Exploring Seafood: Unique Sea Fare You Can Prepare At Home

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you consider yourself an adventurous eater and you love seafood, why not try branching out into some new and interesting options you can prepare at home? From live sea urchins to monkfish, here are some unique seafood options you can try at home. Sea urchins Believe it or not, this prickly sea creature is a delightful delicacy you can buy fresh (and live!) to prepare at home. A Japanese delicacy, the succulent meat inside the sea urchin’s spiny exterior is tender and full of delicious flavor. You simply crack the creature open, much like you would with crab or oysters, and scoop out the tender orange gonad sections within. You can turn sea urchin innards into delicious sushi or to make a paste mixed with your favorite spices served over rice. Sea urchin gonads can be broiled once they are scooped out raw. You can buy live fresh sea urchins at your local Japanese or Korean markets. Choose stiff-spined specimens for your consumption. Store the live sea urchins in your refrigerator on a damp towel until you are ready to consume them. Eel Both freshwater and saltwater eels are commonly consumed in some cultures around the globe, and served fillet-style, are a vitamin-rich seafood delicacy you can enjoy in your home. Buy fresh live eel or freshly-packed local eel from your Japanese or fresh seafood market. Fresh eel should have clear eyes and a non-milky surface to the skin. You can try a European favorite with eel by searing it in a delicious red pepper flake and flour mix, then serving it over white rice. Monkfish Monkfish can be found fresh at a seafood market like San Diego Whole Sea Foods, and is a deliciously meaty fish that is fun to prepare. This big-headed, monstrous fish has only one edible part— the tail– and filleted and broiled in butter and garlic or lemon, is tasty fare you can enjoy with any meal. When buying monkfish, look for bright white meat that is lacking any slimy substance for the freshest cut and best-tasting meat. All gray or black membranes should be removed from the tail prior to cooking. If you love seafood and want to try something new, don’t be afraid to visit your local seafood market to pick up some new specimens to try. Whether you want to take on the rich delicacy of sea urchin or you want to try the meaty and delicious monkfish, you can venture out with your seafood fare and have amazingly great meals to...

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4 Questions To Ask When Requesting A Catering Quote For Your Wedding

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Shopping around for a caterer for your wedding reception can be a tedious task, but it’s also one of the more important decisions you’ll make as part of your wedding planning. Whether you’re planning on offering a plated dinner, a buffet, or anything in between, the fact remains that there are some questions worth asking any caterer upon requesting a quote for their services. Does the Quote Include Linens and Chair Covers? Catering companies differ greatly in the packages they offer, so if linens and chair covers are a must for your reception, make sure the quote you’re requesting already includes these items. Some catering companies will only quote you for the cost of the food, beverages, and wait staff unless you explicitly tell them to include the linens, chair covers, and other accessories. Do You Offer Flexible Options for Alcohol? If you’re on a budget, then paying hourly per-person for an open bar just might not be feasible for you. This is where finding a catering company with flexible options for alcohol can really save you money. For example, some may allow you to purchase and bring in your own alcohol, whereas others may allow you to pre-pay a bar tab with a certain dollar amount. This way, you can provide your guests with some free booze, but you won’t be on-the-hook for buying a full open bar. Is the Service Fee and Gratuity Included? This is huge. Check with your caterer to find out what fees and taxes have already been included in your quote. It’s not uncommon for service fees for bartenders and members of the wait staff to total 20% or more, so the last thing you want is for this not to be included and end up with a significantly larger bill than you were expecting. Also, getting a quote that includes gratuity can save you from having to remember to tip on the big day. How Do You Charge for Children and Vendors? If you’ll be paying for food for your vendors (photographer, DJ, etc.) and/or will have children in attendance, make sure you find out how your venue handles these guests. Often times, children are put into a separate head count and receive a different, cheaper meal than the rest of your guests. Some catering companies will even offer discounted meals to your vendors, which can save you a pretty penny when all is said and done....

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3 Tips For Maintaining A Diet While Eating Out With Friends And Family

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One of the most frustrating things about being on a diet or developing healthy eating habits is that it can seem like you can’t really go out for a meal with your friends or family without completely derailing your diet. Listed below are three easy ways to maintain your diet or healthy eating habits while still being able to eat out.     Beverages The beverages that you choose to order when you go out to eat can contain a large amount of sugar, artificial sweeteners,or just empty calories. This is mostly true when it comes to two of the most popular types of beverages: alcoholic and carbonated. If you want to be able to enjoy your meal and still avoid ruining your diet, instead of a soft drink or alcoholic beverage try ordering green tea, water, or even low-fat milk. Salads A salad is able to help you maintain your diet or healthy eating program while you are out because it can help you curb  your appetite a bit. By simply eating a pre-dinner salad you can fill yourself up a bit and avoid overindulging on your main course or dessert.  However, you will want to be a bit careful when ordering your salad as many restaurants can overdo it a bit with the dressing, which can kind of ruin the healthy aspects of the salad. While all of that dressing can make your salad very tasty, consider ordering your salad with a cup of dressing on the side instead. This gives you the option to either limit the amount of dressing used or to forego the dressing entirely.  Small Main Course Finally, the biggest reason that eating out with friends can harm your diet is that restaurants tend to be very generous with their portions. While this is fantastic for your wallet, it is not so good for your healthy eating plans. An easy way to combat this is to simply find ways to make your main course smaller. For example, you could opt for something from the appetizer menu instead of the main course section. These foods will often be just as tasty, but will consist of a smaller portion size. You could also arrange to split a main course with someone else at your table. Another good option is to just ask the server to divide your meal before delivering it to the table, with one half being served to you and the other placed into a to-go bag or box. Since all of the food will not be on the plate at once you will not be as compelled to overeat.  Maintaining healthy eating habits and going out to eat do not have to...

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Easy Ways To Work Chia Seeds Into Your Breakfast

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Chia seeds are a great source of protein and will give people extra energy, allowing them to get through their days and their workouts without becoming fatigued as quickly. Unfortunately, many people do not like the taste of chia seeds on their own. Here are some easy ways that you can work chia seeds into your breakfast so that you can get this extra protein and energy without having to eat the chia seeds by themselves. 1. Make It a Pudding If you’re rushed for time, the easiest way to get chia seeds into a form that is easy for you to eat is to make a pudding out of them. First, take a cup of almond milk or of soy milk. Then, slowly start mixing in the chia seeds so that they gradually become more and more dense in the liquid. As you mix them in, the chia seeds should start to absorb the milk and form a thicker texture that is reminiscent of pudding. Once the seeds have become a pudding texture, you can eat it with a spoon. Cut up bananas or strawberries and add them to the top of the chia pudding for more flavor. You can also add sugar or another sweetener if you find the chia seed pudding too bland. 2. Add Them to Oatmeal Another option is to add them to oatmeal. In order to add chia seeds to oatmeal, simply make the oatmeal ahead of time, being sure that the oats are all mixed in. Allow the oatmeal to cool for a minute or two and then add in a quarter cup of chia seeds. Feel free to adjust the amount of chia seeds that you put into the oatmeal in order to make sure that the ratio is perfect for you. The chia seeds are going to swell slightly as they absorb the water or milk that is in the oatmeal, but they should still stay relatively crunchy. 3. Add Them to a Smoothie Finally, if you are in the habit of making a smoothie each day, throw a few handfuls of chia seeds into the smoothie along with your kale, frozen berries, or other fruits that you might be adding. If you purchase a smoothie to drink in the morning, keep a small dish with a quarter cup of chia seeds in your car to add to the smoothie that you have purchased. It will make your smoothie a little bit crunchier, but it will also add more protein to the smoothie. For more information, talk to a company that has organic chia seeds for...

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Cutting Costs On Your Backyard Wedding

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Every bride wants their day to be special, but in order to make it a grand event, you are going to have to put out some money.Many vendors will increase the costs as soon as they hear the word wedding. The average wedding in the United States cost about $26,444. For many couples, the idea of paying over $20,000 for a one day event can be overwhelming. If you are planning a simple backyard wedding, you are already on the track to spending much less than a couple who is going married in a remote location. To help save even more money, here are some tips to help you get started planning your wedding within budget.  Feed Your Guests BBQ BBQ is one of the cheapest meals you can feed a lot of people with. Instead of spending tons of money on steak and seafood, opt for bone-in meat. By choosing meat with the bone in it, you can save a lot of money. Not only are you looking at saving money, but meat with the bone in it is less likely to get dry. This is great if the meat is going to be sitting for a while. Another great thing about choosing to BBQ is that you can stock up on charcoal when you find a good price. Charcoal doesn’t expire so you can keep it for a while and even use the leftovers later. If you want to spice it up a little, add some of your favorite rubs to the meat. This can help add this special touch. To learn more, contact a BBQ catering company like Great Caterers of Iowa.  Choose an Alternative Day Majority of couples get married on Saturdays which can make it hard to book vendors. Some vendors will remain booked on Saturdays, especially during wedding season. In order to save on some of your wedding costs for your big day, you want to check and see if a vendor would be willing to give a discount if you have your wedding on another day. Other days don’t tend to get booked up so you will be able to negotiate the price much easier.  Skip the Wedding Cake Having a wedding cake is traditional, but it is not necessary. If you are looking for ways to skip on some of the costs you are incurring, try coming up with a cheaper dessert. Backyard weddings are much less traditional than church weddings so you can go a different route for the cake. Choose a cobbler with fruit out of a family member’s garden or serve cupcakes and ice cream...

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Ways To Decrease Employee Turnover In Restaurants

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Restaurant employee turnover is often a major cost for even the most established restaurants. Even for restaurant managers, 50 percent said that they don’t see themselves at the same restaurant in five years. Factors like poor incentive systems and a transient work culture can lower employee loyalty within the restaurant industry, but there are many things that a restaurant can do to provide a better work culture. Here is how to keep your restaurant employees happy and prevent staff turnover. Offer Regular Pay Raises The cost of training a new employee can eat at your budget, so why not reward your staff if they help you prevent these costs by staying with the company? You can try preventing turnover by offering a regular pay increase; this may be more frequent than a traditional office job’s pay raise schedule. If you also offer benefits like healthcare and retirement plans to employees who make it past a certain mark, you’ll begin to stand out from other companies in the industry. Increase Communication Another frustration for restaurant employees can be the lack of communication. The restaurant industry is a fast-paced business, and there are many moving parts that have to come together. While it can be difficult to create a sense of camaraderie and a clear chain of command, you may find that your retention rates are higher if you give employees a go-to person to address their questions and concerns. Increase Your Training Period This may seem counterintuitive– why spend more money training employees when the turnover rates are so high? But a longer training gives you the chance to fully integrate employees into the culture, let them know what to expect clearly before jumping in, and get a thorough and proper training on your procedures. If your employees feel successful and supported in their position, this can help them deal with anxiety when the going gets tough. Outsource to a Foodservice Manager You may be feeling like your staff is already overstretched, and adding additional employee support and training would be difficult for you. Many restaurants choose to outsource this part of their business to a contract food service management company that has greater expertise in human resources. A foodservice management contract is a great option because you can outsource the parts of your business that you don’t have strong skills in, while keeping control of the areas where you...

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