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The best guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

I love experiencing the tastes of different cuisines and I use any excuse I can find to switch things up a bit at the dinner table.

Celebratory dates from around the globe are perfect for this and May fifth marks Cinco de Mayo—a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayois Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually on Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayois simply Spanish for Fifth of Mayand is a regional holiday that commemorates Mexico's defeat of the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Butter is just better

When it comes to cooking, baking, and mealtime, butter has a definite role in the kitchen and at the dinner table. I know that even mentioning the comparison of butter to margarine is going to stir up a lot of opinions, but I am going to express my view anyway.

We use butter in our home on a daily basis for cooking, baking and serving and I cannot even remember the last time margarine made its way into my refrigerator. In my opinion nothing is better for flavour, richness, melt ability, texture, and in moderation, health benefits.

April Fool's Day prank

More and more companies every year seem to be getting on the bandwagon of pulling April Fool's Day pranks on April 1st.

WestJet has been doing this for a number of years now, and I especially enjoyed the one from Honda Canada this year with the “polite horn” for Canadians. If you haven't seen these yet, they are a search away on the internet.

This year I decided to join in the fun.

My top 10 'secret' ingredients to transform recipes

We all have them: our secret ingredients that transform recipes into one-of-a-kind creations that are to die for. This is what keeps food exciting at the dinner table and makes it unique to us.

Although these top 10 of mine officially won't be a “secret” anymore, I am happy to share them with you:

  • Blueberry jam

Beef or other red meats such as lamb or various game meats always will benefit from a little something bold and sweet. Blueberry jam is my “go to” ingredient for burger patties, chili, stews, etc.

Gourmet picnic ideas for summer

How many people are tired of the same old picnics items? Do memories of bland potato salads and boring sandwiches persuade you to buy fast food or, worse yet, keep you locked indoors?

Whether it's a romantic picnic for two or a family outing, easy-to-prepare gourmet ideas will liven up your picnic basket for this holiday long weekend.

Camping under the stars

Submitted by, the Stewardship, Youth Rangers

Week 4 of the Fort Frances Stewardship Youth Ranger-Ogimaa Binesiiyog Partnership Program has the rangers keeping busy around town, and then off to Caliper Lake Provincial Park for more clearing, cleaning, camping and canoeing.

In town, the SYR Team Leads took the Rangers to the Fort Frances Lookout Tower at Point Park and then on to the Sorting Gap Marina for a tour of the historical “Hallett.”

Committed to advancing reconciliation

Back in April, I had the honour of attending the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City, alongside several of my colleagues.

This was the 16th-annual conference at the UN dedicated exclusively to discussing the issues facing the world’s indigenous populations.

The forum brought the world together on the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, or UNDRIP.

Youth engagement crucial to our future

As we embark on a new year, it’s important to take time to focus on what the future holds for our communities in the Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding and our country as a whole.

When we consider the future, our youth always must be a priority as they will inherit the outcome of any decisions our current leadership makes.

The youth of today are engaged in a way we’ve never seen before. According to a study by Abacus Data and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, youth turnout jumped by 12 percentage points between the 2011 and 2015 elections.

Freedom cannot be ‘wholesale’

Submitted by Pastor Sean Ward

In July of this year, in a speech by U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy to the students of Liberty University, Gowdy shared two questions he posed to those employed at his office.

The first question was which do you value more: truth or freedom? Everyone present answered they valued freedom more than truth.

The second question was which do you value more: unity or diversity? Everyone except one answered they valued diversity more than unity.

Reflecting on our first year

Oct. 19 marked one full year that I have had the honour and privilege of representing the people of Thunder Bay-Rainy River in Parliament.

I am proud of the “Real Change” that this government has made in its first year.

With the introduction of a better-targeted child benefit, about 300,000 fewer children will be living in poverty in Canada in 2017 compared with 2014.

By now, families who already were benefiting from this program will see an average increase in the benefit of almost $2,300.