Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention - A Pound of Cure

Tooth decay is an infectious disease and everyone is at risk of developing it. In fact, it is 5 times more common than asthma in children 5-17 years old.

In children, the caries themselves are not the greatest threat. A cavity, when caught early enough, can be treated. It's the side effects that accompany the decay that are the biggest concern. Evidence shows that caries in baby teeth may affect the growth of the adult ones. Caries can also lead to infection, pain, abscesses, chewing problems, malnutrition and gastrointestinal disorders. It can affect speech and articulation and even contribute to childhood obesity.

The good news is that caries can almost always be prevented! A proper diet as well as a good oral health home care routine are all it takes to combat this highly infectious and detrimental disease. These good habits begin with parents and, even more importantly, they begin at a very early age.

Before your baby even has teeth you should wipe their gums with a clean, wet cloth daily. Not only will this remove some of the bacteria in your baby's mouth but it will also get her accustomed to having her teeth brushed later. Try not to get in the habit of sending your baby to bed with a bottle or sippy cup but if you do make sure that it only ever contains water. Nothing more. Once teeth are present be sure to brush them at least twice a day. Start flossing as soon as your child's teeth touch each, side by side.

For a proper diet you need simply to follow the Ontario food guide. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Encourage your child to drink fruit juice quickly as opposed to sipping on it all day long. Water is the best drink to sip on throughout the day.

To find out more great and useful information please visit It's a fantastic resource for all your dental health needs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Candy Cane Cocktail

- 1 candy cane crushed, 1 whole
- 2 ounces strawberry vodka
- 4 dashes white creme de menthe
- 2.5 ounces cranberry juice
- Ice cubes

1 - Place crushed candy cane on a small plate or saucer
2 - Wet the rim of a chilled martini glass with water and then, holding the stem, rotate the rim in the candy crumbs to coat it
3 - In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice and ice and shake until well combined
4 - Strain into prepared glass and serve immediately

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Truffles

- 1 cup of semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
- 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or substitute for another alcohol you might prefer)
Different coating options; cocoa powder, icing sugar, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, shaved chocolate

1 - Place the broken pieces of chocolate in a stainless steal bowl and set aside
2 - Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, bringing to a boil
3 - Immediately pour the boiling cream and butter mixture over the chocolate and let stand 5 minutes
4 - Add liqueur and whisk until smooth
5 - Cover and place in the fridge until the mixture is firm (possibly overnight)
6 - Place your chosen topping(s) on a plate, line a tray/baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the truffle mixture from the fridge
7 - Either with your hands or with a melon baller form the truffle mixture into bite-sized balls
8 - Immediately roll the balls in your topping and place them on your prepared tray
9 - Cover and replace in fridge until firm again

*Truffles can be left in the fridge for a couple of weeks or frozen for a couple of months. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Foolproof Fudge

- Cooking spray
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3.5 cups mini marshmallows
- 3 cups choc. chips (white or brown)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Crushed peppermint candy

1 - Line a square baking pan with 2 sheets of parchment/waxed paper and then spray it with the cooking spray
2 - In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat cook sugar, butter, cream and marshmallows, stirring constantly for 6 minutes
3 - Bring mixture to a boil and continue stirring for another 5 minutes
4 - Remove from heat and add the choc. chips and vanilla
5 - Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan
6 - Let fudge cool for 3 hours then remove it from the pan and cut into desired shape/portions
7 - Top portions with the crushed peppermint candy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 quart milk
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 7 peppermint sticks, 3 crushed 4 left whole

1 - Place cocoa in a medium saucepan and gradually whisk in milk until cocoa has dissolved.
2 - Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and peppermint have melted (approx. 8-10 minutes)
3 - Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
4 - Ladle into mugs and serve with a peppermint stick.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty Packages

Here are a few ideas to dress up your presents this year and make them prettier than ever!

- Place a photo of the gift receiver on the top in lieu of a gift tag
- Embellish your gifts with doilies
- Buy plain white craft paper and let your kids colour all over it
- Wrap your gifts with newspaper or use some more modern paper
- Make a weave design from ribbons, using various widths and colours/patterns
- If you're using nice boxes cover the lid with glitter (in a coordinating/complimentary colour)
- Take some inspiration from nature and top your gifts with some pine cones or holly

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Centrepieces

Having trouble deciding how to decorate your table this year for Christmas dinner? Here a few simple tips and ideas to help you get started.

- Fill various bowls and/or vases with an assortment of ornament balls.
- Place a single branch of pine in a tall vase and line your table with them.
- Fill clear vases halfway with cranberries and top the berries with a candle.
- Put various sizes of pine cones in candleholders along the table with some candles.
- Place twigs and pieces of branches in glasses along the table.
- Instead of a traditional table runner try using a long, skinny mirror. The mirror will enhance any glow or glimmer from your decorations.
- Switch-up the placemats for charger plates. They're available in all kinds of colours.
- Play around with various heights, colours and textures of vases and bowls if that's what you choose to use.