A sushi recipe for when you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands

By Ian Leatt

“Let’s make rice cool.” The slogan on the little box caught my attention. Hmm, what was this? I was meandering around d.a.Niels, my favourite cooking accessory store in the Peg. I’ve spent many hours in that store looking over this gadget or that whisk. I could spend thousands of dollars in there!
The day had started off well. I had been doing some errands and, driving down Berry Street on the way home, realized I hadn’t been in the store for a while. Tempting fate, I pulled into a vacant parking spot. I realized walking into the store, “this could be a mistake,” since I would eventually spend money. The minutes turned into an hour and more, and I came out of the store with a great find. A rice cube maker!
What’s that? Well, I’ll tell you. It is used to make rice cool, just as the slogan on the package announced. All I can say is, whoever thought up this idea rocks.
If you’ve got a free evening, here’s how I used my cube:

Ingredients
1 cucumber
1 carrot
1 packet of Japanese rice
1 jar pickled ginger
1 jar of kelp roe
2 packets fresh seaweed salad
1 jar mixed sesame seeds
1 tube wasabi
1 can peaches
1 cup fresh crab meat
20 or so fresh king shrimp
1 packet smoked salmon
A bunch of fresh dill
A bunch of fresh parsley
1 packet yaki nori (dehydrated seaweed)
1 avocado
small bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce
The trick I came up with as I was making this sushi was to call my staff into the kitchen to help put the various pieces together. “Time consuming” is probably the first phrase that springs to mind when I think about making this dish.
Firstly, cook the sticky (Japanese) rice as you would normal rice, for 10 minutes or so. (I cooked it the night before as it needs to be cold for the sushi.)
Clear a space on your counter large enough for all your ingredients. Then, slice your carrot and cucumber to slim, matchstick size, peel your avocado, and slice it, too.
Now the fun part… Using a rice cube maker, place some sticky rice inside the empty cube. Be careful not to fill the cube completely, as you will next choose some ingredients to place on the rice. Finally, top off the combination by adding more sticky rice.
Squeeze your cube into the desired shape and loosen the sides to release the cube. Violà: sushi!
Decorating your cube is a matter of taste. I used some sesame seeds on some, simply rolling the rice cube over the seeds; I left other cubes blank and attached the yaki nori to a few others.
Place the cubes on a platter and resume decorating, as your taste prompts you and your fellow sushi-makers. Some will put crab with roe atop the cube; some will top a few cubes with cucumber and shrimp. All in all, a lot of fun was had by all as we put the sushi together.
The staff felt like royalty over lunch as we dug our chopsticks into the rice. It was a meal we will most definitely do again.
Stop by and check out d.a.Niels yourself one day. You too may find that special little gadget that rocks your world.
Ian Leatt, a former chef in Jersey, the Channel Islands, is general manager at Pegasus Publications Inc.

It’s good to be bad (sometimes)

Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

I just got back from a little Vegas vacay – my first time in Sin City – and I can certainly see where it got its nickname from. But omigosh it was fun!
Sometimes we just need to let loose, ya know? With a little help from the seven deadly sins, here are a few ways that you can get down with your bad self – without being so bad after all.
C’mon – all the cool kids are doing it!
Lust
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, sex has plenty of benefits – besides the obvious ones. A 30-minute steamy session can burn 70 calories. Plus, sex releases DHEA, a hormone that has anti-aging properties, and oxytocin, which helps reduce stress.
Oh, and sorry ladies, but that headache excuse is old news: sex also releases endorphins which have a similar effect to morphine, so having sex may actually help cure your aches and pains.
Gluttony
Have a peek at Pinterest and you’ll find a bevy of healthy but equally tasty swaps for your favourite comfort foods. Or pay a visit to Winnipeg’s own Ashley Rae at http://www.raeofsunshinelife.com for tons of wholesome, vegan, and totally delish recipes (Cameron Diaz raves about her). With a little creativity, you’ll feel like you’re indulging every day while still nourishing that bod.
Greed
Common beliefs about riches like “money is the root of all evil” can be self-limiting. If you believe that money is evil (subconsciously or not), it will be difficult to align yourself with accumulating wealth.
Financial wellness can give you the tools and freedom to do what you want with your life. Money is a part of life, so don’t feel guilty about setting realistic goals relative to your finances.
Sloth
Sometimes you just need a solid day of laziness. Why time-shame yourself? If you’re going to do it, really let yourself do it, minus the “I should be doing something productive” commentary in the back of your mind.
Want to spend Sunday Funday binge-watching Netflix? Go for it. The to-do list can wait and your mind and body will appreciate the break. Can’t justify a whole day of blissful nothingness? Clocking just one extra hour of sleep a night can help improve memory, productivity and physical health.
Wrath
We’re equipped with a full range of emotions for a reason. Think of your emotions like a scale or spectrum. When we are on one side of the spectrum (content, ecstatic), our energy vibrates at a higher frequency, which in turn attunes us to other high-vibrating (positive) energies.
And the opposite is so for the other side (annoyed, hella pissed). Your emotions give you insight into what frequency your energy is emitting – and in turn, what you are attracting. If you’re in a crappy mood, simply bringing your awareness to it can help you take steps to improve your state and frequency. And if you just feel like staying mad, the adrenaline that anger pumps out can be a great motivator to help you go for that run, clean the house, or get creative.
Envy
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If you’ve been jonesing to keep up with the Joneses, let it be a motivator instead of letting your jealousy bring you down. Focus on those things you want with positive feelings instead of negative ones.
Make a vision board or write in a journal about the objects of your affection and then get in the mindset of having them – not just wishing you did. Believing that it’s possible is the first step to making it happen.
Pride
Maybe it’s just because I’m a Leo but, I dunno guys, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being proud of your fine self. Give yourself a pat on the back and give yourself some gratitude for your accomplishments and how far you’ve come.
Was that really so bad?
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.

A challenge to the new council

By Dorothy Dobbie

The civic election brought big changes to the city of Winnipeg. Judging by the overwhelming majority given to Brian Bowman, I think it is safe to say that we are all looking forward to fresh ideas and new approaches.
Right now, the big challenge is the learning curve. With a brand new mayor and seven new councillors, there is a lot of learning to do. Many are busy getting advice from friends who have been there before. Listen to what they have to say and use some of it as a lesson for what not to do.
It will come as a surprise to some to learn that there is no job description in politics. You pretty much have to set your own agenda and decide on your own priorities, keeping in mind that, yes, you are there to represent your ward, but you have to do this while keeping the good of the whole city in mind.
This is no easy task and in old-style politics, it wasn’t necessarily considered a prerequisite. You voted with your ward, pacified the “ward bosses,” and kept funders closely in mind. (Nor were some of those funders shy about making their needs known, according to stories I have been told by former councillors.)
Hopefully, things have changed, but even so, the temptation to listen to the squeaky wheel will be great and can soon overcome objective planning and strategizing. You get lost among the trees and lose a sense of the forest.
As a former politician (even though it was only Ottawa), here are some thoughts that might help.
Learn to compartmentalize. Put your ward duties in one pile, and your greater civic duties in another. Answer calls, but set aside private time for you and your family.
Ask, ask, ask. Make sure you understand the answers. It’s not that civil servants want to deceive you, but they have the benefit of corporate memory and have been dealing with issues for a long time, so they may not give complete answers unless you probe harder. You have important policy decisions to make and you can’t do this responsibly without getting the full story.
Listen, listen, listen. Listen to your constituents, to the civil servants, to your colleagues, and finally, to your own heart. If you are really paying attention, you will see patterns that others miss and you will be better able to handle the big issues with equanimity.
Step back to see the big picture. Get a big picture in your mind so that you can determine how the specifics of your committee work or other initiatives fit into the puzzle.
Think before you speak. The media is looking for the pithy quote and will often try to goad you into saying something ill-advised because you are ill-informed. Don’t. We have seen more than one new councillor fall into this trap and never crawl out of it.
For the returning councillors, take this influx of new blood as an opportunity to find new approaches. Even if you tried something before and it didn’t work, maybe another angle will change that. You can learn as much from your new colleagues as they can from you.
This is an exciting time for all councillors and for us citizens. As a team, you can do great things for our city and for all of us. We are counting on each of you to take this mandate seriously – to step up to the plate and make good things happen.

Nude Sugar Bar gets down to basics, offers specialty in hair removal

Don’t expect to get your nails done or cross paths with someone leaving after a deep-tissue massage at Nude Sugar Bar. It’s not that kind of place.
The one-service sugar hair removal bar takes a clean, effective, no-frills approach to the task. “You’re just coming here to get exactly what you need done,” says owner Lindsey Peterson.
Having spent several years in Toronto, Lindsey noticed a trend in one-service waxing salons lining Toronto’s streets. She planned to put down roots in Toronto, but realized she might miss out on an opportunity in Winnipeg. “Instead of escaping Winnipeg, it’s exciting to bring something to Winnipeg to make it better,” she says.
Since opening Nude Sugar Bar on Corydon Avenue in late September, Lindsey has found that women jump at the chance to get-in-and-get-out when it comes to sugaring, especially thanks to the shop’s flexible hours. (The sugar bar is also open to male clientele, though women have been its primary customers.)
Nude is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The evening options were inspired by Lindsey’s own frustrations when trying to schedule sugaring appointments while working full-time at Nygard. She found many places closed down for the evening and couldn’t accommodate people with regular work schedules. Plus, she found many salons were ill-equipped to perform the service.
There seemed to be a range from nail salons offering sugaring or waxing behind merely a curtain to afford privacy, or lavish relaxation spas offering the service as a pricey luxury – and not much in between.
Lindsey found her home right in the middle of these worlds – Nude Sugar Bar has two private rooms to perform the sugaring in; each decorated tastefully with moderate touches to add comfort, but the takeaways are the gleaning white walls and surfaces that communicate cleanliness.

A sugaring station at Nude Sugar Bar.
A sugaring station at Nude Sugar Bar.

Nude Sugar Bar also cozily inhabits a shared space with Beautifeye Lashes, another niche beauty bar specializing in eyelash extensions.
Nude’s casual, on-the-go approach to hair removal helps make clients comfortable – but Lindsey and her “girl gang” are also inviting and familiar, making the experience relatively effortless.
Lindsey credits her studies in Red River College’s Creative Communications program for unleashing her entrepreneurial side and her ease in conversation.
“I remember being such a shy chicken,” laughs Lindsey. The program taught her “just to have the balls to do something and believe in (my)self.”
Though she’s an experienced social media coordinator, she decided to opt for simply an Instagram account for Nude, @nudesugarbar. She jokes that it’s mostly weird photos of naked women (they’re usually fairly PC memes), but she uses it to throw up flash sales when they have space available – and that, along with the website, has been enough to generate word-of-mouth for the business.
Lindsey also introduced herself to her new neighbours down Corydon and in Osborne Village by offering a discount on Nude’s services to the businesses, and between that and a first-week discount, she has already seen about 75 per cent of the clientele return for their second rounds.
Though sugaring was rather obsolete in Toronto, Lindsey researched the hair removal processes and found the benefits of sugaring were worth advocating for.
“Because it’s an all-natural product, the chances that you’re going to have an adverse reaction are really low,” begins Lindsey. Plus, “the sugaring only connects to your hair and your dead skin cells” so it acts as an exfoliant.
Since wax is a toxic adhesive, it peels a layer of skin right off and can breed bacteria due to the double-dipping technique used in many salons, she explains. Nude Sugar Bar uses Sugar of the Nile exclusively, an all-natural product developed in Winnipeg comprised of sugar, water and lemons.

Winnipeg-based Sugar of the Nile products.
Winnipeg-based Sugar of the Nile products.

Lindsey can talk the benefits of sugaring forever – it removes hair at the root, pulls hair in the direction it grows, and hair comes back thinner.
But, she maintains her dedication to no-nonsense: it still hurts.
Visit http://www.nudesugarbar.com for more information and follow @nudesugarbar on Instagram to receive notice of deals on Nude’s offerings.

The United Health and RecPlex benefits the community at large

By Diane Poulin

The most significant recreation and wellness facility ever created in Winnipeg’s inner-city community opened in September. The University of Winnipeg United Health and RecPlex on Spence Street is a $40-million facility that will serve the campus and surrounding community for decades to come.
Programming within the facility is specifically designed to meet the needs of multiple groups: Wesmen athletes and UWinnipeg students who want to have fun and stay in shape; neighbourhood youth and residents; and amateur sports organizations requiring space.
“Since the doors of the RecPlex opened in September, it has been alive with activities, from soccer matches, rock climbing and wrestling practices, to seniors exercising, girls hoop dancing, and a weekly community Pow Wow club,” says Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor at UWinnipeg. “This is a world-class facility that is bringing people together to do exactly what was intended: create new opportunities for recreation and for improving the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and the broader community.”
In the coming weeks, construction will be completed on the skybridge linking the RecPlex with a renovated Duckworth Centre, creating a seamless flow to more health and wellness spaces and new retail options.
A state-of-the-art facility
The facility is 168,000 square feet and accommodates a 50.5 by 90-metre soccer field, which meets minimum FIFA standard. It provides new indoor training and practice space for all Wesmen teams, the soccer players in particular. It can also accommodate numerous other sports such as flag football and track and field, as well as cultural and community events. It has:
-a large multi-use artificial turf field (three cross-fields)
-a four-lane rubberized sprint track and jump pit
-retractable batting cages (for baseball practice donated by the Rettie family)
-Thomas Sill Community Multi-purpose room
-Community Gym with climbing wall
-secure underground parkade for 189 vehicles and 56 bicycles
-Great-West Life Healthy Campus and Research Centre
-Drew Olson Student Lounge
Community partners
UWinnipeg’s Athletics Department currently supports approximately 300 neighbourhood youth under the Inner-City Junior Wesmen umbrella which includes boys’ and girls’ basketball, soccer and wrestling teams. The RecPlex is also the new home for the neighbourhood Pow Wow Club and the Adventure Kids Summer Camp which attracts 1,200 inner-city children annually. The popular day camp allows children to participate in engaging activities with a focus on Indigenous science.
Over the course of several years, following town hall meetings and in collaboration with community partners, a unique Community Charter was developed with a broad coalition of 18 youth-serving agencies and community stakeholders. The Community Charter ensures community use approximately one third of the time.
Generous donors
The new facility is possible because of generous government grants, with the Province of Manitoba contributing $15 million and the City of Winnipeg committing $2 million to the project. A University of Winnipeg Students’ Association-sponsored student referendum approved a student athletic fee of $30 per term to support construction of the new facility.
Private partners, like Great-West Life, donated $500,000 to create the Great-West Life Healthy Campus and Research Centre inside the complex which allows for new research opportunities that will benefit the community, and especially inner-city youth, for decades to come. It also supports the university’s emerging Healthy Campus initiative.
An investment of $230,000 in energy-efficient features by Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart program is estimated to have the equivalent positive environmental impact of taking 119 cars off the road for one year, and will allow UWinnipeg to save $25,000 in annual energy costs. For more information on the centre, visit http://www.uwinnipeg.ca.