Family * Travel * Food

Aug 6, 2021

Get Bella Luna Blue One Day Only 8/22 #myadagio

This month on the 22nd we are expected to have a blue moon. This means that Adagio Teas will have their rare blend, Bella Luna Blue, for sale. They only sell it on blue moon days, so you will need to sign up for a notification to get yours. 

You are probably wondering what Bella Luna Blue tea is. It is a loose leaf tea blended with Butterfly Pea Flower, lemon grass and natural blueberry flavor. If you are familiar with Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, then you know it brews up in the most brilliant blue color. It has been used as a natural dye for centuries! Once blended with lemon grass and blueberry flavor, you end up with happiness in a cup (or glass). This full leaf tea is truly something special, and can be enjoyed either hot or iced. 



One thing that makes this loose-tea so unique is that it does a magic trick right before your eyes. A little bit of lemon juice transforms this tea into the most beautiful color. Just look at the before and after. 



Check out this video to see the transformation in action.

Today's post is sponsored by our brand partner, Adagio Teas. All opinions are our own as usual. 
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Apr 5, 2021

What to Look for in a Home Bar Furniture

Home entertainment means getting a bar where refreshments and delicious food will be served. You don't need to go to a local pub to entertain guests. You can instead give them an aged wine and fruits while catching up with each other.

If you're planning to make a bar that's cozy and inviting, you need to look for a design that will complement the overall décor of your home. It should be comfortable where guests can wander into the kitchen when the food that they are looking for is not available in the bar. Make sure your design is still eye-catching and elegant, possibly with a pop of color from a neon sign or light from a website like Neon Mama to really bring the bar to life. The seats should be high enough, and there should be plenty of shelves for the drinks. 

What to Look For when Designing

1. Cozy and Dark

Dark colors and palettes are ideal for a home bar. You can mimic the ambiance and character of the bar where you frequent. The clubs usually have lights and several comfortable seats from a legitimate home bar furniture website that will give them a great time. Choose recessed lights and install them accordingly. Add some ceiling pendants if you feel like it for a more natural, cozy, and romantic ambiance.

Some of the darker colors may manifest when the room is receiving natural light. This is perfect when the other colors of the surrounding areas are blue, black, or neutral tones. The cozy atmosphere is where you can get into conversations that are meaningful and enjoyable. 


2. Know the Right Appliances to Add

When you're in the process of designing your home bar, it's essential to choose the right furniture and appliance. Decide whether it's ideal for you to get a dry or wet bar. You may want to install a fridge or sink nearby for easier preparation of delicacies. Some add microwaves so they can eat their morning toasts at the bar before they go to work.

Include the costs of electricity, plumbing, and other utilities into the budgeting. Many homeowners may add asymmetrical patterns on the shelves and geometric designs to emphasize their decors. Others may prefer higher stools. The wooden varieties can offer aesthetics and a more chic environment, especially when the bar is near the living area. Know more on how you can throw club parties at home in this link

With endless designs available for the ceiling pendants, you can create unique lightings that are more to your tastes. Some showcase their bars with silver and gold hardware, luxury materials, and many textures with pops of colors for accents. The velvet bar stools will never go out of style, and they are easy to clean as well. Two-tiered islands are also more common so that guests can socialize, drink, and eat simultaneously.

3. Eclectic Designs

With the popularity of these areas nowadays, it's not surprising that other people begin to convert their older carriage house into a modern and chic room. The interiors of an old carriage behind a Victorian mansion have undergone a complete transformation that it's unrecognizable from its old appearance.
Some owners decide that recycled bottles are still in, but this doesn't mean that they have to sacrifice style. They were able to turn the bottles into light fixtures and combined them with ceramic tiles for added patterns. The sleek and casual fixture was warmed up by natural wood seats and walnut walls that the creativity resulted in an excellent organic and glamorous space.

While many think that a home's interior should be formal and more serious than the outside, the impact of laid-back and casual spaces shouldn't be totally discounted. In many homes, the bar's aesthetic gets the guest into a playful mood, and these are usually the beginning of fun conversations in eclectic homes.

The wallpaper should complete the look, but you can also add some light fixtures like sun-shaped lamps if you feel like it. Personalized bars often have blackboards as well where guests can write their notes and quotes, and you'll never go wrong with these.


4. Luxury is Always Welcome

Grand and extravagant bars often feel welcoming if this is within your budget. In many homes, the luxurious setting made these areas a centerpiece of the house where the guests go first to have a drink and relax. 

Ceiling pendants and recessed lights can dim the environment, but you can also get an interior designer's help for other ideas. Read more about the pros and cons of recessed lights here: https://www.thespruce.com/recessed-lighting-pros-and-cons-1821552. You can upgrade to the glasses and silverware so that they can match the room's aesthetic ambiance.

When you're still deciding on the room's layout, you need to position the bar in a way that it's not going to be an obstacle. It should follow the rooms' natural flow, and it should be integrated between the dining and living areas so they can be versatile spaces. This way, both rooms' luxurious ambiance can be incorporated into the bar, and everything will look more seamless.
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Apr 3, 2021

What Are the Different Types of Tequila Available?

Anyone who has tasted tequila can testify to its unique and exciting taste. It is a distilled drink that is produced from fermented blue agave plants. It originates from Mexico and has become a worldwide phenomenon. It is popularly consumed more in Mexico and the United States.

It is a unique liquor and can only be produced in certain regions of Mexico. These cities include Tequila, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tamaulipas. Those produced elsewhere do not qualify to be regarded as such.

Tequila can be consumed in a variety of ways. This can be straight or neat without adding anything but taken as a shot. Some shots are taken with lime and salt. This is because the salt lessens its burn in the mouth and throat while the lime enhances its flavor.

Some people prefer to enjoy theirs by swirling it around a glass, taking in its aroma and then sipping it. A final way it can be consumed is by adding it as an ingredient in other drinks such as margaritas. You can check out this and more in this article.

Types of Tequila Drinks

Although tequila may be made from the same plant and the same region, they do not all taste the same. They are of different types and each one tastes differently from the others. Here are the five main types available.

Blanco
Blanco has several aliases. It can be referred to as Silver, White, Platinum, or Plata. It is the youngest tequila type and it is made from 100% pure blue Weber agave. Typically, it is freshly distilled and aged for only a few weeks which makes it sweet.

Because Blanco does not spend time in aging, it remains clear and silverish. Some distillers may age it for up to two months for a smoother taste. Blanco is also one of the best for making margaritas.

Joven
Joven is a Spanish word that means “young”. This drink is most times a mixto. A mixto means it is a blend of other drinks often Reposado, Anejo and Silver and other additives. It is golden in color and known by different monikers like Gold, Oro, or Dorado.

Joven gets its color from additives and flavoring agents such as caramel coloring and grain alcohol. If you find a Blanco bottle named Joven, it means is a mixto of some aged tequila with an unaged one.

Reposado
Have you like many asked what is a Reposado? Just so you know, it is a Spanish word that means “rested”. This name is in reference to this drink being aged in wood casks from between two months to one year. A lot of distilleries often age their Reposado in bourbon barrels. This adds bourbon flavors to the final product.

The process of aging Reposado adds some natural golden color and subtle hints of flavors like nuts, coffee and vanilla. This tequila can be enjoyed straight or used in cocktails. It makes margaritas more dynamic and full of flavors. 

Anejo
Anejo means aged. It is a drink that is aged for at least a year or more in oak barrels. What this does is that it loses its agave characteristics, turns amber and takes on the flavor of the barrel. It also results in a rich and smooth drink with hints of caramel and butterscotch.

Anejo can be likened to when tequila has been made to grow and lose its innocence. It is delicious and can be used as a whiskey substitute. The best way to enjoy it is neat or neat with water.

Extra Anejo
These are ultra-aged tequilas. They have been aged for a minimum of three years and are darker. It is mahogany in color with a complex and smooth flavor. They are usually best sipped alone instead of using it as a mix for other drinks.

Which Tequila Type is The Best?

This is based solely on what you prefer and whatever you intend to use it for. It is best to use either a Blanco or a Reposado for making margaritas. Anejo and Extra Anejo may also be used only that they would give your drink a caramel and oaky flavor.

Also, bear in mind that the more it is aged, the more expensive it becomes. This means Anejo and Extra Anejo are generally more expensive than the rest. You can checkout the guide to buying tequila here https://www.simplyrecipes.com/what_tequila_should_you_buy to learn more.

Conclusion
Tequila is one of the best liquors that you can drink. Like most drinks, it is available in different variants based on the age of the drink. The best type to choose is dependent on the drinker but the aged ones seem to taste better.
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Feb 15, 2021

7 Reasons to Use a Service for Fresh and Ready Meals

Fresh and ready meals can transform your health objectives by bringing nutrition to the front of the priority list, without the hassle and extra time required for cooking and meal preparation. As a result of this excellent nutritional opportunity, it is important to invest time into selecting the best-prepared meal service to meet your needs. Like with other services, not all prepared meal companies are created equally. Therefore, if you seek meals you will eat and enjoy then you must know all considerations and avoidances.

The following will teach you seven reasons why you might want to try a meal service that offers fresh, healthy meals. 

One: Consumer-Friendly Packaging

Packaging that is excessive and not environmentally-friendly should be avoided. Also, BPA plastics are on the “do not use” list for the environment and your body, so you want to avoid them. That means you want to find meals prepared in modern, eco-friendly packaging that is BPA-free. These containers must be well-sealed and recyclable to minimize your environmental footprint. 

Two: Convenience

Some meal kits ship individually portioned ingredients, so you can cook your food easily at home without trips to the grocery store. If you desire convenience, then choose the prepared meal option. These are meals you can have delivered, refrigerate for future use, microwave, and eat out of the dish.

Three: Customer Service

Like with any product or service, customer service can make or break a company and a prepared meal business is no different. If any company does not value its customers and satisfaction over all else, then you must keep looking. 

Four: Easy-to-Read Information

If a fresh and ready meal service doesn’t provide accessible, easy-to-read nutritional information about all meals, it’s time to move. Having access to the nutritional information about what you consume delivers the insights required to meet nutrition and health goals. This is critical if you are following a specific diet, like Keto. 

Five: Flexibility

Many fresh and ready meal provides will not budget on your plan after signing up. However, part of eating healthier is finding what works and doesn’t so you are going to want to make changes. Therefore, if you need to change meal plans or put your plan on hold for a vacation, don’t opt for a service that does not allow changes. Instead, find a prepared meal service that offers flexibility in their plans and meal options. Request customer reviews and testimonials to set the expectation. 

Six: Healthy Ingredients

If you are utilizing a prepared meal service, then never pay for subpar ingredients. First and foremost, a prepared meal company is a business, many of which will compromise the final product for the consumer to save on their bottom line. Therefore, find companies that utilize local and organic produce and other ingredients. Search for services offering whole ingredients to maximize health benefits. 

Seven: Variety of Options

How boring would dinner be if you are eating the same meal three or four times per week? It’s certainly a good deterrent from reaching your nutritional goals. A fresh and ready meal service should allow you to choose the meals and not have them decided for you. That means, the best services provide a variety of choices ahead of time, not just one or two, so you can meet your goals and maintain a healthy biome.

In summary, healthy meal services can be a life-changing endeavor. With their nutritional deliciousness, you can free up time to focus on other healthy activities without ending up in the drive-thru line at 9 PM. To get the most out of a fresh and ready meal service, you must know when to pursue and when to run, while knowing exactly what to expect from the provider.

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Feb 12, 2021

TikTok Feta Pasta Recipe

Many of you who use the TikTok app or even Instagram might have seen the viral recipe that originated in Finland for Feta Pasta. Apparently this recipe became so popular that grocery stores were completely sold out of feta. The basic idea behind the recipe is to start with cherry or grape tomatoes, a block of feta cheese, and seasonings that gets baked, and then pasta is added.  If you search the #fetapasta hashtag you will see thousands of videos showing so many variations. I admit I don't normally hop on the bandwagon with what's popular on TikTok, but I knew I had to try this dish. 

I was a tad nervous about the idea of using an entire block of feta and wondered if it would be overpowering. Good thing I didn't let that stop me, because the flavor was absolutely wonderful. It was tangy, but in the best way! I did check out several recipes so that I could get a better idea of what I wanted to do to make this dish my own. I shared my results on Instagram and received a lot of positive comments. It turned out that not too many people had heard about it, so I thought I was share a step-by-step recipe with pictures to show you how to make it. 

Here are the ingredients you'll need: 

Cherry or grape tomatoes (one pint per block of feta)
A block of  Feta cheese (can use vegan feta)
Fresh garlic (if cloves are huge, cut in half)
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Seasonings I recommend: Sea salt, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried herbs like Oregano, Basil, parsley or Italian seasoning
Pasta of your choice (I used mini Farfalle)

Optional: 

fresh spinach
Grilled chicken or shrimp

How to make it

1. Heat your oven to 400°. Start by adding your tomatoes and garlic cloves to a baking dish, then drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Make sure the tomatoes are well coated. Make a space in the middle of the baking dish to place your block of feta cheese. Drizzle more olive oil and add more seasoning. 
2. Once the oven has come to temperature, place your tomatoes and feta in oven and bake for 30 minutes. If want the tomatoes and cheese to get a little brown, you can broil on high in the last few minutes or turn on the convection feature if you have that option. Cook your pasta in well-salted water while this step in being done, and set aside one cup of the cooked pasta water. 
3. Take a large fork or spoon to lightly smash the tomatoes and mix it with the feta. Make sure to smash up your garlic cloves first so you don't forget, otherwise you'll have huge chunks.  

4. Now add your fresh basil and spinach. 

5. It's time to add your pasta and gradually add the pasta water depending on how saucy you want it to be. The pasta will absorb the liquid so I added the whole cup. I promise it won't be watery. 
6. Top with grilled chicken or shrimp and enjoy! 

Tips and recommendations: 

  • Do not skip the fresh basil or red pepper flakes. Both of them add so much flavor! 
  • If you can't get a block of feta cheese, crumbles will work just as well. Add it in the middle of the baking dish the best you can. You might need a larger size container, so keep that in mind. 
  • If you don't like feta cheese, you can use goat cheese or Boursin 
  • If you are making a larger batch, you can double the ingredients. Be sure to use a large enough baking dish to give enough space to add your pasta. 
  • I highly recommend reserving some of the pasta water to keep your pasta from being too dry. Do this by using a glass measuring cup or any heat-proof cup and scoop out some of the water from the cooked pasta before draining. You can add as much or as little as you like. 

Check out these other popular recipes: 

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Nov 25, 2020

Working In a Grocery Store

From the outside looking in, working in a grocery store seems like a pretty simple job. Stocking shelves or icing cake all day may even look easier than your high-pressure job, but this career comes with its own struggles. Being an employee in a grocery store isn't all stocking shelves and cleaning food display cases; it's a lot of hard work and requires superb customer service skills. If you're thinking about joining the team at your local grocery store, there are a few things you should know and consider before applying for a position. 

Schedule

The most important thing to accept if you're going into the grocery business is that you won't have control over your schedule. Most employees are able to get a somewhat stable schedule, but it can change at a moment's notice based on the store's or your department's needs. Additionally, don't bet on having weekends off. Weekends are the busiest times for grocery stores and often require all hands on deck, so if you aren't available to work on Saturdays and Sundays, it might be a problem. The holidays are another big push for grocery stores and usually require all staff to work as much as possible. This means long hours, weekends, nights, and early mornings to keep the store running. Some stores even refuse to let employees take time off during holidays, so prepared for that discussion if you're trying to plan a holiday vacation.

Attitude

A calm, collected employee is the gold standard in grocery stores. Things can get hectic quick; you might spill heavy cream all over the bakery floor while a customer is yelling about a messed up order and your frustrated coworker keeps shooting you "can you believe this?" eyes. That's a lot to handle at once! Staying calm under pressure will help you to navigate the many stressful situations that can pop up when you work in customer service and with various raw materials. It's also important to remain positive and helpful because you're the face of the store with the customers. They'll come to you with questions, concerns, and problems, and you'll need to handle them respectfully and completely while reassuring the customer. If you're not a people person, working in this industry probably isn't the best fit for you.

Grocery store jobs may seem easy and care free, but they can be very stressful and require a certain kind of person to thrive.

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Benefits of Shopping at an Online Italian Grocery Store


There is something special about Italian food. While there are many foods from around the world that are delicious to eat, there is just something about Italian food. Perhaps it is the love and passion that goes into making the food that makes the flavors burst in your mouth. Every bite makes you feel like you have been wrapped in love and warmth. Not everyone was blessed with an Italian grandmother to feed us, but that does not mean we cannot get the best food available. This is when an Italian grocery store can be the best thing ever. Not only do you have access to an Italian grocery store, but you can order online. As if you have not been convinced already, here are some more benefits to ordering Italian food online.

You can get all of your favorite foods and spices delivered directly to your door. You never have to leave the comfort of your home to get all the items to make your favorite Italian dish. There may be items and spices that you just cannot find at your local grocery store. Ordering online allows you to have access to all of your favorites quickly and easily. Another obvious benefit is you do not have to stand in long lines to purchase your items. Many Italian grocery stores are small or packed full of amazing items and you want to see them all, but so does everyone else. When you order online, you do not have to compete with anyone else looking at the same items. You do not have to get jostled or feel rushed while browsing. You can take all the time you want.

While there are many items that catch your eye while walking through the store, you probably do not need most of them. Something about being in the store will entice to make that impulse buy. Not to say that it cannot happen online, but the chances decrease when you are online. You do not have to walk through the check out area with all of those chocolates or something else that tempts you. When shopping online, you are more likely to stick to your list. Since you do not feel rushed you are less likely to may an impulsive decision because you can take all the time you want to think about it. You are able to shop anytime you want, even if it is the middle of the night. You are not subject to the hours that the store is open. 

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5 Crucial Things to Include on Your Party Planning List

Invitations, check. Drinks, check. Décor, check. Now what else do you need to host an awesome party? As fun as celebrations can be, they’re also a lot of pressure on the people who are going to be hosting them. You’ve got a lot to remember before the big day and various important aspects to organize, so it’s easy for something to slip through the crack.

If you want to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch, then you might consider using a party planning checklist to guide you. We’re going to help you out with avoiding catastrophes by reminding you of some of the things you need to include on that list. 

1. The Date and Time
Choosing the right date and time is one of the most important parts of planning a successful party. You need to pick a day that’s suitable for the guest of honor at your party, but it’s also worth thinking about the other people who are going to be attending too. For instance, do you need to choose a weekend so most of the visitors aren’t going to be at work?

If you’ve got a close-knit group of friends and relatives it might be helpful to check that the date you choose doesn’t clash with any events or significant holidays around the same time too. You don’t want people to have to choose which party to go to. 

2. The Venue
Where is your party going to be? Are you having a quiet get-together at home, or hosting a wine tasting event at your local bar? Do you need to go and hire a specific location, and how will the people attending your party be able to get there? Are there going to be parking spots nearby?

There are various aspects to the venue that you need to be aware of when you’re making the right choice. For instance, think about how many people this location can hold, and how big the celebration is going to be. It’s also worth checking whether you can decorate the venue yourself, or whether they’ll help you out and do that for you. What are the rules about music and curfews, and can the venue sell alcohol to your guests?

3. Booking the Professionals
Depending on the kind of party you’re hosting, you might need to get some professionals involved to help you out. For instance, if it’s a big event, you might want an entertainer to keep the kids and your guests happy. You might hire a magician, for instance, or a local band to play some music. On the other hand, you might just opt for a DJ to mix some tracks for you on the day. 

Other professionals might include caterers that you need to hire to help you out with feeding everyone who’s coming to your party. You might be able to do some of the cooking and prep at home if you’re not catering for too many people. However, bigger events often require some help. 

4. The Gift Situation
Presents are a common part of a great party situation, but there are sometimes rules to consider on the gifts that you’re going to give. Are you going to have a gift exchange where everyone can share presents as part of the party experience, or do you need a table where people can pile the gifts that they’ve brought for the person that you’re celebrating – for them to open later. If you’re all going to be exchanging gifts, do you want to stick to a specific budget or theme?

Depending on the nature of the party, it can be helpful to include some extra details about gifts on the invitation, so people know what to expect, and how to plan. For instance, for some parties, you might ask that people send the gifts straight to the person’s home, rather than bringing them to the venue. 

5. The Must-Haves
Finally, create a small list of absolutely essential things that you really need to prioritize above anything else. These are the things that you want to spend extra time and attention on, because if everything else goes wrong, you know they’re going to save the party. 

The must-haves on your party planning list will depend on the nature of the party, and what you consider to be important. For some people, the right music will be crucial, whereas for others it’s all about the catering. Bring this part of your checklist to the top, and get help making sure that everything you need is available. 
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Oct 27, 2020

Get Your 2020 Tea Advent Calendar and Gift Set From Adagio Teas

It's almost the most wonderful time of year again! The holiday season is about to be here, and it's time to start planning accordingly. While this year looks a whole lot different than previous years, it doesn't mean we shouldn't make the most of it. We plan to enjoy the holiday festivities as much as possible, and treat ourselves a bit more.  

To kick things off this holiday season, we are partnering with Adagio Teas to introduce their 
NEW 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar and their NEW 12 Days of Tea Gift Set. Tea is a staple in my home, and Adagio teas are the best we have ever had. My husband has been ordering some very specific blends for a few years now, but we have not tried the holiday blends yet. 


The 12 Days of Tea Gift Set is beautifully boxed and ready for gift-giving. This gift set has 12 different loose teas in some very festive flavor blends. Each single-serving pouch of loose tea is packed in a mini tin that can be used as ornaments. At only $19, it's a great value to treat yourself and the tea lovers in your life. 


The 12 Days of Tea gift set include these teas: White Pear, Rooibos Pecan Turtle, Lavender Lemon, Candy Cane, Golden Monkey, Jasmine Phoenix Pearls, Blue Mango, Cream, Cha Cha, Earl Grey Bravo, Fruit Medley, and Rooibos Nutcracker.



Get ready to countdown the days to Christmas with the 2020 Tea Advent Calendar. Behind each door is one festive blend after the other to enjoy each day until the big day! 


The Tea Advent calendar is $29 and you can choose either tea bags or loose tea. We can't wait to find out what variety of tea is behind each door! 

Either one of these tea gifts are sure to please any tea lover! Be sure to check out Adagio Teas on their website for their wide variety of teas and tea-related accessories. They definitely make the perfect holiday gifts for friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and for YOUrself! 



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Oct 8, 2020

6 Tips to Help You Start Your Owning Catering Business

Starting your own catering business can be a great choice that can help you be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. On top of this, you get the opportunity to work from home and establish an outstanding work-life balance.

In this article, we are going to talk about six tips to help you get started! Sound interesting? Then keep on reading!


Choose a catering style
The very first step in starting a catering company is to choose a particular style. For example, you might think about focusing on business events, weddings, or funeral wakes. You also can decide what style of food you will be making. While some caterers offer both sweet and savory options, others offer grazing platters or desserts only.

Design a menu
Once you’ve got an idea of what type of catering services you will be offering, you can then move on to designing a menu. This is the tricky part, as you want to be able to serve great food, easily and quickly. You have to remember that you will be serving multiple guests, so you need to be able to do most of the preparation in advance. Check out these tips for planning a menu for more inspiration and advice.


Sort out the paperwork 
Just like any other business, there is always going to be paperwork to sort out before you can operate. Permits, licenses, and tax forms all need to be completed before you can start serving your clients. It may be irritating, but it’s better to get it sorted out first to avoid issues further on down the track.

Source your ingredients
Once you’ve got a menu established, you can also start sourcing your ingredients. In order to save money, try shopping at local markets. You might even look at finding a distributor. You can get chicken meat by poultryeu.eu and even find fresh fruit and veg wholesalers to make your overall ingredient costs much more affordable.


Purchase the necessary equipment 
Just like the ingredients, there is also going to be equipment that you need before starting your catering business. You will need to invest in catering delivery bags to transport food. From platters, cooking gadgets, and cutlery, there is certainly a lot to think about. Try searching for items that you can buy in bulk, and don’t forget to check out garage sales and thrift stores. You never know what you might find!

Advertise
Lastly, once all that is in order, you can now move on to advertising your business! Get creative with different methods, such as social media, print, and radio advertising. There are many different options, but make sure you stick to a budget so that you don’t go overboard. Check out these inexpensive ways to advertise your small business if you are a bit strapped for cash!

And that’s it! These were six different tips to start your own catering business. You’ll have everything ready in no time and be on your way to establishing a successful company out of your own home. Good luck!

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Sep 2, 2020

What To Know Before Opening a Brewery

The number of breweries in the United States has increased dramatically in the past ten years. People have steered away from the standard pilsners and are more interested in craft beers. If you've been experimenting with home brewing, you might find yourself looking to expand and open a brewery of your own. Here are some things you'll want to consider before you get started though.
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Choose a Location

It can be challenging to find the perfect location for your brewery. You need to find a place where people will feel comfortable and can relax and enjoy a beer together. However, your location also needs to be suitable to actually brewing the beer. The place you choose will set the tone for your brewery, so you want somewhere that gives off the right vibes for what you're going for. There are some really unique locations out there, such as an abandoned warehouse, an old high school, an empty factory, or you can always decide to build something more modern.

Know the Laws

Alcohol laws can get a little bit tricky, so it's important that you do your research in advance. Some places don't actually allow breweries to open in the county, so check before you make any big decisions. You'll want to look at whether you need a TABC permit or what other sorts of liquor license you might require. Some states allow people to buy cans from the breweries, while others only allow consumption on site. Check the laws in your area to find out more information.
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Find Your Focus

There are many different styles of beer out there. You'll need to figure out if you want to make a batch of each kind or whether you want to focus more on a particular style. For instance, some breweries are known for their sour beers, while others mostly put out India Pale Ales. While having a few different styles available is always a good idea, having a focus can help you master a particular style.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if beer is your passion, it can be well worth it to get to share your love of beer with others. Take your time and be sure you're doing everything the right way. Talk to other brewery owners and get help along the way. Once your brewery is open, you'll find that all of your hard work has paid off.

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Jun 13, 2020

Delicious Mashed Sweet Potatoes Side Dish Recipe

Are you a fan of sweet potatoes? They have been a family favorite in my home for decades. My husband and kids love the classic Southern style candied yams, while I prefer a them baked or as a mashed sweet potato side dish. One of our favorite steakhouses makes a delectable sweet potato casserole. While I do love it, the topping adds so much extra sugar that can be a bit too much.

I have experimented with sweet potatoes and finally came up with the winning combination that makes for a delicious side dish. I like serving mashed sweet potatoes with pretty much any protein and some steamed or sauteed veggies. I used to bake the sweet potatoes in the oven, but it takes way too long and heats my kitchen up a lot, especially during the warmer months. Now I use my electric pressure cooker which takes about one third of the time to bake them to perfection.

The first step is choosing sweet potatoes that are very close to the same size and thickness. This ensures that they will all cook through properly. Trust me, I've used different sizes before and it was a disaster! I recommend going with smaller, slimmer potatoes if they are available. It might all be in my head, but I find them to have a smoother texture and a sweeter taste.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Side Dish Recipe

Ingredients: 

4 small to medium size sweet potatoes
3 tbsp salted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt

Preparation: 

Rinse off sweet potatoes with cold water and dry with paper towels. Pierce whole sweet potatoes with a fork in multiple places. Pour 1 1/4 cup water in the bottom of your pressure cooker. Place rack on the bottom. Place whole sweet potatoes on rack as evenly as you can. Set pressure cooker on low setting for 14 minutes. I use a Cuisinart 6-qt pressure cooker, so you might have to check your instruction manual for the brand you have. 

Let sweet potatoes sit for 5 minutes when the cooking process ends, then release the remaining pressure. Place potatoes on a plate and carefully remove the skin and place in a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Give it a taste to see if you need to add any additional brown sugar or syrup if needed. 

Transfer sweet potatoes to a oven-proof baking dish. Add several tiny pieces of butter on top of potatoes (optional) and microwave for 5 minutes or bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite fish, chicken or beef dish. Enjoy! 


This sweet potato dish is so creamy and delicious! You can make it as sweet as you like. If you aren't a fan of maple syrup, you can omit it and add a little bit of cinnamon and some vanilla extract. 


Our favorite main dishes we enjoy pairing with these mashed sweet potatoes are meatloaf, salmon, air fried chicken thighs and ribeye steaks. We also love to serve it at holiday dinners along with this mac and cheese recipe
If you are a sweet potato lover, you will definitely enjoy this recipe. If you decide to give it a try, drop me a line and let me know what you thought of it. Thank you so much for stopping by today! 
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Jun 12, 2020

Give Dad A Tasty Gift From Gourmet Gift Baskets This Father's Day

Father's Day is rapidly approaching, and it's not too late to have the perfect gift delivered in time for the special men in our lives. For years we have used Gourmet Gift Baskets to send our beloved friends and family delicious treats and snacks as gifts for different occasions. Seriously, I think food gifts are the best thing to receive. Once you know what types of snacks the recipient likes, it's a breeze to pick out the perfect gift.


Most dads would agree that meat and cheese are their favorite food groups. The Gourmet Meat & Cheese Sampler Deluxe is definitely a winner. It comes with 2 types of Summer sausage, 4 different cheeses, 2 boxes of crackers/flatbread, and a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. This makes a perfect evening snack to have while Dad catches up on his favorite TV series on Netflix. 


The Summer sausage paired with any of the cheeses on top of a cracker is SO good! This is a gift that Dad might not be willing to share.


Another fantastic gift is for beer lovers. The Beer Expert Trio is sure to put a smile on Dad's face. It comes packed neatly complete with 3 large cans of beer, and tasty snacks that pair wonderfully. You can tell by the way each gourmet gift basket is packaged that it is done with care. Each package comes with its own card that is attached inside the outer shipping label. This makes gifting even easier since you don't have to worry about sending a card.


Again, crackers topped with Summer sausage and cheese is the ultimate dad snack. It's even better with a cold beer to wash it down. Father's Day weekend is going to be great!


Gourmet Gift Baskets offers so many choices that are sure to please any dad in your life. They have everything from savory bites, wine, beer, sweets of all kinds, fruit, and so much more. There's something for every taste and budget. Some gifts even have FREE shipping. If you sign up for their email list, you will receive 10% off your first purchase. 
We highly recommend Gourmet Gift Baskets as a gift for Father's Day, birthdays, thank yous, get well soon, anniversaries, and even just because! The person receiving it will feel extra special and loved.

Are you a fan of food gifts? 
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May 14, 2020

Alaskan Cod In A Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce (Recipe)

Do you feel like you are forever stuck in the rut of figuring out what to cook? It seems like many of us have the exact same menu that rotates week-to-week. I am always up for trying something different for dinner. I am happy to be partnered with Sitka Salmon Shares to show you what's been cookin' in my kitchen. 

A little background on Sitka Salmon Shares: 
  • Wild: Wild-caught from the pristine waters of Southeast Alaska and the North Pacific
  • Sustainable: Harvested using hook-and-line methods to minimize negative ecological impact
  • Traceable: Our relationships ensure that your fish is traceable to the boats of our fishermen-owners and trusted community partners
  • Fishermen-centered: Individually caught by one of our fisherman-owners or partner fishermen (who we hope are on their way to ownership!). Fishermen ownership makes us distinct from our competition and creates a more just system that values hard work, high-quality fish and low-impact harvesting methods.
  • Just: Our fishermen receive an average of 20-30% more for their harvest, which can equate to $10,000 extra income in a given season
  • Premium: Blast-frozen at the peak of freshness to ensure the highest quality, guaranteed
  • Convenient: Home delivered directly to your door, with recipes and a newsletter about the fishermen who caught that month’s share
  • Conscious: Carbon offsets purchased and 1% of revenue donated to efforts promoting small-scale fisheries and conservation in Alaska.  


The April share box was Wild Alaskan Pacific Cod. The box was completely full of blast-frozen cod just waiting to be cooked. This has been a life-saver since meats are harder to come by these days. Plus, fish is healthier overall anyway. Cod has always been a tricky fish for me, so I knew I had to find a way to cook it so it would not be dry and tough. 


I poked around on Pinterest looking for some inspiration. I decided on baking the cod in a creamy lemon butter sauce. I used this recipe as a guide, but made a few alterations to suit my family's taste. 

Alaskan Cod in a Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

2 lbs Cod filets cut into smaller portions
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cloves of finely minced garlic
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Creole or seafood seasoning (optional)
finely chopped red onion (optional)

How to cook the fish:

1. Heat oven 390°. Arrange the fish filets in a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and Creole or seafood seasoning. Sprinkle red onion on top of fish. 
2. Melt butter and add mustard, garlic, lemon juice, cream, and a little salt and pepper. Pour over fish, and bake for 12-15 minutes (based on thickness of filets) until cooked through. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices. 
3. Serve with desired sides such as rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli or asparagus. Enjoy!

Note: If sauce is too thin, you can transfer sauce into a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes to thicken. 



This was one very delicious dish! Even my picky 12-year-old devoured it. The fish had such a nice firm texture. It flaked beautifully and was not dry at all. This entree has already been requested again. Good thing we received so much fish in this share! 



How does Sitka Salmon Shares work? 
Community Supported Fishery (CSF) members purchase their very own "shares" of their harvest. Similar to preorders or vegetable shares ordered through your favorite CSA, these purchases determine how much fish their fishermen catch! After that, CSF members receive a monthly home seafood delivery - their "share" - of their wild Alaskan catch, ranging 4.5-5lbs per month and ranging 3-9 months during the CSF season (April thru December). Prices range from $18 to $28 per pound, depending on the species you choose and the quantity you buy. Shipping is also FREE, which is a plus! 

Right now, Mom Files readers can get $25 off any share except for the Taste of Fall share, using our affiliate code: MomFiles. Your share will be well packaged to stay completely frozen for several hours after the delivery is made. Shares start as low as $109 per month. If that seems like a lot to you, I assure you that it's well worth it. What you get in your local grocery store can't compare to the quality you get from Sitka Salmon Shares. The salmon we had a few months back was the best we ever tasted hands down!  It's a great feeling knowing that your monthly shares helps keep small fisherman in business. Here is the delivery schedule for upcoming shares. Just enter your zip code.

We hope you will give Sitka Salmon Shares a try. Please stay safe and healthy, and thank you for stopping by today! 

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