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June 24, 2015

Fudgy Flourless Cookies

Thank you to Leslie Foster for this month’s recipe.
She based her Fudgy Flourless Cookies on this recipe.

And now, over to Leslie…

Yum! Only 62 calories/good-sized cookie and they taste brownie-like. The main difference between my recipe and the original is that I perfected the amount of egg whites.  I made them with the original recipe and failed, but the taste was there, so I tried again, weighing my egg whites. You don’t have to weigh, though, and I put how to do that below as well.

Ingredients

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 large egg whites, weighed out to 120 grams
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. (Note: parchment paper works best. I tried it with Silpat once and wasn’t as successful.)
Whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
Stir together the vanilla and egg whites.
If you don’t have a scale, add egg whites slowly until you get quite a thick batter. Start with 2 egg whites, then add the rest in small amounts, stirring well to incorporate. It’s easy to go from too thick to too thin.
Whisk until the batter is moistened.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheets. Cookies will spread, so place about 6-8 on a sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes, or until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.
Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet, as they come off easier when they’re cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

June 22, 2015

6 Favourite Patios

It’s summer and the patios are full of hungry patrons soaking up the sun and relaxing with great food and drink. Here are a few of our favourite outdoor eating places.


The Galley Patio & Grill at the Jericho Sailing Centre

Featuring sun, sand, sailboats and a panoramic view of Vancouver, the Galley Patio at the Jericho Sailing Centre is a perennial favourite place to relax over a burger on a warm summer night. Combine your casual dinner with a stroll along Jericho or Locarno Beach.

 


Coo Coo Coffee

Unassuming and friendly with really great coffee and easy snacks, Coo Coo Coffee is a great place to grab a java and enjoy the sun on a beautiful summer morning in Yaletown.

 


The Teahouse in Stanley Park

One of Vancouver’s oldest patios with a view to die for. The brunch menu is surprisingly affordable. Do try the warm croissants and homemade jam.

 


Flying Beaver

It’s a little out of the way, but the view is worth it. Perched right out over the Fraser River, the Flying Beaver shares space with VYR’s float plane terminal (and is named after the venerable bush plane). You can enjoy your excellent chicken wings while watching float planes come and go (and if you are really lucky, you’ll spot the beaver who actually lives below the building). If you can’t get onto the smallish patio during summer, the covered section stays open year-round. Daily food and drink specials.

 


The Lions

You probably won’t be surprised by the standard pub-style fare on the menu, but you may be surprised by how delicious it all is. The deep-fried dill pickles are some of the best around. The patio is generously sized and surprisingly welcoming given the downtown location.

 


Hot Dogs on English Bay

Okay, they’re just dogs and a cold can of pop, but… load on the onions, relish, and mustard, grab a spot on a bench, and enjoy the lovely view. Sure feels like summer! An especially lovely place to linger as the sun goes down. Bet you’ll witness at least one busker, and just try to resist having your photo taken by the giant laughing statues.

May 28, 2015

Coming Attractions and Highlights!

 

 Airshow
New episodes air on Discovery Channel Canada, June 1 at 8 ET/ 5 PT

Four brand-new episodes of the show that takes you behind the scenes to one of the most dangerous part-time profession on the planet.


 So You Said Yes

Airs on Super Channel, June 4 at 7:30pm ET

When Annabelle, the owner of a specialty bridal shop, falls for Sam, the son of her fierce bridal shop competition, she must fend off Sam’s mother’s attempts at sabotage to be with the man she loves.


 Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love

Airs on The Hallmark Channel, June 6 at 9pm

The Postables are back! This time Oliver, Shane, Rita, and Norman explore the mystery of true love as they deliver divorce papers to one couple the same day Oliver’s missing wife reappears.


 Baby Bootcamp

Airs on Super Channel, June 9 at 6:15pm ET

When super-cute fitness instructor Julia turns thirty with no husband prospect in sight, she vows to start a family of her own with or without a man; that is, until adorable widowed father Scott joins her Baby Bootcamp.


 Sunflower Hour

Airs on Super Channel, June 10 at 8pm ET

Enter the world of Sunflower Hour, where a reality television crew follows the casting search for a new puppeteer of a popular children’s television show, unearthing secrets probably everyone wished had stayed that way.


 A Bone To Pick

Airs on The Hallmark Channel, June 11 at 9pm

Aurora Teagarden is known around her small town as a master sleuth. When her friend Jane unexpectedly dies and leaves Aurora everything in her will, she also leaves a troubling murder mystery haunting her neighborhood.

May 28, 2015

7 Surprising Benefits of Being a Captioner or Transcriber

A big part of the job of captioning and transcribing is watching television shows, movies, and other digital media very closely. Sometimes over and over again. This attention to content pays off in unexpected ways.

1. We can recognize a bargain.

  • I learned that to make one’s own wedding cake would take 40 hours labour at a minimum. Paying a baker is well worth it.

2. We get great ideas.

  • One Line 21 employee also writes for the BuildDirect.com blog. She gets a lot of her article ideas from set designs—both things done right, and things to avoid. We’ll never reveal which projects spawned which ideas. Steffani’s a great writer with good ideas to share. Read her here.

3. We’re better conversationalists.

  • Information I’ve picked up pops up in life a lot. I’ll be talking with people about food or places or whatnot, and I’ll think, “how did I know that? Oh, right, it was in that show!”

4. We’ve added to our travel bucket list.

  • Sichuan, China: where mysterious coffins hang on the side of a cliff.
  • Battambang, Cambodia: to see the bamboo railway.
  • Kenya: to see the elephant sanctuaries.

5. We’re safer.

  • I remember the work safety video where I learned that if a power line falls on your vehicle, it will charge the metal body of the vehicle. The vehicle is insulated by its rubber tires. Bottom line: you must NOT touch the frame of the vehicle or try to exit. I had absolutely no idea about this.

6. We’re better at reading menus.

  • I’ve learned so many foody terms and ingredients from working on cooking shows. Menus no longer intimidate me.

7. We’ve upped our game at Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit.

A sample of the interesting bits we’ve learned:

  • Baby beavers like to ride around on their mother’s tail.
  • Excavators have decelerator pedals.
  • Marilyn Monroe had a sort of artist/muse relationship with Milton Greene.
  • The author Ian Rankin writes his crime novels about Edinburgh specifically and incorporates the history and geography of the area.
  • Ted Harrison struggled for artistic and critical respect while enjoying commercial success.
  • Artist Yolanda Sonnabend is now cared for by her brother, a biologist who was at the forefront of early AIDS research.
May 17, 2015

Salted Pecan Pretzel Bark

This sweet-salty candy lasts for a couple of days in an air-tight container… if you can make it last that long! Adapted from Jamie Clark’s recipe.

Ingredients

1 c butter
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 bag pretzels, broken up, or approximately 2 cups unbroken waffle pretzels (Superstore Blue Menu Multigrain Waffle Pretzels work brilliantly)
1/2 – 3/4 c chopped pecans
1 T coarse salt

Directions

Line large baking sheet (one with edges) with parchment paper.
Spread pretzels evenly on baking sheet.
Sprinkle salt and pecans over pretzels.
Bring butter and both sugars to a boil in a small sauce pan. Boil 3 minutes.
Pour evenly over pretzels. Don’t worry if all of the pretzels aren’t completely covered. The butter mixture will even out during baking.
Bake at 380° for 5 minutes.
Cool. Break into bite-sized chunks.

 

April 24, 2015

Roasted Pepper Cornbread

This moist and flavourful quick bread is a great accompaniment to soup or salad. It is best eaten fresh out of the oven.

Inspired by this AllRecipes recipe.

Ingredients

3/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup finely chopped roasted peppers
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Optional: 1/3 c crumbled or grated cheese

Note on Roasted Peppers

You can use canned roasted peppers, but the flavour of peppers you roast yourself is so much better…  and roasting peppers is very easy.

Wash and cut peppers into quarters lengthwise. Remove all seeds and interior membrane.
Lightly brush with olive oil.
Place pieces on the bar-b-que at medium temperature.
Cook, turning occasionally, until skin is charred (time will vary by bar-b-que, but usually about 10-15 minutes).
The charred skin should slip off easily (though I often leave it on).
Roasted peppers freeze well. I often roast several peppers at once, keeping those I don’t use immediately in the freezer. Then, any time I want a little roasted pepper, I have some on hand.

If you use peppers preserved in water or oil, blot them well to remove as much excess liquid as possible. If you roast your own peppers, they do not need to be blotted.

 Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Add roasted pepper (and optional cheese) to dry ingredients.
Mix until peppers (and cheese) are coated.
Mix egg and oil into cornmeal.
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Pour batter into greased 8 x 8 pan.
Bake 30 – 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

April 24, 2015

Coming Attractions and Highlights! April 2015


 Jade Fever

Airs on Discovery Channel Canada, Tuesdays at 8 ET/9 PT

The demand for jade has jumped tenfold over the past decade. Follow the rush with Claudia and Robin Bunce, the owners of a large jade mining claim and tourist shop in remote Jade City in northern BC. They mine, cut, polish and sell jade. They employ most of the people in town – if they strike it rich, everyone wins; if they fail, a whole town falls flat on its face.


 Bahama Blue

Premieres on Love Nature TV, Tuesday, May 6

This six-part documentary series takes you into the heart of the deep blue sea, from mangrove swamps filled with baby sharks to the sand flats where the green sea turtles graze. Each episode takes a deep dive into another compelling geological feature, introducing you to the abundant wildlife within.


 Gourmet Detective

Airs on Hallmark, May 16 at 9pm

Culinary consultant Henry Ross is a charming food industry insider in San Francisco. When suspicious sabotage ends in a shocking murder at his friend’s five-star restaurant, Henry is put on the case with strong-willed police detective and single mom Maggie Price.


 A Ring By Spring

Airs on Hallmark, May 10 at 7pm

Caryn Briggs is in no rush to wed. She’s always been skeptical about marriage, thinking the commitment would mean throwing away her future. When a soothsayer predicts that Caryn will have an engagement ring by spring, or she’ll never marry, she must admit to herself that she needs to get over her fear of lifelong commitment.


 Murder She Baked

Airs on Hallmark, May 2 at 9pm

Hannah Swensen is a creative and bubbly baker extraordinaire in a sleepy town in Minnesota, where everyone knows each other, and secrets don’t stay hidden for long. Hannah’s bakeshop, the Cookie Jar, is where much of the town’s gossip percolates along with the strong coffee. But after she finds her good friend and delivery driver shot dead in the alley behind her shop, Hannah’s idyllic world is turned upside down.


 Olympus

Airs on SyFy, Thursdays at 10pm

The story of how several brave men and women banished the gods from Olympus to The Kingdom of Hades, the Greek underworld.

.


 Emergency

Airs on Slice TV, Thursdays at 9pm ET

A riveting, high-stakes half hour that takes viewers inside the lives of real patients and real medical staff at two of Canada’s busiest E.R.s in BC. Narrated by Jann Arden, each episode interweaves the personal stories of three patients, each facing their own harrowing medical emergency.

 

April 24, 2015

Top Charity Picks

When Carolyn Vetter Hicks and Kelly Maxwell founded Line 21 back in 1994, they were thrilled to have the opportunity to shape the company the way they wanted. They committed to providing exceptional quality captioning and transcribing, to always approaching work playfully, to trying to always meaningfully support their staff, and to being part of the larger community. Supporting a variety of  charities was a way they saw fit to approach their last goal.  Here’s a list of their top picks from the past year.

Microfinance

Kiva

 Empower people around the world with a $25 loan.

Kiva is a non-profit organization which arranges microloans to individuals and groups in cash-poor economies. Sometimes the amount of financing needed to jumpstart a successful business or turn around a household is shockingly small, yet remains out of reach for many. Kiva works with local agencies to help bridge the gap.

The Arts

Metro Theatre

 Line 21 has supported a variety of arts organizations over the years. As each has a special place in their hearts, it would be difficult to pick a favourite. Last year, though, the Metro Theatre (a venerable Vancouver non-profit theatre company now in their 51st season) lost one of its keen supporters, a long-time board member. Kelly relates, “The Metro was a special favourite of our real estate agent, who passed away in 2014. We miss him very much and wanted to honour him and the the requests of his family by giving to his special organization.”

Vancouver’s Most Vulnerable

Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House

 

Though serving different populations, the Union Gospel Mission and Covenant House share an important goal: to serve and assist people when they are most vulnerable. You can read their individual mandates on their respective websites. Line 21 supports them because compassion should know no boundaries.

March 24, 2015

Coming Attractions and Highlights! March 2015

 Dead Rising—Watchtower
Streams on Crackle, Premieres March 27

Based upon the video game of the same name, a group of people fights to survive in a zombie-infested town.

 Bad City
Streams on DotstudioPRO

Bad City is on the edge of falling into the hands of a madman, you dig? A strange and funky new party drug is killing kids left and right, and that jive-ass, crooked city councillor Dominic Kincaid is behind it all.

 Parked
Currently streaming online

A comedy web series that follows a group of long-time west coast friends in their early 30s as they wrestle with what it means to be dads, husbands, and men when life does not turn out as expected.


 Man Jam
Currently streaming online

Man Jam centres on a group of friends who get together weekly to play music in order to escape their day-to-day, humdrum lives. We follow the guys as they struggle with marriage, divorce, raising kids, work, growing up—and refusing to grow up.

 Game of Homes
Airs on W Network, Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT

Teams of skilled amateur home renovators compete for the chance to trade their skills for the prize of a lifetime: a house and a plot of land to put it on.

 Mom’s A Medium
Premieres on CMT, April 4 at 9pm ET/6pm PT

A series that revolves around gifted medium Carmel as she takes clients on an emotional and spiritual adventure with the afterlife. From cheating spouses to missing persons to clients finding closure with recently departed loved ones, Carmel does it all while also navigating the demands of her husband and six children.

 Carver Kings
Premieres on HGTV Canada, April 5

A companion to the hit Timber Kings series, Carver Kings follows a passionate crew of elite chainsaw mavericks based out of Williams Lake, B.C. as they turn raw wood into stunning custom art for the owners of the world’s most spectacular log homes.

 If There Be Thorns
Premieres on Lifetime Network USA, April 5

The third installment in V.C. Andrews’ best-selling series that began with “Flowers in the Attic” follows Christopher and Cathy Dollanganger as they live together as man and wife.

 Seeds of Yesterday
Premieres on Lifetime Network USA, April 12

The saga of the tormented Dollangangers comes to an end in “Seeds of Yesterday,” in which the family continues to coexist miserably.

March 24, 2015

Working Remotely: The Employer Perspective

Last month, we looked at what it’s like to be an employee working remotely. This month, we’re going to look at having remote staff from the employers’ perspective. Not surprisingly, things look different from the other side of the fence!

The happy news is that, regardless of where you sit—employee or employer side—working remotely really can work.

In the captioning industry, the possibility of working remotely didn’t become practical until the switch from linear to non-linear systems several years ago. Around the time that happened, one of Line 21’s long-time employees approached Kelly and Carolyn about the possibility of taking her job home.

Carolyn and Kelly had a choice to make. Lose a seasoned employee along with her vast stored knowledge and years of experience, or embrace a new work model. The choice seemed obvious. “We had these great people who are highly skilled, and we didn’t want to lose them.”

Once the first captioner made her way to Ontario, others followed to Nova Scotia, Victoria, and other Ontario locations. “We haven’t had anyone go anywhere truly exotic,” reports Kelly. “Not yet,” she adds. There is one Line 21 captioner planning an extended global tour. She plans to take her job with her as she travels. “That will take a lot of organizing,” Kelly comments. “Figuring out internet connections and time zones and making sure we can reliably communicate. We’re still planning.”

Today, there are far more people working for Line 21 out of the office than there are those working in it. Even Kelly and Carolyn work from home part of the time as they, too, benefit from the flexibility. Why, then, do they still maintain an office? Kelly explains, “We still need someone present 9-5 to keep the office open by phone, email, and in person. Clients need to know that we are totally accessible during business hours, and that they can find us easily for quotes, scheduling, and to answer questions. Having a really consistent front end allows us to be able to accommodate different staff schedules while maintaining total dependability.”

So what does all of this mean as employers? The answer is overwhelming: increased administration. It’s no longer acceptable to simply shout out a change in plan to the office. Now, shifting schedules require greater thought and communication. “You can’t just toss someone a VHS tape and get them working on it. You have to allow for download times and different time zones.”

And, while they are flexible about when the work gets done during the day, Carolyn and Kelly need employees to keep to a semblance of a routine. “We need to know the pattern of the week and to keep it fairly consistent so we don’t have to reinvent the scheduling system every week.”

Probably the most difficult part of having remote employees is finding the balance between giving people the right amount of information to do their jobs versus not enough information. “Everything we do is interconnected. When workers are side-by-side, they do a lot of their own coordination. Now we have to have someone doing that for people, keeping a keen eye on what’s coming and going. It’s just more administration and advance planning.”

Then there’s the issue of computer challenges. “Trouble-shooting is more difficult when you can’t just look over someone’s shoulder. We need to either figure it out remotely, or find some local support.” If hardware needs to be replaced, it is purchased and configured in Vancouver, then shipped to the employee. “It’s the only way we can ensure all of the software is tied in properly.”

Overall, embracing the “work from home” model has been a very positive thing for Line 21. “We’ve been able to keep a lot of really valuable people for a lot longer. It’s good for people’s families and it’s just the right thing to do,” reports Kelly. She stresses that the move has been fueled by the desire for employee retention and doubts that it would work well for new employees. “There’s just too much training at first. I don’t know how we’d manage that long-distance.”

March 24, 2015

Lemon Curd

This delicious, tangy sauce is wonderful over fresh fruit, sponge cake or ice cream (or all three!). (Taken from The Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition.)

Ingredients

3 eggs
1/3 c sugar
zest of 1 lemon
½ c fresh lemon juice
6 T butter
¼ t vanilla

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon zest. (Do not turn on heat yet.)
Cut butter into small chunks.
Add butter and lemon juice to egg mixture.
Turn heat on medium (or medium low).
Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
Stir in vanilla.
Strain mix to remove zest.
Cool.

Keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

February 27, 2015

Working From Home: The Employee Experience

Technology has changed everything.

Time was, to work in the captioning industry, you needed an awkward double-monitor + CPU + VHS player set-up in order to get the job done. It was cumbersome, heavy, and expensive. Furthermore, it tied captioners and scripters to their office desks, since you’d never describe the essential equipment as portable.

With the shift from VHS media to digital media, the old-style hardware-centric setup has been replaced with Wifi and a laptop. That change has done more than free up desk space around the office; it’s freed Line 21’s employees to completely redefine where the office is.

But wait, there’s more to the story….

Trust and a willingness to experiment has changed everything.

While the change from analogue to digital made it technically possible for Line 21 employees to redefine their workspace, the fact that Kelly Maxwell and Carolyn Vetter-Hicks, co-owners of Line 21, were willing to embrace new work models is what made it practically possible. So, several years ago, when the first long-time Line 21 employee approached Kelly and Carolyn about working from home in another province, they said “yes.” Since then, multiple employees have moved across the country while retaining their positions with Line 21, and some of the Vancouver-based employees have shifted their work to home, at least part of the time.

Flexibility. The word came up repeatedly when talking to Line 21’s distance staff. For many, the shift to home has allowed them to adapt their work schedules around the needs of young families. They still put in a full work day, but the hours are tucked in and around preschool, story time and the inevitable doctors’ appointments. Others appreciate the freedom to adopt non-traditional hours which are better suited to their personal rhythms. Line 21 employs one notorious night owl. She’s worked the regular 9-5 routine, but now loves that she can work when she’s at her peak: in the wee hours of the morning. Not only is she happier, but she’s more productive during the hours she works.

Another recurring theme that emerged when talking to Line 21’s distance employees was a surprise. Virtually everyone reported that they now handle sick time much differently than when they worked from the office. From home, they are usually able to work through an illness. Not only is the fear of infecting fellow employees eliminated, but they can break up their day to accommodate their illness: work for an hour or two, nap, work for an hour or two, nap, etc., until they have put in their full work time.

Family factored into the decision to work remotely for almost all of the Line 21 employees who’ve made the shift: not just the flexibility to accommodate young families, but the desire to be closer to extended family. The fact that they could take their jobs with them made the decision to relocate from Vancouver much easier.

The other word that came up time and again was ‘trust.’ Over and over, I heard the same refrain: “it works because Kelly and Carolyn trust me to get the work done.”

 

February 23, 2015

Coming Attractions and Highlights! February 2015

 

 Air Show
Airs on Discovery Canada, Mondays at 10pm ET/7pm PT

Airshow is a twelve-part observational documentary series that takes viewers behind the scenes to the most dangerous part-time profession on the planet.

 Yukon Gold
Premieres on The History Channel, February 25 at 10pm  ET/PT

Yukon Gold is back for an exciting third season. This high-stakes series captures the physical and emotional struggles four sets of gold miners face as they chase their individual goals over the 16-week Yukon gold mining season.

 Motive
Premieres on CTV, March 8 at 10pm ET/PT

Back for its third season.  Each episode of Motive opens by revealing the victim and the killer. It’s not a “whodunit,” it’s a “whydunit.” The audience navigates a complicated maze of clues to figure out the motive.

 June in January
Airs on W, March 12

Wealthy Alex and blue-collar June are madly in love, but get their wires crossed while racing down the aisle.

 So You Said Yes
Airs on Hallmark, March 7 & 8

The owner of a specialty bridal shop falls for the son of her fierce bridal shop competitor.

 All of My Heart
Airs on Hallmark, Feb 21 and March 7 & 8

A young caterer’s life suddenly changes course when she inherits a country home and learns she must share it with a career-obsessed Wall Street trader.

 Garage Sale Mystery – All That Glitters
Airs on Hallmark, March 15

A sleuthing yard-sale treasure hunter uses her keen eye to solve crimes.

 

February 19, 2015

Eggplant Bharta

This delicious dish is full of flavour, and works brilliantly as a side for any curry. Because the eggplant needs to be roasted, advance planning is required. If you roast the eggplant in advance, the final preparation is very quick. Based on this recipe.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants (roughly 500g/1 lb)
2 T vegetable oil
1 t cumin seeds
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 T garlic paste or finely chopped garlic
1″ piece of ginger finely grated
2 green chillies (optional)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 t coriander powder
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t garam masala  (make your own garam masala if you wish)
2 T finely chopped fresh green cilantro (coriander)

Directions

Roast the eggplant. Here are two possible ways:
1.   Gas stove method. Place the eggplant straight on the burner. Keep flame on low. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself.
2.   Oven or Bar-b-que. Turn periodically till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.
Once the eggplant is roasted, allow to cool fully, then peel and discard the charred skin. Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside.

Final preparation

Heat oil in large pan on medium heat.
Add cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.
Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.
Add the tomato and all the powdered spices. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.
Add mashed eggplant and mix well.
Add the cilantro and stir.
Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with rice and your favourite curry.

January 21, 2015

Cooking Vocab 101

If you caption enough cooking shows, you’ll pick up commonly used terms and become aware early on of the emerging buzzwords. Below are a few of our favourites.

beurre noisette

Browned butter used for cooking.

anti-griddle

A kitchen appliance that instantly freezes (or semi-freezes) food.

beurre blanc

A hot butter sauce made with white wine or vinegar and shallots. Prepared properly, the sauce does not separate. Tastes divine over fresh seafood.

courgette

Another word for zucchini.

crème fraîche

Cream thickened with the addition of bacterial culture. Differs from sour cream in that it is less tangy, higher in fat content, and not quite as thick.  It is also absolutely delicious over fresh blueberries.

dulce de leche

A sweet delight made by slowly heating sweetened milk. Try it warm over ice cream.

EVOO

Extra virgin olive oil. Use it only at room temperature. Heating EVOO destroys the unique flavour.

ganache

A mixture of cream and chocolate.

gelée

A jellied food. Connoisseurs would be horrified, but even humble Jell-O could be considered a gelée.

gluten

A protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some other grains.

kaniwa

A grain similar to quinoa, but the seeds are about half the size. Gluten-free, it’s high in protein, fiber, iron, and calcium. Comes from  South America. Poised to become as popular and ubiquitous as quinoa.

mignonette

A condiment usually served with raw oysters. The traditional recipe consists of shallots, pepper, and vinegar.

pois mange-tout

Snow peas.

ponzu sauce

A traditional Japanese vinegar sauce. It is dark brown, tart, has the consistency of water, and is used as a dip or dressing.

roux

A cooked mixture of fat and flour (traditionally butter and flour, but may be made with a variety of other fats). Used as the basis for sauces.

sabayon or zabaglione

An Italian dessert made with egg yolk, sugar, and sweet wine. Move aside, tiramisu. Here comes sabayon.

sous vide

A cooking method. Food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag and submerged in a water bath or placed in a temperature-controlled steam chamber. The food cooks at a very low temperature for many hours (up to 96).

teff

A very fine (about the size of a poppy seed) African grain. Memorize this. It’s one of the hottest new grains.

torchon

French for “dish towel.” A foie gras torchon is prepared by wrapping foie gras in a dish towel, which is then poached in a multi-day process.

tuile

Made from either cheese or dough, a tuile is a thin, crisp wafer.

velouté

One of five classic French sauces. Velouté is made with a light-coloured meat stock (typically chicken or fish) thickened with roux.

yuzu

A citrus fruit from East Asia.

January 21, 2015

Nutella & Almond Butter Oat Bars

Based on a recipe from Butter Baking. For those of you going through a little sugar withdrawal after the holidays, here’s a very easy-to-make sweet treat.

Ingredients

½ c butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk
6 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp almond butter (or any other nut butter of your choice)
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cup puffed rice
½ c chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, both sugars, cocoa and milk.
Place the saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to boiling point, continuously stirring.
Boil for 90 seconds, still stirring.
Remove from heat.
Mix in the Nutella and almond butter until thoroughly blended.
Stir in the oats and puffed rice.
Pour into the lined pan.
Spread the mixture evenly with a spatula.
Optional: Sprinkle ½ c chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Place in the freezer for about an hour, until set. Slice into bars and enjoy.

January 20, 2015

Coming Attractions and Highlights! January 2015

If you have an upcoming release date for your project, please let us know so we can feature it here. Here’s what’s happening now.

The Liquidator
Airs on OLN, Thursdays at 9:30 pm

Liquidation King Jeff Schwarz is back — haggling, trading, and bulldozing his way through a new season of high-octane buying and selling.

Sports on Fire
Airs on HBO Canada, Friday nights

An exciting six episode, half-hour documentary series that aims to bring fresh angles to iconic sporting moments in modern history.

Timber Kings
Airs on HGTV, Sunday nights at 10 pm

HGTV Canada’s #1 series is back for another season. The master logsmiths at Pioneer Log Homes build massive, multi-million-dollar log homes that are shipped around the world and reconstructed wherever the client wants.

3 Days in Havana
Airs on TMN, Feb 13

Jack Petty heads to Cuba for a conference and finds himself mixed up in a dangerous game of intrigue and murder after befriending a shady character named Harry Smith.

Flower and Garnet
Airs on TMN Encore, January 29

A disturbed young boy whose mother died birthing him, explores the reality of death as he is increasingly alienated by his father and sister.

Inside Her Sex
Airs on CBC, January 25

A thought-provoking, feature-length documentary that explores female sexuality through the eyes and experiences of three women from different walks of life.

People of a Feather
Airs on CBC Doc Channel, January 24

Featuring ground-breaking footage from seven winters on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. Recreations of traditional life 100 years ago are juxtaposed with modern life in Sanikiluaq, as both people and eiders face the challenges posed by changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering eastern North America.

Music For Mandela
Now available on iTunes.

A documentary that combines striking visuals with freedom songs, pop music, and hip hop and explores the role that music played in the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela.

 

December 4, 2014

Coming Attractions and Highlights! November 2014

If you have an upcoming release date for your project, please let us know so we can feature it here. Here’s what’s happening now.

Trading Christmas
Airs on Showcase November 28

Holiday travel leads to cross-country romance when a man and a woman temporarily swap houses.

 

June in January
Airs on Movie Central, November 29

Wealthy Alex and blue-collar June are madly in love, but get their wires crossed while racing down the aisle. June’s been preparing for a very specific kind of wedding her whole life, as a tribute to her late mother, but Alex’s mother, Diana, thinks otherwise.

 

Biggest & Baddest
Airs on Animal Planet, December 1

Biologist/Explorer Niall McCann travels the world through some of the toughest terrain, researching animals to better understand their behaviour. Now he’s on a mission to find the Biggest and Baddest creatures on the planet.

 

Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas
Airs on Showcase, December 1

To repair his tarnished image, a jaded rock star publicly decides to fulfill a child’s “Dear Santa” Christmas wish. After reluctantly agreeing to spend the holidays in a small town and perform in the local holiday Christmas concert, he’s mortified at the prospect of staying in the home of an idyllic, close-knit family, but soon realizes the true value in what they have – love, caring, and a memorable holiday spirit.

That Burning Feeling
Airs on Movie Central, December 4

Adam Murphy had it all: a great job, an endless parade of gorgeous women, and the charm to make it all look well-earned. One night, he went to bed with everything he ever wanted and woke up with something no-one ever wants… That Burning Feeling.

Mr. Miracle
Airs on Hallmark, December 6

Heavenly angel Harry Mills is sent to Earth on a trial assignment to intervene in the life of a woman who needs help getting her life on track after the death of her father. With a deadline of Christmas Day, he attempts to help her heal in order to embrace a new future, and an unexpected love, just in time to celebrate the miracle of the holiday season.

 

The Red Tent
Airs on Showcase, December 7

Based on the best-selling novel by Anita Diamant, “The Red Tent” is a sweeping tale that takes place during the times of the Old Testament, told through the eyes of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob.

 

Cruel & Unusual
Airs on Movie Central, December 13

A man and his wife die in each other’s arms. The husband finds himself condemned to a special place in hell, blamed for her murder – a fact he refuses to accept. His punishment is to eternally re-live that last dreadful day.

 

The Nine Lives of Christmas
Airs on Movie Central, December 18

With Christmas approaching, a handsome fireman afraid of commitment adopts a stray cat and meets a beautiful veterinary student who challenges his decision to remain a confirmed bachelor.

 

December 4, 2014

Pappardelle with Mixed Wild Mushrooms

 

It’s got lemons, it’s got mushrooms, it’s easy, it’s delicious… check out this wicked repost from Jamie Oliver! A seriously amazing go-to recipe.

Ingredients
9 – 11 ounces mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 – 2 small dried red chilies, pounded or chopped, or chili flakes
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pound pappardelle
parmesan cheese, grated
1 handful parsley, chopped
2 ounces butter

Directions
Slice the mushrooms thinly. Put the olive oil in a very hot frying pan and add the mushrooms. Fry, tossing once or twice, then add the garlic, chili, and a pinch of salt. Fry for 4-5 minutes, tossing regularly. Then turn the heat off and add lemon juice. Toss, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the mushrooms, and the parmesan, parsley, and butter. Toss, serve, and sprinkle with parsley and more parmesan.

November 26, 2014

The Best Pumpkin Soup Ever

Guys! Guys! Guys! We found the best pumpkin soup recipe, and we are not even kidding. Found on this website… and test-made by Kelly! Omnomnom.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Yields 3 1-cup Servings

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
• 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
• 4 tbsp. Butter
• 1/4 medium Onion, chopped
• 2 cloves Roasted Garlic, minced, or raw garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp. Salt
• 1/2 tsp. Pepper
• 1/2 tsp. Freshly Minced Ginger
• 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. Coriander
• 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
• 1 Bay Leaf
• 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
• 4 slices Bacon
• ~3 tbsp. Leftover Bacon Grease (from the bacon)
Optional:
• Freshly Grated Parmesan
• 2 tbsp. Sour Cream (per serving)

1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter and let it melt completely. You want it to darken into a golden color.
2. Dice the 1/4 medium onion, mince the 2 cloves of roasted garlic, and mince 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger.
3. In a small container, mix together all of your spices so you have them together. 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1/2 tsp. Pepper, 1/2 tsp. Freshly Minced Ginger, 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. Coriander, 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, and 1 Bay Leaf.
4. Once the butter has turned a dark golden color, add onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan and stir well. Let this saute for about 2-3 minutes or until onions start to go translucent.
5. Measure out 1 cup of pumpkin puree and set aside.
6. Once onions are translucent, add spices to the pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
7. Add pumpkin puree to pan and stir into the onions and spices well.
8. Once the pumpkin is mixed well, add 1 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan. Stir until everything is combined.
9. Bring to a boil and then turn to low, let this simmer for 20 minutes.
10. Once simmered, use an immersion blender to blend together all of the ingredients. You want a smooth puree here so make sure you take your time. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
11. In the mean time, cook 4 slices of bacon over medium heat. Use a grease catcher to keep the mess off of your stove-top.
12. Once the soup is ready, pour in 1/2 cup heavy cream and the grease from the cooked bacon (this should be around 3 tbsp.) mix well.
13. Crumble the bacon over the top of the soup. Optional: Serve with chopped parsley and 2 tbsp. sour cream.
Enjoy!!!

October 22, 2014

Coming Attractions and Highlights! October 2014

If you have an upcoming release date for your project, please let us know so we can feature it here. Here’s what’s happening now.


Battle Cats
Premieres on Bite TV, October 27.

Each week, five passionate cat owners bring their cathletes to race against the clock and challenge their agility in a course of extreme cat obstacles: run the gauntlet, scale the wall, leap the watery divide.


Lucky in Love

Airs on MFun October 26 & TMN, October 30.

For Mira Simon, it feels like a prank when all of her dreams start coming true on April Fool’s Day. Even though it’s  the life she’s always dreamed of, Mira starts to realize that actually living this dream is much harder than she imagined.


No Clue

Airs on Mfun & TMN, October 27.

In a case of mistaken identity, a salesman is hired as a private detective by a woman to find her missing brother.


Ice Pilots NWT

Premieres on The History Channel, October 29.

Arctic airline Buffalo Airways defies the freezing cold and the competition by using resilient WWII-era propeller planes to fly vital fuel, supplies, and passengers to remote outposts all over the Canadian.


Hinterland

Premieres on Knowledge Network, November 2.

A noir crime drama set in Aberystwyth, Wales, where the troubled but intense DCI Tom Mathias searches for redemption while solving hate crimes.


Pants on Fire
Airs on Disney XD, November 9.

15-year-old Jack Parker’s life gets complicated as all the lies he’s ever told suddenly become real. It’s up to Jack and his buddy, Ryan, to figure out who or what is behind this crazy situation, all while chasing down a plush purple hippo who may hold the key to unlocking this mind-boggler.


I Am Evel Knievel

Airs on HBO Canada, October 24.

Follow Evel Knievel’s metamorphosis from a small-town rebel in Butte, Montana, to a cultural icon. His rise to super-stardom was built on nerves of steel and the ability to get up and do it again, no matter the severity of the fall.


I Am Steve McQueen

Airs on HBO Canada, October 25.

The film tells the remarkable story of Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s most iconic tough guys, and digs deeper into the underexplored aspects of the legendary star’s life, such as his immense passion for racing and all things fast – cars, motorcycles and airplanes.


Killing Bigfoot

Airs on OLN, October 29.

Ex-pro wrestler Bobby Hamilton and Vietnam vet Jim Landsdale are on the hunt for Bigfoot, and are determined to prove to the rest of the world and the scientific community that Bigfoot is real.

September 23, 2014

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
4 c water + water to soak almonds
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
2-3 medjool dates or good quality sweetener (optional)
1/4 t cinnamon (optional)

Directions
Soak almonds (ideally overnight) in a bowl of water large enough to generously cover the almonds.

In the morning, discard the soak water and rinse the almonds well.

In a blender, combine 4 cups of water, almonds, vanilla, salt, pitted dates (or sweetener), and cinnamon. Blend on high for one minute.

Strain mixture through cheesecloth, an old cotton pillowcase, or a nut bag.

Presto: almond milk! Seal in a mason jar and store in the fridge. Leftover in the cheesecloth, you now have almond meal as well. This can be dried gently in a super-low oven and then further ground into flour or added to granola!

Inspired by the Oh, She Glows cookbook.

September 23, 2014

Coming Attractions and Highlights! September 2014

If you have an upcoming release date for your project, please let us know so we can feature it here. Here’s what’s happening now.


Cleaners
Now streaming on crackle.com.

Two skilled private operatives are teamed up on a new mission by their boss. The job seems to be going smoothly until they make a discovery that changes everything.


Brony Tale
Now on DVD & iTunes.

Tells the story of adult and teenage fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, who adopt the show’s themes of kindness, loyalty, generosity, honesty, laughter, friendship, and personal responsibility.


Package Deal Season 2
Now airing on City, Thursday nights 8 PT/ET

Three brothers who are overly involved in each other’s lives try to cope as one of them cuts the umbilical cord and starts dating, a beautiful, smart, and funny woman.


Bachelor Canada Season 2
Premiered on City Sept 18.
#BachCan

Follow Tim Warmels in his in his quest for love on Season 2 of the Canadian version of the hit reality show.


Gone South
Plays at the Edmonton International Film Festival September 29 and 30th.

A hilarious and investigative look at the long history and major influence Canadians have had on the development of American pop culture, featuring exclusive celebrity interviews and classic archival footage.


Black Fly
Screens at VIFF on September 27 & 30.

Inspired by a true story. A troubled teenager and his older brother reconnect, setting off a powder keg of buried secrets, paranoia and murder.


Everything Will Be
Screens at VIFF on September 29, October 1 & October 3.

A documentary that captures the subtle nuances of a culturally diverse neighbourhood–Vancouver’s once-thriving Chinatown–in the midst of transformation.


Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
Screens at VIFF September 28, September 30 and October 6.

After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, two Vancouver filmmakers pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food.


The Pristine Coast
Screens at VIFF September 27, October 3 & October 7.

The struggle to protect wild Pacific salmon from open-net pen fish farms leads to the discovery by filmmaker Scott Renyard that many wild fish populations have collapsed, which has dire implications for climate change.


Strange Empire
Begins airing on CBC starting October 6.

A dark Western series where the women struggle to survive and are forced to become the heroes after most of their men disappear from a frontier town in the 1860s.

Highway Thru Hell
Now airing on Discovery Channel Canada, Tuesday nights at 7PT / 10ET.
#HWYTHRUHELL

Highway Thru Hell follows the men of Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue as they fight to keep the roads open between Hope, BC and the rest of Canada.


Border Security
Now airing on Global, Fridays at 10 ET/PT and on the National Geographic channel Tuesdays at 9 ET/PT.

Follow Canadian border services officers as they intercept suspicious characters and contraband from around the world.


Namaste Season 3
Starts airing on The Brand New One, Saturday, September 27, 9:30am ET.

Yoga with stunning visuals, soothing music, and entirely original movement sequences that will calm the mind, strengthen the body, and inspire the soul.

September 23, 2014

Your Film Fest Guide for Fall 2014

September 25 – October 10
Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)
One of North America’s largest film festivals, featuring hundreds of feature-length movies from around the globe.

October 17-18
Amnesty International Film Festival
Featuring award-winning documentaries that tell compelling stories about human rights from around the world.

October 17 – 29
Vancouver Polish Film Festival
An annual celebration of the best current Polish productions.

October 24 – 26
ZOOM 48-hour Student Film Festival
A very different kind of film festival.
Mulgrave ZOOM Film Festival is in its 13th year and has one of the highest participation rates of any student film competition in the province of British Columbia. Filmmakers have 48 hours to plan, shoot and produce a finished film.

November 6 – 9
Vancouver Asian Film Festival
VAFF’s theme for 2014 is “What’s Your Perspective?” – a question that calls upon our collective past and present, and how we interact with one another in society.

November 6 – 13
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
Showcases the diversity of Jewish culture, heritage and identity through film.

November 14 – 16
Vancouver Short Film Festival
Celebrates BC’s best shorts from local filmmakers.

November 21 – December 4
European Union Film Festival
A lively, provocative, stimulating, and entertaining state-of-the-Union celebration of the diversity, creativity, and accomplishment of contemporary European filmmaking.

December 3 – 7
Whistler Film Festival
Focuses on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent. A must-attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences.