Catered or Self-Cooked Food for an Event?
As any parent knows, a new baby brings a lot of joy and very little time to do much besides attempting to keep the new baby happy and healthy. New parents are exhausted and can use more help than they often get. Though you can easily purchase them a gift from a gift registry, the following unique and thoughtful gifts will be especially appreciated. 1. Catered Meals for New Parents Sure, you may have hired a caterer for your wedding or large party, but have you ever thought of hiring a caterer to send meals to new parents? Many local caterers will make single meals, a week of meals, or more. Provide the new parents with a meal that requires little or no preparation and be sure to talk to the new mother about her food preferences before you send the gift of food. Check with a caterer such as Hegedorn’s to see what services they provide. 2. Cleaning Service A monthly cleaning service to help with regular cleaning or laundry will be a special gift that gives the new parents more time for cuddles with the new baby and older siblings. 3. Milestone Photo Service New parents may snap a photo on their phone now and then, but many won’t have the time or money to book a professional photographer to capture their baby’s milestones. Help parents remember amazing milestones, such as smiling, sitting up unassisted, and standing. The gift of a professional photographer can be expensive, but would be a great group gift. As an alternative, if you’re an amateur photographer, you can go to the new parents’ home and take the milestone photos yourself. 4. Diapers Diapers are expensive and no one enjoys driving to the drug store for a package of diapers in the middle of the night. If the parents are using a cloth diaper service, you can gift a few months of service, which will save the new parents time and money. Even if the new parents aren’t using cloth diapers, you can gift disposable diaper delivery from several major retailers. 5. Date Night The new parents will be exhausted and have little time alone. You can offer to watch the new baby for an evening and send the new parents out for dinner and a movie. Or, put together a DIY Home Date Night that includes a delivered meal and a couple of newly released movies. Whatever gift you decide to give, just remember that the new parents will appreciate the thought and any help you can...read more
Many people are familiar with the idea of, and some of the philosophy behind, wine pairings. But have you tried pairing wine with pastrami? The idea of having pastrami on rye with a glass of wine probably isn’t something many people consider. But you should. Here’s why it works. Proof that Opposites Attract When it comes to finding a wine for your pastrami, or pastrami-centric dish, you have to start with red. Red wine has traditionally gone with meat, specifically red meat. This is because red wines work at the opposite end of the taste spectrum from red meats. Red wine has a high level of dry tasting tannins (astringency). Red meat has more of a “slippery” (fatty) taste to it. So the dry and the slippery meet somewhere in the middle and cancel out the worst aspects of each other. In addition, a general rule for the red wine and red meat connection is to pair lighter reds with leaner meats. Darker reds go with richer or fattier cuts. But What About Pastrami? Traditionally, pastrami starts its eventual journey to your stomach as a cut of brisket. Pastrami is considered mostly lean. So that means you will need to pair your Rachel with a lighter red. However, the process used to create pastrami lends other flavors and textures to the meat that set it apart from other cuts and deli meats. The brisket meat is cured in brine (heavy on the salt). The meat receives a heavy coating of spices (heavy on flavor). The meat goes through a smoking process (even more, smoky flavor). The process causes the connective tissue to gel (heavy on saturated fat). These things make pastrami unique. These are also the things that will cause you to choose your red a little more carefully. Pastrami alone can have a various tastes. When used as a part of a larger meal, you may have to experiment with your reds. Ideas for Getting Started with Reds Pinot noirs and Gamay varieties are light reds that go with very lean cuts of pastrami. Also, if your pastrami accompanies other things, such as cheeses or starches, then the lighter wine will pair well with the meal as a whole. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Zinfandel varieties are fuller of body, but work well with cured, smoked meats. They work harder when they’re up against those additional spices and flavors. If you enjoy pastrami, and you enjoy wine, feel free to have fun trying different combinations. If you’ve never enjoyed a glass with your favorite pastrami dish, you may give your palate a fresh and pleasant surprise. If you work at a restaurant or counter that serves pastrami dishes, consider creating some wine pairings for people to...read more
If you love fried foods and also enjoy experiencing cuisines from other nations, then why not try our some of Africa’s favorite fried snacks? Some of the might seem a little familiar, as they have their own versions around the world, while others are unique. Sfenj or Koeksister In Northern Africa you have Sfenj. In South Africa, you have Koeksister. Both are a type of doughnut that is often dipped in sugar or honey. It is a sweet treat that will remind you of your favorite doughnuts at home. You will recognize koeksisters by the braided shape. There is even a statue in the shape of a koeksister. The yeast dough is braided, fried, and then dipped in sugar or honey to be enjoyed for breakfast with your morning coffee or tea. Mandazi Mandazi, or Swahili coconut doughnuts, are fried dough that is much less sweet than koeksister or your favorite doughnuts from the local bakery. The dough is soft and squishy. Coconut milk is used to make the dough just sweet enough, and you don’t add any sugar or honey coating. This is a lightly-sweetened snack enjoyed warm or cold. Briouat The Moroccan briouat is a fried puffy pastry filled with meat. Chicken or lamb is mixed with a few spices and some cheese before being wrapped in very thin dough called warqa. It is similar to a spring roll wrapper. It is then deep-fried until golden brown and enjoy while the filling is nice and warm. It takes some practice to fold the briouats into the perfect triangle shape. Vetkoek Vetkoek is South African fried dough that is filled with either a meat filling or a sweet dessert-like filling. It is filled after the dough is fried. You can make traditional vetkoek using a simple flour recipe or a puffier vetkoek using yeast. Once the dough is fried, you cut a slit in the warm dough to reach the center and then fill it up with your filling of choice. Fill it with meat and spice for a filling meal or with nuts, honey, or jam for dessert. Pakora or Dhaltjies In parts of South Africa, the pakora has become a traditional wedding food. You might recognize the name pakora as a famous Indian snack food. In South Africa, it is known as dhaltjies, but is the same thing as the pakora. The snack is made up of your vegetable of choice dipped in a chickpea flour batter and deep-friend into a golden fritter. Get out the hot oil and try your hand at any of these delicious African deep-fried foods. Find any of the needed ingredients online at any African food...read more
Healthy employees make better employees. Those who are healthy are less likely to get sick, which can lead to better productivity and fewer sick days. Plus, you probably want the people who work for you to be as healthy and happy as possible. As you probably already know, the way that you eat can drastically affect your overall health. Encouraging healthier eating in the office is a good idea for everyone, but you could be wondering how you can get started. Luckily, these three tips can help you encourage yourself and your employees to eat healthier, which can contribute to everyone’s overall good health and well-being. 1. Keep Water in the Office Drinking plenty of water is important for staying properly hydrated and avoiding sugary, calorie-filled juices and sodas. A great way to encourage your employees to drink more water is to offer it for free. Consider working with a water delivery service to keep fresh, delicious water on hand at all times. Then, your employees will be a lot more likely to grab a cup when they’re thirsty rather than purchasing a not-so-healthy soda. 2. Make Changes to Your Vending Machines Having vending machines in the office is a good way to provide everyone with a quick snack or a small meal during the work day. However, a lot of vending machine snacks are fattening and unhealthy. Ask your vendors to start putting healthier snacks in your vending machine, such as plain popcorn, protein bars, pretzels and trail mix. These can be far better options than the snack cakes and potato chips that usually fill vending machines. 3. Choose Healthier Meals for Office Functions Who says that you have to serve pizza and other unhealthy foods at office functions? Instead, make an effort to serve dishes that are filled with vegetables and healthy protein. Food doesn’t have to be unhealthy for it to be party-worthy. As you can see, there are a few ways that you can encourage healthier eating at the option. By following these three tips, you can help encourage good health among yourself and all of your employees, which can be a good thing for everyone who is involved. Plus, you won’t have to worry as much about expanding waistlines, which can happen easily in the workplace. Luckily, these tips are easy to implement but can make a big impact, so you can start making positive changes right...read more
If you’re planning on getting bottled water delivered to your home or office, then consider choosing spring water. You have the option of spring or distilled water. One problem with choosing distilled water is that it lacks minerals, which are very important to your health. If the water comes from a spring, it will have an abundance of minerals. You can choose a sparkling mineral water, or a flat one. Here is a list of some of the beneficial minerals that you will find in most bottled spring water. Calcium Everyone has heard that calcium is good for bones. However, it is also very important for a healthy heart and nervous system. Additionally, it is important in maintaining healthy blood pressure. In fact, mineral water is perfect for people who are looking to lower their blood pressure because of the combination of calcium and potassium. These two minerals are thought to be extremely beneficial in lowering high blood pressure. If you want to avoid dairy, then mineral water is a great way to get the calcium your body needs. Potassium Potassium is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure. It is also important for regulating your heartbeat. A deficiency in potassium can result in both high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. Potassium is also important for bone health. Everyone hears about calcium being important, but potassium should not be neglected. One study showed that elderly women who had lower levels of potassium in their diets had a higher incidence of osteoporosis. Magnesium This mineral is important for muscle health. It can help prevent muscle cramps. A deficiency can lead to serious problems such as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and even neurological problems which result in seizures. One recent study by the World Health Organization said that over seventy percent of the American public was deficient in magnesium. On a different front, it is important for helping you get a good night’s sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, you might want to try mineral water that is high in magnesium before you resort to sleeping pills. Bicarbonate Bicarbonate helps to maintain a good pH level in your stomach. An improper pH level can cause upset stomach, and can inflame ulcers. The bicarbonate helps to lower the pH level if it is too acidic. Also, there have been studies that have shown that bicarbonate will help prevent kidney stones in people who eat a diet that is very rich in protein. For more information, contact Mountain Valley Water or a similar...read more