Love Baking and Earn Money: Open a Bakery

Five Ways to Stop Losing Money in Your Restaurant

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To run a successful and profitable restaurant, most business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs while still maintaining high-quality offerings. Here are five areas to examine in your restaurant. Outdated Equipment If your kitchen equipment could classify as “vintage,” chances are you don’t have energy-efficient models. Commercial refrigeration and freezer units, for instance, are some of the mostly costly pieces of equipment to operate in a restaurant, and they are running every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day, whether your restaurant is open or not. This is the first restaurant kitchen equipment you should consider upgrading. If you choose an Energy Star®–certified appliance, you can expect to see considerable savings on your utility bills. Your local restaurant-kitchen equipment and supply vendor can help you choose the models that are best for you. Scheduling Take the time to do a thorough analysis of your hourly sales for each day of the week you are open. Your cash register or POS (point-of-sale) system should have this option unless it is extremely outdated. Armed with this information, you can more accurately decide which employees and how many employees you need clocked in and working at any given time. Countless restaurateurs lose money by paying workers to stand around doing nothing. Realistically determine who you need in the front of the house and the back and what their duties will be, and then schedule accordingly. Suppliers Just because you have always used Supplier A doesn’t mean you can’t switch to Supplier B. Compile a list of the 50 most expensive ingredients and the quantities you purchase each week. Then give the other vendors in your area a call and ask them what their price would be. Convenience Items Are you paying for pre-made items that your kitchen staff could easily make from scratch? Not only do convenience foods usually lack in the quality you could produce, they typically cost way more than what you could make with the raw ingredients. Buy the staples and have your staff deliver a superior product at a lower cost to you. Food Waste A lot of food goes to waste in the restaurant industry, and this means lost profits for you. This may be from improper storing of food, waste by kitchen employees by overprepping, or simply serving portions that are too large to customers. Perform a food-waste audit over a period of a week or two so you can identify where the problem areas...

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3 Easy Ways To Incorporate Chia Seeds Into Your Lunches At Work

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Chia seeds are one of the great super foods. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and protein, chia seeds are good and good for you. If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate more protein into your lunches at work, chia seeds can be useful, however, they’re not a standard ingredient in many lunch recipes. These 3 tips will help you include chia seeds into your weekly lunches. Chia Seed Yogurt When added to anything wet, chia seeds will absorb moisture and turn gelatinous, similar to tapioca. As a result, chia seeds make an excellent and nutritious addition to yogurt. If you’re in the habit of taking yogurt in your daily lunches, mix in chia seeds when preparing your meal the night before work. In fact, this combination of yogurt and chia seeds is the basis for chia seed pudding. If you would like to go the extra mile and make your own chia seed pudding, add a dash of coconut milk, agave nectar, and some berries for color and flavor. Let the yogurt sit in the refrigerator overnight and the chia seeds will absorb the moisture from the pudding naturally. Chia Seed Granola When packing granola in your work lunch, throw in a handful of chia seeds. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or toasted. If you wish to toast your chia seeds before putting them in your granola, turn on a toaster oven to a medium heat and put the seeds inside on a tray. Take out the chia seeds when they’ve browned slightly. Chia Seed Sandwich Chia seeds will adopt the flavor of whatever food you put them in. When making a sandwich with wet ingredients (such as egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, or peanut butter and jelly), stir the chia seeds directly into the wet ingredient, to ensure that the chia seeds are able to absorb the moisture. After mixing the seeds into the wet ingredient,  spread the wet ingredient onto the sandwich bread. When trying to decide how many chia seeds to add to these lunch foods, remember that it’s all a matter of preference because chia seeds will not influence the actual taste. You can experiment with different amounts until you find the right amount for you. If you’re having a hard time finding chia seeds to add to your lunches, remember that you can purchase chia seeds online. For more information about where to get chia seeds, check out links...

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Expanding Your Palate: 3 Amazing African Ingredients You Have To Try

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Americans are developing a more and more refined palate, with a recent study showing that 64% of consumers are much more adventurous in their choice of cuisine when dining out. It’s hard to replicate a lot of tastes and flavors at home. In particular, you may have a hard time finding African restaurants locally, and not all restaurants may have the herbs and spices needed to completely replicate the flavors found in traditional African dishes. If you’re vying for a taste, look to buy African food online to use in a traditional recipe. In particular, try adding these 3 amazing ingredients to your cooking. The Delicacy of Biltong If you love jerky or dried meat, you will have to get your hands on some biltong. Biltong is a type of dried meat that was originally made in South Africa. It is considered to be a delicacy, and can be consumed as a snack or even added as an ingredient to some dishes. Biltong can be made from a wide variety of different types and cuts of meat. Venison, in particular, is very popular. The texture and consistency of the meat differs from jerky. While some biltong may be extremely dry with a crumbly texture, others are soft and chewy. You’ll have a blast trying different varieties in order to find what you like the most.  The Sauce that Adds a Lively Flavor to All Types of Meat — Chermoula Now, if you’re looking for a sauce that will definitely liven up the flavors in meat, you cannot go wrong with chermoula. Chermoula is a spicy herb sauce that was originally made in North Africa. It is a mixture of salt, lemon juice, oil, garlic, cumin, salt and other types of herbs. It can be used for flavoring or marinating fish, seafood and different types of meat. It has a nice tangy note to it and packs a punch of flavors.  The Unique Starchiness of Eba Another amazing African ingredient you may be able to find online is garri, which cane made into eba. Garri is very popular in West Africa, and is basically a type of starch that is usually cooked in hot water in order to make a dough-like substance known as the eba. You would basically substitute eba for pasta or rice. In Africa, eba is traditionally served with vegetable soup with fish or meat.  Purchase the ingredients that you need for African recipes online, and you’ll be able to find varieties and brands that you would not see at your local grocery store. You’ll also be able to better recreate the flavors of traditional African dishes that cannot be found at local restaurants with ease....

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Choosing The Right Lining For Your Copper Cookware

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Copper is the metal of choice for professional and amateur chefs alike, and it is not hard to see why. Copper is antibacterial and a highly efficient conductor, meaning it distributes energy quickly. When used as cookware, it heats up faster than any metal other than silver and cooks food evenly, reducing the risk of burning and allowing a degree of precision no other pots and pans can offer. This metal does, however, react with food, and so the interior of most copper cookware is lined with tin, stainless steel and more recently ceramic. If you are shopping for copper cookware, you probably intend for it to last a lifetime, so picking the right material for your needs is vitally important.  Choosing a Tin Lining Tin is a less expensive liner in copper pans because it has a tendency to wear away with time. This natural chemical process can be delayed for years and even decades with careful use and maintenance, but you will eventually need to have your cookware re-tinned. Many cooks swear by the improved flavor of cooking with tin over steel. If you do not mind a little extra effort to keep your pans in shape, tin may be the smarter option.  Investing in Stainless Steel Stainless steel is a relatively new addition to copper cookware, but it has several benefits and has quickly gained popularity. Stainless steel will not corrode or stain, preserving a spotless appearance that can be very attractive when combined with the bright gleam of copper. Furthermore, when cooking with a stainless steel lining, you will be able to use metal utensils without worrying about damaging the pot. Individuals who want a durable, trouble-free pan for daily cooking are probably best-served by stainless steel, despite the increased price.  Experimenting With Ceramic Lining The most recent addition to copper pan manufacturing is ceramic. Ceramic is not a metal, but is instead made from clay and various minerals, depending on its intended use. The result is a hard, inert substance that is naturally non-stick and capable of withstanding high temperatures. Ceramic, however, has low conductivity and will take longer to heat up as a consequence. These pans are best for cooks who like to heat their recipes slowly and evenly, and they are not suitable for recipes that require quick fluctuations in temperature. As you look through the many varieties of copper pans for sale, consider your own needs and habits carefully, and choose the pan with the best mix of cost, efficiency and maintenance for your...

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Two Tips To Help You Spot An Authentic Mexican Restaurant

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When you’re in the mood for some delicious Mexican cuisine, only the authentic variety will do.  With so many different Mexican restaurants on the scene, and each boasting about the flavors of their fare, it can be hard to distinguish an authentic Mexican restaurant from an impostor.  Rather than run the risk of disappointing your taste buds, use this information to learn more about how to spot an authentic Mexican restaurant. Know The Difference Between Tex-Mex And True Mexican Cuisine It can be very easy to confuse Tex-Mex food with authentic Mexican meals.  You are probably familiar with some of the Tex-Mex meals that appear on the menus of many restaurants, with selections such as quesadillas and queso dip being quite popular.   However, don’t let these menu items fool you.  They are widely considered to be Tex-Mex items because they incorporate foods that were not available to the native Mexicans.  These are Americanized versions of traditional Mexican favorites.  Although they can certainly be very tasty, they often don’t provide you with the authentic Mexican experience that you’re looking for. True Mexican cuisine typically relies heavily on ingredients that were available to native Mexicans.  Foods such as goat, cheese and fish are just a few of the ingredients used in many authentic Mexican dishes.  In addition, authentic cuisine has usually been prepared in Mexico for at least fifty or more years.   The Corn Tortillas Are Made On The Premises Another way for you to tell whether or not you’re at an authentic Mexican restaurant is the presence of fresh corn tortillas.  It takes a special amount of skill to make and press tortillas each day, but corn tortillas are a staple at many authentic Mexican restaurants.   A handmade corn tortilla won’t be as “perfect” as their store bought counterparts.  They will have a deep yellow to orange hue, and may be a bit grainy on the inner side.  Handmade corn tortillas are easily pliable, and are extremely soft once they touch your palate.  If the tortillas that you are served don’t have these characteristics, but instead, they are difficult to fold or extremely light in color, you may be dealing with an inauthentic Mexican restaurant. Many authentic Mexican restaurants also feature rustic decorations that may even include some real artifacts from the country of Mexico.  The next you want real Mexican cuisine, use these tips to you can find an authentic restaurant to enjoy. If you’re ever in the area, visit this Mexican restaurant near Tucson...

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3 Dishes That Prove You Should Stay For Dessert After Your Next Chinese Dinner Out

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Most, if not all, classic Chinese dishes are entrees or appetizers, like the Pu-Pu Platter, fried rice, and crab rangoons. However, this mentality lends the short end of the stick to the vast array of culinary pleasures that awaits the diner who decides to ask for a dessert menu after enjoying some Far Eastern cuisine. Here are three authentic Chinese dessert options (not fortune cookies- those are American) that prove that a dessert menu is worth asking for next time you head out to your local Chinese eatery like Lilac Blossom Restaurant.  Jin Deui Jin deui, also known as “zeen doy” or simply “sesame balls”, are a classic Sichuan dessert which are similar in shape and size to a donut hole, but have a wildly different flavor. Made from rice flour and often filled and coated in sesame seeds, these little sugary spheres of deliciousness are very popular wherever you can find them, but finding them is the tricky part. Looking for a restaurant that specializes in food that originated in the Sichuan region of China is a good start, especially dim sum restaurants.  Eight-Treasure Rice Pudding Authentic Chinese eight-treasure rice pudding is nothing like tapioca, like you might think, but instead is closer to the consistency of bread or plum pudding from England. Eight-treasure rice pudding is sometimes served with a light syrup, or simply covered in fruits and nuts at more traditional restaurants. Some extra ingredients that might make their way into this dish in addition to rice flour include kumquat, dates, and other candied fruits, all of which carry symbolic significance.  Dou Sha Bao Dou sha bao is the Sichuan term for a classic, plain and simple red bean paste-filled steamed bun. The red bean bun is similar to the first item in this guide, but with a distinct flavor that’s worth a try if you want something a little less busy than jin deui. Red bean buns are often just made with rice flour and a red bean paste filling, which makes them a good starter dessert for those looking to slowly wade into the waters of post-dinner Chinese cooking. Dim sum restaurants will often serve red bean buns along with the other delicious buns and pockets that fill the classic hot food cart.  If you love Chinese entrees, appetizers and sides, then you’ve got to give real, authentic Chinese desserts a try, since they offer a new perspective on some of the same flavors that you’re already so fond of, and help to complement your meal in a way a little fortune cookie simply...

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Alternative Chocolate Treat Ideas For Those With Allergies

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Not everyone is free to eat any food they like. For many people that enjoy eating gourmet chocolates, like those made by Abdallah Candies And Gifts, allergies prevent them from indulging in this treat. Luckily there are alternative chocolate substitutes for allergic and sensitive individuals to enjoy. Here are some chocolate alternatives: Carob desserts Carob is a chocolate-like powdery substance derived from carob beans. It is a very popular chocolate alternative, as it looks, tastes and smells very similar. It comes in containers with the same consistency of unsweetened cocoa, making it an excellent chocolate substitute. You can use carob to make hot chocolate, brownies, and cupcakes, in addition to many other treats. In addition, carob also has many health benefits. First of all, carob is naturally sweet, which enables you to use less sweetener in your recipes. This can save you calories and carbs, making your desserts healthier. Another benefit of carob is the fact that it is full of vitamins and minerals. It is also known for its ability to boost digestion and ward off diarrhea in people of all ages. Allergy-free chocolate If you can tolerate chocolate without the ingredients that are sometimes included in common desserts, then there are allergy-free substitutes. These substitutes are real chocolate, but without milk, gluten and other typical allergy-causing ingredients. Allergy-free candy bars, chocolate chips and chocolate in other forms can be found at health food stores, fine grocery stores, and online. Rotation diet Many doctors recommend a rotation diet for people with mild sensitivities, so if you have a mild intolerance to either chocolate, carob, or both, then you might be able to eat them occasionally. A doctor or nutritionist can guide you by creating a plan that enables you to safely add these foods into your diet. On the days when you must avoid chocolate, you can still enjoy delicious cookies, candies, ice cream and other desserts made from other ingredients. If your sensitivity to chocolate is severe or you have a true allergy to this food, then you will unfortunately be unable to consume it even on a rotational basis. Your nutritionist can advise you of safe dessert options, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Luckily, there are plenty of other tasty treats that you can enjoy instead of chocolate. Chocolate is a very popular treat enjoyed by people all over the world. However, if you are sensitive or allergic to it, there is no reason to feel deprived. By experimenting with different recipes, you can possibly create desserts with a taste that is superior to traditional...

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3 Benefits Of Going Green With Your Laundry Products

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If you were to take a look at many of the household products you use on a daily basis, you would likely be shocked at the amount of chemicals you use. There are chemicals in kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, your dish washing detergent, and even in the products you use to do the laundry. At some point, one has to wonder if using so many chemicals every day is a good thing. The good news is there are ways you can “go green” with your household products, even if you start out small. Here are three benefits to going green with your laundry products. 1. No use of artificial dyes or scents. If you or a family member has had a strange rash pop up and you can’t figure out what is causing it, you may want to look at your laundry products as the culprit. Many people are finding out they are allergic to either the artificial dyes or scents that are used in laundry detergent and fabric softener. While there are hypoallergenic laundry products on the market, it just makes more sense to go all natural when you make the change. With an all natural laundry detergent and natural fabric softener, you can be certain there are no strange and dangerous chemicals lurking on your clothes after the laundry is done. 2. No worry of damage to your health from harmful chemicals in laundry detergent. What many people don’t realize about the chemicals used in products like laundry detergent is your skin can absorb the chemicals from your clothing. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, over time this increased chemical exposure has the potential to affect your health in a negative way.  For example, one type of chemical in most non-natural laundry detergents is phenol. Phenol are known to damage a person’s vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. Since they absorb very easily through the skin, having this chemical in your laundry detergent can be very hazardous to your health. 3. Your clothing may not wear out as quickly from washing when you use all natural laundry products. If chemicals in non-natural laundry products can cause such harm to you and the environment, imagine what effect it can possibly have on your clothing. If you wash your clothes a lot, the chemicals in the laundry products could contribute to the breakdown of your clothing’s fabric. This means that the colors may fade more quickly and you won’t get to enjoy wearing them as long as you possibly could if you used an all natural product...

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Seasonal Differences Add Flavor To Your Wine Expedition

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Every wine, liquor, beer and mead branding has a unique flavor that depends on many different factors. The breed or cultivar of the materials being used, the soils in which the grow and the ways in which they ferment. For wine, there is even a difference in flavor depending on when you harvest the grapes and how the wine making process is started. As you select new wines to sample and plan private wine tours, consider the time and place as you please your palate.  Flavors Of The Cold Many wines are celebrated for their cold weather delight. Eiswein, the German culture of producing ice wine, is a popular dessert wine style. The cold weather of a first frost–notable for bringing out the sweetness in many crops such as strawberries and sugar cane–creates a very sweet highly acidic flavor. Unfortunately, you’ll have to stick to the colder regions of the world to get local Eiswein with the experience of seeing it harvested and the beautiful landscape of frozen, sparkling grapes that grace your glass with their crystalline flavor. Ice wines exist outside of Germany, but there are many experimental ice wines that are quite different in style. Due to the changing climate patterns, many southern US farmers have begun testing muscadine wines with a frozen harvest with truly brilliant results. As you think about the seasons and your wine travels, don’t forget to sample the way that many harvests have changed with the times. Into The Paradise For Valley Wine Areas such as California, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas are known for their vineyards in temperate–sometimes almost tropic–climates. Although not as sweet as the frost-touched grape harvests, the warmer weather and complex soils offer a flavor that is just as complex. When you visit during different seasons, think about what is happening. The pollen that are used to pollinate vineyards can leave a bit of a flavor in certain wines, and wines sweetened with local honey may have different hints of their pollen sources. Sunflower, clover and other pollen sources can be found if you just ask the local growers and even beekeepers. Keep in mind that if there’s vineyards and beekeepers, you may be able to find the wonderful blend of wine and hops known as mead. As your wine tour takes you across the US or even the world, make sure to document your travels and flavor passions. The same taste may not be found in another area, or even in the same season. Contact a private wine tour professional (such as one from Hummingbird Wine Tours) to schedule your next...

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Taking The Cake – Noteworthy Outdoor Wedding Facts To Protect Your Confectionary Centerpiece

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Even though new twists and trends are popping up at weddings across the country, the traditional towering wedding cake is still the most common centerpiece of food at these events. If you are in the planning phases of your wedding and plan to stick with traditions when it comes to your cake, there is one big fact you have to keep in mind. Not every outdoor venue is suited or equipped to handle a traditional wedding cake. Here are a few facts to remember about choosing the right outdoor wedding venue to cater to that tiered-cake-of-splendor you have picked out from your favorite pastry artist: Whimsical Flowering Willows Invite an Array of Insects You know that spot you have at the top of your list that perfectly coincides with your fairy-tale wedding theme? It’s the one with those whispering willows that will be in full bloom with delicately sweet flowers this spring. It may be incredible, picturesque even, but taking your sweet, aromatic wedding cake to such a place may not be the best idea. You see, bees and insects that feed on those fragrant branches will not differentiate between a flower on a tree and a brightly-colored and just-as-sweet dab of icing on your lovely cake. Choosing such a venue with a real cake placed outdoors could easily lead to a nightmarish scene with a cake filled with bees and bugs. Now, you can still make this venue a part of your whimsical wedding, but opt for a closed shelter where your costly cake can be kept for the reception. Even if you opt for a canopy or large wedding tent, make sure the entryways are protected securely with mesh netting or screens to keep the bugs away. Winter Wonderland and Wanton Cake Endangerment As you march down the aisle, you may be dreaming of fresh snow on cedars and glittering snowflakes catching every ray of sunlight. If you are having an outdoor winter wedding, there are a lot of new hurdles you will have to cross during your planning. Even though your reception will likely be held indoors where guests can stay cozy, your cake can still be in danger. Not all cakes hold up well in cold winter temperatures. For example, fondant can crack and crumble without enough heat. This can pose problems for the professional who is trying to deliver your fresh cake to your chosen venue. If you do have an outdoor wedding planned, make sure it will be possible to arrange for the cake to be made on-site to avoid any fluctuations in temperature that will put your cake at risk. As you choose your wedding venue, be sure you take your wedding cake into consideration. This iconic wedding feature will neat a lot more special attention than you think and could completely change how, when, and where your wedding takes place. To learn more, contact a company like Elmcrest Banquets by...

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