Valentine’s Day is hard for those that have no one to celebrate it with. All the warm fuzzy feelings, happy hearts and closeness are so unbeatable. …. Or are they? Science is beginning to show us that actually eating chocolate just might be able to simulate the pleasure of being in love; to a degree, of course. Studies have shown that chocolate causes the human body to react just as strongly to it in a positive way, as it does to feelings of romance and infatuation. So last year, we at Ontario Bakery stumbled upon this interesting article from the dailymail. It was so loved, that we thought we’d share it again this year. That way, if you’re feeling alone, you can take some comfort in knowing that the feel good feeling you’re seeking may not be replaceable, but it can be simulated in a very delicious way!
The Ancient Incas knew it, as does Bridget Jones and that kindly person who always gives you their last Rolo. Ever since humankind grew its first sweet tooth, there's been nothing like chocolate to raise the spirits. For years, academics have tried to discover exactly what makes it so irresistible - speculating that key ingredients like cocoa beans, caffeine or any of its other 300 compounds can boost energy and libido. But now scientists at Cambridge University have carried out brain scans that suggest a much more simple explanation. Chocolate is linked to feelings of well being simply because it just tastes so good!
They claim munching a bar induces sensations that could be even more pleasurable than listening to your favorite music, winning the lottery, or falling in love. Cambridge neuroscientist Adrian Owen said the balance of the evidence suggested that it was more to do with taste, than psychoactive chemicals.
The average bar of chocolate, he claimed, simply did not contain enough mood-altering substances to make a difference - some of them, for example, were found in higher doses in a lump of Cheddar cheese or sausage. Dr Owen, who works at the university's Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, said: "The scientific data suggests that the mood-enhancing effects of chocolate are not pharmacological - the constituents of chocolate do not appear to affect the brain via a direct biological action.
"An alternative explanation is that the effects of eating chocolate are psychological - the unique combination of aroma, texture and taste makes eating chocolate a pleasurable experience that stimulates the emotional 'feel-good' centers of the brain. In short, the chocolate tastes good, so we feel good. The evidence for this are scans that have tracked changes in the activity of the orbifrontal-cortex - on the brain's surface - w hich analyses the reward value of incoming inform action to the brain.
As scans on a group of volunteers show ed (see above), the orbi-frontal cortex glows even more when they were munching a bar of chocolate than when they were listening to pleasant music. Dr Owen, 36, said: "Both smelling and eating chocolate activate areas of the brain that are known to be involved in creating feelings of pleasure.It seems chocolate has a unique blend of sensory qualities which m a ke us feel good, activating pleasure centres in the brain. (dailymail.co.uk)
Scientific proof or not, we know we love chocolate and so do you, right? So if you’re lonely this Valentine’s Day, do something special just for you. Indulge. Take a bite and savor every moment of it. That's why Ontario Bakery strives to provide the most delicious and succulent desserts possible.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
Every year, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, we’re compelled to go out to buy and enjoy chocolate with the ones we love. But why? What is it about chocolate that identifies it so powerfully with romance? And is it all in our heads? Well, yes it is - but necessarily how you think.
The truth is, there are actually scientifically based reasons behind why chocolate is our go-to for Valentine’s Day and the romance around it. There are naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate that are good for you and the darker the chocolate, the higher it will be in substances associated with physical and emotional well-being. One of those substances is theobromine, which is found in larger quantities in chocolate than any other food. It’s a gentle stimulant, that as well as increasing blood flow also increases serotonin, it’s also a neurotransmitter known for igniting feelings of love and romantic pleasure.
Another one of chocolate’s powerful components is phenylethylamine, which stimulates the body to release endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters), and also increases the activity of dopamine, the body’s reward chemical, combining to produce the kind of feeling that you get when you are in love. And the latest happy-making component to be traced in chocolate is anandamide, a cannabinoid whose name is derived – with good reason – from the Sanskrit for “bliss”.
Just those two components alone make this treat a superfood to be enjoyed. It literally releases the necessary hormones necessary for you to reduce stress and feel good.
So fine chocolate looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good in the mouth, and contains things which make you feel good.
But let’s not just talk about how it’s so good. Let’s instead make the best of it and be sure to enjoy it in it’s fullest possibilities!
This year for Valentine’s Day, in addition to all of our delectable custom baked cakes and delights, we’re adding chocolate covered strawberries to your feel-good, romantic experience! You and your love will simply melt as the chocolate shell cracks on your tongue, revealing the fresh strawberry juice and bright refreshing texture of nature’s candy coated with nature’s “feel-good” superfood.
This year, enjoy Valentine’s Day with the best chocolate treats you can find, from the family owned bakery you know and love, Ontario Bakery. We can’t wait to make your special day full of love, flavor and delight!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
As you shiver in the cold of winter, it’s easy to find yourself daydreaming about the beautiful wedding day you’re so eagerly planning. And if it’s a spring or summer wedding, you’ll likely go there more often. You think of all the flowers, the smell of the grass, the sunshine and all the happy faces you’ll be surrounded by. But then a thought creeps in and reminds you of all the little details that are still left to figure out and a sense of panic settles in. You don’t want to mess up a single thing; you want this day to be perfect. But how can you know it will be? How can you make sure you’ll have the wedding you’ve dreamed of without the stress and with all the happily ever after details?
You think about what could go wrong, what could go right and you plan accordingly. That’s right. It’s not as stressful as you might think! However, one very important planning tip that I want to leave you with today is to let it go. Don’t let go of the planning and the details, but remember that even if things don’t go exactly according to plan, the day will still be beautiful if you focus on the point of the day. Think of a wet bar of soap. If you’re so afraid of dropping it that you squeeze it hard to keep it in your grip, it will fly out of your hands. So hold it palm up, strong and steady. Do that with your wedding and you won’t lose sight of the beauty of the day or of all the things that are going right.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about the most important details for making sure your spring wedding is as dreamy as you imagined it.
Be Weather Wise.
We all know you’re hoping for a bright sunshiney day, but the truth is, you never can know for sure if that will happen, even if you live in California. Spring has a way of being unpredictable. Plan ahead and play it safe by choosing a venue with indoor and outdoor options. Make sure to alert your guests to this possibility as well so that they can come prepared. Speak to your venue director about lined paths, tents and awnings as well. You don’t want your reception or walk ways to have any mud on them and you definitely don’t want people or things to get wet!
It's spring, and as mentioned above, rain can happen. Why not stock the wedding party up with transparent umbrellas? You can assign ushers to walk people from their cars to the venue and to the reception as needed and it will all be very charming! If it rains, you'll be covered. If not, use them in the photos to remember your beautiful day!
Still along with the weather, we need to remember that Spring, with its traditionally warm, sunny days and cooler nights, is the best time of year to plan to include a warmer accessory or two in your bridal getup. Better yet, try on one of this year’s prettiest fashion trends: wedding gowns with sleeves. Keep the same ideas in mind when you’re picking out bridesmaid dresses and consider skipping the lightweight chiffon gowns in favor of fabric with a little more weight and warmth.
While pastels are almost always the first colors on our minds this time of year, spring weddings are great for punchier palettes, too. Bold, bright fuchsia is a particularly lovely way to set the tone, and the perfect complement to all of that fresh green grass — as are yellow, coral, and blue. Be sure to use complimentary colors to your wedding party and bring them into the flow of the ceremony and reception decor through simple seat and table ribbons!
Light & Fluffy.
Spring is a time of lightness and excitement. So let the food match. Stay away from heavy entrees and desserts and go with more fresh themes that feel light and easy on the belly. Your guests will be delighted that they still fit in their gorgeous gowns at the end of the day or evening!
Reserve Ahead of time!
Spring may be before the real wedding rush begins, but it’s still a popular time of year to tie the knot. Make sure you book early, especially if you live in a place where hot summers push the wedding season forward. Don’t forget to take advantage of the season’s several holidays and look into booking a Sunday evening celebration to spread out the fun and potentially cut costs. Remember, even we at Ontario Bakery get booked for custom wedding cakes early, so call ahead and double check dates and orders so there's no confusion or details lost in the shuffle.
Enjoy every moment.
Seasonal food, seasonal flowers, even seasonal favors — this is the best time of year to do it all. Everything is fresh and lovely, and it will certainly be a better fit for your budget than ordering summer blooms or fall vegetables. Plus, personalized packets of flower seeds make for a unique gift your guests can enjoy long after the last slice of cake is gone.
It’s time to sit back and be excited that your special day is coming so soon. Keep a checklist and check it twice, then let it go with grace; you're prepared! And Ontario Bakery is happy to meet your custom wedding day needs; so contact us today!
Friday, January 6, 2017
We all love those baking marathons and celebrations with a dessert spread that goes the length of your home. There’s so much to choose from! But what do you do when you’ve had enough but don’t want to lose the good stuff? All you can do. You need to become a pro at saving the leftovers. And that’s exactly what we want to teach you today. There are just a few things you need know to be the master of sweet saving.
For the unfrosted goods: These are the easiest, really, because you don't have to deal so much with the cake drying out or messing up the frosting. You're going to want to wrap these tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure to wrap the top, sides, and bottoms well, so that the plastic is touching all sides of the cake. (Basically, don't simply drape the plastic over the top). Another option you could do, is to go for a plastic bag with a zipper type seal. Once your cake is wrapped, store them on a counter at room temperature, and they'll keep fresh for about a week before starting to stale on you. Oil-based cakes tend to keep a day or two longer than butter-based ones. (If you are looking to store cakes for longer than a week you could try freezing them.)
For frosted but uncut: The benefit of having a frosted, uncut cake, is that the frosting serves as a protective plastic wrap layer, keeping it protected from the air and moisture present in the environment. A frosted cake can be kept at room temperature for about 4-5 days. To keep it moist but also preserve frosting, cover it with a cake keeper or an overturned bowl. (don't use plastic wrap at all. It isn't necessary and would only smash the lovely frosting).
If the cake has already been frosted: You really need to think of a sliced cake as a living organism. As soon as you make that first cut, your cake will begin to loose moisture, causing the cake to go stale more quickly. If you are able to, try to cover the sliced edges with more frosting to protect the cake from moisture loss. The frosting will work as a seal. If you can't do that, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the sliced side and make sure it sticks. Then proceed with covering and storing the cake as for the un-cut version. Cut cake keeps for a little less time, about 3-4 days.
You don’t usually need to refrigerate your cake, whether your cake is frosted or unfrosted, cut or un-cut. They are perfectly fine at room temperature for several days. Refrigeration is really only necessary during really hot weather and your home gets very hot during the day. High temps and sugar creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Another reason to refrigerate is if you're making a cake that won't be served for more than three days, like when baking cake ahead for a party or special occasion. If you do decide to refrigerate your cakes, make sure to wrap (unfrosted) cakes in plastic first to protect it from absorbing the odors in the fridge and to protect it from drying out. ( When you are ready to ice and serve it, make sure you unwrap it first and let it warm up on the counter. For cakes that are already frosted, chill the cake uncovered for fifteen minutes to harden the icing, then wrap it in plastic wrap.)
We at Ontario Bakery, know cakes more than just about anyone. We’ve been baking and serving cakes and other treats as a family for over 30 years. So not only are we passionate about what we do, but we’re the experts too! So call us, let us know how we can custom create a cake for you, and we will get it made just for you!
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
There are so many anti-aging tips out there, that you feel like you’ve read them all, right? Well these tips are mostly new - and require less effort than you might realize. At Ontario Bakery, we love our home style baked goods, but we also like to feel and look good, so here are some tips we know you’ll love too!
Eat more chocolate.
What? I know it seems crazy, but it’s true. Chocolate really does keep you gorgeous and youthful but there’s more you need to know for it to fully do it’s job. The truth is (that’s spreading fast) that Chocolate is loaded with a high amount of antioxidant rich nutrients necessary for healthy skin and hair and reduced stress levels. However, these power nutrients are not found in cheap candy bars and the everyday mocha latte. They are found in the cacao content of the chocolate. You can find this on the bar of chocolate with benefits kicking in at 60% and higher. Some people prefer dark and others prefer milk. But as far as the benefits go, it depends on your digestion and taste preference.
But really - drink a lot of water. If you go for 2 liters a day, you should be good. Stay away from additional dehydrating foods like breads, crackers and coffee. Dehydration will make youthful skin look older than it is, so if you’re already fighting time and gravity, you’ll want to make sure you’ve had enough water in your system.
Let it go.
Can you? Can you let go of the petty things that irritate you so much? Not saying you should let people walk all over you - but definitely choose your battles and practice not taking everything so personally. This will cause you to be more at peace. You’ll smile more and that alone makes you more youthful.
You may have heard it said, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” but the truth is, that the less we sleep, the sooner death comes. Did you know you can literally die from lack of sleep? If your whole body can die, think of what can happen to your skin, your eyes and hair? Not good. Plus, the more sleep you get, the more clearly you can think and handle stress.
This green healing clay has been used for many centuries both internally and externally. On the outside, you can use it to exfoliate, cleanse and even as a mask to draw impurities out of your skin. Internally, it helps to detox you and clean out what might be stuck inside you. Read more about it and see how it might help you in your life.
In the end, it’s vital (literally) to live your life! Choose to be light and enjoy the goodness around you. It’s all about balance. Find that, and then the benefits will come through for you!
At Ontario Bakery we are always ready to make your life a little sweeter. Call us for your custom baked cake and other desserts today!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
When you think about the holidays, do you think about being trapped around your family? t doesn’t matter who your family is, there always seems to be that one person or whole household that seems to cause tension or conflict. Well, we at Ontario Bakery are a family run business, and we face all the same difficulties as other families. So we want to share some helpful tips with you about enjoying the holidays even with your family around.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but there’s so much truth in it. You don’t need to prove your point or change anyone. You’re there to enjoy people and celebrate the beauty of another year. If conversations come up that get under your skin, remember that it’s just each person’s hurt, issues and opinions. You aren’t defined by all of it. So let it go.
See person inside. We’re usually frustrated because we focus only on what we see. But the truth is, nobody is the person we see on the outside. A person can be look happy and put together on the outside and be miserable and angry. A person can look wild and rebellious on the outside be a very loving and happy human. People with strong and angry feelings may be really hurting inside and dealing with a lot. So don’t take it personally. See who they are for real and love that person.
You’re not the solution. As much as you’d like to see your family push through a challenge or grow, you can’t do it for them. You also can’t lecture them enough to see it your way. Be honest, give advice when asked, but more importantly, be loving.
No one said you need to spend the whole time with one person. Spend a little time, ask a few questions, show love and move on. You aren’t asked stay and just suffer through it.
So as you prepare for the coming holiday gatherings, remember that it’s your job to decide how you will enjoy it or not. Also remember that Ontario Bakery is here to make your holidays even sweeter. If you’re looking for a delicious way to end your holiday meal or party, please call Ontario Bakery. We specialize in custom baked cakes and goods for all celebrations.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Winter is a tricky time for birthday party planning not just because December is already a packed and planned month, but because it’s cold and you feel like your options are limited. But we at Ontario Bakery know parties and also what kid's love. There are many ways to have a fun birthday party in the winter...you just need some new ideas and perspectives!
Change the date.
No matter what you do for the party, we highly recommend moving the party from December to January, if the birthday is in December. So many people will be gone for the holidays and you run the risk of having a low turnout and disappointed kids. So celebrate the birthday kids on their special day, but plan the party for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th week of January. It will be more fun, less stress and have more people available to show up.
Go with water.
Having kids sleep over at the house is fun, but even better is having a sleepover in a hotel where you don't have to clean up afterward. Reserve a suite or two at a suite-style hotel, where you can find rooms for under $100. Make it a swimming party while you're at it. It may be cold outside, but most suite-style hotels have indoor pools and meeting facilities, perfect for a winter pool party bash. Need a theme to go with it? Take our experts' suggestions and combine them to make it a luau-swim-slumber party.
Consider a lego party! Many craft stores offer Lego building parties, but you can do the same theme at home for a fraction of the cost. Purchase small inexpensive Lego and Bionicle kits, or set up plastic buckets of assorted Legos for kids who like to create their own masterpieces. Create a Lego party theme with Lego cut-outs, a Lego cake and play hide-the-Lego games. Another idea would be to book a couple hours at a science and discovery museum! They’ll build, create, explore and love it!
Let kids climb the walls all they want at a rock climbing gym. You can usually find one in most large cities and it's a perfect party place for energetic kids. They offer a variety of climbing structures to choose from, so they're great for children of all ages. If everyone's new to the sport, then go for the party package, which typically includes instructions and all the gear to keep them vertical for hours.
Ice skating and ice cream
Why freeze outdoors when you can have fun on the ice indoors? Take the party to an indoor rink for an ice-skating lesson. Hire one of the teachers at the rink or from a skating club to teach beginners the basics and pros some new tricks. To keep costs down, go out for ice cream after the skating and -- save the celebrating with the cake for home.
As you plan your birthday party, remember to call Ontario Bakery for all your birthday cake, cupcake and cake pop needs! We love creating custom baked goods for your unique celebration. Call us today for a quote!