Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats

Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut OatSpiced Pumpkin Oats

We have always eaten breakfast – by the time I get home from gym I am starving – so a “hearty” breakfast to carry me through until mid morning is important. I like to try to make something on Sunday night, that will last all week, and make it easy to have a good breakfast without spending lots of time prepping.  This week I made these pumpkin oats – using canned pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. It is sooooo good.  You should try it!

1 cup steel cut oats

3 cups water

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 apple, peeled and grated, although I just chopped it

After cooking:

Consider adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


In a medium pot, combine oats, water, pumpkin puree, spices and apple.

Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.

Stir in the maple syrup, allow to cool, portion into individual containers, and then top with pumpkin seeds. Heat to serve. I like to add milk to mine.

Note: You need to use steel cut oats for this – not regular oats. They are amazing!

New Mortgage Rules on October 17th, 2016

New Mortgage Rules… again…

Anticipated changes to the mortgage rules were announced and released by the Ministry of Finance office.

Effective October 17th, 2016, borrowers who take out insured mortgages that are fixed-rate loans of five years or longer will be subject to a more stringent “stress test”. Currently borrowers who take a five year insured mortgage (less than 20 percent down payment) qualify for their mortgage based on the actual rate they receive. Under the new rule the mortgage amount that a borrower qualifies for will be based on the Bank of Canada’s posted 5 year rate which is currently 4.64%. The actual mortgage payment of course will still be based on the rate received from the lender.  This will result in most Canadians qualifying for a far less mortgage amount then they had anticipated.

Another change is that effective this tax year, any financial gain from selling your primary residence must be reported at tax time to Canada Revenue Agency. Any financial gain (capital gains) from the selling of your home will still be tax-free.  This change is intended to prevent foreign buyers who buy and sell homes from claiming a primary residence tax exemption for which they are not entitled.  The government claims that foreign investors are flipping homes in Canada and falsely claiming the primary residence exemption.

As new information is produced, I’ll include it in future ezines.  Don’t be afraid to discuss these changes with either your Accountant or Mortgage Broker.

New rules taking place on October 17th, 2016

New rules taking place on October 17th, 2016

North Market Chef Amanda delicious creations.

North Market

North Market Almonte, Ontario

Chef at home

A couple of weeks ago we had a special dinner to celebrate with some friends.  Occasions have to be celebrated with amazing food, by my rules, so I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to make an amazing dinner for our friends, after a full day of work… and then one of the guests suggested “hiring a chef to cook in home”.

Amanda and Rick Herrara, owners of North Market Almonte, have just launched the next phase of their business.  They have had a food stand at The Almonte Farmers Market in Almonte for several years now, offering breakfast and lunch items. Their focus is to use ingredients that they have grown themselves, or sourced locally. They also sell preserves and sauces and homemade hand-cut pasta.

Amanda has just recently left her employment to become a complete entrepreneur. She has rented a commercial kitchen space and has plans to prepare “pre-ordered take-away” meals for pick-up at her new location, 3 days per week.  She is keeping some availability open for the rest of the week to be able to focus on her “in-home chef” side of the business – and that’s what we had hired her for!

She prepared an amazing meal-plan for us, after some consultation about preferences, and then sent us a customized quote based on our wants and needs.  Here is how it played out…

I arrived home at 5:00 p.m. to find Amanda already settled into my kitchen, comfortably working away on our dinner.  As our friends arrived, and glasses of wine were poured, a fire in the fireplace (okay – it was a gas fire but still you get the idea) – Amanda served up a Charcuterie Board featuring local cheeses from Peche and Poivre (mainstreet Almonte) including Elizabeth Blue from Quebec, Lankaaster Aged Gouda from Ontario and Ash Veined Brie (nutty and dirty – just like one of the guests), with crostini and a home-made fig/cranberry chutney and pickled asparagus previously prepared by Amanda.  This plate alone would have made me happy – it was both beautiful and delicious!

Then we moved to the table where she served a Cured Rainbow Trout Arugula Salad with pickled red onion, cucumber and the most delicious lemon-poppy seed vinaigrette I have ever tasted. She cured the rainbow trout herself – using cumin as the feature spice. I can’t wait to try this myself!

Finally, she served us plates of Sage-Butter Mashed Potatoes, Honeyed Carrots, Roasted Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Brussel Sprouts and Apples, with a Whisky-Mustard Gravy.

The dinner was amazing, the experience was even better. I would highly recommend Amanda and this experience.  You don’t even need to have a special occasion to hire her! Her contact info is attached.  If you do decide to try her out, tell her I sent you!

North Market
63 Mill Street  Almonte ON

Farm House for sale near Almonte

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Farm House on 3.8 acres

•  2 bath, 3 bdrm 2 story – $339,000. New Listing!
MLS® #1035124

– Charming country farm-house with lots of original features including wide baseboards and window trims on 3.8 acres. Large country kitchen with oak cabinets and plenty of room for an eat-in kitchen. Extra large living room with new, big, bright windows. A formal dining room features hardwood flooring. High ceilings throughout. Main floor laundry and powder room – well laid out for that growing family. A majestic staircase leading to 3 spacious bedrooms and a spacious, updated family bathroom. Cedar closets in 2 bedrooms – featuring more original baseboards and window trim. Many new windows on the main floor. Long-lasting metal room. Oversized, large 3-car garage/storage. Loop driveway. If you are looking for country living, this home is for you

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