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How To Make Your Favourite Comfort Foods Using 5 Ingredients

Andrea Buckett | posted Friday, Feb 7th, 2020

There’s nothing better than eating delicious homemade comfort food on a chilly winter day. Food expert & creator Andrea Buckett shares four easy-to-make comfort food recipes that are made with only five main ingredients! Now you can enjoy delicious comfort food whenever you want, with ingredients you likely already have.

 

FIVE INGREDIENT: Spinach and feta pie

¼ cup melted butter

7 sheets phyllo pastry

600g frozen spinach, thawed and drained well

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 eggs

½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained

 

Preheat oven to 350F

  1. Brush an 8×11 Pyrex baking dish* liberally with butter. Brush the first sheet of phyllo with butter and lay it in the baking dish. The phyllo pastry should hang over all sides of the dish. Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets of phyllo.
  2. Place the thawed spinach into clean kitchen towel and ring the liquid out to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Break the spinach apart and add it to a mixing bowl.  Mix in the, feta, eggs and sundried tomatoes until everything is well combined.
  4. Add the spinach mixture to the phyllo lined pan. Pat the spinach mixture evenly over the bottom of the phyllo.
  5. Roll the edges of the phyllo toward the dish, creating a rolled crust around the entire perimeter of the pie. Brush the crust with remaining butter.
  6. Place spinach pie on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 15min. Rotate dish and cook for another 15min until the crust is golden brown. Allow the pie to rest for 10min then serve.

 

*Tip: You can assemble the phyllo pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet for a more rustic tart look.

 

FIVE INGREDIENT: Turkey pesto meatloaf

1 slice white bread

½ cup milk

2lbs ground turkey

½ cup store bought pesto

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

3 green onions, thinly sliced.

 

Preheat oven to 375F

 

  1. Tear up the white bread and add it to a mixing bowl along with the milk. Let it sit for 5min.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl and use your hands to mix everything together really well.
  3. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray. Pour the turkey mixture into the pan and press down evenly to fill the pan.
  4. Place it in the oven and cook for 45-55min or until a thermometer reads 165F
  5. Remove from oven and slice to serve.

 

FIVE INGREDIENT: Creamy tomato soup

Serves 4

3 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 cooking onion, diced

1 can (496ml) whole tomatoes

1 1/2 tbsp liquid honey

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

 

  1. Place a heavy bottomed medium pot over medium-low heat and add the butter.  Once the butter is melted add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5min.
  2. Add the tomatoes along with 1 cup water.  Bring everything to a simmer and cook covered for 15-20min or until the onion has softened completely.
  3. Stir in the honey, salt and pepper.
  4. Use an immersion blender (or counter top blender) to blend the soup until you have a smooth velvety consistency. If you want the soup thinner just add a little more water and then season to taste.

 

FIVE INGREDIENT: Jerk shrimp with rice and beans

1 tbsp canola

1½ cup of white rice

¼ tsp salt

½ cup jerk marinade *

2 ½ cups water

1 can (540ml) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

454 g raw peeled large shrimp

1 cup chopped cilantro

 

Preheat oven to 375F

  1. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the canola oil, rice and salt.  Cook the rice for 3min. stirring constantly until the rice is toasted lightly.
  2. Add the jerk marinade, 2 ½ cups water and kidney beans and stir well. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 15min.
  3. Stir the shrimp into the rice and beans and return to the oven covered. Cook for another 8min. then remove from oven and let stand for an additional 5min.
  4. Remove the lid and stir in the cilantro.

 

*This dish is relatively spicy when you use ½ cup of jerk marinade.  To reduce the heat reduce the jerk marinade to ¼ cup and increase the water to 2 ¾ cups. Also note that this condiment should be a marinade not a paste.

Sentencing hearing expected for woman who threw chair off Toronto balcony

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Feb 7th, 2020

The sentencing hearing for a young woman who threw a chair off a downtown Toronto highrise balcony is scheduled to take place today.

Marcella Zoia, 20, pleaded guilty to mischief causing danger to life in November in an act that was captured on video and went viral on social media.

The chair crashed down 45 storeys near a woman with a child in a stroller, but no one was injured in the incident.

Zoia took issue with the Crown’s pre-sentence report last month that said she posted the video to social media, which delayed her sentencing hearing and upset the judge.

The Crown says it wants to prove Zoia posted the video to social media as the prosecution seeks a six-month jail sentence.

The defence is seeking a suspended sentence that would mean Zoia would not spend time behind bars.

Elementary rotating strikes resume after Ontario-wide walkout

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Feb 7th, 2020

Public elementary teachers are on strike at several Ontario boards today including the largest one, in Toronto.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) resumes its rotating strikes today, a day after a province-wide walkout.

Teachers are walking the picket lines in the Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Moosonee, Moose Factory, Niagara, Toronto, Waterloo and York Region school boards as well as the Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities, and early childhood educators at the Toronto Catholic board.

Union president Sam Hammond has said the union was close to a deal with the government after three days of talks last week, but the province’s negotiators suddenly tabled new proposals at the 11th hour that ETFO couldn’t accept.

He says key issues include special education funding, full-day kindergarten, hiring regulations and addressing classroom violence.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says teachers are escalating strikes to advance higher compensation.

Chartered plane carrying Canadian evacuees from Wuhan lands at CFB Trenton

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Feb 7th, 2020

A plane chartered by the federal government to evacuate Canadians from the quarantined Chinese city of Wuhan has landed at CFB Trenton.

Global Affairs says 176 Canadians boarded the flight although the manifest listed over 200.

Evacuees will now be quarantined for two weeks at the military base.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said while 211 Canadians were on the manifest, some people changed their minds at the last minute and decided not to travel to the airport, but he did not provide any further details about those evacuees.

Approximately 50 Canadians will also be returning on an American aircraft that is scheduled to land in Vancouver on Feb. 7. Those Canadian evacuees will then get on another plane that will take them to Trenton.

Champagne says another flight scheduled for Feb. 10 will bring the remaining evacuees home.

Weather events forced a one-day delay in the operation.

People are seen at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in this handout photo provided by Michael Schellenberg. Michael is in Wuhan in Hubei province with his wife Summer Wu and their one-year-old son Felix. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Michael Schellenberg

 

Myriam Larouche, a 25-year-old student from Quebec who is in Wuhan, said the flight began to board just past midnight Friday local time.

Kate Schellenberg said she received a text message from her twin brother Michael as he was waiting to board. He is set to leave China with his wife Summer Wu and their one-year-old son Felix.

He told her that he could see the plane, and people wearing yellow hazmat suits.

Those who aren’t able to get to the airport or who have decided not to make the trip are being urged to contact consular officials.

Wuhan has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, which has now sickened more than 28,000 and killed 563 in China.

In Ontario, medical officials issued an update on the coronavirus. Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, says 169 people have been tested for the virus and 104 of them have been confirmed negative. Another 62 are currently under investigation and the confirmed cases remains at 3.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

GTA home sales forecast to climb 10 per cent this year, January sales up 15.4%

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Feb 6th, 2020

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board says January home sales were up 15.4 per cent from the same month last year, while it expects home sales for the year to rise about 10 per cent overall.

January saw 4,581 home sales, up from 3,968 last year, while the average sales price of $839,363 was up 12.3 per cent compared with a year earlier.

Looking ahead at the year as a whole, the real estate board is forecasting about 97,000 home sales, up from 87,825 last year.

It expects the average selling price to run at about $900,000 for the year, up nearly 10 per cent from the average of $819,319 last year as new listings are expected to be flat to down.

The board says both price and sales growth are likely to be concentrated in the semi-detached, townhouse and condo markets that are somewhat more affordable, but that the average price could rise further if detached home prices see a similar pace to other home types.

It says that many buyers have been affected by the mortgage stress test, pushing them to change expectations on home price, type or location, as well as to look to alternate lenders.

Special weather statement remains in effect for the GTA

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Feb 6th, 2020

A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada remains in effect for the GTA, with snow expected to continue on Thursday and the possibly of freezing drizzle.

Meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai has the breakdown of what to expect, when and how much is on the way, with a confidence level of moderate to high in the current forecast.

What

A Texas low is being energized by the jet stream and strengthening as it heads towards southern Ontario. The centre of the low will pass just to our south, which keeps us on the cold, northern side, hence Toronto will see all snow instead of ice pellets or freezing rain.

The best chance for ice pellets or freezing rain mixing in will be across the Niagara Peninsula especially Stoney Creek to Niagara. If temperatures were a couple of degrees milder, snow amounts would be less when you stick a ruler in it, due to compaction. This will not be the case Thursday and Friday, as light fluffy snow is expected to accumulate with lots of air pockets, which reads higher when you measure with a ruler.

A northeast wind off of the almost ice-free Lake Ontario will enhance total amounts for the west end of the lake, hence there will be higher accumulation there.

When

Thursday:

  • Snow starts near midnight Wednesday night/Thursday early morning.
  • Morning commute: all snow, with the heaviest snowfall expected between 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. along the lake. It will be lighter north of the 401.
  • Late morning/midday: tapering to flurries.
  • Drive home: on and off flurries.
  • Overnight: A second round of snow begins.

Friday:

  • Snow and gusty north wind will bring additional snow accumulation and blowing snow.
  • Night into the weekend: a cold push of air brings morning weekend wind chills back into the minus 20’s.

 

Who and how much

  • GTA: four to eight centimetres on Thursday plus the same amount on Friday means a two-day total of between eight to 16 centimetres is expected. The east end will see accumulation towards the lower end of the total amount and the went end will see the higher end of this range.
  • North of the GTA: a two-day total snowfall accumulation of six to 12 centimetres is expected.
  • Hamilton to Niagara: a two-day total of between 12 to more than 20 centimetres of snow and ice pellets combined is expected.

 

Impacts

  • All commutes to and fro on Thursday and Friday will be slow due to accumulating snow and slippery conditions, especially on untreated surfaces
  • Snow plus blowing snow will lead to reduced visibility and the need for deicing may delay or cancel flights at both Toronto Pearson and Billy Bishop airports.
  • Dangerous wind chills of -20 to -23 by Saturday morning means a moderate risk of frostbite returns for both weekend mornings.

Elementary teachers hold province-wide strike amid stalled contract talks

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Feb 6th, 2020

All of Ontario’s public elementary teachers are on strike on Thursday, as their union escalates job action amid stalled contract talks.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has been on a work-to-rule campaign since November and has been staging rotating strikes for the past few weeks.

Today will be their first provincewide strike, followed by a second one planned for Feb. 11.

ETFO had said that it would ramp up its rotating strikes if no deal was reached last Friday, and they are now targeting each board with a one-day strike each week as well as holding a provincewide strike each week.

Union president Sam Hammond has said the union was close to a deal with the government after three days of talks last week, but the province’s negotiators suddenly tabled new proposals at the 11th hour that ETFO couldn’t accept.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the government has put forward “reasonable proposals.”

The two sides were close to an agreement on three or four key issues when the government changed course, Hammond has said, and now there are no new bargaining dates scheduled.

All four major teachers’ unions have been without contracts since Aug. 31, and bargaining is only ongoing with the union representing French teachers. High school teachers have not had talks with the government since Dec. 16, and English Catholic teachers had one day of negotiations Monday after talks broke off last month, but nothing further is scheduled.

All unions are engaged in some form of job action, from work-to-rule campaigns to rotating strikes. Public high school teachers and English Catholic teachers have each held provincewide strikes.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has been on a work-to-rule campaign since November and has been staging rotating strikes for the past few weeks.

Today will be their first provincewide strike, followed by a second one planned for Feb. 11.

ETFO had said that it would ramp up its rotating strikes if no deal was reached last Friday, and they are now targeting each board with a one-day strike each week as well as holding a provincewide strike each week.

Union president Sam Hammond has said the union was close to a deal with the government after three days of talks last week, but the province’s negotiators suddenly tabled new proposals at the 11th hour that ETFO couldn’t accept.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the government has put forward “reasonable proposals.”

The two sides were close to an agreement on three or four key issues when the government changed course, Hammond has said, and now there are no new bargaining dates scheduled.

All four major teachers’ unions have been without contracts since Aug. 31, and bargaining is only ongoing with the union representing French teachers. High school teachers have not had talks with the government since Dec. 16, and English Catholic teachers had one day of negotiations Monday after talks broke off last month, but nothing further is scheduled.

All unions are engaged in some form of job action, from work-to-rule campaigns to rotating strikes. Public high school teachers and English Catholic teachers have each held provincewide strikes.

2 Canadians aboard a cruise ship off Japan test positive for coronavirus

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Feb 6th, 2020

Two Canadians on a cruise ship that has been quarantined off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Princess Cruises can confirm that we have been notified that amongst the second set of samples that have completed testing, 10 additional people have tested positive for Coronavirus,” said a statement from the cruise company.

“This includes four Japanese guests, one guest from Taiwan, two Americans, two Canadians and one guest from New Zealand.”

It says local public health authorities will be immediately disembarking those guests for transport to local hospitals.

“The health and safety of our guests and crew remains our top priority,” the company said. “We continue to work closely with the Japan Ministry of Health on all protocols and procedures while ensuring the comfort of our guests.”

The ship carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew was quarantined in Yokohama following a confirmed outbreak of the new coronavirus on Tuesday.

The first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess confirmed initial 10 cases of the virus. None of those were Canadian.

Later on Wednesday, health workers in the port city of Yokohama said 10 more people were confirmed sickened with the virus. They will be transferred to nearby hospitals for further testing and treatment, bringing the total caseload to 20.

The cruise line says the first 10 infected cases included two Australians, three Japanese, three people from Hong Kong, and one from the United States, as well as a Filipino crew member.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the Canadian mission in Tokyo has been in touch with the Canadian passengers on the ship to offer them consular assistance and the government will look to the cruise line to repatriate them when the quarantine is finished.

Covered from head-to-knee by large, white sheets, the positive cases were led by gloved and masked officials onto Coast Guard vessels, to be taken ashore and transported to local hospitals.

The ship will remain under quarantine for 14 days in Yokohama, Princess Cruises says.

The cruise line says it will continue to fully co-operate with and follow the instructions of global medical authorities and the Japanese government.

It says it will also be cancelling the next two Diamond Princess cruises departing Yokohama on Feb. 4 and 12.

Japan, which has reported 45 cases, stepped up quarantine measures after officials were criticized last week for allowing two evacuees from Wuhan to leave early from a hotel where they had been quarantined.

Starting Saturday, Japan banned the entry of foreigners who have visited Hubei province in the previous 14 days.

The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 24,500 people globally with 490 deaths reported in the Hubei province, the epicentre of the disease.

More than 1,800 people on another cruise ship were being screened in Hong Kong after three passengers on a previous voyage were diagnosed with the virus.

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