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The Body Shop Canada’s Mix & Match Anything Event: Buy 3 Items and Get 3 for Free OR Buy 2 Items and Get 1 for Free Until July 27th!


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 2.34.09 PMThe Body Shop Canada has a big mix & match anything event, which allows you to buy any 3 items and get 3 more items for free OR buy 2 items and get 1 item for free! This offer is valid until July 27th both in store and online. Keep in mind that the offer excludes 250ml Shower Gels, All In One Instablur Eye Primer, All In One Instablur 5 Action Perfector, Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, Body Sorbets, Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil, Moisture White Shiso Skin Care, pre-packaged gift sets, kits, sale items, online outlet items & in store items $6 and under.

The Body Shop has great sales but I’m finding that they’re becoming somewhat repetitive so if you feel the same way, check out their new products and hopefully you’ll find something new to enjoy! 🙂

Make sure you check out The Body Shop’s Top Rated products like this Vitamin E Body Butter. The neutral smelling body cream that goes for $20, feels like its melting straight in to leave skin feeling soft and smooth.
Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 3.01.18 PMTry this brand new Strawberry Hand Cream in travel size that goes for only $10. It has a non greasy moisture and is extremely light
Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 3.03.20 PMTry this top rated lip & cheek stain that has a nice, natural effect. It goes for $14
Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 3.05.23 PMOffer expires on July 27th. Free shipping is offered if you spend $75 and if you spend between $50 and $75, the shipping fee is $5.

Click here to start shopping the mix and match event at Body Shop Canada


Recipe Schmecipe: Pizza Dough


I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for quite a while. It is my favorite pizza recipe and I usually make two batches and freeze the dough for later use. Honestly, if you plan it ahead of time, it’s faster and way cheaper than take out pizza.

Pizza Dough

Makes dough for 2 pizzas

Ingredients:

1Âľ cups warm water

2ÂĽ tsp. instant yeast

4 cups flour, plus more for dusting

1½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • In a large bowl, mix water with yeast. Combine flour, salt and olive oil with the yeast mixture and mix until a dough is formed. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let it rise for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.
  • Deflate the dough and divide it in two. At this point you can also freeze it by wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in a large ziploc for later use.
  • To make the pizza, preheat the oven to 500ËšF/260ËšC. Lightly sprinkle your pizza pan with cornmeal. Shape the dough and place it on the pan. Brush the edges with olive oil and top as desired. Bake the pizza for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Recipe Schmecipe: Basic Sugar Cookies


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Here is a simple sugar cookie recipe to impress your loved one with on Valentine’s Day. I love this recipe as it’s a perfect canvas for decorating on any given holiday.

Basic Sugar Cookies

½ cups Softened Butter

¾ cups Sugar

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1-½ cup Flour

½ teaspoons Baking Powder

¼ teaspoons Salt

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the room temperature butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in an egg and then vanilla. On a low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into wet ingredients until everything is incorporated.
  • Equally divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until it is firm enough to work with.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about a ÂĽ-inch thickness and cut out shapes as desired. Place the cookies onto parchment paper or a lightly greased baking tray.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, watching closely until the cookies appear to almost turn golden around the edges. I also check the bottoms to see when mine are done as the top might still be very light but if the bottoms are a light golden brown they are done! Let cool completely before frosting.

I like my cookies simple but if you’re in the mood to get more festive, cut out the cookies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter instead of a round one. You can also top it with the icing recipe below.

ICING

1 cup Powdered Sugar

2 teaspoons Milk, Up To Double The Amount, As Needed

2 teaspoons Light Corn Syrup

¼ teaspoons Vanilla

4 drops Red Food Coloring, If Desired

  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and milk until smooth. Mix in the corn syrup and vanilla until smooth and glossy. If it is too thick, add the milk in 1/2 teaspoon increments.
  • Add drops of food coloring to each bowl to reach your desired intensity of color. Spread over completely cooled cookies (Top with heart-shaped sprinkles, if desired). Let it sit until the icing is hardened, which takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

Recipe Schmecipe: Homemade Instant Pancake Mix


Making pancakes is very simple but we still turn towards those pre-packaged, processed boxed mixes. With Alton Brown’s recipe for a homemade pancake mix you can get the same convenience but without the processed nutritional nasties. It’s a lot cheaper as well!

Instant Pancake Mix:

From Alton Brown, Food Network

6 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix and use it within 3 months.

Yield: 3 batches of pancakes.

Although, Alton Brown’s original recipe calls or buttermilk, I usually don’t have it in the fridge so I decided to use milk and added a splash of vanilla. It turned out mighty tasty 🙂

Since I didn’t add buttermilk, I also skipped the steps of separating the eggs, adding the whites to the milk, the yolks to the melted butter. You can still do that if you want but who wants to get this complicated in the morning?


Instant Pancakes:

Adapted from Alton Brown

2 eggs

1½ cups milk

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups Instant Pancake Mix, recipe above

Butter, for greasing the pan

Fresh fruit, optional

  • Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out.
  • Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
  • Lightly butter the hot griddle or pan and wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)
  • Gently ladle the pancake batter using a ÂĽ cup measure onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.
  • Serve immediately or hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 pancakes


Recipe Schmecipe: Asian-Style Beef and Veggie Noodles


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I love the versatility of this dish mostly because you can switch around the meat and vegetables to suit your needs and make use of whatever vegetable is lying around in your refrigerator. Use Napa cabbage, spinach, bean sprouts, green beans, peas or whatever else floats your boat.

It is filled with tons of fresh, colorful veggies, makes a giant bowlful and is great to take somewhere to share.

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Asian-Style Beef and Veggie Noodles

1 lb or ½ kg lean ground beef (or chicken, turkey or any other meat)

4-5 tbsp soy sauce

2-3 tbsp sriracha chili sauce

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

2-3 tbsp oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2-3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp ginger, chopped

½ head green (or red) cabbage, thinly sliced

2-3 carrots, shredded

2 whole bell peppers (red, yellow or green), thinly sliced

1 lb spaghetti or noodles, cooked, rinsed and cooled

3-4 scallions, chopped

Handful of chopped cilantro

  • Marinade the ground beef for at least half an hour in soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar and sugar.
  • In a wok or large pan on medium-high heat, sautĂ© the onion in a tablespoon of oil and add ginger and garlic. Add in the ground beef and cook it through. Remove it in a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same wok, add the rest of the oil and quickly sautĂ© the cabbage, carrots, green beans, bell peppers until slightly softened but still crunchy. Remove from the heat and add in the ground beef and cooked spaghetti. Mix it and taste to see if it needs more soy sauce, vinegar or sriracha and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Top with the scallions and cilantro. Serve it warm on a large platter or chill it. It tastes just as good warm or cold.

Makes 8-10 servings.


Recipe Schmecipe: Homemade Bread


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One of the things I love doing is making bread. The wonders of bread-making never cease to amaze me. Granted, it does take some time and patience but the end result is more than worth the effort.

Without further ado, here is the recipe:

 

11b

Homemade Bread

1½ cups warm water

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp salt

3½ – 4 cups flour

 

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  • Add in 1-2 cups of the flour along with the oil and salt. Mix and keep adding in the remaining flour in ½ cup increments until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes on a floured surface until it is soft and elastic.
  • Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for approximately an hour until it has doubled in volume.
  • Deflate the dough and shape it into two loaves. Place them at least 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise again in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes until it has doubled in size.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Schmecipe: Spiced Potato and Ground Beef with Peas (Aloo Keema)


I don’t know about you but all I want to do in winter is to hibernate, eat hot comfort food and curl up with a good book. And although most of us make the New Year’s resolution to lose weight, it is kind of hard to achieve our goals when the cold, bleak winter practically demands us to eat those comfort foods. But, making small healthy changes to those foods will allow you to enjoy them and still keep your resolutions intact.

On that note, but certainly not to be mistaken with health food (all those potatoes!), here is a Spiced Potato and Ground Beef with Peas (“Aloo Keema” which literally means Potato Ground Beef) with warm and earthy Indian spices.

1a

You’ll need onion, tomato, ginger and garlic.

2a

And don’t forget the potatoes!

3e

The Spices a.k.a the most important part.

4a

Aloo Keema: Spiced Potato and Ground Beef with Peas

1-2tbsp olive oil

1kg or ½ kg lean ground beef

5-6 medium potatoes, cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

3-4 minced or grated garlic cloves

1tsp minced or grated ginger

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp turmeric

ÂĽ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup frozen peas

Handful of cilantro, chopped

2-3 green chilies, julienned, seeds removed (optional)

3 scallions, chopped (optional)

  • In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add chopped onions and sautĂ© them. As soon as the onions start to turn golden brown, add the tomato and minced ginger and garlic. Let it cook for a minute.
  • Add in the ground beef, breaking any chunks, and cook it through. When the ground beef is brown, add in salt, pepper, ground cumin, turmeric, red chili powder and cumin seeds (if using). You should also taste it at this point to see if it requires more heat or salt and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Add in the cubed potatoes and mix everything together.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low. Add in about half a cup of water, cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the frozen peas.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the cilantro, green chilies (if using) or scallions (if using). Serve with chapati/roti or naan, green chutney, and salad or just enjoy it as is.

Recipe Schmecipe: Cheesy Herb Garlic Bread


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It’s winter and all you want is comfort food and what better way to get that comfort but from this delicious garlic bread. Eat it alongside a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup and hopefully you’ll be all set to brave the crowds on Boxing Day.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Cheesy Herb Garlic Bread

1 loaf of french bread or baguette

5-6 garlic cloves

½ cup softened unsalted butter

3-4 tbsp fresh herbs (basil, cilantro or parsley)

ÂĽ tsp salt

ÂĽ tsp pepper

1 cup shredded cheese

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400.
  • Mince or grate the garlic into a fine paste. Mix the garlic with softened butter, herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Cut the bread lengthwise in half and spread the butter mixture on both sides. Sandwich the bread back together and wrap the loaf in foil. Place the wrapped loaf onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and turn the oven to the broil setting.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the bread with the shredded cheese. Broil it for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted and bread is crisp.


Recipe Schmecipe: Cilantro-Yogurt Dip


This dip recipe is delightfully refreshing, simple, and it’s also incredibly healthy, especially when you’re looking for a respite between all those Christmas cookies. It also requires only three ingredients:

a1

Plain yogurt or thick Greek yogurt (Plain yogurt can usually be found on sale for $2 or less).

a2

Fresh cilantro (regularly $1 per bunch) and sea salt (Aurora Sea Salt is on sale at Sobeys for only $0.88).

a3

In a blender or food processor, puree the cilantro. Add the yogurt and sea salt to the emerald green cilantro puree.

a4

Thoroughly mix and serve alongside those Baked Potato Wedges.

Cilantro-Yogurt Dip

1cup cilantro* puree

2-2½ cups plain yogurt

½ tsp sea salt

Puree the cilantro in a blender or food processor and you could also put in a few tablespoons of your yogurt to the puree if it needs some help in breaking down. Take a cup of the puree and mix with the rest of the yogurt and salt. Enjoy the delicious green goodness!

*Note: The cilantro  can be substituted with other herbs of your preference such as mint, basil or parsley.


Recipe Schmecipe: Baked Potato Wedges


The humble, yet delicious, potato is extremely versatile and this recipe, a healthier version of a French fry, makes for a good side dish and a great snack.

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First off preheat your oven to 400°F/204°C and peel approximately 3lbs of Russet potatoes (note white potatoes are on sale at No Frills this week at $3.47 for 20lbs), or if you like them with the skins on, then just give them a good scrub. Slice them into wedges, roughly equal in size.

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In a mortar and pestle (or any other device of your choosing) crush 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

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And 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds. You just want the seeds to release their aroma and although you can use coriander and cumin powder, I prefer using the whole seeds.

41

Mix the potato wedges with olive oil, garlic cloves, crushed cumin, crushed coriander, salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, while turning them once at the half-way mark.

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Serve with a refreshing yogurt-coriander dip (recipe coming soon) and enjoy the golden brown deliciousness, with a crispy crust, soft, fluffy insides and roasted garlicky goodness. If you’re feeling guilty, at least you’ll feel better with the knowledge that they are much better than deep fried French fries.

Here is the recipe card:

Baked Potato Wedges

3lbs Russet Potatoes

3-4 tbsp Olive Oil

I tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp Salt

ÂĽ tsp Pepper

5-6 Garlic Cloves (whole or sliced)

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

2. Peel potatoes (or give them a good scrub if you’re leaving the skins on) and cut into wedges.

3. Crush cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle.

4. Mix potatoes with olive oil, garlic cloves, crushed cumin, crushed coriander, salt and pepper.

5. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them once at the half-way mark.


Recipe Schmecipe: Lazy Man’s Raspberry Pinwheels


This recipe oozes laziness mostly because it is dead simple to make and only uses two ingredients (seriously!).  It’s great for those times when you’re bogged down in work or just not feeling up to spending more time in the kitchen than necessary. More importantly, it costs literally next to nothing!

recipe1

Pillsbury Pie Crust (purchased for $1 after sale and coupon).

recipe2

and Smucker’s Raspberry spread (almost $2 after sale and coupon).

recipe3

So, first things first, let’s unroll the crust (yeah, the menial labour, I know!)

recipe4

And spread two heaping tablespoons of the raspberry filling, making sure to leave an inch gap on all sides so the filling doesn’t ooze out.

recipe5

Roll it up into a log shape and cut it into half-inch slices. One crust should yield about 12 pinwheels.

recipe6

Place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and feel free to top with coarse sugar for more texture. I also sprinkled some with shredded coconut, but choose whatever topping floats your boat. Finally, place the tray into a preheated oven (350°F/180°C ) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

recipe7

Et, voila! A dessert that looks and tastes like you spend quite a while making it.


Condoms at Dollar stores across Canada … hmm


Thanks Dinglehopper for posting in the forum about Dollarama stores selling condoms… (located conveniently beside the pregnancy tests)

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Is it just me, or does this make anyone else really uncomfortable?

Part of me thinks why should it matter, they are sealed and they are $2, great deal! But then the ever cautious side of me kicks in and says yeah but they are only $2 and it’s the DOLLAR STORE … doesn’t this seem kind of wrong?!

What do you think? Would you trust buying condoms at your local dollar store?


Smart Canucks Canada Presents Smart Canuck Of The Month!


 

membe1r

With so many amazing readers and members of our site I thought it’s time that we feature YOU!  Each month a random member will be featured.  With this honour will come a chance to share tips and stories in a feautued blog post all about you.

How can I become a Smart Canuck of the month? It’s simple. If your not a member of the forum simply sign up and email me at Sally @ Smartcanucks.ca (omit spaces) on why you should be the Smart Canuck of the month, your username on the forum, and email contact.  You can also nominate a member if you wish. *You can email me a nomination or recommend yourself right now!*

Each month a member will be randomly chosen to be the Smart Canuck of the month, and will receive a $25 gift card for participating. *Must be Canadian resident to receive giftcard*

To get things started I randomly chose an existing Smart Canuck for the month of May.  Watergirl73 is May’s Smart Canucks of the month. Congratulations! Keep your eyes peeled for her featured post.

*Please remember that every member is a valued Smart Canucks and not everyone will be randomly chosen as there is only 12 spots per annum.* Odds of being featured are dependant upon a random monthly draw and number of entries*


Canadian Freebies: “Lipstick Powder n Paint” product testers for Degree Natureffects


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I just came across this site, and it looks pretty interesting and perhaps worth trying out for those of you who like product testing. Lipstick Powder n Pain is looking for 100 Canadian Lipstick Powder N Paint readers to test the soon to be launched Degree Women Natureffects™ for themselves, and provide honest and unbiased feedback.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, click here to learn more, and complete a short qualification survey before January 10, 2010, accepted product testers will be notified by email on January 12, 2010.

Thanks to WandaJean for sharing this offer with us!


When What to my Wondering Eyes Should Appear . . .


canadian-living

So I’m flipping through the October issue of Canadian Living looking for coupons (scan for coupons first, read later) when I see the word ‘coupons’. Upon closer examination I discover that it is an article entitled “Online Coupons” by Deena Waisberg. Hmm, I wonder to myself, what sites does she list? I scan the bolded text box on the bottom right hand side of the page, pretty much assuming it’d be save.ca and the like, and what do I see but – you know what’s coming here don’tcha??? http:smartcanucks.ca !!!!!!!!! Woohoo! That’s Us!! I mean I know it’s Boo Radley (did I mention you’re fantastic!) but collectively it’s us!!!!  Right there in print on page 186 of Canadian Living – wooh Boo your name’s going to be in bright lights! (well, your user name anyway ;-p) Congrats SmartCanucks!!


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