Tuna Salad Sandwich

Delicious summer meals

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Delicious Tuna Salad Sandwich

In the heat of summer turning on the oven can seem unthinkable. To help beat the summer heat, and keep your family happy, here are some quick, hearty meals that you can make without turning your house into an oven.

1) cottage cheese and chives

Delicious and filling, cottage cheese and chives is so easy to make. Just take a container of cottage cheese, and add chives and pepper. For added variety, mix in some diced tomatoes and cucumber. Serve on toast or crackers.

2) tuna salad

A healthy and hearty way to add fish to your diet! Take one can of tuna and add 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add diced pickles or celery for crunch. Serve as a sandwich, or on crackers.

3) Spicy Egg Salad Lettuce Wrap

A twist on an old classic! Hard boil some eggs (approximately one per wrap), the peal and mash them. Add about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise per egg. Add diced celery or water chestnuts for crunch. To add some kick, add 2-3 dashes of curry powder per egg. Spoon onto fresh romaine leaves, then roll.

4) Egg and Tomato Pitas

Who says scrambled eggs are just for breakfast? Scramble approximately two eggs per sandwich. Thinly slice some fresh tomatoes, and salt to taste. Take your pita bread and cut it in half. Carefully peel the two sides apart, creating a “pocket”. Place the tomatoes and eggs in the pita bread “pocket” and add mixed greens if desired.

5) Filling Summer Salad

Jazz up your ordinary salad with this easy recipe. Start with a base of mixed greens. Add blue cheese or feta, and almonds for protein. Top with fresh raspberries or dried cranberries. For a simple vinaigrette dressing, simply mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Quick and easy meals for Moving Day

Thai Wok’s N’Go Restaurant "Pyrogy Dinner" - Glendale Alberta

Thai Wok’s N’Go Restaurant “Pyrogy Dinner” – Glendale Alberta

As you prepare for the big move or are already settling into a new home most of your possessions are probably boxed up. This can prove a logistical challenge when it comes to cooking dinner. For those of you who can’t don’t want to eat Take Out for the next week, here are some easy, one dish recipes to help you during your transition.

Easy Chicken Curry

This is a staple of my grandmothers. All you will need to prepare this dish is two pots (one for rice, on for the curry), a cutting board, a sharp knife and a large spoon for stirring.

Ingredients:

– 1 Jar pre-made curry sauce (Sharwoods is my favourite, easily found in the Indian food isle)
– 1 pre-roasted chicken or 3-4 cooked chicken breasts. Chicken should be cut into bit sizes pieces.
– rice
– chopped vegetables (peas, lentils, cauliflower etc.) (optional)

1) prepare your rice. There is an excellent guide here: http://dish.allrecipes.com/how-to-cook-rice/. If you don’t have the time, energy or utensils to cook rice you can also buy microwaveable rice in the rice section of your grocery store.

2) Cook your chicken, then add your vegetables and your sauce. Pre cooked, frozen vegetables can be added right away, but raw vegetables may require being pre-steamed if you like your vegetables quite soft. Lentils must be pre-soaked.

3) Heat the sauce with you chicken and vegetables. Stir regularly, and allow the sauce’s flavour to permeate the chicken and vegetables.

4) Serve on a bed of rice. This dish pairs well with steamed vegetables

Beans on Toast

An English classic! Hearty and easy to make. You will need a pot, a can opener, a toaster or frying pan, and possibly a cheese grater. You can also buy pre-shredded cheese, or skip the cheese entirely.

Ingredients:

– can of beans (beans with tomato sauce is the traditional)
– cheddar cheese (grated) (optional)
– bread for toast
– butter (optional)

1) Open the can of beans beans and pour it into the pot. Heat until bubbling. Add cheese if desired.

2) Toast the bread. You can either use a toaster, or if that is packed you can butter the bread and fry it in a frying pan.

3) You can now decide if you want to use our toast to scoop up your beans, or pour the beans on to of the toast and eat it with a knife and fork. Both ways are acceptable, but pouring the beans on the toast can make the toast soggy. This recipe pairs well with raw veggies.

Pan fried Pierogis and Sausage

This easy meal requires only one frying pan and a spoon/flipper for stirring and serving.

Ingredients:

– Pierogis (fresh or frozen). Typical varieties include cheese and potato, bacon and potato etc.
– sausage
– butter

1) First, fry the sausage. You can either cook it whole or cut it into bite sized pieces first. Save the sausage grease in the pan

2) Fry the pierogis in the sausage grease, adding butter if needed. The pierogis should be a pale golden colour and the outside should be crispy. If you don’t cook them long enough the inside will still be cold. The butter and/or sausage grease will help to brown them.

3) Serve. This recipe pairs well with either cooked veggies or a green salad.

Vegetable Omelet

Who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? This recipe is perfect for using up the last of the eggs and fresh vegetables before you move! All you need is a frying pan, a mixing bowl, a mixing spoon/spatial and a flipper. You will also need a knife and a cutting board of your vegetables are not pre cut.

Ingredients:

– eggs
– cheese (grated)
– milk (optional)
– assorted chopped vegetables (ie: peppers, onions, spring onions, chives, parsley, tomatoes etc.)
– salt and pepper (optional but recommended)

1) Crack your eggs into the mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and the chopped veggies. Mix thoroughly. Add one approximately one table spoon of milk or water for each egg. Milk will give you denser eggs, water will give you fluffier eggs.

2) Pre heat the frying pan. Pour in egg mixture once pan is hot. Stir consistently till eggs are entirely cooked.

This dish pairs well with fruit salad or a hearty vegetable or bean salad.

Exhibit from Royal Tyrell Museum

Attractions in Southern Alberta

Summer is the perfect time of year for a weekend or day trip. Southern Alberta boats tons of fun and interesting attractions for the whole family. Here is a short list to help you plan your perfect summer daytrip.

Exhibit from Royal Tyrell Museum

Royal Tyrell Museum

1)The Royal Tyrrell Museum

Southern Alberta is known for its huge deposit of dinosaur fossils. Come marvel at these gigantic and majestic creatures at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. It will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to drive from Calgary to Drumheller, so you will want to get an early start. The museum is open from 9am to 9pm seven days a week. For more information, please visit http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/

2) Vulcan

Named after the planet and species from Star Trek, this town is a science fiction lovers dream! This charming little town has really embraced its name sake. Come see the Tourism and Trek station, a one of a kind visitor Center that looks like a landed spaceship! For more information, please visit http://www.vulcantourism.com/

3) Banff national park

Located about 1.5 hours from Calgary, Banff national park is a natural wonder! Full of majestic mountains, beautiful flora and fauna and a picturesque mountain town, Banff truly embodies the best of Alberta’s natural beauty. For more information (and national park admission rates) please visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/index.aspx. Want to hit the slopes? Check out the mountain resort of Lake Louise! More information at http://m.banfflakelouise.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.banfflakelouise.com%2F&utm_referrer=#2586

4) Hiking, biking and camping

For those who love the rugged outdoors, southern Alberta boats lots of biking and hiking trials as well as campsites. There are trails for every ability level, from novice to expert. To find the right trail for your group, please visit https://alltrails.com/canada/alberta as well as http://reserve.albertaparks.ca

Calgary Stampede Parade

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! – Calgary Stampede

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

Calgary Stampede Parade

Calgary Stampede Parade – Anna Webber.

Have you noticed a lot of hay bales around lately? Seen a lot of Western wear for sale? That is because it is almost time for the Calgary Stampede! This annual show is, for many tourists and locals alike, the event of the summer. This year, the week long event runs from July 3rd to July 12th. Touted as “the greatest outdoor show on earth”, this weeklong extravaganza has something for almost everyone. From the rodeo to the fairground, from family friendly fun to a night out with friends, you are sure to never be bored. Here is a quick guide to help you plan your stampede week.
1) Stampede breakfast
Pancake breakfasts are a long time Stampede tradition. Many companies host free pancake breakfasts for the public, usually consisting of pancakes, bacon or sausage, and juice or coffee. To find a lank age breakfast near you, please visit http://www.freestampedepancakes.com
2) The “duds”
Many people opt for traditional cowboy and cowgirl outfits, usually consisting of jeans, a plaid shirt, a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. That being said, be sensible. Cowboy boots are not comfortable walking shoes, and jeans can get very hot if you are outdoors. If you are visiting the fair ground, opt for comfortable summery clothing such as shorts and T-shirts. A sun hat and sunscreen are both must have items. Nothing ruins the day like sunstroke and a sunburn. If you plan to be out after dark, bring a sweater and long pants to keep warm and keep Mosquitos at bay. On a related note, drink lots of water throughout the day, and make sure to spend at least some time in the shade.
3) Getting there
Parking is at a premium at the stampede grounds, and the cost can be prohibitive for some. If you are looking for a more budget family ride, try taking the C train. The C train has two stampede stops, one at each end of the grounds. Victoria Park – Stampede station stops by the midway rides, and Earlton – Stampede stops by the Agricultural exhibits. Tickets can be purchased at the grounds, or in advance from select retailers. For more information, please visit http://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede
4) The Rodeo
The rodeo is what really sets Stampede apart from other summer carnivals. The rodeo hosts eight different events, from ladies barrel racing to bull riding. For more details, and ticket prices, visit http://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/rodeo
5) The Faire
Especially for younger Stampede-goers, the midway rides are the main attraction. From terrifying roller coasters to kid friendly airplane rides, the midway has all your bases covered. There is even a special children’s ride section that hosts a variety of rides that are sure to delight, not terrify, the little ones.
6) The Food
Faire food is a cuisine all to itself, and the Stampede is no exception. The midway boasts all the classic foods like corn dogs and hamburgers, but the traditional Stampede lunch is beef on a bun. Slathered in rich barbecue sauce and served on a soft bun, this tasty treat is sure to delight. And for desert? Try some fresh, piping hot mini donuts made right before your eyes! These delightful snacks are covered in cinnamon and brown sugar and are sure to delight. Feeling adventurous? The midway now offers more exotic foods such as sour cream, onion and cricket pizza or a “beef sundae” consisting of beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and cheddar cheese served in a plastic parfait cup.
7) The Nightlife
Though the Faire grounds may close, the celebration is just beginning! Check out the nightly Grandstand Show (starting at 7:45 pm), a family friendly event featuring singing, dancing and fireworks! Up for something a little more wild? The party unofficially continues on 17th avenue, the Restauraunt district close to the Stampede Grounds. Many bars are open late all week long.

What to wear – dressing for Calgary’s weather year round. 

CalgaryWinter

This weather isn’t far away. 🙁

 

Welcome to Calgary! One of the oldest jokes here is that if you don’t like the weather just wait ten minutes for it to change. As such, you really will need clothes for all types of weather. Here is a handy guide to help you dress appropriately.

1) Layers

Since the temperature can vary quite significantly throughout the day, it helps to prepare for all types of weather. Spring and fall usually hair require a light coat, but that can change. It’s always best to dress in layers: shirt, sweater, jacket. That way you can change as often as the weather does.

2) Rain

It doesn’t rain very often in Calgary, with the “rainy season” lasting from the end of April to the beginning of June. During this time it is advisable to buy rain boots, carry an umbrella, or bring a hooded rain jacket. Calgary often experiences “sun showers”, short bursts of rain while the sun is still shining. They don’t last long, and don’t tend to cover large geographic areas, but it never hurts to be prepared.

3) Snow

The dreaded “S word” that all Calgarians hate! Snow usually occurs between late September, through till May or sometimes even June. During this time of year it is best to invest in a good winter coat, a solid pair of winter boots with nice grippy bottoms (for the ice), warm mittens and a good toque (a winter hat, traditionally knit from wool). If you are planning long drives it is good to make sure all passengers have these items, and that you pack a warm blanket in the trunk in case you have car troubles. Calgary is also subject to the occasional freak snowstorm in the summer, but the temperature doesn’t tend to go too far below zero and the snow tends to melt quickly. A warm sweater and  raincoat or umbrella should suffice for most brief summer snow storms.

4) Sunshine

It can get quite hot in Calgary, with summer temperatures averaging around 22 degrees Celsius and sometimes climbing over 30 degrees. That may not seem very warm to some people, but it is warm enough to cause dehydration and heat stroke. Drink plenty of water in the summer, and avoid staying in the sun all day. Sunburn is not only unpleasant, but can lead to skin cancer.

5) Stampede

While not weather related, Stampede does come with its own dress code. Most Calgarians warmly embrace The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, and dress accordingly. Jeans, cowboy hats and cowboy boots become the norm, from sales associates to CEOs. Cowboy hats and boots can be very expensive, especially right before Stampede. If you want to get in the spirit without breaking your budget, a pair of jeans or jean shorts paired with a plaid collared shirt will let you fit right in. If you aren’t use to cowboy boots they can be uncomfortable, so it is advisable to wear solid waking shoes to the fair grounds rather than cowboy boots.

Calgary: A Quick Reference Guide

timmysstampede

Welcome to Calgary! To help you get settled in, here is a quick reference guide to the city. From local sports teams to city wide celebrations, here is everything you need to know.

1) Local Hockey Teams

Hockey is huge in Canada, and Calgary is no exception! The local team for the NHL (National Hockey League) is the Calgary Flames. During playoff season you will hear locals talk of the “Red Mile”. This is a giant,  unofficially organized party that occurs on 17th avenue, typically after home games at the Saddledome, which is located nearby. This party can be VERY rowdy, and is not for the faint of heart!
 
The other local hockey team, in the Western Hockey League, is the Calgary Hitman. 
 

2) Stampede – The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth! 

 
The Calgary Stampede is a week long carnival and rodeo that runs every year at the beginning of July.  Many downtown businesses shut down for the week, as the mass of Stampede goers can make commuting difficult, especially on Parade Day.  Nearly everyone in the city gets into the “stampede mood”, so don’t be shy! Grab your friends, family and cowboy hat and join in the fun! 
 

3) Tim Horton’s – A National Treasure.

If you are moving from another part of Canada you will already be familiar with Canada’s love affair with Tim Horton’s. For those of you coming from farther abroad, let me explain. Tim Horton was a famous hockey player, who opened his first coffee and donut shop in 1964 in Hamilton Ontario. To many Canadians, Tim Hortons is more than just a coffee shop. It occupies a unique place in the Canadian psyche, and is seen as being quintessentially Canadian.   When Robb is travelling abroad, he always packs a sleeve of Tim Hortons coffee cups, just so he can spot his fellow Canadians.
 

4) Commuting 

Depending on where you work and where you live, you will likely have to commute. If you work downtown, your best bet is to use Calgary Transit, which covers both city buses and the LRT (Light Rail Transit) called the C Train. Parking downtown is both scarce and expensive. If you don’t work downtown, you may want to drive as transit becomes more spread out and less efficient the farther you are from the core (downtown). If you do end up driving, expect rush hour to last from about 7 am to 9 am, and from about 3:30pm to 6:00pm. During these times, it is best to avoid the Deerfoot. The Deerfoot, as Deerfoot Trail is called, is the major North-South road in Calgary. Normally traffic moves quickly on it, but during rush hour it often slows to a crawl.   Calgary is in the process of completing the final southwest leg of Stoney Trail, which is a ring road that encompasses the city.

A Quick Reference Guide to Viewing a Property

homeshowing

Here are some quick tips for when you are viewing a Property for Sale.  Your Real Estate Professional will also be helping you identify these amenities and possible red flags.

1) Look for signs of water damage, water, mould and/ or  signs of bugs or mice. This could manifest as buckled floors, water stains, and spongy walls. Open all the cupboard, and look for mice or insect droppings. Also be wary of any off putting odours, including over use of odour covering sprays or scented candles. The overuse of these products may be to hide something foul.
2) What is the neighbourhood like? Remember, you aren’t just buying a house, your are buying into a neighbourhood. If you have school age children you should look and see how close the nearest school is, and check out the community Center for children’s activities. How far will you, and your spouse, have to commute? How far is the nearest grocery store?  Check with the school board if your children are able to attend the schools.  Being near a school doesn’t necessarily mean your kids can attend.
3) What are the neighbours like? Are other houses on the street tidy and well maintained? What sort of demographic is the neighbourhood? A family with small children is more likely to want a quiet neighbourhood with other young families, where as a young couple may want something more urban, with better night life.
4) Is the property private? You don’t want to buy a house, only to realize your neighbours window looks right into your bathroom!
5) Check the layout, and make sure it is right for your family. A family with small kids is more likely to want all bedrooms on same floor. However, if you have teenagers, or are planning on using a bedroom as a home office, you will likely want those rooms on a different floor.
6) Check out the exterior too! Real estate photos don’t often show the entire property, so you want to take a walk around the houses exterior. Check for any signs of trouble, such as cracks in the foundation, water damage or sunken sections of ground.
7) Is the house light and airy? You want a house with nice “flow”, an open feeling layout which doesn’t feel cramped. Natural light is also a huge bonus! Not only will you feel better, but you will save on electricity by not needing to turn on so many lights.
8) Closets and storage are very important! Most people have at least a few items that need to be stored (holiday decorations, winter coats, etc.) Make sure the house matches your storage needs, and that the closets are large enough. This is especially true for children’s rooms, as closets often do double duty as toy chests.
9) Always Check around in the utility room.  Marijuana Grow Operations are common in Calgary and many have not ever been identified.  Check around the main power panel for signs of power lines being tampered with.  Check the water main feed before the meter to see if any changes have been done.  Look at the exhaust vents on the furnace and hot water tank to see if they have been altered with.  These things may not indicate a former grow operation, but will let you know if the home requires further inspection.

Five Calgary Attractions All Tourists (and Locals) Should Visit

Heritage Park's Gasoline Alley

Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley

1) The Calgary Tower

Offering a 360 degree view of the entire city, the Calgary Tower is what makes our city’s skyline unique. Complete with breathtaking views (and a glass floor for the brave), this is a sight you can’t afford to miss! Finish your day with an elegant dinner at the Sky 360 restaurant, the famous rotating restaurant that completes one full rotation every hour.

2) Heritage Park

See how the West once was! This family friendly adventure lets you travel back in time with Canada’s largest living museum. Take a ride around the reservoir on the S.S. Moyie, hop aboard a steam locomotive and unwind at the old fashioned carnival. Experience history, and have fun! The park is open daily May 16 to September 8, and open weekends from September 8 to October 12. Hours of operation are 9:30 am to 5 pm. Couldn’t get a parking spot near the entrance? Ride the Tram right up to the gate!
Have a formal lunch at the Selkirk Grill or the dining room of the Wainwright Hotel. Looking for something more casual? Try Gunn’s Dairy Barn, the Railway Cafe, or the Club Cafe. Heritage Park is also open the 6 weekends before Christmas. Come celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with sleigh rides, delicious baking and even a children’s Christmas market.

3) The Calgary Zoo

From the Antarctic to Africa, the Calgary Zoo hosts many different types of animals, including Penguins, Elephants, Gorillas and Giraffes. The Zoo is open year round, 9 am to 5 pm. Grab lunch at the Kitamba Cafe, or if you are looking for a picnic, grab some casual cuisine from one of the concession kiosks scattered throughout the grounds.

4) Spruce Meadows

A world class Show Jumping facility, Spruce Meadows is definitely worth a visit! Tournaments typically run February to October. Please visit http://www.sprucemeadows.com/tournaments/ for full details. Bring a picnic and make it a family outing. Spruce Meadows is perfect for the family on a budget, with tickets starting at $5 per person, and children under 12 and adults over 65 getting in free.

5) Calaway Park

Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park, perfect for a hot summer’s day with the family. Located just 10 km west of Calgary, this attraction is only a short drive away, or bring your RV and spend the night! Park is open daily 10 am to 7 pm.

Unique (and Cheap) Date Ideas

Telus Spark at Night

– Grab your sweetheart and share an artisanal cone at Village Ice Cream (http://villageicecream.com/). Flavours include traditional favourites like chocolate and strawberry to unique, such as earl grey tea or cardamom. Expect a wait though, Village Ice Cream is always busy! Take your cone and stroll through Kensington for the full “Village” experience.
– Walk through Chinatown and visit the Chinese Cultural Center (http://www.culturalcentre.ca/). Explore the history of some of Calgary’s founders and see the unique mark they left on our city.  Stop for a snack at one of Chinatown’s mouthwatering bakeries (http://www.urbanspoon.com/nf/15/1408/100005/Calgary/Chinatown/Bakeries) and shop for unique items in the Dragon City Mall (http://chinatowncalgary.com/dragoncitymall/Map.html)
– Let your inner child run wild at Telus Spark! The second Thursday if ever month is Adults Only night at Telus Spark. Features lectures, as well as all regular exhibits. (http://m.sparkscience.ca/home/special-events/adults-only-nights/).
– catch a unique flick at the Globe Cinema (http://globecinema.ca/). Adult tickets are typically $10, but all tickets are $5 on Tuesdays.
– Pack a picnic and go for a walk in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Prince’s Island or Edworthy Park. These beautiful natural spaces allow you to get away from the bustle of the city and truly relax. And remember, if you want to feed the ducks or geese opt for birdseed over bread!
– Dinner at a fancy restaurant out of your price range? Why not just grab an appetizer or dessert! Some excellent restaurants include Corbeaux Bakehouse (http://www.corbeaux.com/#about) with its heavenly mousse, or Una’s Pizza and Wine (http://www.unapizzeria.com/) with its mouthwatering Stuffed Persian Dates.
– Take in an outdoor tournament at Spruce Meadows. Children under 12 and Seniors over 65 are free, all other ages are $5.
– Go on a date and grab some groceries for dinner at the Calgary Farmer’s Market. (http://www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/). Stumped for dinner ideas? Check out the “What’s In Season” section of the website for fun and free recipes.

Newcomer Resources in Calgary

Calgary's Centre For Newcomers

Calgary’s Centre For Newcomers

Welcome to Calgary! We are so glad you decided to move here to our wonderful city! To help you settle in, here is a list of newcomer resources located here in Calgary.

1) Immigrant Services Calgary offers a variety of resources including (but not limited to) Information and Orientation, Supportive Counselling, Referrals, Employment Support Services, Community Initiatives and Access Programs for Seniors and Civic Education/Citizen Classes. Services are offered in seventy different languages including Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Dari, Dinka, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Oromo, Mandarin, Pashto, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tigrigna, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian.
 
For more information, please visit http://www.immigrantservicescalgary.ca/how-can-we-help/newcomer-support or call 403.265.1120. Walk- ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. All services are free and confidential.
 
2) Center for Newcomers
 
The Center for Newcomers offers comprehensive 3 year program called “Newcomer Settlement”, which covers all of the basics of settling into Canadian culture. It aims to teach newcomers what services are available to them and their families in Canada, covering housing, schools, transportation, banking, employment and health care. It also helps newcomers learn the skill necessary for day-to-day life including dressing for the weather, English language classes, shopping for affordable goods, and getting to know your neighbours. It also covers the rights and responsibilities of new Canadians. A sister program, Children’s Settlement, is similar, and geared at New Canadians with children under 12. For more information, please visit www.centerfornewcomers.ca. To book an appointment, please call 403.569.3325 and specify your preferred language for service. Walk ins are welcome, but must wait until individuals with appointments have been served. 
 
3) Calgary Newcomer’s Club
 
The Calgary Newcomer’s Club is a volunteer run social club for women. This club aims to help women learn more about the city, and make friends and professional contacts. Membership costs $40 annually. To apply, please visit http://calgarynewcomersclub.com/membership/ and fill out the online application form. Questions can be directed at info@calgrynewcomersclub.com.
 
4) Welcome Centre for New Immigrants
 
Located at 3820 – 32nd Street NE, the Welcome Centre for New Immigrants is a community centre geared at new immigrants. This not-for-profit organization is a branch of the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, and helps immigrants develop English language skills, computer skills and job hunting skills.  For more information, please visit  http://www.welcomeimmigrants-calgary.ca/ or call 403.291.0002.