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Food & Drink

Restaurant.com is Helping to Keep Lunch Affordable During Summer Break

by Jennifer Wieland
Restaurant.com is Helping to Keep Lunch Affordable During Summer
I am a member of the Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

I don’t know if your house is like mine but during summer break while the kids are out of school expenses seem to go way up! The cost to keep the kids entertained and to find activities to keep their minds and bodies active seems to eat through our money. Add to that the kids being home all day and wanting food what seems like every 10 minutes and your food budget seems to go right out the window. Restaurant.com is helping to keep lunch affordable during summer break for us with their certificates.

Restaurant.com is Helping to Keep Lunch Affordable During Summer

I know I used to think that Restaurant.com only carried certificates for sit down restaurants. Nothing quick or casual and certainly not anything that was just carry out. Boy, was I wrong on that! In my area there are a number of places that are fast food or carry out pizza places. So on days when we are out and about or just tired of eating sandwiches at home for lunch I can treat the kids to a special lunch all while keeping my bank account happy.

Restaurant.com is Helping to Keep Lunch Affordable During Summer

We did just that this week when I found a Restaurant.com certificate available for a local Papa John’s. We ordered up some pizza and I was able to use my Restaurant.com certificate for a discount. Even better, I had a Papa John’s gift card already so I ended up with no out-of-pocket expense!

Restaurant.com is Helping to Keep Lunch Affordable During Summer

Learn more and connect with Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com and Specials by Restaurant.com make great gifts for everyone on your wish list. Remember, for more information on Restaurant.com be sure to check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, find them on Google+ or check out their blog, The Dish.

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal.  Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go.  Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

How do you cut food costs during the summer months?

 

 


ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay

by Jennifer Wieland
ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO
Thank you to ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé ® for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.

 

Have you been consumed by FORO (Fear of Running Out) this summer? Has the heat and humidity gotten to you and caused you to consume a higher rate of liquid refreshment? ReadyRefresh is here to keep your family hydrated and FORO (Fear of Running Out) at bay this summer!

ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO

What is FORO?

Buying bottled water by the individual bottle means you’re spending way too much time restocking at the grocery store. Buying in bulk keeps your shopping trips infrequent, but those cases are so heavy, and big box stores are energy-sapping circuses. With that dreaded trip to the store looming, a sense of anxiety takes over. As your bottled water supply dwindles, you begin to hoard those last few bottles for your kids, your spouse, or even just a thirstier moment. This is a phenomenon referred to as The Fear of Running Out—denying yourself and your family the bottled water they want just so you don’t have to go back to the store or add another inconvenience to your day. 

We spend a ton of our summer at our local park pool, the beach, and neighborhood parks. Making sure the kids stay hydrated is a must! Making sure they hydrate with great-tasting drinks without the sugar and caffeine that’s no good for them is my mission as a mom.

ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO

A FORO Study was done and this is what they learned

  • More than half of all surveyed (52%) experience FORO at least once a week.
  • 69% of those surveyed experience feelings such as stress, anxiety and worry when household items start to run low.
  • 69% of survey respondents run low on everyday household items at least once a week.
  • According to survey respondents, bottled water is the beverage of choice in homes (36%), workplaces (46%), and at school (36%).
  • Nearly half of all full-time working parents (46%) surveyed say they ration or replace everyday household items with a less desirable alternative at least once per week, in order to avoid running out completely.
  • According to the survey, when running low on household items, food (67%), toilet paper (51%) and bottled water (43%) are the most likely to be restocked first – ahead of items like milk (20%) and diapers (7%).
  • Of those surveyed, three out of four (75%) working parents would buy more household items in bulk if it was more convenient.
  • According to the survey, more than half of full-time working parents (55%) say that daily errands keep them from spending quality time with friends and family.

ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO

Why is it important to have good drink options available at all times?

Today, beverages account for 47% of added sugars in the U.S. American Diet and more than 13% of calories consumed per day. The newly released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that the primary beverage consumed should be either calorie-free – especially water – or should contribute beneficial nutrients such as fat-free and low-fat milk and 100% juice.

Replacing a single 12-ounce, 140 calorie sugar sweetened beverage with water each day for a year can cut more than 50,000 calories from one’s diet. That’s a lot of calories that I’m sure nobody wants their kids ingesting on sugar.

I know for me, since I have been following a Keto lifestyle making sure I have healthy, carb- and sugar-free drink options are an absolute must! Without them I’d be reduced to drinking regular tap water and sometimes a girl wants a little more flavor than that in what she’s drinking.

ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO

Why I’m on board with ReadyRefresh

My husband is a soda junkie and at his age I don’t think I’ll ever get him to get past it. I myself am a water and tea girl since giving up sugary drinks a few years back. (One of my best decisions ever!) The problem I face is that kids are impressionable and if they see daddy with soda and it’s in cans and bottles than can be easily grabbed then we end up battling about why they shouldn’t be having that. 

I have noticed that if I have other, healthier options on hand that they will drink those instead. If there are ice cold bottles of water and tea then they will grab that to take to the park, beach, pool or anyplace else we may be headed in the hot summer sun.

Added bonus… with all of the types and flavors of waters and teas I can change up my daily drink routine as the mood strikes me.  This is where the video will be embedded.

 

More about ReadyRefresh

When it comes to your home, you want to feel confident that you are always making the best choices for you and your family, especially when it comes to health. Now there’s an easy way to bring a little more health into your home. ReadyRefresh is a customizable beverage delivery service that provides your family with a variety of leading bottled water brands in assorted sizes and flavors like Ice Mountain (still and sparkling), Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, San Pellegrino, and Aqua Panna. With ReadyRefresh there is something for everyone in the family!

ReadyRefresh has a simple to navigate website that makes ordering from their wide selection of flavors and brands a breeze. ReadyRefresh also offers great delivery and frequency options to meet your personal needs. They make it easy for you to want make healthier choices. For more information on FORO, coupons and deals follow ReadyRefresh on Facebook and Twitter.

ReadyRefresh by Nestlé® is Keeping FORO (Fear of Running Out) at Bay #NoMoreFORO

Ready to stop FORO in it’s tracks?

Have you ever experienced FORO? Do you wish to stop FORO before it hits your family again? Then sign up for a new ReadyRefresh delivery service account. New members will receive $50 off their first order which will go a long way in hydrating your entire household! Plus, there’s no delivery fee on your first order which makes this a can’t-miss deal! Don’t let FORO catch you! Get delivery right to your door with healthy drink options all year long. 

 

 


Rick Bayless Cooking Demo at Macy’s State Street

by Jennifer Wieland
Rick Bayless Cooking Demo at Macy's State Street #MacysChef
This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
 

Three of my favorite things about Chicago come together for a fun, entertaining and absolutely delicious event next week! Chicago hometown favorite Rick Bayless will be heading to Macy’s State Street to wow customers with a cooking demonstration. The cooking demonstration will showcase some of his absolute favorite award-winning summertime dishes. While getting to watch Rick Bayless in action and getting to drool over his fabulous creations in person is pretty darn awesome what makes this cooking demo even better is that there will be plenty of samples on hand for everyone in attendance. Absolute best part? This event is 100% free!!!

Macy’s State Street location is always a favorite place for me to shop. I spend hours perusing their housewares and food selections. It’s often a fun, delicious and retail therapy treat for me. After the Rick Bayless cooking demonstration you can then head downstairs and where you can find the latest in must-have cookware and hot gadgets that every cook needs. Plus, if you spend a minimum of $35 in the Home department, you will receive a $10 Macy’s gift card! The awesomeness doesn’t end there though. No, you’ll also receive a copy of More Mexican Everyday, which Chef Rick Bayless will sign for you directly after the event!

Rick Bayless Cooking Demo at Macy's State Street #MacysChef

The 411 on the Rick Bayless Cooking Demo

MACY’S ON STATE STREET

Culinary Studio, 7th Floor

Wednesday, June 29th at 12:00pm

Chicago, IL

Tickets to the demo are free!

Sound like an event that’s perfect for you?

To attend this event you need to let the Macy’s Culinary Council know that you want to be a part of this! To do that you can call them at 1-800-329-8667 and let them know you want your name added to the guest list. 

To learn more about the Macy’s Culinary Council and future events log on to macys.com/culinarycouncil and follow them on Twitter @culinarycouncil.

 

 


Mommy Date Time Made Affordable Thanks to Restaurant.com

by Jennifer Wieland
Mommy Date Time Made Affordable Thanks to Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew
I am part of the Restaurant.com Review Crew. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

I like to be able to take the kids for some one on one time periodically. It’s helps to let them know they are special to me and that I want to spend time with just them and hear about anything they want to say. When you have multiple kids it can get hard trying to find that balance to give each child the attention they need and deserve, That’s why these little mommy dates are so important. Luckily, Restaurant.com helps to keep our dates affordable.

Recently I had a mommy date with my daughter, I hopped onto Restaurant.com and found a gift certificate for a family favorite chain of Mexican restaurants, Pepe’s. I printed it off and then we were on our way to our mommy date.

Mommy Date Time Made Affordable Thanks to Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew

My daughter being the baby of six and the only girl truly believes the universe revolves around her thanks to all the older males in her life treating her like a princess. So for her our mommy date was just some time for her to beam and tell me all about everything that she finds fascinating at the moment while eating food she loves. 

Mommy Date Time Made Affordable Thanks to Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew

Chips and salsa, tacos, tamales and of course her favorite pink lemonade made the meal perfect! 

Mommy Date Time Made Affordable Thanks to Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew

Another reason my daughter loves coming to Pepe’s is that she loves the colorful murals that are in each location. She is always fascinated by them.

Learn more and connect with Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com and Specials by Restaurant.com make great gifts for everyone on your wish list. Remember, for more information on Restaurant.com be sure to check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, find them on Google+ or check out their blog, The Dish.

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal.  Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go.  Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

 

 


Date Night Just Got Simple Thanks to Restaurant.com

by Jennifer Wieland
DINNER AND A MOVIE DEAL FROM SPECIALS BY RESTAURANT.COM #ReviewCrew #ad

 

DINNER AND A MOVIE DEAL FROM SPECIALS BY RESTAURANT.COM

2 Movie Tickets + $100 Restaurant.com eGift Card

Enjoy a delicious dinner and a star-studded movie for two with this dramatic and delicious deal. For only $30, you’ll receive two tickets to any movie AND a $100 Restaurant.com eGift card for any participating restaurant. It’s great for a date or to take a friend! Use your tickets to see any movie, including all new releases.

DINNER AND A MOVIE DEAL FROM SPECIALS BY RESTAURANT.COM #ReviewCrew #ad

Head over to Specials by Restaurant.com for this awesome deal, but be quick! This deal ends Sunday, June 19. 

Restaurant.com and Specials by Restaurant.com make great gifts for everyone on your wish list. Remember, for more information on Restaurant.com be sure to check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, find them on Google+ or check out their blog, The Dish.

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal.  Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go.  Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

 

 


Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe

by Jennifer Wieland
Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour
Today’s post has been sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

My kids love getting to go out just as much as any other kids. I like being able to go to restaurants that I enjoy but that will appeal to the kids as well. I mean it’s not going to be much fun if it’s some highfalutin place that doesn’t like kids or so kid friendly parents cringe when it’s mentioned. No, I like a place that has a nice mix of great food that appeals to everyone in my family but with enough fun and entertainment that the kids aren’t bored with that entertainment being a draw for the grownups too. That’s why Hard Rock Cafe is always a favorite with my family! We get to teach the kids some rock and roll history, listen to great music and enjoy a delicious meal together!

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

One of the things that makes dining at Hard Rock Cafe so entertaining is the music. Whether it’s a live band performing or an eclectic mix of rock and roll from across the decades their is always music to move you. Throw in all the cool music memorabilia and you have an honest to goodness museum that not only lets you dance but feeds you once you’ve worked up an appetite. 

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

As soon as we walked in I had to snap a pic of my son with the guitar on display in the entrance. That day he was wearing his Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and the entryway display holds one of Jimi Hendrix’s guitars. 

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

I could not consider myself a youth of the 1980’s (sigh… am I that old?) and not want to get a little excited over one of Madonna’s conical bra outfits.

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

How cool was it to see Bono’s famous vest? Yeah, you guessed it! Super cool! Only thing that would have made it better was if he was there modeling it. 

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

No self-respecting child of the 80’s and early 90’s would miss a chance at a hair band guitar pic. How perfect that they have a Warrant guitar on display in a restaurant? I mean hello, there most famous song was Cherry Pie. 

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

While awesome childhood memories are great. What’s even more fascinating is seeing stuff from or about the legends of rock and roll and there are very few more famous than Mick Jagger. I just love this Mick Jagger statue they have that shows him in his famous strut!

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

By the time we were done checking out all of the rock and roll history our amazing burgers were ready to be served up!

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

Boys being boys meant that my sons thought it was super cool that their burgers came out complete with a big, old knife in the middle of them. (sigh… Moms of tween and teen boys can relate I’m sure.)

H R Luke

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

·         Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers

·         The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016

·         This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle!

Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

·         English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a Portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

·         Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

·         Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

·         Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

·         ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

·         Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

·         Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice

·         Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with SPAM, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole and pico de gallo

 Feeding the Family & Teaching the Kids Rock History at Hard Rock Cafe #worldburgertour

 Kicked Up Cocktails to Pair with Your Burger

Hard Rock Cafe has created cocktails that perfectly compliment World Burger Tour offerings. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars, adult guests can order with the suggested pairing or mix it up with any other burger from the limited-time menu. New cocktails include: 

·         All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry

·         Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme

·         MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry

·         Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavor, this cocktail features a mix of Absolut Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper

·         Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

Burger Tour for the Roadie

·         For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey

·         Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency RPMC, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities includingLondon, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour

·         The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public

For more information on the Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour or for info on the trip check out the official World Burger Tour website. To find your local Hard Rock Cafe head HERE and for up to the minute info follow them on Twitter

 

 


Get $3 Restaurant.com Certificates to Celebrate Your Best Friend

by Jennifer Wieland
Restaurant.com $3 Bestie Sale on $25 Certificates
I am part of the Restaurant.com Review Crew. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

$3 SALE FROM RESTAURANT.COM

SAVE AT MORE THAN 23,000 RESTAURANTS NATIONWIDE

The best way to one’s heart is through their stomach! Celebrate Best Friend’s Day by treating your bestie to a dinner out. For 2 days only, Restaurant.com is serving up $25 Certificates for only $3 with Promo Code: HEART.

Restaurant.com $3 Bestie Sale on $25 Certificates

Search Restaurant.com by location, cuisine, price range and more, to find exactly what you want, where you want it!

Don’t wait! This sale will be done before you know it. Visit Restaurant.com today for amazing deals on delicious meals. This offer ends Wednesday, June 8 at 11:59 pm CT.

Restaurant.com and Specials by Restaurant.com make great gifts for everyone on your wish list. Remember, for more information on Restaurant.com be sure to check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, find them on Google+ or check out their blog, The Dish.

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal.  Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go.  Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

 

 


Eight Cooking Tricks to Enhance Your Kitchen Skills

by Jennifer Wieland
Eight Cooking Tricks to Enhance Your Kitchen Skills

If you already enjoy food and cooking, you may be ready to move up another level. Cooking classes or guided dining and market experiences can be a great way to boost your culinary knowledge. There are also plenty of things you can do to improve your cooking now. Below are eight suggestions that you can start to use today to make the food you cook even tastier.

Eight Cooking Tricks to Enhance Your Kitchen Skills

Read the Recipe All the Way Through

Many people fail to do this, or they only quickly glance at the recipe. Read it thoroughly, and as you read each step, visualize how you will perform that task. Make sure that you have all of the ingredients and equipment that you need. Think about how long it will take to perform certain tasks, and don’t put too much credence in the prep time given by the recipe itself because those times are often too short. Clean your area, and locate or lay out everything that you will need to complete the recipe. Consider prepping most of your ingredients ahead of time so that you can easily add them as needed.

Use the Best Ingredients

When you begin cooking regularly, you will begin to notice that quality of ingredients makes a huge difference. If you are on a budget and there is a significant price difference between ingredients, you can make adjustments as needed, and not all quality ingredients are necessarily costly. However, you will find that in most cases, cutting corners on ingredients like Parmesan-Reggiano cheese affects the end product. When it comes to quality ingredients, salt is one of the most significant ones. You will be surprised at what a difference it can make to your cooking when you switch from table salt to kosher or sea salt. Salt is also important at bringing out other flavors. A pinch can do a lot to enhance the flavors in your dish.

Taste as You Go

Speaking of flavors, you should get into the habit of tasting your cooking as you go along and adding seasoning as needed. Keep in mind that the recipe is only a guide. If you need more intense flavors, then you should add them.

Practice Cutting Foods the Same Size

Knife skills are an important part of learning to be a great cook. One of the most important things to do in order to get your food to cook evenly is to cut your like ingredients in the same size. At first, this might seem time consuming, but it’s worth the effort, and you will get faster as you go along. Depending on the city you live, there might be knife skill classes from cooking schools to help you improve your skills.

Don’t Be Afraid to Caramelize and Brown

Recipes often underestimate the time it takes to sufficiently brown or caramelize ingredients. Don’t hesitate to get both meat and vegetables nice and brown. This will significantly deepen the flavor of your dish. For example, onions become increasingly flavorful and sweet the longer they cook. Understand the optimal temperatures at which to brown foods as well. For example, searing meat should be done on a high heat while caramelizing onions should be done on a low heat.

Reduce Liquids

Another way to intensify flavors is to reduce liquids. The longer you cook liquids at a low simmer, the stronger the flavor will become. Experiment with a variety of broths, wines and other ingredients to get a sense of how those flavors work with different ingredients and which ones you like best.

Don’t Crowd Pans

Whether you are cooking meat in a pan on the stovetop or baking food in the oven, if the food is not meant to be cooked with a cover on it, be sure that you do not crowd it. This results in steaming instead of roasting or sauteeing. For example, if you are making oven-roasted potatoes, crowding them will result in soggy potatoes.

Use Your Hands

Just as you need to use your taste buds to keep tabs on the flavor of your food, you should also get accustomed to using your hands as you cook. With practice, you can get a sense for checking the doneness of meat with your hands. Your hands can also be used to toss salads, mix dough and check for the ripeness of fruits. Becoming a great cook is a sensory experience, and training your sense of touch is an important part of that.

Cooking is a fascinating pastime and a wonderful way to connect with loved ones. Learning to be a better cook is a lifelong journey. By continually working to improve your technique with tips like the ones above, you will find your time in the kitchen even more rewarding.

 

 


Hard Rock World Burger Tour

by Jennifer Wieland
Hard Rock World Burger Tour
This information has been provided to me by Hard Rock International

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

I am an all American girl and love a great burger! There are sad burgers, then there are decent burgers and then you have the over the top, knock your socks off, mouth-watering creations that make you moan when you bite into it! Could you imagine a whole burger menu of that level of crazy goodness? Guess what? You don’t have to imagine it. Nope, all you need to do is visit your local Hard Rock Cafe and order from their special, limited edition Hard Rock World Burger Tour menu. 

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

·         Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers

·         The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016

·         This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle!

·      Hard Rock World Burger Tour

Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

·         English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a Portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

·         Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

·         Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

·         Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

·         ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

·         Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

·         Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice

·         Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with SPAM, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole and pico de gallo

 

 Kicked Up Cocktails to Pair with Your Burger

Hard Rock Cafe has created cocktails that perfectly compliment World Burger Tour offerings. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars, adult guests can order with the suggested pairing or mix it up with any other burger from the limited-time menu. New cocktails include: 

·         All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry

·         Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme

·         MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry

·         Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavor, this cocktail features a mix of Absolut Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper

·         Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

Burger Tour for the Roadie

·         For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey

·         Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency RPMC, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities includingLondon, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour

·         The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public

For more information on the Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour or for info on the trip check out the official World Burger Tour website. To find your local Hard Rock Cafe head HERE and for up to the minute info follow them on Twitter

 

 

 


Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com

by Jennifer Wieland
Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew
I am a member of the Restaurant.com Review Crew. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

Mom life is hard! Mommy brain truly exists! Moms need and deserve a break now and again to enjoy some quiet time or to just reconnect with friends or feel like more than just mommy. Whether you are a SAHM, WAHM or a mom who works outside of the home you all deserve a lovely little break from that role even if it’s only for one meal. Luckily, Restaurant.com is a great way to get your mommy break in and still manage to not feel mom guilt by saving money using a Restaurant.com gift certificate. 

Recently, I had the chance to meet my best friend for lunch while the husbands were at work and the kids were at school. The problem we have when we go out is that both of us are dieting but we are doing different diets. That means we both have to make sure that the place we pick to eat has something both of us can eat on the menu. We decided to head to Grady’s Grille a local favorite with delicious, fresh food options and an ever-changing menu. 

Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew

Grady’s Grille is a local favorite for many reasons. The food is always delicious and with daily drink specials you can’t go wrong. 

Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew

The interior is a lovely cross between modern, old and industrial that makes it unique. You can even enjoy a nice day out on their beautiful patio.

Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew

My friend had a grilled shrimp and avocado salad that she loved!

Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew

I had some mini Korean BBQ beef tacos and I swapped the rice out and opted for some broccoli instead.

Enjoy a Mommy Break with Restaurant.com #reviewcrew

Remember, for more information on Restaurant.com be sure to check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, find them on Google+ or check out their blog, The Dish.

“The only thing better than going out for a great meal, is getting a great deal.  Restaurant.com has been filling tables since 1999 and is the destination for dining whether you like to plan ahead or find a meal on the go.  Restaurant.com helps diners discover the perfect dining experience and boasts nearly 50,000 dining deals available every day, even on the weekends!  And, the deals are easy to use – present the certificate to the server on a mobile device, or print out a copy, and voilà – the savings will be deducted from your final bill.  Bon Appétit!”

 

 


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