Italian sandwich

What exactly is it that makes an Italian Sandwich taste so great? It could be the bread, the vinaigrette, spicy meats, or perhaps the pepperoncini rings piled on top. Maybe it’s the unique combination of these individually wonderful foods exploding with flavor on your tastebuds. Let’s break down the makings of the Italian Sandwich to what ingredients come together to make it so tasty.

What kind of bread do you use for your Italian sandwich?

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teeth friendly foods for kid's lunch

Packing lunch for your child has many perks: it’s cheaper, it’s healthier, and it’s probably a whole lot easier for your kid. It can also be a lot better for his or her teeth. We will divide the lunch up into the different groups to help you maximize the potential of the lunch – no one wants to eat the same thing every single day! Make sure you choose teeth friendly foods for kid’s lunches.

  1. Drink

The best beverage choices for your child’s lunchbox include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Water is the best choice because it helps wash out some of the debris and doesn’t have any sugar that will last in his or her mouth all day long.  Milk is also a good choice, but try to use regular milk instead of chocolate milk so there is less sugar. Do not send soda or sweetened juices as the day-long exposure (barring that he or she doesn’t brush after the meal) exposes teeth to constant sugar and decay.

 

Avoid: sodas, coffee, sweetened teas, juices, and sports drinks.

 

  1. Entree

Research published in General Dentistry earlier this year reported that 12- to 15-year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than those who ate sugar-free yogurt or drank a glass of milk. Add some cheese to a sandwich to help with after lunch acidity, especially if your child has an early lunch time.

 

Speaking of the sandwich, stick with whole grain breads and actual meat cuts when preparing it. White breads turn to sugar and have a tendency to stick in your teeth. Lunch meats from the deli are full of sodium, which dries out the mouth. Dry mouth can lead to decay and gum troubles, especially if it is a daily occurrence. Go for whole cuts of meats, like chicken or turkey breasts.

 

Avoid: white flour items, pastas, salty foods, and foods that aren’t naturally crunchy.

 

  1. Snacks

If your child doesn’t like sandwiches, or you want to mix it up a little, send snacks instead of a more central item. Think about snack foods that are healthier and won’t have as much sugar. Go for sodium-free pretzels, Goldfish crackers, a sweet potato, or naturally sweetened raisins. Raisins are a source of phytochemicals, which kill cavity-causing bacteria. Raisins also stop t the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease. To add more calcium, go for low fat cheese sticks.

teeth friendly foods for kids

Avoid: fruit snacks, trail mixes with chocolate, chips, and sugary cereals.

 

  1. Vegetables

It takes serious chewing from your child to break down foods that are naturally crunchy celery, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. The chewing that is needed disturb the dental plaque and can help slough off some of the other foods that they’ve eaten. Instead of using thick dressings which have sugar and acidity, try introducing hummus into your child’s diet.

 

  1. Fruit (Dessert)

Instead of giving your child a traditional dessert, try give him a piece of fruit. Certain fruits, like cranberries, apples, and pears stimulate the salivary glands in the mouth and help keep bacteria in check. These high-fiber foods also act like natural toothbrushes, literally scrubbing the surface of your child’s teeth as he eats, working to brush the bacteria away. The biting and chewing it take to eat these foods will disturb and dislodge newly formed dental plaque, preventing it from ever forming. A word of caution, however, do not give a fruit cup with any syrup in it.

 

Avoid: Pudding, candy bars, cupcakes, or cookies.

 

It really is best if your child can at least rinse his or her mouth with mouthwash after eating. If there is time, especially if there are braces involved, brushing and flossing would be best. However, there is always a time crunch at lunch, so it isn’t always possible. If your child is older, and it is allowed by the school, pack a piece of sugarless gum into the lunch for fresher breath and a cleaner mouth. Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth after coming home from school or after eating a snack. Also remember that life is all about balance, and sometimes it really isn’t possible to make everything fit into the boxes. Just try to aim to generally give your child the right kinds of foods.

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Have you ever wondered how experts make any food look so good and tempting? Yes, nothing may be able to replace your mom’s home-cooked meals. But if you will take a glance at the pictures on a restaurant’s menu, you could not help but be excited of what will be presented on your table. And it’s the same case for buffet presentations that make you want to try every palatable item on display.

Chefs and kitchen enthusiasts share their tips and tricks on how they make you drool over their presentation. Knowing these things will definitely give you a good idea of what to do, what not to do, what to avoid and what to focus on when coming up with your own food presentation.

Use colors, shapes and textures to create a balanced presentation

The food is always responsible in presenting the visual elements. Depending on the type of food that you are going to feature, you can draw on its natural color, shape and texture to make it more appealing and appetizing. A balanced food presentation may use lines to indicate motion, create patterns, employ complementary or contrasting arrangements or include symmetrical or asymmetrical compositions. It is also important to consider accessibility of every item and one element must not be allowed to overpower the other.

Take for instance the picture below. There are various types of fruits, berries and other colorful food items on the tray. There is a clear demarcation line between each type and the colors are used to make the tray more attractive. To complete the presentation, a heart-shaped formation is made at the center of the tray for added attraction.

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Photo Credit: trendymods.com

Be functional and practical

All the aspects of the food, the plate, the buffet table and everything else must consider functionality and practicality during the presentation. You can only say that a food arrangement is well thought out if there is a balance in color and all the elements are a perfect fit for the theme. Enhancements may have the ability to improve the food’s appeal. But ultimately, the flavor and the texture of the food and the way it is presented on the serving plate will still have the last say.

As for this presentation, the chef combined functionality with creativity. Certain fruit peelings are blessed with vibrant colors which can provide the needed attraction. The chef used these colors to their advantage. Instead of throwing away the peels, they found a more creative presentation by making use f the peels to act as the individual serving dish of different flavors of frozen desserts. Surely you would agree that the fruit peels are effective in making the desserts look more mouth-watering.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Enhance visual appeal using garnish, centerpieces and displays

A garnish can only be considered as successful when it can effectively make a presentation more exciting and interesting. It must also emphasize the concept or theme of the event. The elements of the design may employ edible or non-edible items. The role of garnish, centerpieces and displays is not only to make the presentation pleasant to look at but it must also invoke a statement about the purpose and meaning.

Using edible flowers, leaves or any decorations that can make the food look fancier is a great way to make your food well-dressed. Even if someone is not that hungry, there is no doubt that a great food presentation will motivate him or her to take a bite and sample the gorgeous looking food presented on the plate.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Too much of something often results to monotony

If you will observe closely, there is a certain level of comfort and appeal with repetition and regularity. But an overindulgence of a particular color, texture, shape or ingredient makes the presentation somehow monotonous. It is always a best practice to introduce one or more elements that would add contrast and give the arrangement a touch of energy and motion. But take note that if plenty of elements are allowed to stand on their own, it could also result to something chaotic and still defeat your purpose of avoiding a boring presentation.

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Photo Credit: GocAdd

A clean look makes any food good looking

Forget about making your presentation complicated. The simpler the look, the cleaner the effect. There is no denying the fact that simple dishes get more attention over the more complicated ones. Of course, no one would want to go wondering what the taste is like only to end up disheartened. Just make sure that the food tastes good and the presentation clean. Nothing could be more fascinating than this combination. Also, don’t forget to wipe the spills and drips of sauces because it could make a difference on how the plate is perceived.

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Photo Courtesy: Google Images

On plating – avoid moving food items around when they are already on the plate

It is highly expected for the plate to become messy when the food is moved around. And if you are going to fuss with it, the situation will just become worse. So even if it does not look much like how you imagined it to be, better leave it as it is and make do with what you can add to improve the overall effect.

Before you start arranging food items on the plate, make it a practice to visualize the appearance of all the components before putting them together. Having a plan will not only shorten the time needed to complete the arrangement but it will also effectively eliminate the hassles of redoing the plate several times in a row.

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Photo Courtesy: Nouvelle Cuisine

Avoid cluttering the plate

Plates, no matter how big or small, must not be filled to overflowing as this would make the food less inviting. If certain food items are already too big for the plate, you can either look for a bigger plate or cut the pieces into small proportions. This applies particularly to plates that are to be served individually. And to a certain extent, serving platters for buffets can also use the same principle. Instead of overcrowding the platters and trays with food, it is a better option to just put enough and reserve the rest of the food for refilling.

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Photo Courtesy: garnishfoodblog.com

There are still plenty of rules on food presentation and you can go on an in-depth research if you want to make a career out of culinary arts. But for starters, these tips and tricks would make you through a simple party or event that you are going to host in your home. You could also put these rules into action if you want to come up with a plate that is worthy enough for a nice photo shoot.

Not only chefs are into the practice of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of food. Even food photographers and bloggers go to great lengths to learn about the tricks of the trade as well. Without imagination and creativity, it is next to impossible to come up with a gorgeous food presentation. And for this reason and much more, an increasing number of individuals seek to improve their artistry in the kitchen. If you want to join the bandwagon, just take heed of the tips given above and you could never go wrong.

strawberry festival and Canada Day

The Stouffville Strawberry Festival is one of the most awaited festivals in Canada. It is a traditional community fair that occurs on Canada Day weekend. This festival celebrates the spirit of rural agriculture. The neighbours, friends and relatives are encouraged to take part in competitions and games. The atmosphere is very ambient with great food and a variety of entertainment.

The festival will commence on Friday with lots of games, a family swim and several events for the opening ceremonies.

Saturday is fun-filled packed with numerous activities and events, which include the popular Street Market that occurs on Main and Park Street. You won’t get bored even for a minute, as there are contests, games, music and lots of entertainment that takes place the entire day.

The following Sunday is packed with events including the Strawberry Social. This is followed by Ecumenical Church Service. Then there is kids entertainment and music jam session.

The festival continues on Monday. There are more carnivals and games, again the family swim and lots of cake! The event closes on Monday with fireworks finale.

corporate catering

Corporations are always having a meeting, convention, symposium, or other sponsored event that needs a great caterer. Everyone has experienced the dry, tasteless chicken, undercooked green beans, and boiled-to-death vegetable medley that makes one cringe at the thought of attending another corporate event. However, there are some great alternatives to consider for the Corporate Catering needs where the attendees will actually enjoy the meal and truly look forward to the next one.

Things to Consider

If you are planning to host a dinner at your office and planning to order meals from outside, you need to consider a few points.

  • Preferences of the attendees – have a good understanding of the preferences of the guests. For example, find out if they are a beans and BBQ crowd, predominantly vegetarian, or lobster and caviar crowd.
  • Location of the event – it is great if you are hosting dinner at a different venue. However, if you are hosting it at your office, you have to be careful enough to order good food from reputed places.
  • Ethnic background of the majority of the attendees – know if the attendees are predominantly one ethnicity over another, or a large mix, which can greatly affect food preferences
  • Expected cost of the entire dinner – most importantly, find out how restricted or unlimited your budget is because many choices are based on the price per attendees.
  • Other important information about the event – information such as how many guests will be attending, what is the occasion, and what are the food preferences.

Menu Choices

One thing that is difficult to plan when there is a wide cross section of ethnic cultures gathered for one corporate event is the menu. There are people with food allergies, dietary restrictions due to diseases such as diabetes, and a list as long as the buffet table that says simply what they like or don’t like.

When feeding a large assortment of attendees, some will prefer meat dishes, many are vegetarian, and there may be a sprinkling of vegans in the crowd, and that’s the beauty of service – there’s such a great variety that all preferences are satisfied.

Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy a wide range of vegetable-only choices that include rice, steamed vegetables, hot and sour soups with Tofu, green papaya salads, stir friend bok choy, wok sautéed mushrooms, garlic pea shoots, chilled eggplant, poached Asian Pear Salads, and a huge variety of many great foods that range from mild to extra spicy. Of course, there are also a variety of rice dishes that includes steamed jasmine rice, forbidden rice, brown rice, and friend rice that both meat lovers and vegetarians enjoy.

Because these foods are served Buffet Style, attendees have the ability to pick and choose exactly what they desire (or can eat based on dietary restrictions) and everyone attending the dinner can find food that they will like and can eat.

One of the best parts of any meal is certainly the desserts. Take the delicious almond cookies, steamed sweet potato cake, mango pudding, Honeydew Sago, puddings, Kuih Kapit, steamed egg custard, and everyone’s favorite cream puffs. Usually deserts at Chef Yan’s are chef’s selection.

You will be spoiled with choices!

With so many choices, attendees in the corporate dinner events will be very happy with the wide variety of foods that are available, in addition to being able to try some new foods they had never had an opportunity to taste before. The prices are very reasonable for a buffet style dinner for the corporate meeting because there is little food that is wasted since everyone picks and chooses amongst their preferences.

With the next corporate dinner, consider the people attending the event, and consider some great food as an alternative to the dry, tasteless chicken, or the all-vegetarian meal that meat lovers will detest. Come and explore all the possibilities that having a great Chef can produce when combined with wonderful flavors, great vegetables, delicious spices, and an unlimited supply of innovative ideas and combinations. Everyone in the meeting will enjoy the change of pace in having some great food for dinner.

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If it’s time now to start talking to caterers about your upcoming event, expect to find it tough to get proper pricing from them. This is because good catering outfits don’t want to cheat you with a one-size-fits-all kind of rate and approach to your event. This means that they customize their rates to suit each event to your budget depending on the number of guests, the menu, the location, and the theme of the event.

Put differently, this means that they make your event as unique as you would want it to be. If your caterer is sufficiently experienced, he will accept your order of catering for your event with the same kind of dedication and vision. Bearing your budget in mind, he will devise a customized and innovative menu that reflects your theme, style, and reason to celebrate.

As you interact with caterers, you will find that they break down their proposals into the following items: Food, Beverages, List of rental charges, Staffing needs, and any additional expenses or taxes. What they offer you will be a package price inclusive of rented equipment, staff, food, and beverages at a per head rate. Once you get this, ensure that (s)he puts it down in writing, so that you know what your package includes and if there are any extras.

Food: The rate for food is usually charged on a per head basis. The charges for food vary from season to season and also from caterer to caterer for similar dishes. This is due to the fact that each caterer has different suppliers, specialty items, and presentation style.

Here’s a rough price range per head of what you might have to pay:

Continental breakfast and buffet brunch: $7.50 – $40

Buffet lunch to formal boardroom lunch: $25-$60 and above

Cocktail parties: $8-$40

BBQ dinner: $15-$30

Buffet dinner to formal dinner: $15-$100

Weddings: $35 and above

 

Occasionally, you might come across caterers who have a minimum food expense amount that they levy on weekends and in peak season. Once you finalize the number of guests at your event, you are expected to inform the caterer, who will charge you for this number of guests, whether they actually turn up or not.

You can reduce your food bill by asking caterers to choose dishes that are based on seasonal fruits and vegetables – if it’s grown locally, that reduces the cost of food.

Table decorations: It’s nice to have a beautifully laid out food table, however, to stretch your dollar a bit more, cut out the floral arrangements and go in for desserts, salads or baskets of fresh fruit. Or if you’re hosting a company event, have cakes with the company logo on it, so that it’s edible and meaningful too.

You can trim your food budget a little by handing out small dinner plates at your buffet so that people eat and waste less food than they would if they ate out of larger ones. You can also replace water bottles with large water dispensers or hand out water bottles given by a sponsor.

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If you want to host a successful event and yet not spend too much, you can change the timing of the event by hosting a breakfast or brunch event rather than dinner. This not only differs in terms of food served, but also gives participants a lot of free time to do what they want.

Beverages: Your cost of beverages will depend on whether you get a basic soft bar package or premium service, again, calculated per head. However, these days caterers only charge you for the bottles opened.

For a 3-hour bar service, the estimated costs are:

Soft bar: $6-$15

Limited bar: $15-$25

Premium bar: $25-$40

Cocktails: $8 and above per cocktail

Equipment Rental: Don’t be surprised if your catering company charges you for rental items in your package cost. Here are some of those items:

Tables: $10 each

Chairs: $2-$5 each

Glassware: $1-$5 each

China: $0.50-$3 per item

Linen: $5 upwards

Staffing: Flowing drinks and efficient food service are the hallmarks of a successful party. Staff can make or break your event. It is important that you and your caterer get your staffing requirements right. Here are some general per hour costs for staffing:

Event supervisor: $40-$100 and above

Bartenders: $30-$80

Servers: $15-$40

Chef: $80 and above

Miscellaneous considerations: There are some other elements that caterers will include in their food budget, such as:

Location: Is there a kitchen provided? Will lighting be required?

Length of event: What is the duration of your event? For how many hours will you need service staff?

Time of year: Will you need fans, air conditioners, or heaters?

Before you finalize which caterer you want to go with, read the contract carefully and only then sign it so that you know exactly what you’ve agreed to pay for. Get your budget in writing so you can refer to it before you pay the final bill.

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We may have come a long way from the Victorian Age when embossed invitations were sent out for social events in great style. Today, though we do not follow the same style to the letter, we certainly use many of the old elements. In fact, our present-day black tie events, fancy dos and weddings continue to follow many of these customs, better known as modern-day etiquette.

If you, too, are hosting a grand event very soon and don’t want to make any mistakes in impressing your guests, you need to know the rules of social etiquette, right? What are they?

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When to send out paper invitations:

  • Formal events: If you’re hosting a formal party where guests are supposed to dress formally, it’s best to send out a paper invitation.
  • Exclusive events: If you’re organizing a small and exclusive business event with no more than 50 guests, it is good manners to send out a physical invitation. It lends charm and is very personalized so that guests feel more than welcome to attend it.
  • Available database of information: Traditional snail mail invitations only work well if you have a well-organized database of donors and their addresses.
  • Older target audience: Typically, older groups are going to be less engaged online. However, this is a trend that is slowly changing as the population ages and the younger, more tech-savvy folks become your target demographic.

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The guidelines of inviting guests to your event:

Your invitation style: If you’ve drafted your invitation well, it should contain all the details your guests need to decide what you’re celebrating, where, and when. Your invitation should also mention whether it is a formal occasion or a casual one so that people can dress accordingly. There are hundreds of templates online that will give you a good idea of how to draft your invitation card, so spend some time choosing the right one that suits your occasion.

What should your invite include? Your invitation card should also contain your name – after all you’re the host – the cause for celebration, the name of the guest of honor (if any), and the date and time of the occasion. If you’re celebrating your event at a club, hotel, or at your home, specify that too, with its full address and phone number.

Time to be present: Give your guest important detail,s such as the time of the event, dress code, parking tips, and directions to the venue.

How to RSVP: Your formal invite should contain all details such as time, date, and year in words.

Mode of address: Your formal event should address your guests using their formal name, for example, Mr. and Mrs. John Jackson. Write on the envelopes in black or blue ink.

When to send your invites: Invites to your formal event should be sent out way in advance, say, four weeks for a bridal shower, company event, or store opening. For a wedding, send out the invites about eight weeks prior to the event.

When should you expect responses: Once you’ve sent out your invites, you can begin expecting your responses within two days of your guests receiving the invitation card. Once you start getting in your numbers, you can firm up your arrangements with your various suppliers.

E-invitations: So much for the traditional form of formal invitations, now let’s talk about the other popular way of inviting guests–online invitations.

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Ever since our world embraced the Internet, there have been more and more useful applications of it. One of them is the paperless or e-invitation. Though people were diffident about using them, these days, they are being chosen because they are relatively inexpensive, they reduce one’s carbon footprint, and reach the targeted person immediately. Besides, they are so inexpensive that when you get onto professional online invitation sites like evite, there are so many templates for you to choose from that it cuts out the cost of hiring a designer to design your card.

Generally, people believe that paperless invites or e-invites are best left for casual functions, not formal dos. However, a large number of people these days who harness the power of technology in their daily lives believe that for large groups of tech savvy people, e-invites work well. These invites are most acceptable if the event is an annual or regular one, if it’s in the near future, and if it doesn’t call for an RSVP.

There are other parameters as well: For instance, if you’re sending out e-invites for your wedding to friends who are constantly traveling, it makes sense to send them e-invites, though not on Facebook, because the latter has a very casual air about it. Besides, not everyone checks their Facebook accounts every day, so they run the risk of missing it. It is much better to go with evite and eventbrite that have an air of seriousness to them.

Also, make the response method clear to your guests. Give them ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ options. Lastly, let them know if they can bring a friend.

All in all, no matter how tech savvy people may be, the verdict is out: online invites for informal dos and paper invitations for the formal ones.