Monday, June 22, 2009

Out door pools open soon

The 2009 schedule for outdoor public pools is now available HERE
Wading pools and spray pads are free and tonnes of fun for the whole family. There are many scattered through out the city so pick one and go cool off already.

Admission Requirements

Wading Pools have a maximum depth of 45 - 60 cm (18 - 24 inches). They are designed for children 12 years and under that meet Admission Requirements. Children under 5 years of age must have a parent, guardian or caregiver 12 years of age or older actively supervising them at the pool.

Groups are welcome at wading pools city-wide - please check the Group Admission Requirements.

Dakota Park is available for group or day care bookings from 9:30 - 11:00 am, Monday - Friday, July 2 - September, 2009.

Wading Pool Rules

For the safety and enjoyment of all participants, Wading Pool Rules apply at all wading pools operated by the Community Services Department.

Wading Pool Closures

All wading pools are closed on days when Environment Canada forecasts either the projected high temperature for the day is 21°C or lower or the probably of precipitation is 70% or greater.

Wading Pools may need to close unexpectedly - please check Wading Pool Closures for more information.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frugal finger paints

You can make your own finger paints by mixing 2 tablespoons of white flour with a little water to make a thin paste and then adding a few drops of food coloring.
To make painting extra easy for a young child, have her paint on waxed paper taped to a table in the kitchen or outdoors. Put a blob of paint down on the paper and show her how to slide her fingers around. If you want to save her creation, press a piece of regular paper over the waxed paper and peel gently away; hang to dry.
I personally used normal paper and it worked fine. This does not make the best paints in the world but it really amuses a baby. Best of all you know it's non-toxic. She kept eating it and it was great to have the piece of mind of knowing it was just coloured flour and water.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free OB Tampons

OB Tampons have been offering this for some time now. This pack of 3 tampons and a carrying case is available to Canadians, all you have to do is fill out the form HERE
I have received this before so I know it comes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Springs church charity car show

If you are a car lover then you won’t want to miss this weekend!!! You will see muscle cars, import tuners, rods and some insane out of this world sound systems competing in a dB Drag Race. Come join us for a Father’s Day weekend to remember as we have a wide variety of things planned for you.

This event combines two great purposes; the first is honouring Dad’s on Fathers Day weekend by giving them what they love, cars, cars and even more cars! The second is to make people aware of the struggles our inner city kids face and raise money for great programs at Springs Inner City that build their self esteem and give them a positive alternative to life on the streets.

Why not make it a family event and bring out the entire family as there will be great food, prizes to be won, live band, magic show, kid’s face painting / games and much more!

ITINERARY for Saturday June 20
(Itinerary will be update when and if necessary.)
- 7:00am - set up for Parts SWAP meet
- 7:30am until noon Parts SWAP meet open
- 9:00am Car show entry registration and set-up
- 10:00am until 4:00pm Car show open to public
- 10:00am until 12:00 DB Drag Race time registration and trials
- 1:00pm until 4:00pm DB Drag Race competition
- 11:00am until 4:00pm Autocross Rally Course open to public
- 4:00pm DB Drag Race awards

- 4:30pm Inner City presentation by special guest Mayor Sam Katz
- 5:00pm Car Show Awards ceremony (for all categories) Presented by Mayor Sam Katz

Father’s Day Sunday any entries are welcome to stay over for our Show & Shine for all our service can be left here over night (security provided) or brought back by 8:00am.


> DB Drag racing
– Sponsored by Hamilton Audio / Mach 5 Audio for all those stereo buffs out there (North America wide competition). Some of the vehicles registered for this event are already from as far away as Alberta and the northern USA.

> Car Show – featuring a wide variety of classifications (including Classics, Muscle, Tuners, Street and Motorcycles)

> Autocross Rally Course – for those that always wanted to try their car out (hosted by Porsche Club of Winnipeg)

> Part Swap Meet - for those looking for the elusive part to finish off their project

**You say what is a dB drag race???

Click here:

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This event will be held at Springs church at 595 lagimodiere blvd


Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to bake cookies without a recipe

I have read a million cookbooks and cooking magazines and it has gotten to the point with my self teaching in the kitchen that I no longer need a recipe so long as I understand the technique
Problem is that it is harder to find cooking technique books than it is to find run-of-the-mill cookbooks.
I want to cook things without a recipe and do not want to rely on them.

Here I will use cookies for example, and I hope to teach someone something in the process.

The basic ingredients in cookies are:
Baking soda
Fat (Butter, margarine or any other fat)

Now it would make common sense not to use bacon grease as your fat, unless for some reason you wanted to make pork cookies, but the idea here is to learn the science behind cooking so if you ever wanted to make bacon cookies you could. The fat can also be a nut butter or shortening. Think FAT! Oil is not a particularly good choice here because it is not very stiff. 

I start with the fat and the sugar. About equal parts or each, however some like sugarier cookies. Remember more sugar will make them crumblier as the sugar does not bind as well as the other ingredients.
Also, with the sugar, whether you use brown, white, natural, cane or even finely crushed butterscotch or mint candies will make a big difference in your cookies. All white sugar will cause it to come out like a sugar cookie where as brown sugar gives it a softer chew. Crushed candies will also give a flavour to the cookies so you may want to omit any other flavouring. Experiment with whatever sugars you like, keep in mind that if you are looking for a chocolate chip cookie consistency it is usually done with a 50/50 mix of brown and white sugars. More white if you want it crispier and more brown if you want it softer. I personally like 75% brown and 25% white but again, whatever you like, have on hand or depending on the kind of cookie (I might make a bacon cookie with 100% brown sugar but a Christmas style sugar cookie would be made with all white sugar).
Mix this very well, some call it "creaming" the sugar and butter.

Eggs are kind of like the glue that holds it all together, it also causes the cookies to brown. Depending on what kind of cookies you are making and how many would determine how many eggs you use. I have never experimented with too many eggs, so I don't know what happens if you put lots of eggs in your cookies. The amount of egg to batter is hard to describe, but I personally like one egg to each cup of fat used. 

The flavouring is normally vanilla extract when making cookies, though any extract can be used (Almond, mint etc) as well as other kinds of liquid flavouring (Including juice) Add as much of this as you like, keeping in mind that too much will overpower the taste of the cookies and not enough will not have a strong taste at all. It would also be too much flavouring if it drastically changes the texture of the dough you have so far. For myself, I usually add a few tablespoons of flavouring or extract to each cup of fat used though I have seen many recipes and have used 2 eggs for each cup of fat so it doesn't have to be so precise (in fact, this whole process does not have to be precise).

Baking soda causes to cookies to rise. I usually about one teaspoon to each cup of fat used but I have made cookies without it and with extra. It really doesn't make a huge difference but if you want fluffy cookies, use it. 

I usually mix it at this point, but you can not over mix cookies, so mix as much as you like.

Extra stuff are things like oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&Ms, coconut, raisins, crushed candy bar pieces, nuts or really any thing else you want in your cookies. Add as much as you like here. This is really what makes the cookies special and individual so have fun. you can also chose not to add anything here.

Flour is of course the part that makes it all come together. More flour will make it stiffer and less four will make it runnier. The look and feel here will be the biggest key as to whether or not there is enough. You want to be able to make balls with the cookie dough.
If you wish to make a more chocolaty cookie, you can substitute some of the flour for cocoa. Cocoa will make the dough  gooey so I usually use a 25% cocoa to 75% flour mix if making chocolaty cookies. This makes black cookies as opposed to brown or white cookies and taste really chocolaty.

Stir this until it is all mixed well.

To bake, place cookies by balls on a cookie sheet. Grease the pan if your pan is conducive to things sticking to it. Parchment paper is a good idea and I have even used tin foil as well. Anything to keep the cookies from sticking. Of course you don't need to add anything if you have a nice non-stick baking pan.
Space them with enough room so that the cookies don't touch each other when they spread out from the heat. If you are concerned about the cookies spreading out and sticking to each other just put less on each pan and cook in more batches. Better to be safe than sorry and by the second batch you will know exactly how to space them for maximum cookies baked per batch.

Cook at about 325 degrees until browned on top and they look yummy. The bigger you made the balls the longer it will take to cook. Check them often because cookies cook quickly. small cookies cook in under 10 minutes where larger hand sized cookies can take about 15 minutes. This really depends on the size of the cookie. 

The cookies will be soft when they come out so you will want to let them cool. They can cool in the pan, on a cooling rack, in a plate or on a paper bag. You can let them cool wherever you like. this will help them stiffen and make them easier to eat and distribute. I know you want to eat them hot. Timing is key here, eat some when they are cooled off a little but still warm for best results though cookies are good totally cooled too (but you knew that!)

Hope that gave some insight to baking cookies. Now to figure out how to bake cake without a recipe! It's probably pretty similar.