I Am Going on a Diet

I have begun to think about the best way to go about losing between ten and twenty pounds. Of course the higher number is what I really need to lose in an ideal world, but I figure that I can far more easily start out with half of that. At any rate the thing I am looking at is how to diet in the most effective manner. So I have been looking at finding real nutrisystem reviews of the food that they sell. I am thinking that the best use for these meals would be to take them to work with me and eat them there instead of going to one of the fast food places. It should be relatively easy to replace the meals that I have at home with healthier versions of real food. That is the plan at least, but the basic fact is that you need to be able to use the meals in the way that they are intended to be used. If you can not stand the taste of the food, then it is not of any real value to you.… Read More


Dessert Wines – A Pleasant Surprise

Dessert Wines - A Pleasant Surprise

I have enjoyed a good glass of table wine many times with my meals. Wine tasting parties have always been a favorite pastime, especially when combined with cheese. No, I am not from Wisconsin so I do not rate a “cheese head hat”. Recently, after a pleasant dinner party with good friends, I was introduced to a new class of vintages that I had never tried before. The dessert wine I was served turned out to be the fitting end to a fabulous evening.

Grapes used for these type of wines are not harvested in the same fashion and timing as your typical table wine grapes. The goal is to increase the sugar content of the grape by mainly harvesting them later in the season. Often a noble rot forms on the grapes before harvest. In another dessert type named ice wine, grape harvest is delayed until the first freeze. Some times these wines are developed by pausing the fermentation process.

There are several types of grapes primarily used in the making of dessert wines. Semillon grapes are commonly used in Sauternes that often smell like the wildflowers where it is grown. Muscat grapes may remind you of orange and honey. Fendant and Chasselas are typically found primarily in Switzerland. Spicy Gewurztraminer wines are good tasting and seem to age well. Fortified wines like sherry, port and Madeira are made differently than your typical dessert wine, but are also a great choice and considered in many circles to be “honorary dessert wines”. Be aware that some wineries are making great dessert wines by “late-harvesting” table wine grapes used for Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.

When serving, a general rule is the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with. Good matches include fresh sweet fruits, bakery goods and chocolate and toffee based dishes. White dessert wines should be served chilled but not to cold, while red dessert wines are mainly served at room temperature. Because of their sweetness, dessert wines come in smaller bottles and often are more expensive than table wines. It is best to serve these wines in a small glass with a pour of only 2 ounces. Dessert wines can be served without dessert, but however with or without, prepare your body to get the high sugar that will be produced.

Choosing the right dessert wine for your next entertainment event can be a little challenging. A good suggestion is to try “trial” before you plan your meeting. Prepare a dessert of your choice beforehand. Taste the wine that you think will complete your dessert choices and pay attention to your impressions. Finally, taste your wine with your dessert. If you feel this combination is delicious on the tongue, you are free at home. If this combination blunts the aroma of wine, consider choosing a dessert that is less sweet or sweeter wine.

What I learned about this special wine has long been known by cultured Europeans. On this continent, we always appreciate having dessert … Read More


Dessert Wine Glasses and What You Need to Know

Dessert Wine Glasses and What You Need to Know

When people hear the phrase ‘dessert wine glasses’ what first comes into mind is a regular wine goblet with some ice cream shoved into it. This couldn’t be further from the truth, because as I’ll be writing soon, these wine glasses have nothing whatsoever to do with dessert!

Traditionally these types of goblet are filled with sweet liquor such as sherry or port. Describing them isn’t too difficult and they have the appearance of a champagne flute in the miniature with the main bowl of the around the size of two shot glasses. These types of wine goblet aren’t used that often anymore but they have very traditional routes. After a particularly big meal, perhaps a dinner party with guests or just a Christmas lunch to help the food settle these would be whipped out a long with a bottle of sherry or port. From here people would move to the lounge or living room with their sweet liquor in hand.

With their dessert wine glasses in hand conversation would flow much more smoothly, and the sumptuous meal would be able to settle. I really do think this makes a great gift for a married couple or for a boyfriend and girlfriend. Imagine you and your wife receiving a crystal pair of them along with a bottle of port to go with them. They’re a gift that isn’t particularly expensive and yet speak class with every sweet drop. Not only that, but they’re a gift that’s actually useful and will be kept for a long time and will more importantly be used!… Read More


So You’ve Got a Recipe and You Want to Sell a Food Product

So You've Got a Recipe and You Want to Sell a Food Product

You’ve been making this recipe forever and every time you share the results, someone says, “Wow, this is so good! You should sell it.” And that’s where you gets stuck, because you have no idea what to do next.

When you’re at this stage, at the very beginning with no clue what to do next, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know even know what questions to ask. Eight years ago I was in your shoes. I needed help; I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know where to turn.

I stumbled along, making mistakes, spending money I didn’t have and sometimes getting lucky and finding solutions that worked. I looked for help from people who’d “been there” too. Shari Fitzpatrick, founder of Shari’s Berries, and I had a conversation during which I recall asking the most intelligent questions I could come up with. She was very kind in sharing her experience, but in hindsight, and to my point, I’m not sure I got as much as I could have out of that conversation. First because it was only about 15 minutes long and more critically, because I wasn’t sure what to ask. I wonder if she hung up from that call thinking, “ha, good luck to that girl ’cause she does NOT know what she’s doing.”

Eventually, I managed to piece together enough of what I needed to know to get the right incorporation, licensing, business and liability insurance, registration for sales tax, space in which to bake, ingredient, packaging and shipping vendors and so on. Quite possibly, I may have (unknowingly) violated some laws. This was not the fast track, but there wasn’t any other way, and I was determined to keep moving forward!

There is plenty of information “out there” about starting a generic business. Much of it applies to your start-up business whether you’re a food entrepreneur or a hair stylist. And it’s still confusing. Add in that you’re producing a product that people EAT, and laws that change frequently, and now it’s even more confusing and yet important that you get it right.

Here’s a brief checklist of the first crucial steps you need to take if you want to turn a recipe into a successful food business.

1. Determine to WHOM you are going to sell. Is there even a market, beyond your well-meaning friends and family, for your product? Many of the rest of your decisions depend on this one. PS: “Everyone” is not the right answer.

2. Incorporate your business. It’s important for tax purposes as well as liability and asset protection. Which type of incorporation you choose depends on your personal situation and merits discussion with your CPA.

3. Get liability and business insurance. Especially with a food business, there are too many factors and risks lurking to play around here.

4. Take care of these first two steps BEFORE you sell one bite of anything!

5. Register your business with the state and get any local … Read More


How Do I Know I’ve Found The Best Food Truck Business?

How Do I Know I've Found The Best Food Truck Business?

Not everyone who offers a meal on the go is in the same class. To find the right mobile food truck business you have to do some research. Do you want a concession business like the one on every other corner? Or do you want to be the food concession that offers a fresh and unique menu that stands in a class by itself?

You go into business for yourself because you want to turn a profit. In order to do that, you have to choose your operation wisely. A good mobile food truck system will provide all the necessary tools, resources and advice to ensure that you get out of the gate quickly and successfully. Trying this on your own will certainly lead to many missteps and wrong turns. Do you feel you have the time and money to risk going it alone? So before deciding on anything, find an industry leader who has a training program in place and systems designed to save you years of trial and error.

The best mobile food businesses have a proven business model that is built and designed to attract customers from a wide segment of the population. They provide you with training from the day you sign your Franchise Agreement and support for as long as you are in business.

Where lunch customers once had to settle for frozen-flat, tasteless burgers, frozen fries and sandwiches with few options, the best mobile food concessions offered hand-patted Vermont beef burgers and healthy choices such as a variety of fresh wraps. They have grown exponentially each year and continue to surpass expectations even in a dismal economy.

When you choose to partner with the top mobile concession franchises, you will be running a mobile food business with heart. You and your staff will have a great time serving customers a full menu of interesting and healthy choices. And when you’re working in a confined space, there’s no room for error. Your training gives you all the recipes and food preparation protocols that you need to attract your clientele and exceed their expectations each and every visit. And their state-of-the-art web-based reporting systems and back-office support mean you never have to deal with hours of paperwork.

So, is the lunch truck business for you? It is if you want to join a team of entrepreneurs who are backed by a proven system that steers them towards success.… Read More


How to Make Traditional Holiday Fruit Cakes

During the holiday season, I like to spend the afternoon making some delicious homemade mini fruit cakes. Making and serving these delicious items has been around for centuries. You will usually see them served around the holiday season or at wedding celebrations.

You will find that various cultures will have different touches on traditional recipes, however, the following recipes are carried out in the American tradition. When I make this fruit cake, I bake it in a muffin tin or mini bread pan. If you want, you can certainly bake it in a regular bread pan or a round cake pan.

How to Make Traditional Holiday Fruit Cakes

Fruit Cake Recipe

1 1/3 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of butter, soft

2 eggs

3 cups of all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons of baking powder

2 cups of eggnog

1 1/2 cups mixed candied fruit

1 1/2 cup sifted sugar

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

additional eggnog

(optional) half portion of candied cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, shake the sugar with soft butter until soft and creamy. Beat in both eggs until mixed. In another bowl, stir in the flour and baking powder. Gently stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and then shake in the eggnog until all the ingredients are well combined. Fold the chopped candied fruit. If the mixture is stiff, mix with your hands.

Spray a few muffins or mini pans with non-stick vegetable spray. Spoon the mixture into the pan you want.

Place pans into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until they are done and the centers test clean with a toothpick. Remove from the pans and let cool on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Add in enough eggnog to make the mixture of drizzling consistency. Drizzle the glazed over the cooled fruit cakes.

If desired, top the fruit cakes with candied cherry halves for garnishing and store them in an airtight storage container. … Read More