Monthly Archives: February 2011

National Pistachio Day

Today is National Pistachio Day! Here are some interesting facts about the delicious nut:

Nutty Pistachio Facts:

  • Pistachios grow on trees. They are native to the Middle East.
  • Its a long wait to get the first nut. A pistachio tree takes 7-10 years to mature.
  • California is the major producer in the U.S.
  • Pistachios are harvested in September by machines that shake the trees. It less than a minute.
  • The red dye is added to the nuts is only due to consumer demand for the color.
  • Its open hull is unique. The nut is ripe when the hull splits open.
  • People in the Middle East call it the “smiling nut” and in China its called the “happy nut”.
  • Pistachios are nutritious, so eat them up!

There’s no better way to celebrate National Pistachio Day than making the traditional Lebanese pastry Baklava. Enjoy!!

Lebanese Baklava Recipe


1 C Unsalted Butter
24 Sheets of Fillo Pastry
2 1/2 C Pistachio Nuts
3 T Granulated Sugar
1 T Rose Water
Ground pistachio for decoration

1 C Sugar
1 C Water
2 T Lemon Juice
1 T Rose Water


  • SYRUP: Put all the ingredients in a small pan. Stir on high until the sugar is dissolved stirring occasionally until the syrup is no longer watery. This will take around 5 minutes. Set aside to cool down.
  • BAKLAVA:Melt the butter in the microwave and brush the bottom of the baking pan (15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan) with butter. Lay the first sheet of filo pastry flat, and brush with butter. Do the same with 12 sheets. Set aside
  • Wash the pistachios. Put in a blender, add sugar, rose water and blend until fine.
  • Spread the nuts evenly on top of the filo pastry and cover with the rest of the filo pastry sheets, brushing each one with butter.
  • Brush the last sheet with water before you butter it.
  • Cut the pastry with a sharp knife-in a diamond shape, or any shape of your choice, bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove from oven and pour the syrup on top while it is hot, sprinkle ground pistachio and serve cold.



Restaurant Review: San Marcos Supermarket

Toledo definitely has its fair share of Mexican restaurants. Who would have thought that a supermarket in downtown Toledo would set the benchmark for Mexican culinary expertise in this Midwestern city? The idea to try out San Marcos stemmed from my husband complaining that my tacos and enchiladas were not as delicious as I had always assumed they were. Apparently, he ate at a little place called San Marcos Supermarket, where he savored the best Mexican food outside of Mexico (perhaps in the world). So, when Indoor Sales Bilingual Consultant Felicia Mysinger suggested that we feature San Marcos Supermarket as Burkett Restaurant Equipment’s restaurant of the month, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it!

San Marcos first opened a supermarket in Adrian, Michigan. Six years ago, the owners decided to open another store in Toledo to cater to the growing Latino community. They are located on Broadway in downtown Toledo, but don’t look for a huge grocery store or boldly painted building. The store is situated in an innocuous white  building with

The menu is simple and short which is awesome- Tacos, Caldos (soups), Quesadillas, Tostadas, Tamales, Burrtios, and Tortas which are served with your choice of steak, beef tongue, pork, pork skin, beef intestine, chicken, or ground beef (they also have vegetarian- just ask for it). San Marcos knows what they are good at making and they have made it their specialty as opposed to many other restaurants who seem to be Jack of All Trades, Masters of None.

I am amazed by the simplicity and freshness of their ingredients. No dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, or salsa to mask the true taste of the taco. On the contrary, the tacos are served with your choice of meat, onion, corn, and cilantro all on a homemade double corn tortilla and garnished with a slice of lime. I tried the carne asada (steak) and pollo (chicken) tacos on my first visit with an “Old-Style Mexican” Coca-Cola (made with sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup and served in a nostalgic glass bottle). Honestly, I could have easily eaten 3 more tacos had I not been so stuffed by the two that I ordered. One bite and I was hooked. I knew I had to come back to satisfy my taco craving and soon. Alas, seven long days later, Felicia and I returned for lunch once again. This time, I chose to sink my teeth into the Barbacoa (ground beef) and Vegetarian tacos and washed them down with fresh melon juice. I was hungry and thankfully when my food I arrived I was not let down. The cuisine was amazing, the waitstaff was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu items, and it was really cool to watch the chefs in the open kitchen working so hard and diligently. The next time I go in (which will probably be next week, and the week after, and the week after that…. you get my drift) I’ll order the quesadilla, burrito, and cheese tamale. I promised Felicia I would try the Horchata juice with my next meal. Horchata is ice cold cinnamon rice milk and a very popular natural refreshment in Latin America and Spain, but hard to find in Midwest America. The owner of San Marcos, Anna’s favorite dish is the tacos with lengua (beef tongue). I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to ever try that one, but if you are a culinary dare devil you should give it a try!

Twenty-two reviewers on Yelp gave San Marcos a rating of either 4 or 5 stars which is quite a feat for any restaurant. One reviewer said it best, “Make no mistake, these are the best tacos around.” Three weeks ago, San Marcos expanded the restaurant portion of their store providing ample seating for the bustling lunch crowd. After lunch, I suggest you browse their grocery store. The grocery store portion of the building offer authentic Mexican foodstuff and produce at incredibly inexpensive prices. As I walked out, completely stuffed, I noticed they had lemon-lime seasoned Lays potato chips- definitely have to try that too! Better yet, I think I’ll walk around the grocery BEFORE I have lunch.

By the way, San Marcos also offers take-out order and caters! (Perfect for your next business lunch or dinner party!)

San Marcos is located at 235 Broadway St Toledo, OH 43604. (419) 244-2373

Today is National Margarita Day!

Maragrita-with-Lime-SliceNearly every restaurant and bar feature Margarita on their alcohol menu and for good reason.The only thing that Americans may like more than pizza is a Margarita! There are many ways that you can celebrate this extraordinary drink: host a party, create new mixes and most importantly – enjoying the Margarita.

Margarita’s are a refreshing drink made from tequila, triple sec, lemon / lime juice, and some sort of sweetener (such as syrup). From special blended varieties to Margarita in a can – there are a myriad of different ways to enjoy what is without a doubt, the most famous cocktail in the world. It can be served shaken with ice, on the rocks, blended with ice (frozen margarita) or without ice (straight up). This chilly drink is usually served in the iconic Margarita glass, a variant of the classic champagne coupe. This glass is often rimed with salt to help even out the sweetness.

Who’s Drinking Margaritas?

  • The Margarita was the most popularly ordered drink in 2008, representing 18% of all mixed drink sales in the U.S.
  • On average, Americans consume 185,000 Margaritas per hour.
  • Margarita consumption peaks in the South, accounting for 34.9% of sales.
  • Based on sales, Atlanta, Miami, St. Louis and Nashville are among the best major metro cities for Margarita drinking

It is only appropriate to end this post with the recipe!

Classic Margarita Recipe

(makes one Margarita)

  • 1 ounce Tequila (try Herradura Silver)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • Fresh Lime Juice, to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Lime Wedge, for garnish


  • Rim glass with salt
  • Shake other ingredients over ice and pour into glass
  • Garnish with lime wedge


Try this Super Simple White Wine Sangria Recipe

Regardless of where or what kind of wine you drink, rest assured that there are plenty of health benefits to sipping the occasional glass of wine. Below are just four of the many benefits:

Fight heart disease: A daily glass of wine may increase the blood’s level of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids,

Boost your bones: Have a drink now, lower your risk of hip fracture later by as much as 20 percent. Scientists suspect the effect is due to the fact that alcohol increases estrogen and other hormones important to strong bones.

Protect your liver: People who drink one glass of wine regularly have half the risk of fatty liver disease compared to teetotalers. Only vino appears to work, though: Those who had equal amounts of beer or liquor actually increased their odds of the disease more than four times.

Ditch diabetes: Downing the cheer of your choice can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin. The more effectively your body responds to this hormone, the lower your odds of developing Type 2 diabetes.

With this knowledge how can you possibly resist a glass of wine?

This delicious recipe for Sangria made with white wine is a sure crowd pleaser!

The beauty of the simple White Wine Sangria recipe is that it is as delicious as it is easy, and it only gets better as you add your favorite fruits!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 Bottle of white wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 oranges (sliced) or may substitute 1 cup of orange juice)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 1 lime (sliced)
  • 1/2 liter of ginger ale or club soda (ginger ale for those with a sweeter tooth!)


Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange, lemon and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice.
Additional ideas: sliced strawberries, peaches, handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, a cup of citrus-flavored soda pop.

Try This Dessert Recipe for National Almond Day

Nuts are not only a delicious snack, they are very nutritious and healthy for you. Almonds are a prime example of a good snack for you as they are a great source of Vitamin E. Providing 25 grams of vitamin E, it provides 70% of the recommended daily allowance. They also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber and are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. Almonds also contain more calcium than any other nut. With reasons, like that, why not put down the bag of Doritos and grab a handful of almonds today! Almonds are also delicious when used for baking.

Make this delicious recipe for Tosca Cups from Chef Mark Zimmerman of Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, Ohio

Tosca Cups (Makes 15)


10 oz Crushed Almonds

8 oz Sugar

1 c (2 sticks) Butter, melted

1 1/4 oz Flour

1 3/4 oz Heavy Cream

1/16 t Salt


1- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill, covered, 1 hour.

2- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon 2 oz of almond mixture 6 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven, cool 1 minute.

3- Lift each warm disc w/ a metal spatula and lay over a tea cup to form a cup shape. Let stand until completely cool and remove. Fill cups with ice cream and hot fudge or your favorite filling.

This dessert will definitely be a hit at your next function! Hope you enjoy!

Today is International Pizza Day

Thin crust, New York Style, Deep Pan, rectangle, circle! No matter how you like your crust, pizza is one of America’s favorite foods, so it’s no surprise that there is a day to celebrate its deliciousness!

Did you know:

  • Pizza is a $30 billion a year industry in the U.S.?
  • On average, each person in the U.S. eats about 23 lbs of pizza per year?
  • Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in the United States every year, plus an additional one billion frozen pizzas?
  • 93% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month?

What you and I call pizza originated in Italy, but without cheese. In 1889, white mozzarella cheese was added to red tomato sauce and green basil leaves in order to resemble the colors of the flag of Italy in honor of Queen Margherita’s visit to Naples. The Queen enjoyed the pizza so much, it was named after her: Pizza Margherita. Pizza sure has come a long way since 1889. Just about any topping can be added to pizza nowadays. From pepperoni, to sardines, fresh vegetables like green peppers and broccoli, even duck pizza toppings are as creative as your imagination. Here are some popular pizza variations throughout the world.

  • I think the Brazilians are most creative when it comes to pizza toppings: hearts of palm, catupiry cheese, fresh corn, fresh herbs, mashed potatoes, grilled sausages, potato sticks, and curried chicken with coconut milk are mixed with more traditional toppings like olives, ham, bacon, oregano, and tomatoes.
  • In Russia, they serve pizza covered with “mockba,” a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon and onions. Red herring is also a topping of choice.
  • In India, some of the more popular international toppings in India are pickled ginger, minced mutton and “paneer,” (a form of cottage cheese), which looks quite like tofu but is obviously a dairy product. Tandoori chicken and chicken “tikka” are also increasingly popular toppings in India.
  • Americans tend to play on the safer side, when it comes to pizza. It should be no surprise that pepperoni is by far the most requested topping (36% of all pizza made in the U.S. is served with pepperoni). However, new gourmet pizza’s are popping up every where. Toppings like cajun shrimp, barbecue chicken, and even venison are gaining popularity.

Tell us, what is your favorite pizza topping?

Here’s a delicious recipe for Pizzeria Luigi’s Mona Lisa Pizza


Pizza Dough (makes enough for 2 16-18 inch pizzas)

Oil, for the bowls

1 ½ c Warm Water

Pinch of Sugar

½ ounce Dry Active Yeast

Pinch of Salt

3 ½ – 3 ¾ c All Purpose Flour

Pizza (makes 1 16-18 inch pizza)

Flour, for dusting work surface and pizza peel

Oil for a pizza pan

1 piece Pizza Dough ( ½ recipe from above)

14 ounce Pizza Sauce

12 ounces Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

4 ounces Italian Sausage, cooked

4 ounce Sliced Pepperoni

4 ounces Mushroom, sliced

1 small Red Onion, sliced

1 small Green Bell Pepper, diced

¾ c Sliced Black Olives


Pizza Dough: Lightly oil 2 large bowls. Put the warm water and sugar in a medium bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and stir until dissolved.  Let the yeast activate- 2 to 5 minutes. Add salt and 2 c of flour. Stir until well blended. Stir in another 1 ½ – 1 ¾ c flour until the dough is too stiff to stir with a spoon.

Divide dough in half. Knead each half about 7 times- do not knead too hard or the dough will rip at the top. Shape dough into round balls and put in oiled large bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in size- 30 to 60 minutes. Put the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour after it rises to gain elasticity.

Pizza Recipe: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. If you’re using a pizza stone, heat that too or lightly oil a pizza/baking pan sheet.

Put 1 piece of dough on floured surface and push down with your finger tips to get rid of any bubbles. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to the size and thickness you desire (16-18 inches)/ Transfer dough to pan. If using a stone, sprinkle a wooden pizza peel with flour and place the dough on top.

Spread on sauce, then sprinkle with cheese and toppings- leave a 1 inch border. Put the pan in the oven or slip the pizza from off the peel, directly onto the stone. Cook pizza for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Today is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day how I love fettuccine Alfredo! Thick noodles and white creamy sauce is a delicious and very popular Italian dish in the United States. Upon traveling to Italy in 2009, I was stunned to notice that none of the restaurants that we dined at offered fettuccine Alfredo. Well. there’s a good reason for that, Italians most commonly refer to this dish as “pasta al burro (with butter)” in southern Italy and “pasta in bianco (in white)” in northern Italy. Unlike spaghetti with it’s long history, fettuccine is a rather new phenomenon.

The restaurant’s story is that the dish was invented by di Lelio at his restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in 1914 as a variation of fettuccine al burro. When butter was added both before and after fettuccine was put in the serving bowl, the butter was known as doppio burro (double butter). Di Lelio’s original contribution was to double the amount of butter in the bowl before the fettuccine would be poured in (thus atriplo burro- triple butter effect instead of double) which he started doing for his pregnant wife who was having difficulty keeping food down. Alfredo added the new dish to his restaurant’s menu when his wife began eating again.

A long-time customer recounted that di Lelio’s restaurant became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped in and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1927. To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly displayed the photo on the wall. Pickford and Fairbanks served his dish to their friends and associates when they returned to Hollywood. Word about the new dish quickly spread. (Cookist)

Do not mistake store bought jars of Alfredo sauce as the real thing. Like so many ethnic cuisines, American consumers have done a wonderful job of stripping everything authentic out of fettuccine Alfredo. Do not despair dear readers! Presented here is an authentic fettuccine Alfredo recipe. Note the simplicity of it- no heavy cream, milk, egg yolk, or other thickening agent.

Alfredo di Lelio
Serves 4

1 lb. of fresh, very thin Fettuccine noodles
6 oz butter, unsalted
6 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (aged 24 months), grated

1- Cook the fettuccine noodles in 1 gallon of salted boiling water for three minutes with sea salt.

2- At the same time, mix the butter at room temperature in a bowl with the grated cheese until the cheese almost dissolved, forming a smooth cream. If using a mixer, this should not take more than three minutes at which time the noodles will be ready.

3- Strain the pasta leaving just a small amount of water and toss the noodles with the Alfredo sauce ( which is more like a cheese compound butter). Plate and sprinkle additional grated cheese on top if desired.

Note: The sauce should be barely thick enough to coat the pasta without pooling on the bottom of the plate, but it should not be so thick like spackle. The sauce can be made the same time that it takes to bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta. I know some versions that put the bowl on top of the water as it is boiling and the pasta is cooking to heat the cream and butter then when the pasta is done draining it and adding the hot pasta to the warmed cream and melted butter and add the cheese and seasonings.

If you want to learn more about fettuccine Alfredo, check out this interesting article from the New York Times.

Buon Appetito!

FAQ: What do I do when I receive a product that has been shipped damaged?

Q: What do I do when I receive a product that has been shipped damaged?

A: When you order an item from Burkett Restaurant Equipment, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that tells you the item has been shipped as well as what to do if you receive defective equipment. If you receive a damaged product, you have several options to rectify the issue:

  1. If the customer wishes to accept the freight then sign for it noting damages in the signature box or in the specified location on the delivery receipt and call Burkett Customer service who will process the claim & exchange/return order.
  2. If the customer does not wish to accept the freight then refuse the shipment and call Burkett Customer service who will process the claim & exchange/return order.

Our main tip to you is to thoroughly inspect each item that has been delivered, before you sign for it. If you sign off on an item that it was delivered in good condition without thoroughly inspecting it, only to realize later that the item is defective or damaged, will limit your recourse with the freight company leaving you responsible for the damages.

If you have any questions about our damaged shipment policy , please contact our Customer Service Department or visit us at

It is a fairly simple process for the customer and we only have issues when people just do not hold up their responsibilities.  This has not been an issue before as people commonly accept responsibility.

Today is National Carrot Cake Day

Carrot-cake-on-white-plate-with-nutsCarrot Cake is definitely in my top 5 favorite dessert list! Just seeing this super moist cake and cream cheese icing brings an instant smile to my face. I’ve tried all different kinds of carrot cakes and even dabbled in making a few myself. Personally, I like the single layer cake- its delicious and satisfying with half the calories of a double layer cake. Most restaurants offer the double layer version with super thick icing garnished with crushed walnuts. It can be made into little muffins or in a Bundt cake, low-fat, or even have a secret ingredient like pineapples and/or walnuts, macadamia nuts, or a coconut cream cheese frosting. Did you know that fried carrot cake, known as “chai tow kway,” is a common breakfast or snack item in Southeast Asia? No matter what you put into your carrot cake and as long as it has lots and lots of shredded carrots in the batter- you can call it carrot cake.

Here’s a recipe for sumptuous carrot cake that my mom makes. It’s a sure crowd pleaser! Try it out and tell us what you think!



2 1/2 c Flour

1 1/2 c Sugar

1 1/2  c Vegetable Oil

3 c Shredded Carrots

2 c Pineapple Tidbits, drained

4 Eggs

1/4 t Salt

2 t Cinnamon

2 t Vanilla

2 t Baking Powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 c Walnuts


1- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

2- Spread into a greased 9×13 baking pan

3- Bake on 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes


1/2  Stick Butter, room temperature

4 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature

1/2 t Vanilla

2 c Powdered Sugar


1- Beat all ingredients together

2- Spread on cooled carrot cake

Are you a fan of carrot cake? What’s your secret ingredient?

February is National Cherry Month

Fresh-Cherry-PieUnbeknownst to me, February is National Cherry Month! I never would have thought that February of all months was the month to celebrate cherries. To me, cherries are one of those delicious summer fruits that you sit out on your front porch and eat with a glass of lemonade or wine. According to many websites, the reason that February is National Cherry Month has to do with the fact that President’s Day and George Washington’s Birthday is also celebrated during this month. Well that makes sense! I mean, what could be more American than Cherry Pie?

This is the 1999 American Pie Council’s National Pie Championship first place winner in the Fruit and Berry Category.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 10 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with the whisking blades of a stand mixer until the crumbs are pea sized. Mix in cold water. Refrigerate until chilled through. Roll out dough for a two crust pie. Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.
  2. Place the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium size non-aluminum saucepan. Allow the mixture to stand for 10
    minutes, or until the cherries are moistened with the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat; simmer for 1 minute, or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove pan from heat, and stir in butter and almond extract. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Cover with top crust.
  3. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degree C) oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
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