Making Food More Delicious

How To Design A Candy Buffet Table For A Special Event

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Design A Candy Buffet Table For A Special Event

A candy buffet table will give a special event a sweet, whimsical touch. When designed correctly, the delicious-looking table can provide more than just desserts or party favors. The vibrant candy colors and eye-catching presentation will also become part of the venue decor.  A buffet table filled with sweet treats will work for any type of special events but especially children’s birthday parties and bridal and baby showers. A table filled with decadent chocolate delights and heart-shaped candies would also be ideal for a romance-inspired celebration, such as a wedding reception, a Valentine’s Day party, or an anniversary soiree.  Be sure to a provide a few sugar-free snacks as well to accommodate young guests and those with dietary restrictions. Also, label any items containing nuts for party-goers with allergies.  Following are some tips for designing a super-sweet candy buffet table for your next event: 1. Decorate the Buffet Table  The first order of business is to choose the right-size buffet table and then decorate it in preparation of the candy displays. To create a neutral backdrop for all of the vibrantly colored treats, choose a crisp white, cotton table cloth or runner. If you’re going for a more romantic appeal, choose one made of a lace or sheer organza fabric that will gently drape to the floor. If you’re working with a theme, such as rainbows for a child’s birthday or storks for a baby shower, you can pick a table linen featuring corresponding designs. To enhance a boring white wall behind the buffet table, tape colorful streamers to it as a creative backdrop. Hang a sign with an appropriate saying, such as “happy birthday” or “welcome baby,” from the front of the table as another idea. 2. Choose the Candy Use the party theme or colors to determine the type of candy you use. For instance, pick sticks of clear rock candy and candy rings. You can go for an elegant look with all-white candy, such as coated nuts and chocolates as well.  For a baby girl or boy shower, choose pastel pink- and blue-hued candies, or for a gender-neutral theme, go with a whimsical rainbow of colors. You can also find pacifier- and stork-shaped candies at specialty retailers or online.  3. Display the Sweets How you display the candy is just as important as the sweets themselves when it comes to a buffet table. Hold individual types of small candies, such as gumballs and jelly beans in clear apothecary jars with lids. Place decorative labels on the front of each jar, and provide scoops and baggies so that the guests can customize their own mixes.  Other ideas include placing stick-style candies in wine or champagne glasses, using colorful tin pails, and displaying larger items, such as pralines and fudge squares, on charming cake or cupcake...

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NFL London Games: A Guide To Enjoying Early Football At The Sports Bar

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on NFL London Games: A Guide To Enjoying Early Football At The Sports Bar

The NFL has expanded its annual scheduled International Series to include more games and more teams for each season. While residents of London get to enjoy some primetime American football, fans in the United States must wake up very early to take part in some of the big game action. While sports bars are ideal for enjoying games in the afternoon or at night, it’s a whole different ball game for the morning hours. By following this guide, you can make the most out of these early morning games and truly enjoy them at your favorite sports bar. After watching a few of London games there, you can make these special game times a special event with you and all of your football buddies. Group Outings If a sports bar chooses to open early for NFL London games, you can make it worth their while. By getting a group of friends together, you can make a whole event out of the game and encourage the sports bar to open up each Sunday morning when these games occur. Some sports bars may test out these events early in the NFL season. By reserving seats or informing them that you will have a large crowd of people attending, then it will make it better to enjoy the games. There may even be bar or grill specials that you and the other guests can enjoy during the festivities. Enjoying Brunch One of the best parts about the early London games is the ability to enjoy a little brunch while watching the game. Sure nachos, wings, and burgers are great for regular NFL games, but there is something special about eating a large omelette while watching the early game. A number of sports bars will have an expanded brunch menu. It’s a good idea to check out the menu options before you go so that you know what to expect. Along with standard brunch menu options, some businesses may offer a brunch buffet with all types of breakfast foods to enjoy. Game Time Triple Header Once a sports bar opens for the early morning games, you can typically expect them to remain open for the rest of the day. This allows you to spread out your time and enjoy all three daytime NFL games in a row. Planning ahead is one of the best ways to do this. When first arriving in the morning, it’s a good idea to relax in a booth, enjoy a light breakfast, and watch the first game. For the second game, you can transition over to a bar area where you can socialize with other fans and enjoy a clear view of the televisions as the bar gets more crowded. For the third game, you can stay at the bar or choose to watch the game at lounge table or recreational area like a pool table. After sitting for a lot of the day, it will feel good to get up and walk around as the last game takes place. Drink and food specials can keep you fulfilled all day without adding up to too much money. Light Drinking As you plan to watch an early morning NFL game, it’s important to consider how much alcohol you want to drink. Starting off really strong will make it harder...

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6 Tips for Planning Meals for Your Family

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Tips for Planning Meals for Your Family

While dining out on occasion is enjoyable, it is more beneficial for families to eat at home. When you plan meals for your family, you can control what ingredients go into the food and cut down on the portion sizes. In fact, according to a study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, children whose parents took time to prepare meals at home were more likely to make healthy food choices. Meal-prepping can also reduce your grocery bills and help you save time in the kitchen. Here are six helpful tips for planning meals for your family. Create a Calendar One of the first things you should do is create a calendar that includes the meals you want to cook over the next few weeks. Whether it is a paper calendar or a Google calendar, this will keep you organized and help you remember what sorts of foods you have to prepare. If you have run out of ideas for meals, ask your family members for suggestions. Write a Shopping List In order to buy the items you truly need and avoid impulse buys, it is crucial to create a shopping list and stick to it. Think about all the different ingredients you will need to make your meals for the week and write them down. It is a good idea to organize your grocery list by the aisle. For instance, under the meat and seafood aisle, you might want to include foods like halibut, chicken breasts, salmon, and ground turkey. Plan Your Meals Around Foods That Are in Season If you plan meals around foods that are currently in season, you can save a pretty penny on you grocery bills. For example, during the winter months, you can buy more winter squashes and sweet potatoes and makes soups and other hearty meals with them. When summer rolls around, you can shop for corn on the cob, strawberries, and tomatoes. Make Double Batches A good way to save time on meal-prepping is to cook double batches of your favorite meals. For example, if you want to serve a pork roast one night, you can cook a little extra roast and cut it up after it has cooled down. Store the extra meat in your freezer until you want to cook with it again. You can make plenty of simple and delicious meals from pork roast, such as soups, salads, and tacos. Plan for All Three Meals When you are meal-planning, you can’t just think about dinner. You also have to plan what you are going to each for breakfast and lunch. If you do not plan ahead for these meals, you will be more likely to stop at the drive-thru or buy a microwavable meal. There are plenty of easy breakfast foods you can prepare in no time, such as baked oatmeal and breakfast muffins. It is also a wise idea to use leftovers from dinner to make lunches. Try Theme Nights Having theme nights can simplify the meal-prepping process, especially if you have kids at home. You can serve tacos on Monday, chicken on Tuesday, fish on Wednesday, pasta on Thursday, and soup on Friday. You can still keep things interesting with theme nights. For example, you might serve salmon one...

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3 Kitchen Gadgets You Need When Life Is a Pain in the Wrist

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Kitchen Gadgets You Need When Life Is a Pain in the Wrist

If you currently suffer from arthritis, you are not alone. As it currently stands, roughly 53 million adults suffer from this debilitating disease. To make matters worse, of the many types of arthritis you can have, most of them have the ability to affect your wrists. Pain and inflammation of your wrist joints can make daily tasks difficult, particularly in the kitchen. Fortunately, there are three kitchen gadgets that can make your life far easier. Single Cup Brewing Stations If you are a coffee lover, arthritis could make the task of brewing coffee quite difficult. Lifting a full 12-cup coffee pot might prove painful and nearly impossible for you. Fortunately, you do not have to sacrificed your morning pick-me-up. Single cup brewing stations are a great addition to your kitchen if you suffer from arthritis. Rather than traditional coffee pots, you receive a freshly brewed cup of coffee each time, meaning you do not have to lift up on a full, heavy coffee pot. When you lift on a full coffee pot, you risk spilling the hot, burning liquid all over you, which could cause injuries. Another benefit is you do not have to straining your wrists to wash out a reusable filter. Instead, single cup brewers use a small pod filled with coffee grounds. Once your coffee is finished brewing, you can simply toss the pod in the trash. In other words, less lifting, less scrubbing, and less mess, which means less strain on your wrists. Look into getting products like Keurig K cups to ensure you can enjoy your coffee without any added strain to your wrists. Easy Open Canisters Kitchen canisters are a great addition to any kitchen. They seal shut to help keep various food fresher for a longer period. For example, you can store coffee creamer and sugar in a canister next to your brewing station. Placing canisters near your coffee stations reduces the likelihood that you will have to lift a heavy bag of sugar, thus reducing the strain on your wrists. Unfortunately, twist the lid off a canister might be a painful task. The good news is you can replace your traditional twist-top canisters with push-button canisters instead. Push-button canisters allow you to open your canisters with a one-finger push of a button, therefore reducing the strain on your wrists. You can access all of your stored goods quickly and easily with far less strain. Specialized Kitchen Utensils An estimated 2 million individuals who suffer from arthritis say that it is difficult to grasp small items. Therefore, grasping the small handle of a spoon or similar kitchen utensil may prove to be a daunting task. In order to accommodate pain and inflammation in your wrists, opt for larger handled utensils. Many stores sell utensils with larger handles and rubber grips specifically for people with arthritis. The larger handles along with the rubber material that covers them makes gripping a lot easier. Another option is to purchase kitchen utensils with an open handle so you can slip your hand into the opening for easier grasping. If you are interested in these or other products that can make life easier in the kitchen for arthritis sufferers like you, speak with a professional. A professional can help you choose various kitchen accessories that best fit...

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Increase Your Customer Base By Making Your Restaurant More Food-Allergy Friendly

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Increase Your Customer Base By Making Your Restaurant More Food-Allergy Friendly

If you own a restaurant or other type of dining establishment, you may want to consider being able to accommodate people who have food allergies. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, 4% of adults and 8% of children have food allergies, and food allergies have increased in children at a rate of 50% between 1997 and 2011. According to statistics, 200,000 emergency room visits each year are attributed to food allergy reactions. Some reactions can cause anaphylaxis, which can be a deadly allergic reaction. Due to the severity and the continuing increase in food allergies among the U.S. population, many restaurants and eateries are developing and implementing customer service plans for patrons who have life-threatening food allergies. Here are a few things you can do to decrease your customers’ risks and increase your customer base. Develop a new menu with allergen warnings Give your customers more options by developing food items that would be safe for those who have the most common food allergens: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and shellfish. Use the food product labels for all your ingredients to annotate which items have the common food allergens. Print menus that clearly define which foods contain allergens. Small pictures underneath each menu item description can help your customers make their choices. For example, a desert that contains peanuts can have a picture of a peanut with a red X crossed over it. Place a disclaimer in your menu that tells customers to notify their server if they have a food allergy. There’s no need to ask customers if they have a food allergy. Those who have life-threatening allergies have learned to ask because their lives depend on it. Train at least one person for each shift to personally handle allergen requests Train some or all of your staff to handle customers who state they have a food allergy. You should have at least one trained person on staff for each shift. Preferably, this individual should have some authority in your establishment, such as a manager or assistant manager. Training can take place in any local community college or online through educational services. You can learn more about classes in your area or online by contacting your local health department. These staff members will learn about the dangers of cross-contact and how to avoid it. They will also learn how to read labels and prepare food safely for customers who have food allergies. Assign these individuals the responsibility of preparing the dishes and serving the customers upon the customers’ requests and do not permit any untrained personnel to perform any of the tasks. The prepared dishes should be garnished by the trained personnel and delivered to the customer separately. That way, there is no risk of cross-contact in case one plate touches another plate as sometimes happens in a busy restaurant. Purchase new equipment and supplies, and designate a safe area for preparation The best way to avoid cross-contact is to have a separate area in which the only foods prepared are for those who have requested allergen safe foods. For example, in this area, there should be at least one fryer, grill, oven and any other type of equipment that your restaurant uses to prepare food. Equipment (such as pans, food processors, and utensils) should...

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How To Make Spanish Rice Like Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Spanish Rice Like Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Whether you’re making it at home or visiting your favorite local Mexican restaurant, one side dish that’s synonymous with Mexican meals is rice. Spanish rice, traditionally made with tomatoes and peppers, is packed with flavor and makes a fantastic accompaniment to dishes known for their big flavors. If you have always enjoyed the flavor of Spanish rice but didn’t know how to reproduce it yourself, this is the article for you. Here’s a look at what you need to know to produce a Spanish rice dish that’s packed with Mexican spices and bold flavors. Gather Your Ingredients The first step to a great Spanish rice is to start with great ingredients. 4 tablespoons of salted butter 2 cups dry instant rice 1 small yellow onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes 1 cup of beef broth 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Preparation Tips Open the can of tomatoes, but don’t drain them. You’ll want that canning liquid to help saturate the tomato flavor into the rice. When you seed and dice the jalapeno, consider wearing plastic disposable gloves to protect your skin and reduce the risk of spreading pepper into your eyes. Dice up all of the vegetables ahead of time so that you’re ready to put everything in the pan as you reach the proper stage for the addition. Making the Rice You’ll want to use a Dutch oven or other large pot for your rice, because the thick base of these types of pots holds heat more evenly. This may help reduce the risk of burning the rice if you get distracted and forget to stir. It also gives you lots of room for the broth to bubble and help cook the rice. Put the butter into the pot over medium heat. Let the butter melt, then add the rice and stir it around until it starts to toast. Then, add the onion, peppers and garlic. Stir the mixture constantly so that the garlic doesn’t burn. You’ll want to cook these things together for about five minutes. Then, add the can of tomatoes, liquid included. Stir it well to coat everything in the pan. Slowly add the beef broth, stirring thoroughly. Drop in the bay leaf, then add the chili powder, sugar and black pepper. If you used a low-sodium broth, add the salt. If not, taste the broth to see if it’s salty enough or if it needs a bit of salt. Add it if necessary. Bring the whole mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Let the rice simmer until it’s cooked through and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Modifications and Serving Suggestions Spanish rice is a versatile base for many things. Create an entire meal out of the dish by adding cooked chorizo or smoked sausage and a half-cup of frozen corn kernels about 5 minutes before the rice is done. You can also serve this without any mix-ins and just top it with a bit of Colby jack cheese. The creamy texture of the melted cheese adds...

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Three Simple Desserts That Accentuate The Flavors Of High Quality Dark Chocolate

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Simple Desserts That Accentuate The Flavors Of High Quality Dark Chocolate

When you have high quality, gourmet chocolate, you want to enjoy it in a way that allows its flavors to shine, rather than camouflaging it with too many other ingredients. That’s not to say you always have to enjoy your gourmet chocolate plain. Here are three simple dessert recipes that accentuate the flavors of good chocolate. Chocolate Drizzled Berry Bowls This simple dessert is a light choice that’s perfect after a hearty meal. With plenty of fresh berries and dark chocolate, it’s also pretty healthy. The recipe makes enough for four, but it’s easily doubled if you’re having company. Ingredients: 4 chocolate dessert cups 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 4 medium strawberries 1/2 cup high-quality dark chocolate, cut into small chunks Start by dividing the blueberries and raspberries between the dessert cups. If you desire, you can fan each of the strawberries by making several vertical cuts, starting at the tip of the strawberry, and going almost all of the way to the stem end. Slide the partial slices apart to reveal a fan shape. Set the strawberries and the filled bowls aside. To melt the chocolate, fill the bottom portion of a double boiler with water, and bring it to a boil. Place the chocolate in the top part of the double boiler, and stir constantly until it melts. Make sure you keep the heat on low so that the chocolate does not melt too quickly and become scorched. When the chocolate is fully melted, drizzle it over the berries in the dessert cups. Place a strawberry on top of each cup, and serve immediately before the chocolate has a chance to harden. Simple Ganache Over Vanilla Ice Cream When you want something cool and refreshing in the summer, serve yourself a bowl of this elegant, yet easy-to-make dessert. Ganache preserves the true flavor of good chocolate, since the only ingredients in it are heavy cream, chocolate, and a dash of salt. The vanilla ice cream lets the ganache really shine as the key element of the dish. Ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream 1 1/2 cups high-quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely 1 pinch of salt 1/2 gallon high-quality vanilla ice cream Pour the cream and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat the cream just until bubbles start to form around its edges — do not let it boil. Remove the cream from the heat, and stir in the chocolate until a smooth sauce forms. Serve this sauce, while warm, over bowls of the vanilla ice cream. Salted Caramel Fondue Fondue is a lot of fun to enjoy at parties. Serving this chocolate-based fondue will keep the party going after dinner by encouraging guests to interact and giggle over the dipping pot. With a base of dark chocolate, this fondue also contains a hint of caramel and sea salt. It’s magnificent on everything from apples to marshmallows. This recipe requires an electric fondue pot. Ingredients: 2 cups high-quality dark chocolate, chopped 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 cup caramel sauce Turn your fondue pot on low, and allow it to come up to temperature. Add the ingredients to the pot, and stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow guests to dip their own...

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Really No Substitute For Commercial Grade Microwaves In Some Settings

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Really No Substitute For Commercial Grade Microwaves In Some Settings

There is really no comparison between the commercial grade microwaves sold in some restaurant supply venues and those sold in conventional discount stores intended for home utility. The latter are usually of a lower wattage which makes heating individual servings and smaller dishes practical, yet completely inadequate for the wear-and-tear endured in a commercial setting, such as a dining establishment or business. Furthermore, many commercial grade microwaves have precautionary features that withstand extended exposure to moisture, humidity, or heat- similar to the environment found in many commercial kitchens. When buying such fixtures for a restaurant or enterprise, it is prudent to visit reputable sites and venues that specialize in supplying restaurants with appliances, tools, or equipment that will withstand prolonged use and adverse conditions. Buying less-expensive, consumer-grade microwave ovens will likely result in the need to constantly replace or repair these items which could cause problems when they become faulty during operation or business hours. Some may even cause issues with the electrical systems of the establishment, blowing circuits or fuses, or even shorting-out other kitchen equipment. This is not a practical approach for individuals who want to maintain operations and curb costs over the course of time. Investing in commercial grade microwaves from suppliers specializing in high-volume appliances and equipment ensures that the consumer is buying the best appliance for the job that will demonstrate optimal performance with minimal problems. When buying commercial grade microwaves, some other options may exist as well. Some consumers may find that restaurant retailers offer gently used or re-conditioned appliances at discounted costs. While these may carry limited guarantees or warranty, they may be a prudent approach for settings that demand more than one microwave installation in the setting. High-volume eateries, for instance, may find benefits in having a second microwave in the kitchen or wait-staff area for utility and efficiency during work hours. Not only does this reduce the time spent waiting for the microwave to become available for use, but it also ensures that settings inherent to specific models are set appropriately for the utility performed. Some kitchens may find that they use their microwave primarily during prep work and station the fixture in a location that is convenient for such tasks, while making it less ideal to have other staff people in the space, attempting to use it for their own purposes. There are some amazing and infallible microwaves offered for commercial use that some consumers may also benefit from considering when looking to replace those essentials in the home. The size and electricity used could be an inhibiting factor however some consumers may want to augment a chef-style home kitchen with a commercial grade microwave for continuity and optimal utility. Most are offered in a variety of styles though stainless steel remains a prevalent material and is favored by individuals for the longevity and easy care that this veneer provides. These will also bring a cohesive feel to modern kitchens where stainless steel appliances, tin back-splashes, and granite surfaces are displayed. When implementing a commercial grade microwave into a consumer kitchen, be sure to pay attention to the wattage and adjust recipes and cooking directions accordingly. Most pre-packaged ingredients or mixes will indicate cooking time variations for microwaves of different strengths though some may not include directives for higher,...

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