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Three Delicious Yet Unknown Regional Dishes To Flavor Up Regional-Themed Parties

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the most exciting aspects of party planning is deciding on a theme. Regional themes work well because they can showcase traditional flavors. From wedding catering to birthdays, here are some examples of often-overlooked yet very traditional regional dishes that capture the essence of the regions from which they originated. Hawaii One of the most popular party ideas is the Hawaiian theme. These luau-themed events are usually catered with ham, pineapple, and cucumber salad, but there is one frequently overlooked dish that is the epitome of Hawaiian cuisine: the Loco Moco. Shortly after the second World War, a group of teenagers wandered into a Hawaiian restaurant and asked for breakfast. Dubbed the Loco Moco, this dish would forever change the course of true Hawaiian fare. The Loco Moco is a sound comfort food consisting of rice topped with a ground beef patty, egg, and gravy. No longer just a breakfast dish, the Loco Moco is one of the most traditional and purely Hawaiian comfort foods to be found. For a truly authentic Hawaiian-themed party, the Loco Moco is a perfect main dish consideration. Mid-Atlantic When one thinks of mid-Atlantic cuisine, seafood-based dishes and clam bisque probably come to mind. For catered events, however, seafood can quickly destroy a budget and sandwiches can come across as too casual. For an alternative entree that is both deep-rooted in mid-Atlantic tradition and affordable, look no further than scrapple. Derived from old European settlers’ recipes, scrapple is a toasted loaf of pork products ground and combined with cornmeal and then served as slices. At first blush, it sounds like a crude dish reminiscent of sausage, but it is actually a very finicky meal that demands a skilled and attentive chef. Finding scrapple outside of the mid-Atlantic region can be quite a challenge, but the ingredients are readily found throughout the United States. Thus, scrapple definitely deserves consideration for a mid-Atlantic cuisine theme. Midwestern Parties and events often work better when opting for hors d’oeuvres instead of a sit-down meal. Guests are usually served exactly what they expect: cheese, meats, and maybe some interesting dips. These items work because they can be consumed in one or two bites, do not require plates or silverware, and do not create a mess. A catering company can serve hors d’oeuvres but with a little more excitement by including cheese curds. This little-known finger food is derived from cottage cheese that has been skimmed of cream and then curded. Aside from being delicious, cheese curds are fun; when bitten into, they actually squeak. Originally from Wisconsin, cheese curds must be served fresh; thus, they are seldom seen outside of the Midwestern United States. With special care, however, they can be transported to a catered event and liven up an hors d’oeuvres...

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3 Ways To Cut Back On Calories At A Mexican Restaurant

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are trying to eat healthier, then going to Mexican restaurants can be a good choice as long as you know what foods will aid in your healthy eating plan. Here are 3 ways to cut back on calories so that you can enjoy great flavor while maintaining a small waistline. Eat Fish First, consider eating fish and seafood when you go to a Mexican restaurant. Specifically, look for grilled fish that does not have the extra calories that come from being fried. Really fresh fish has so much flavor that it does not need to be fried anyway. You can find fish in many Mexican dishes, such as soup, as a main entree, and you can also get fish tacos or salads. Many types of Mexican fish are prepared and grilled with dry seasonings that will stick to the fish.  If you want more flavor that is still healthy, add some fresh salsa that comes with the chips. You can also spread a light layer of guacamole on the fish so that it is creamier and has another layer of Mexican flavor. Add Beans Next, add beans to your meal as long as they are not refried. Many Mexican restaurants have black beans and pinto beans that are cooked in a healthy way. They can add more flavor to the beans by adding garlic, cumin, cilantro, and onion while the beans cook. The only real liquid that has to be added is some water or some broth, and all of this is healthy for you to eat. You can then enjoy your fish or grilled chicken with an added element that is both filling and contains good protein. Also, eating beans can help with cholesterol as long as they are not fried. Skip the Chips Lastly, skip the chips at a Mexican restaurant. Even though many restaurants make their chips fresh so that they have great flavor, they are usually fried and contain more calories. Also, you will not have as much room for your meal if you fill up on chips, so you will miss out on the nutrition that comes from the healthier items. If you cannot resist the chips, then ask your waiter to bring them at the end of your meal so that you have filled up on everything else first. This will allow you to still enjoy a few chips, but most of your calories will come from the truly amazing Mexican foods on the menu. By doing these 3 things, you can cut back on calories and eat amazing flavors that will make you feel full, satisfied, and happy. Click here to continue reading more about Mexican...

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Back To Basics: Clover Honey Offers Great Versatility In Cooking

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re trying to expand your cooking knowledge and recipe repertoire, one of your most basic kitchen staples, honey, is the food to go to. Honey can add a sweet edge to anything, from meat marinades to cake flavorings. Even plain butter benefits from the addition of some mild honey to make a delicious but simple spread. Honey is available in several different flavors, some of which are easy to find at your local store. However, clover honey remains the best option if you want to add a “classic” honey flavor. Changing Flavors Using honey made from other flowers will give your foods a much different taste. Orange blossom honey, for example, is known for its orange-y, citrus-y flavor. If you use orange blossom honey in foods, you’ll get a definite orange taste lingering in your mouth. But if you want the taste the people tend to think of as “honey,” you want clover honey. Most Common Honey Most of the honey produced commercially in the United States is clover honey. Bees can make honey from any nectar they pick up, but large commercial operations tend to cluster around vast clover fields because as bee season progresses, bees need more and more food to build up their hives. The season starts with bees grabbing pollen from nut and fruit trees, but all the honey produced then is used up by the bees themselves. By the time tree-pollination season is over, the hives are big and need a good food source. Enter the clover fields in the upper Midwest, especially North Dakota. The bees feed on the clover nectar but no longer need the honey. Hence, vast amounts of clover honey are available to humans. That means clover honey is easy to find and reasonably priced. It doesn’t need refrigeration and has an amazing shelf life. Use clover honey to flavor butter, along with a little cinnamon. Add clover honey to a chicken marinade to create a sticky, sweet coating and the chicken bakes. Or, just drizzle a little honey on a biscuit for a quick snack. You can even mix honey with sugar syrups to create an even milder honey-flavored dessert topping. Experiment, but Keep Clover Close Clover honey is available in just about every store and online as well. Local producers can usually verify where the bees went to get their nectar, plus, if you buy from a local producer, you support local farms. Definitely experiment with other honey flavors, including wildflower, macadamia, and others. But always keep some clover honey on...

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Figuring An Appropriate Tip For Your Server

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Servers, waiters and waitresses work for tips. Yes, the restaurant (such as The Turtle Club) they work for pays them an hourly wage, but the bulk of their income depends on how well their customers tip. It’s tricky, however, to come up with the perfect amount to tip your server, especially if she went above and beyond and made your meal enjoyable. With a few unofficial formulas, it’s easier to come up with the appropriate tip that shows your appreciation. Use Math The standard restaurant tip is around 15 percent of your total check, including beverages and dessert. If you take that total and multiply it by 0.15, you’ll determine exactly what 15 percent is. The same formula stands if you wish to tip a larger percentage. For example, if you have a large party of 8 or more people, the standard tip is often increased to 18 percent, so you would multiply your total by 0.18. Consider Your Service If your server did a good job of making sure your drink order was taken shortly after being seated or accommodated a variety of special requests, you might consider tipping more than the standard amount. Many people decided on a nice round number, such as $10 or $15, depending on the total on your ticket. You might also consider leaving a few extra dollars if there were children in your party who made a mess on the floor or spilled a drink that your server cleaned up for you. This is a way to show your appreciation as well as to say thanks for taking such good care of your table. Be Generous If you have a bit of extra disposable income one month, do a good deed and give your server a bonus tip. When you notice your server having a bad day, consider adding an extra $5 or $10 to the total tip. These bonuses can really boost the spirits of a server, and most waiters and waitresses fondly remember at least one instance where they got a completely unexpected tip. Every once in awhile doing something so generous will make your eating out experience more enjoyable as well. When Your Server Doesn’t Live Up To Your Expectations Instead of docking your server’s tip when your service is slow or the food is cold, ask to speak with a manager. Often, waiters bear the brunt of cooks getting backed up in the kitchen or are responsible for so many tables that they aren’t able to deliver food as soon as it’s ready. In these instances, it wouldn’t be fair to take this out on your server who did, in fact, do the job required. Speaking with a manager might get you a discount on your total bill, which will make up for your unacceptable service without also causing your server to lose a...

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Beat The Heat: How To Enjoy Spicy Foods

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

From Mexican food to Indian, spicy food is delicious and satisfying. Many people love the burn of chili peppers and other strong spices, but some are a little more sensitive and have difficulty eating hot, spicy food. This is a shame because many health benefits come from eating spicy food, including improved breathing, less fat storage, and reduced cravings. If you want to enjoy the benefits (both to your health and your taste buds) of spicy food, below are some ways to help counter your sensitive palate: 1. Work Your Way Up: Do not start with the spiciest item on the menu; you will just end up with a burning mouth and watery eyes. Start with something fairly mild that you know you can handle and gradually increase the spiciness of the item from there, or order a spicy item as a side dish rather than your main meal. It also helps to eat spicy food slowly, particularly if you’re new to it. According to, you should limit the amount of capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot. Eating slowly will keep the amount tolerable rather than overwhelming your system with heat. 2. Dull the Pain with Dairy: If you are not used to eating spicy food, but plan on trying something with some kick, make sure that you have something on hand to cool your mouth. When it comes to spicy food, water is not as effective. Chemicals mix with oils in the food, and they cannot be dissolved with water. Instead, dairy products are more effective when it comes to cooling your mouth. A glass of milk or a spoonful of sour cream are great for minimizing intense burning. If you don’t have dairy on hand, lime and cilantro accompany many spicy dishes and are also helpful.  3. Go for Texture: When your mouth is burning, sometimes what your brain needs is a distraction. Rough foods like crackers or starchy foods like bread and rice offer your brain a different sensation to focus on. The starch in these foods can also help absorb some of the heat-causing capsaicin, minimizing the time you spend trying to cool your mouth.  While spicy food is not for everyone, if you want to enjoy the excellent flavor peppers add to food and the health benefits that come from the heat, following the steps above can help increase your tolerance and develop your palate. Start slow, choose dairy, have a variety of textures, and...

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Providing Affordable Beverages Besides Coffee In The Workplace

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You’d like to hire an office coffee service now that your number of employees has grown significantly. You’ve seen numerous office arrangements where the organization offers free coffee for anyone who wants some throughout the day. Quite a few of your employees don’t drink coffee, however, and you don’t want them to feel left out. Fortunately, you can hire a service that provides several alternative beverages for individuals who aren’t big java fans.  Ways to Provide Beverages Today’s vending machines can pour single-serve cups of freshly brewed coffee, and that beverage doesn’t have to be the instant version. This can be a much nicer option than having full pots of coffee sitting on a burner. The liquid continues to cook, and within an hour or so, the flavor becomes bitter and unpleasant.  Instead, you might choose to have a vending machine that provides cups of hot beverages and another machine that offers cold drinks by the cup. This arrangement is something your team members are likely to appreciate more than the limited choices of regular and decaf coffee along with a vending machine that sells pricey cans of soda.  Pricing How much you want to charge for these items is up to you. Naturally, employees appreciate free beverages when they’re working, but you may find that to be cost-prohibitive. Consider charging just enough to pay the office coffee service rather than looking to make any sort of profit. Your team will be happy that the prices are so affordable. Hot Beverages In addition to a variety of coffees, your hot beverage vending machine can also serve drinks by the cup to people who prefer something else. Include favorites such as hot chocolate, apple cider, and hot cocoa with peppermint. For something unusual, add beverages such as a blend of chicory, dandelion, rye and barley that makes an intriguing herbal coffee substitute.  It’s not as easy to provide hot tea through a vending machine, but you certainly can offer free cups of hot water through this equipment. The individuals can bring their own teabags and steep a cup of tea at their desks.  Cold Beverages Many of your employees probably prefer cold drinks, especially during warm weather. You might include single-serve cups of soda, iced tea, lemonade and sports drinks. Ice can be optional. Concluding Thoughts By offering these affordable beverage options to your employees, you help boost morale and positive attitudes. Consult an office coffee service, such as Five Star Water, for more...

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