Got an Outdoor Restaurant? Here’s How to Make It Look Posh

outdoor-restaurantAl fresco or outdoor dining gives a different experience than dining outside. It allows guests to enjoy the gorgeous view outside, the fresh air and the relaxing atmosphere. If you have an outdoor restaurant, you want it to look polished in order to attract more customers. Who ever said that you couldn’t style a dining space outdoors as you do for your indoor dining area? Here are some tips on how to make your outdoor restaurant look posh.

1. Set the Mood

First and foremost, have a clear idea on what mood or ambiance you would like to set for your outdoor restaurant. This would help you in deciding on the other areas including the furniture, lighting and decors. Do you want it to be romantic or more casual and relaxed? Perhaps you may have an area that is more open and relax, and a separate area for those who prefer a more quiet or romantic dining experience.

2. Choose the Right Furniture

When people hear the word outdoors, one thing typically comes to their mind and that’s the use of plastic tables and chairs. However, you are not limited to this as there are stylish furniture that are made from other materials like metal and woods that are also weather resistant. If you prefer metal furniture, one of your options is stainless steel. It’s more affordable than aluminum and wrought iron, it requires less maintenance and it lasts long. Aluminum on the other hand is lightweight and rust free. Plus, you would find more designs from simple to intricate ones. Wrought iron is also durable, but make sure to get those that have been coated for protection against rust. For wood furniture, your best choices are teak, cedar and eucalyptus. Make sure that they are treated at least once a year for weather protection.

3. Add Lighting

The right lighting can also help in setting the mood. Plus, it would make it more convenient for the customers to dine at night. Do not overdo it though as you are after a classy style. Some of the things that you could use are torches, candles, lanterns and Christmas lights. Play around with the design and see what would work best for the look that you are after.

4. Use Some Decors

Do not limit yourself with decorating just the inside of your restaurant. You can also add some decors to further enhance the look of your al fresco dining area. Some of the touches that you can add are stepping stones, statues and romantic flower arrangements.

5. Mow the Lawn

Mowing the lawn may be a no brainer but the thing is, there are still some who do not pay attention to it. It would be a huge turn off to your guests if the lawn is not properly taken cared of no matter how gorgeous your setting is. They would not want to step on grown grasses and this would also affect the overall appearance of the space.

While it will need more maintenace, grass is definitely more romantic than say, asphalt floors. You would need to invest in a lawnmower, set aside time to mow the lawn, and water the grass every morning — a couple of hours before you open shop. The good news is that lawnmowers are pretty affordable, just make sure to read zero turn mower comparison articles so you’re able to pick the best one.

Aside from the things listed, a take away is to consider adding retractable shading like a canopy. This would help a lot if weather changes like if it gets too hot or if it starts to rain. With this, you can be confident that your customers would enjoy an amazing al fresco dining experience anytime.

Also read: Eight Ways Good Food Can Help Your Health

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Setting Up a Restaurant? Here’s What Appliances You Will Need


The list of appliances needed by a restaurant differs, depending on what the restaurant will offer. Still, there are some basic equipment needed – from a kitchen to store and prepare food and deliveries, freezers and refrigerators, dishwasher, food processors, counters, sinks, grills, ovens and gas ranges. When setting up a restaurant, here are some of the appliances you should have.

1. Counters and prep tables

This will depend on the number of people you will hire to work in the kitchen at any one time. You should consider the space you have. But above all, you should have kitchen counters for food preparation that should be very easy to clean and maintain. Included here are prep tables that could be attached to other kitchen equipment or free-standing ones. Stainless steel counters and prep tables are now standard in restaurant kitchens.

2. Dishwasher and sinks

You need sinks to wash vegetables, meats, fruits and the various small appliances and tools used for food preparation. The dishwasher should be fast, efficient and large. Local health departments normally require dish and hand-washing stations. You should find an industrial restaurant dishwasher that dispenses dish washing liquid automatically. Likewise it should keep the water temperature at a constant level. There should be a hand-washing station as well.

3. Walk-in/Freezer

There are health regulations concerning freezers and refrigerators so you should know them before you purchase a freezer or refrigerator. You should have a good idea of how cold food should be kept. Choose between a full walk-in type or reach-in with drawers type of refrigerator. If you are offering cocktails and has a full bar, you need an automatic ice machine. Freezers come is different types and sizes as well. Choose whether you want a walk-in freezer, a stand-up freezer or a chest freezer.

4. Small appliances

This includes food processors, bread machines and mixers. You also need a food warmer because not everything will be ready simultaneously.

5. Safety Equipment

Safety is very much a concern in restaurants. There are a variety of sharp knives. There’s the threat of scalding from hot water, burns from frozen items, fires, hot pan and sauces and extremely hot oil. Trips, slips and falls are also likely to occur. Tall shelves with pots, pans and other objects that might break also pose a threat, thus safety equipment is required. You need to purchase restaurant first-aid kits containing items suitable for treating injuries that commonly happen in kitchens. There should be fire extinguishers in the correct size, configuration and quantity.

6. Front house of house equipment

This part of the restaurant is what will be seen by customers. Equipment you acquire here should be nice, long lasting, easy to clean, comfortable and efficient. They should also be easy to replace. Equipment include plates, stations, chairs, tables, etc. There should also be provisions for child-friendly equipment such as unbreakable plates and high chairs.

7. Commercial kitchen range

The heart of the restaurant business it the quality of the food, which brings you to the topic of choosing the right kind of cooking equipment, one of which is the best professional gas range in the market. Just like the other equipment and appliances you need, the choice of a commercial kitchen gas range depends on what you will cook, the volume of food you are likely to cook in a day and the size of your kitchen. The dimensions of a restaurant range are 24″, 36″, 48″, 60″ and 72″. Common configurations include 4, 6, 8, or 10 burners and an optional charbroiler or griddle.

Another thing to look into is the BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating. A restaurant range with higher BTU rates will heat things quicker, has faster heat recovery times but comes with a higher energy consumption. A range with a lower BTU will heat food slowly but efficiently.

You’ll need to make a choice in ovens as well. Standard ovens produce central heat from a central heater that is quickly distributed via a baffle, although they cook food slower than convection ovens. On the other hand, convention ovens have fans to distribute the heat, cook food faster and more evenly as heat circulates constantly.

A charbroiler and griddle are good options to add on, as they allow you to cook multiple foods simultaneously. Broiling meat, poultry and seafood is faster and more effective with a charbroiler.

Purchasing restaurant equipment involves a huge investment. Determine the right type of equipment you need based on before you purchase to keep your budget in check.

Also read: What Are the Must Have Kitchen Items to Prepare Great Food?

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Eight Ways Good Food Can Help Your Health

Eight Ways Good Food Can Help Your HealthHave you ever heard of the old saying, “you are what you eat?” There is actually more truth to this saying than most people realize. Our bodies need good and high-quality healthy food to keep things in complete balance. Junk food such as fast food, chips, and candy can throw off that balance and can even make us sick. Obesity is a huge problem in the world today and it has reached epidemic numbers. This epic problem has taken over many countries including the United States. Today we are going to learn how good food can improve your overall health. So if you are looking to improve your health and the quality of life you lead, you need to pay close attention. This information can help you reach your goals and you will be much happier about life in general. As a note, you should also compliment a healthy diet with regular exercise, you can find plenty of reviews of the best home gym equipment online.

Eight Ways That Good Food Can Help Your Health

1. Healthy food can lower your blood pressure

Food such as spinach, beets, and celery has been proven to help lower blood pressure. Regulating your blood pressure is a great way to reduce certain diseases and prolong your life at the same time.

2. They can help fight cancer

Green tea and other foods can help rid the body of free radicals which are known to cause cancer. By eating cancer-fighting foods, you will lower your risk of developing this life-threatening medical condition.

3. Good food can help you get a better night’s rest

Certain foods such as walnuts, honey, rice, and almonds have been known to help people fall asleep fast and stay asleep the entire night. Getting a good night’s rest is very important to our bodies and it is a good way for our bodies to regenerate. So before you get the best bed for back pain to help with your back issues and lack of sleep, you should first consider adding some sleep inducing food into your diet.

4. They can give you more energy

Instead of chugging down energy drinks or coffee to stay awake, why not eat something healthy? An apple in the morning has the same waking effect as a cup of coffee and it’s much healthier for you.

5. Good food can help you live longer

The healthier you eat the longer you will live. This is a fact that doctors around the world have known for many centuries.

6. Eating healthy can help you lose weight

Instead of starving yourself to lose those extra pounds, why not enjoy some healthy food? Good food can help boost your metabolism which will burn more calories. Combined with exercise, healthy food can help you get back into shape quickly.

7. You will feel much better

When you eat healthy your body will thank you for allowing you to feel much better. A proper diet of healthy food will give you more energy and you will have the stamina needed to take on your day.

8. Healthy food is better for your budget

When you cook from scratch with healthy food, you will spend far less. Going out to restaurants is expensive and you never really know what goes into the food. By controlling what you eat, you can not only be much healthier but you will save money as well.

Posted in My Blog

What Are the Must Have Kitchen Items to Prepare Great Food?

What Are the Must Have Kitchen Items to Prepare Great FoodWhat are the must-have kitchen items to prepare great food? You might be surprised at the answer because one of the most important things that you can have is a microwave. Many people have a tendency to scoff at the idea that a microwave is a kitchen necessity. The truth is, it can make all the difference in the world between preparing a delicious meal on time or being an hour or more late with dinner. It also works exceptionally well for helping you create delicious meals and heating things up when you have prepared meals ahead of time without taking all night long to do it.

The Versatility of a Microwave

Typically, most people use a microwave to defrost food so that it can be cooked in less time, even when they plan on cooking it in a more traditional manner, such as in the oven. Furthermore, they also might use it as a main way of cooking certain items. Imagine that you are cooking a large meal and you have something on every burner of the stove and the oven is full. If you need to heat up a can of vegetables, such as corn or green beans, the microwave is the perfect avenue to achieve that without adversely impacting the taste of the vegetables themselves. This helps you get your meals prepared more quickly while still ensuring that everything tastes great.

In addition, you can use the microwave to heat things up that have been prepared ahead of time. A lot of people prepare things in advance so that they can simply take food out of the freezer and heat it up during the week. For a busy family, this is a real lifesaver. Heating things up in the microwave speeds up the process even more and allows everyone to spend more time enjoying being together instead of preparing a meal.

As you can see, the microwave is indeed an essential kitchen item. Without it, you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage. Even if you are a purist in the kitchen and you prefer to cook everything in a more traditional manner, a microwave is still an essential. If you don’t already own one, it’s about time that you research on the top ten microwaves in the market today and pick the best one for your needs!

Also read: Essential Tools For Baking

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The Importance Of Room Temperature Ingredients

baking-tipsBaking is more a science than an art. Unlike regular cooking, the ingredients in baking need to be at the right proportions to yield the best results. Home baking has grown widely in recent years and more and more home bakers are setting up their own successful baking establishments. If you are just starting out then you have to follow the instructions in this post to turn out gorgeous cakes and other goodies that are not only appealing but also taste sinfully delightful.

exps38612_TH1192382D35ABaking is a process that requires plenty of patience. You can’t hurry through the process if you want to get great results. Most recipes call for ingredients to be at room temperature before you use them. Very often we are guilty of using a slab of butter right from the fridge or adding eggs that have been sitting on the fridge for a week. You can get away with using these ingredients in other forms of cooking but baking is an exact process and an ingredient that is not at the right temperature can lead to disastrous results.

Some recipes mention that ingredients like cream, cheese, eggs, buttermilk should be at room temperature before including them in the cooking. For these recipes you should be careful to set out the ingredients outside for some time and bring them to room temperature before including them. This step has not been designed to merely prolong the baking process and there is a whole lot of food science in play behind this step. Ingredients when at the room temperature react differently than when cold. So the next time, you bake a cookie or a cake, read the recipe carefully and use the ingredients at the right temperature.

Read Also: Basic Tips In Baking To Get The Perfectly Baked Goodies

Posted in Baking

Basic Tips In Baking To Get The Perfectly Baked Goodies

09a5c95a3f8587b65b54708870f8a9e0We often pride ourselves in cooking the most difficult recipes easily. But often fail when it comes to baking. Baking is a process that involves following the recipes to a tee. So if you are cook who is used to just randomly popping in ingredients without measuring then baking might prove disastrous for you. However worry not. Here I list some of the basic tips that can guide you in creating yummy lip smacking goodies. These are some very basic tips that any baker knows. However we often tend to forget them. So it is imperative that you remember these tips before you begin baking.

101454246.jpg.rendition.smallest.ss1. Use the Right Butter:
Do not skimp on butter. Butter lends the wonderful aroma to a baked dish. So throw away your diet and add good quality fatty butter to your recipes. Also make sure that butter is at the right temperature. Do not just add butter right from the fridge. Read the recipe carefully and check out the consistency of butter mentioned and add accordingly. Most bakers when they are running short of time try to soften the butter by heating in a microwave for a few minutes. While this doesn’t spoil the end result, micro-waved butter gives a greasy quality to your baked goodies. So plan ahead if you are baking and let butter sit undisturbed on your kitchen counter for one hour before you begin baking.

2. Always read the recipe:
Read through the recipe and don’t just skim through it. I make it a practice to read any recipe at least twice before baking. This way you can be sure of the consistencies of various ingredients and it helps you to mentally prepare yourself for the process. It takes only two minutes to read it the extra time but it saves you from disastrous results.

3. Get the ingredients measured:
Once you read the recipe the next step is to measure the ingredients and get them prepped before you begin baking. This way you can avoid running around frantically for an ingredient that you have missed halfway through baking.

4. Measure exactly:
Different ingredients need to be measured in different ways. The ways of measuring liquid ingredients is totally different from that of dry ingredients. Also sugar has to be packed whereas flour should not be packed in a cup. So check out various tutorials online and learn the right way to measure your ingredients.

5. Know your Oven:
Most recipes specify the time required to bake the product. But however remember that your oven is totally different from that of others. So know the time required to heat up the element in your oven and use it accordingly.

Read Also: Essential Tools For Baking

Posted in Baking

Essential Tools For Baking

unnamedAre you a home maker who is planning to venture into baking? Do you often stand at the endless aisles in the grocery store wondering which ones you require for successful baking? Fret not here I list the required equipments for great baking.

1. Measuring Cups and Spoons:
This is a vital requirement for baking. You just can’t use regular teaspoons, table spoons and measuring cups in your pantry. There are several cups available in the market that has measurements either in the metric system or the US system. Choose a cup that has measurements in both the systems as different recipes specify the ingredients in different systems.

51sENQTCAXL._SY300_2. A wide mixing bowl:
A mixing bowl is essential for mixing up ingredients together. Choose a bowl that is wide enough and has a supportive base so that it doesn’t slip easily.

3. Whisks and Spatulas:
Invest in a pair of good quality whisks and spatulas as they are sure to be used often. You can even get the silicon whisks and spatulas available. They are easily to clean and easier to handle than regular wooden spatulas.

4. Electric Beater:
This is an important equipment, so pick one that can suit you in the long run. Instead of going in for the cheapest product, look for a brand that offers you warranty and replacement in case the electric beater fails. Also an electric beater with different speed options is better as different recipes call for mixing at different speed levels. If you bake on a daily basis you can invest in a Kitchen Aid that allows for hands free mixing.

5. Cake pans:
Select just the basic cake pans and as you become an expert you can go in for different types of pans.

Posted in Baking

Cotton Candy – A Look Into The Origins Of This Favourite Candy

HTB1eHrTHpXXXXXQXVXXq6xXFXXXCCotton candy is a favourite treat among people of all ages right from toddlers to people in their sixties everyone loves this popoular candy. Cotton candy was invented by a dentist. Yes this candy that has caused tooth decay among several people was invented by a dentist named William Morrison in the year 1897 at Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. The candy was introduced in the state fair at St.Louis and was an instant hit. The candy was initially called as fairy floss as the appearance resembled the wings of a dainty fairy.

cotton-candybags_06fa062f-34a2-4099-9fca-7be753efc720_largeThough cotton candy as we know it was introduced in the year 1897, it was based on a goody created by several chefs in Italy centuries ago. In the year, 1400 a group of chefs in Italy created a new process that created strands of candy when sugar was spun at high speeds inside a drum. It was a time consuming process and the entire process was done by hand. Cooks twisted the spun sugar using forks and spread it over various objects to give the candy a definite shape. As it required a lot of physical labour it was not afforded by everyone and only the wealthy aristocrats could indulge in this treat.

The cotton candy machine in use today was introduced in the year 1972 and it reduced the labour involved in the process of making the candy. Cotton candy is commonly available in the colours pink and blue but can be found in other colours too. It has become a staple food in fairs and circuses all over the wovrld and still occupies the favourite position for many kids around the world. So the next time, you eat cotton candy remember the humble beginning of this candy centuries ago.

Posted in Food History


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