Monthly Archives: November 2013

December 2013 Food Holidays

national-pie-day

December 1

It would be too easy to combine these two days; if you eat a Red Apple Pie, you’d enjoy both National Pie Day and Eat A Red Apple Day. If you really must split both, just know that eating an apple does not cancel out the caloric intake of a pie.

December 2

… and then take your pie leftovers andfry them for National Fritters Day. Apple fritters are delicious, and with a little culinary work, could conceivably be crafted from apple pie leftovers. Try anything in the kitchen.

December 3

… and bring out another pie for National Apple Pie Day. Seriously, these three days in a row are set up for pie crusts and pies. If you were smart, you can just have some more of December 1st’s red apple pie.

December 4

At least you’ll be able to enjoy a cookie for National Cookie Day. That’s a good start to a break from pie and pie ingredients.

December 5

As you celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition Day, enjoy some dark chocolate cake from Vienna for National Sacher Torte Day. These two days are designed for a little bit of evening treats.

December 6

Pour some cold soup for National Gazpacho Day. If you can’t tolerate it cold, nuke it for Microwave Oven Day.

December 7

Find a fair, because it’s National Cotton Candy Day… or just find something cotton-candy flavored, like gum.

December 8

Find a grandmother that makes treats this time of year, because it’s National Chocolate Brownie Day. There’s not really many other types of brownies out there, are there?

December 9

If yesterday was too rich for you, enjoy something with a little less sugar for National Pastry Day. A light and flaky pastry provides a nice alternative to a dense and chewy brownie.

December 10

Pour yourself a beer for National Lager Day, or as I like to call it, “a day that ends in ‘day’”.

December 11

December 11th is National Noodle Ring Day. I’ll give you a chance to google what a “noodle ring” is, because I surely needed a few minutes to deduce it.

December 12

Find a purpose for it. It shouldn’t be hard, but National Cocoa Day has a host of recipes to chose from. I particularly like chocolate crinkles, but there’s dozens of types out there.

December 13

National Ice Cream and Violins Day? Sure. We’ve seen weirder combinations.

December 14

National Bouillabaisse Day is here for everyone to act like they know what “bouillabaisse” is without using the Internet.

December 16

It’s the food trend of recent years, but you can support your local cupcake eatery for National Cupcake DayNational Chocolate-Covered Anything Day should get your juices (or syrup?) flowing, just thinking of the possibilities. I’ve coated fried chicken tenders in chocolate syrup, which worked out surprisingly well. Heck, just cover a cupcake in chocolate.

December 17

Trade your chocolate syrup for maple syrup for National Maple Syrup Day. I’ve coated fried chicken tenders in maple syrup, which worked out surprisingly well. Actually, it shouldn’t be too surprising, given the unique culinary combination that is chicken and waffles.

December 18

National Roast Suckling Pig Day is one to celebrate suckling pig, a pig that has only been fed on it’s mother’s milk, usually killed within two to six weeks. It’s like pork veal.

December 19

National Hard Candy Day encourages you to watch the movie “Hard Candy”. Actually, no, it’s to celebrate hard candy. Still, the movie is pretty good, although a bit gut-wrenching at times.

December 20

National Fried Shrimp Day and National Sangria Day can combine into a delicious dinner. They’re not traditionally paired, but alcohol and seafood should be a fine combination in any situation.

December 21

National Hamburger Day is good enough, but how about some fruit to go alongside the dish instead of french fries? Kiwi Fruit Day is here for a difference.

December 22

National Date Nut Bread Day. Yep, there’s a day dedicated to date nut bread. It’s a sweeter treat, not meant for sandwich bread or anything, but for cream cheese.

December 23

National Pfeffernuesse Day is another date that you’ll rush to Wikipedia to figure out what exactly it’s celebrating. The name translates to “pepper nuts” in German, Danish, and Dutch, and are small, firm, round biscuits, sometimes with ground nuts.

December 24

National Egg Nog Day? Sure, pour yourself a glass on Christmas Eve.

December 25

National Pumpkin Pie Day? Hopefully you don’t find one under a tree from Thanksgiving.

December 26

If you’re taking down the tree today, enjoy National Candy Cane Day with some Christmas tree confections.

December 27

National Fruit Cake Day? Save it in the cabinet, only to ship it out to someone next year. Scientists believe that only one actual fruit cake exists, having been shipped across the world from person to person each year.

December 28

National Chocolate Candy Day is largely self-explanatory. Grab a chocolate candy bar and knock this one off your list.

December 29

National Pepper Pot Day is in honor of Iron Man’s secretary and sometimes girlfriend, Virginia “Pepper” Potts. In the comic books, she acquired a suit of armor called Rescue, and fought alongside Tony Stark for a while. Or maybe it’s named after a dish you’ve never had. I like to consider Gwenyth Paltrow is getting a shout-out on the calendar here.

December 30

National Bicarbonate Of Soda Day? It’s baking soda. Do something with baking soda, or at least replace the box you have in your fridge today.

December 31

National Champagne Day rounds out the year appropriately. Pour yourself a glass of champagne, and see us next year!

And The Best Kind Of Plate To Eat On Is…

Set of round plates or dishes on white background
If you’re a quick-service restaurant, you may use a basket with paper; toss out the paper, wash the basket, and you have a simple way to sling out french fries, hamburgers, and hot dogs. With soup or salad, you need a deep bowl that’ll hold a good amount of liquid or leafage for lighter lunches. Every once in a while, you might need a particular dish for a particular concept, such as manicotti, but for most every day dishes, you’re going to want a standard, every day plate that can be used across the board in your restaurant.

The BBC reports on a study that shows sometimes simple is best. White and round dishes might be the key to making food look and taste better. A test was preformed with the same cheesecake, on white round dishes, white square dishes, black round dishes, and black square dishes. The white round dishes were found to lead to more pleasurable eating experiences, but the opinion might stem from the mindset and emotional connections that are to be made with the design. White is traditionally connected to “purity”, and the white round plate might be just too iconic for serving food that anything different seems off. If anything, white plates can help show the cleanliness of the dish. Black square plates were found to have their own home, with being used for more critical judgements and

Slates might look nice or be used for unique effect, but may present problems with items rolling or draining off of the plate during serving or eating.

There are a variety of white round dishes availably for purchase. Width can range from 16 inches, 10 inches, to even 6.5 inches, but they all offer the same concept of holding food in a clean and concise circular carrying plate.

Have you considered that you might need to upgrade your dishes? Over the years, wear and tear can happen even to the cleanest and safest restaurants. Chips and damage can be joined by stains and streaks, and no matter how clean you try to get the dishes, it’s always a good idea to have new ones in backup.

Beyond ordering new white round dishes for the everyday sale, you might want to consider a few black square dishes for such creative moments. If you want a true response to new dishes, you might want to put items on there to get true responses to your dishes. For soup dishes, you’re left with no choice but to have deeper bowls, in which you should want to stick with white round ones as well.

Now, glasses and mugs, baskets and utensils? There’s a whole possible world of what to do with those, and there’s no particular study saying one color is better than another (although, round mugs would make sense).

The Surprising Way One Fast Food Chain Is Taking Care Of Teenagers

teens eating fast food
There’s one problem that any restaurant with cheap-enough prices will always run into: loiterers. There’s a special magic to many consumers with a place that serves cheap food and has comfortable-enough seating. For many, it offers free wi-fi, a place to take care of business meetings, potential clients, or even future employees. Others might just enjoy long sips of coffee with an old friend, some father-son bonding time, or even a quiet book or newspaper (or in 2013, a quiet iPad or Kindle).

Most of these people are okay, especially if they keep up with small purchases throughout the day; nobody’s going to complain about a consistent source of money. Every once in a while, there will be the troublemakers, and not to stereotype, but these could easily be teenagers: youthful people who hope to get out of the prying eyes of their parents on a regular basis at a cheap cost in a safe location. If they’re studious and just taking care of classwork, that’s one thing, but if they’re loud, disruptive, and causing trouble for your staff or customers, you may want to figure out a way to have them leave.

A McDonald’s restaurant has Mt. Annan, Australia, has come up with a unique concept: playing classical music. In fact, this isn’t the first time using classical music has worked as a deterrent to youthful distractions, as Macarthur Square used this tactic in March 2009 to stay unruly teens. Their music of choice was Barry Manilow, and it was effective late Thursday nights at curtailing children and teenagers.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the usage of such music has ben effective at late nights to keep riff-raff out, but would have to reassess how it’s doing in the coming months.

Does your restaurant employ music throughout the day? The inclusion of music, and particularly what type, is instrumental (pun possibly intended) at deciding what kind of restaurant atmosphere you offer. Burger places may feature a rock-and-roll mindset to go with the All-American classic, while coffee bars may have subtle music more akin to background noise to let conversations flow and help work get done. Bars might turn it up loud in an effort to create an enjoyable atmosphere that also encourages loud talking (which may in fact encourage more drinks), and any number of ethnic-stylized locations may find that music from their home country works best; Spanish songs for Mexican cuisine, famed Italian singers for pasta locales, and the like.

There’s something that can be said for a lack of music, too. In locations where the sounds of the kitchen make enough noise, it might be ambiance enough. In other locations, such as porches and food trucks, music may just be untenable due to noise pollution laws or just generally being nice to neighbors.

Being nice to teenagers who are being a problem? Just play some classical music, and they might not be a problem for your restaurant anymore.