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.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Apple Berry Wreath

Tools and Materials:
- 2 styrofoam wreath forms, 14x2.5x2 and 12x2x2
- 2" artficial apples, approx. 60
- 14 bunches of red/orange/brown artificial berries
- 2 bags of light green reindeer moss
- 2 bags of dark green reindeer moss
- Toothpicks
- Florist wire, 10" length
- Glue gun and glue
- Coordinating ribbon

1 - Wrap and knot your floral around your larger foam wreath form in a manner the gives you a loop for hanging. This will become the top center of your completed wreath.
2 - Glue smaller wreath form on top of the larger one and let dry thoroughly.
3 - Glue the moss on, covering the front and back of the assembled wreath forms. Be sure not to cover up your hanging wire loop.
4 - Apply a dab of glue to one end of a toothpick and insert it into the center bottom of an apple. Repeat with all the apples.
5 - Apply a dab of glue to the other end of the toothpicks and insert the apples, side by side, around the outside circumference of the wreath.
6 - Insert your berry bunches into the wreath forming a circle just inside the row of apples.
7 - Continue alternating between circles of apples and berries until your wreath is full. You should end up with a circle of apples at the inside center.
8 - Use the ribbon to hnag your wreath.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Candy Sticks

Here's a fun way to add a little pazazz to your candy sticks. It's a nice compliment to any tasty treat gift you give away this year too!

- Candy sticks; colour/flavour of your choice
- Nonpareils or small candies (found at any Bulk Barn)
- White chocolate
- Water
- Small pot
- Heat safe bowl (that is bigger than your pot)
- Soup bowl
- Cookie sheet or tray
- Waxed paper

1 - Melt the white chocolate using a bain-marie (place the water in the heat safe bowl, put a good inch or 2 of water in your pot, place the bowl with the chocolate over the pot, heat the chocolate slowly until melted)
2 - In the meantime, cover your cookie sheet with some waxed paper
3 - Once the chocolate has melted dip one end of one candy stick in and then gently shake off the excess
4 - Immediately sprinkle the dipped candy stick with your nonpareils (hold the candy stick over the soup bowl while dipping so you don't end up with nonpareils all over your kitchen)

*To package them, consider placing 5 sticks in a clear bag. Fold over the open end of the bag and secure it with tape. Attach a tag with colours that compliment the candy sticks. Or pruchase some tall tins at a craft store and wrap some ribbon around them for decoration.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Glittery Ornament Balls

These small ornament balls are easy to make and very versatile. You can string them together and use them as garland, fill a few vases or bowls with them for centerpieces, embellish your garland with them or simply hang them on your tree.

Tools and Materials:
- Small size, lightweight ball ornaments
- Glitter
- Glitter glue
- Cookie sheet

1 - Holding the ball by the hanger and overtop of the cookie sheet, cover one ball in glitter glue.
2 - While the glue is still wet cover the ball in sprinkles. Let dry (the best way to dry them is to hang them).

*You can mix some glitters together to create a multi-tone effect as well

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Blocks

Tools and Materials:
- 5" Styrofoam Brand foam cubes (we used 3 of them)
- Wooden letters (we sued J, O and Y)
- 3+ different styles of decorative Christmas paper, 12" x 12"
- Christmas stickers
- Rickrack embellishments
- Paint (we sued red)
- Glitter to match paint
- Glitter glue
- Paper glue

1 - Overlap 2 paper sheets by one inch and glue them together.
2 - Cut one 5" strip from length of paper and wrap it around a cube, creasing it at the corners.
3 - Secure it in place with glue.
4 - Continue steps 1 through 3 until the entire cube is covered.
5 - Paint wooden letters and let dry.
6 - Cover the dried letters with the glitter glue and the sprinkle them with your glitter. Shake off excess and let dry.
7 - Glue one letter to the front of each cube.
8 - Embellish the other surfaces of the cube with your stickers and rickrack, as desired.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Glass Ball Ornaments

Tools and Materials
- Gallery Glass window paint colours; Snow white, kelly green, ruby red
- Gallery Glass Leading Blanks
- Large, round glass ornaments
- Lined paper
- Tape
- Craft knife
- Red, green and white ribbon of varying widths
- Scissors

1 - Place a sheet of Leading Blank on top of your lined paper and tape securely.
2 - Using one colour at a time, trace multiple lines with your Gallery Glass window paints. Squeeze the bottles lightly so as not to make your lines too wide. Let it dry overnight.
3 - Clean and dry the ornaments and remove the ornament hangers. Using your craft knife, carefully peel the dried lines of window colour away from your leading blank and apply them to the glass ball. If desired place drops of the window colour directly onto the ornament for the Christmas tree embellishment. Let it dry.
4 - Replace the hangers and attach the coordinating ribbons.

*If your Christmas tree is decorated with a different colour scheme don't be afraid to swap the colours mentioned to match yours.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hand-Drawn and Homemade

Make Christmas gift shopping a little easier this year by letting the kids make their own gifts for mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and anyone else they might want to give to. It's also a fantastic way to get the kids involved and into the spirit of the season.

Bring some solid, light coloured tote bags or dishtowels to life by giving your kids some fabric markers and letting their creativity soar. You can also purchase some inexpensive white dishes and ceramic markers and have the kids colour those.

The sentimental value of homemade gifts from the kids will make Christmas morning so much more memorable for the givers as well as the gift receivers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Give A Gift of Yummy Goodness

Here's a great gift idea for your co-workers or your kids teachers. It's simple to put together and will cost you very little money. In fact, you probably already have everything you need laying around your house.

Find an empty jar or paper bag and fill it with the dry ingredients from your favourite cookie recipe. Seal your bag (or put the lid on your jar) and then attach some ribbon for decoration. Print or write out the mixing and baking directions on a card and attach it to your gift. Finally, you might also want to attach a whisk, wooden spoon or cookie cutter for an added touch.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pepperminty Wreath

Try a new twist on an old classic. Make a wreath from candy canes in lieu of garland this year.

Tools and Materials:
- Cardboard wreath form
- Hot glue and gun
- Big box of candy canes
- Ribbon

Glue the candy canes all around the wreath form until you've reached your desired width. Be sure to glue the canes on different angles for the best effect. Wrap the ribbon around the wreath and make a bow at the top. Hang the wreath indoors using the ribbon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Glittery Trees

Here's a craft that not only looks good but is environmentally friendly too

Tools and Materials
- Old magazines
- Gold spray paint (or choose another colour if you'd like)
- Glitter to match/compliment your spray paint

1 - Play around with your magazine to break the spine
2 - Starting with the cover and working your way throughout the entire magazine, fold each page down by folding the top-right corner down to the spine
3 - Next go back to the cover and fold each page in half (the magazine should look like a tie when you're finished)
4 - Once again go back to the cover and fold in the triangle at the bottom of each page (tuck the point of the triangle into the page)
5 - Fan out the magazine pages so that the tree can stand up on its own
6 - Spray paint your tree and then immediately sprinkle the tree with glitter, let dry

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Swap Cookies, Save Time

During the Christmas season we really tend to get our money's worth for our ovens. There's so much baking to be done that they seem to be running non stop. And so are all of us! This year consider having a cookie swap and get yourself out of the kitchen for a little while. Show-off your awesome hostess skills by following our step by step guide for a great party!

Step 1 - What's A Party Without Guests?!
You should send out your invitations 2 to 3 weeks ahead. That should give your guests
ample time to RSVP and decide what kind of cookies they want to bake. Ask your guests to make a dozen cookies for everyone in attendance and an extra dozen for sampling. That will send all your guests home with a healthy amount of tasty treats. It's probably best to keep your guest list to between 6 and 8 people (including yourself). Have each person bring along copies of their recipe. Use the invitations to set the tone of your cookie exchange. When your guests RSVP be sure to ask them what kind of cookie they're going to bring so you can be sure not to have any duplicate recipes.
Step 2 - It's All About The Presentation
The best parties are the ones that look fantastic! Choose a theme for your cookie swap. The simplest themes to pull-off are ones that are based on a colour scheme. Be sure to fit
all of your decor elements into your theme, including the invitations you sent out. For
example let's say your theme is 'Tea Party Cookie Swap'. A tea party should be elegant but
simple. Think 'white' and pale colours. Drape the cookie presentation table with a white,
cotton tablecloth and possibly a pale or muted overlay. Create some display cards for the various cookies that will be in attendance. Be sure to include the name of the contributor. Writing a cookie menu is also a nice touch. Print one for each guest. Adorn your table with various serving dishes and cake stands. That's where your guests will place their sample cookies when they arrive and it will encourage a beautifully tempting display of treats. Set-up a packaging station too. Consider stocking it with white boxes, sturdy paper plates, ribbons, bows, tissue paper, tags, tape, cellophane wrapping, scissors and anything else you think your guests might enjoy wrapping their treats with. Finally, have a third table ready to accept all the dozens of cookies meant to be swapped.
Step 3 - Preparing for your Guests Arrival
Shortly before your guests are due to arrive brew a pot of coffee and begin steeping some tea. In keeping with our 'Tea Party' theme, get out your finest tea cups, saucers and dessert plates. Consider offering your guests cotton napkins instead of disposable ones and have some music playing in the background. Some of your guests may not want tea or coffee so it would be wise to have some punch ready too. If you'd like to offer them something other than the sample cookies to eat keep it light and simple. Finger foods would be best.
Step 4 - Trading Time
Once all your guests have had time to sample all the cookie varieties it'll be time to start swapping. Give your guests trays or containers to compile their cookies then have them circle the cookie swap table until they've collected all the cookies they would like to take home with them. Next they can take turns taking advantage of the packaging station you created. Here they can simply box them to take home or they can separate them into gifts for others. A box of cookies makes a great gift for teachers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Readers Choice Award

The Oakville Today is once again doing their Readers Choice Awards!  Go to the link below and vote for us!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Play It Safe!

Uptown Orthodontics encourages kids to "play it safe" and consistently wear mouth guards and other protective gear during sports competitions and practices.

Football, soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball, and many other youth sports can all be hard hitting, and we want to ensure that our patients, and their teammates, are properly protected from sports related injuries to the jaw and mouth. Injuries to the mouth and jaw can do a lot of damage and some can result in months of intense treatment to repair. Facial protection is an easy step in preventing trips to the emergency room.

Many kids are not wearing mouth guards during sporting competitions and practices. Parents, coaches and kids need to understand the prevalence of sports injuries and know that many sports injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing the proper protective gear.

If you have braces we recommend that you use boil and bite mouth guards.  Your teeth will be changing so much that it wouldn't be worth spending the money on custom fitting, professional mouth guards until your orthodontic treatment is complete.

We're proud to do our part to help by hosting mouth guard clinics for the teams we sponsor.  

Myths About Braces

MYTH: Orthodontists should only be seen for the more challenging cases
FACT: Orthodontists are specially trained to handle both simple and complex cases. Furthermore, their training enables them to complete all cases with the most efficient and effective techniques available.

MYTH: My family dentist says he can straighten my teeth for me.
FACT: Not only do Orthodontists attend continuing education courses to keep themselves up-to-date on the available techniques but they also had 2-3 years more schooling than most family dentists.

MYTH: Braces are for kids.
FACT: According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 1 in 5 patients are adults. It's common for adults who decided not to or could not have braces at a younger age to decide that they simply aren't happy with their smile. Teeth can be straightened at any age.

MYTH: Braces are painful and take 2 or more years for the desired results.
FACT: Here at Uptown Orthodontics we use a technique that is less lengthy and less painful than traditional braces. 

MYTH: Braces are ugly and call attention to themselves.
FACT: Some forms of braces used now are nearly invisible.

For more myths and facts please visit the AAO website at;