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Easy Make-Ahead Dinners When You Are On the Go

August 28, 2015

Easy Make-Ahead DinnersOne of the major advantages to staying in a furnished rental in Toronto is that you will be able to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals, which will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to pay restaurant prices for your meals every night. However, making meals when you are travelling will bring with it a unique set of challenges – as you might be short on time and you might not have all of the ingredients that you have at home.
In order to make cooking in your furnished condo as easy as possible, here are some easy make-ahead dinners that you can  heat up when you need them. Some of these recipes require a slow cooker but if you don’t have one where you are staying, you can always let them simmer on the stove for a while instead.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
This is a deliciously creative twist on chili and the flavour of pumpkin really enhances the dish. Start by heating up a pound

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

of cubed round steak on a large skillet in oil, simply browning the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a five quart slow cooker and leave the oil on the skillet. Use the oil to saute onions and yellow peppers until just barely tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker one can of pumpkin, two cans of black beans, two cups of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, dried parsely flakes, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin and salt. Cook on low for five hours.

Spiced Braised Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
A comforting stew that freezes well, this delicious dish is easy to make and delicious. Start by combining 1.5 pounds of beef cut into chunks, 2 sweet potatoes cut into half-moons, cumin, onions, apricots, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon and one can of tomatoes in a slow cooker with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a half cup of water. Cook the ingredients on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Right before serving, add a can of chickpeas to the mix and let them cook until they are heated through, for about 2-3 minutes. Serve the stew along with cuscous and spinach.Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole
This is a tasty kid-friendly favourite that you can make in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. Start by cooking the rice while also simmering the chicken until it is cooked through. Cook two chopped leeks until they are brown in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid has been released and evaporated. Add sherry and increase the heat to high and cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, then stir them to coat. Add milk and then simmer the sauce for one minute before adding parsley, sour cream, pepper and salt. Line an old baking dish with cooking spray and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish, then add the chicken and the green beas – pouring the sauce over top and sprinkling with almonds. Bake in the oven until the casserole bubbles and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Do you have favourite easy make-ahead dinners that you turn to? We’d love to hear about them!

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Downtown Toronto Condos, Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Family Fun Outdoor Activities in Toronto

August 14, 2015

Family Fun Outdoor ActivitiesWhen you are staying in a furnished condo in Toronto, your accommodations will be so comfortable that you might not want to go outside – but if you can pry yourself away from your cozy living space you will find so much to see and do right outside your door. Here are some of the best family fun outdoor activities in Toronto that you can enjoy.

1. Rollerblading on the Humber River Recreational Trail
Take the subway to Old Mill Station and you will discover this scenic winding trail. There are shops where you can rent rollerblades for the day if you don’t have your own, such as Wheel Excitement. Follow it through to Thackeray Park at Steeles Avenue West and enjoy the lush and quiet atmosphere of the river valley.

2. Surf Kayaking at Woodbine Beach
Kayaks actually work better than surfboards when it comes to catching waves, as they offer a lower centre of gravity, higher speeds and better manoeuvrability. Try surf kayaking on the waves of Woodbine Beach, Family Fun Outdoor Activities in Toronto where you can carve through the swells. Flipping over is very likely, so before you try this make sure that you and your family have taken kayaking lessons and knowhow to roll the kayak upright or exit the boat underwater.

3. Swimming and Sandcastles at Centre Island Beach
Take the kids to Toronto Island, which is a quiet and peaceful oasis far from downtown that offers stunning views of the city skyline. This is a very family friendly beach that is close to the ferry docks and it is a wonderful place for your little ones to splash in the surf, build sandcastles and much more. There are changing rooms nearby, as well as concession stands where you can grab a bite to eat. You can also rent a canoe or a kayak from the Boat RFamily Fun Outdoor Activities in Torontoental, but make sure that you get there early in the day as the boats will go quickly.

4. Biking on the Don River Trail
Rent bikes and go for a ride along the Don River Trail, a 20 km dirt trail that takes you from the waterfront in the south all the way to Sunnybrook Park and Taylor Creek Park. This beautiful trail is very kid friendly and it offers many quiet woodland areas as well as some neat wooden bridges to ride across. You and the kids will have a blast!

5. Exploring Bluffer’s Park
Escape the city and find some wilderness to explore in beautiful Bluffer’s Park. It is located just outside of Toronto in Scarborough and it is the perfect spot for cycling or cycling. Admire the gorgeous views of the bluffs that were formed 12,000 years ago by the Wisconsin Glacier.

These are just five of the family fun outdoor activities in Toronto that you can do with your family while you are staying in furnished condo rental.

Business Travel, Community Events, Customer Service Experience, Downtown Toronto Condos, Family Vacations in Toronto, Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk

Advantages to Living in a Furnished Condo

June 12, 2015

Living in a Furnished CondoMoving into a new place or city can elicit both emotions of excitement and anxiety, especially if it is unfurnished. There can be an additional consideration given to decorating your own place. This transition can be fraught with feeling overwhelmed, especially if you are relocating to Toronto or if you have been displaced from your home due to a fire or flood. The advantage of staying with DelSuites is that our apartments and townhomes are furnished in modern decor as with an efficient and practical layout. HereLiving in a Furnished Condo are a few more advantages of living in a furnished condo and what you can expect from our award-winning services:

1. No worries. Having a furnished rental means you are relieved of the worries associated with furnishing. No moving. No worrying about decor or dimensions. No moving costs or having to figure out who will help you move. From airport pick up and drop off to taking care of your family needs, Delsuites makes you feel at home, stress free!

2. Everything is set up for you. Delsuites furnished suites are all designed with modern decor. Everything is set up according to the dimensions of the apartment. This way, if you’re not of a design mindset, we’ve hired the experts to mLiving in a Furnished Condoake sure where you live is comfortable, easy, stylishing and relaxed. You also don’t have to worry about buying anything else because it’s already been done! (Not to mention that your bed is already made for you!)

3. Housekeeping included. One of the big advantages of living in a furnished condo is that if you are busy and on the go, whether you’re an executive or traveling for leisure, is our housekeeping services. Once aLiving in a Furnished Condo week, at a scheduled time, your apartment will be cleaned and tidy. Another bonus is that you don’t have to do your laundry anywhere either. It’s ensuite!

4. Ease of Meeting Neighbours. Since you are located in a property with various amenities like a fitness centre, outdoor deck and swimming pool, or party/billiards room, it is quite easy to encounter and befriend your neighbours. Many of our clients may be in similar situations such as relocation or displacement so it will be easier to bond over these shared situations.

5. All Inclusive Rates. Delsuites has all-inclusive rates so you’ll also get other amenities included in your rental including 24/hour security, an exercise/party room, and with many properties, an outdoor pool or lounge (not to mention being located in central and accessible locations, as per our above points).

Do you like living in a furnished condo, or rental? Why?

Downtown Toronto, Downtown Toronto Condos, Family Vacations in Toronto, Fitness and Health, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Tips to Healthy Eating in Your Furnished Suite

May 8, 2015

FamilyBeing healthy while travelling on the road whether for business or for leisure can be a difficult task to upkeep. Luckily, the kitchens at the furnished apartments at DelSuites gives you the resources to eat as healthy as possible while you’re in Toronto for your trip. Here are a few of our tips to healthy eating, whether you’re in the city for a short-term or long-term stay.

1. Buy Locally from Farmers Markets. Shopping at the farmers markets ensures that your produces is locally sourced. Locally sourced produce means it’s fresh and that you’re getting the best quality and nutrients in your meals as opposed to the exported product found in grocery storTips to Healthy Eatinges (most produce, as a result, will be processed). While in another city, like Toronto, going to the farmers markets will keep you in the company of locals and chat up the local farmers and producers of your food. There are a number of farmers markets that are in the areas of our properties from downtown to Etobicoke and Mississauga.

2. Buy in Season. As above, the food you buy at the farmers’ markets is seasonal. That said, if you are at a market or at the grocery store near your furnished rental in Toronto, buying in season will ensure your produce is as healthy as possible. Asparagus and Rhubarb are prime in the spring; corn is perfect in the summer months; tomatoes are at its peak in September; and apples and pumpkins are ripe and ready in the fall. Buying in season also helps you connect with the earth and weather as it changes throughout the year.

3. Get your Groceries Delivered If you are on business while in Toronto and on the go, having no time to shop can result in unhealthy eating. Luckily, one of our services is grocery delivery via Real Food Toronto. This way you can plan your meals to keep your meals fresh and delicious if you can’t get to the farmers markets. Real Food Toronto prides itself on its selection of healthy options for its customers.

4. Broil and Bake instead of Fry. Our fully stocked kitchens come with state of the art ovens, pots, and pans for all of your cooking and baking needs. Cooking instead of going to restaurants will also keep you healthy on the road and with our amenities, there’s no excuse not to cook in your apartment! Whether you get your Tips to Healthy Eatinggroceries from a local grocery store (many grocery stores are conveniently located near our properties), or at the farmers market, try to broil or bake your fish or meat instead of frying it, as it will save you from added calories or additives in your meals.

5. Eat at a Table. Having a place to sit away from a desk or taking the time out in the morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast will keep you satiated and less likely to induce in cravings later on in the day as well as giving you that peace of mind and time for yourself before a busy day in the city or while on business.

What are your favourite tips to healthy eating?

Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Five New Trends in Travel, 2015

February 20, 2015

TravelIn the past five years, travel has made significant changes. We’re going farther to more adventurous and closed-off destinations; we depend on technology for our travel decisions; we’re focused on making healthier decisions to extend into those when we travel (and airports are taking notice); and we want more for less – when we fly and where we stay. Here are the some new trends in travel that you may see pop-up as the industry continues to change, evolve and make the process easier and more convenient for you, hopefully while keeping the price affordable.

1. Closed-off Countries are Opening Up One of the biggest news items of 2014 was that Cuba and the United States were restoring their relations with each other since the Cold war era. This means that travel restrictions could soon be loosened for Americans on a country that is one of the most popular travel destinations for Canadians. There is no prediction on how this will affect Canadian travel patterns to Cuba but here’s hoping it will be positive (if anything, hopefully, the food options will improve once the embargo is lifted).

Similarly, travelers are flocking to Myanmar since government reforms and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi (an activist of democracy and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient). An untrodden country is now open up to capitalism, so it will be interesting how Myanmar will evolve from these changes. Other countries that were feared by travelers from either politics, religion, or disaster like Iran and Haiti are getting a boost from tour operators like G Adventures as safer and textured places to travel.

2. Airports are getting healthier. Being healthy on the road has been an increasing trend over the past 5 years. Just look to SFO where you can take a yoga new trends in travelclass; and the introduction of a Goodlife fitness location at the Toronto Pearson International Airport (Pearson). At Pearson, healthier and more varied eating options are now available to improve your experience via some of the best chefs and restaurants in the city.

Roger Mooking just opened Twist, which features a comprehensive breakfast menu, a step up from that sausage on an english muffin you were getting from Starbucks for the same price. Freshii is a great grab & go option, which will help you hit the mark for your 5-a-day. For heartier meals -or at the very least, fresh meals try Corso for its pizza (from famed Libretto chef, Rocco Agostino) and Boccone Trattoria Veloce for great Italian food (from Mistura’s Massimo Capra). Also look out for new restaurants coming soon from Chefs Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watch Co.), Susur Lee (Lee, Luckee), and Claudio Aprile (Origin), where you will likely see hearty and healthy fare, global flavours and twists on airport food.

That said, if you want to chow down on a smoked meat sandwich from one of Toronto’s most popular restaurants, there is now a Caplanksy’s in both Terminals 1 and 3. Rejoice!

3. Premium Economy and Better Boarding Practices.
Getting those perks of business class – like more leg room, better meals, privacy dividers, and lounge access – for a price less than business class but slightly higher than economy class, is something travelers are willing to pay for, as reported by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. This is especially true for airlines that offer longer haul flights like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, Japan Airlines, and New Zealand Air (search for their Skycouch). Just make sure to read the terms and conditions for refund policies (which are much more lenient in business and first class).

Boeing has recognized the increased need for better bins for carry-on luggage and has created Space Bins for its 737s. They feature more room for carry-ons (up to 174 bags, almost a 50% increase from its current capacity) and are now lower so it’s easier to hoist your bag up into the bin. Hopefully, it will be this trend and not “Carryon Shame” that people will discuss this year (which has its own twitter account).

new trends in travel4. The Accommodations Rental. Alternatives to hotels are getting more popular as travelers want to be situated in local areas but have the amenities and decor of a hotel room. With DelSuites, you’re in luck! Not only are our furnished apartments and suites situated across the GTA in central locations to get the best of a local experience but they are also have modern interiors and extras like stocked kitchens (plates, cutlery, cleaning supplies) and laundry facilities. Many of our properties also have state-of-the-art fitness facilities and some will have a pool (like our rooftop pool at 300 Front Street East across from the CBC. A full review is here). If you are in Toronto, it’s the ideal solution for a short-term or a long-term stay.

5. Giving back and back to nature.
According to the Deloitte Hospitality 2015 report (source: Responsible Travel) 95% of business travelers surveyed believe the hotel industry should be undertaking ‘green’ initiatives.

Awareness of sustainability is also influencing trip decisions to destinations where you can volunteer like Haiti or New Orleans. Travelers now want to unplug to new trends in traveldestinations where they can’t acess their wifi. National and State parks are a big trend in North America. Instead of big cities (where half of the world’s population lives), think of that road trip to the Redwoods National Forest in California, Oregon’s coast, hiking Machu Pichu, or walking along the Trans Canada trail in our home and native land. Closer to home, we have one of the most majestic parks, Algonquin Park.

Companies like Pack for a Purpose encourages guests to bring essential items to local communities who have development goals in their partnership with hotels. As a business traveler, this is a simple and small thing you can do to help developing cities and nations.

What are the biggest new trends in travel you think will happen for 2015?