Burn Baby Burn: Learning to Grill Outdoors


5 Interesting Facts For Craft Beer Lovers

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

America has had a longstanding relationship with beer, but many Americans are turning their beer-centric affections toward craft breweries. If you’re one of the millions of craft beer fanatics, then you’ll love these 5 little known facts about microbrews. 1. Craft breweries must be small. In order for a brewer to have their beer classified as a “craft beer”, their company must produce less than 6 million barrels per year. The brewery must also be independently owned, with no more of 25% of the business controlled by an outside industry member. 2. Oregon is the biggest beer state in the country. Oregon is home to over 70 cities with craft breweries and Portland, Oregon has more breweries than any other city in the world! Oregon’s craft beer is a multi-billion dollar industry and employs nearly 30,000 workers. Washington and Colorado follow closely in most breweries per capita. 3. IPAs are the most popular craft beer type. For beer lovers, it may come as no surprise that the India Pale Ale is the bestselling brew in America. This strong, hoppy brew is moderately high in alcohol content, but can be paired with any number of dishes. 4. The serving glass matters. Just like wine, beer is best enjoyed when consumed in the proper glass. Beer is most commonly served in the shaker pint, a tall glass with fairly straight sides. Unfortunately, this is the worst glass to draw out the beer’s complexities. Nonic pints are a better alternative, as their widened head allows for a more aromatic beer. For dark or highly alcoholic beers, choose a snifter. The stemware and large bowl allow the beer to warm quicker and enhance the flavors. A frosted glass will also cause your beer to foam more, and should be avoided unless you want a frothy first taste. 5. Beer is good for you! To be more specific, the dietary silicon found in craft beers can help increase bone density. Beers that contain malted barley and hops tend to have the highest levels of silicon, while wheat beer contains much less. Some scientists believe these high silicon levels can help fight bone deterioration diseases such as osteoporosis when consumed in moderation. So if anyone criticizes the pint you pour tonight, inform them that moderate beer consumption is good for your health. The best thing about craft beers is the community surrounding them. So find a microbrewery near you, kick back, and enjoy your All-American beverage...

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Choosing A Bread Supplier For Your Small Grocery Or Convenience Store

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Selling bread in your small grocery store comes with a few challenges that larger chains don’t normally have to deal with. One challenge you will face is choosing a bread supplier for your store. Larger chains already have contracts with large bakery suppliers. You won’t have that luxury. You need to choose a bread supplier that can fit your unique needs and situation. But with so many of them out there, it’s hard to pick just one. Here’s how you can figure it out. Know What You Want As a smaller store, you’re in a unique position to know precisely what your local clientele wants when it comes to bread. You know if you have a plain white and occasional wheat crowd. You know if you have a thin-sliced artisan bunch. You should offer some variety, but knowing what you need will keep you from straying too far afield. Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can narrow your choice of suppliers down. Know What Your Store Can Handle You’re faced with a dilemma. Do you sell cheaper breads with a longer shelf life? Or do you sell something more organic and healthy with a shorter shelf life? Well, it all depends on the nature of your store. If your business is new, your bread choices may require some trial and error. Smaller stores don’t have the space to hold a ton of different breads. You need a good understanding of just how much bread you need. If you find a supplier that can provide several different types of bread, then you can try a few different types and see which ones your customers like the most. Know Your Schedule You need to know what delivery schedule will work best for you and your business. If you stick to one bread supplier, then you won’t have much to worry about. The supplier will work out a schedule with you that both parties can agree on. Knowing what you want and what your store can handle will help you figure out what kind of delivery schedule you require. Know Your Local Bakeries It’s possible the bread supplier you need isn’t too far away. A local bakery that can handle your demand and schedule can do a lot for both your business and your community. Buying local will foster a relationship between your business and another local business. It will also help with deliveries,and choice. For example, it’s easier for local bakeries to deliver more organic breads because they don’t have to worry so much about the shelf life. Organic breads don’t last as long as processed breads because they lack the preservatives. Because of this, some bread makers refuse to ship these breads over long distances. Bread Shouldn’t Cause Headaches Choosing a bread supplier doesn’t have to be a headache. You already have so many other concerns when it comes to stocking and maintaining your store. If you choose the right bread supplier, you’ll probably establish a relationship that will last for years. That means you’ll have one less thing to worry...

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4 Tips For Those Who Are New To Ordering Sushi

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Sushi can be a delightful treat if you know how to properly order sushi. Otherwise, you might end up with something less than tasty or offend the chef. Since you do not want to do either of those things, you will want to make sure that you are checking out the following four tips for ordering sushi so that you can appear to be a sushi expert before you know it. Never Use Your Fingers If you want to make sure that you are not breaking any etiquette rules, then you are going to need to know how to actually eat your sushi when it arrives in front of you. Sure, you might get away with using your hands at home, but it will not be looked kindly upon in an upscale sushi bar or restaurant. Make sure that you are using the chop sticks. Even if you are not used to using chopsticks, as long as you can hold it together long enough to get the piece of sushi from your plate to your mouth, you are winning the battle. Never Take An Extra Bite It is believed that a piece of sushi should be consumed in one bite. The reason for this is that when you try to bite into a piece of sushi, you are most likely going to be left with a mess. Since this is a delicate meal, you need to eat delicately and eat the entire piece as one bite. Do Not Be Afraid To Ask Questions You will not be looked down upon for asking questions. Even the highest regarded sushi bar knows that there is a first time for everyone. In addition, they want to please you and have you enjoy your experience. This way, you will be more likely to become a fan of sushi and return time and time again. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the different tastes and textures of various kinds of fish, simply ask your waitress.   Avoid Eating Sushi On Sunday While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is a suggestion that you might find helpful. The reason it is not advisable to eat sushi on Sunday or possibly even too early on a Monday is that not many sushi bars are receiving deliveries of fresh fish on Sunday. This does not mean that the fish will be unsafe. What it does mean is that you might not get the flavor and texture that the delicate sushi should have. As you can see, there are some helpful tips out there to make sure that your first attempt at ordering sushi—such as at a restaurant like DaRuMa Japanese SteakHouse and Sushi Lounge—is a successful one. Whether it is deciding what to order to figuring out how to eat it properly once it arrives at your table, you will now know what to...

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Five Cinco De Mayo-Inspired Date Night Ideas

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Cinco de Mayo—the Mexican holiday the recognizes when the Mexican army defeated the French army during the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862—is a time to celebrate and learn about Mexican culture. Celebrations are held in cities throughout the US, but don’t use the day to get wasted and make irresponsible choices. Instead, plan a fun Cinco de Mayo-inspired date night. Dinner and a Movie Start off your Cinco de Mayo celebration by dining at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Or, if your favorite Mexican restaurant serves Americanized Mexican cuisine, choose a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican dishes. If you just want to grab a quick bite to eat and a drink, visit a local tapas lounge. When you’ve finished with your meal, rent a Spanish movie, like “Y Tu Mama Tambien” or “La ley de Herodes.” Take a Cooking Class If you’d rather avoid the crowds at your favorite Mexican restaurant, consider taking a Mexican-themed cooking class. You could take a class that teaches you how to make a traditional Mexican dish or a class that teaches you how to make traditional Mexican desserts. Learn Spanish Obviously, you can’t learn to speak Spanish fluently in one night, but you can learn a few phrases. Spend the day teaching each other seductive phrases in Spanish or start taking a class together to learn how to speak Spanish properly. Dance the Night Away Spend the evening in a local dance club that lets you show off your Spanish dance moves. If there are any local clubs that play Latin music, take a dance class. You can learn how to do the tango or spice up your night by learning how to salsa dance. Throw a Fiesta Throw your own fiesta to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with other couples that you know—it’s easy to plan a Cinco de Mayo-themed party. Just play some Latin music, make some margaritas, and serve Mexican food. You can even entertain your guests with some Mexican-inspired party games. Make an adults-only piñata Learn how to do the Mexican hat dance Have a hot chili pepper eating contest See who can do the Macarena the longest See which couple makes the best margarita Whether you celebrate by eating at your favorite Mexican restaurant or you and your partner learn how to salsa dance, having a Cinco de Mayo-inspired date night is a fun way to experience new things and create fond memories. Click here for info on celebrating Cinco de...

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5 Things To Consider When Planning Wedding Catering

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

When you are planning the catering for your wedding day, it is important that you make a few considerations. This is going to ensure that you are going to be able to keep your guests happy and able to enjoy your wedding day with you completely. Here are five considerations that you need to make: Guest Preferences: When you are planning the menu, you want to be sure that you keep guest preferences in mind. For example, if you have many vegetarian friends and family, then having vegetarian menu options is a must. If you have older relatives that will be in attendance, then it is important to choose milder dishes that they may prefer over something spicy and a little eccentric.  Choose Multiple Menu Options: For the entrees, salads, meal, and dessert, there should be at least three options to choose from. This will ensure that your guests feel that they are choosing everything that they want to eat, instead of being too limited and potentially not eating much of anything at all. For dessert, it is important that you have a indulgent choice for those who aren’t “working on their figure” and one that is consider “healthier” for those who don’t want to indulge.  Choose Seasonal Items: Of the menu options that are included, you should also choose seasonal options if it is appropriate. For example, if you are getting married around Christmas time, you can include dishes that are usually associated with the time, such as duck, peppermint desserts, and more.  Make Sure it Fits in the Schedule:  The type of catering that you choose for your event depends on how much time you plan on allotting for preparation of the food and eating of the food. If the venue that you have booked doesn’t include much time for the reception, then you may want to consider a buffet, which is usually faster to set up and eat over plated meals. However, if you have the time for it, then plated meals are usually best because everyone can stay seated and be as comfortable as possible.  Final Presentation: The presentation of the food is extremely important. People eat with all five of their senses, and the first two that come into play are sight and smell. Don’t pick dishes that have a heavy scent, since it may turn people off. You also want to be sure that the food is going to put together in a presentable way. If you are having a buffet, you want to be sure that you choose dishes that are colorful and not too bland in appearance, since a bland food may not be touched at all.  By considering these five things when choosing your catering options for your wedding, you can be sure that you are going to prepare appealing meals for everyone in attendance to enjoy. Contact a wedding catering company for more...

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Tips To Keep Your Refrigeration System Running Smoothly

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

There’s no room for error when it comes to keeping your restaurant’s food fresh and cold. Failing refrigeration systems could be bad for business, especially if you are faced with loads of spoiled, inedible food. Keep your restaurant’s refrigeration system working at peak performance with these simple tips. Check Your Seals The seals on the door of your refrigerators and freezers play a very important role in keeping food safe and keeping energy costs down. Faulty seals allow warm air to get inside, forcing your commercial refrigeration equipment to work extra hard to keep food cool. If your refrigerator doors are glass, condensation on the glass can be a sign that the seals are failing, even if they look fine. If the rubber seals around the doors are cracked or damaged in any way, have them replaced. Keep Condenser Coils Clean Condenser coil maintenance is something that can greatly improve the efficiency of your refrigeration system, and they are fairly easy to maintain. Brush them regularly to remove dirt and dust, and use compressed air to blow out the dust between the coils. Take care not to bend the fine metal fins on the condenser when blowing them out. Have your restaurant refrigeration service company clean them properly for you when they complete your annual maintenance to keep them working efficiently all year long. Maintain Evaporator Coils If your evaporator coil freezes, avoid trying to chip away the ice. This can damage the coils and lead to costly repairs. Instead, raise the thermostat setting or turn off the unit until it defrosts. Keep the evaporator coils free from dust and debris by cleaning them regularly.  Keep Doors Closed Avoid leaving the door to the refrigerator or freezer open for extended periods of time. This puts a strain on the cooling system as warm air raises the temperature inside the unit and forces it to work harder to stay cool. If you have to open the doors often throughout the day, consider installing rubber flaps to prevent warm air from moving into the unit. Maintain Drainage Lines  Have a professional restaurant repair service like K & D Factory Service Inc clear the drainage lines to keep the system running smoothly. You can empty the drains that collect the excess liquid formed from condensation daily, but a professional service of the lines at least once a year will help prevent blockages from causing problems. Keep your restaurant refrigeration systems running smoothly with regular maintenance. You’ll keep your food safe and fresh, and save yourself money on energy costs at the same...

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A Simple Indian Appetizer That Makes A Great Addition To Your Meal

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Appetizers are a wonderful way to create a festive meal. While these appetizers work splendidly with Indian meals, they are versatile enough that you can enjoy them with any kind of cuisine. The next meal you make, give these kebabs a try.  Tandoori Chicken Kebabs 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt 6 tablespoons of hot Hungarian paprika 2 tablespoons of cumin 2 tablespoons of kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon of turmeric 1/2 teaspoon of ginger 1 teaspoon of saffron Combine the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and saffron together in a small bowl until well blended. After the spices are mixed, combine the spices with yogurt and mix well. Put the yogurt and spice mix into a gallon-size resealable bag and refrigerate. While these flavors are combining in the refrigerator, cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Once the chicken breasts are cubed, add them to the resealable bag and coat the chicken with the yogurt spice mix. Refrigerate the chicken overnight.  Preheat the broiler in your oven to 500 degrees and move your oven rack to its highest position. Put the cubes of chicken on small skewers (around 4 pieces per skewer) and place the skewers on a broiler pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes, checking the chicken frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you desire a crispier chicken, rotate the skewers so that the bottoms of the skewers get some char as well. You can serve these skewers as they are, or you can prepare a simple tzatziki sauce for dipping to help complement the flavors of the chicken and cool down the spice level.  Tzatziki sauce 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt 1 cup of cucumber slices 1 tablespoon of fresh dill 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 1 clove of garlic Mix the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and serve chilled. Variations One way to add variety to your appetizers is to mix up some of the ingredients for a new taste experience. Consider using beef or lamb instead of chicken. Because both of these meats have a bolder flavor than chicken, the flavors combine differently than they do with a milder meat.  You can also change up the flavor of your tzatziki sauce by adding some additional ingredients. Consider substituting cilantro for the dill or lime juice for lemon juice to add a fresh punch and a slightly South American flavor that blends wonderfully with tandoori food. For more delicious Indian delicacies, visit local restaurants such as Haveli Vegetarian...

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Three Tips For Judging Gourmet Chocolates

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Chocolate is one of those items that you want to enjoy when you finally give in to the craving. Eating subpar chocolate just won’t do when what you really want is the best gourmet chocolate around. Sometimes it can be confusing to figure out what makes a chocolate of gourmet quality like that of Abdallah Candies And Gifts, but once you know what to look for, you can make a more educated decision. Read the Label True gourmet chocolate can be either milk or dark chocolate, or anything in between. The cacao percentage on the label does not necessarily make a chocolate gourmet, but the other ingredients can. Chocolates made with corn syrup or skim milk simply won’t taste as delicious as those made with real sugar and other rich ingredients. It may also melt differently than true gourmet chocolate, which may make it difficult to use in baking or cooking. Inferior chocolate also has a bad mouth feel, meaning that it doesn’t melt in your mouth the way that it should. Look Carefully at the Chocolate Genuine gourmet chocolate should have a smooth, glossy finish. Chocolate that has a white film, called bloom, over the surface is still safe to eat, but that bloom means that the chocolate wasn’t stored properly. At some point, it melted and reformed, which can damage the flavor of the chocolate. While you’re looking at the chocolate, take a good sniff of it. It should smell rich and full-bodied, with a deep aroma of chocolate. If it smells of other foods, or doesn’t smell like chocolate, it was stored improperly. Snap the Chocolate Good quality chocolate snaps easily with a sharp edge when you break it open. You should also be able to hear an audible snapping sound when the chocolate cracks open. If the chocolate is a lesser quality, then it will crumble instead of snapping when you attempt to break it. The crumbling indicates that not enough fats were used to make the chocolate, leaving it dry and flavorless instead of rich. The interior of the chocolate should be as smooth as the exterior, with sharp edges along the break. Once you know how to recognize good quality gourmet chocolate, you won’t be fooled by inferior brands again. It will be much easier to find and to appreciate chocolate the next time that you have a craving. The really good brands are even worth stocking up on when you find them...

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