtesy The Three Brother’s Bakery


CRAFTING CHRISTMAS Impress your guests and get the kids involved with a hot new book this season. By Bettina Chang

CTW Features

HOLIDAY CRAFTING & BAKING WITH KIDS By Jessica Strand Chronicle Books (2011) This beautifully illustrated book gives a 360-degree view of how to get kids involved during the holidays. The easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by stencils and templates to make them even more user-friendly. From autumn-inspired centerpieces, to Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, and New Year’s celebrations, Jessica Strand offers simple but gorgeous projects to make each holiday special. The book includes a healthy dose of baked goods that double as decorations and gifts, for those who love to multitask. All projects are suitable for children aged seven or older, and some are appropriate for the little ones, as well. (photo courtesy Chronicle Books) © CTW Features

Have a safety plan for kids while holiday shopping It's easy for children to get lost in big crowds. According to safety expert Alyssa Dver, founder of the Center to Prevent Lost Children, statistics indicate that 90 per cent of families will experience losing a child in a public place. Twenty per cent have lost a child more than once. This can be traumatizing for children, with 95 per cent remembering the trauma of getting lost. Establishing a safety plan with children on what to do, should they get lost, might help reduce time spent looking for lost kids. • Place your cell phone number in the child's pocket or in his shoe so kids have your number with them at all times. • Take a photo of your child before going out so you'll have the most recent picture, including what she is wearing. Try to dress your child brightly so she will stand out in a crowd. • Instruct the child to look for a “Mommy” for help. Women are less likely to be predators and will often help a child who is lost. • Don't dress your child in something that has his name on it. Strangers can call the name and confuse the child into thinking it's safe to go with them.

One-of-a-kind Saskatchewan Finds!

Proceeds from sales in the store go to support the h many activities ti iti off the Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Gift Shops Royal Sask Museum Lobby 2445 Albert St Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4W7 • 306-757-5951 | Lower Level of Legislative Building 2405 Legislative Dr, Regina, SK S4S 0B3 • 306-569-3155

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Down Home for the Holidays The queen of Southern cuisine discusses her signature design style and Christmastime at her house

By Cathy Cassata CTW Features he’s got it all — a TV show, restaurants, cookbooks and product lines. Whatever Paula Deen dishes out, she does it with that down-home style that’s unique to only her. We caught up with Deen to chat about her plans for the holidays and how she brings her signature style to seasonal décor.

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Although her brand has expanded to encompass many products, food is still at the centre of Deen’s universe. This is apparent from the way she talks about Christmas dinner at her house. Thirty of her closest family members and friends share an enormous home-cooked meal, which features beef, ham, turkey and side dishes galore. Dessert includes ambrosia with cream sauce, coconut cake, red velvet cake and

Japanese fruit cake. “As a kid, I knew when that Japanese fruit cake showed up on the counter, Santa Claus wasn’t far behind,” Deen said. “My grandmother and mother always made one on Christmas Eve.” Coconut cake is her favourite. “I put fresh holly and red berries on it, and it just screams Christmas.” Continued on Page 63

Like her design style, Paul Deen strives to make the holidays at her home warm, cozy and meaningful. Here, Deen and her sons Bobby and Jamie present a classic Thanksgiving meal. Photos courtesy of Paula Deen

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Continued from Page 62 Her Southern style extends to the decorations in her home, which are as charming as the food. A 15-foot fake tree stands in her living room, while three real trees decorate her bedroom, kitchen foyer and game room. “It’s so much fun pulling out my ornaments each year,” Deen said. “My favourites are the ones of my kids from when they were little.” Deen is a big fan of natural decorations that can tickle more than one of the senses. “We pull most of the things we use out of the yard, and I love using real food to decorate the mantel,” she said. Her musthave decoration is a homemade apple tree. “You can buy little wooden trees with nails sticking out to place the apples on, then you put greenery in between all the apples and a pineapple on top. It’s gorgeous and real and smells absolutely amazing.” Deen brought her design sensibilities to her own line of furniture from Universal Furniture: the Paula Deen Home Collection. She recently added 42 pieces to the original 50-piece collection. “My furniture screams, ‘Y’all come on in and get comfortable,’” she said. “It wraps its arms around you when you walk into a room. It’s homey, yet elegant, and each

piece has style, value and is affordable.” Some furniture pieces are inspired by Deen’s own furniture, and some are named after family members. But Deen’s favourite piece is the Bag Lady’s Cabinet from the line’s first series. “I love utilitarian things. Other than just being pretty, I like for them to have a purpose,” she said. “This particular piece has a glass top and drawers underneath, and can be useful in any room.” Comfort, family and purpose are three themes that describe her furniture — and her holiday entertaining style. The “purpose” part is particularly important during Christmas. While Deen said she loves the holiday, she doesn’t like the hectic feeling of choosing the right gifts for everyone. To her, the meaning of Christmas is giving back to those less fortunate. Last year, Deen’s family and friends began giving gifts to needy families rather than each other. They even personally delivered the gifts on Christmas Eve. “It reminded us all what Christmas is really about,” she said. “I can’t wait to do it again.” © CTW Features

Whimsical Kissing Balls (Adapted with permission from pauladeen.com) (photo by Chia Chong) These imaginative updates of Victorian kissing balls make perfect Christmas ornaments for your home. The handmade kissing balls are easy to make and a fun, quick project that you can do with your children.

A brief history of kissing balls In England during the Middle Ages, prototypes of kissing balls were made of evergreen branches entwined into a rough globe shape. A small clay figure of the baby Jesus was nestled in the center of the sprigs of greenery. The “holy boughs,” as they were called, were hung from the ceiling to render blessings and good luck to all who passed under them. During the reign of Queen Victoria, variations of our modern traditions became popular, such as the Christmas tree and the concept of the kissing ball. Potatoes or apples were used as decorations, with sprigs of evergreen, holly, herbs and flowers wrapped around and tied with a pretty ribbon. The herbs, flowers and plants had symbolic meanings to Victorians, and one could personalize the kissing ball according to the message of love, affection, loyalty, peace and more. Paula Deen and her test kitchen have modernized kissing balls with nuts and candies of the season, to bring colour and cheer to your holiday home. MATERIALS: 6-inch floral foam balls “U”-shaped floral pins Hot glue gun and glue sticks Decorative ribbons Candies or nuts in shells Spray paint in colours that coordinate with candies and nuts DIRECTIONS: 1. Spray paint the foam ball the colour of your desired candy or nut decoration, and let it dry. 2. Put a bead of hot glue on both ends of the U-shaped pin and insert the pin into the foam ball, allowing the top to extend about 1/4-inch above the surface of the foam ball. 3. Apply hot glue to the candies or nuts and arrange all over the foam ball. Let it stand until the glue is completely dry, about two hours. 4. Thread a ribbon through the top of the “U”-shaped pin to hang the kissing ball. Tie a smaller length of ribbon into a bow on the first ribbon for an extra flair, if desired.

Paula Deen’s family-style table is meant to draw people together in a chic and relaxed dining atmosphere.

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Make your home safe and cozy

FOR THE HOLIDAYS By Michele Tyndall For L-P Specialty Products

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hristmas is the ultimate time to gather loved ones together, including your children and pets. When your holidays include young people — or cats and dogs — some proactive measures should be taken to be sure that everyone’s holidays are safe and happy. A common image in a holiday home is a cozy fire on the hearth. But remember, pets and children can be curious creatures, so be sure to keep your fireplace under a sturdy cover that’s too heavy for little ones to move. And it’s best not to burn wrapping paper in your fireplace, as it can create an unusually hot fire that could cause burns. Like the Yule log, lit candles on tables or in your Christmas centerpiece, while beautiful, can be dangerous around children and pets. Consider the use of electronic tea lights or other non-flammable lights instead, and keep candles well clear of curtains and dried plants. Angela Prawzick, public education officer for Regina Fire and Protective Services, adds another precaution, saying that lit candles should never be left unattended. “If you leave the room, blow out the candles,” she said. “It’s easier to put out a candle than to rebuild your whole house.” Be sure to keep matches and lighters out of reach. During holiday parties, it’s easy to forget or not notice other people’s matches because your house is full of visitors, but even children as young as three can manipulate a child-resistant lighter. A child getting their hands on matches and lighters is one of the primary fire risks at any time. Cooking-related fires are on the increase, and even more so during the holidays, when children, pets and visitors can distract us from the pots and pans on the stove. In Regina, there were 19 cookingrelated fires in 2004. This figure increased to 48 in 2010. “These are considered unintentional fires. They are not accidental; they are the result of careless behavior,” said Prawzick. “Turn off the stove if you have to leave the room. Better a late dinner than no dinner at all.” Most people know to keep mistletoe, holly and poinsettia plants away from pets, but these plants also make children ill, so if they are part of your holiday décor, be sure

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to keep them above little hands and mouths. As long as there have been decorated trees in people’s houses, there have been safety concerns that go along with them. Having children or pets in your family may mean making some changes to your Christmas tree. The first thing to remember is to set up your Christmas tree away from doorways. You never want to block exits in case of an emergency. Some people simply use child-proof gates at the entrance of the room where the Christmas tree is set up. This has the added advantage of keeping curious present-shakers away as well. But there are some simple decorating tips that can allow everyone access to the tree. Be sure your tree has a sturdy base so it can’t be easily toppled. If you have a live tree, cut off the base of your tree so it can absorb more water and be less of a fire risk. You’ll want to use a large container to keep your tree properly watered, but don’t worry about how it looks. A tree skirt will beautify the base of your tree, and will also keep cats and dogs from trying to drink out of the stand. Just in case, though, stay away from any plant additives and stick with natural water. If pets or children are thinking the branches on your tree look good enough to eat, there are non-toxic sprays with flavours such as bitter apple that are unappealing to pets and little ones, and will keep them away from the tree without spoiling the atmosphere for you. And always keep the area around your tree vacuumed or swept, so that pets and children can’t get their hands, paws or mouths on needles or fallen ornaments. Tinsel can be a serious health threat to pets and children if ingested, so be sure to clean up any that falls from the tree, keep it up high, or skip it altogether. Choose sturdier ornaments for the lower branches, or try edible decorations, such as popcorn balls, candy canes or gingerbread men instead of glass or metal. Ribbons instead of wire hooks to attach your ornaments are not only safer, but prettier and more colourful. With lights, check your wires for fraying, and replace them if they are damaged. Don’t overload the sockets, and raise or wrap the wires as pets may try to chew on them. Shut off the lights at night to avoid overheating. Prawzick said that your lights

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must be CSA or ULC approved. “This means they have been tested for safety standards and passed,” she added. The glow of Christmas lights capture eyes and hearts during the holidays, and following a few common sense rules will ensure enjoyment for everyone. Sharing all the beauty of Christmas with your children and pets may mean making some changes to your traditional decorating, but it is worth it to be aware of potential safety risks and not fall victim to them. There are, however, no guarantees that you will never have to deal with a fire in your home, so being prepared for such an event is important. “This is the perfect time to sit down with your children and discuss your safety plan if there is a fire. Be sure you know what exits everyone will use and where everyone will meet,” said Prawzick. And what could be a better Christmas gift than the peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your family are safe By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that all the members of your family are safe this Christmas. and cozy for the holidays.

Drop Off or Mail your letters to: Leader-Post Letters to Santa c/o Box 1130, Regina, SK S4P 3B4


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H

oliday

Don’t let ugly holiday sweaters hide in your closet all year – upcycle them for beautiful sweater crafts.

SweaterRedux Sweater By Lindsey Romain CTW Features

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oliday sweaters have become something of a kitschy novelty in recent years, with ugly Christmas sweater parties frequenting holiday calendars. Luckily, ugly sweater parties aren’t the only way to get extended use from these Christmas gift staples. “We all have a pile of sweaters in our closets that are

sewing machine) and turn these sweaters into quilts or pillowcases, but a little extra time and creativity can go a long way. Yarn from old sweaters is an easy workable material. It can be deconstructed and saved for future use or turned into felt and transformed into a brand new holiday decoration.

THE LONGEST YARN

The first step is to properly deconstruct a sweater. If the goal is to simply preserve the yarn for later, start with the seams. “The key is to rip seams and not the yarn that was actually used in the knitted fabric,” said Jared Flood, a knitwear designer, author and creator of Brooklyn Tweed, a blog that features his patterns and designs. “It's best to use a seam ripper and good light. Any rips in the yarn will mean your yarn will have that many breaks in it when you unravel each piece.” Avoid collar areas covered in seams to prevent complication and frustration. “I just cut a piece on the row below the neck opening and leave those few inches as waste,” Flood said. He suggests then winding the deconstructed yarn around the back of a chair or a yarn swift to get the kinks out. Soak it in warm water, and then dry it with weights on the end to keep it straight. Sweater flowers, top, are an easy way to repurpose sweater material. The instructions (photos on left, text on opposite page) are simple and possibilities are endless. IT FELT RIGHT Photos courtesy of Heather Thoming Try “felting” the yarn. This is a simple process, and sometimes one that occurs by accident when sweaters are machine-washed in hot water. outdated or have stains or snags that make them “Felting basically means that the sweater shrinks in irreparable,” said Heather Thoming, who runs hot water and the fibers become more tightly WhipperBerry, a blog where she posts crafts and other connected,” said Hester Burch, creator of Fun In the creative project ideas. “Why not repurpose them to Making, a craft-inspiration blog. “This felted wool is make an accessory for your wardrobe or other fun craft then great to use in craft projects because the edges do projects?” not fray.” The easy answer is to grab a needle and thread (or Continued on Page 67

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Must Be Santa Let it Snow!

Who's got a beard that's long and white Santa's got a beard that's long and white

Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne (c) 1945 Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've no place to go, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Who comes around on a special night Santa comes around on a special night Special Night, beard that's white

It doesn't show signs of stopping, And I brought some corn for popping; The lights are turned way down low, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Clause

When we finally say good night, How I'll hate going out in the storm; But if you really hold me tight, All the way home I'll be warm.

Who wears boots and a suit of red Santa wears boots and a suit of red

The fire is slowly dying, And, my dear, we're still good-bye-ing, But as long as you love me so. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Who wears a long cap on his head Santa wears a long cap on his head Cap on head, suit that's red Special night, beard that's white

Continued from Page 66

REDUCE, REUSE, UPCYCLE Save preserved yarn for later, or cut felted yarn into holiday shapes that can be used for Christmas tree ornaments, as Burch instructs on her blog with a polar bear ornament. She suggests drawing or printing a stencil and using a fine-point

washable marker to trace it. Add embellishments as desired, like beads for eyes or thread-embroidered smiles and features. Thoming suggests making sweater flowers, which can be used as embellishments on sweater decoration projects or even as personal accessories (see below for instructions).

Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Clause Who's got a big red cherry nose Santa's got a big red cherry nose Who laughs this way HO HO HO Santa laughs this way HO HO HO

HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that's red Special night, beard that's white Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Clause Who very soon will come our way Santa very soon will come our way Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh Santa's little reindeer pull his sleigh Reindeer sleigh, come our way HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that's red Special night, beard that's white Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Clause Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen Reindeer sleigh, come our way HO HO HO, cherry nose Cap on head, suit that's red Special night, beard that's white Must be Santa Must be Santa Must be Santa, Santa Clause

© CTW Features

How to make sweater flowers “Sweater flowers are a fantastic way to dress up a fun hairdo or a Christmas package,” said Heather Thoming of WhipperBerry blog.

STEP 1: Deconstructing. Cut the sleeves of the sweater into four- to five-inch rounds STEP 2: Sew a basting stitch along the bottom of the sweater round, being sure to catch both layers.

STEP 3: Pull the thread while continuing the basting stitch, gather, and tie a knot to secure. STEP 4: This should create a flower-like shape that can be further decorated with buttons or other fabrics.

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OPTIONAL: Try adding these flowers to a sweater frame, which can be created by sewing segments of trimmed sweater around a picture frame.

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My Christmas Tree,

My Way

A themed tree is an easy and inexpensive way to think outside the decorations box this year

a beach theme could incorporate a pearl-bead garland or fish netting. “We once used a golf bag as the base/tree stand for a golf-themed tree,” Schlegel said. Want to go for, say, a Harry Potter-themed tree? “The number one thing is to find a major element that symbolizes Harry Potter, whether it’s a Hogwarts sign or book or hat or even a picture, if framed and made your focal point. Or maybe the Sorting Hat,” Pranga said. “Then you can buy some elements. Maybe a Harry Potter ornament. Often, you can raid the Halloween ornament department.” Supporting players, in this case, would be coloured ornaments — maybe Gryffindor house colours of scarlet and gold, or Slytherin colours of green and silver, he said. Basic glass ornaments would fill the empty spaces. A bonus with this theme is that the following year, a couple of ornament substitutions transform it to a Twilight-themed By Cheryl V. Jackson tree, Pranga said. CTW Features Schlegel suggested ways of decorating in other schemes: ulling together a themed Christmas LOVE-PEACE-PIZZA TREE: Use large, themed tree puts a personal touch on holiday items (pizza boxes, peace signs) as focal decorating, and it doesn’t have to be points and mix novelty lights with regular a stressful task. lights, such as pizza slice lights grouped in “You can theme a tree basically with one pizza boxes. item,” said Bob Pranga, celebrity stylist and WINE AND CHEESE TREE: Use a cork garland owner of Dr. Christmas. From top left, counterclockwise: Beach, farmer’s market and wedding cake trees at Bronner’s Christmas with berries, grape lights and wine and Wonderland; and Wizard of Oz tree from Dr. Christmas. “If you do a beautiful red tree, the minute cheese ornaments. Place the base in an Old (photos courtesy of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and Dr. Christmas, respectively) you put a picture of Judy Garland, or World-style cart. something symbolic of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ all FOOTBALL TREE: Use larger items, such as of a sudden it becomes a Wizard of Oz tree,” She suggested choosing non-traditional tree One benefit of themed Christmas trees is footballs, megaphones and goal posts crafted Pranga said. In the same manner, a soccer toppers, stands and bases that match themes that most people already have the items that from PVC pipes as focal points. ball in the middle of a tree immediately gives (a top hat works for a snowman tree); can serve as ornaments, especially if that FARMERS MARKET TREE: Decorate with it a sports theme, he said. incorporating novelty lights in addition to theme is a hobby. produce ornaments; top with a straw hat and Pranga suggested choosing decorations as regular tree lights to match your theme Other themed items can be purchased place the base in a bushel basket filled with if casting a movie; start with a star ornament. (tractor lights compliment a farm theme); and inexpensively. Mix those with traditional produce ornaments and lights. “Theming your tree comes down to your clustering them so they don’t get lost in the ornaments, said Sarah Schlegel, decorating NORTH COUNTRY TREE: Place birch branches focal point, your main thing, your star,” he trees. coordinator at Bronner’s Christmas within the tree along with hunting and other said. “Then your co-star and your next For example, she said, a baseball/softballWonderland. The store has designed trees northern-themed ornaments. favourite ornament; then feature players; and themed tree might feature a baseball glove with guitar, reptile, wedding cake and bunny © CTW Features extras are basic round balls.” with baseball novelty lights in the palm, while themes.

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Governmcelebrates ent Hothe useseason

By Tobie Hainstock For L-P Specialty Products

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njoy the magic of Christmas past at Government House from November 16 to January 8. Donned with nostalgic decorations, this spectacular facility is a wonder for young and old alike that brings Christmas of yesterday to life. Take in the enchantment of history coming to life as you experience the museum, interpretive centre, exhibits, programming and Once Upon a Time Room free of charge.

ONCE UPON A TIME ROOM The Once Upon a Time Room encourages creativity and hands-on play. Children of all ages enjoy exploring the various themes throughout the year including A Visit from St. Nicholas from November to January.

YULETIDE MUSIC FOR ALL What are the holidays without fantastic music to brighten the season? The Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Dickens Yuletide Singers offer musical entertainment that will put even the ‘Scroogiest’ person into the Spirit of Christmas. The RSO Chamber Players offer a wonderful series of unforgettable performances throughout the year including during the Christmas season. Contact 7916391 for tickets and more information about the Government House Concert Series. Under the direction of Diane Burrows, the Dickens Yuletide Singers is a group of twelve talented singers dressed in traditional ‘Dickens era’ costumes. Performances this year will be on December 10 and 11 in the beautifully decorated ballroom at Government House. Although tickets are free, seating is limited so be sure to order them right away to avoid disappointment. To book your tickets or for more information about these highly popular performances, call 787-5363.

Regina’s Government House brings history alive. Above, a beautiful dining table, with a setting that is suitable for a visit from royalty, is on display. Left, Government House staff and Government House Historical Society volunteers prepare to welcome guests.

sandwiches, scones and a selection of delectable desserts. Make your reservations today by calling 787-5363.

HISTORIAL SOCIETY TEA Enjoy high tea at the Government House Historical Society Teas. These events take place at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at various dates throughout the year. Order tasty treats from the menu service, including finger

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AN OLD-FASHIONED VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS Don’t miss this hugely popular celebration hosted by the Provincial Capital Commission at Government House. This

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LEVEE A great way to kick off the New Year! The Levee is an open house where the public will have the opportunity to exchange New Year’s greetings with the province’s vice-regal couple, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and his wife. Enjoy refreshments and entertainment and take a tour of the museum. The Levee takes place January 1, 2012 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information call 787-4070 or visit www.ltgov.sk.ca.

A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER fun-filled family event will take place on December 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy a wide variety of indoor activities such as cookie decorating, carolling, storytelling and a visit from St. Nicholas. There will also be plenty of outdoor fun with horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the Edwardian Gardens.

With such a busy season ahead, don’t forget to have some fun and take in the wonderful events at Government House. Located at 4607 Dewdney Avenue, Government House is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. For more information, call 787-5773 or check out the website at www.governmenthouse.gov.sk.ca.


PISTACHIO AND SESAME CRACKERS 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour 3 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/3 cup olive oil (regular — not extravirgin) 1 cup warm water 1/4 cup black sesame seeds (see note) 1 cup chopped, roasted, salted pistachio nuts (about 1 1/3 cups whole) Coarse sea salt Brie, red grapes and/or other fruit.

Spread It Thin By Bev Bennett CTW Features If you still reach for a box of butterytasting crackers for the party cheese to rest on, you can find more appealing alternatives. Thanks to the cracker revival, you’re in for exciting new taste and texture sensations. “It keeps getting more interesting. I see more shapes and more flavours [of crackers],” said Kara Nielsen, trendologist at the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco. This generation of rustic crackers features aromatic herbs, whole grains, crunchy nuts and seeds, and olive oil. The ingredients speak to the fresh and healthy way you want to eat, according to

Give the party cheese the platform it truly deserves – a homemade cracker. They’re easy to make, taste great and there’s no frustrating packaging to try to open. •PROPORTION APPROPRIATELY Baking times depend on the thickness of the dough, not the surface area of the cracker. Cut the cracker dough into small squares for use with cheese or into large thin sheets for prosciutto.

Gail Cunningham, corporate executive chef at The Food Channel, a food marketing and trend company. You can buy these rough-hewn crackers in the best gourmet stores — or you can let loose your creativity and make your own for a holiday gathering. Get ready for compliments and maybe some leftover cheese as guests clamour for unadorned crackers.

•DO A TRIAL RUN Bake a small batch as directed, and cool. If the cracker bends instead of snapping in half, roll the next batch thinner. •USE TWO BAKING SHEETS Arrange dough on one sheet while the other is in the oven.

Here are some tips for starting: •EXPERIMENT WITH INGREDIENTS Replace pistachio nuts with pumpkin seeds, or use dried rosemary instead of cumin.

•PREP IN ADVANCE Make the crackers a day or two in advance if you prefer, but store in an airtight container to remain crisp. © CTW Features

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2. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out one dough portion at a time to a large sheet less than 1/8-inch thick. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into 16 to 18 crackers or shapes you prefer. Gently lift onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 400° F oven for 11 to 15 minutes. Start checking after 11 minutes — crackers should be golden brown on the edges and lightly browned in the center. Remove. Cool on wire rack. Makes about six dozen crackers. Note: Black sesame seeds are available in Asian sections of supermarkets.

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1. In an electric-mixer bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, wholewheat flour, sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin and paprika. Add oil and water, and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until a soft dough comes together. Beat in sesame seeds and pistachio nuts. Remove dough from mixer and separate into four balls; let rest 30 minutes.

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Soda time! By Lindsey Romain CTW Features ocializing is one of the joys of the holiday party, but no one likes to leave the conversation to fetch another drink from the kitchen. So bring the conversation to the drinks by setting up a homemade soda bar. It livens up the party and gives guests an opportunity to create their own fresh-flavoured drinks. “You can go as high-tech or as low-tech as you want,” said Jeremy Butler, the selfprofessed homemade soda expert who writes a blog of the same name. “It all depends on how you’re making and carbonating your soda, the amount of space you have and how much money you want to put into it.” More expensive routes involve converting chest freezers into chilled keg draft systems or bottling homemade club sodas, but, for an easy party set-up, all that’s needed is a carbonated water source and pre-made syrups for guests to mix and experiment as they please. The volume of flavours depends on the party, but Butler advised stocking up and being prepared. “I always go through more than I think I will,” he said, “so be sure to have extra syrup and carbonated water on hand.” Butler also said to allow plenty of space and to keep a checklist of other necessary items: syrups in easy-to-use dispensing bottles, clean glasses, adequate amounts of carbonated water and lots of ice. Keep cleaning materials nearby, because syrups can create a sticky mess. Purchasing premade syrups from the store may be easiest, but be warned: additives and artificial sweetening can muddle the ingredients list. Try making a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water. Or try other natural flavouring products, like agave syrup or honey. “Start with flavours that are nostalgic but basic,” said Butler. “If you can tap into what the main flavour components are in traditional holiday foods, you can probably adapt them into a soda: rum flavour and nutmeg for eggnog, peppermint for candy cane, molasses and ginger and cinnamon for gingerbread.” And don’t be afraid to experiment with more complex concoctions. Add milk to make a frothier, heartier drink, like an egg cream soda. Despite the name, egg cream sodas don’t actually contain egg; they get their name from the foam generated when the milk and carbonated water are combined. Try this recipe for a dark chocolate egg cream soda, excerpted from Homemade Soda by

Add a bit of fizz to your holiday party with a homemade soda bar.

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DARK CHOCOLATE EGG CREAM SYRUP 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup water 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Combine the sugar, cocoa powder and water in a small saucepan, and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the milk and vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, then chill. This syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. Makes 3 servings.

Andrew Schloss (Storey Publishing, 2011), or stick to Jeremy Butler’s recipes for candy cane and gingerbread sodas.

two cups of water separately for 30 minutes, covered. Let cool. Strain out the leaves and add to the sugar solution in place of extract. Makes 1 gallon.

CANDY CANE SODA 2 1/8 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 8 drops red food colouring (optional) cold carbonated water up to 1 gallon (2 2-liter bottles) 3 teaspoon peppermint extract or 3 peppermint tea bags or 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh peppermint leaves 1 cup water Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Let cool. Add food colouring and mint extract, ensure it is well blended. Add to carbonated water and mix gently until dissolved. If using tea bags or peppermint leaves, steep in

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GINGERBREAD SODA 2 1/8 cups sugar 1 cup water 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/8 cup caramel malt, cracked 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoon molasses 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon cloves cold carbonated water up to 1 gallon (2 2-liter bottles) Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar, bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes. Allow to cool. In a separate saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups water to just

To mix with seltzer 1/2 cup ice-cold chocolate egg cream syrup 1/4 cup crushed ice 3/4 cup seltzer, preferably from a siphon Combine the syrup and crushed ice in a tall glass. Add the seltzer, aiming it toward the side of the glass to encourage a large white head of foam to rise to the top. Makes 1 serving.

before boiling. You will see small bubbles form at the base of the pan, but they shouldn't rise to the top. Turn heat to low to maintain this temperature. Add in the caramel malt and all the spices. Steep for 30 minutes covered. Let cool. Strain out the grain and spice sediment and add to the sugar solution with the molasses. Add to carbonated water and mix gently until dissolved. Makes 1 gallon © CTW Features


Take 10: the year’s best children’s books

Book them and hook them In this age of digital technology and toy gadgetry, children may be keener to flip on the TV or shuffle their MP3 player than crack open a book. This holiday season, try reigniting their imagination with the gift of words. Here are some of 2011’s award-winning and honor books for young readers. – Lindsey Romain

1.

“Moon Over Manifest” by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press) Newbery Medal

2.

“Turtle In Paradise” by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House) Newbery Honor

3.

“Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus (Amulet Books) Newbery Honor

4.

“Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night” by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin) Newbery Honor

5.

“One Crazy Summer” by Rita WilliamsGarcia (Amistad) Newbery Honor

6.

“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press) Caldecott Medal

7.

“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave” by Laban Carrick, illustrated by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown and Company) Caldecott Honor

8.

9.

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“Interrupting Chicken” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick Press) Caldecott Honor “Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown and Company) Michael L. Printz Medal “Please Ignore Vera Dietz” by A.S. King (Knopf) Michael L. Printz Honor © CTW Features

Happy Holidays from the management & staff Thank you for your patronage in 2011 and we look forward to serving you in 2012.

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at

Thank you to all our customers for a wonderful 2011

2101 – 7th Ave 525-8301 www.richardsonlighting.com

1301 BROAD ST. 522-0000

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Take 10: top DVDs for the cable-free

Catching up with cable Don’t let those who’ve cut the cable miss out on their favourite shows. Holiday downtime is perfect for catching up on some of cable’s most popular and critically-acclaimed shows. Here are a few of last season’s biggest titles, available on DVD and Blu-ray. – Lindsey Romain

1.

Mad Men, Season Four (AMC/Lionsgate), DVD and Blu-ray

5.

The Walking Dead, Season One (AMC/Lionsgate), DVD and Blu-ray

8.

Louie, Season One (FX Network), DVD and Blu-ray

2.

Rizzoli and Isles, Season One (TNT/Warner Home Video) DVD

6.

Entourage, Season Seven (HBO Home Video), DVD and Blu-ray

9.

Weeds, Season Six (Showtime Entertainment), DVD and Blu-ray

3.

True Blood, Season Three (HBO Home Video) DVD and Blu-ray

4.

Dexter, Season Five (Showtime Entertainment) $39.99, DVD and Blu-ray

7.

Nurse Jackie, Season Two (Showtime Entertainment), DVD and Blu-ray

10.

Breaking Bad, Season Three (AMC/Lionsgate), DVD © CTW Features

We thank you for your patronage & wish you Happy Holidays!

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Take 10: chart-busting albums

Old-school vinyl spins again The music business is hurting, but LP vinyl records are back from the near-dead. Vinyl has captivated a new generation of music enthusiasts. For the third consecutive year, vinyl record sales increased, selling 2.8 million units, the most since 1991, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Introduce the music lover of the family to a whole new way of listening with one of 2010’s top-selling vinyl titles. – Lindsey Romain 1.

“Abbey Road,” The Beatles (Apple Records, 1969)

2.

“The Suburbs,” Arcade Fire (Merge Records, 2010), two-record set

3.

4.

“Brothers,” The Black Keys (Nonesuch Records, 2010), two-record set “Contra,” Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings, 2010)

5.

“Thriller,” Michael Jackson (Epic Records, 1982)

6.

“High Violet,” The National (4AD, 2010)

7.

“Teen Dream,” Beach House (Sub Pop, 2010)

8.

“Valleys of Neptune,” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Legacy Recordings, 2010)

9.

10.

“The Dark Side of the Moon,” Pink Floyd (Harvest Records/Capitol Records, 1973) “xx” The xx (Young Turks, 2009) © CTW Features

FROM STAFF AND MANAGEMENT

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Bright & Shiny Jewelry, the quintessential gift of luxury, love and passion, has come roaring back as the season’s best gift. By Nola Sarkisian-Miller CTW Features

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old prices may be hovering at stratospheric levels, but that’s not stopping well-heeled shoppers from indulging their jewelry habits. Retailers and designers say they’ve noticed an uptick in interest and sales for baubles, which bodes well for the holiday season. “There’s a demand for statement pieces, whether it’s an oversized cocktail ring or a dramatic cuff bracelet,” said Los Angeles jewelry designer, C.C. Skye, whose showy accessories have curried favour with boldfaced names like Halle Berry, Gwen Stefani and Kristin Cavallari. “They feel that we’ve been through the recession. We’ve lived it. We don’t want to live that lifestyle anymore. There’s still room for more celebration.” Customers may also justify the expense since jewelry can be reworked with a variety of wardrobe pieces, say retailers. “People may not be in the mood to buy shoes or clothes, but they know a fun piece of jewelry can make an outfit pop and can be worn again and again,” said Melissa Akkaway, owner of

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Beckley Boutique. When it comes to fashion jewelry, which usually tops out at $1,000, clean and spare necklaces sporting initials and quirky pendants are a key trend for the holidays. Another approachable line is Erica Weiner Jewelry, whose vintage-inspired creations conjure up whimsy and nostalgia. Pendants include items such as boy scout badges that have been cast in brass and covered in 14K gold vermeil, and tiny skeleton keys, plated in a dark gunmetal finish. For the holidays, store manager Emily Ruane suggested the double letterpress necklace, which actually incorporates old moveable type as the pendants and is personalized with initials, or the Civil War-era tintype necklaces, which feature photographs printed on iron sheets hanging from brass chains. Ruane steers clients away from solitaire diamonds unless the present is supposed to be the real deal — a proposal or anniversary gift. “It’s just not appropriate to give big diamonds unless you’re engaged or married,” she said. Men may appreciate the penknife necklace on a brass chain or a cast fossil nautilus necklace, Continued on Page 77

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Heavy metal: Wish List bronze and white stone necklace by C.C. Skye


Continued from Page 76 items that aren’t highly embellished or too overwrought. Lord Griffon, known for its chunky oxidized silver jewelry and a fan base that includes Randy Jackson from American Idol, has also noticed a shift in male tastes to less in-yourface skull ware. What’s more in demand these days are sleeker looks, such as ID bracelets and fleur-de-lis necklaces, said Suzie Lederer, founder and creative director of Lord Griffon. “More than something really hardedged, they want something they can wear not when they’re just going to the club or riding motorcycles on weekends,” Lederer said. C.C. Skye also projects a heavy metal holiday of sorts, glittering with multiple diamonds, such as the Wish List Necklace, comprising heavy bronze chains woven with white stones. Her retailers are also beginning to stock the pavé punk princess bracelet in gun metal for the holidays. Skye said it caters to that “luxe, funk princess” trend. “It’s got an edge with elegance,” she said. “There’s irony and balance. Women of all ages are wearing pavé, not just younger girls.” Fine jewelry is also in demand for those aspirational buyers, according to Janet Goldman, founder and chief executive officer of Fragments showroom in New York, which represents about 35 fashion and fine jewelry collections. Her suggestions for holiday gifts include layered looks, such as necklaces that are “feminine, soft and drapey,” and bracelets that combine textures such as wooden

Ohh-lah-lah: Whimsical patisserie necklace from Paris-based N2

beads paired with a diamond bangle. Long, dramatic earrings are in for those seeking gifts infused with glam and sparkle. The Miguel Ases line features dangling earrings studded with tiny beads that are easy to wear with tank tops or little black dresses. Customers who want to splurge may opt for the designs by Phillips Frankel, including the round pendants covered in pavé diamonds or Moritz Glik’s oxidized silver and white gold chains with little box pendants enclosed with rubies, diamonds and sapphires priced at about $10,000. “[Jewelry] purchases over $5,000 are what’s trending,” Goldman said. “It’s about finding something that will make us buy, something that ‘I can’t live without.’” © CTW Features

Fashion Pointers Here’s a look at what may please gift recipients this holiday season

Stackable pearl wrap bracelets by Jordan Alexander, a favourite of first lady Michelle Obama’s

STATEMENT PIECES — Look for attentiongetting cocktail rings, dramatic cuff bracelets or long beaded earrings to help your loved one strut her stuff. “It’s all about wanting that great, luxurious accessory,” said Janet Goldman, founder and creative director of Fragments. METALLICS — Metals will shine this holiday season. Rose gold’s popularity continues along with edgier styles crafted in gunmetal, oxidized silver, bronze and mixed metallics. PAVÉ DIAMONDS — These little gems that

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dot pendants, bracelets and more are catering to the luxe trend and elevating fashion jewelry to a new level. WHIMSICAL PENDANTS — Fun never goes out of style, and there are lots to choose from this season, from initials, to vintage charms or to costume sparklers. The startling whimsy of the French line N2, with characters from fairy tales and children’s stories, are youthful and distinctive. There’s no need to settle on size or fit, making them perfect, no-fuss gifts. “Men feel good buying things that don’t pose issues,” Goldman said.

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Get On A Casserole Whether hosting or attending, the casserole is a holiday mainstay. Turn the traditional up a notch with these innovative ideas. Bardall uses squash, corn and green beans to thicken her recipes, and suggests frozen vegetables if your favourites are out of season. “Stuffing can also be baked into a casserole,” she said, noting it’s safer to prepare stuffing outside of the bird to prevent contamination.

HEALTHY BAKES For family members and other guests focussed on health and weight maintenance this year, crafting a casserole that is both satisfying and health-conscious can be achieved by keeping a watchful eye on ingredients. “Remember that you can always substitute low-sodium and low-fat products in the recipes,” said Ashcraft, who suggested plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Vollstedt added that managing and adjusting the amount of an ingredient can save room. “Go easy on rich sauces,” she said, adding that sticking to local, fresh produce is another way to reduce additives and sodium intake. For a traditional green bean casserole done healthy, Bardall suggested sautéing mushrooms instead of using canned soup, and toasting onions instead of using the fried, pre-packaged strips. If a rich, decadent casserole is on your mind, try prepping two separate versions.

MINDFUL TRANSPORTATION

By Lindsey Romain CTW Features

attention-grabbing piece that guests can really sink their teeth into.

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BREAKFAST WITH A TWIST

A SEASONAL PUNCH

asseroles are an onipresent holiday staple, be it grandma’s chickenstuffed cheese concoction or a fried-onion-encrusted green bean favourite. But getting comfortable with a casserole recipe can make it a forgettable presence on a holiday dinner table. “The best thing about casseroles is that you can be really creative,” said Stephanie Ashcraft, co-author of 200 Casseroles (Gibbs Smith, 2011). Here are some ways to concoct an

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Breakfast casseroles typically are egg- and cheese-filled, but Ashcraft suggests trying other varieties to start a holiday party day right. “I love starting the day with a blueberry French toast casserole and a sausage-hash brown breakfast bake,” she said. Including spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice is a way to sweeten up a breakfast casserole according to Jennifer Bardell, who runs the cooking blog The

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Adding bursts of fresh seasonal ingredients is a sure way to give any casserole a flavour and texture boost. “Try dried cranberries, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, even leftover turkey,” said Maryana Vollstedt, author of The Big Book of Casseroles: 250 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food (Chronicle Books, 1999). Ashcraft agrees. “Turkey and cranberries are my favourite holiday ingredients,” she said, also suggesting pecans as a way to add a surprising crunch to every bite.

One thing that might get overlooked with casseroles is the transport. Unless prepared at home, moving a casserole from place to place can be a messy endeavour, which can take away from the flavour and texture. Improper reheats can also ruin the dish. “I bake my casseroles in a Pampered Chef stone pan, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in an insulated rectangular food carrier designed to carry a 9-by-13-inch stone pan,” said Ashcraft. “The stone pan retains heat longer than normal pans, while the carrier holds the heat inside the bag, insuring hot food upon arrival.” Vollstedt suggested wrapping pans in towels or newspaper for a less expensive means of insulation. © CTW Features


BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE 1 (20-ounce) loaf bread, cubed 1 (8-ounce or 250-gram) package cream cheese, cubed 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 12 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla 1-1⁄3 cups maple syrup Powdered sugar Maple or blueberry syrup 2 cups milk

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Place half the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Layer cream cheese cubes evenly over bread. Sprinkle blueberries over top. Cover with the remaining bread cubes. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and syrup. Drizzle the egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight; remove 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350° F. Let casserole come to room temperature, then cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25–30 minutes more, or until center is firm and top is golden brown. Lightly dust casserole with the powdered sugar. Serve with blueberry or maple syrup. Serves 6

SAUSAGE AND HASH BROWN BREAKFAST BAKE 3 1⁄2 cups frozen shredded hash browns 1 pound sausage, browned and drained 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 6 eggs, beaten

3⁄4 cup milk 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1-1⁄2 teaspoons black pepper

Spread the hash browns into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle cooked sausage and cheese over top. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over sausage and hash browns. Cover and refrigerate two hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5–8 minutes more, or until center is set. Serves 6-8

GRANDMA’S YUMMY MASHED POTATO BAKE 8 medium russet potatoes 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 1⁄4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, condensed

1⁄2 cup chopped onion 1 small jar diced pimientos, optional 1 (16-ounce/500 ml) container sour cream 3⁄4 cup crushed corn flakes or potato chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. Peel and shred the potatoes. Boil shredded potatoes in water for 10 minutes and drain. Stir into the potatoes the cheese, butter, soup, onion, pimientos and sour cream. Spread the potato mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake uncovered for 45–55 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle the corn flakes or chips over top and bake 5 minutes more. Serves 6-8

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE 4 1⁄2 pounds sweet potatoes 1 cup sugar 1⁄4 cup milk 1⁄2 cup butter, softened 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 1⁄4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed 1⁄4 cup chopped pecans 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon butter, melted 1⁄2 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the potatoes on a lightly greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan and bake for about one hour, or until tender; let cool to touch and then peel and mash the potatoes. With an electric mixer, beat the mashed potatoes, sugar, milk, butter, eggs, vanilla and salt at medium speed until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a greased 11 x 7-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the cornflakes, pecans, brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle the mixture diagonally over the casserole in rows 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle alternate rows with marshmallows; bake for 10 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8

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MacKenzie Art Gallery Holiday Celebration December 4, 1 - 4 pm Print-making, sleigh rides, music and more! Sponsored by:

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Holiday Lighting

Illuminated

Professional holiday decorators give their tips on how to make the season bright, indoors and out.

Experts recommend laying coloured lights by hand on bushes and stringing larger bulbs through the canopy of a large tree in the front yard. Photo courtesy Christmas DĂŠcor 8 0

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By Serena Dai CTW Features

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very year, holiday lighting manufacturers introduce more varieties of bulbs, strands, colours and accessories. Luckily for the seasonal lighting industry (and those who love cruising the neighbourhood, looking at lit-up houses), Christmas lights are as popular as they ever were. Professional decorators say that there’s a trend towards nostalgic, natural-looking decorations rather than the energy-guzzling displays of the past. That means that LEDs are getting more popular and the Las Vegas marquee-style house is going extinct. The variety of products available leaves people at a loss when choosing the right lights for the job, so a few lighting professionals have given their tips on lighting each area of the house.

Combine mini incandescent lights with greenery and make the most of architectural elements indoors.

FRONT YARD TREES Lit trees in a front yard draw the most attention to a house, said Brandon Stephens, vice president of marketing at Christmas Décor. Lights on a door or across the roof lining act as a backdrop. If you light a tree, that’s the thing that stops traffic, Stephens said. Using a lot of lights sets a property apart. Since a large tree requires plenty of light, use mini-LED strands. LED lights save energy and thus electricity costs, so they work well for massive outdoor undertakings. To make the tree look full, string the lights through the branches rather than around the outside, said Ric Robertson at lighting service Holiday Lighting Guy. “We don’t want to have to go around the tree and tangle it and make it look like the tree is choked,” he said. Divide the tree into sections and then work from the top to the bottom, Robertson said. “That’ll create a nice, full tree,” he said. For a different look, Stephens recommended wrapping mini-LED lights up the trunk and then using larger bulbs in the canopy.

OUTDOOR SHRUBERY The key to making lit shrubbery look nice is making it seem organic, Robertson said. He advised against using light nets, which tend to look too perfect. “As far as bushes go, we lay lights in by hand,” he said. Use mini-LED lights rather than larger bulbs to make shrubbery look full. Clear lights remain the most popular choice in outdoor holiday decorating for roof and window lines, but shrubbery is the place to use colour, Stephens said. Setting up a pattern of clear and coloured lights works well, with every few sections changing to green or red. “It’s a popular place for people to work colour back into their display,” he said.

INDOOR SPACES Take a look at where the electrical outlets are, said Bob Pranga, owner of holiday design company Dr. Christmas. Wandering cords will diminish the look and present a potential hazard. And then, determine the focal point of the room, he said. Any lighting should complement it. For example, a foyer with a fantastic chandelier should keep the chandelier as the focus, Pranga said. Lighting should be set up symmetrically around it. “Do something even and outline the existing architecture,” he said. “That makes it feel warm.” Indoor lighting acts more as an accessory to other holiday decorations than as the primary attraction, Pranga said. He suggested combining some sort of greenery with the lights, such as garlands or wreaths, to hide the cords. “Just stringing up lights in your house, unless you really want that frat house look, doesn’t give it much charm,” he said. “You end up scotch taping them to the walls.” While LED lights save power for complex outdoor displays, they tend to look too harsh for indoors, Pranga said. “They make your room look like a black light palace." Use incandescent lights instead, for a warm and cozy ambiance.

CHRISTMAS TREE Similar to decorating an outdoor tree, wrap lights through branches rather than around the Christmas tree to add a nice depth, said Carolyn Horten, owner of design group Christmas Holiday Specialists in southern California. Use the same tactic of dividing the tree into three triangle sections and working from the top down. The method not only makes the tree look full, it helps with damage control, she said. “It’s really easy to control blow-outs that way,” Horten said. To prevent fuse blowouts all together, don’t use more than three or four strands, and run an extension cord along

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the trunk, she said. Use a remote-powered or step-on-step-off power strip at the bottom to simplify turning the tree lights on and off. Horten recommended using strands with 100 lights per foot. “It just adds a really nice ambiance,” she said. But don’t be afraid to accent the tree with a unique light size or colour, using mini-lights further into the tree. Traditional trees with lots of sentimental ornaments that range in colour will pop with a mix of clear and coloured lights. “You can definitely mix up the lights,” Horten said. “It sounds weird. But it looks nice.” © CTW Features

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Brownies

Give to Operation Christmas Child By Andrew Livingstone For L-P Specialty Products

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s the holiday season approaches, we consider warm ideas about generosity and fellowship that defy the ice and snow that chill the air. These are values that the Girl Guides of Canada are dedicated to instilling in the girls in their care, and which the Brownies in Regina’s unit 66 have taken to heart. They are participating in Operation Christmas Child, an annual effort to give gift boxes that will lift the spirits of children just like them in less-fortunate regions of the world. Although Christmas is often regarded as a special season for charity, the Girl Guides organization engages in charitable endeavours throughout the year. “Service is a big part of the Girl Guides program,” said Desiré White, one of four guiders leading the Brownie unit, “and this is just a way for our girls to get involved with helping other people and part of their Brownie Law and Promise: to help other people and take action for a better world.” Charitable activities must remain appropriate for the age groups involved however, and that is why Operation Christmas Child provides the Brownies with an ideal opportunity. Because the unit is composed of 20 girls between the ages of seven and eight, it cannot venture into remote or risky locations, but Operation Christmas Child allows young girls to make a difference on a global level while remaining close to home. “They send shoeboxes full of gifts at Christmastime to children overseas that are in difficult situations: povertystricken, war, disease, natural disaster,” White explained. This year, unit 66’s gift boxes will go to girls between the ages of five and nine in fifteen countries throughout central and south America, the Caribbean, and west Africa. The Brownies earn funds for the program by performing chores for family and friends for a small charge. “They do chores for about ten cents, so it’s not very much,” White said.

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As that money slowly accumulates, it can be put to good use for children in depressed economies by purchasing packages valued between just five and fifteen dollars locally. In the second week of November, the Brownies will take a trip to a dollar store with those funds and use them to assemble the gift boxes. “We give them each a box when they go to the Girls who are Brownies in Regina’s unit 66 shop for items to place in boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a program that dollar store, they break helps children in other countries that have been affected by difficult situations such as poverty, war, disease or a natural disaster. into groups and they Photo courtesy Ashley Holfeld. have a list of what can and can’t go in it, and they fill them up,” White religions and beliefs and try to be as gifts. Photos of the unit are usually included, said. The shoebox-sized packages can be inclusive as possible.” However, the season and the completed boxes are to be delivered filled with school supplies (such as pencils, creates an opportunity for service that is fully to the collection location at Rosewood Park pens and pencil crayons), books, toys, small compatible with the Girl Guides’ philosophy. Alliance Church between Nov. 21 and 27. clothing items (such as socks and T-shirts), As White said, “It’s a good time to get girls Despite the religious associations of stuffed animals, individually-wrapped candies Christmas and Operation Christmas Child, involved … it’s a good time for them to think and hygiene items (such as toothbrushes and about what they have and how they can help White said that the Brownies are careful not soap). The recipients of the boxes are other people.” to take a sectarian stance. “We welcome all roughly the same age as the Brownies, so the girls have a good sense of what to pack. White said that they gravitate Wishing you and yours towards “girl stuff”: much joy and happiness costume jewellery, dolls at this very festive time and stuffed animals, for of the year. example. “Because Thursday T Thu h rsday rs ay November Novem mber 24, 2011 20 011 10:00 am to o5p pm they’re filling them for Fri F riida d , November day Novembe Nov er 25, 2 2011 Friday, girls, they know what 10 1 0:00 am to 8:30 8 10:00 pm they’re like. They pick pm to 8:30 pm Meett the Meet Me eA Artists r tists from 6: 6:30 p things that they would Saturday, ay, November Novem No vember 26, 2011 like themselves.” 10:00 10: 00 am to 4:0 4:00 0 pm With the items At WASCANA REHABILITATION CENTRE purchased, the Cheryl Ottoson Park in lot on corner of Ave G & 23rd Ave. Brownies will retire to Enter through Main Entrance on 23rd Ave enjoy hot chocolate The Wascana Rehabilitation Centre Volunteers Inc. while writing the cards will use their portion of the proceeds to benefit that will accompany the Residents & Patients of the Centre.

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Merry Christmas Thank you to to my past & ppresent resennt cclients. lients Wisshing you Wishing you a Merryy C Christmas hristmas for for 2011 2011

Prairie Artists Guild Christmas Show and Sale

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Ask the Expert

Party On… No Stress, No Fuss Required Karen Bussen, entertaining expert and author of Simply Stunning Parties at Home offers tips to be the hostess with the mostest under any circumstances By Matthew M. F. Miller CTW Features

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aren Bussen fell in love with parties at a very young age. “I have always loved celebrating,” said Bussen, author of SimpIy Stunning Parties at Home (Stuart, Tabori and Chang, 2009). “I think I naturally have a very festive personality, and I love to put people in a good mood. I am always looking for a reason to have fun.” As a child, Karen was inspired by her mother’s love of décor, art and painting. After she left her childhood home in Ohio to become a magician’s assistant on a cruise

ship, the idea of entertaining and decorating as a career locked into place. “We travelled all over the world, floating between continents, and I was overwhelmed by all the wonderful foods and colours and spices and environments I experienced. I wanted to bring that home with me.” Today, Bussen makes her home in New York, where she fine-tuned her knowledge of food, wine and high-end hospitality working for Danny Meyer, a notable restaurateur, as well as styling flowers and creating party décor for celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. In 2000, she opened her events company and

has spent the last 11 years looking at life as one big party — especially the holiday season. “At the holidays, I like to choose a unique colour palette every year and let that weave through the whole season, from gift wrap to my tree décor, to my table settings,” Bussen said. “On a daily basis, I see inspiration all around me, in nature, in a beautiful design, in the fascinating people I meet, and I am constantly bowled over by how much inspiration there is around us everywhere.” Here, Bussen shares her advice on how to be a tip-top hostess, even when guests show

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up at the last minute: Why is the role of host/hostess so daunting for people? How do you take the pain and fear out of it? I think it’s two things. The first is expectations. Home hosts don’t want to disappoint — they want their gatherings to be seen as stylish and sumptuous. The second is time. Especially around the holidays, folks are busier than ever, so just pulling together any kind of party on top of everything else can seem overwhelming. Then add to that the fact Continued on Page 84

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Continued from Page 83 that a gracious hostess may also feel she has to ramp up all the details to be holidayworthy. My solution is to take just a little time before it gets too crazy to get your party pantry together, and then to limit your offerings to just a few great things your guests will love, instead of making yourself crazy with endless options.

What is the key to making your guests feel comfortable?

Image courtesy Stuart, Tabori, & Chang

From a practical standpoint, space planning is important — if you’ll have a big group, make sure to clear clutter and place food and drinks in several spots so that as they mingle, guests will find a nibble and sip here and there. Also, I like to offer folks something as soon as they walk in the door. That can be as easy as placing a bottle of champagne (or a pitcher of your signature cocktail) and some glasses on a foyer table. But more than anything, I think the host creates the vibe at any party. If the host is frazzled, the guests pick up on that energy. If he’s having a great time, so is everyone else.

What is the first thing a host or hostess should do when they find out company is coming at the last minute? Don’t panic! Instead of running out to the store immediately, take 10 minutes and make a plan. If you’ve stocked your holiday party pantry, you should have at least some of the core elements you need. Pick three food items you want to serve (and don’t be afraid of presenting highquality prepared foods from a good grocer) and check your quantities of drinks on hand. Make a list of remaining items you need, and stop off for the fresh ingredients, like produce and cheese, that aren’t already in your party pantry.

What are the little details that can make a last-minute celebration feel like a wellplanned event? It’s in the simple, thoughtful details. A warm, relaxed greeting, appealing presentations of food and drinks, even the little touches that make a dinner table so inviting. That doesn’t mean you have to invest in fine crystal — I like to use things I find around my house. An example: I’ll turn a mushroom upside down, cut a slit in the stem, and use it as a place card at my holiday table. This costs pennies, but all my friends think I’m a genius. Another detail that really makes a party — music. Music creates mood. And with all the online sources for creating great playlists, there’s no reason not to start making your holiday soundtrack right now. Then, when guests are on their way, just pour yourself a glass of champagne and press “Play.” © CTW Features

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STUFFED WITH THE BASICS When keeping a celebration low-key, it’s important to stick to the basics, but add your own unique twist. Here are three of Bussen’s favourite recipes for easy, holiday side dishes. CLASSIC HERB STUFFING

CRANBERRY CLEMENTINE SAUCE

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, melted 1 large onion, chopped finely 2 cups finely chopped celery 1 loaf day-old bread, chopped into ?-inch cubes (10–12 cups) 1/2 cup raisins 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground sage Salt and pepper 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Juice of 2 clementines 1/2 cup sugar 1 pound fresh cranberries Grated clementine zest, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a deep saucepan, add two tablespoons of the butter. Sweat the onion and celery until translucent. Add the bread cubes, raisins, herbs, and remaining butter, and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the liquids in gradually. Transfer the stuffing to an oven dish and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake five to 10 minutes longer to create a crisper top. Serves 8

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In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water, the clementine juice, and the sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the cranberries burst. Allow the sauce to come to room temperature and then chill it in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Garnish with the clementine zest. Serves 8

BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON AND BALSAMIC 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 pound (4 strips) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stalk ends removed, cut into halves 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Discard most of the fat, leaving two tablespoons in the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts to the reserved fat in the pan, pour in the balsamic vinegar, and sauté until the vinegar caramelizes on the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.


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stress-free tips for holiday entertaining

Party planning expert Karen Bussen offers these easy tips to put any hostess in the driver’s seat of her holiday celebration. Stock a ‘holiday party pantry’ Find a place in your home (a cupboard, closet, or a few shelves) where you can collect basic elements to help you pull together a great celebration, even at the last minute. Think platters and large serving bowls for a start, and buy them on sale before the season for the best prices. Then add colourful table accents in your favourite holiday palette — placemats, a table runner and napkins, along with seasonal touches like a box or two of ornaments you can use as napkin rings or to create a quick centerpiece. I recommend keeping non-perishable food items on hand too, like spiced nuts, olives, dips, flatbreads and crackers, holiday cookies, even a great pancake mix or panettone (fluffy Italian holiday fruitcake, available at good grocery stores) for an impromptu holiday brunch.

Buy wines in bulk Instead of running out at the last minute for

champagne and wine, stock up early. Visit a local wine shop or look online for deals. Most retailers will offer a discount on a case of wine (sometimes even a mixed case) so consider buying in bulk at the beginning of the season and you’ll be ready to toast on a moment’s notice. If you’re looking for a bargain, choose Prosecco or Cava over fancier champagnes — they are party-friendly wines at a great price point.

Raise the bar I also recommend keeping other bar basics on hand — one good vodka and a single malt scotch, plus a seasonal microbrew, and maybe a fun mixer or two (think Pomegranate martinis) are all you need to host a great holiday get-together.

Limit menu and drink offerings You don’t have to serve eight hors d’oeuvres and a four-course meal. Focus on quality ingredients and a few delicious dishes. For drinks, serve a white and a red, a sparkling wine, and a signature cocktail that matches your colour scheme. I suggest mixing up two pitchers of your chosen libation, setting one out

in a pretty pitcher, then keeping the other in the refrigerator for instant replenishment. This way, you’re not playing bartender during the party.

Clear the clutter Look at your space with an eye for mingling and flow. Reposition any chairs or tables that might create a bottleneck during the gathering. Get delicate objects out of the way before your guests arrive. And place food and drinks in several places to avoid crowding.

Glow for it ‘Tis the season of light, and candles add instant magic to any holiday party — no flowers required! I recommend keeping unscented white votives and pillars on hand as they coordinate with any kind of décor and make a room feel warm and welcoming. Also, pick up a few holiday-scented candles — pine or pumpkin, for example, to use as accents in a foyer or powder room.

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Come visit our showhome at 4818 Upson Rd. Habour Landing Sat – Sun 1-5 p.m. Mon – Thurs 1-5 & 7-9 p.m.

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Picture of happiness: forging holiday memories, in flannel Footsteps Clothing

Holiday PJs on parade

So much for mamma in her kerchief and dad in his cap. Today, goofy holiday pyjamas are what we love, and the whole family gets in on the act.

By Melanie Wanzek CTW Features ver since she can remember, 26-year-old Lauren Cowart has received the same gift every year on Christmas Eve: a new pair of pyjamas. “Each year after traditional Christmas Eve dinner, we go under the tree and pick up on box that says ‘Open Christmas Eve.’ It’s always the pyjamas,” Cowart said. “We put them on immediately, then eat our dessert and open some presents. Then, on Christmas morning, we gather on the front stairs in our Christmas pyjamas and make a video of us reading Santa’s letter about how we’ve grown and changed that year as a family.” Legions of families purchase matching pyjamas as a special gift to every family member on or before Christmas. Some distribute them in early December so they can enjoy them all month long; others, like Cowart’s family, open the expected package on Christmas Eve to wear for present-opening and picture-taking. Families often take an annual holiday group picture in matching PJs to capture the memory and share the fun with friends and extended family. It’s easy to understand the popularity of the fuzzy novelty items. Pyjamas are relatively inexpensive, fit all shapes and sizes and can be easily constructed by hand. They’re practical yet fun and cater to many personalities and tastes. Amber Lipson, co-founder of Footsteps Clothing, specializes in selling matching clothing to families. Holiday and Christmas PJ sets are the

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top seller. “Everyone wants to bring their families close together during the holiday season,” Lipson said. “I’ve talked to customers who tell me their grandparents bought matching PJs seventy-some years ago. It’s an easy way for families to enjoy each other and be together.” Lipson’s bestselling “A Very Merry Snowman” set consists of red plaid flannel bottoms and a long-sleeved red shirt emblazoned with the cheerful face of a snowman in a stovepipe hat. The whole collection includes A Very Merry Me, A Very Merry Mommy, A Very Merry Daddy and a Very Merry Baby matching pyjamas. Many families call Footsteps each year to continue a tradition, but others call because they’re ready to start one. The occasions vary. Some occasions are happy, like when one family bought 40 pairs to wear for a polar express ride. Others are difficult, such as when one customer’s family member was sick and the rest bought pyjamas as a show of love and support. “We really want families to feel close and celebrate their unique

relationships during the holidays,” Lipson said. “We’re glad matching pyjamas helps them do so.” Looking to start a family tradition? Consider investing in a few pairs of pyjamas to tighten family bonds and foster togetherness over the holiday season. © CTW Features

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328 Century Crescent, Regina call now for an appointment

306-352-8034 email: mutchmor@sasktel.net

Operated by United Church Housing Corporation of Regina A non-profit charity corporation

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A Shelf Season for the

No matter how beautiful and festive your home looks this holiday season, the most important thing is having a place where your friends and family can gather and enjoy each other's company. With that in mind, dig out your favorite holiday books and movies and put them on display. Make this area a place to sit down, read tales to the little ones and tell stories of holidays past. © CTW Features

The All Occasion Gift… ™

GIFT CARD

Let them decide…

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By Patricia V. Rivera CTW Features

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unique and inexpensive holiday centerpiece can be as easy as putting all your eggs in a basket, so to speak. Baskets are useful as both organizational and decorative accessories. In December, when embellished with holiday staples such as fresh fruits, gift tags, ribbon, evergreens, firewood or presents, they also can double as centerpieces for living rooms and dining rooms. “The beauty of baskets is that once you decorate them, they give you a lovely holiday feel,” said Flora Brown, a professional gift basket decorator. “In some cases, you don’t even need a tree, because you can build a large basket as tall as you want.” Shirley George Frazier, author of The Gift Basket Design Book (Globe Pequot, 2008), said that decorative baskets are often used as gifts and have stood the test of time. Their appeal is their simplicity. To create a decorative basket, Frazier suggests starting with a basket of any colour and size with a sturdy wood frame. The basket should be smooth on all sides as well as on the bottom and the handle. When placed on the floor, a well-made basket sits flat and doesn’t wobble, she added. A few coats of spray paint can give it some holiday colour. A basic wooden basket Brown said that the most important tip is to fill the basket so that takes center stage when whatever sits inside is raised high and positioned well. Once a foundation is established, the opportunities are endless. Here are loaded with holiday staples some basic ideas for baskets as holiday décor.

BasketCASE

GIFT BEARER Use a large, elongated basket to display and collect the wrapped family gifts. Use real or artificial greenery inside and wrap batteryoperated lights throughout the design. Depending on the size, the basket can be placed by the fireplace or on top of a coffee table against a wall.

ENTRANCE GREETER Fill a large, curved basket with greenery, silver balls of various sizes and floral sprigs. Attach the greenery tightly to the basket so that additional ornaments and bells can be wired to it. Place in the foyer or near the front door for guests to admire.

FOOD CARRIER Select a basket with a flared-over handle and decorate the edges with painted cones or artificial greenery. Line the bottom with paper. Fill with either fresh food that can be served immediately, such as fruit and cheese, or with dried items that can linger longer at the table. Holiday favourites for food baskets include fruit cake, nuts, cookies, jams, chocolate and wine. © CTW Features

MAKE

YOUR ONLY CHOICE!! WE WOULD D LIKE L KE K TO TAKE TAK THIS TH S TIME T ME TO EXTEND EX XTEN ND

Happy Holidays! FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS!

Maurice Butler

Thank you to all our valued clients for your business this past year. We wish you a Happy Holiday and a Prosperous New Year

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DON’T FORGET THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR THE

ULTIMATE COUNTRY MUSIC FAN!

THE WORLD’S GREATEST COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL HAS THE HOTTEST ACTS IN COUNTRY MUSIC INCLUDING…

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WEEKEND PASSES AND FESTIVAL WEAR WILL MAKE YOUR COUNTRY MUSIC FANATIC ECSTATICTHIS XMAS!

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Espresso yourself, cookie style Don’t let kids have all the sweet fun. Two classic Italian holiday flavours — lemon and espresso — transform the after dinner treat into an grown-up classic. By Beth Kujawski CTW Features

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very family has their holiday favourites — sweets spelled out on well-worn recipe cards passed down from one generation to the next. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to try something new, to find a new family favourite to share. After all, traditions have to start somewhere. For a bit of departure from the usual spate of kid-friendly favourites, these recipes reinterpret the classic pairing of espresso and lemon into treats sure to please the grown-ups. In each recipe, granulated sugar adds a finishing touch of sweetness and holiday sparkle.

ingredients that may have escaped mixing. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12-inch-long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are 1/2 to one inch high, about two inches across and sort of rectangular, and then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar. Bake the logs for Beth Kujawski about 25 minutes, or is the creator of until they are just The Cookie Queen’s slightly firm. The logs English blog. will spread and crack, and that’s just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.) Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet — you’ll have an army of biscotti — and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes. Transfer biscotti to a rack to cool. Yield: About 40 cookies

LEMONY SEMOLINA COOKIES DARK CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI (Adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate-covered espresso beans

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder baking soda, baking powder and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about two minutes. The mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another two minutes. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped espresso beans, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry

(Adapted from Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma (W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2007) 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2/3 cup semolina 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk Freshly-grated zest and squeezed juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons limoncello 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract In a medium bowl, whisk together the allpurpose flour, semolina, baking powder,

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baking soda, and salt and set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, olive oil, and one cup sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the egg yolk, followed by the lemon zest and juice, limoncello and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. On low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to make a soft dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill until it is firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or butter or line them with parchment. Place the additional granulated sugar in a small bowl. With lightly floured fingers, break off teaspoonfuls of dough and roll them into one-inch balls. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat evenly. Place the cookies on the baking sheets, evenly spacing them one inch apart. Bake the cookies until they have collapsed and are crinkled and pale golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets 180° halfway through the baking to ensure even browning. Allow the cookies to cool for one or two minutes on the baking sheets, then use a spatula to transfer them gently onto wire racks to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container, layered with parchment paper, in a cool, dry place for up to four days. Yield: About five dozen © CTW Features

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Auld Lang Syne Words adapated from a traditional song by Robert Burns (1759-96)

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas From the film Meet Me In St. Louis Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane 1943

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light From now on, our troubles will be out of sight Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the Yule-tide gay, From now on, our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore. Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more. Through the years we all will be together If the Fates allow Hang a shining star upon the highest bough. And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne?

We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowans fine, But we've wander'd monie a weary fit, Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne!

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pintstowp, And surely I'll be mine, And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne!

And there's a hand my trusty fiere, And gie's a hand o thine, And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne

The Twelve Days of Christmas On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A partridge in a pear tree. On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree.

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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven swans a swimming, Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds,

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Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming, Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming, Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens,

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Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten lords a leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming, Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming,

Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming, Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French Hens, Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree.


The Spirit of Christmas Rings on at the

Salvation Army By Tobie Hainstock For L-P Specialty Products

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et’s face it, when it comes to Christmas, nobody does it like the Salvation Army. We all have memories of seeing The Salvation Army out during the holidays, standing by the Christmas Kettles and ringing the bells. I’m not sure how old I was at the time (maybe six or seven years old) but, the first time I remember seeing a Christmas Kettle, I recall a striking, uniformed man ringing the bells. As I went over to the kettle with the money my mother had given me, the kind man smiled graciously. “Thank you and Merry Christmas to you,” he said. I returned the greeting as I skipped along back to my family. I wasn’t entirely sure what it was all about but I knew that he helped people who didn’t have money to buy food and clothing. It wasn’t until the past few months that I learned the extent of that simple truth. The Salvation Army works hard every day to assist marginalized people and families, and does so in a variety of ways. According to Haven of Hope community ministries worker Val Wiks, The Salvation Army in Regina works to assist families in need, not only during the holiday season, but all year long. “Christmas is definitely our busiest time of year,” she said. During the Holiday Season (from mid-November to December 24) all kinds of families come to The Army for Christmas hampers and toys for

The Salvation Army celebrates the 2010 Kettle Kick Off.

children under 12 years of age. How does a family receive assistance? Wiks explained that the client must come to the office at 2240 13th Avenue with their Saskatchewan Health Card and records of income and expenses. They are then interviewed and given a slip of paper stating that they will be receiving a hamper and toys. “The information that is gathered is filed for a later date, should the client need help in the future,” she said, adding that the information is shared with other charitable agencies (such as the Regina Food Bank) to avoid any duplicate applications. “Because our information is shared with the Food Bank, if there are duplicate applications, they get referred here,” Wiks said. The purpose of this is to ensure that there are enough Christmas hampers and gifts to go to everyone who needs them. The hampers are all made up in the same fashion and consist of the following: potatoes, frozen vegetables, a loaf of bread, one dozen eggs, margarine, milk, instant coffee, cookies, oranges, bacon, stuffing mix and usually a pie. Clients also have the choice of ham or turkey in their hamper. “It’s set up to give the families a nice Christmas breakfast and then a ham or turkey dinner,” explained Wiks. The hamper program is very popular and, beginning November 23, the hours of operation at the T.B. Coombs Building on 13th Avenue will be extended until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. This will be done to accommodate those who work and go to school. “Last year, we served about 800 hampers,” Wiks said. For two adults and two children, the average hamper cost is about $80. Help from the public for this program by cash donation is very much appreciated. Volunteers are also welcome. “Being able to help someone at Christmas is a great way to share the joy of the season,” said Wiks. For more information about applying for assistance, or to donate, drop by The Salvation Army at 2240 13th Avenue, call 550-8061 or visit www.salvationarmy.ca/prairie.

Volunteers wrap gifts for children in need.

BLE GIFT C A L I A ARDS AV

WWW.SOLEMAN.CA

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ROCHDALE & PASQUA 586-7653 RIVERVIEW PLAZA 3239 E QUANCE ST 924-2010 C h r i s t m a s

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TOP UP YOUR STOCKING,

BIG TIME! Looking for that perfect stocking stuffer? Pick up the NEW Gift Card now available at Southland Mall. Available in denominations of $5 to $500 and can be used at most stores and services!*

Beginning November 28, spend $75 or more** and get a

Free Christmas Stocking! Time for a new stocking? Simply present your day's receipts, totalling $75 or more (before taxes), at the Customer Care Centre and we'll give you a complimentary Christmas stocking of your choice. *See Customer Care for a list of participating retailers. Fees may apply. **While quantities last. Excludes Safeway and Gift Card purchases. Full details available at the Customer Care Centre.

Follow us on www.facebook.com/southlandshoppingcentre

Holiday Extended Hours and Santa's Hours can be found online at www.southlandshoppingcentre.com

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Christmas Time Book 2011