Saturday, December 20, 2014

Check Out These Delicious Reasons to Eat More Cinnamon!

Check Out These Delicious Reasons to Eat More Cinnamon!Cinnamon is a feel-good foods. The scent is reminiscent of fall, a favorite time of year, and brings back memories of making apple pies with mom or grandma, and celebrating the holidays.  As the year closes, we want to highlight the beauty and delicious benefits of cinnamon and why we love to bake with it!
  • Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike.  That’s also great news for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.
  • It reduces LDL cholesterol levels.  LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol.  Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • It has natural anti-infectious compounds.  In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.
  • It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese —albeit small amounts to the typical dose of ground cinnamon.
  • It’s been proven effective for menstrual pain and infertility Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.

To take advantage of cinnamon’s potential benefits, incorporate it into more meals. One of the things I love about this spice is how versatile it is. I use it in both sweet and savory dishes, and I feel like I’m always finding new ways to add it to meals, snacks, and beverages. Here are 10 easy ideas:
  • Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee, or add it to your coffee grounds before brewing.
  • Add a dash or two of cinnamon to hot oatmeal, overnight oats, or cold whole grain cereal.
  • Fold cinnamon into yogurt, along with cooked, chilled quinoa, fresh cut fruit, and nuts or seeds.
  • Freeze cinnamon in ice cubes to add zest and aroma to water or cocktails.
  • Season roasted or grilled fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Stir cinnamon into almond butter, or any nut or seed butter, and use as a dip for fresh apple or pear wedges or a filling for celery.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon to lentil or black bean soup, or vegetarian chili.
  • Season roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spaghetti, and butternut squash with a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon onto popped popcorn.
  • Stir a little cinnamon into melted dark chocolate and drizzle over whole nuts to make spicy ‘bark’ or use as a dip or coating for fresh fruit.
Really, your options are endless. Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years to heal the body and enhance tastes.  At Ontario Bakery, we love being apart of lasting memories in your families and would love to be a part of more.  Please let us know what we can do to make the last of your 2014 have a sweet end!  Call us today for your custom baked cakes and more!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Enjoy Some Family Holiday Fun With the Gingerbread Man!

Enjoy Some Family Holiday Fun With the Gingerbread Man!Nothing says Christmas like a cute gingerbread man, especially if you make it yourself. Spending time with the young children in our homes not only creates quality time spent together, but also boosts fine motor skills. These ideas are simple and fun. So, gather the family and your art supply stash and go to work making a craft that you'll enjoy for many holidays to come. The end result with be warm, sweet and fun!

Start With the Story

Most young kids love a story that mom or dad makes up as they go. Turn it around by having your toddler or preschooler write a story of his own about a gingerbread man. Write the words as he dictates them to you, and then illustrate the story as a family. Once finished, staple the pages together and read it under the Christmas tree. Alternatively, read your little one a story about a gingerbread man, and then gather the family to act it out as a skit. 

Gingerbread Man Cookies!

Eating a cookie might just be your toddler or preschooler's favorite project. After all, very few children will turn down a warm, delicious treat - especially one they help create. Prepare your favorite batch of gingerbread, roll it out, cut the men with a cookie cutter and bake according to the recipe's directions. Once cooled, use frosting, holiday colored candies and sprinkles to make the gingerbread men look like your family.

Paper Gingerbread Man

For those of you who just don't have the time to bake, you can still have the fun! Make your gingerbread men out of paper! It's an easy option for smaller hands that won't take hours or too much patience from your little one. Simply cut out a gingerbread man from plain paper and let your child decorate it with crayons, markers and any other fun crafting supplies you might have. 
We know you are busy and still want to enjoy the holidays! We love to be there for you as well! So make your paper gingerbread men and call us in to do the rest! We specialize in custom baked goods for those in the Southern California area. Please call us at Ontario Bakery today, to place your holiday order! 
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tips for Baking with Fresh Ginger This Christmas Season!

Tips for Baking with Fresh Ginger This Christmas Season!
The Christmas season is a time for delicious indulgence. One of the key ingredients that makes it so, is ginger! But not everyone knows how to use it or recipes to use it in.  At Ontario Bakery, we sure love ginger! Whether you want to order custom made goods or dive in to ginger on your own, below are some helpful tips to help you get a little more acquainted with our spicy rooted friend.
Fresh ginger is not as friendly looking as powdered ginger, which comes in a neat little canister along with all of the other dried spices. It goes into baked goods along with dry ingredients and requires no prep time. Fresh ginger, on the other hand, looks a little alien by comparison. The bulbous root is firm and it’s not obvious how to use it – especially in baking – if you’ve never used it before. Fresh ginger has a bright, slightly spicy flavor to it that can really make some baked goods a lot more interesting, so it is worth giving it a shot at least a few times.
Tips for Baking with Fresh Ginger This Christmas Season!To use fresh ginger, you must first peel off the dark outer layer of the piece you want to use. You can slice it off with a paring knife, but a vegetable/potato peeler is the easiest tool to use. Only peel a piece about the size you’re going to need, as the ginger stays fresher with its skin on. Ginger is fibrous, but the fresher your ginger is the less fibrous, more tender and more flavorful, so try to use less fibrous pieces when possible.  Once your chunk of ginger has been peeled, either slice it up with a sharp knife or use a microplane to grate it very finely before adding it to recipes. Fresh ginger should generally be mixed in with wet ingredients, while ground ginger is usually added with the dry ingredients, so keep that in mind  if you start to experiment adding ginger to your favorite banana bread or spice cake recipe.
Some things to make with ginger:
Ginger Snap Cookies
Ginger Rum Bunt Cake
White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies
Gingerbread Molasses Cake
Ontario Bakery Loves to bake for you and we love seeing the smiles on your face as our warm desserts hit your palette! Put in your custom order today! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Baking? Tasty Tips For Making Your Cakes More Healthy!

Christmas Baking? Tasty Tips For Making Your Cakes More Healthy!The Christmas baking season is upon us and its time to get out the recipes!  At Ontario Bakery, you can bet that we are rolling up our sleeves and getting started with custom orders and loving it!  

Baking is a fun activity to do with the kids and is sometimes a family tradition. If you decide to get things cooking at home, you may want to reach for some healthier ingredients or methods.

Often when you use healthier alternatives in recipes, the flavor or texture may differ. Keep an open mind, your taste buds soon get used to the change and it is worth it when you reap the benefits! Just by making a few simple tweaks, you can make better-for-you bakes. Here are four tips to get you on your way:

Christmas Baking? Tasty Tips For Making Your Cakes More Healthy!
  • Start by using an unsaturated spread instead of butter. Not only does this lower the amount of saturated fat in your cake, but it gives a lighter texture. As long as you make sure the spread you choose is suitable for baking, you can simply swap butter for spread in most recipes.
     
  • Opt for wholegrain flour instead of white. While this may give a denser texture, the health benefits will be far greater. Wholemeal flour will increase the fibre content and make your cake feel more filling.​It also provides a lovely, slightly nutty, flavor.
     
  • Think fruit and veg have no place in a cake? Think again. They can add fibre and sweetness. Plus, fruit is a great way to keep your baking moist. Sweet vegetables such as carrots and beetroot, or fruit like apples and berries can also mean you don’t need to add as much sugar. Try this healthy banana bread recipe next time you’re in the kitchen
     
  • To finish your cake off, use a drizzle of glaze icing rather than butter icing. A light sprinkle of icing sugar can give the final touch – cut out stencils from greaseproof paper for a more professional finish. Knowing that you’ve produced a healthier version of a teatime treat will be the icing on the cake.

We at Ontario Bakery love keeping you happy whether we make a custom cake or other dessert for you or if you choose to take on the baking at home.  www.ontariobakery.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You Can Make Your Own Caramel Apples At Home! Here's How!

You Can Make Your Own Caramel Apples At Home! Here's How!Have you ever wanted to make your own caramel apples at home?  It's actually far more simple than most people realize and they make a wonderful and fun dessert for the kids to enjoy as well. 

Stop wishing you could make them and finally take the plunge into gooey sweetness!

Caramel Apple Tips

  • Use a combination of different colored apples: red, green and yellow.
  • Choose uniform-sized apples—small apples work best.
  • Dip apples in one quick motion; let excess caramel drip off. Holding apple upright, press toppings into caramel to hold them in place.
  • And remember: caramel apples are always best eaten the same day they are made!

To Decorate Sticks

  • To make these festive caramel apple sticks, begin with a basic lollipop stick.
  • Wrap the stick in double-sided tape from end to end. Then wrap the stick with thin, non-wired colorful ribbon. You can apply small spots of clear glue if necessary.

We at Ontario Bakery, love creating customized cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more for all your family's celebrations. We hope you use this recipe and enjoy it to your content!  Then, call us for your next custom cake order!



Monday, November 24, 2014

8 Great Etiquette Tips for a Better Thanksgiving Experience

8 Great Etiquette Tips for a Better Thanksgiving ExperienceAs Thanks giving quickly approaches, we want to leave you with some important etiquette tips for this time of family gathering. Far too often, people think of these times as ones to dread; for fear of the controversy and awkward moments that have in the past, reared their ugly heads.  Don't put yourself in this situation. Thanksgiving and other holidays can be enjoyed in wonderful ways when we use our manners and empathetic conversational skills.  

You're about to spend Thanksgiving with many personality types, so you deserve to be prepared to make the best out of it.  We found Dianne Gottsman's post on Thanksgiving etiquette to be quite helpful and wanted to pass on the pearls of wisdom. 

1. Know the guest list. If you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving this year, get an idea of who will be attending this year’s festivities. Is Uncle Sam coming? How about your sister-in-law? Knowing who will be a part of the celebration this year will help you mentally prepare some thoughtful questions and conversation starters. Don’t forget to ask about the kids – that will keep the conversation rolling for far longer than you care to imagine.
2. Allow plenty of travel time. If you’ll be driving, give yourself and your family plenty of time in case you encounter traffic congestion or road closures. Arriving calm is a better option than racing in frazzled and late.
3. Bring a hostess gift. A bottle of wine, a scented holiday candle, or festive package of stationery is always a thoughtful gesture. If you plan to give flowers, send them ahead of time so they will arrive before the holiday meal.
4. Offer to bring a dish. If Aunt Susan is preparing the meal, call ahead and ask if there is anything you can bring, such as a side of vegetables or your famous peppermint chocolate cake. If the answer is no, at least you offered. Don’t be shy about offering your help once you arrive. Filling water glasses or serving dessert may be a small gesture but greatly appreciated by your host.
5. Avoid political or religious discussions. Just because it’s family doesn’t mean this is the right time to go down the road of debating religion or politics. Try to keep the conversation on neutral topics, like the sports, hobbies, and exciting travel plans.
6. Be a good listener. Since we are all so used to being hyper-connected, this can be a bit of a challenge. This also means not interrupting. One of the most polite things we can do is give someone our full attention. Following up with thoughtful questions is another way we can show that we are fully engaged in what that person has to say.
7. Bring an activity. A deck of cards is compact enough that you can easily stow it in your purse or pocket. If you notice things are getting a little slow after the meal, ask the host if she would mind if you started up a game of cards.
8. Follow-up with a heartfelt thank-you. Remember to drop a thank-you note in the mail for the hostess within a few days of returning home. We all know the preparation that goes into hosting a large family gathering and an appreciative note is a nice touch after the holiday event has come to an end.
Ontario Bakery has been celebrating family for a long time. Specializing in custom baked goods, we hope you choose us for your next celebration! From us to you, have a happy and well-mannered Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Surprising Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin that Will Leave You Wanting More!

The Surprising Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin that Will Leave You Wanting More!Did you know that pumpkin holds a ton of nutritional value?  It's true!  And while we don't suggest using that as your ticket to binge this thanksgiving, you can rest assured knowing that there actually is some nutritional value involved... and done right, can actually be quite healthy!

Here's some helpful nutritional information about pumpkins and some ways to get the most out of their abundance! 

Pumpkin, for starters, is actually a fruit. It's a widely grown vegetable that's incredibly rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins.  While this humble backyard plant is less in calories, it contains high amounts of vitamin A and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in pure abundance!

Benefits: 

*They leave you feeling fuller. Low in calories but high in fiber keeps you eating less and feeling full!

*High in vitamin A, they boost your vision!

*The phytoestrogens in pumpkin seed oil lower your blood pressure!

*High tryptophan content in the pumpkin seeds improve your sleep!

Of course you know that pumpkin pie and other desserts aren't going to deliver these benefits.  It doesn't mean you can't enjoy them!  We'd love to make your Thanksgiving pumpkin treats! While you indulge, you'll have a greater respect for the incredible fruit and think of new ways to incorporate it into your meals.

For a healthier way to add pumpkin into your diet, adding pumpkin chunks to a roasted vegetable medley, or sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top of your salad. Feeling even more creative? Try pumpkin puree or homemade pumpkin butter in place of nut butters as a spread on toast. 

Whatever your choice, Ontario Bakery is here to add the sweetness.  Call us for all your pumpkin needs!