Monthly Archives: April 2011

Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day

Many times, it’s hard to justify eating a calorie-laden cookie. But, what if I told you there is one cookies who’s health benefits outwieghs its caloric impact.  For example, including oats in your diet provides you with much needed fiber, can help reduce your cholesterol, and is a good source of Vitamin E, iron, and protein. Go ahead, indulge in a cookie or two! I mean, it is  National Oatmeal Cookie Day and all!!

Quaker Oats is the most popular supplier of oats in the world, so it’s only appropriate to feature a recipe from their collection.

Famous Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4  cup trans-fat free vegetable shortening
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 1  egg
  • 1/4  cup water
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 3  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda

Preparation

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening and granulated sugar on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add egg, water and vanilla; beat well. Add combined oats, flour, salt and baking soda; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Variations

Add 1 cup of any one or a combination of any of the following ingredients to basic cookie dough: raisins, chopped nuts, chocolate chips or shredded coconut. LARGE COOKIES:Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 17 minutes. ABOUT 2-1/2 DOZEN BAR COOKIES: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. Makes 24 BARS

Yield

ABOUT 5 DOZEN

GYB Tip: Overlooked Expenses When Starting Your Own Restaurant

It seems like all of America is watching “Next Great Restaurant.” I’m actually sitting here watching it right now when I came up with the inspiration to write this blog. If you haven’t seen the show yet, the concept is incredibly simple. A dozen contestants go head to head to compete for the opportunity to open their dream restaurant. Watching the show I began to think of how easy people must think it is to open a restaurant. HA! It’s not! The number one mistake that restauranteurs make is overlooking startup expenses when opening. Here are 5 commonly overlooked expenses that you should NOT overlook:

1- ADVERTISEMENT!!!! You have to advertise these days!! It takes more than just great food and decor to bring the people in. Customers need to know who you are , where you are, and why they should select your restaurant over the thousands of others out there. An inexpensive and effective way to do this is to advertise through social media outlets such as Facebook. Don’t forget the added expense of  trademarks, logos, and  graphics to be used.

2- Equipment Installation- Okay, so you are handy enough to install your gas range at home, but can you install a Vulcan 350,000 BTU, 60″ 10 Burner Gas Range with 2 Standard Ovens? Probably not. Be aware that different types of installers could be needed to install different types of equipment. You’ll need someone to install the Norlake Walk-in Cooler as well as the proper hood ventilation.

3- Permits and License- Permits and licenses are legally required for the safety of you and others but their fees can really add up quickly. Check your state, city, and county for applicable licenses and fees. Some will include

  • License for Your Business
  • Food Handler’s License or Permit
  • Liquor license (if you’re going to serve liquor)
  • Music license (if you’re going to play music)
  • Fire Certificates
  • Sign Permit

4- Designing a Menu- A well engineered menu is key to profitability and popularity. A good tip is to hire a photographer and graphic designer to create a beautiful menu with pictures that will capture your hungry customers eyes. Its quite easy to list the food you’re offering, it’s a whole new thing to show them exactly what will be be put in front of them.

5- Training Employees- First, you’ll need to pay to put help wanted ads in the local newspapers as well as most online employemnt search sites. After you hire your dream team, do not, I repeat do not assume that the experienced waitress you hired can effectively and accurately sell your menu. Take the time to train them on each dish- what ingredients did you use, how is it prepared, which wines will compliment the dish, and will the apple pie ala mode or the creme brulee make the dish complete. Have your cooks come in for several weeks before opening day to practice making each dish in a variety of ways. This will require having your team come in before you open to learn the menu. Remember their profeccieny is your profitability,

We want to hear from you! What overlooked expense advice do you have for new restauranteurs?

Today is National Empanada Day!

Have you ever tried an Empanada? Truth be told, I haven’t, although I’ve always been curious about it. Empanada’s are made in individual, half moon-shaped portions and filled with minced, seasoned meat. Although they are originally from Spain and Portugal, similar to many other foods, almost every culture has its own interpretation of the empanada.

Here’s what appears to be a delicious recipe for Empanadas from Omar Bizaro, owner of The Empanada Man. I plan on making this tonight! Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients
Shell
2 cups flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tbs salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup ice water

Filling
3 medium-sized onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs vegetable oil
2 tomatoes, peeled
3 cups cooked beef, chopped
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Shell

  • Sift together flour, sugar, egg, baking powder and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour as though you were making a pie crust by working it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle dough with just enough ice water so that it will hold together. Knead together briefly and allow to rest, covered about 10 minutes.
  • Roll dough out on a lightly floured board to circles about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Place a spoonful of empanada filling of your choice on one side of the circle. Moisten the edges of the circle with a small amount of water and fold the dough over the filling to make a half circle.
  • Press the edges together to seal. Bake at 375 degrees for 15- 20 minutes.

Filling

  • Saute onions and garlic in hot oil until translucent.
  • Add meat, sauté 5 more minutes. Stir in tomatoes,
    stock and remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer 30 minutes.
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