From Joanne’s kitchen – Chinese dumplings

From the Kitchen…..

Chinese Dumplings

My granddaughter and I prepared multiple appetizers for our families Christmas Eve Appetizer Dinner, and I love that she is more adventurous in the food that she will eat… and now make! We tried a few new recipes this year including these Chinese Dumplings.  They were super easy to make, wonderfully delicious to eat (she wanted to take some home with her after the appetizer party) and will definitely be added to our meal plan in the future!

It was easy to get all the ingredients locally, although I did have to go the little Asian Grocery Store at Castlefrank and Hazeldean to purchase the dumpling wrappers.  ($1.89 for 60 wrappers so it didn’t even make sense to try to make these!) Hope you enjoy!

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Take a dumpling wrapper and place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in center. Moisten edges with water, fold over and press to seal edges.

Add 3 tablespoons of Peanut Oil to a large skillet and saute until the bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from pan. Repeat process until all potstickers are cooked. Keep warm on a plate covered.

Some recipes suggest adding a ½ cup of water at this point to “steam” the dumplings, but because we made them in advance, I popped ours in the freezer and then put them in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes prior to eating.  Once the “dough” turned opaque we knew they were ready.  Serve them with a Gyoza sauce made of: 1/3 cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and some chopped green onions or chives.  You can add siracha sauce and/or a pinch of sugar here as well.  It’s all about preference.

These were really fun to make and eat. Looking forward to playing with this recipe a bit more – maybe making some to include Chinese Cabbage the next time.  Hope you try this one!


Did you sell your house last year? Here’s what you need to know.

What you need to know if you SOLD your home last year… (or if you will ever sell your home in the future!)

There are two changes that were made to Ontario’s real estate policies in 2016 which will affect the market in 2017 – and this is the perfect time of year to remind you about those.

Beginning January 1st, 2017, first-time homebuyers are now eligible to receive a refund of up to $4000 from the land transfer tax rebate (twice the previous refund of $2000 for new homebuyers). The increase in this rebate was designed to encourage more young people to make their first big purchase by reducing their closing costs and help them save money for their down payment.

You can read more about the First-time Homebuyer’s Land Transfer Rebate on the Ministry of Revenue Bulletin.

The second big change for 2017 comes from the Canada Revenue Agency, and affects something that many Canadians know little about: taxation on primary residences.

Most home sellers know that the gains of their sale are protected from taxation by the Primary Residence Exemption (PRE). Other properties, however, like vacation homes, or investment properties, are not primary residences, and therefore are not exempt. The CRA will soon make reporting every sale of a primary residence on your tax forms mandatory, whether you owe taxes on the property or not. A key thing to note is that foreign investors in Canadian real estate will now be forced to abide by Canadian tax rules, as will Canadians who often dodged paying tax on their primary residences in the past. (The sale of primary residences is NOT subject to tax; however, some individuals have attempt to have more than 1 primary residence at a time – a cottage? An investment property financed as if it is owner-occupied, etc.)

Starting with the 2016 tax year, (generally filed in April 2017), you will be required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of the property) on your income tax and benefit return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.  This change was designed to prevent foreign investors from “cheating the tax system”., as well as catching individuals who have made a practice of flipping houses.

Did you sell your house last year? Here is what you need to know.

Did you sell your house last year? Here is what you need to know.