Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan-Stuffed Dates



Only 3 simple ingredients create this very delicious dish. Sticky, rich dates are stuffed with quality Parmesan cheese, wrapped with smokey bacon and baked to perfection. Amazing!

Recipe courtesy of Chef Wolfgang Puck.

 What You’ll Need

  • 18 large dates, preferably Medjool, slit lengthwise and pitted
  • 18 pieces good-quality Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, each about 1 by 1/4 inch
  • 6 slices good-quality smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thirds

How to Make It

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Insert a piece of Parmesan into each date. Then, wrap each date with 1 piece of bacon, securing it with a wooden toothpick. Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the dates over. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
  3. With the tongs, transfer the dates to paper towels to drain, carefully patting them dry with more paper towels. Serve immediately.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums Hiked Once Again

Mortgage insurance premiums hiked once again

by MBN | 17 Jan 2017


CMHC announced early Tuesday it is increasing its loan insurance premiums effective March 17.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

According to the Crown Corporation, the average homebuyer will see a $5 increase to their monthly mortgage payment as a result. That $5 certainly adds up, however, to a total of $1,500 over the course of a 25 year mortgage.

The increase is the result of last year’s mortgage rule changes, CMHC claims.

“Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI’s new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital,” it said in a release.

“Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.”



This latest hike comes less than two years after the most previous one, which was announced in April 2015.

See below for standard premium changes.




Article by:Home Trust Mortgages Blog

One of the primary responsibilities of the Bank of Canada is to determine the country’s interest rate policy. Naturally, the topic of interest rates always fuels considerable debate and with the economy still under-performing despite rates being close to an all-time low, some analysts suggest the Bank of Canada may have little choice but to consider implementing a negative interest rate. In this Home Trust Mortgages Blog entry, we’ll look at how the Bank of Canada influences retail interest rates and some of the possible outcomes should the Bank of Canada adopt this controversial interest rate strategy.

The Bank of Canada Overnight Lending Rate

When the economy is expanding to the point of inflation, the Bank of Canada can increase interest rates making it more expensive for consumers to borrow. This tends to reduce overall spending and slow growth to a more manageable rate. The opposite holds true when the economy is weakening; in this case, the Bank of Canada will reduce rates in an attempt to encourage borrowing and boost consumer spending.

The primary mechanism the Bank of Canada has to manage interest rates is through the Overnight Lending Rate. This is the interest rate the retail banks earn on the funds they hold on overnight deposit with the Bank of Canada.

By manipulating the Overnight Lending Rate, the Bank of Canada can influence retail interest rates. When the Overnight Lending Rate increases, the banks will typically increase deposits; when the Bank of Canada lowers the rate, the banks will reduce deposits and make more funds available for lending. The banks will often introduce lower lending rates and special deals to attract more business and it is this relationship between the Overnight Lending Rates and the retail and commercial lending rates that enables the Bank of Canada to manage the country’s interest rate policy.

Some economists have proposed that the Bank of Canada would have to slash the current rate of just 0.5% well into negative territory in order to have a meaningful impact. Should this happen, the banks, in exchange for keeping their funds with the Bank of Canada, would then be required to pay interest on their deposits. To avoid this reality, it is very likely that the banks would drastically reduce their deposits thereby making more money available for lending to their customers.

Negative Interest Rates and the Housing Market

Let’s make one thing clear– the introduction of a negative Overnight Lending Rate by the Bank of Canada will not result in your financial institution paying you to take out a loan. Lenders may well lower their rates if the Bank of Canada slashes the Overnight Lending Rate, but don’t expect to borrow for free.

Ultimately, whether or not the Bank of Canada takes the unprecedented action of implementing a negative interest rate, there are very few market watchers who expect that interest rates are going to increase appreciably any time soon. For those looking to borrow for a new home or other large purchase, it appears that rates will remain near the current levels for some time.

Continued low interest rates should help boost, or at least maintain, activity in most real estate markets. There are exceptions, of course; markets in those areas directly impacted by weak energy prices may not share this outlook, but in many other parts of the country including hot spots like Toronto, the prospect of low interest rates should help to support these very active markets.

Despite the warnings that properties in these two cities in particular are over-valued, so long as demand continues to outstrip supply, and interest rates remain at or near the current historical lows, it seems likely home sales will continue to expand.

Pino Decina

EVP Residential Mortgage Lending
Home Trust Company

Apple Pie Bacon Grilled Cheese!

If that title alone doesn’t make your mouth water… nothing will!


This recipe makes 2 large sandwiches.

1 packages of Orville’s Apple Pie Bacon
1 granny smith apple
6 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
4 big pieces of Sourdough Bread (you can use whichever bread you’d like)

Line a baking sheet with foil, then lay out the bacon on the sheet. Place in the oven and then heat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the time for 17-20 minutes. Once your bacon is cooked, pat the excess grease off with some paper towels. Be careful because this yummy bacon can be a little sticky!

1. Lay out your pieces of bread and butter each piece.
2. Cover each piece of bread with your cheese slices. I used one and a half slices on each piece of bread. Feel free to use more or less if you’d like.
3. Core your apple then slice it into thin pieces. Layer your apple slices on one side of the bread for each sandwich. I used 6 think slices for each sandwich.
4. On top of the apples, layer your bacon! I find that the bacon strips will fit better on the bread if you cut them in half. Use as much bacon as you would like. I used 5-6 half slices for each sandwich. This bacon is cut very thick, so it doesn’t take many slices. Place the other piece of bread and cheese on top of the bacon.
5. At this point you can eat your sandwich as is, or grill it on a griddle or skillet pan. Here is how to do that:
6. Heat up your griddle (or skillet) on medium heat. Butter the top of your sandwich liberally with butter. Be sure to cover the whole piece of bread!
7. Once your griddle is warm, place the sandwiches butter side down onto it. Lower your heat to medium low and cover it with a lid if you have one large enough. Cooking it on low heat and covering the sandwiches while they are cooking will allow the cheese to melt all the way without burning the bread.
8. After a few minutes, go ahead and flip the sandwich. Cover again and grill for a few more minutes.
9. Once your sandwich is grilled to your liking, you’re ready to eat it!

And of course 10. ENJOY!

Recipe by Piggy Piggy Princess

Apple Pie Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Interest Rates Likely To Rise

Interest Rates Likely to Rise In The Near Future!


TD Bank reports that the new mortgage rules will likely result in rate increases over the next coming months.  The anticipated increase is anywhere from .25% to .40% at this time.  How fast we’ll start to see rate increases across all lenders is unknown.  Some lenders have already increased rates a bit.  So what action should you take if you are thinking about purchasing or refinancing a property?


You can protect yourself at no cost from any short term rate increases by “reserving” a mortgage rate.  Rate holds are valid for up to 120 days.  So over the next year, while the lenders are absorbing the new changes, it is definitely in your interest to get a rate hold.

Need a rate hold?  Need more information?  Please contact me by phone: 780-431-2786 (toll free: 1-866-431-2786) or by email:

Bacon & Egg Muffin Cups



10 mins
10 mins
20 mins

Easy, delicious and perfect for any breakfast! Bacon and Egg Muffins Cups are a sure family favorite!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 Breakfast Cups

6 slices of bread
12 eggs
12 slices of bacon
shredded cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, cook the bacon and only allow it to cook for about 4-5 minutes. You are looking for flexible but not raw. While the bacon is cooking, cut two circles out of each slice of bread. I used a circle cookie cutter to make it easier.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Next, lay a circle of bread into the bottom of each muffin cup. Wrap the bacon around the edge of each muffin cup. Sprinkle cheese on top of the bread slices.
Now carefully, crack an egg into each cup.
Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until the whites have set and the yolk is cooked to your liking (less for a runny yolk, more for a cooked yolk)
Serve with pancakes and fresh fruit!

Mortgage Rate Stress Test!


Dramatic changes to how much mortgage you can qualify for, announced by the Federal Government on October 3rd. What it means is that the amount of mortgage you can qualify for will be reduced by up to about 25% from today’s levels.

Questions? Call me at 780-431-2786.

The following is copied from the Ministry of Finance web site:

“Mortgage rate stress test” for all insured borrowers:

To help ensure new homeowners can afford their mortgages even when interest rates begin to rise, mortgage insurance rules require in some cases that lenders “stress test” a borrower’s ability to make their mortgage payments at a higher interest rate. Currently, this requirement only applies to a subset of insured mortgages with variable interest rates or fixed interest rates with terms less than five years. Effective October 17, 2016, this requirement will apply to all insured mortgages, including fixed-rate mortgages with terms of five years and more. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages are not affected by this measure.

Safer lending:

There are currently different rules in place depending on what proportion of the value of the property is covered by a loan. For example, mortgage insurance criteria for a loan that represents 80 per cent of the value of the property or less (low loan-to-value ratio mortgages) are not as stringent as for high loan-to-value ratio mortgages (loans that represent more than 80 per cent of the value of the property). This could lead to increased risk for the taxpayers who ultimately back insured mortgages. To help ensure that taxpayer support for mortgage funding is targeted towards safer lending, effective November 30, 2016, mortgages insured by lenders through portfolio insurance and other low loan-to-value ratio mortgage insurance must meet the same loan eligibility criteria as high loan-to-value insured mortgages.