Sugar Cookie Traditions

unnamed (1) Valentine’s Day just passed and we had another occasion to make our family’s favorite cookies. This recipe was passed down from my great-aunt. I have made countless dozens of these cookies over the years for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and just about every other holiday you can think of.

The kids’ involvement in every part of the process is the best part of this tradition. They started at a young age helping to make the dough, cut out the shapes, bake and decorate. My kids are grown now and are carrying on the tradition. Hopefully, one day there will be grandkids to start the cycle again!


2/3 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
4 tsp. milk
2 c. sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients. Blend into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Chill at least one hour. Roll out to 1/8″ thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan. Makes 2 dozen cookies. (I almost always double this recipe because they get gobbled up so fast.)

-From the kitchen of Paddy Wainright.

Go See Alice!

Austin, Texas presents the Harry Ransom Center exhibit, Alice, opened on February 13th.  The exhibit celebrates the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s work, Alice in Wonderland and its’ many incarnations over the years. The collection is extensive and very satisfying.  Fabulous wall displays can serve as background for great photos with friends and family. Check out the video!

The Ransom Center presents the history of the printing and illustration of the books that include some amazing watercolor illustrations by Salvador Dali. My husband, Charles, and I always enjoy the opening night of each new exhibit.  The “Alice” collection on view now is a delight!  alicedali6

The Ransom Center website has information about programs for children that allow them to experience the unique world of Alice in Wonderland.  Treat yourself and your children to a bit of history and adventure in Alice’s magical world.

Top 5 Reasons to Get Professional Teeth Cleanings

Dental CleaningYou brush your teeth at home twice everyday, you floss at least once a day, so why is visiting my dental office in Austin regularly so important? Professional cleanings and consistent checkups are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and body.

  1. Money. Regular appointments and cleanings can help you save money. At each appointment, we focus on prevention and catching little problems before they turn into big problems. When small issues are left untreated, costly, time-intensive treatment is usually required.
  1. Whole Health. The health of your mouth is directly linked to the health of your whole body. This makes regular cleanings extremely important. Oftentimes, your dental team will recognize signs of a whole body issue first, which means treatment can start soon. The earlier we start treatment, the more successful it can be.
  1. Oral Cancer. Cancer is a scary word, but oral cancer doesn’t have to be. When caught early, oral cancer is very treatable, but it has to be caught in the early stages. At every appointment, we check your mouth for an abnormal cells and work together to keep you healthy.
  1. Cavities. Professional cleanings work to remove dangerous plaque from teeth. If left alone, plaque can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque can be removed with at-home care of brushing twice a day and flossing, but only a deep professional cleaning is successful at removing the really stuck-on stuff.
  1. Bright Smile. If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or other staining agent, your teeth can become tinted and less than your ideal shade of white. Professional cleanings can work away surface stains and get your teeth looking whiter. End with a polish and your teeth will be shiny, too.

Don’t put off your professional teeth cleaning any longer. Call our Austin dental office as soon as possible. We’ll check your mouth for signs of problems and thoroughly clean your teeth for a smooth, healthy smile.

Serving patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park, and surrounding areas.


Wear Purple for CHD Awareness


Join 12 Oaks Dental in supporting CHD (Congenital Heart Defects) Awareness Week February 8th – 14th.


Meet Miss Kielyn, she is 19 months old and she was born with CDH. This sweet, brave baby has already had two open heart surgeries and will have to deal with this life long disease.

Each year, in the U.S., approximately 40,000 children are born with CHD. There are over 40 types of Congenital Heart Defects making CHD the most common type of birth defect. There is currently no known prevention or cure for CHD, however with early detection and treatment the survival rate is now improving.

If you would like to get more information or make a donation, The Children’s Heart Foundation and Heart 2 Heart are great resources.  If your family or friends  need a support group here in Austin, please visit MyMilagros, Uniting the Central Texas Congenital Heart Defect Community.


Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart

Heart health monthYou know that regular brushing and flossing can help keep your mouth healthy, but did you know that a healthy mouth could also mean a healthy heart? Each February, Americans observe American Heart Month, a time to educate ourselves about the risks associated with heart disease and analyze our own habits. At our dental office in Austin, we’d like to do our part and talk about the connection between mouth and heart.

The Connection Between Mouth and Heart

When we talk about the connection between mouth and heart, the first thing that comes to mind is gum disease. Gum disease is a dangerous disease that, if left untreated, can lead to heart concerns. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), gum disease has a direct correlation to an increased risk for heart attacks. What’s more, many whole-body problems tend to show the very first warning signs in the mouth, which makes regular appointments with your dentist in Austin even more important.

Know the Signs

Keeping your mouth healthy and gum disease free is important for not only the life of your smile, but for your heart, too. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Consistently bad breath
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth

Putting Your Heart at Risk

Besides maintaining a healthy mouth, there are additional ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease by changing a few lifestyle factors. Although making any considerable life changes is daunting, it’s important to keep trying. Some habits that put the heart at risk include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of Exercise

If your lifestyle factors put you at risk for heart disease, or if any of the signs of gum disease sound familiar to you, call our Austin dental office right away. Early detection of gum disease not only means a quicker treatment plan, but can also help keep your heart healthy. Don’t put your heart at risk.

Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park, and nearby towns.

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