Friday, October 21, 2016

Don’t Miss this Easy and Delicious DIY Recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce!

Don’t Miss this Easy and Delicious DIY Recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce! The beauty of Autumn is all around us as well as it’s spirit, crisp air and golden leaves. So it’s only natural that we’re craving pumpkin spice lattes and creamy caramel drizzled on the finest apples, pears and freshly baked goods! But why not have an unending supply of your very own salted caramel sauce at home, so you can add it to every baked fruit, cake or winter drink you so desire? It’s way easier that you might think, to make this amazing sauce, so we at Ontario Bakery, felt like it would be perfect timing to share a recipe from one of our older posts with you… because you deserve to enjoy it and we don’t want you to miss out! 
The truth is, this caramel sauce is so easy to make, you’re going to be hooked on having it around. All you need to know are the techniques to stick to and avoid and your sauce will be perfect. Thankfully, the Brown Eyed Baker had a great recipe to pass on to you and we've got it right here!
How to Make the Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce at Home:
Caramel can be intimidating, but the more you make it, the more you will get a feel for the look and the smell, and it will become second-nature. For those just starting out, here are a few tips:
  • Stir the sugar initially to help it to melt evenly, but stop once it has completely melted to keep it from seizing.
  • If you’re new to caramel-making, you may find a thermometer will help to guide you. The caramel should reach 350 degrees F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. If you aren’t able to obtain a thermometer, you can use visual cues for doneness. The caramel should be a deep amber color and should have just started to smoke. The line is very fine here. If you don’t cook it long enough it will be too sweet with little depth of flavor, but cook it too long and it will be burnt and unusable. Once you’ve done it a few times and see the color and can experience the smell when the thermometer hits 350 degrees, you will have a better idea of how to eyeball it when you don’t have a thermometer.
  • Be sure to use a saucepan that is larger than you think you might need. When you add the butter and the cream, the caramel will bubble up violently.
It's that simple!  Once your caramel has reached it's peak flavor and consistency, generously pour into a mason jar or similar container. Now, you have a fantastic homemade caramel sauce that you can dip apples into, drizzle over brownies or even flavor your coffee with! 
At Ontario Bakery, we love caramel and get excited over the opportunities to use it. But we get excited about everything we make! Our cake and buttercream recipes are the original scratch recipes since the beginning. A cake from Ontario Bakery says it all to the customer: quality, uniqueness, and a true desire for a good tasting cake to serve your guests.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Have the Best 40th Birthday Party Ever with These Fun Ideas

Have the Best 40th Birthday Party Ever with These Fun IdeasReaching that point in your life where you cross that mile marker from the fun and young thirties into the so called “mature” time of the forties, can be really depressing and downright scary. So how do you celebrate what you’re afraid of?
First of all, it’s vital to remember that you are not your age. How many seventy-five year old women out there have the energy of someone thirty years younger than them? They put the rest of us to shame? And you might want to bring it back to the fear of your face or body aging or changing. I understand. This is a big one in our society. You may not be convinced after a short blog post, to see things differently, but I do ask you to let yourself think about it. What defines you? Societal expectations of beauty? Or the depth of your heart, mind, your character, dreams and aspirations? As your life progresses, you have the opportunity to see it as a journey of learning, experience and loving; not just how long you can last with your visible youth. With age comes wisdom and deeper love. Don’t throw the honor of that away with your desire to stay young forever. There is freedom in allowing yourself to age. Sure, care for your skin and retain your youth. But don’t fight the process of life along the way, because that will leave you forever unhappy and discontent.

That being said, it’s time to celebrate this special transition with your friends and family in a special and very fun way. Here’s how:

Have a theme.

Go with a decade you love, filled with your favorite movies and music. Dress for the era and get your friends to go along with it. Or choose a theme that feels more you - perhaps, black tie or tea party. Do what feels good but go with it and take plenty of pictures!

Laugh about old times.

Tell stories about your first kiss, crush or even your first big trip! If you're really feeling daring, talk about that first time you got in trouble and really learned from in. Talk about dating in your twenties, the college years, your families and the phases in life you’re so happy are over!

Bucket list.

You are never too old to dream. In fact, now is the time to to do it. Make a list of 25 things you want to do in the next year. From simple things like calling an old friend to major goals and wishes!  This is your special list on your special birthday. These are all things that you've either forgotten to take the time to do or just never found the time or the courage to take that big leap. Your list should be conquered in a year; making way for newer and better wishes.

Commit to something new.

Knowledge is gained through indulging in something new. Find out that one thing that you have been pining to learn for a long time. Enroll in a class or finally take the test to get certified in your passion.  Many people have long since been dying to learn dancing. But, for some reason they could not indulge into dancing ever. This is your big year. There’s no better time than your 25th birthday to get started with your new range of hobbies.

Indulge

Who doesn't enjoy a nice, relaxing bath or a long massage? Days can be long and work demanding; it's time to let it all go and relax with some time for you. Plan a day trip with the girls to a spa or hot spring resort. Think of it as a day to let the past be in the past and welcome the next new amazing adventure.
Embrace your next coming of age. And of course, we are happy to add to your experience as we love to make your custom birthday sweets!  Call us at Ontario Bakery and let us know how we can make your 40th birthday a delicious event!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tips for Teaching Gratitude in Young Children

Tips for Teaching Gratitude in Young ChildrenWe teach our kids a lot of skills, like please and thank you. But do we really take the time to teach them gratitude? It’s easy to teach a child to be politely ask for what they want and be thankful for when they get it. But what about when things don’t go their way? What do you teach them then? At Ontario Bakery, we believe that one of the most important things to do is to teach children gratitude in the face of things not going their way. Because that’s real life. And if they can be thankful regardless of their circumstances, they will master gratitude indeed.

Less than the best
One starter way to nurture this skill in children is to prepare them for what’s possible. Allow them to imagine the best case scenario in their mind as well as the ‘less than best’ scenario. Ask them to think about the person giving, the shop owner, the cook, friend, teacher or relative. Role play with them for a moment or use storytelling to help them see the effort being given on the other end. Encourage them to try and imagine how tired the other person might be, the challenges they might going through as well. “And yet, here they are still giving their best to you.” It’s important to be thankful for more than the act or the item and be thankful for the person and the effort they’re putting in.

People over things
This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of wisdom I can leave you with. Teaching a child that people are more valuable than things, will help really instill the above points. We may not always get what we want. But the things we want are only things. The people behind the things are what last. They’re hearts are more fragile than our toys and our relationships last longer. Be sure that the person always feels more valuable than the item.

Set the example.
The previous is a harder one to practice, especially for adults. Think of how we can respond in extreme ways in the effort to protect our vehicles or electronics. We can sometimes say horrible things that crush the spirit of the child. It’s vital that we lead by example; be firm with the child that our things need to be treated with care, but not at the expense of the child’s feelings of worth. It is our job to make sure they feel loved and valuable, while also being clear about the standard. Additionally, do you exemplify point one? Do you see beyond the mistakes or ‘lesser than’ delivery and see the person behind the action? Do you see your child’s intention, tired and young as they might be, do you see their desire to gift to you or do well in your eyes? Are you telling them you are thankful? Our examples speak high volumes to the children in our lives and it’s vital that we commit to leading the way for them.

Regular thank-you’s
Be intentional about your gratitude. Have set times for normal giving of thanks. Perhaps use dinner time as a daily ritual for going around the table and thanking each person for whatever comes to your mind. For example, thanking each other for buying the food, making the dinner, cleaning the home, holding your hand, giving you a hug when you needed one, for using kind words… say whatever is appropriate, but everyone should have their turn at thanking and being thanked. This not only fosters gratitude in the child, but also in the home.

Try these tips and see how they fare in your home and life. And of course, we’d like to thank you for being dedicated and loyal customers to our family owned bakery in California all these years. Remember, whatever the occasion, if you’re looking for custom designed baked goods, Ontario Bakery is up for the job. Be sure to contact us today!