Category: Hobbies

DIY Pumpkins

Here are five Amazing DIY pumpkin decorating ideas that will keep you and your family busy from Thanksgiving all the way to Halloween! Yes, Halloween is just around the corner and why not get crafty this weekend with your whole family.

Get as creative as you can and share all of your pumpkin decorating skills with us!

  1. Silhouette Pumpkins from Uncommon Designs

2. Shabby Chic pumpkin from Cupcakes and Crinoline

3. Pumpkin Topiary from Sand & Sisal

4. Decoupaged pumpkins from A diamond in the stuff

5. Felt pumpkins from clean & scentsible

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Happy Thanksgiving from Brookfield Homes!

What a wonderful Fall it has been so far. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp but not too cold, the smell of pumpkin spiced lattes is in the air. The excitement of the long weekend celebrations surrounds us.  What better way to celebrate than baking a great pumpkin pie! This recipe is from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

All-purpose flour, for surface

Pate Brisee for Traditional Pumpkin Pie

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

Ground cloves

Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pate brisee disk 1/8 inch thick, then cut into a 16-inch circle. Fit circle into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under.

Shape large, loose half circles at edge of dough, then fold into a wavelike pattern to create a fluted edge. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Cut a circle of parchment, at least 16 inches wide, and fit into pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn gold, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, eggs, milk, and a pinch of cloves in a large bowl.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight). Serve chilled with whipped cream.

Cook’s Note

Most pumpkin pies are best served chilled, which can cause moisture to form on the surface. To remedy, gently blot with a paper towel before garnishing and slicing.

What is your favorite holiday pie?

Celebrate Summer With This Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberries

What comes to mind when you think of summer? The sun? Warm temperatures? A tan, perhaps?

While all these things do define a summer, in our opinion no summer is complete without fresh, luscious strawberries.

Besides their amazing health benefits (which researchers still rave about), these berries offer a delicious taste of the season. Little wonder that many locals rush to farmers’ markets everywhere in Ontario to pick up delicious ripe strawberries, or that strawberry picking remains a tradition for many families.

The following recipe is sure to help you celebrate summer with a burst of flavour.

Strawberry shortcake recipe


• 1/5 kilo strawberries, stemmed and quartered (for optimal results, pick your own delicious, ripe, locally-grown berries at Bayle’s Farm, Kang Farm, or closet of all, at Rock Garden Farm)
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• whipped cream

Directions 

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 Celsius.

To make the shortcake, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining sugar, and salt into a bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Then place the resulting mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden (18 to 20 minutes).

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve. 

What’s your favourite strawberry recipe?

Art Classes in Caledon East

In addition to fantastic trails, parks, and two nearby schools, one of which includes a library, as of this month, Pathways’ location in Caledon East offers you and your family a chance to indulge your inner artist. 

This is possible thanks to the Caledon Arts and Crafts for Youth, a local organization that aims to promote the arts in Caledon. Having already hosted other events (some of which we have blogged about), CACY is now holding family-friendly art classes at the Caledon East Community Complex, just across the street from Pathways.

So whether you or someone in the family was always curious about weaving, drawing, sketching, pottery, and more, check out the schedule for another way of having fun and learning a new skill.

Meanwhile, remember we’re launching a new release of extra deep homesites tomorrow at the Pathways Presentation Centre, just across the street from Caledon Town Hall (6311 Old Church Road). 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Christmas Cookies Recipes

One of the great things about Christmas and New Years’ celebrations is the food. Typically shared with close friends and family, most of us take time to relax, forget about dietary restrictions, and eat hearty, homemade, delicious fare.

Christmas cookies are one of the season’s favourite treats. The following recipes never fail to produce delicious cookies.

delicious chocolate peanut butter cookie 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 40 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cups

Directions 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Beat the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the egg, vanilla and milk or cream. Mix in the flour mixture and shape into 40 balls, placing each into a mini muffin pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for around 8 minutes. Removing the pan from the oven, proceed to immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball.

Once they’re cool, carefully remove them from the pan.

Gingersnaps & Accidental Peanut Butter Cookies 

Soft Gingersnaps

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar (put some extra sugar aside)
  • 2 eggs ½ cup molasses
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions


Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Refrigerate for around 1 hour (or until dough is easy to handle).

Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar you set apart at the beginning. Place them, 4 to 6 centimetres apart, on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 8-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Have a favourite Christmas recipe? Send it to us and we’ll post it on our blog!

Don’t forget that the Bolton Annual Christmas Parade is next weekend, Saturday December 3rd, at 11am. Mark your calendars now!

Fall Apple Pie Recipe

Apple Pie 
Fall is the perfect time for you to spend cozy days at home, huddled in a thick sweater and sharing a laugh with family and friends as the crisp air shakes the golden trees’ leaves outside.

Fall is also a perfect time for apple pie—nothing beats the warm smell of a cinnamon-sprinkled apple pie fresh out of the oven.

To strike a balance between convenience and deliciousness, we use premade pie crusts, but make the filling at home.

Make this recipe tomorrow and watch your loved ones savour every bite.

Fall Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients

6 to 7 cups baking apples (we recommend Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 premade pie crusts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel and core the apples. Cut into thin slices and combine in a deep skillet with the sugar, vinegar, and spices. Cook for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring and turning until the apples are tender.

Put apple mixture into pie crust, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Cut butter into small pieces and put on top of the filling.

Place second pie crust on top and crimp the edges. Pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape. Next, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the upper crust, cover with foil to prevent over-browning, and put inside the oven to bake.

Remove the foil after 25 minutes and bake for another 25 (or until it’s golden brown). Serve with vanilla ice cream or Devonshire cream.

Enjoy!

Eat Local Caledon is Here

Image via Facebook.com

The transition from summer to fall. Labour Day. The back-to-school season. September is known for these things and more—none of which involve food.

But in Caledon, September is also known for Eat Local Caledon, a month-long initiative dedicated to celebrating, supporting and strengthening Caledon’s local food and farming system.

In other words, September in Caledon is a great month to eat to your heart’s content.

But that’s not all—Eat Local Caledon is also the perfect time to take cooking lessons, go on wine tastings, tour farms, and learn about hobbies such as canning.

Another major feature of Eat Local Caledon is the Seven-Day Challenge, which encourages you to eat local for a week. Download the form here (and don’t forget to hand it in for an Eat Local prize).

Some of the participating venues are:

 Caledon Hills Coffee Company: 15980 Airport Rd. Unit 1, Caledon East, 905-860-1500. Daily specials featuring local produce and local meats, baked goods with local flour, honey, and maple syrup and more.

 Howard the Butchers: 15980 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-2934. Fresh breads and buns made to order (white, whole wheat, cinnamon, egg and more), seasonal vegetables and fruits, maple syrup, goat cheese and more.

 Foodland – Caledon East: 15771 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-9677. Strawberries, cucumber, potatoes, rhubarb, honey, Goodness Me! pies, flowers and more.

 Gourmandissimo Catering and Fine Foods: 16023 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-0005. Honey, baked goods made from local fruits and vegetables, pies, and chutney.

 Tea Boutique: 15958 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-7227. Herbal tisanes with locally grown or foraged ingredients, monthly specials that feature local, seasonal ingredients, soups, baked goods and more.

 Albion Orchards: 14800 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-0354. Season August-December. Local products. Pick-your-own of already-picked apples, apple cider, pumpkins, Christmas trees, sauces and preserves.

 Awesome Blossom: 17221 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-5691. Seasonal vegetables and fruits, corn, baked goods, flowers, and honey.

 Rock Garden Farms: 6390 Airport Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-9461. Strawberries (June), rhubarb (May-June), corn (Aug.), squash (fall), pies, turnovers, tarts, breads, pumpkins, garlic, eggs, herbs and vegetables from other local farmers, greens from Caledon Farm, preserves, dog biscuits, tomato sauce, jams, cured meats, honey, pesto, and more.

 The Consulate Dining Lounge: 15430 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon East, 905-584-6868. Read our blog post about the Consulate here.

Now it’s your turn! Have you been to any of these venues? Which one’s your favourite?