A Memorable Rehearsal Dinner

Tired of Marinara? Try One of These Sauces Instead

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tired of Marinara? Try One of These Sauces Instead

If you’re in the mood for pasta, but want something a little different, try a different sauce. Here are five sauce ideas that will take your pasta from boring to wow! Lemon And Artichoke Pesto In a blender or food processor, add the following: three garlic cloves ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ¼ cup olive oil 1 cup raw almonds ½ cup packed basil leaves ½ cup Parmesan cheese one small jar of artichokes and their liquid Pulse until just blended. Toss with angel hair for a light and refreshing vegetarian dinner. Puttanesca Sauce This briny, spicy chunky tomato sauce goes great with spaghetti. Sauté three minced cloves of garlic, one small diced onion, and ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes in extra-virgin olive oil. Add one 35-ounce can of whole Italian tomatoes, one tablespoon tomato paste, 6-8 anchovy fillets, one tablespoon capers, ½ cup chopped Kalamata or green olives, and 3 chopped fresh basil leaves. Cook over low heat, breaking down the whole tomatoes. Add a pinch of sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and freshly cracked black pepper right before serving. Carbonara This sauce is great with linguine or spaghetti. Fry six pieces of bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool. Sauté three minced cloves of garlic in the bacon grease. When the bacon is cool enough, crumble it with your hands into a large mixing bowl. Add the drained, piping hot pasta, ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, and two raw eggs. Toss, dispersing the eggs throughout. The heat of the pasta will quickly cook the eggs. Top with freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, salt to taste, and coarsely ground black pepper. Cream Cheese & Chives Sauce This creamy sauce goes great with shrimp or chicken and is tasty just on its own. Heat one 8-ounce container of cream cheese with chives and one 16-ounce can of reduced-sodium chicken broth, stirring frequently to incorporate. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is reduced. Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese and then toss the sauce with rigatoni or ziti. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving. Romesco Sauce This sauce uses jarred and marinated roasted red peppers for a quick and easy sauce. Place one or two whole peppers in a food processor along with the following: 2 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ cup chopped parsley ½ cup pine nuts. Pulse until well blended. Toss sauce with penne or bow-tie pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan when serving. Of course, if you’re not feel motivated to make one of these easy sauces, you can always visit local Italian restaurants like Tony & Joe’s Pizzeria and get some fresh ideas there. ...

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Don’T (I)Run Away: What To Expect From A Persian Restaurant

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’T (I)Run Away: What To Expect From A Persian Restaurant

So a hot new restaurant has opened in your area and your friend is dragging you along as they go to try it for the first time – the problem is, you have no idea what Persian food could even be like, much less what to expect from your new culinary experience. But you don’t want to be that person who spends two hours looking at the menu and asking the waitstaff what every dish is like, so it’s probably a good idea to go into it with a little more foreknowledge than you currently have. So if you’re looking for a quick rundown of the basics of Persian cuisine, then here’s what you need to know. Rice Is More Like bread to Europeans and beans to those south of the American border, the Persian cuisine has a starchy staple, and it’s rice. Most, if not all of the dishes offered, will come with a bed of rice to be eaten in tandem with the rest of your meal; unlike East Asian rice, Persian rice is generally spiced with dried lime, saffron, or even cinnamon (even for savory dishes, which can be a bit odd for those used to having cinnamon on oatmeal and snickerdoodles). There are generally three types of rice you’ll encounter here; polo (which is just pilaf; very fluffy, but not at all sticky), kateh (a stickier, simpler, more common rice), and damy (which is cooked by steaming, usually with lentils, and is used in tah-chin, which is a common dish with yogurt and egg yolks, most commonly served with chicken or lamb). Fruits of Labor Persian cuisine makes liberal use of vegetables and (especially) fruits, especially when it comes to side dishes. Fresh or dried fruits are sometimes found in a communal bowl on the table, salads are mainstays as side dishes, and the eggplant (which will probably be called an “aubergine” on the menu) is used much like the potato tends to be used in American and European cuisine. The big dish in this category is called dolma, which is usually a fruit or veggie stuffed with either rice or a rice and meat mixture. Stuffed cabbage and grape leaves are the most common incarnations of dolma, but the fillings (and the fruits and vegetables being stuffed) are usually only limited by creativity and what’s available in the market. Drinking Deeply There are a few specialized beverages that will probably be on the menu, so keep your eye out for words like chai and doogh. Chai you might be able to recognize as tea; chai is always served at breakfast, but is also consumed at many other times during the day (the frequency of which depends on the region the restaurant is pulling from) and can be drunk with lunch or dinner. Doogh is a little more unfamiliar; it’s a semi-thick cold drink made of a mix of yogurt, dried mint, salt, and water, and can be served carbonated or uncarbonated. This drink can be a little odd to those not used to it, so take small sips if you’re bent on trying...

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3 Fun Tips To Get The Most Value Out Of Your Next Meal At A Buffet

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Fun Tips To Get The Most Value Out Of Your Next Meal At A Buffet

Everyone loves a good smorgasbord. Whether it’s time for a Sunday brunch or just the standard spread at your local lunch buffet, there’s nothing quite like walking into a restaurant and seeing food, glorious food, as far as the eye can see. But if you want to truly get the most value out of your next trip to the buffet, here are a few tricks to keep in mind. Start With The Good Stuff Typically at a buffet, most diners start with salad and soup or other light items and then move on to the main courses. But that’s exactly what the buffet wants you to do. If you get filled up on breadsticks and appetizers, you won’t have as much room left for the much more pricey steak or seafood. So next time you go to a buffet, go in reverse: get the main course first and then worry about the side dishes later. Time It Just Right Some lunch buffets turn into a dinner buffet as soon as 3 or 4 p.m. If you plan ahead, you can get to the buffet with 30 minutes left to go on the lunch menu, just enough time to slowly eat your first plate. Then, you can go back up when some of the dinner dishes are put out, while still being charged the lunch price. Just don’t go hog wild on the sirloin or you might be asked to pay the higher price. A Big Kid Deserves a Big Bowl Just about every lunch or dinner buffet on the face of the planet offers soft serve ice cream for dessert, provided you actually have some room left of course. But did you ever notice the size of the ice cream bowls that are placed in the dessert area? Yeah, they’re not so big, right? It would probably take you more than one trip with such a small bowl to really get your money’s worth. Luckily, there’s no rule that you need to use those specific bowls for ice cream. Instead, head over to the salad bar and get a soup bowl instead. You’ll have enough room in there to really pour on the toppings if you so desire. Eating at a buffet can be a great deal of fun but it can be even more entertaining if you know you are really getting your money’s worth out of the trip. Whether you plan your arrival to take advantage of a dinner buffet at lunchtime prices or just go ahead and start with the high price items first, you’ll soon be on your way to being a full-time buffet expert. And as long as you bring your relatives and friends with you, chances are the restaurant isn’t going to mind. For more information, contact companies like Crico’s Pizza &...

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Rewarding Your Children with Pizza to Improve Their Education

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rewarding Your Children with Pizza to Improve Their Education

A full education is one of the best ways to improve a life, but many children struggle in the early stages of the education process. Thankfully, it is possible to boost their education by creating a reward system that utilizes your local family pizza restaurant. Education Works Better with Rewards Although children are in many ways naturally inquisitive, rewarding them can help improve their education by encouraging them to work harder. The abstract pursuit of knowledge may not be enough to motivate your children. However, if they know that some delicious pizza is waiting for them at the end of the week if they do well in school, they may be more likely to try harder. Creating a simple reward system that takes advantage of your child’s love of a local family pizza restaurant is a simple but effective method of achieving this end. Creating the Reward System Now that you understand the importance of rewarding children, you need to create a pizza reward system that encourages them to succeed. This can consist of three different levels, each with its own benefits. These levels can include: Level One – The child finishes all their homework that week. They get to choose the type of pizza on pizza night. Level Two – They not only finish all their homework, but get good grades (B or higher). They can choose the restaurant and the pizza. Level Three – They earn high grades on a test or a pop quiz. Reward them by taking them somewhere else after eating (like a play area or park) or allowing them to play in the family-oriented play area. This simple reward system is adaptable to just about any learning environment. It is very effective for younger children, especially those who may not feel they have a lot of control in the house. Plus, it taps into the love most children have for delicious pizza. Having Fun at the Pizza Parlor Once your child has earned the right to go to the pizza parlor, reward them properly based on their level and have some fun. How can you encourage fun in a family pizza environment? The following are just a few examples: Creating simple “figures” by chewing slices of pizza into specific shapes Have a “slow chewing” race (to encourage slower and more precise eating) Visiting a restaurant that has kid-friendly play areas and let your children play when they are done eating if they behaved well The idea of this reward system is to make your child try hard in their education and to have something to look forward to at the end of the week. It can also bring your family closer together and promote more fun and tight-knit...

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3 Authentic Spanish Dishes You Must Try

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Authentic Spanish Dishes You Must Try

In America, many of the Mexican-American dishes that we know of are derived from a combination of Spanish, Latin-American, and indigenous peoples’ recipes. In some respects that means that truly authentic Spanish dishes have fallen by the wayside in the American culinary tradition. This doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to find, however. Plenty of restaurants serve up authentic Spanish cuisine. Find one today and allow your taste buds to sample one of the following delicious dishes. Turrón It seems like every European country has their own take on a holiday season nougat treat and Spain is no exception to the rule. This sweet confection consists of nougat combined with egg white and honey. It has a crisp, sweet, and almost refreshing flavor due to the presence of a light amount of honey. It can be found in two variations. The first, and most common, is jijona, which is smooth and easily digestible. The second form is chock-full of almonds, giving it a harder texture which sits on the stomach a bit more. Gazpacho This might be the Spanish dish that most Americans are familiar with. Although many people assume that it is “just” tomato soup, this is not the case. Gazpacho must be constructed from the reddest and ripest tomatoes and then combined with garlic, peppers, olive oil and cucumber. This mixture is then blended until it is incredibly smooth. This mixture is then chilled and served in a bowl or glass with a side of dipping bread. There is also a thicker version that utilizes ham in its base which is known as salmorejo. Pisto Pisto is a dish that is often favorably compared to ratatouille and can largely be found south of Madrid in La Mancha. Pisto is a dish that takes a considerable amount of time to prepare. Garlic, peppers, onions, courgettes, and tomatoes are slowly fried and drizzled with olive oil throughout the cooking time. Although often times served as an appetizer, pisto can make for a great entree as well, especially when served with something hearty, like chorizo and fried egg. As you can see, Spanish dishes run the gamut from the sweet to the refreshing to the hearty and filling. Although not widely known throughout the United States, Spanish cuisine is becoming increasingly popular as people discover that it is a varied – as well as delicious – tradition. If you’re not ready to venture into these dishes yet, check out Melting Pot Pizza for something more familiar and...

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3 Must Try Ethiopian Dishes

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Must Try Ethiopian Dishes

Ethiopian cuisine is perfect for those interested in vegan and vegetarian cuisine and want to try out something new. Thankfully, Ethiopian dishes are becoming quite popular in the United States, and there are plenty of restaurants in urban environments where you can dine in or order food online. Find a local Ethiopian restaurant near you and give one of these mouthwatering dishes a try. Atkilt Wot Atkilt wot, much like many other Ethiopian dishes, can be enjoyed with a group of friends and family, or simply as a dish made for one. Atkilt wot is a healthy combination of carrots, potatoes, and cabbage that are simmered in a light sauce and served on top of the sponge-like injera bread. The bread serves to soak up the juices of the sauce and allow the veggies to adhere to it, so you can pick up the dish with your fingers and dig right in. In addition to the sauces in which the veggies are simmered, the dish is often served with a small amount of dipping sauces that are placed right on top of the injera, as well. Sambusa Although Ethiopian cuisine is largely known for being a vegetarian delight, there are also a few meat based dishes that are quite scrumptious, as well. A sambusa is a bit of fried dough that is usually shaped much like an egg roll, that is filled to the brim with meat and lentil. The dish is traditionally served with two dipping sauces. One is a refreshing, eggplant based white sauce, while the other is a tomato puree sauce combined with various herbs and spices, which gives it a flavor that is not entirely dissimilar to sweet and sour sauce that is served at many Chinese-American restaurants. Azifa Although azifa is usually referred to as a “salad,” the dish is far more complex than that. Azifa is a combination of sauteed and lightly marinated lentils and spinach leaves, combined with a variety of beans and veggies, including carrots, green peppers, potatoes, and asparagus. Although azifa can be served as a traditional salad, it can also be served “deconstructed” – with each set of ingredients occupying its own area on top of an Ethiopian favorite – injera bread. Ethiopian food is both varied and delicious. With Ethiopian food becoming increasingly popular throughout the United States, there are few excuses to try out one of these amazing dishes as soon as you...

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What To Eat At The Seafood Restaurant If You’re Cutting Fat

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Eat At The Seafood Restaurant If You’re Cutting Fat

Winter is a time for bulking, but when the temperature gets warmer, its time to cut. This means getting lean and dropping excess fat to show off the muscles you gained during the winter. In order to cut weight, you are going to want to eat clean, which means less fat and more protein. If you’re headed out to a seafood restaurant, then this might seem to be a problem. There are lots of meals that you should avoid. These include creamy pastas with shrimp, heavy butter sauces with lobster, and breaded seafood. Luckily, there are loads of entrees that you can eat. These will be free of creams and butter and packed with protein. Here are the ones you should look for. Lobster With Lemon Don’t make the mistake of thinking lobster is unhealthy. The reason many people think it’s fattening is that it is normally served with butter sauce. A cup of cooked lobster has 29 grams of protein. That’s a fantastic amount of protein. Just make sure that the lobster is not served with butter sauce. What you should look for is lemon wedges so you can squeeze the lemon over the lobster. You should eat this with a small green salad instead of a pasta dish. Be careful when ordering a salad dressing because many of them are also heavy in calories. A great alternative to fatty dressing would be balsamic vinegar. Snow Crab Legs One of the tastiest items at a seafood buffet are the crab legs. These are also protein packed, coming in at 46 grams per serving. In fact, they are so rich in protein they would make an awesome meal for anyone who is doing heavy training. You could skip the protein shakes if you’re having crab for lunch. The main problem with these is, once again, butter. Simply enjoy the flavor of the crab without soaking the meat in butter sauce. You’ll get a much cleaner, fresher flavor and avoid all of those excess calories. A nice side dish would be some steamed veggies, maybe broccoli and cauliflower. Shrimp Cocktail This one is a seafood buffet standby, and it’s one that you don’t have to alter at all. First off, shrimp is a great protein source, having 19 grams of protein for a three-ounce serving. Secondly, cocktail sauce is not too bad at all. It only has 25 calories per tablespoon. So you can fill up your plate with shrimp cocktail and not worry about killing your diet. For more information, contact a business like Adventures Pub &...

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Learn How To Plan A Great Bachelor Party

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn How To Plan A Great Bachelor Party

Bachelor parties are a tradition in many cultures. Planning a bachelor party for a friend or relative is not always easy to do. If you are responsible for planning the bachelor party for someone you love, use the information below to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. Determine How Many People Will Be Attending the Party The first thing you need to do is sit down with the groom and create a master guest list. You need to know how many people the groom wants to have at the party so that you can find a venue that is large enough to accommodate everyone who will be in attendance. Find the Perfect Venue for the Party Next, you need to search for a venue that has a private area where the party will take place. Many nightclubs, restaurants, and even bars often have separate rooms that can be used for private parties. If you plan to have an exotic dancer at the party, it is important to get permission from the manager of the venue before booking the party to make sure that the dancers are allowed. Determine What Is Included with the Venue Rental When planning the party, you need to be sure that everyone is able to get plenty to eat and plenty to drink throughout the night. Work with the venue to see there is any way that your party can have a small buffet set up for the guests to enjoy. This allows everyone to get food whenever they want without having to constantly make separate orders. A small, separate bar situated in the area where the party will take place is also a good idea because then everyone can get the drinks they want without having to go out into the other areas of the venue. Establish Designated Rides Home Finally, book a limo, party bus, or cabs to take everyone home at the end of the night. You do not want anyone to get into an accident or possibly getting a DUI as they travel home from the party. You could have everyone stay at one designated location for the evening to save money on the transportation costs, if you wanted. Planning a bachelor party is a big responsibility. Make as much of the plans in advance as you can to ensure that you can get the venue on the day that you need...

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Team Building On A Restaurant Tour: Tips For Planning

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Team Building On A Restaurant Tour: Tips For Planning

A private restaurant tour provides a fun and tasty backdrop to a corporate team building outing. However, if you want to optimize the experience, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. Check out these ideas: 1. Use the event as an entrée to a new location. In addition to the team building work you do during the event, you should also consider using the experience as a fun way to introduce your employees to a city. This approach works for a number of different scenarios. For example, if you are adding transfers from another town to your team, a restaurant tour introduces them both to the rest of the team and to your city. Similarly, restaurant tours work well for introducing your sales staff to a new city that you are servicing, showing your marketing team another side of the city you currently live in, and similar situations. 2. Try new things. When you are setting up the private restaurant tour, tell the tour operator that you want to try new things. Tasting exotic fruits, exploring interesting food-wine pairings, or delving into fusion concepts helps to add excitement to the event, and it also encourages engagement between your team and the tour. However, be sure to ask your team about allergies or diet considerations. Then, notify the tour operator about those needs so they can accommodate them accordingly. 3. Use the tour itself as an icebreaker. When you use a private food tour as a team building event, you don’t have to plan icebreakers to get everyone talking. Rather, let the tour itself act as an icebreaker. As your team notices the atmosphere of the restaurants, explores new flavors, hears music and experiences new parts of the city, they instantly have something to talk about. Planned icebreakers work well in some situations, but on a restaurant tour where there is already a lot of sensory input, they can be superfluous. 4. Let it be fun. The ultimate objective of any team building event is to bring the team closer together. This helps them understand each other and opens the door to more effective communication strategies. To foster closeness in a group, it helps to simply have fun together. You don’t want the restaurant tour to feel like just another work obligation. You want it to be something your employees look forward to. For more tips on planning a corporate team building event during a restaurant tour, contact a tour operator in your area....

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Three Things You Need To Know About Restaurants And Wedding Food

Posted by on Mar 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things You Need To Know About Restaurants And Wedding Food

If you’re planning to hold your wedding reception at a restaurant instead of a banquet hall or home, you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone. Restaurants often have special arrangements for weddings, providing both the food and the location, but there are some considerations you need to be aware of. Check out these three issues to ensure holding the reception in a restaurant is best for you. Set Menus If you have a particular restaurant in mind because you love certain dishes there, be aware that some of those dishes may not be available for large-scale wedding parties. Those special arrangements for wedding parties listed previously often include a set menu with specific dishes. If there are dishes that you want available for your guests, you may be able to special-order those, but there’s no guarantee. You also have to be sure the restaurant can offer alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and any other special dietary considerations. Most do, but you should still be sure that the final menu reflects that. Alcohol Licenses If you plan to serve alcohol at the wedding and the restaurant does not have a license for the particular type you wanted to serve (for example, you want hard liquor available when the restaurant is licensed to serve only beer and wine), all is not lost. Depending on your state, you may be able to bring in a third-party bar service if the restaurant will allow that. Whether or not you intend to charge guests for alcohol can also make a difference. For example, in Oregon, you don’t need an alcohol license for a wedding reception if you’re not going to chanrge the guests. The third-party service would be required to have a license, though. Handling All of the Food — All of It If you have your heart set on a particular wedding cake, run that by the restaurant. Some restaurants will make arrangements to receive the wedding cake and store/serve it, but others want to provide the wedding cake themselves. And those restaurants may or may not have different styles and flavors of cake to choose from — it’s best to ensure the place you rent has policies in line with what you want. For more information about holding a wedding reception at a restaurant, talk to the managers and ask to see the menus available. Find out how much notice the restaurant needs,...

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