The Upside of Going Local

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in News | 5 comments

The Upside of Going Local

The health revolution has prompted a lot of chefs to make better choices about the food that they make. The back to the basics movement is definitely on and the support that it’s getting from a lot of people is a sign that it is here to stay. There’s a lot to be said for patronizing local food products – it contributes to a better economic scenario, it is a positive point for the environment and the green revolution and fresh local produce definitely tastes a whole lot better than canned or processed foods.

The concept of bringing food straight from the farm to your table is nothing new. But the convenience of instant fare has always prevented its success. Now, a lot of restaurants are supporting the idea and some have even taken the initiative a step further by investing in their own farm, growing their own produce and raising livestock.

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What are the Benefits of Growing Your Own Food?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in Country Life, Slow Food, Sustainable Farming | 5 comments

What are the Benefits of Growing Your Own Food?

What are the Benefits of Growing Your Own Food?

With every passing year, we are seeing an increasing concern with being environmentally friendly.  And this has only added to the benefits of growing your own food. This has become a practice that more and more people are getting into. This may seem like a long process at first, but growing your own fruits and vegetables is not as hard as it seems, and it is very rewarding. Once you have established a system and schedule, it is pretty much smooth sailing from there. Below are its most significant benefits.

1) Healthier. Food in stores is increasingly getting filled with chemicals that we once thought were organic. By growing your own food, you are in control of its environment so you are sure that what you are consuming is safe. In turn, your family is able to pick up the habit of eating healthier fruits and vegetables.

2) Save money. Because of the economic slump, families are now getting into ways to reduce their consumption and save money. With a farming system at home, you can save money on your grocery bill in the long run, especially that most fruits and vegetables seeds will not cost you more than a dollar.

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Promoting Your Restaurant Business

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Promoting Your Restaurant Business

Running a restaurant is not just about cooking and preparing food. Even if you happen to be the best chef in the city, it’s still possible to fail in the restaurant business if you don’t know effective promotion or marketing strategies. Promoting a restaurant business is as important as knowing how to prepare good food.

There are many ways to do it. You just have to always take your target market into account. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to restaurant marketing. You have to formulate a good marketing or promotion strategy that works with the kind of market you are trying to serve.

Logically, the first thing you have to focus on is raising awareness. You have to make people in the locality know about your restaurant business. You should have your signage put up. It should be clear and appealing. You can also pass out flyers and post posters that will present the relevant information your potential customers need to know about your restaurant. It also helps giving away custom t shirts like the ones available here. The shirt design does not have to be very fashionable but it should be decent-looking enough for anyone to not feel embarrassed wearing it. Obviously, the shirt should bear the name of your restaurant and some details regarding the products and services offered. Shirts printed with your business name are great marketing tools as they effectively promote your business wherever the wearer goes.

After doing your awareness raising campaign, it also helps having regular promos at your restaurant. It could be through discount coupons, the classic “happy hour,” contests, or themed dinners. The goal is to keep things at your restaurant exciting and out-of-the-ordinary. Customers should have a reason to come back, something to look forward to.

You can also be creative with your restaurant’s decorations. Having optical illusion posters, 3D statuettes, or interactive decors around will provide customers something to talk about even after they leave your restaurant. You can also be creative with your menu. Give dishes new (mostly funny and witty) names that customers will find memorable. For instance, you can group your fatty and sweet “guilty pleasure” dishes as “anti-aging” dishes with the parenthetical note “because too much of these will shorten your life, hence, you will cease aging.”

Be creative with your promotions. Don’t stick with what is traditional. Analyze your potential customers and be dynamic in serving their needs while making your restaurant interesting for both your current and prospective customers.

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Running My Business on the Fly

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Running My Business on the Fly

Life was not this hectic as recent as five years ago, but it was also not this much fun. I’ve been a Mom and a businesswoman for too long and I’ve experienced what it was like to do everything on my own. At one point, I had a secretary for the restaurant and she was there to keep track of things for me. She was very dependable and hard working and I could call her on weekends to send me files that I needed. I do get some work done at home even with my daughters around. I use the extra time at home to get most of the paperwork done and I also do the payroll and other payables from my personal computer.

That had been the norm until last year when my secretary quit her job because she was having a difficult pregnancy. Her doctor advised her to go on bed rest to not increase the risk of losing the baby. As much as I would be incapacitated by her absence, I let her go because I understood what she was going through. Before she left though, she was kind enough to walk me through the files and the other processes which I would now be doing on my own.

Thanks to modern technology, I can now use cloud storage to store and access my files from anywhere. This was something unheard of for me so I asked her to explain how it worked. Basically, I would need to upload my files, including scanned copies of receipts, or .xls documents online. She used a storage provider for the service with a fixed capacity. She has created different folders within the system in order to sort and organize the documents. There was one for payroll, another for supplies and inventory, another file for suppliers’ names and contact details. There was also a personal folder where I could store articles and photos that I collect which are all related to sustainable farming.

The good news is that I will be able to access all of these anywhere there is internet connection. I only need to click a button and I will be able to modify documents or download them even on my smartphone. Now, I can run my business on the fly. Amazing!

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Traveling the World as a Foodie

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Traveling the World as a Foodie

Every vacation has its highlights. It can be the place, the person to visit, or the food to eat. While eating is a daily necessity, a lot of people consider it as the main purpose of the whole trip. These people are commonly known as food enthusiasts or foodies and they go to different parts of the world not only to discover interesting recipes and cuisines, but to try them out.

There are various reasons why people love to travel for food. Here are some:

  • Tasting every cuisine in this world is a part of their bucket list.
  • They simply love discovering new food recipes and they feel proud of being the first ones to try them out.
  • For business purposes.
  • Because it is related to their work.
  • The food is seasonal and is only available in certain parts of the world.

Among these reasons, here are the types of people who do the routine:

The things mentioned above may sound silly to some people especially if you think about traveling costs. What they do not know is that there are ways to somehow save money while travelling and one of them is by booking holiday trips.

A few years before I started managing my own restaurant, I did a lot of travelling simply to seek new ideas in food preparation. Asian cuisine is our specialty, so I went to Japan, Korea, Philippines, China, and Thailand, which are all culturally-rich.

A friend of mine recommended a travel agency that offers deals for Thailand holidays, which can be found on this website. At first I was hesitant to ask about it thinking that itineraries created by travel agencies are nothing but a waste. But because I am desperate to save money for my travel expenses, I did. Surprisingly, it is the best trip I've had. The agency arranged a very affordable package, which also maximised my vacation time. Not only did I accomplish my goal, I also had plenty of time to visit Thailand’s tourist destinations and enjoyed other activities like a local.

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Finding Affordable Health Insurance for Your Employees

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Finding Affordable Health Insurance for Your Employees

There are different laws in regards to the provision of health insurance for employees. In most countries, employers are required to cover a certain portion of their employees’ health insurance. In other countries, it is full coverage. Either way, if you are running a business, you need to make sure that you provide one for your employees. However, if you have lots of employees in your company, it might take a toll on your income. As a restaurant owner, it was also my dilemma last time especially when the business started taking off and I had to hire more people to run the business. Thus, here are some of the tips I can give to lessen the expenses:

• Look for group insurance. You can get cheaper rates if you go for this type of insurance package. You can also customize the insurance benefits depending on your employee. However, for uniform package, you will most likely get a lower rate. There are also companies that specialize in group insurance. Partner with these companies and you will surely get lower rates.

• Get an insurance premium that allows you to pay annually or biannually. You can pay your employee’s insurance for the entire year at once. If you do this, the company will surely throw a lower premium rate for you. Just make sure you can add more premiums later on should you decide to hire another employee in the middle of the year.

• Go online and look for cheaper options. Just be careful not to fall for the trap of scammers. They might present extremely low premiums and you will buy it. Again, you need to find a reliable online company. If they have a local office or an office anywhere near your place, then it would be better.

Now that you know these tricks, looking for health insurance for your employee is no longer a big deal. When you are required by law to provide health insurance for them, you don’t have to lie anymore. If you wish to have the most affordable health insurance, you can visit here.

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Why buy from your local farmer

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in News | 0 comments

As a farmer, I never thought I would see the day that processed and unhealthy food cost more than healthy, locally grown food, but that time has come. A buddy of mine who is a car accident lawyer based in Vancouver, BC, and I talked about the good days when farmers were the heart of the community and great food. Now, it seems like everything from these good times have come to an end. I’m ready to give people fresh, great-tasting food, and I know many people who are ready to have healthy food. There are many different reasons why you should buy from your local farmer.

5 Reasons to Buy from Your Local Farmer

1. Freshness and Taste
One of the primary reasons people should buy from their local farmer is the freshness and taste of the food. When you purchase goods that are locally grown, you can experience freshness firsthand and take advantage of great tasting produce.

There are many different states that have outstanding produce, but when you do not live in that particular state, the food you consume is no longer local. Food that is grown in other states has to be shipped which causes many problems, but the main problem is that the food is grown so it can withstand being shipped instead of grown for freshness and quality.

2. Strength in the Economy
When you purchase goods from your local farmer, you not only help your community keep fresh food circulating, you also help strengthen the local economy by keeping money circulating. When goods and money are circulating properly within the community, this is the circle of life for a farmer who loves what they do.

3. Supporting Endangered Farms
Due to changes within the economy, more people are purchasing produce elsewhere, rather than local farmers which is causing many family farms to become endangered. When you purchase produce and other food locally, your money goes to the family farms which helps them produce more great produce and other food for your consumption.

4. Health Concerns
There are many different health concerns that involve the foods we consume. Buying locally grown food from a farmer you trust can safeguard you and your family’s health. When you know where your food is grown and how it is grown, you can make a healthy choice for you and your family. How your food is grown or reared is the basis of health risks and concerns for people of all ages and ethnicities.

5. Protecting the Environment
By purchasing food that is locally grown, you are helping the environment a great deal. When you purchase food locally, your food doesn’t have far to travel which in turn, reduces the emissions of carbon dioxide, and also reduces the use of packing materials.

Looking at the Facts

As far as self-sufficiency is acknowledged, the American tradition is to live off of the land and the products you produce. Not only is farming a way of life and a way to survive, but it is a way to boost the community and provide fresh, healthy, great-tasting food that is chemical free.

Over the decades, family farms have died out, and are now in rare form. Dating back to the 1930s to today, over 4.6 million farms have been lost. Today, there are only a little less than one million Americans who claim their primary occupation as being a farmer.

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Reasons for Not Buying Low Quality Smoothie Blenders

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Reasons for Not Buying Low Quality Smoothie Blenders

Whenever you want to have smoothies at home, the best option is to just take your blender out and prepare all the ingredients you want for your smoothies. When the blender starts working, it will perfectly mix all the ingredients and will result to delicious smoothies. If you are using high quality blender at home, this might be very easy thing to do. In just a few minutes, the job is done. However, this is not true for low quality blenders.

To begin with, no one wants to settle for something of low quality. However, if you are given a low price for these products, you might be easily persuaded to buy them. Just remember that no matter how cheap these products are, you still have to stick with the best and high quality brands. Here are the reasons why:

• These blenders are not perfect for daily use. When you use the blender for your business or you are the type who likes drinking smoothies, this low quality blender might get easily broken. Worse, you have not even used it for a long time and it is already broken.

• You need extra preparation time in order to have all the ingredients ready. These blenders are not capable of cutting large pieces of ingredients and so they have to be sliced. If you are in a hurry or you need to serve the smoothies to lots of guests, this could be stressful.

• Blending time takes longer than usual. Again, when you are in a hurry, this is not a good thing. In fact, when you think that these smoothies are ready, you will be surprised to know that they are not. Thus, you have to return everything again.

• Cleaning high quality blenders is a lot easier. This is due to the nature of the materials used in making the blender. Low quality blenders on the other hand are so difficult to clean and may not be used right away to blend another smoothie.

In short, you have to stick with high quality brands only. To check out the best blender for smoothies, go ahead and visit here.

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Post Renovation Clean Up Was a Breeze

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Post Renovation Clean Up Was a Breeze

Our little old restaurant had seen better days, and we thought it was time to spruce it up. We enlisted the help of friends and regular clients who offered their services to us at very pocket-friendly rates plus free meals and beer. For my husband and I, that was a pretty sweet deal if we ever saw one. Renovating a restaurant/music lounge is never easy. You’ll need a professional architect to create the plan even if it’s just an additional wing or second floor to your establishment.

Next, we found the builders and then secured a loan from the bank to spend on the renovations. The building process was pretty easy, but there was just so much trash that we had to get rid off. Renovating the ground floor and adding a second story meant removing the old chairs, panels and most of the décor on the wall. We also planned to give the place a more sophisticated and elegant look. So the wall décor of posters and movie montages had to go. We’re making room for signed albums for big name artists who had actually performed at our little hole in the wall.

Getting Rid of All that JUNK!

One day, one of our regulars said she had a way to help us clean up: junk haulers! Honestly, I never realized that we kept so much stuff that we don’t really use or need. Broken furniture standing on corners, I wonder why we never just threw them out or carried them to the dumpster? I guess when you’re so used to things looking a certain way, you don’t see them as trash. But when it comes time to redecorate and move, you just begin to see that they’ve been occupying precious space all these time.

I had asked one of my boys to make the arrangements with the hauling company. I asked him to verify if that included cement slabs, pieces of wood, glass and practically everything that we were throwing away. The answer was yes!

One good thing about having four boys is that you can count on them when it comes to manual labor. They packed sacks with the things that we needed to throw away and the haulers, well, happily hauled them. And that’s how we managed to keep the street where our restaurant stood clean and free from debris.

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Healthy Options for a Restaurant

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Healthy Options for a Restaurant

People are beginning to be health-conscious and choosy to the choice of food to eat. Some are avoiding greasy and fatty food from fast food chains, while some prefer cooking easy healthy food and try to avoiding eating at restaurants. This is not to say that restaurants are being unhealthy, rather restaurant customers are just being cautious and conscious of what they eat.

As a result, many restaurants today are adding healthy diet options to their menus. At first, it may look out of place, but eventually, people do get used to these changes from their favorite restaurants. The ingredients that they use will be a bit different than what they used before. It is their way of presenting better food options to their clientele.

Addressing Health Issues

It’s not only weight loss that propelled these healthy meal plans; it is also meant to address the health problems that people have. These light meals include low-salt, low-fat, and sugar-free food that will still be enjoyed by customers. The plan also involves using alternatives to some staple food, such as using wheat bread and brown rice instead of the ordinary ones. Using fresher products and produce is also another way to balance the taste of every meal. However, even though we say that it is for the health-conscious, restaurants must never forget that customers still want a full course meal. They should still have regular choices for their appetizers, main course with side dishes, desserts and beverages.

Nowadays, there are techniques on how to be constant to the flavors of the food, yet still preserve their nutritional values. These restaurants can also be “personal” when it comes to their customers. It will be personal in a way that the ingredients for the dish will be chosen by their customers and the food will be prepared in front of them. This is also called an “open kitchen”, where the restaurant’s employees and customers are only separated by a glass partition. Their customers can also see how their food is being prepared and they will also know that their food is freshly cooked from the pan or from an oven.

When It’s Not Enough

If you feel that your weight loss plan isn’t working, seek professional help. You can get a custom designed ideal protein weight loss program from Baton Rouge based nutritionists without actually having to go there. You can search the internet for licensed nutritionists that offer online consultations.

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Tips for Easier Food Preparation for Birthday Parties

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Tips for Easier Food Preparation for Birthday Parties

For a lot of moms like me, preparing birthday parties is one of the most exciting yet stressful events of the year. We all want our kid’s special day to be the best ever so we give it all our best, but we are strained with our busy schedule and a tight budget.

No party is to be considered a party if without food. Foods are one of the things our kids look forward to in their birthday parties. And we can’t fail them. So with our days as busy as it is, how can we plan for an unforgettable birthday bash with mouthwatering dishes? Fortunately for us, here are some ways we can actually do this:

1. Stick to the sweets. You are not required to feed 50 people with full meals on a simple 2-hour birthday party. Stick to the desserts like cake, ice cream, chocolates, chips, sweet bread, and others. You can get a sheet of cake that can feed 48 people for under $18 at Costco. This will go well with your budget, plus you won’t have such a hard time planning.

2. Pizza is your friend. Pizza never gets old and never gets too pricey for anybody. There are deals that give you a discount for bulk orders, and you can usually get enough pizza for 50 or more people for under $100. Pizza is also heavy on the tummy, so you can keep the guests happy for a long time. You can also try other heavy foods like sweets, bread, nuts, etc.

3. Cook by yourself. If you plan to serve meals and you’re confident with your kitchen skills, cooking your own food is a good idea. Not only will it save a lot compared to getting a catering service, it will also please your kid to know that you yourself prepared everything for him/her. Plus parent points!

4. Use disposable containers. When the fun is over, we are left with a mess. All those plates and utensils seem impossible to ever clean again. The best option is to use disposable utensils as part of a wholesale catering supplies package. You don’t have to do the dishes, plus you can recycle them whichever way you want.

As long as you keep the party going great for your kid, everything’s bound to end well. Good luck! 

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Healthy Diet for A Healthy Weight

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Healthy Diet for A Healthy Weight

It is no secret that America is one of the most obese countries in the world. Literally millions of people, many of them young ones, are so overweight they can’t see their toes when they stand. Not only does this look less appealing, it is a serious medical problem. Obesity leads to a plethora of conditions that range from heart disease to diabetes. And that’s just the start.

The case of obesity in the country is so bad that it causes an increase in the number of performed liposuction procedures such as liposuction in Dallas. Lipo in Beverly Hills that guarantee a gorgeous body contour also spikes up in performance rate.  

Undergoing liposuction should be our last resort. There are actually ways to cut down or prevent the buildup of dangerous fats through simple ways. Here is a list of must-try and must-not for maintaining a perfectly slim and healthy body:

Eat All the Fruits!

All fresh fruits are good for your body, be it apple or orange or banana. Fruits have low contents of calorie, have lots of vitamins, and have antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body. Widen your choices of fruits; include “exotic” fruits like mango, kiwi, pineapple, melon, or papaya. You’d be surprised at the incredible health benefits these fruits contain. If you can’t get your hands on fresh fruits, though, you can try canned fruits. Just look for those that are packed in water or in their own juice to make sure that they have less added sugars.

Watch Out for Trans Fat

Trans fat will increase the buildup of LDL or the “bad” cholesterols in your blood vessels so make sure to avoid them. All food products that have “hydrogenated oil” in the list of ingredients surely have trans fat. If the product says “0 g trans fat”, it may not necessarily mean that it has no trans fat. It can have a half gram of trans fat per serving.

Lessen the Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages have a lot of calories than you might care for. Men, limit your drinks to an average of one to two drinks per day. Women, go for a max of one drink a day. This will lessen your risk to high blood pressure, breast cancer, alcoholism, stroke, and obesity. It will also keep you safer, so why not.

Go Easy on Salt

Not many of you might know but excess sodium can lead to hypertension, heart and kidney failures, and stroke. Instead of using salt to add flavor to your meals, you can use fresh herbs like cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, black pepper powder, and basil leaves. You can also use soy sauce, onion powder, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sunflower seeds.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is the friend of all. It helps the metabolism of your body so if you drink lots of water, you can worry less about fat layers. Not only that, it aids in digestion and makes your skin look moisturized. Drink eight to ten glasses of water each day and eat foods with high-water content like fresh fruits and veggies. 

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