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Portable Ice Makers For The Home: The 411

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Portable Ice Makers For The Home: The 411

If you host a lot of parties or other events where large numbers of people gather at your home, then you know that having a sufficient supply of ice on hand is an important part of being a good host. A great solution to this problem is to purchase a portable ice maker. These devices make it easy to produce as much ice as you need for any party or get-together. This article examines some of the key aspects of these handy appliances. Size Portable ice makers come in a wide range of sizes based on how they will be used. For example, a restaurant owner might need a large commercial portable ice maker that is capable of producing up to 150 pounds or more of ice per day. As a homeowner who uses an ice maker primarily when hosting events at your house, however, you will not need a model this large. A smaller model that is capable of producing about 35 pounds of ice per day should be more than adequate. Benefits Portable ice makers create ice much more quickly than a refrigerator ice maker. The process typically involves no more than 7 to 10 minutes, which compares very favorably to the 30 minutes to an hour required by refrigerator units. You generally have control of the size of your ice cubes as well. Many models have small, medium, and large cube options. Storage An important point to remember is that portable ice makers are designed to produce ice, not to store it. Any ice made by one of these devices should be used immediately or stored in an appropriate appliance such as your refrigerator freezer or a separate stand alone freezer. Maintenance Portable ice makers require very little maintenance, typically just an occasional cleaning. After emptying and unplugging the machine, remove the ice tray and wipe the interior with a damp cloth. Then wipe off the ice tray with the cloth and put it back inside the ice maker. Plug the unit back in and run two cycles with a cupful of lemon juice or vinegar. This will remove any impurities that may have gotten into the system. Once this has been done, remove any water from the machine’s reservoir and replace it with clean, warm water. Run two more cycles with the fresh water to eliminate any trace of the lemon juice or vinegar. To finish the job, simply wipe off the exterior with your cloth. To learn more, speak with someone like Shealy-Hodges...

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Four Things To Do With Leftover Banquet Food

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things To Do With Leftover Banquet Food

If you’re planning a banquet, such as for an awards ceremony, you know that you have to set the amount of food that the caterers should have on hand at the banquet. Planning the number of servings carefully ensures that waste is kept to a minimum. However, sometimes you simply end up with leftovers. Sometimes people can’t show up at the last minute, or not everyone goes to get food from a buffet line. There are many reasons and four solutions. Toss It Sad but true; the easiest way to deal with leftover food is just to let it go and toss it. That does mean you’re contributing to food waste. However, this is actually the safe thing to do if the food is perishable and has been out on a table for almost two hours or more. That two-hour mark is the dividing line between food that is generally considered safe to eat and food that may be developing bacterial problems. Rather than risking illness — and possible lawsuits — a lot of catering companies will not let people take leftovers of perishable foods home with them. Donate It If you suspect there may be leftovers, even of perishable foods, donating the leftovers to local food banks is often possible. These donations must be pre-arranged so that the caterer knows exactly where the leftovers are to go. Extra food is stored safely and added to the banquet food supply carefully; the remainder is then given to the food bank. BizBash says there are legal protections in place to protect caterers from liability “as long as safe food handling is used.” Save It The people who arrange for the banquet can request ahead of time (such as when making the catering arrangements, not when the banquet is just starting) to have extra food kept as a to-go platter for those people. This is sometimes done at weddings, with the to-go platter given to the wedded couple. This is different from letting leftovers leave the building because the food on the platter is stored carefully and not just scooped out of bowls that have been sitting out for hours. Gift It If the food has not reached the sitting-out time limit, you can always give the excess food to the catering staff. They’ve worked hard and probably didn’t have their own meals, so there’s nothing wrong with letting them have the rest of the food. If you want to know more about your options for preventing food waste, contact banquet caterers and specifically ask about what happens to leftovers. You may be able to find basic policies on the companies’ websites, but you’ll get more details by calling them. Companies like Mascaro’s Catering may be able to meet your needs in this area....

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Three Different Ways To Enhance The Taste Of Dill Pickles In A Burger

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Different Ways To Enhance The Taste Of Dill Pickles In A Burger

In contrast to many other types of vegetables like lettuce and carrots, dill pickles can be very healthy to eat while still retaining a vibrant sweet taste. If you make burgers all the time and want to figure out how to give them a distinctive taste by tinkering with their ingredients, starting with the pickle slices you put in them is a great choice. These three different ways to enhance the taste of dill pickles can all be used to help prepare a burger that’s both unique and very tasty. Drain The Brine Out Of The Jar Before Adding A Homemade Garlic And Vinegar Mix If you live in a remote area without a lot of supermarkets, you probably don’t have all that many dill pickle flavors to choose from. Even if all these flavors are tasty in and of themselves, there’s nothing wrong with desiring a pickle with a more biting or complicated flavor. Replace the pickle jar’s brine with a mixture of garlic, vinegar, sugar, and any seasoning varieties you’re particularly fond of. Then, lightly stir the pickles with a spoon and let the jar sit in the fridge for a few days. Without you having to do anything else beyond preparing the burger, the taste of the pickles will stick out in your mouth much more than it would otherwise. Bread The Pickles And Fry Them In Peanut Oil While it’s not the most healthy option out there, breading the pickles and frying them in peanut oil for a few minutes will make them about as tasty as you can ever get them. Since the pickles will be covered in so many different ingredients, frying is a great option if you’re preparing relatively small burgers that don’t have a lot of room in them to fit a ton of toppings. To ensure that the fried pickles retain their crispiness, eat your burgers as soon as you’re done cooking. Dip The Slices In Seasoning And Bake Them In The Oven Baking the seasoned pickles in the oven will involve both fewer ingredients and fewer health risks than frying them. As the pickles will come out of the oven mostly dry, baking is a good option if your burgers are already going to be covered in grease or other juices. You can also stick your burger’s cheese slices on the seasoned pickles and bake them together in the oven. If you were planning to heat up the cheese anyway, this will save you a decent chunk of time. Click here for more information on kosher dill...

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Equipment You Need For Your Catering Startup

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Equipment You Need For Your Catering Startup

If you have just created a catering business, you might have some investment capital that you will need to use in order to make sure that you are fully prepared for your first catering gig. Here are some of the supplies that you are absolutely going to need to bring with you to every job. 1. Burner and Dish Combo Sets If you are planning to try to get school events, or other events where people are going to be eating food throughout the day, you are going to need to figure out a way to keep that food reliably warm without turning it to mush. The easiest way to do this is to get a serving dish and burner set. The dish propped above the burner is usually made out of metal so that the heat from the burner will transfer relatively evenly. These burners allow you to prepare large amounts of food ahead of time and then keep them appetizing for as long as possible.  If you are not planning on getting large events on a regular basis, but instead specialize more in smaller events, you can always rent burners and their related dishes should you happen to pick up a rare larger gig. 2. Table Protectors If your catering company is not going to take a large role in decorating the venue, then you are not going to know if the tables are going to be protected with a tablecloth. As a result, you are going to need to invest in some heavy duty tablecloths that will fall to the floor, allowing you to store any extra supplies that you might have brought with you to the venue underneath the table without spoiling the aesthetics of the venue. You should also have a series of heavy cloth protectors that can go on top of the tables in case a guest worries about your dishes accidentally staining fine fabrics that are already on the table. 3. Set of Knives If you are having an area where guests can come and have strips of meat cut specifically for them, you are going to need a good set of knives to make sure that you are able to cut the meat quickly. You should also have knives that are suitable for chopping vegetables in order to make sure that you are able to provide any last minute seasoning if necessary to your dishes.  For more information, talk to a company that provides restaurant and catering supplies, such as Louis Wohl & Sons...

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The How’s And Why’s Of Getting Your Child To Eat Chia Seeds In Their School Lunch

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The How’s And Why’s Of Getting Your Child To Eat Chia Seeds In Their School Lunch

Chia seeds have a lot of the nutrition your child needs to grow and thrive. As a food, kids are disinclined to eat chia seeds in their raw form, perhaps because they don’t have a lot of flavor, or maybe because they look like bird seed. Still, this flavorless quality can work to your advantage. Knowing why your child should be eating chia seeds, how you can get your child to eat the seeds and which type to buy at the grocery store can help you as you strive to feed your child nutritious food every day for his or her school lunch. What’s in chia seeds anyway? Chia seeds are rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium and omega-3’s, making them a better whole-grain food than many of the processed grains you might send in your child’s lunch on a daily basis. In fact, chia seeds are recognized as having more free radical-fighting, cancer-preventing, brain-cell protecting antioxidants than any other whole food, including blueberries. What can you do with chia seeds to encourage your child to eat them? As already mentioned, chia seeds are small, flavorless seeds–which is convenient when you’re trying to hide them in your child’s lunch. Chia seeds have another quality that can be helpful as well: they get soft and pulpy when they’re exposed to liquids. In baked goods, chia seeds aren’t very noticeable. You can toss chia seeds into just about any muffin or cookie recipe without negative consequences. If your child likes puddings, you can easily make your own nutritious chia seed pudding by mixing almond milk, maple syrup and chia seeds together in a bowl and leaving them to sit overnight. The chia seeds will absorb the milk and expand in a manner similar to tapioca. If your child doesn’t like tapioca, you can blend the resulting pudding in the food processor for a creamier, smoother effect. Before you send the pudding off in your child’s lunch, add berries or chocolate for flavor. Which kind of chia seeds are best for kids? Chia seeds come in two types: “black” and “white.” In reality, both types of chia seeds are variation of brown, with black chia seeds being much darker and white chia seeds being much lighter. The different colors have only slight differences in nutritional value and absolutely no difference in flavor. When shopping for organic chia seeds for sale, the best thing you can do is buy whichever color is most convenient or whichever color your little one prefers, if he or she has preferences. If your child is particularly picky and very anti-chia seed, lighter seeds are less noticeable when included in baked goods and in pudding. For more information, contact GetChia or a similar...

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Corn Can Be King: Why Asking for Corn Tortillas Could Help You Healthwise

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Corn Can Be King: Why Asking for Corn Tortillas Could Help You Healthwise

If you like to eat in Mexican restaurants, many of the dishes you get may be wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. The carby goodness, combined with the cheese, meat, chicken, and other ingredients, forms a delicious but caloric meal. The tortilla certainly isn’t responsible for all of the calories, but if you’re trying to cut down your weight, finding more efficient sources of carbs is a good idea. For Mexican food, that means switching to corn tortillas for a tasty but lower-calorie kick. A Third of the Calories Depending on the source of the information and the size of the tortilla, corn tortillas can have around 52 calories. A flour tortilla can have nearly three times that amount. Corn tortillas also have more fiber and higher amounts of many vitamins and minerals than flour tortillas. Note that the number of carbohydrates that you find on a nutrition label isn’t the real issue for most people. While many do have to watch carbohydrate intake because of conditions like diabetes, for people who don’t have to monitor them, the calorie count is often a more important number. Carbs are a necessary part of a good diet, but as fasting guru Brad Pilon explains, “Carbs are awesome.” People like to eat them, and if you have a large flour tortilla sitting in front of you, you likely will eat the entire thing. So finding carbohydrate sources that don’t have as many calories is important. You’d be able to eat everything on your plate without taking in as many calories. The Missing Key One issue with corn tortillas that often makes people want to avoid them is texture. However, that is because a lot of people don’t reallize that corn tortillas can’t be eaten cold. People are used to grabbing a flour tortilla out of the package in the fridge and wrapping up everything from cheese to peanut butter in the tortillas without any additional cooking, but they can’t do the same with a corn tortilla. You have to warm up corn tortillas in order for them to be palatable. Cold corn tortillas are crumbly and dry, but a warm corn tortilla is flexible, is relatively smooth in texture, and has a fuller taste. If you order a corn tortilla in a Mexican restaurant, you’ll get one that has been warmed up properly and that complements the taste of the rest of the foods. If you’re worried about authenticity, don’t be. Many dishes do use corn tortillas in their authentic forms, and even if a dish normally calls for a flour tortilla, the restaurant staff will be willing to make the switch to corn for you if you ask. If you want more information on cooking with corn tortillas or about how easy it might be to substitute them in a recipe, call your neighborhood Mexican restaurants near Tucson...

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Meal Planning For Parents – It’s Easier Than You Think!

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Meal Planning For Parents – It’s Easier Than You Think!

It is highly possible that you have heard of meal planning in the past but were totally turned off by the amount of work you thought it might take. As a parent, you might struggle to make hot meals every night as it is. Before you throw out the idea altogether, consider these helpful hints. Look at recipes every week Set aside about 20 minutes each week to find new foods to cook. You can have your staples that you cook every week, but it is nice to mix it up with new ideas found on Pinterest or via friends on Facebook. Keep a physical copy of your recipes You will have a lot more fun planning your meals if you print them out onto cards and store them in the kitchen. You always have a physical copy to refer to, and you can even use the cards themselves to plan the meals. If you’re interested in keeping recipes together without the hassle of paper, a grocery products meal planner online might help. Grocery shop only once each week Load up on all your groceries over the weekend, ensuring to gather enough food to plan meals for the next seven days. It works best if you base your grocery list (and planned meals) on the sale circulars sent out by your local grocery stores. You’ll have coupons and sales that will help you save money. Prepare food as soon as you get home This means that you should start portioning food according to what you will need later in the week before you even put the groceries away. Roast vegetables you need for the pasta on Thursday, and wash those strawberries for pie tomorrow. Chop the onions you will need for the week, and shred the cheese you need for tacos on Wednesday. Your goal is to do everything possible to make weeknight cooking a breeze. Have theme nights each week Themes work well, not only because everybody know what to expect, but also because you will always have those staples to stock up on. If you always have soup night on Friday and Mexican food on Tuesday, you know that you will always need chicken stock, tortillas and refried beans each week. Use perishables first This means that your meals using fresh foods should be made earlier in the week. If you shop on Sunday, perhaps eat fresh fish on Monday and save the pasta, eggs and frozen meals for Thursday and Friday. Utilize the Crock-Pot Break out your Crock-Pot on days where you have to take the kids to soccer practice or work overtime. You can throw ingredients in the pot hours before dinner and walk into the kitchen to discover a ready-made meal. Shop for the season Fresh produce is always cheapest (and easiest to find) when it is in season. Make sure you plan for meals using produce that is fresh and affordable. ‘Fend for Yourself’ on Saturday If you shop for groceries on Sunday, use Saturday as the night to clean out the pantry and refrigerator. Encourage your family to finish the leftovers so that you can begin preparing next week’s meals knowing what’s in stock. As you can see, planning a week’s worth of meals can be pretty convenient, especially when you get the...

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Moved Away And Missing The Food? Use Dry Ice To Bring It To You

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have moved from the only place you have ever lived, you may be feeling homesick. Missing your favorite food from restaurants, etc., can make you feel even worse. Fortunately, you can keep eating your favorite food using dry ice. Your Favorite Restaurants If you had a favorite restaurant that you can only find in your hometown, you can bring the food to you. For example, they may have the best little pizza place, and you just cannot find pizza that you like as well in your new place. Contact the restaurant owner and ask them if they can ship you the food you miss. To keep the food from spoiling, they can use dry ice when shipping it. They have likely used dry ice before in the past for this purpose. Dry ice is made of frozen carbon dioxide, which is a gas that you exhale while you are breathing, and plants use it for photosynthesis.  You need to be mindful of how long dry ice lasts, however. As long as the dry ice is placed in a cooler while it is being shipped, it can last up to 24 hours so the restaurant will have to overnight the food. Family Cooking If you have a mother, grandmother, favorite aunt, etc. that make the best peach cobbler, chicken and dumplings, and more, you likely miss it. If you have been trying to recreate these recipes on your own but cannot get it right, ask them to make this recipe for you, and then ship it to you using dry ice. They can purchase dry ice at most home supply stores or butcher shops in their area. Tell them to use a Styrofoam cooler, as it is a good insulator. Place some dry ice in the bottom, put the container of food on top of the ice, and then put some more dry ice on top of it. They should put packaging material in the box to fill up any empty spaces. If they are shipping more than one recipe, ask them to put each in separate coolers. When you receive the package with the dry ice, wear gloves when you touch it. Dry ice is very cold, and it can burn your bare skin. Over time, your homesickness should start going away, and you will start feeling like the new place you live is your hometown. Until then, enjoy your favorite foods using the tips above. If you need further help finding ice to ship and package your favorite foods, contact a local ice supplier, like United City Ice Cube, for...

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3 Reassuring Reasons Why It’s Okay To Love Coffee

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Feeling a little guilty about your daily dose of coffee? Stop worrying; more and more researchers are finding that not only is coffee not evil, it’s good for you! The positive benefits of moderate caffeine consumption are not just myths. So, if you sometimes feel that you have too much blood in your caffeine stream, read on and feel better about your daily coffee consumption. Caffeine boosts your concentration. You know coffee makes you feel more “awake”, but there is real science behind your perception. This study,shows that moderate amounts of caffeine will improve your ability to concentrate, alertness, decision making and problem-solving. The caffeine works on your brain cells by prompting an increase in the efficiency of your neurotransmitters. It doesn’t hurt that coffee acts quickly, so the effects are immediately satisfying. Caffeine will increase your metabolism, which could lead to weight loss. This study shows that as little as 50mg of caffeine ( there is about 95mg per 8 oz of coffee) can cause you to burn calories just by drinking it, without doing anything else. According to this study, the effect was more pronounced in non-obese people. More studies are needed, but the appetite suppressant properties of caffeine are being studied as well. Caffeine helps athletic performance. The performance related aspect of caffeine has been studied for more that 35 years. Caffeine’s effect on athletic power and endurance, according to this study, shows that caffeine allows you to exercise harder and longer. There is a direct metabolic effect on your muscles, causing fat to be burned instead of glycogen. Burning fat instead of glycogen directly improves endurance. Even if you are not a professional athlete, this is still good news since the effect on your athletic abilities are the same, whether you are an Olympic athlete, or working out at your local gym. As you can see, any of the above three reasons are all compelling on their own. Add them up and its easy to get excited about something so easily obtainable, and relative to its perks, affordable. Just don’t get carried away, since these all of these studies involved moderate amounts of caffeine. Accordingly, the Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting your daily intake to 100 to 200 mg (which equated to about one to two 5-ounce cups of coffee). So, keep drinking that cup of joe from your office’s coffee service and enjoy the benefits. Talk to experts like Five Star Water for more...

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3 Awesome Dishes To Try At A Chinese Restaurant

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chinese food is amazing because it has so much variety, and most dishes have the perfect amount of spice and flavor. Going out to a Chinese restaurant is fun because you get to try foods that you don’t often get to eat at home. You also get to get a taste of another culture’s food, which is always an awesome experience. This article will discuss three delicious dishes that you need to order the next time you are at a Chinese restaurant, especially if you have never tried them before.  Hot and Sour Soup If you like foods that have a good spicy kick to them ,then this is a great soup for you to try. The soup has a meat-based broth to it, and is full of ingredients like fungus, tofu, and bamboo shoots. The soup has a slightly sour taste to it because of the vinegar that is used, but this simply adds to the flavor rather than distracting from it. The soup is also made spicy by using red peppers in the broth.  Chow Mein Chow mein is another great dish to order at a Chinese restaurant because the noodles are thick and covered in a sauce usually made of soy sauce, brown sugar, and a meat-based broth. The meat added to chow mein can be either beef, pork, or chicken. There are also other ingredients added to chow mein such as carrot slices, onions, celery, and garlic. All of these ingredients come together to create a great flavor, and hot peppers can be added if you would like more spice. These noodles are great to eat all by themselves, or you can eat your main meat dish with them.  Ham Fried Rice Ham fried rice is another amazing dish that is part of almost any Chinese entry. This rice is made by mixing pre-made rice with soy sauce and brown sugar in a skillet. Cut up ham is then added to the meat, along with scrambled eggs, carrots, and peas. You can also add some red pepper flakes if you want to give it a bit more of a spicy flavor. This rice has plenty of flavor to be eaten alone, but it is also great when mixed in with your meat. Next time you go to a Chinese restaurant, such as Lilac Blossom Restaurant, try ordering some hot and sour soup, chow mein, and ham fried...

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