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Caffeine Meltdown: Coffee Machines For Offices

Pairing 3 Popular Pastries With Coffee

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pairing 3 Popular Pastries With Coffee

Who doesn’t love a fresh, crispy pastry with a warm cup of coffee? Whether you like to grab one on your way to work or take your time and savour the experience at the weekend, a fresh pastry is a real treat that’s hard to beat. Now, once you’ve sought out the best pastries your neighbourhood has to offer, do you really have to worry about whether you accompany it with a rich espresso or creamy latte? Absolutely! Coffee is a complex drink that has the ability to enhance or overpower the scrummy flavours of your favourite pastry, so don’t let a bad pairing leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Here’s an overview of three popular pastries and the type of coffee you should order to go alongside them: Pain Au Chocolat This yeast-leavened pastry is filled with dark chocolate and best enjoyed slightly warm so the chocolate is just beginning to melt. The dark chocolate makes this an ideal pastry for those who aren’t fond of overly sweet treats. When choosing a coffee to enjoy with your pain au chocolat, opt for something creamy such as a latte or cappuccino to balance the slightly bitter chocolate. Beans with a rounded flavour and fruity notes are ideal.   Almond Croissant The almond paste filling in these croissants has a similar taste to marzipan but with a coarser texture. The filling is sweet, so a rich coffee is an ideal accompaniment.  Opt for a dark roast americano or iced black coffee made with beans that have notes of molasses, tree nuts or cinnamon. Beans from Puerto Rico and Cost Rica tend to have these taste characteristics. Fresh Cream Éclair This classic French pastry is made with light choux dough filled with whipped cream and topped with a thin layer of chocolate fondant. It’s a decadent pastry that’s both sweet and rich, so enjoy it with a strong espresso or macchiato, which is one part espresso and one part foamed milk. Beans with caramel or spice notes will complement the fresh whipped cream that makes Éclairs such a treat. When selecting the perfect coffee, the key is to opt for a brew that will balance the flavours of your chosen pastry. For example, a strong, full-bodied coffee with slight spicy notes pairs well with a sweet cinnamon swirl, but a mocha would simply pile more sweetness on top of an already sweet pastry, despite it containing a shot of espresso. Not sure if your favourite coffee will work with your chosen pastry? Why not treat yourself to a selection of pastries and experiment until you find your perfect...

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Tips For Eating Out When You’re Vegan

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Eating Out When You’re Vegan

If you live in or are visiting an area that doesn’t have any vegan restaurants, it’s still possible to eat out and enjoy socialising over a meal with friends and family. In fact, you can eat out at most restaurants without compromising your values. Here are a few tips for enjoying a vegan-friendly meal in a non-vegan restaurant: Look For Dishes That Are Accidentally Vegan You should be able to find a few dishes on the main menu that are accidentally vegan or could easily be made vegan by asking for one or two ingredients to be left out of the dish. If a dish looks suitable, confirm the ingredients with your server before ordering to ensure there’s no hidden meat or dairy products such as butter or chicken stock. Here are a few examples of common menu items that may be suitable: Roasted red pepper or avocado maki Chickpea tagine Mediterranean pasta Puy lentil salad Combine Starters And Side Dishes Select a few suitable items from the starter and side dish menus to create a full meal: Garden salad, hummus and flatbread Roasted vegetables, baby potatoes and bean salad Rice, olives and lentil pate Corn tortillas, black beans, avocado, and salsa Opt For Cuisines That Naturally Use Lots Of Vegetables And Pulses Choosing a restaurant that serves cuisine naturally abundant in vegetables and pulses will give you more choice when scouring the menu for suitable dishes. Indian, Middle Eastern and Japanese restaurants are good options. Here are a few suggestions of what to order: Indian – A good Indian restaurant will serve a variety of vegetable curries with a tomato or coconut milk base such as aloo gobi and saag aloo. You’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of dals with chutneys and rice. Middle Eastern – Aubergine salad, stuffed vine leaves, roasted peppers, hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, pitta bread, and olives are just a few of the dishes you can enjoy at a restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine. Japanese – Japanese cuisine isn’t all raw fish; there are a wide variety of vegan-friendly dishes to choose from, too. Opt for edamame and cucumber salad, vegetable sushi rolls, tofu and vegetable rice noodles, and pickled vegetables. If you’re really struggling to find something on the menu that you like or that’s suitable, ask your server if the chef could make you a simple vegan dish. Just remember that restaurant kitchens are busy places and the chef won’t have time to make something elaborate, so keep your request simple and express your gratitude. Have other questions? You might try getting in contact with a company like Caffe Belgiorno to learn...

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3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Diet

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Diet

Clean eating means ditching processed and chemical-laden foods in favour of fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. Eating fresh food as close to its natural state as possible has been linked with better sleep, improved brain function and enhanced mood. Here are three tips for cleaning up your diet. Filter Your Water When you cook with and drink unfiltered tap water you’re consuming all sorts of pesticides, bacteria and traces of heavy metals. As if that wasn’t bad enough, chlorinated tap water is thought to be connected to an increase in birth defects. A key step to cleaning up your diet is ridding your drinking water of toxins by filtering it. Here’s an overview of two popular types of home water filters: Jug Filters—These filters are ideal for keeping in your fridge and will filter 1-2 litres of water at a time. You fill the jug with tap water, which runs through a cartridge filter that uses activated charcoal to draw out impurities before the water reaches the main jug compartment. Jug water filters don’t remove fluoride and you need to change the cartridge every few months. Under Sink Filters—Both reverse osmosis filters and activated carbon filters connect to the pipes under your sink and deliver filtered water whenever you turn on the tap. Reverse osmosis filtration works by pushing water molecules backwards through a semi-permeable membrane, which captures contaminants. Activated carbon filters use a replaceable carbon cartridge to draw out contaminants and are cheaper than the reverse osmosis filters. Both types of under sink filters remove fluoride, traces of heavy metals, bacteria, and chlorine. Learn more by talking to suppliers like Water Filter Warehouse. Choose Your Produce Wisely When buying fruits and vegetables it’s best to opt for organic varieties and reduce your pesticide consumption, but organic produce can be expensive and isn’t always available. If you can’t go 100% organic, stick to the Environmental Working Group’s list of conventional produce that contains the least amount of pesticide residue. The Environmental Working Group tests a wide range of fruits and vegetables each year and publishes a list of the twelve that contain the most pesticide residue and the fifteen that contain the least. Reduce Your Refined Sugar Intake Refined sugar has been linked to heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and liver damage. It’s an addictive substance that offers nothing of value to your body, but it seems to be everywhere. Try cutting out all forms of refined sugar for two weeks and you’ll likely feel an improvement in your overall health. Ditching or reducing your refined sugar intake doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional sweet treat, but try to incorporate natural sweeteners into your cooking. Consider sweetening muffins with apple sauce or mashed bananas, or drizzling your oatmeal with a little pure honey. You don’t have to incorporate all of these tips at once. Add them into your routine one at a time and see for yourself the difference cleaning up your diet can make to your...

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Properly Roasting A Pig On A Spit

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For many people, the highlight of their summer involves having a few friends and family over and cooking a pig on a spit as they pass the time chatting and drinking. In fact, this is exactly why many people love the summer months. But, there is a fair amount of preparation involved, and if you have never spit roasted a whole hog before, this article offers some advice on how to properly do so. Sourcing Is Key One of the fundamentals to get right when planning to roast a pig is sourcing the pig itself. You should visit a couple of farms, more if you have the time, and ask about welfare standards. What you want is a pig that is free to be put out to pasture, has been naturally raised, and is not too old. The meat from young pigs can literally melt on the spit, giving a delicious smell, taste and texture. Also, ensure that you order the pig well in advance of your barbeque; it can take several days to arrange the pig to be slaughtered and properly hung. Hanging the pig ensures that the stiffness in the muscles, due to rigor mortis, disappear. Hire A Spit Very few people actually own a spit that a whole pig can be roasted on. In many cases, you will find that the farm that has supplied you with the pig will also be able to hire you a large and appropriate spit. Take advantage of this; it is usually just a small fee to do so. Once you take delivery of your pig, you can wrap it in bags and store it in the bathtub. You can also fill the tub with ice, if you like. Attach The Pig Deceased pigs can be deceptively heavy, and this means that if you do not secure it properly to the spit, it may fall off. You should have some friends to help you to fix it to the spit. Use butcher’s twine and stiff wire. The twine is used for securing the hooves to the bar of the spit, and the wire should be used for wiring the spine to the bar. Make holes on either side of the pig’s spine, and insert the wire into, and up through, the other hole. Twist these together to ensure the pig stays in one piece. Roasting Now it is time to relax for a few hours and wait for the slow process of the cooking. Near the end, add some coals onto the fire; this will ensure that the skin is crispy at the end of the cooking time. Although the carcass will attract flies, don’t be over worried; you will be roasting the pig for several hours, and by the end of this time, the meat will be clean and free of any germs. Have your kids swat away any flies. For more information, contact a business such as Victorian Golden...

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Popular Appetizers to Order at a Chinese Restaurant

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although it is a very popular type of cuisine, not everyone has tasted Chinese food before, so first timers may feel overwhelmed when going to a Chinese restaurant like Sun Wah Restaurant & Function Centre for the first time. If you fit the bill, then read on to find out what are the most common types of appetizers, so that you can order with confidence. Foil-Wrapped Chicken—Foil-wrapped chicken always comes to your table piping hot, so be careful not to touch the aluminum foil for a few minutes once it’s served to you. When you unwrap the foil, you will find a piece of chicken, usually a chicken breast that is moist and chewy and cooked with soy sauce and hoisin sauce, which is a sour-sweet sauce that is common in many Chinese dishes. Some Chinese restaurants also include cilantro and fresh ginger with the foil-wrapped chicken. The texture of the chicken is very soft, because it is grilled after being marinated for several hours. Chinese Braised Spare Ribs—Chinese braised spare ribs are made from pork ribs that are marinated in soy sauce, white wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic and Chinese spice powder. The Chinese use short spare ribs in this dish, and the appetizer has a sweet and spicy taste that is also crunchy and crispy, as the ribs are roasted in an oven until they are a dark brown color. Many Chinese restaurants will also offer you hot mustard or sweet chili sauce as a dip for you to enjoy, depending on if you like spicy or prefer sweet. If you prefer beef spare ribs, you can often make a substitution, but be aware that beef is tougher than pork, so beef spare ribs won’t be as soft and chewy as pork spare ribs. Spring Rolls—You’ve probably heard of spring rolls before, and though people think they’re the same as egg rolls, they are not. Spring rolls do not have meat inside, and are typically stuffed with cabbage, julienne cut carrots and other chopped vegetables. Chinese restaurants typically cook the ingredients in a big wok and use oyster sauce to flavor the food. Oyster sauce is pungent and sweet, but despite its name, it doesn’t have a fishy taste, so you won’t taste fish in the sauce at all. Spring rolls are deep fried and served extremely hot, as the Chinese believe that they should be eaten hot to fully taste the combination of crispy shell and soft, moist stuffing. If you prefer your rolls stuffed with meat, pork or shrimp, you can order eggrolls that have these...

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What You Need To Know About Running A Successful Restaurant Business

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The restaurant business is quite lucrative considering how many people opt to eat out rather than make their own meals at home. With current lifestyle trends, most people are either too busy to make time to cook their own food or simply just appreciate fine dining and a variety of international cuisines. Running a successful restaurant business, however, is not easy. There is quite a lot at risk when it comes to serving food: hygiene, quality and appeal are just some of the top factors to consider before you can grow your clientele. Here’s what you need to know about running a restaurant. You will need a lot of working capital In the restaurant business, you cannot afford to be cheap where guests are concerned. People always want to feel like they are getting your money’s worth. When you are starting out the business, this factor can put many dents in your finances. You should have ready in hand at least six months of working capital in order to build your clientele. Your best investment is the chef Contrary to what most start up restaurant owners think, it is not only about the design concept or about quality of silverware that attracts people to the restaurant. The food that you serve remains the top concern for anyone who takes a seat at one of your tables. A great chef who can deliver quality meals on every plate is the best thing that can happen to your restaurant. The Menu If you have not noticed by now, most high-end establishments usually do not have very long menus. Many people who enjoy fine dining know that the longer the menu, the lower the standard of the restaurant. It is better to have a few signature dishes, preferably something that people can only find at your restaurant. A shorter menu is also the key to consistency and quality, it increases efficiency in the kitchen, reduces risk and helps to control expenditure. Go green Going green not only conserves resources, but also attracts a greater number of clients. People are conscious about how and where they spend money. Helping the environment and resources is currently one of the top worldwide agendas. Going green is just one of the key strategies towards staying relevant in the industry. You also need to be flexible and sensitive trading conditions. Do not be afraid to tweak the menu every occasionally to meet up to client expectations. For more information or advice, contact a business such as Valentino’s Woodfire Pizzeria &...

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Five Baking Pantry Essentials For A Novice Baker

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While the old perception may have been that baking cakes was the preserve of older women, recent television shows and accompanying literature have shown how popular baking is among today’s twenty and thirty year olds. There is a certain satisfaction to be gained from eating something which you have made on your own and have spent time preparing. Many younger people who are getting interested in baking for the first time will find this article useful; it describes the five basic and essential baking ingredients that should always be available to you. Fresh Eggs Eggs are great for binding other ingredients together, and ensuring a proper consistency. Eggs can also be brushed onto the top of some kinds of baked goods – such as scones – to provide a golden look from the oven. Baking Powder This white powder is a critical ingredient for baking goods such as cupcakes, muffins or cakes. It works by creating tiny bubbles when it comes into contact with liquid, and gives rise to the fluffy texture. Sugar Sugar is used in so many baking recipes that it can fairly be thought of as one of the most essential items to have in your baking pantry. There are many varieties of sugar, such as icing sugar, brown sugar and granulated sugar. It is best to build up the different kinds of sugars as you progress, but the two main types of sugar to keep to begin with are brown sugar and granulated white sugar. Butter Butter is used in many baking recipes, and is a must have ingredient to have in your stock. As well as adding a rich and creamy taste to baked goods, butter can also serve as a grease for baking trays and pans. It is used in baking cookies and muffins, as well as for pies and crusts. Butter is a very versatile ingredient. Flour Flour is another staple of baking. It is used in a very high number of baking recipes. Like the sugar, it is recommended that different types of flour – such as whole-meal or strong flour – be built up over time, as you increase your baking skills. Initially, make sure you have a stock of self-raising and plain flour as a minimum. To keep your flour as fresh as possible, it is a good idea to remove it from the original packaging, and store it in a plastic container with an airtight lid. Along with these five essential ingredients, keep other baking ingredients, such as chocolate or jam, so that you always have the ingredients ready to do some baking. For more information, contact a company like Cookies and...

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Keeping the school canteen profitable

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In these days of the dual income family, mums working a few days a week in the school canteen for free can seem like a quaint idea. Yet the school canteen offers a benefit both to the P&C as a source of funding, to teachers who want to buy lunch and busy mums and dads who don’t get lunch made. By some innovative thinking the canteen can continue to be profitable for schools. Here are some tips to keep your canteen trucking along. Work requirements For parents and carers on a parenting payment, voluntary work in the school canteen can count towards the fifteen hours per week participation requirements. It can be shown that canteen work provides a pathway into hospitality jobs and you can always discuss this with your local Centrelink office if you are struggling to find staffing from your parent body.  Outsource some days of canteen orders You may be able to outsource preparation of the food and delivery to some local lunchbars, and chains (such as Hearty Health). The lunchbars usually offer a percentage of orders back to the P&C and the load of runnning the canteen is reduced. Many children and staff appreciate the variation in menu that outsourcing can bring. Start to pay workers If you cannot find voluntary workers paying a small wage may attract mums who are looking for school hours only work. You can look to incorporate the labour cost back into the canteen prices to push the costs back onto the parents who are purchasing goods and not volunteering by this mechanism. Broaden the service offering If you are finding it hard to get the necessary volume through the kitchen consider broadening the range through your kitchen to include other option such as take home, reheat dinners like lasagne which are often popular with working parents, espresso bars for parents at drop off and breakfast menus for before school care. Take requests from the community By opening up the menu to some popularly requested items, you can find some healthy and affordable new options. Why not run a cook-off in the same vein as a popular cooking show to find some winning recipes – you can even sell tickets as a fundrasier! For student populations from more diverse backgrounds including some healthy ethnic dishes can be attractive to parents, staff and students who might be offput by outdated menus of tuna mornay and vegemite...

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Artisanal Pizza vs. Chain Store Pizza

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many of us have days when facing the oven to cook dinner seems like a Herculean task. Take away pizza is a gift of modern life on those days, a tasty and easy dinner which magically makes it’s way to your door with a simple phone call. The only question that remains on those nights it’s whether to call for the wood fired pizza or the cheap chain store coupon that’s been pushed through the letterbox. Price Chain store pizzas tend to very affordable due to cheaper ingredients (due to bulk ordering agreements), a lower labour component in each pizza preparation and delivery, and high volume pizza ovens. Artisanal pizzas often have more expensive ingredients and are prepared fresh to each order. Wood fired ovens are also more expensive to run compared to electric toaster ovens. Taste Taste tends to be a highly personal matter. Chain store pizzas are often heavier on toppings, particularly cheese, than a more traditional Italian pizza and higher in fat and sodium. The taste of wood fired pizzas benefits from the caramelisation that occurs when cellulose and hemicellulose burn, creating a mild and slightly sweetened flavour. Higher temperatures tend to result in bitter flavour notes, which can be partially covered with sweet tomato and cheese flavours. Customisation As artisanal pizzas are usually made to order, they can be more flexible to customisation—however the ingredients available on site are limited to the ingredients on other pizzas. As chain store pizzas are largely pre-prepared they are less flexible overall to new ingredient combinations. Speed Chain store pizzas are largely pre-prepared and are made according to a to strict process, in order to be made as soon as possible. Chain store pizza make smaller margins on each pizza and rely on high volumes to make profit so are very fast to make.  Artisanal pizzas are made to order and tend to take longer to prepare. Delivery cars for chain store pizzas are constantly on the move, as drivers get paid for each delivery. As artisanal pizzas do not have the same volume the delivery driver often makes dedicated delivery runs for each order, which can create longer, wait times. Conclusion The best choice for take away pizza—like the pizza from Pizza Inn Delivery—is very personal—it depends how hungry you are, how much money you have that night, and your personal taste in pizza. Regardless of what you choose, a delicious pizza...

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The 3 Best Indian Dishes for Vegetarians

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Eating out at restaurants is one of life’s great pleasures. But when you are vegetarian, finding dishes that are both vegetarian and to your liking can be a challenge. The same old mushroom risotto and vegetarian lasagne gets old, so the next time that you want delicious, nutritious, vegetarian food with variety, head to an Indian restaurant. In Hinduism, it is very common to be vegetarian, and so Indian food naturally lends itself to a vegetarian diet. The next time that you hit your local curry house, try out these three deliciously decadent vegetarian dishes. Malai Kofta. One of the greatest things about Indian food is that the vegetarian dishes are every bit as decadent as the meat dishes, and none more so than Malai Kofta. This dish originates from the north of India and you can think of this curry as vegetarian meatballs swamped in a creamy curry sauce. The kofta balls are principally made from potato, paneer (a type of Indian cheese), and, of course, heaps of Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, and ginger. This is considered a “special occasion” curry in India, and you will find it at wedding feasts and birthday celebrations. Paneer Butter Masala. Again, this is another decadent Indian dish that is totally vegetarian. The main ingredient is paneer. Because of its mild flavour, paneer is often used with strong sauces, and the sauce of Paneer Butter Masala is tomato based but with copious amounts of cream. It might not be too beneficial for your waistline, but for a Friday night treat at restaurants like Royal India Restaurant, it cannot be beat. Makhani Dal. Anything with “dal” in its name is a lentil-based Indian curry. In India, lentils are extremely popular because they are cheap, nutritious, and completely delicious. There are many types of lentils and many types of lentil curries, but Makhini Dal is thought to be the richest and most delicious of the bunch. This is a Punjabi dish made with whole black lentils and, again, a lot of cream. This is also considered a celebration curry because it takes so long to prepare. When created in the traditional way, Makhini Dal can take up to 24 hours to cook, but you can leave it to the professionals at your local Indian restaurant. Ask various restaurants about their specialties. They might have other vegetarian options to try. In the meantime, give these three options a...

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