Get Ready for Father's Day
Get Ready for Father's Day

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our...

Get Ready for Father's Day

Lifestyle

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our dads, grandfathers, husbands, sons, partners, uncles, friends… If you’re planning a backyard barbecue, we’ve got some spectacular recipes for appetizers, salads, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and more…everything you need to make your party a smashing success!

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.
Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose,...

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Lifestyle

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud” is one of his hacks. Whether you’ve heard of it before or not - now might be the perfect time to brush off this simple game and give it a whirl.

Summer Trip?
Summer Trip?

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact,...

Summer Trip?

Lifestyle

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact, if at all possible, you mustn’t. Summer holidays, like weekends serve a few specific, vital purposes. The wants and needs differ from person to person, but we all benefit from an occasional, healthy dose of a few - or a lot - of the following: Rest, recovery, escape, play, sleep, fiction, family-time, me-time, down time, outdoor time, slower pace, faster pace, different pace, more exercise, sex, less exercise, more beer, no beer, no news…

Transition
Transition

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled...

Transition

Lifestyle

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled with growth and promise: there are glorious flowers peeking through the soil and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables simmering just below the surface.

The Lion and The Unicorn
The Lion and The Unicorn

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each...

The Lion and The Unicorn

Lifestyle

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each possessed its own coat of arms: one depicting two lions, the other two unicorns. Unification of the lands resulted in the creation of one single coats of arms, with one beast on either side.

Virtual Pride
Virtual Pride

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in...

Virtual Pride

Lifestyle

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in essence. When something exists in essence, it is simpler, while the fundamental, important parts remains in tact. Pride will be celebrated virtually this year. As with many things – Personal Training certainly – nothing can replace the energy, power, and impact of person-to-person contact. But still, we can keep the integrity of some of the essential things that Pride Month tries to accomplish.

Your Life Matters
Your Life Matters

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness...

Your Life Matters

Lifestyle

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness Matters. Intensity Matters. “To matter” means to be of importance, significance, of great consequence. My titles are deliberate. My own attempt to make you the reader, you the exerciser sit up and take notice. 

Acceptance
Acceptance

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be...

Acceptance

Lifestyle

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be accepted. Presumably accepting others begins with accepting ourselves. We need to know our whole self. To accept our whole self. As the foundation for embracing and being our whole self. Love is a basic human right. And so, therefore, is love of yourself. 

Different Differences
Different Differences

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance...

Different Differences

Lifestyle

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance of honouring your uniqueness. Of being strong and courageous and holding true to your different-ness because this will open doors, build new bridges, change the world.

Pride.
Pride.

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do...

Pride.

Lifestyle

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do so. Fear is a strong emotion. A strong word. I don’t use it lightly. I am more afraid of silence.

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes
Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer...

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in...

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lifestyle

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in the garden and whipping up our favourite summer treats to help beat the heat. Spoil yourself, your family, and your friends with these delicious recipes all summer long.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.
Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can...

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Lifestyle

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can control: your strength, your health, your fitness, yourself. Today, June 6th, 2020, is National Health and Fitness Day. And today, we want to celebrate you.

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses
Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet...

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Lifestyle

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet stubborn. We are patient and careful, but prone to overthinking, overanalyzing to the point of paralysis. We are sensitive, dogged, or committed in ways that are admirable, but can be frustrating, overwhelming.

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking
Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For...

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Lifestyle

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For others, it makes us far too uncomfortable, insecure, nervous. Still, others, don’t necessarily enjoy risk taking per se, but do it anyways: They understand – usually from experience – that incredible innovation, transformational change, unprecedented achievement typically requires assuming a certain degree of risk. They know that risk can lead to failure. They know that failure – in the right hands – cultivates humility, curiosity, and can be a phenomenal learning experience. 

Adversity & Opportunity
Adversity & Opportunity

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a...

Adversity & Opportunity

Lifestyle

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a moment there seems to be so little you can do. As indeed there is. And that can be the magic of it. We know that too many options, too much choice can be debilitating. It can leave you questioning your judgement to the point that no matter what you decide, you remain a little anxious that you could have chosen better. 

Adversity & Survival
Adversity & Survival

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons...

Adversity & Survival

Lifestyle

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons we’ve survived for as long as we have. When bombarded with an onslaught of incredible physical demands, the human body ultimately responds by increasing energy efficiency, building lean tissue, and increasing neuro-muscular mechanism so we are stronger and more powerful, and improves our capacity to resist fatigue and handle stress.

Adversity
Adversity

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or -...

Adversity

Lifestyle

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or - often - an intricate combination of all three. Adversity creates real pain and can be accompanied by fear, anguish, and despondency. It can also incite anger and spur furious, violent action.

The Art of Putting
The Art of Putting

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly...

The Art of Putting

Lifestyle

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly important. But I imagine being a good putter is far more important than having a good putter. Being a great putter can be the difference between winning and losing. And while you might think you need to spend hundreds on a new putter… it’s likely more valuable to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide what you can improve in yourself first.

Don't Stop Believing
Don't Stop Believing

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of...

Don't Stop Believing

Lifestyle

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of survivors, champions… the people who make it happen… when everyone else said it was impossible. Hope – even unfounded – keeps a fragile spirit alive. Hope when it’s founded? That’s a beast to be reckoned with. A belief that is founded is based on facts: historical or scientific evidence that the future hoped for is not only probable, it’s inevitable.

Getting out of trouble
Getting out of trouble

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the...

Getting out of trouble

Lifestyle

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the highest loft. Designed for chips, pitches, and playing out of sand bunkers. Designed – in other words – to get you out of trouble after you’ve made a less than optimal shot.

Taste of Spring

Posted: May 23, 2020

Spice of Life

There’s something different in the air. Over the last few days, we’ve experienced phenomenal weather and slowly but surely the city is re-opening. But, for many of us, we’re still spending far more time at home than we would like.

Let us brighten up your weekend with some delicious recipes - perfect for this time of year, tips on getting your grill ready for summer, and a list of amazing, local shops that are open and offering delivery to help you and your loved ones celebrate life’s most special occasions.

Gardening with Martha: Asparagus

by: Martha Wright, Executive Chef, Stratus Restaurant

Perhaps the king of spring vegetables is asparagus. Even though it is available to us all year, this is the time when Ontario asparagus is widely available. This year especially, we should all be trying to purchase as much Ontario produce as possible. Like many of us, farmers are facing massive challenges right now, so it’s more important than ever to buy local. And it always tastes better when it has been freshly picked.

Asparagus is a good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, and vitamins C, E, and K.

My favourite cooking method is simply poaching the asparagus in salted water and tossing with either butter or extra virgin olive oil. We also love to grill it on the charcoal grill. Asparagus can also be eaten raw, shaved into salads. Fresh lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, bacon, and a perfectly poached egg are great toppings to make a simple plate of asparagus a more substantial meal. Simple is best when preparing the season’s best ingredients.

Summer Barbecue Tips

by Sean Vodden, Sous Chef and Team Canada BBQ Chef, Stratus Restaurant

Getting your grill ready!

May didn’t get off to the best start, but the last few days of glorious weather have had me thinking about the grill on my back deck. So, I wanted to share a few helpful tips to make sure you are ready to grill your heart out this summer!

Give your grills a good once over

Use a good wire or wooden grill brush to scrape off any rust that may have formed over the winter on the grates and burners. Next, look over your grill to make sure you don’t have any new loose parts, holes, or defects.

Once your grill is clean, use a neutral fat (i.e. canola or vegetable oil) to wipe all of your grates. This will help to season them much the same way you would do for a cast iron pan. Don’t forget to use food grade oil on the hinges of your grill as well.

Last but not least, replace any parts that may have worn out or fallen off. Most replacement parts are fairly inexpensive to replace. This will make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Check your fuel

Checking your fuel for your grill may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to cook, only to realize that I don’t have enough fuel to finish my cooking. This may be as simple as refilling your propane tank or turning on a gas line to your grill. Or you may need to make a stop at your favourite BBQ store to pick up a new bag of charcoal and more wood for your smokers.

I currently have 6 different types of grills and smokers at home. They range from a standard propane grill, to pellet smokers and stick burning offset smokers. Each grill has its own unique set of challenges to open up for the first run of the year. Whether you have a propane grill or a charcoal smoker yourself, if you follow these suggestions, you will have a wonderful cooking season!

Beer Marinated Flank

Marinade time: 1 - 4 hours
Cook time: 10 - 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 PC of 2-3 lbs flank steak
  • 1 bottle of your favorite full flavoured beer
  • ½ c Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ c Steak seasoning or your favorite Beef rub

Preparation:

  • Combine beer, Worcestershire, onion, garlic powder, as well as cracked black pepper.
  • Place this mixture into a resealable bag with flank steak and refrigerate for 1 - 4 hours.
  • After hours of marinating, light your favourite grill and set to 425F.
  • Remove flank, and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Season both sides of flank steak with steak seasoning or beef rub.
  • Grill flank steak for 5 - 7 minutes per side, or until medium rare.
  • Let meat rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tips:

  • Use a good instant read thermometer to check the flank steak.
  • Medium rare is 121-124F
  • Medium is 125-131F
  • Slice against the grain of the meat to ensure tender slices of beef. Cutting across the grain of meat will make the slices stringy.

Summer Cocktail

by: Kyla Markland, Bar Manager, Stratus Restaurant

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Pinot Grigio
  • 4 ounces of Peach Schnapps
  • 3 ounces of Triple sec
  • 3 ounces of St Germain Elderflower
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 green apple, sliced
  • 1 cup of strawberries, sliced

Preparation:

  • Add all fresh fruit, wine, and spirits to a pitcher. Stir and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  • Pour over ice, top with soda or sprite depending on your desire of sweetness.
  • Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!

Carrot, Apple, & Walnut Bread

by: Eric Marle, Executive Chef, Oak Room

Great for Brunch or just for a quick and healthy snack!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 65g of brown sugar
  • 45g (80mL) of canola oil
  • 32g of sugar
  • 32g of Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 8g (10mL) of vanilla
  • 8g of cinnamon
  • 2g of nutmeg
  • 128g of white flour
  • 2g of baking powder
  • 2g of baking soda
  • 95g of carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 95g of Granny-Smith apple, peeled and shredded
  • 50g of shelled walnuts

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Lightly butter and flour rectangular cake pan.
  • In a large bowl mix: egg, brown sugar, canola oil, sugar, yoghurt or sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Gently mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Fold mixture into ingredients preparation.
  • Add carrots, apples, and walnuts. Mix while being careful not to over mix.
  • Transfer mixture into cake pan.
  • Insert into preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden crust is achieved.
  • Verify doneness with toothpick before pulling from the oven.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes before removing cake from pan.

Homemade Salad Dressings

by: Ray Urban, F & B Manager, Stratus Restaurant

Avocado Dressing

Simple and oh so tasty!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water, or more for thinner consistency
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, basil, or parsley
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  • Blend all ingredients together and serve.

Events in COVID Times

by: Samantha McLeod, Events Director, Stratus Restaurant

Celebrating Loved Ones and Occasions

Our traditions are having to adapt right now, given our current situation. Finding ways to still make your friends and family feel loved on their special occasions are maybe more important than ever. Birthdays, weddings, Mother’s Day, baby showers, and even funerals are all facing postponement or transitioning to online celebrations. So, sending a gift to let them know you are thinking of them goes a long way when we can’t express it in person.

Luckily, shopping online for gifts has never been easier. Trying to use local gift stores and restaurants are especially important right now to ensure these businesses are still thriving when this is all over. Not everything has to be ordered on Amazon!

Here are some great Toronto/Canadian shops that will deliver gifts straight to your friends and family’s doors:

King West Flowers: They’ll send flowers with a note or card for next day delivery. 

Baskits: With multiple Toronto store locations and an easy-to-use website for online ordering, they offer luxury gift baskets filled with the best products and brands.

The Chocolateria: Located in Roncesvalles, this handmade chocolate store offers free delivery on orders over $50.

Sweet Flour: This bake shop, with a storefront on Cawthra Ave., delivers delicious baked goods, including birthday cakes and cupcakes.

Toys Cubed: Here to solve your kids’ boredom, this Canadian, family-run business, has great priced toys and activities. They’re offering contact-free delivery across the GTA.

Fruit Suite: They’re an online Toronto delivery service for local, fresh produce and grocery items. Deliveries from them are great for loved ones going through a tough time or who still can’t leave their houses.

Love Me Do Baby: This Liberty Village shop, has the best baby shower gifts, with free local delivery, allowing you to celebrate your friends and family, even from afar.

Gift Certificates

Send loved ones gift certificates, to be used in the future. This provides restaurants and local shops with income now and offers financial support until they are able to re-open.

Stratus gift certificates are available now by emailing Ray (ray@stratusrestaurant.com) and can be used when we re-open soon!

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