Monthly Archives: January 2014

February Food Holidays

February is here, and we’ve got a look at all the food-focused holidays during the month.

February 1

Don’t set fire to the 49th state, but do enjoy Baked Alaska.

February 2

Have no idea what “Heavenly Hash” is? It’s what some people call Rocky Road ice cream.

February 3

Not a fan of carrots? Toss a few into some sweets and end up with Carrot Cake.

February 4

Take some leftover carrots, mix them with some other veggies and stock, and make your own Homemade Soup. If you’re going to put mushrooms in the soup, save a few for Stuffed Mushrooms.

February 5

Enjoy chocolate with a bit of hazelnut kick, melted and dripping? Combine Nutella with Chocolate Fondue and celebrate the day in style.

February 6

Want to train your brain and fight off alzheimer’s? Practice using Chopsticks.

February 7

You can use yesterday’s skill for today, and eat a big plate of Fettuccine Alfredo.

February 8

In time for a sugary tweet? Get your fingers sticky with Molasses Bars today.

February 9

Wake up early today and enjoy Bagels and Lox. and finish it off with a Pizza Pie.

February 10

If you have some leftover cream cheese from yesterday, craft yourself a batch of Cream Cheese Brownies.

February 11

Charlie Brown may cry over missing the football with his friend Peppermint Patty, but Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk. Oh, wait, it’s a food holiday for Peppermint Patty, not the Charlie Brown character.

February 12

Hate plums? Try some Plum Pudding then. There will be no plums in it (in Victorian times, raisins were called “plums”)

February 13

My personal, childhood favorite variation on pasta, Tortellini, gets attention on this day (although I will fully admit to still loving Spaghetti-Os on a cold day).

February 14

Everything’s better stuffed, so Creme-Filled Chocolates are obviously better than regular chocolates. I think there might be some other holiday this day as well…

February 15

Other countries call them “American Hard Gums”, but we’ll know them as Gumdrops.

February 16

The tree it comes from shares the same name as the seed of it. What is an Almond, Alex?

February 17

Indian Pudding was popular during wartime, due to it’s cheapness, availability, and the fact that it left “wheat for our soldiers”.

February 18

It’s time to have a fancy dinner; enjoy Crab-Stuffed Flounder while you Drink Wine this evening.

February 19

End up sleeping off last night’s wine at a hotel? When you return to your room, enjoy the Chocolate Mint on your pillow.

February 20

Hostess may no longer be around to make them portable, but you can still enjoy a Cherry Pie today.

February 21

The best ones come coated in brown sugar and walnuts. What am I talking about? Sticky Buns.

February 22

It may be a little early in the season, but pour yourself a Margarita.

February 23

Treat yourself and your best friend with both Banana Bread and Dog Biscuit Appreciation.

February 24

You have to have bags of Tortilla Chips left over from the Super Bowl, right?

February 25

The weather outside is frightful, so an nice and hot bowl of Clam Chowder will hit the spot. For dessert, enjoy some Chocolate-Covered Nuts.

February 26

Hailing from Iran and Iraq, grab a heaping handful of Pistachios.

February 27

It might be an odd combo, but you could try to take care of both Strawberries and Kahlua in one drink.

February 28

Finish the month off with a Chocolate Soufflé, if you have the skills.

2013′s Big Game Big Ads

One year ago, we had the “big game” with its big ads. We’ve got another one coming up on Sunday, but we’ve decided to take a look back at the commercials that dominated the airwaves last year. Do you remember these? Did any of these make an impact on you? Continue reading

Do You Offer Lemons For Water?

There’s different levels of water service at restaurants. For the largest guarantee of cleanliness and safety, prepackaged water bottles are good enough, but unless you also sell bottles of soft drinks, it may look a little out of place on the menu (you do get to charge for this water, though, unlike the common mindset that poured water is free). On the other side, you have fresh poured water from a bottle or pitcher, hopefully filtered.

Filtering takes care of impurities, microscopic problems, and may simply just remove taste that’s not intended beyond H2O and fluoride that’s added to tap water.

If you go for fresh-poured water, though, you might be accidentally adding germs to the drink. The same goes for sweet tea and even some diet soft drinks. The Huffington Post reports on a study done on 76 lemons at 21 restaurants. 70% of the lemons tested (swabbing the rinds as soon as the drinks arrived) showed microbial growth, and while lemons may feature some antimicrobial properties, these microbes may have been added only recently in the preparation process. Theories could not be confirmed, but speculation leads to the contamination coming from staff, or even cross-contamination with raw meat or poultry.

Another study commissioned by ABC News reveals that a certain type of matter may be on the lemons that you want nowhere near your mouth.

One of the most frequently occurring contaminants in the test results was fecal matter. Half of the lemon wedges tested were tainted with human waste. How does fecal matter get on lemons in the first place? Cameras caught restaurant workers grabbing lemons with their bare hands, reaching in again and again without gloves or tongs. If they haven’t washed their hands well after using the bathroom, germs spread.

Reportedly, there’s a small “but distinct” risk at actually getting sick from these microbes.

How can you completely avoid this risk? You could possibly offer lemon juice in a bottle (an item that’s sold in any grocery store), or just make sure that your staff are all on the same page when it comes to lemons. Scrub and clean them like any other fruit or vegetable you would use in your restaurant, and cut them with a clean knife. If a customer asks for water, ask them if they want a lemon; not all will. Instead of putting the lemon directly in the drink, a small platter of lemons would work. Customers can then squeeze the lemon juice into the drink without the rind every touching the water, and if they want more lemons, they don’t have to bother the waitstaff; they’ve got a plate of them ready to go.

In a world of hand-santizers and antimicrobial soaps, customers will be looking for any reason to not trust the food and drink you serve; don’t let them think your lemons are at fault.