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Recipe: goat cheese panna cotta from Toca chef Gihen Zitouni

Toronto Life Cookbook 2013: Panna Cotta
Toronto Life Recipes | Appetizers
PANNA COTTA
By Gihen Zitouni
Toca
PANNA COTTA
By Gihen Zitouni
Toca

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: Parkdale bakery Glory Hole’s delectable chai-spice doughnuts

Toronto Life Cookbook 2013 Recipe: Chai Spice Doughnuts
Toronto Life Recipes | Appetizers
CHAI SPICE DOUGHNUTS
By Ashley Jacot De Boinod
Glory Hole
CHAI SPICE DOUGHNUTS
By Ashley Jacot De Boinod
Glory Hole

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: how to make the avocado-cilantro slaw from Ossington snack bar Oddseoul

Toronto Life Cookbook 2013: Avocado Slaw
Toronto Life Recipes | Appetizers
AVOCADO SLAW
By Leemo and Leeto Han
Oddseoul
AVOCADO SLAW
By Leemo and Leeto Han
Oddseoul

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Must-Try

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Delivery Delights: six upmarket caterers that will bring an haute meal straight to your home

Delivery delights: six upmarket caterers that will bring an haute meal straight to your home

Between shopping, tree-trimming and seasonal party-hopping, the holidays offer precious little time to relax. Having to stuff a 15-pound bird certainly doesn’t help. This year, avoid turkey (and the kitchen) by ordering in a different kind of dinner. Here, six unconventional holiday meals from some of the city’s top caterers.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Flavour of the Month: seven of Toronto’s best chicken wings

Bar snacks are big right now, which means the finger-licking chicken wing is, too. Here, seven of the best chicken wings in Toronto

Seven of the Best Chicken Wings in Toronto

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The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a dated beauty salon gets a second life as a yoga studio

Extreme Makeover: Setting Up Shop

BEFORE: From the 1960s until the property was sold, the building had a hair salon on the main floor. AFTER: The sleek new yoga studio has Douglas fir floorboards

For years, Antje Bulthaup, an architectural designer, had her eye on a house with a fusty beauty salon on the ground floor and a two-storey residence on top. When the owner decided to sell, she pounced. “Since I’d dreamed about this building for so long, I was full of visions for it,” she says. During a 14-month reno, her crew ripped the main floor down to the studs. Bulthaup brought in Douglas fir planks from Denmark for flooring and designed oak-framed windows to swallow up the sun—perfect for the space’s reincarnation as a yoga studio.

The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a sad suburban basement gets a revamp courtesy of television’s Love It or List It

Extreme Makeover: Modern Family

BEFORE: The basement was an unwelcoming holding pen for toys and cast-off furniture. It was also in dire need of a bathroom and a functional laundry area. AFTER: A papered wall behind the shelving unit adds pops of colour

Geoff Cullen, an ad executive, and his wife, Mieke, had two kids under five years of age and a suburban house with a dearth of functional space—and only one loo. Enter W Network’s Love It or List It, which snapped up their application for a before-and-after. (On the program, homeowners with space challenges go through a reno while simultaneously scoping out their options to move up the property ladder.) The show’s design team, Hilary Farr and Desta Ostapyk, zeroed in on the neglected basement, which was essentially unfinished. During a whirlwind TV-style two-week makeover, the Cullens got a laundry room, a much-needed second bathroom and an entertainment room with storage and a sectional that divides the living space from the kids’ play area. In other words, they didn’t list it.

The Goods

Shopping

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The Thing: an old suitcase gets new life as a swanky chair

Upcycled chair

Courtesy of REcreate

In the past few years, up­cycling has taken a high-end turn, with a spate of designers transforming trash-bound castoffs into splurge-worthy luxury items. One of our favourite indulgences comes from the South African firm REcreate, where designer Katie Thompson has turned an old faux snakeskin suitcase into a covetable throne swathed in button-tufted black velvet and supported by turned-wood legs. The chic, playful piece combines the whimsy of vintage, the sleekness of contemporary design and the quality of great craftsmanship. In the past, repurposing old junk was a practice born of economic necessity and enviro-friendly good will—nice sentiment, ramshackle results. But a luxe repurposed chair with plush upholstery and fine wood detailing? That’s something we can get behind. $942. recreate.za.net

The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a new staircase adds space and light to a narrow semi in The Beach

Renovation: Giant Steps

BEFORE: The stairwell interrupted the flow of the main floor and made the space feel tight. AFTER: Durable transparent plastic around the stripped-down staircase is both budget- and kid-friendly

When Kate Halpenny, a fundraiser, and Sean Smith, a banker, bought a dreary, oddly divided 1900s semi in the Beach, family members nearly fainted. “My mom actually cried,” says Halpenny. They embarked on an 18-month reno with architect Heather Dubbeldam, who envisioned an uncomplicated space that was functional for the couple’s kids, Kieran, now 8, and Charlotte, 6. The major project was to update a room-dissecting staircase—a common feature in the Beach’s older houses. Dubbeldam reversed the second-floor stairs to align with the first and added a budget-friendly transparent plastic wrap. Light filters down from a skylight in the master bedroom. In the end, the relatives were appeased. “It’s a delight when people walk in and see how spacious it has become,” says Halpenny.

The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: an iconic modernist house in midtown gets a 21st-century update

Mod Update: the delicate art of redesigning an icon

In design circles in the 1970s, this midtown house was considered a momentous piece—the first notable reno by modernist architect Peter Hamilton. The house’s new owners, a doctor and an investment exec, loved the property’s multi-level concept but not its exposed heating ducts and glass blocks. They hired architect Ian MacDonald, who added soaring windows, removed walls, installed warm Brazilian cherry floors and relocated the living room and master bedroom to the back of the house for a view of the yard. Outdoors, there’s a new swimming pool, deck and fireplace. The four stainless steel chimneys that run the height of the home are MacDonald’s homage to Hamilton’s erstwhile ducts.

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The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a ho-hum Roncesvalles Victorian gets a rustic-modern overhaul

Character Piece: a blank canvas for rustic-modern tastes

Not long ago, Emma Reddington and Myles McCutcheon—she’s an interior designer, he’s a photo editor—were on the hunt for a character-rich historic house in the west end. But they didn’t want to tear down too many walls to make it livable. They finally chose a tired but solid Roncey Victorian with original details, including a stained glass transom and a cast iron claw-foot tub. Reddington, co-owner of the firm Marion Melbourne and founder of the design blog The Marion House Book, planned a makeover that would highlight the home’s pedigree and reflect her vintage-meets-metropolitan style. She decided to sand and oil the oak floors and re-plaster and whitewash the faded yellow walls to create a neutral backdrop for her rustic decor. Many of these items were architectural reclamation finds from the Dundas West shop Post and Beam, and antiques from the St. Lawrence Market. The only room that was demolished was the kitchen, which gained a 36-inch industrial stove and an elegant Calacatta marble wall. Reddington designed a walnut shelving unit to give the room its warmth and painted one wall black for contrast. Her work on the house isn’t done; “We just flipped the dining room and living room,” Reddington says. They have a three-year-old son, Henry, and she’s redoing the guest room for baby number two. “If I live here for 20 years, it’ll be a 20-year project.”

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The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a designer brings old Hollywood glamour to a drab Rosedale home

Before and After: 1930s Homage
Interior designer Theresa Casey lives for large-scale projects. So when she and her husband, graphic designer Robert Gray, began a house hunt, her goal was “to buy a box and make it our own.” A 1930s brick Rosedale home with a forgettable interior was the ideal big, messy job. Among its dysfunctions: a cumbersome wall divided the main floor down the middle, and Moroccan arches made rooms heavy and funereal. The sole, tiny bathroom was at the top of the stairs. After the space was gutted, Casey sourced all-new decor and had much of it custom made. She explored a period design, mixing traditional elements with 1930s modernism. The master bath now has smoky, Old World glamour, with black glass and Negro Marquina marble, cherrywood accents and vintage brass faucets. The petite kitchen is modelled after the galley in a cabin on a luxury ocean liner, with Statuario marble and unlacquered brass. Casey brought in vintage hardware and custom cherry doors for all the entranceways. The dining room’s grillwork is salvaged from the Eaton’s College Park building (now the Carlu), another dramatic art deco touch.

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The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a Baby Point house loses walls and gains an airy main floor

Extreme Makeover: a Baby Point house loses walls and gains an airy main floor

Situated on a 250-foot lot overlooking a ravine and the Humber River, Tom and Jenni Kapler’s 3,200-square-foot house in Baby Point had all the space in the world. But the 1940s home (where Tom grew up) just didn’t function for a family of five. It had an awkward layout: a collection of isolated, bizarrely proportioned rooms that felt confining, and small windows that diminished the ravine view. Architect Paul Raff started by updating the master bedroom and adding a large ensuite. Then he blew out the walls on the main floor to create a family-centric Bulthaup kitchen that’s three times the size of the original. Now, new glass doors lead out to the backyard. Raff also reimagined the living room as a modern entertainment space with a limestone fireplace and built-in shelving (joined to a picture rail) that covers up the old radiators. During the lengthy construction, the Kaplers practically cohabitated with the contractors and constantly moved around to avoid the cordoned-off areas. For a stretch, they set up a cooking area in the laundry room. “The kids totally adapted,” says Tom. “It was kind of like camping.”

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for December 17 to 23

Porchetta and Co. celebrates two years in business on Thursday with $1 sandwiches (Image: Andrew Brudz)

Monday, December 17

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight—Annual Sagittarian Ball: Get festive in your best cocktail attire while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Stasis Preserves, mead tasting from Rosewood Estates and cheap cocktails made by pros from the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • Lettuce Wrap Night at Chantecler: Chantecler’s popular lettuce wrap night is now taking place twice a week. Come out on Sunday and Monday nights for lettuce wraps with meats, assorted pickles and condiments for $21 per person until 1 a.m.—or until the food runs out. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • Make, Don’t Buy—Chocolates for Beginners: As part of the Depanneur’s Make, Don’t Buy series of DIY gift workshops, join Emily Zimmerman and learn how to make old-fashioned creamy ganache truffles, chocolate bark with toppings of your choice and crunchy chili-cornflake bars, all using organic, Fairtrade and locally processed Chocosol chocolate. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for December 10 to December 16

Farhouse Tavern hosts F*CK Mondays on Sunday (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Monday, December 10

  • Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District: Every day through December 16, stop by the Distillery District for the third annual Christmas Market. Enjoy the festivities while browsing the locally made treats and gifts. 9 Trinity St. Find out more »
  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight—Holiday Party: Stop by for some Appleton’s and eggnog and enjoy holiday cookies from the Sweet Escape. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • Lettuce Wrap Night at Chantecler: Chantecler’s popular lettuce wrap night is now taking place twice a week. Come out on Sunday and Monday nights for lettuce wraps with meats, assorted pickles and condiments for $19 per person until 1 a.m.—or until the food runs out. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • Indian Inspiration: Join Marni Wasserman for a lesson in how to incorporate the fragrant flavours of Indian cuisine into simple, healthy recipes. Menu includes chana masala, lentil dahl and chai lattes. Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »

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