Plan A Fun And Successful Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

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

The wedding rehearsal dinner is a celebration with just your closest inner circle before the public celebration of your wedding vows. It gives everyone a chance to relax and visit before the wedding day, and it may be one of the only times for the bride and groom to mingle with out-of-town guests. A little bit of planning can remove any stress from the dinner so you can enjoy it to the fullest. Etiquette Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted and paid for by the groom’s parents, although modern dinners often come out of the overall wedding budget provided by both sets of parents and the couple. Only the main wedding party, which participates in the rehearsal, requires an invitation. The rest of your guest list won’t be offended if they aren’t included. The rehearsal and dinner may take place up to two days before the wedding. Usually, it is the night before the wedding, to ensure that out-of-town wedding party members arrive in time to attend. The dinner is typically formal to semi-formal, although an informal event isn’t considered a faux pas. Planning Steps Make a reservation. Most modern rehearsal dinners are held at a restaurant or catered. This ensures no one has any cooking or cleanup to do right before the wedding. Call the restaurant and make reservations four to six weeks in advance. For a large party, the restaurant may have an event or party room they can provide. Work out the menu. If your dinner has a strict budget, you may want to work out a menu with the restaurant before the big night. Some restaurants have party menus, which provide discounted prices or a smaller selection of entrees to choose from. Set the bar rules. If the host isn’t covering bar tabs, make this clear to both the restaurant and the guests ahead of time. Remind the waitstaff upon arrival that they will need to deliver separate bar checks to any guests partaking. Make a head count of expected attendees one week before the dinner and deliver this final count to the restaurant. Don’t forget to includes spouses and partners in the final number. Make transportation arrangements. If everyone can drive from the rehearsal to the dinner location, great, but you may need to arrange some transportation help. Whether it’s a simple carpool with designated drivers, or arranging for cab service, work out things in advance so everyone arrives at the restaurant on time. A little bit of planning ensures you can sit back and relax with your closest friends and family before your big day. For more information, contact Sawmill Prime Rib & Steak House or a similar...

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Unusual Uses For Dairy

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

If all you do with your dairy products is eat them, you are missing out on some great uses for all things milk-based. Here are five unusual and wonderful uses for dairy products. Use Milk to Soothe a Sunburn You might have heard someone mention that butter can be used on a kitchen burn. In a similar way, you can use milk to treat the pain of a sunburn.  Start with cool, but not cold, milk. Soak a clean washcloth in the milk, and apply it to the sunburn for about 15 or 20 minutes. Repeat as necessary. This works because the milk coats the skin with a thin layer of protein.  Use Yogurt as a Hair Conditioner Yogurt can make your hair soft and smooth and active cultures can moisturize your scalp to prevent dandruff. Simply apply plain yogurt to your wet hair in the shower. Wait 10 minutes and rinse.  Use Butter to Get Gum Out of Your Hair Butter is slippery and can be used to get yourself out of many sticky situations. So when the gum falls out of your child’s mouth and becomes entangled in hair, reach for a stick of butter. Rub the butter liberally on the hair and then carefully use a comb to help it slide out.  Use Milk to Polish Silverware You can use a combination of milk and vinegar to keep your silverware looking shiny and clean. Simply mix one cup vinegar with one cup milk. Soak your silverware in the mixture for about 20 minutes. You can do this for a longer or shorter period depending on how dull your silverware has become. Scrub any tough stains with a toothbrush. Place the silverware in a pot of boiling water and soak for 10 minutes.  Use Yogurt to Tighten Pores Treat yourself to a mask by coating your face with plain yogurt. Leave it on for 10 minutes while the lactic acid works to tighten pores. Rinse the yogurt off with warm water. Your skin should feel moisturized and rejuvenated.  Use Butter to Shine Your Leather Use a stick of butter to add shine to anything you own that is made of leather. Use it on jackets, shoes, belts and any other leather products. It won’t hurt the leather, and it leaves your items looking great.  Dairy from a company like Mr. Dairy and Food Distributing Ltd. may taste great by itself and as an added ingredient in food, but it also has many household...

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Love Italian Desserts? Learn How To Make The Perfect Cannolis

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Have you ever had a feast at an Italian restaurant such as Naples Pizza? You may have enjoyed a fresh Italian salad, pizza, pasta, or even a meat dish. Once you were through with the appetizers and the main course, you may have looked at the menu for desserts and decided to try a cannoli. If you couldn’t get enough of the dessert and would love to have some again, you can attempt this recipe for a flavorful authentic Italian dessert at home. Creating the Perfect Crispy Cannoli Dough A cannoli consists of fried dough with a sweet creamy filling in the center. Before you can make the filling, you’ll need to make your dough shells. These are the ingredients and supplies you should have: 2 cups almond meal 1 ½ tablespoons white sugar ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg white ½ cup white wine 3 cups vegetable oil 5-inch round cookie cutter Rolling pin Pastry brush Directions: Place the almond meal, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in the bowl of a large electric mixer and blend them together for a minute. Pour your coconut oil, vanilla extract, and white wine into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Begin mixing those ingredients together until they create thick and sticky dough. Use your hands to grab the dough from the mixing bowl and set it flat on a table. Knead the dough with your hands and knuckles for 3-5 minutes until you’ve turned it into the shape of a ball. Set your dough into a bowl, cover it with a clear wrap, and leave it in the fridge for 4-6 hours. Remove the dough from the bowl, set it down on the table, and begin rolling it out until it’s flat. Use a 5-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles in your dough until you no longer have any left. Take one of your round pieces of dough, grabbing the left side with one hand and the right side with the other, and then overlap the sides to create a shell-like appearance. Press down on the center of the dough with your thumb and pointer finger to seal it shut and continue the same process for each round piece of dough that you have. Pour your egg white into a small bowl and use a pastry brush to gently wipe egg white on each of them. Place a large pot on medium-high heat on the stove. Fill it up with 3 cups of vegetable oil and allow the oil to heat for 3-5 minutes. Place 2-3 dough shells in the oil at a time. They’ll need to cook for about 3-6 minutes, or until they become golden. Remove them from the oil and set them down on a baking sheet to drip dry. Preparing Your Sweet Filling Making the shells for the cannoli is the most challenging part of this dessert. Once you’ve got your shells created, you can focus on making the sweet filling. Make sure that you have: 2 ½ cups ricotta cheese 2 cups powdered sugar 2 tablespoons cream cheese 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup chocolate shavings 1 large sandwich bag Directions: Place your ricotta cheese into a strainer to drain it out. You’ll want it as dry as possible. Place the ricotta cheese into a mixing bowl with the powdered sugar. Whisk these ingredients together for 3-5 minutes until they’re blended to perfection. Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and cinnamon into the bowl and mix again for another 3-5 minutes. Pour your sweet filling mixture into a large sandwich bag, seal it shut, and then cut the tip of one end off. Squeeze the mixture out from the tip of that end and into each of your crispy shells. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of the cannoli cream as a finishing touch. If you don’t like chocolate, you can always add sprinkles, crushed nuts, or even shredded coconut on top. It does take time to create this dessert...

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2 Simple Strategies That Can Make Restaurant Selection As A Group Easier

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Have you ever gotten ready for a night out with friends, only to find that choosing a restaurant that everyone can agree on was nearly impossible? Selecting a restaurant as a group is a task that few people relish, but this choice doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are two simple strategies you can use to take the stress out of restaurant selection in the future. 1. Take everyone’s budget into consideration. Gathering a group of friends together for dinner means that you will likely assemble people with differing incomes. Since most people don’t relish the thought of discussing finances with their friends, choosing an affordable restaurant can be a great way to reduce the stress that accompanies restaurant selection. Here are some tips you can use to limit your restaurant choices when trying to be budget-friendly: Check for deals online. Many websites offer discounts for popular restaurants. By logging on to your favorite online coupon provider you will be able to come up with a list of affordable restaurants. Having this list handy makes choosing a restaurant easier, since the group will be presented with a limited number of choices to discuss.   Select a restaurant with an extensive appetizer menu. Appetizers tend to be less expensive than entree items, and most restaurant appetizers provide generous portions. By selecting a restaurant that has an extensive appetizer menu you can reduce the cost of your bill. Plus, you get the added bonus of being able to enjoy a variety of food items by sharing the appetizers as a group. 2.  Set a theme for the evening. With nearly 72,000 restaurants operating in Canada today, the choices can be overwhelming for many groups trying to select a dinner location. One easy way to reduce the number of choices available is to set a theme for the evening. Here are some easy themes your group can use to reduce the stress associated with selecting a restaurant in the future: Set a cultural theme. Many restaurants specialize in serving cuisine from a specific part of the world. By setting a cultural theme for your evening out on the town you can eliminate all of the restaurants that don’t serve food that fits your theme. For example, if you plan to see an Italian opera, then you may want to limit your restaurant options to those that serve pasta dishes.   Set a geographic boundary. Determining that you will limit your activities to a specific geographic area can reduce the number of restaurant choices available to your group. Only restaurants that lie within the geographic boundary you have set should be eligible for consideration. Not only is this a great way to reduce the stress of choosing a restaurant as a group, it can also be a great way to explore new areas with your friends. Selecting a restaurant that will please everyone in your group of friends can be a social disaster. By taking the time to consider the financial limitations of the group and set a theme for your evening out, you can reduce your restaurant options. This will make it easier to find a restaurant in a reduced amount of time. To learn more, try contacting a company like Lotus Inn Restaurant with any questions or concerns you might...

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Plan Ahead For New Year’s Eve

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Is it your turn to host the New Year’s Eve party? Even though that’s a wonderful event, it can also be pretty overwhelming, especially since you will have just celebrated Christmas and all that comes with that wonderful holiday. By planning ahead, you can make life a lot easier for yourself. The Invitations – Send out a “Save the Date” right after Thanksgiving. Then, around December 14th, send the actual invitation, and make it pop! Did you know you can send all kinds of things through the mail without putting them in boxes? One idea is to put your invitation in a plastic pop bottle and stuff it with colorful curling ribbon. The invitation could say something like “Pop Into Our House For New Year’s Eve!” Another idea is to put the invitation into a sealed chip bag with an address label on it and say something like, “Join Us For Chips and Dip and A Whole Lot More!”  The Decorations – Leave your Christmas decorations up, but mix things up with specialty New Year’s Eve items. Put festive party hats and noise makers in strategic places that you will bring out in time to meet the New Year. The Food – Hire a caterer, like Austin Gourmet! You may be surprised that hiring professionals is more affordable than people expect. By the time you figure the money of all the food you would buy, add the cost of party table ware, and factor the time you spend on preparations, you may even come out ahead, as the caterers will bring everything that is associated with the food that will be served. Make your plans early, as the caterer’s calendar will fill up very quickly. When you make your first connection establish the number of people at the event, the exact date and time, and how much you want to spend. If you have a menu in mind already, the caterers will serve that. However, it’s also a great idea to ask the caterer what their company’s specialty items are, and go with those. Is it a sit down, formal event, or a casual buffet? Either way, it’s smart to have finger foods ready right when your guests arrive, Don’t forget non-alcoholic beverages for those who are teetotalers.  Do you want to serve traditional foods? Baked ham, roast beef or grilled chicken are good choices and they are affordable. However, it might be a lot of fun to plan around a theme. Mexican, Chinese, or Italian foods are very popular and should be well received. Instead of just offering one dessert, an assortment of decadent ones will be just perfect. Congratulations on planning your New Year’s Eve...

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Affordable Hors D’oeuvre And Drink Alternatives For Your Next Catered Event

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Blog, Food & Cooking | 0 comments

Hosting a catered event doesn’t mean you must throw your budget to the wind. Here are some affordable hors d’oeuvre alternatives that your caterer will surely be able to accommodate you with. Caviar serves as a salty spread for crackers and bread. Consisting of fish eggs, caviar is a traditional French hors d’oeuvre that can bust your budget all by itself if you allow it. The finest caviars in the world sell for over $4,000 per pound. The alternative: Kelp caviar is tasty yet affordable. It’s 100% vegetarian because it’s made from seaweed. Available for less than $100 per pound, your budget will appreciate its salty goodness. Truffles are cherished as much for their rarity as for their musky, woody scent. Found underground in certain regions of France, certain truffles can sell for over $3500 per pound. They are used to flavor soups and stews, and pressed to coax their oil out for spreading on hors d’oeuvres such as bruschetta. The alternative: Mushrooms are in the fungi family along with truffles. To the unassuming, mushrooms and mushroom oils make a fine alternative to their pricey cousin, the truffle. Ask your caterer to make the substitution and credit your bill with the difference. Champagne originates from the region of France with the same name. True champagne sells for over $100 a bottle for the better brands. When you consider that a standard 750 ml bottle only pours two and a half glasses, you’d need a lot of bottles to satisfy a typical party crowd. The alternative: Sparkling wine contains the similar effervescence and coloring that your guests might expect from a glass of champagne. Domestic sparkling wines can be had for just over $10 per bottle, making this switch a smart move for your budget. Mixers consist of tonic water, seltzers and sodas. The name brand versions of these are priced at premium levels. In addition, your caterer may mark up the prices even more to improve their profit margin. The alternative: Reserve the premium brands for the hard liquor bottles that your guests will most care about. For your mixers, you can safely substitute store brands and off brands without it influencing the taste of the cocktails. Off-brand mixers are usually available for at least half the price of name brand versions. Talk to your caterer, such as Alpine Catering Ltd, about using these alternatives instead of their higher-priced counterparts. When you save a little money here and there, you’ll be able to spend more on the party elements that matter more to...

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