Quinoa is the Best Astronaut Food

I was amazed to find out recently that quinoa is recommended for astronauts on long space flights. I found this out watching a television program that was looking at the best foods you can eat. One of the guests was a former astronaut and there was a top ten foods list. Number one on the list was quinoa.

As well as being eaten by our space travellers it is now part of NASA food programme for growing crops in space. As part of this elite group of super foods quinoa is at last getting the recognition it deserves. NASA is looking into which foods we have here on earth will be the most beneficial from the point of view if how easy it is to grow. They also need all the foods in the research programme to be highly nutritious.

There is no time to waste on plants and foods that do not deliver in terms of vitamins and minerals. So I was very pleased to discover that quinoa has made into this elite group of foods. It gives a higher profile to a seed that everyone in the world should be eating as part of their daily food intake.

Why Quinoa Works In Space

There are a number of reasons that make quinoa a good food for Astronauts. The first rather mundane one is that it stores easily. You do not need a fridge. You do not even need an airtight container for durations of up to a month. It is so easy to store and take out the amount you need when you need it. Because it is a complete protein it is much better than trying to eat meat or meat substitutes in space. It contains all 9 essential amino acids making it the only seed or grain that is a complete protein.

Another reason for its suitability in space is because it is a complex carbohydrate. Without getting too technical this means that all the goodness in the vitamins and minerals are released into your body and bloodstream slowly over time. So you do not have to eat so often and you do not get as hungry.

Quinoa basically gives you the feeling of being well fed over a long period of time. The slow release carbohydrates also mean that you do not get a sugar rush which can lead to food cravings. It must be pretty bad to have a food craving in space. Where could you go to find something to solve your craving?

If quinoa is so good for the astronauts you owe it to yourself to find out more about it and learn how it can revolutionise your diet and eating habits.

How to Avoid Purchasing a Bad Portable Air Compressor

Portable air compressors are one of the most useful tools you can have around. They are used for a variety of tasks such as inflating bicycle tires, home improvement projects, etc. The only problem is that many of them require a lot of maintenance and don’t last very long. This article will show you how to avoid these issues and which compressors are better.

When you’re ready to choose a portable compressor, you’ll find that there are two choices. They are either made with aluminum cylinders or cast iron cylinders. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. One of these is practically maintenance free and the other requires a little more work.

Are “maintenance free” compressors really better?

If you’re shopping around for an air compressor you might have noticed various models being advertised that are cheaper and don’t require oil. Most of these can be found in your local hardware store. These compressors are advertised as “maintenance free” or oil free and look very tempting to buy. This seems great on the surface but lets dig deeper and find out if it’s really what you’re looking for.

Cheap Aluminum Cylinders

If you see a portable compressor for sale that’s made with an aluminum cylinder, the price tag might look pretty good to you. You also don’t have to worry about adding oil or messy cleanups. There’s only one problem with this type of aluminum-based model. Many consumer reviews show that they don’t last very long and if there’s ever a problem with the compressor itself, it can cost a lot of money whenever you have to take it in for repairs. You’ll have to ask yourself if it’s really worth the trouble. It’s true you can save a few bucks in the beginning but in the long run, you’ll either end up having to replace it or spend a lot of money having to repair it.

The solution

Portable air compressors made with cast iron cylinders do require oil and are more expensive than the aluminum variety. So, why would you choose one? It’s because they tend to last a lot longer and have less mechanical issues. Those of you who want a quality portable air compressor and don’t mind adding a little oil every now and then might want to consider one of these. Some of the top brands such as Makita and Dewalt are made with cast iron cylinders and consumer reports show that an extremely high number of customers are happy with the long-term results.

So, how do you decide which portable air compressor to choose? If price is an issue and you’re not going to be using your compressor every day, it might be better to choose an aluminum-based compressor. For those who’re going to be using their compressors for heavy duty work and want it to last a long time, a cast iron portable air compressor is the answer.

Your next step should be to read consumer reviews and find out what other portable air compressor users are saying.

Fast Food Market Forecast – The Subway Example of Strategic Product Positioning

The United States fast food market has seen a healthy rise in growth within the last three years which forecasts can be sustained. The fast food market is forecast to maintain its current growth expectations, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.3% for the five-year period 2005-2010. This is expected to drive the market to a value of $57.6 billion by the end of 2010. Drivers of growth include increasing numbers of Americans in the workplace, which reduces the amount of time spent on preparing meals at home. In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a value of $57.6 billion, an increase of 12.1% since 2005.

Forecast Volume

In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a volume of 37 billion transactions (Figure 1). This represents an increase of 5.3% since 2005. The CAGR of the market volume in the period 2005-2010 is predicted to be 1%.

Success Factors

Success factors for fast food franchisees will include products and marketing targeted to healthier menu selections, brand consistency, low start-up costs, franchisee support, and consumer convenience. Subway ® represents a poignant example of a fast food franchisee ready for success in the future fast food market. Their strategies transcend the fast food market and apply to many other markets and products.

SWOT Analysis

Subway sandwich shops are well positioned to leverage their strengths and address reasonable threats, weaknesses, and opportunities. The table below highlights these Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths

  • Size and number stores and channels
  • Menu reflects demand for fresh, healthy and fast.
  • Use of non-traditional channels.
  • Partnering with the American Heart Association.
  • Worldwide brand recognition.
  • Customizable menu offerings.
  • Low franchisee start up costs.
  • Franchisee training is structured, brief and designed to assure rapid start-up and success.

Weaknesses

  • Décor is outdated.
  • Some franchisees are unhappy.
  • Service delivery is inconsistent from store to store.
  • Employee turnover is high.
  • No control over franchise saturation in given market areas.

Opportunities

  • Continue to Grow Global Business.
  • Update décor to encourage more dine-in business.
  • Improve Customer Service Model.
  • Continue to expand channel opportunities to include event wagons.
  • Improve franchisee relations.
  • Experiment with drive-through business.
  • Expand packaged dessert offerings.
  • Continue to revise and refresh menu offerings.
  • Develop more partnerships with movie producers and toy manufacturers to promote new movie releases through children’s menu packaging and co-branding opportunities.

Threats

  • Franchisee unrest or litigation.
  • Food contamination (spinach).
  • Competition.
  • Interest Costs.
  • Economic downturn.
  • Sabotage.
  • Law Suits.

Competitive Analysis

Subway is not without competitive pressures. Chief competitors include Yum! Brands, McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Yum! Brands are the world’s largest, with 33,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. Four of the company’s highly recognizable brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and Taco Bell, are global leaders of the Mexican, chicken, pizza, quick-service seafood categories. Yum! has a workforce of 272,000 employees and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) is the world’s largest foodservice retailing chain with 31,000 fast-food restaurants in 119 countries. The company also operates restaurants under the brand names ‘The Boston Market’ and ‘Chipotle Mexican Grill’. McDonalds operates largely in the US and the UK and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois employing 447,000 people.

Wendy’s International (Wendy’s) operates three chains of fast food restaurants: Wendy’s (the third largest burger chain in the world), Tim Horton’s, and Baja Fresh. Wendy’s operates over 9700 restaurants in 20 countries, has been included in Fortune magazine’s list of top 500 US companies, is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, and employs about 57,000 people.

Jack in the Box owns, operates, and franchises Jack in the Box quick-service hamburger restaurants and Qdoba Mexican Grill fast-casual restaurants and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Target Markets

The increase in sales of the sandwiches has been a result of decreases in consumer interest in hamburgers and fries and increases in demand for healthier options. Sales of sandwiches are growing 15 percent annually, outpacing the 3 percent sales growth rate for burgers and steaks.

Current Marketing Program

A new breed of restaurant is making big gains against the market-saturated hamburger establishments. Termed “fast-casual,” these restaurants are dominated by Mexican chains, and sandwich restaurants offering fresh-baked breads and specialty sandwiches.

Responding to evolving consumer expectations for health, fresh, custom-made sandwiches; Subway’s marketing program addresses these expectations through a number of approaches. The most notable were the television commercials featuring Jared. These commercials emphasize the healthy aspects of a Subway sandwich by highlighting the 245 pounds Jared lost by eating a Subway sandwich diet. Subway also markets through a national sponsorship in events such as American Heart Association Heart Walks and local events such as triathlons, and children’s sports teams.

The Subway example represents marketing and product strategies that are classic examples of focusing on market demand, consumer trends, product leveraging, and innovation. The marketing strategies of creating clear brand recognition, brand and product association, and market demands, have strategically positioned Subway to advance market share into the near future. These marketing strategies are also repeatable fundamental marketing strategies transcending the fast food market. Does your marketing strategy bind brand recognition to products that support your market’s future direction?

Credit Restoration – Using Section 609 of the FCRA to Restore NOT Repair Credit

A simple, relatively unknown but proven legal strategy can be implemented to raise FICO scores 60 to 120 points. In 1999, H. Bruce McInnis Jr. in Maine looked at Section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and noticed something that, to his knowledge, nobody had ever noticed before; 609(c) (2) (E): “A consumer reporting agency is not required to remove accurate derogatory information from a consumer’s file, unless the information is outdated under section 605 or cannot be verified.”

If accurate derogatory information in the consumer’s file cannot be verified, the reporting agency is required to remove it. This law requires every company that reports credit events, not just the original creditor companies, to be able to produce verifiable proof of the negative event. It holds the credit reporting agencies accountable for the negative information they pass on. This is obviously related to the right of debtors to challenge the accuracy of negative events reported on them. The intent of the government was to protect debtors from having inaccurate information used against them.

The burden of proof is not entirely on the original creditors. All parties reporting this data are responsible for its accuracy. The companies that report credit events, besides the original creditors, are the credit bureaus; principally Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Did they maintain verifiable records of people’s debts? Mr. McInnis started challenging the credit bureaus to verify the negative credit events in the credit reports of his clients by producing a copy of the Original Creditor’s Documentation. He did not challenge the accuracy of these events, just used a legal strategy to challenge the credit bureaus ability to verify their accuracy. In effect, he used Section 609 of the law to demand the credit bureaus justify their reporting. If they couldn’t verify the data, they had no right to continue to maintain it on their credit reports. The credit bureaus began to comply. They removed the negative events from the credit records.

The credit reporting agencies don’t maintain original document records of credit applications and events. They don’t have a signature on a Visa card application. They don’t have a signature on a car loan application. They don’t have a signature on a bankruptcy filing. All they have are electronic blips in their databases. They simply accept what the creditors have reported to them about debtors. Even though the debtor knows it’s accurate, the credit bureaus do not. They can’t verify the accuracy of a single piece of data in their database.

The credit bureaus are regulated by the government due to the nature of their business, but it’s important to understand they are private companies. They are not legally or morally obligated to report anything on anyone. For example, most people know that most negative events remain on a credit report for seven years (ten years for Chapter 7 bankruptcies). This is not a legal requirement. In fact, they could take all bankruptcies off all records tomorrow, if they chose to. They are simply not allowed by law to report these events for more than seven years (or ten). They’re not forced to report them at all.

Of course, it’s their business. That’s why they do it. But they have a choice and when forced to verify the data they report they will choose to take negative events off. Essentially, credit restoration doesn’t eliminate negative credit events. It does make them in effect “invisible” to anyone looking at a credit report and this of course is reflected in the credit score.

White Chocolate Alternative

Not only have I had success with using carob chips and powder to appease my husband’s allergy to chocolate, but I’ve also enjoyed substituting yogurt chips for recipes calling for white chocolate chips. By U.S. law white chocolate must contain at least twenty percent cocoa butter. So if you are allergic to chocolate, you can’t eat white chocolate, either.

Even if you aren’t allergic to chocolate why substitute yogurt chips for white chocolate? After all yogurt chips do have more calories than white chocolate chips. Yogurt chips also have less than half the saturated fat. For most people it is easier to burn sugar or calories from carbohydrates than to burn off stored fat calories.

Not to say that a cookie, which is the food most commonly containing chips, is healthy, since almost all of them have some combination of butter, sugar and flour. But you can lessen the harm this little comfort food creates by reading the ingredients in a recipe and making a few health conscious substitutions.

Yogurt chips combine very well with nut based cookie recipes. They are especially good with cashews, walnuts and macadamia nuts. And yes, you are right. Nuts have a lot of calories and a lot of fat. But they are good (monounsaturated) fats that reduce cholesterol and add a lot of flavor, especially if roasted before adding to a cookie recipe. They also add texture and contain lots of vitamins and protein.

What’s nice about adding yogurt or other chips to a cookie recipe is that it adds that extra bit of sweetness that we seem to crave in our desserts. By baking your own cookies you have the choice of using less chips than what is called for in a recipe. Fewer chips will not change the chemistry or outcome of the cookie.

Perhaps one of my favorite cookie combination’s using yogurt chips is with maple extract. Is there any flavor quite as enticing as the smell of maple? Another favorite is mixing cranberries with yogurt chips. This is a great combination for a biscotti, which takes a little more time, but is not difficult.

So next time you reach for white chocolate chips or are looking for a substitute, consider trying yogurt chips instead and use less. Or add them to a recipe that calls for a frosting and forget the frosting. You’ll get the same amount of sweetness, but with less effort and less fat.

5 Tips to Control Blood Sugar Without Medicine

To control blood sugar means to establish control of your life- something that many diabetics have only done by regularly taking their medicine. But did you know that there are means and ways that you would be able to control your spiraling blood sugar without relying solely on your diabetes medication, such as your insulin. Let’s face it- for many decades now, research on diabetes has shown that there are certain incidences of diabetes that are harder and harder to regulate with the usual spectrum of treatments.

Because of this there is a need to lower blood sugar naturally- and there are plenty of methods that you can try to make this happen for you. Your diabetes sugar level is wholly dependent on the condition of your body (how healthy you are) and your diet (what you have been eating all these years). Often the diabetic that has not been informed completely would not be able to gauge the general status of his health, and he or she would not know how to alter his current diet. The following may be done to obtain normal blood glucose levels.

1. Exercise more- it is now more necessary to increase your physical activity, because if you don’t even your muscle tissues will begin to take damage if you don’t control your blood sugar. If you haven’t been exercising for most of your life then this would be a good time to begin.

2. Eat less saturated fats- it is true that you need a nutritive diet to get along- but the nutritive aspect fails if you are consuming way too many calories of saturated fat. The effort fails because you might suffer from complications of diabetes mellitus- the deadly ones always affect the heart.

3. Eat organic- the less junk food and processed foods you consume, the less likely you would be raising your blood sugar levels. Because of this basic fact, start enjoying organic food more- start cooking at home with your own recipes and watch your blood sugar go down.

4. No to soft drinks- soft drinks are one of the leading causes of diabetes since its inception, and it still is today. If you have been addicted to the stuff from birth, then now would be a good time to wean yourself off the harmful substance because soft drinks are packed with sugar with every gulp.

5. Yes to natural fruit juices- if you still want your small doses of sugar and yet you have decided not to drink soft drinks, why not try natural fruit juices instead? Try the King himself- the coconut. Coconut juice is sweet, easily chilled and quite refreshing. Try different recipes for cocktails and watch a room go wild with coconut juice. Or you can simply sip it cold while reading your favorite book or listening to your favorite composers. This is also safe for insulin dependent diabetics.

These are only some of the ways that you may be able to control blood sugar.

Great Convection Oven Recipes – Classic Cream Puffs

If you want good pastry made right, here is a great convection oven recipe. If you want, the cream puffs can be prepared up to 12 hours before the filling. You can just freeze them to store longer, just make sure that they are wrapped airtight. To cook the puffs in this recipe, just place them thawed on a baking sheet. Make sure they’re placed slightly apart and bake for 5-8 minutes on a 400 degree oven.

This recipe serves 10 people

Ingredients for this convection oven recipe are:

Cream Puff Dough

Filling (you can choose any of these fillings):

Ice cream

Choco-Orange cream

Whipped cream, lightly sweetened and flavoured

Chocolate flavoured ice cream to be put as a topping (optional)

Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Preparation of this convection oven recipe:

1. Use a spoon to separate the cream puff dough into 10 mounds. The portions have to be equal at about 1/4 cup. Place these on a baking sheet and make sure they’re at least two inches apart.

2. You then have to bake the puffs in a convection oven set at about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown. If you are cooking multiple sheets at the same time in a single oven, you should make sure to change their positions halfway through baking. Use a wooden skewer to poke holes into each puff and then continue baking them until they’re golden brown. After that, cool the puffs in a rack.

3. Slice off the top of each puff and add about 1/2 cup of your preferred filling. Replace the tops you cut off and then you can put in the toppings you want. This convection oven recipe is very easy to make and you could try experimenting with different fillings.

Restaurant Management Tips For a Smoothly Running Restaurant

Driving Sales by Service Magic:

Implementing Sales Techniques in Your Restaurant

Do you think that sales happen by magic? In a sense you are right, because you create the magic by your guest’s positive impression of your restaurant’s food and service.

Management and employees need to drive sales. Your Service Staff are your primary sales persons. The Kitchen Employees should be motivated to provide quality food for your guests. Management needs to keep both areas on track and make sure the atmosphere for each customer is a positive experience. There are two key items we see as the magic that can keep staff on track and positively motivated: the “WOW Steps of Service” and the “Pre-Shift Alley Rally”.

First each server must realize that they are sales people and they will create more tips and happier guests by selling the menu. This means every server must know the menu inside and out. This happens by proper server training and motivation from your managers.

How many times have you visited a restaurant and the server was completely oblivious in menu knowledge? Does that create the magic you want in service? How about the server who quickly responded about your questions regarding the menu? That is the WOW service magic that you must create in your serving staff.

WOW Steps of Service

There are many aspects in training your waiters and waitresses. These are basically summed up in the easy-to-remember format of the WOW Steps of Service. Do your servers know and use the WOW Steps of Service? If so, you are ahead of the game. Here is a summary of those commonly used steps:

  1. Greet – Seat: Make sure every guest is greeted as soon as they come into the restaurant. You can even add more flair by opening the door and welcoming them as guests. Seat your guests as quickly as possible. Customers hate standing at the door when there are lots of open tables in sight.
  2. Tell- Sell: Tell the guests about the menu to sell the menu. This is a key factor for all service staff. The waiters and waitresses should be informed immediately of any changes in the menu and if there are special promotions. They must know the menu completely. They should be able to answer any guest questions. They should also know what they personally like on the menu, and what are popular items on the menu. They should sell the menu. Plant the thought in the guest’s mind by suggesting a menu item. If the guest says they don’t like that item, then they should ask the guest if they like a certain type of food – spicy or mild, fried or grilled, and such. Their questions spur thoughts in the guest’s mind and create a sense that the server sincerely wants to please that guest-which should always be the case anyway.
  3. Ring-Bring: Ring in the food immediately. Each server should be trained on how you ring in the orders or place the orders to the kitchen. If you have a Point of Sale (POS) system, they should each be trained so they know how to ring in the order. If you use paper checks, make sure you have developed a system, so that the flow from the guest to the kitchen, back to the guest, and then to the register is smooth. The clearer the check and information to the kitchen, the better the kitchen is able to prepare the food in the way it was requested. Children’s food should be prepared and served first, whenever possible. The waiters and waitresses should give any special instructions to the kitchen staff. Then as soon as the food is ready it should be brought to the table-hot food hot, cold food cold. If it sits, then the temperature won’t be as it should be, and this can create customer complaints. Who want a cold steak? Serve it fast. Teamwork is ideal-every person should deliver food to the table. If that server is busy and can’t deliver it fast, then someone else should deliver it, then that server checks back as soon as possible to make sure the guest has received everything.
  4. Check back – Refill: After two bites or less than two minutes the server should check back to make sure the guest is happy with the food. Even if the guest says it is fine, the server should read their body language and expressions and ask questions if they are in doubt about the guest’s level of satisfaction. Refill drinks when the glass is half full. Don’t wait to see an empty glass or the guest to ask for a refill. The server should be proactive and refill before it is asked. They should also be checking back throughout the meal and removing any empty plates or glasses.
  5. Tell – Sell Desserts: Before the guests are finished eating the main dish, the server should suggest a dessert item. Plant the idea in the guest’s mind by saying, “Save room for one of our delicious desserts.” Servers should not just ask if the guest wants desserts. The server should say something like, “We have these moist delicious chocolate cakes that are baked from a local bakery. It is my favorite dessert item. Wouldn’t you love to try it?” If the guest says no, they can also ask about the guest’s favorite dessert. If the guest says they are too full for dessert, the server can suggest a carry-out box to have the dessert later. If desserts are ordered, they should be brought out right away. If no dessert order is placed, the server should make sure the guest check is ready.
  6. Check back – Check down: Within two bites or within two minutes the server should check back on the dessert with the check already tallied. If the guests are happy with the dessert or didn’t order dessert, then the server can put the check down. If you have server check pads, place them upright. This serves two purposes, it is easy for the guest to see the check and it is also easy for the server to know if the guest has payment ready when the check pad is no longer upright. Make sure that the server has supplied carry out boxes, if requested, or suggest them if there is a lot of food leftover. The server should bring those carry out boxes immediately.
  7. Receive – Reset: The server should return to receive the payment. If it is a credit card, they should process it immediately and return it to the guest for signature. The server should also invite the guest to return to the restaurant and thank them for their visit. Then once the guests have left the table, the server should reset the table within two minutes so that the next guests may be seated.

These steps are easily learned by your staff. Different restaurants may vary in their service style, but these steps can be used or adapted for any restaurant. Consistently implementing these steps will create the right impression on your guests and they will want to return.

Pre-Shift Alley Rally

Management is ultimately responsible for driving sales in your restaurant. They must properly motivate your staff and communicate effectively.

Fifteen minutes prior to any peak period management should conduct an alley rally to keep the employees informed. Always make sure the alley rally is upbeat and positive, as negative comments will only bring the crew down and ultimately will affect guest service.

  • The focus of the day
  • The feature or special of the day
  • Suggestively selling a specific item
  • Recognize any employee that performed over and beyond duties
  • Uniform compliance
  • Server and/or cook contest
  • Guest reservations in large groups scheduled

Management needs to project a great and fun atmosphere for the shift.

Reward the employees with:

  • Free meals
  • Movie Tickets
  • Lottery tickets
  • Gift card

Believe it or not, your guests will be listening and observing management and the staff. Good interaction between management and staff leave a positive perception of your restaurant.

Happy employees who love their job and actual want to come to work and will be more proficient and will project a positive aura in the view of the guest. Happy employees give a positive impression on your guests.

No matter what–the guests are always right, even if they are wrong. Make sure every guest leaves satisfied. Your atmosphere, the food served, and the service staff will all make an impression on the guest. Each customer’s positive impression of your restaurant is ultimately the magic of repeat business to drive sales–happy customers lead to higher sales!

The 5 Important Elements of Catering Business

Catering is a business that is in demand all around the year. Be it a birthday, a marriage or an anniversary celebration, catering is always required and opted for since most hosts like to specify a menu and make sure that it is served perfectly to the guests. The occasion may be casual or formal; catering is a must for all gatherings. So, when you are thinking about starting your own business, it is important to consider the catering business information seriously.

Business that is always in demand will bring in better money and a consistent income. Catering is one such business and before you embark on a new catering business it is important to keep in mind a few tips and tricks to make sure that you succeed.

ARE YOU INTERESTED?

The business of catering involves food and so, it is essential that you have some prior knowledge of cooking or preparing food. It is not required that you are a good cook although that could be a huge bonus. If you are a good cook you can do away with hiring a professional cook or a chef. However, this is not a big let down and you can hire one easily. It is always good to have a good idea about food preparation since the business involves a lot of art in addition to science.

LOGISTICS

The second most important aspect of starting a catering business is to have a fair to good idea about catering supplies that may involve utensils and furniture. Some of the supplies could be table clothes, chairs, centerpieces, dinnerware (various types), food warmers, fuels and the list goes on. In addition to all these having your transport like a mini van could keep you in good stead since the business involves continuous movement of supplies from your storage to the catering sites (venues where the catering needs to done).

EMPLOYEES

Hiring the right people can make or break your catering business. In this business, manpower and their skills play a major role. In addition to preparing serving delicious dishes, pleasing the host and his/her guest is a major responsibility. Towards this end, you need to make sure that the stewards, waiters and waitresses you hire have a pleasant personality and offer professional service. Customer service is of prime importance here to make sure that the clients keep coming back to you.

FINANCES

Make sure that you have the right amount of capital to begin with. This business is not hugely capital intensive but keeping enough working capital to tide you through the first few orders is being realistic. AS in any business, business in catering also has its highs and lows and it is important to understand the importance of financial implications. Moreover, every catering contract needs a different capital outlay and thus the more working capital you have, the better and bigger catering orders you can bid for.

MARKETING

Marketing is highly essential to any business and so it is for catering business too. Marketing your catering business to the local clientele is highly essential and if you have a brand new catering business, it is important to make sure that you get a few traditional advertisements in local newspapers and social gatherings are inserted. Catering business mostly works by word-of-mouth and therefore advertising your business with existing client would work wonders.

The above are only a few pointers but the most important ones when you are considering starting a catering business. Keep them in mind and make sure you work on them so that you start and keep running a successful catering business.

Pizzelle – Tips For Bringing Pizzelles As Gifts

Pizzelle make a great gift at Christmas or for any occasion. But when it is time to wrap them up for presenting, it can be difficult to be sure that the thin cookies do not crumble when sent.

Anyone who has made an effort to pack pizzelle or have purchased them online understand just how prone to breaking these desserts tend to be. And though one or two damaged cookies may not be too bad, a container full of them totally messes up the look of the present. So, how do you move or ship containers of these sweets to family and friends without presenting them with a box full of crumbs in the end?

If you aren’t going to be transporting them far, and if you are transporting them physically, you can place them on a cookie tray on their own or as part of a cookie variety. When doing this, make sure that the cookies sit flat on the plate or tray. They can be stacked if you need to, but try to keep them flat. Cover carefully with a sheet of cellophane wrap and make certain that the tray sits flat during transport.

One other way to give them as gifts is to package them up in smaller containers. This works best when carrying them somewhere to share as a number of gifts, for example when going to a celebration or other gathering. Cardboard mug boxes or medium sized candy and treat boxes work for this. Having said that, individual pizzelle makers yield varying sized cookies, so determine the diameter of the cookie and measure the measurements of the box before investing in any container to use to place them in. If you do not do this, then you may end up with containers that are just a bit small for your cookies.

Cookie tins work well for when you must have them well protected. This is excellent for when you are sending cookies or where a tray or cardboard box could possibly be crushed while being carried. Old cookie tins can be used again, or you can generally find them sold at discount stores. As with the cardboard boxes, be sure that you know the size of the cookies to ensure they will fit into the tins.

When packaging pizzelle for sending, no matter which type of container that you make use of, watch out to not overcrowd the treats. Doing so presents a larger risk of breakage. And if you are sending the cookies or taking them in a box that is a bit too large, protect the breakable cookies by stuffing the empty spots with clean crumpled paper towels.

Beware of Fast Food Veggie Burgers

While I applaud the efforts of the fast food industry in attempting to provide vegetarian and more healthful alternatives to the crap they already sell on a daily basis, I have to point out shortcomings and defects in their attempts to provide vegetarian and healthy alternatives that sabotage or defeat the whole purpose of attempting to provide healthier and meat-less (vegetarian) products.

Is health or the wellbeing of the American people the main objective in selling vegetarian products or is it financial gain? Unfortunately for all the people who want to believe the fast food industry is coming around and becoming more health conscious, the fast food industry’s objective in selling vegetarian items such as the veggie burger is strictly commercial, at least right now or presently.

Why? Because until the vegetarian items are completely lacking animal byproducts, the promoting and selling of vegetarian items is to deceive fast food consumers into believing that they have a choice in eating meatless or healthier items and products, which just isn’t true

.

Take McDonald’s, Burger King, and the Habit for example. They all sell a veggie burger. But that veggie burger patty (if the patty itself is not entirely vegetable based) is cooked in ANIMAL LARD number one, and number two, cooked on the same grill that meat (DEAD ANIMAL FLESH) is cooked on.

All meat contains parasites and worms, and the ugliest ones that you could ever see with the human eyes. I know this personally as I have done the personal research (and have been presented research from Doctah B, Bro. Tarik, and others in the Los Angeles area) and have the nauseating photographs to show you. TOTALLY GROSS!

Some people thought they were avoiding animal byproducts by only eating French fries from the fast food restaurant, not knowing that most fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s were cooking their fries in vegetable oil mixed with beef juice. That’s right! McDonald’s add beef juice to its cooking oil for flavor, in addition to spraying the fires with a sugar solution, freezing them and shipping them off to McDonald’s franchises, and after cooking the sugar sprayed fries in beef juice (oil), sodium chloride (salt) is added and you have one of the most addictive products in America – McDonald’s French fries!

Take Subway for example, a place I used to eat at often in my early vegan days and while I was in the Corporate world. I had my places to eat at and menus to choose from. However, eating out was the exception to the rule and not the rule, as I normally prepared my own lunch. But Subway was right across the street from my place of employment and the food was much lighter than the stuff sold at the more general fast food establishments.

However, as I became more spiritual and health conscious, it started to bother me eating at establishments that served vegetarian products alongside with meat or flesh products. I used to order the Veggie Max sub sandwich from Subway. But the soy based Veggie Max patty was in a container or bin next to bacon (pig’s back end). This was not a far distance for the microscopic parasites and worms to crawl from the bacon bin to the veggie patty bin. Also, the veggie patty was cut in two with the same knife used to cut meat with. You see, it really doesn’t matter if you’re health conscious or vegan or vegetarian and the person preparing your food (or product) is not. To the fast food employee, they’re just preparing another product totally oblivious to strict food sanitary preparation ethics and principles.

Another thing to point out about the Subway Veggie Max sub or sandwich is that it was (1) cooked (actually, RADIATED) in a microwave oven, (2) cooked or radiated in the same microwave oven as meat or flesh products (pork worms can’t be killed in heat because of a heat-resistant shell that forms around the worm in very high temperatures, and the only substance that can penetrate or break open that shell is the hydrochloric acid of the human body).

One day while out on the town with my children here in Glendale, California, my daughter wanted some noodles or Chow Mein and I think some vegetable-fried rice or egg rolls from Panda Express, I really can’t remember exactly the items, but I do remember asking the Panda Express employee to prepare an exclusively vegetarian plate – NO MEAT OR MEAT-BYPRODUCTS WHATSOEVER, i.e. vegetable-fried rice, Chow Mein, steamed vegetables, and to my utter shock, the employee honestly told me that NOTHING at Panda Express was vegetarian. Absolutely nothing! I said, “Even the vegetable-fried rice, noodles, and steamed vegetables?” He said “That’s right, Sir!” With a discombobulated look on my face, the employee then told me that Panda Express pours chicken juice on all of its items. So now I’m thinking about the time when time compelled me to get something on the go and I got what I thought was completely vegetarian from Panda Express.

And of course, I’ve heard similar accounts from my good Vegan comrades as well. So if you want to know a thing, ask. And by all means, don’t presume.

If you think those vegetarian corn dogs at Hot Dog On-A-Stick are vegetarian, think again! They contain egg whites (in the bread batter).

I also used to eat the vegetarian burritos at Baha Fresh Mexican Grill. I started getting headaches. Why? White flour tortillas cooked on the same grill as the slaughtered flesh (meat). So what did I do to cure the problem? I Left those burritos alone and I have been fine ever since.

I remember my early vegan days of 1997 and 1998 and thinking I was not eating any animal parts or byproducts whatsoever only to discover that those black beans I was eating from El Pollo Loco contained chunks of chicken. One day while eating these black beans, I noticed a strange substance in them. When I picked the substance up and closely analyzed it, I was disgusted to be holding a piece of chicken in my hand. Boy did I feel nauseated at this revelation and discovery. I had to let those beans go no matter how good they tasted. I refuse to let taste disillusion me into a state of poor health and into an early grave.

Vegetarian does not mean vegan! Vegan means “completely animal free, including dairy products and eggs,” whereas vegetarian means “meat-free but not dairy/eggs-free.” A vegetarian burrito at a fast food restaurant may contain cheese and sour cream (congealed cow snot or mucus). Some veggie burger patties may also contain cheese. Cheese is from an animal so how can it be animal free? While many health conscious folks and would be vegans enjoy Boca Burgers, some brands contain egg whites and cheese, so start reading the ingredient list on the box.

So although McDonald’s now has a veggie burger, just know that its veggie burger is cooked in beef oil, in addition to the fact that the veggie burger is centered between two white, refined grain buns, conventionally grown iceberg lettuce (the worst lettuce to eat and the most nutritionally deficient plant to eat) and genetically engineered tomatoes (if you want lettuce and tomatoes on your veggie burger). The same thing can be said of Burger King and the Habit’s veggie burgers.

However, if you’re on the road or out and about in society and must make a choice to eat something that is not so insalubrious, it would be a good idea to experience around with a major fast food chain’s veggie burger rather than give in to the traditional crap that has been served over the years and that you always bought and ate. However, it is better (and wiser) to seek out vegan restaurants before you actually hit the town (if you’re a health conscious individual or vegan).

I know how difficult it is to be vegan (at first) and to not have vegan eateries so easily and readily accessible, especially if you live in a small town. I’m thankful that the Greater Los Angeles area and Southern California in general is loaded with vegan spots around town to get something wholesome and nutritious to eat. The same is true for other big cities around the nation such as New York City, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland Bay area, etc.

If you’re having trouble locating vegan eateries around the nation, contact Friends of Animals at [email protected] or (203)656-1522 for a possible listing of vegan restaurants.

If you’re in the Greater Los Angeles area, you may contact us at http://www.DHERBS.com for a listing of vegan (and vegetarian) restaurants.

Eating healthy is a journey, discipline, and lifestyle and does not come without challenges in the early stages. However, as you become more health conscious, you’ll discover more healthy places to eat at while out on the town.

Thank you for reading! PEACE, LOVE and LIGHT!

This article was compliments of www.dherbs.com and Djehuty Ma’at-Ra, The People’s Herbalist

The Pros and Cons of Wooden Pallets

Wooden pallets are most commonly used frames in order to make heavy things and containers rest on them. They are easily available every where. Though pallets made of other materials are available in market, most of the people prefer purchasing wood. These are useful as well as harmful but still are popular to be used all around the world as food storage and goods keeping containers.

Advantages of Using Wooden pallets

Most of the people who need a container for the shipment of trade goods or food will definitely purchase wooden pallets as their first choice. The major factors in choosing them as first choice for the customers include following issues.

Cheap

Wooden pallets are cheap and inexpensive containers and are available at very low prices as compared to other available options for pallets including metal and plastic, because the client who wants to purchase pallets is in need for low budget containers that are easily reusable. So in this case the wooden pallets prove to be the best option as a container.

Durable and strong

These pallets are cheap but it does not mean that they are not strong enough to hold up heavy and bulky materials on them.They very strong and durable as well as reliable structures to be used as containers accommodating huge consignments in them.

Easily available

One of the major causes of common usage of these pallets is that they are easily and frequently available to the clients. And the clients like to purchase them because there is no wastage of time during the shipment process due to searching out pallets made of other materials that are not usually available for the clients.

Easily repaired

Wooden pallets are easy to handle if they get damaged. They can be repaired by simply putting in small nails with hammer. There is no expertise required to repair them for further use.

Can be recycled

Wood pallets can be recycled easily without any special practice. You only need to have a creative mind and you will see that they can be converted into many things including flower beds, fences and tables.

Have high level friction on surfaces

The most important advantage of a wood pallet is its high friction against different surfaces avoiding possible slipping of contained materials.

Disadvantages

Wood pallets are not without their disadvantages they are also cause of different problems to people using them. The problems posed include the following:

Highly prone to bacterial growth

Wood pallets have proven to be suitable for bacterial growth. This has made their use quite questionable for food containing purposes. It has been investigated that the these pallets are home to bacteria called E. coli and salmonella. These bacteria can cause a great harm to health of many people who use that food contained in these pallets.

Can develop fungus

Wood pallets are prone to develop fungus if kept damp for longer periods. So they should be kept dry for longer life.

Difficult to clean

Wood pallet surfaces are difficult to be cleaned because it is rough and dirt and stain go into the rough surface and make it hard to remove.

The Importance of Food Safety in Our Lives

Safety in general is important for every individual. It is an issue that we take into account in different aspects of our life. For instance to ensure our personal protection, we buy stun guns that we can bring with us anywhere. Moreover, we wear seat belts to keep us safe while we are driving. More importantly, we ensure that the food we eat is safe. How the food is prepared is what we all consider. When we eat in restaurants, when we buy from a store and even when we cook our own food, we make sure that it is clean and safe to take in to replenish the needs of our body.

Food safety has become an issue of special importance for the retail food industry. There are many instances that food contamination can occur between the process of production and consumption. Food can be contaminated at the farm, ranch, and orchard or in the sea. Contamination of food can even occur while it is processed in large manufacturing companies and while it is delivered to different retailers. Finally, food can be contaminated during the last stages of production at retail establishments and by consumers in their homes.

Food safety is especially critical in retail food establishment because this may be the last opportunity to control and eliminate the hazards that might contaminate food and cause food borne illnesses. Even when bought from already inspected and certified sources, ingredients may be contaminated when they arrive at the food establishment. It is important to know how to handle these ingredients safely and how to prepare food in such a manner that reduces the risk of contaminated food being served.

Food borne illness happens and it adversely affects the health of millions of people every year. It is a sickness that some people experience when they eat contaminated food. It impairs performance and causes discomfort and body weakness like your being hit with streetwise stun guns. Food borne illness also has a major economic impact. It costs our society billions of dollars each year. These costs occur in the form of medical expenses, lost work and reduce productivity by victims of the illness, legal fees, punitive damages, increased insurance premiums, lost business and loss of reputation.

You may be asking yourself whether all the knowledge about food safety has something to do with you. The answer is definitely. Customer opinion surveys show that cleanliness and food quality are the top two reasons people use when choosing a place to eat and shop for food. Consumers expect their food to taste good and not make them sick. It is the responsibility of every food establishment owner, manager, and employee to prepare and serve safe and wholesome food and preserve their clients’ confidence.

Food safety is utmost importance. Achieving clean food at your dining table is a joint cooperation starting from those who manufacture the food, delivers it to retailers, sells the food in the market, and lastly to the consumer who purchases the food, cooks and eats it. Through this, all people will be free from any food borne diseases.

Food and Drink to Stop Kidney Stones – Part 1

In this series of articles, I am going to tell you about food and drink to stop kidney stones. I am going to tell you about home treatment for kidney stone pain and home remedies for passing a kidney stone. You are going to learn a vegetable home remedy for kidney stones, with herbs to reduce kidney stones.

This article could be enough to cure your kidney stones

Just this article by itself could be enough to cure your kidney stones for good. Of all the home remedies for passing a kidney stone, this one is the most valuable.

First check your water and exercise

Before you think about the food in your diet, first check yourself to be sure that 1) you are drinking 3 quarts of pure water per day, and 2) you are exercising to the equivalent of an hour or more of walking. This is the absolute primary home remedy for kidney stone pain.

The one key nutrient in kidney stones

Recent research has shown that all, repeat ALL, degenerative diseases are caused by a lack of calcium in the diet. Heart disease, gallstones, kidney stones, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and many, many more diseases are all caused by lack of dietary calcium.

I am going to say it one more time kidney stones are caused by lack of calcium!

“But my doctor told me to cut out calcium, because my stones are made of calcium.”

It doesn’t matter. If you stop eating calcium, it does not prevent kidneystones. Low blood-calcium actually causes kidney stones.

Meanwhile, your body takes the missing calcium out of your other organs, such as your bones. Your blood calcium level will always remain the same. So by cutting out calcium, you would be robbing your other organs, and likely causing yourself to get the other degenerative diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

So I should eat more dairy produce?

It depends upon your blood’s type. Typically, if you have kidney stones, your blood’s type is A.

If your blood’s type is A, then you should not eat much dairy produce. And when you do eat it you should choose from this list:

farmer cheese

kefir

lowfat mozzarella

lowfat ricotta

string cheese

goat’s cheese (feta)

goat’s milk

yogurt

Just about every other form of dairy produce would be harmful to you, if your blood’s type is A. This means also you ought to avoid butter.

If your blood’s type is B or AB, then eat all dairy produce, but especially from the list above. Anything not on that list is not so great for you, is ok, but not really desirable. The list above is good for you.

Type AB also benefits from cottage cheese.

Of course I am assuming that you already know that pasteurized milk is deadly, that only raw milk is wholesome.

If your blood’s type is O, then you ought to avoid dairy produce altogether, or else keep it to a tiny minimum.

Everybody ought to get calcium from vegetables as much as possible. If your blood’s type is A or O, then you have to be especially canny about choosing your vegetables to be sure that you get calcium aplenty into your mouth.

Here is the list. This is your vegetable home remedy for kidney stones:

PROTEIN STUFF WITH A LOT OF CALCIUM

o Cod

o Tofu

o Lima beans

o Soybeans

o White beans

o Navy beans

o Black turtle beans

o Red kidney beans

o Split peas

o Halibut

o Rockfish

o Sardines

o Salmon

o Trout

VEGETABLES AND NUTS WITH A LOT OF CALCIUM

o Almonds

o Beet greens

o Carrot juice

o Mustard greens

o Potatoes with skins

o Rhubarb

o Seaweeds (sea vegetables)

o Spinach

o Squash, winter

o Sweet potatoes with skins

o Tomato juice

o Tomato puree

o Tomato sauce

o Winter squash

FRUITS WITH A LOT OF CALCIUM

o Apricots

o Bananas

o Cantaloupe

o Oranges

o Figs

o Honeydew

o Plantains (fruit)

o Peaches

o Prune juice

o Prunes

OTHER STUFF WITH A LOT OF CALCIUM

o Unsulphured blackstrap molasses

o Amaranth

Comparing Three Brands of Chef Knives: Function Form and Style

Though I am not a trained chef, I cook and prepare gourmet meals, spending many hours with a knife in hand. The use of a good knife is highly important in the kitchen. The comfort in hand, sharpness of blade, how long the blade stays sharp, and the balance in the hand are my criteria. These are my opinions only, and may not apply to how they are used by another.

Wusthof Classic 8 inch chef knife

I have had the Wusthof chef knife for 14 years. The first important thing about Wusthof Classic is that the handles are resin, and not wood. I am constantly cutting and chopping and washing the knives, though never in the dishwasher. Wood handles get dry and need oil, just a fact of life. I look for ease. This was a point in favor of Wusthof. Wusthof uses high carbon steel, which holds a sharp edge far longer than blades with a lower carbon content. With a little work, the knife keeps a good sharp edge and works perfectly. The Wusthof chef knife has better weight than any knife I had held before, also a solid point in its favor. It is relatively well balanced and has a full tang, meaning the steel extends the entire length of the knife, into the handle, where it is riveted in place.

Cutco 9.25 inch chef knife

About 3 years ago I bought the Cutco chef knife. First, it is far longer than most other chef knives. This is good when I am chopping a larger quantity of food, but generally it is just long. I am less accustomed to the length, so that is a minus. The weight or heft of the knife is light in comparison to the Wusthof Classic chef knife. It looks nice, but is less balanced in my hand. It does have full tang and the handles are riveted in place. It is a sharp knife, but the company wants it shipped to them for sharpening. This is nice, in the sense that one knows it will be sharpened properly. It is an aggravation to have to take the knife somewhere else. All in all not a bad knife, but not my first choice or recommendation.

Wusthof Grand Prix 7 inch Santoku

In 1998 the Wusthof Classic line did not have a Santoku knife, so I got the Grand Prix Santoku. It does not suit me well, though I use it occasionally. The Santoku blade has little wells cut into the blade, for the purpose of easy release of foods when chopping foods or carving meats. The Grand Prix line does not have the good weight of the Classic line, does not have full tang, and the blade has a straighter edge. For straight down chopping, this works fine. I do a lot of rocker chopping, using the tip of the knife as a pivot and coming down again and again. The Wusthof Grand Prix Santoku does not function well for this application.

Hammer Stahl 7.5 inch Santoku

This year I bought a Hammer Stahl 7.5 inch Santoku knife. I have been using it almost exclusively ever since. This knife is also made of high carbon steel. The weight of the knife is impressive, though extremely well balanced in the hand. The weight makes chopping seem effortless. The shape of the handle fits well in the hand. It is a Santoku blade, though the little wells are much farther back from the blade edge. The line of the blade has more curve, unlike the Wusthof Grand Prix Santoku, allowing great ease with pivot chopping. The blade has full tang, and the knife is a thing of beauty with the resin impregnated Pakka wood handles. For great grip, weight and balance, this is the best knife I own. It is still very sharp after half a year of constant use.

Any really good knife is going to be relatively expensive. These knives range from 60 dollars for the Wusthof Grand Prix Santoku to 160 dollars for the Hammer Stahl Santoku. The Wusthof chef knife costs about 130 dollars, where the Cutco chef knife is about 150 dollars. If possible, go to a store that sells high quality knives and try them out first. Decide what kind of knife you will use most and invest in at least one good knife.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.