Category Archives: Food

Book Your Holiday in Cornwall to Coincide With the Food and Drink

If you’re looking for the best time to book a cottage deal in Cornwall, why not plan your break to coincide with the county’s food and drink festival?

The event takes place in cathedral city – Truro – between September 24th and 26th and could be a fantastic part of your holiday in Cornwall, bringing locals together along with tourists and professionals from the culinary world at the city’s central Lemon Quay Piazza.

Activities scheduled to take place include cook-offs, cookery lessons and cocktail-making demonstrations. At the market square, you’ll be able to catch sight of professional chefs whipping up mouth-watering morsels and pick up tips to put into practice when you return to your country holiday home in the evening.

Among the chefs in action will be winner of the south-west heat of BBC TV’s Great British Menu, Michelin-starred Nathan Outlaw. If you’d prefer some light entertainment, why not watch amateurs battle it out, when the BBC Radio Cornwall presenters compete against one another and the clock in a live cooking challenge?

Youngsters will also compete against each other in the kitchen when the Young Chefs’ Challenge takes place, with two teams of children aged 11 or under putting their skills to the test.

If you’re hoping to pick up some specialist advice, why not take some lessons at Skill School? Professional chefs will be giving expert cooking tuition that could make you the envy of all your friends back home. Or you might like to pick up some tips on how to make the best mixed drinks at the Cornish Cocktail Championships. Other activities going on at the event include the Greatest Coffee Morning, which is a nationwide appeal by cancer charity Macmillan.

Lose Weight is to Increase Your Food and Drink Intake

It may sound counterintuitive, but according to dietitians and nutritionists, the best way to lose weight is to actually increase some of your food and drink intake.

Yes, it is true. However, before you ring up the pizza delivery place for an order of meaty pizza with a double layer of cheese, you might actually want to consider precisely what foods and drinks you should help yourself to in order to shed off some points off the bathroom scale. Needless to say, stocking up on pizzas, oily meat and double heaping of cheese is not the best way to lose weight.

But there are some other edibles you can eat as much as you can, whenever, wherever.

1. Vegetables would top that list very easily. Two or three servings per day are the recommended volume. That would be about 1 cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup of lightly cooked vegetable dish per meal. However, you can increase this if you feel less than satisfied with what is currently on your plate.

Raw vegetables have most of its nutrients intact, which means that you can gain the most benefits from eating these washed, peeled and simply cut. Dieticians and nutritionists are also recommending these as healthy snacks in case you come down with a serious case of munchies. Some of the best raw vegetables you can munch on are: carrots, celery, cucumber, fennel, lettuce, and all manner of herbs.

However, if you prefer cooked vegetables instead, make sure that these are lightly cooked (steamed, or grilled) and that these are not over marinated or swimming in oil or broths made of heavy creams. It is actually very easy to remember which vegetables you can increase in your meals. These would be the vibrantly colored ones.

2. There are certain fruits that you can increase in your daily meals. Take note of the fact that not all fruits are recommended for consuming on large volumes because these may contain high levels of fats, or have adverse effects on your health altogether. Avocadoes, apricots, mangoes are high in fat so these must be limited. However, you can go all out on some of the more fibrous fruits. Peppers and tomatoes are fruits that are very often used in dishes. These can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Apples, cantaloupes, pears, water melons are also especially great because these contain high volumes of liquid and fiber. Bananas should be limited to one piece per serving, or a maximum of 3 per day.

Try to eat the fruits as they are. Juicing them may make them easier to swallow, but it also releases the sorbitol compounds (from the natural sugars of the fruits). And sorbitol is not a good compound to take in large volumes because these trigger hunger pangs and food cravings as well. Eat the fruits whole and fresh. These are far better than eating them dried or pickled or swimming in caramel.

3. Water is always part of the good elements when it comes to the best way to lose weight. 8 glasses of water per day is the recommended volume. However, you can increase this as much as you want, as long as you know that you are drinking safe water. Try to steer clear of those that contain flavors, because these contain calories as well. Other liquids like sports drinks, tea, coffee, and cola may contain water, but these contain other ingredients that may not be safe to consume in large amounts. Even the innocuous tea contains caffeine which can accelerate the heart’s movements. Stick to plain, unflavored water, and you can literally have as much as you want.

How to Save Money on Food and Drink

It is sometimes amazing how much we money we spend on eating and drinking without even realizing it. Even just snacks and sodas and coffees can add up shockingly fast. It turns out you probably can eat and drink better without spending lots of money and in fact saving money.

Keep a log for a couple of weeks of where you spend money on food and drink. It doesn’t have to be anything formal, just take notes, and you’ll probably be surprised. You should see places you can save money without cutting back.

One place lots of money is spent is on soda, coffee, and similar drinks especially when in the office. I put a little mini refrigerator, about 30 dollars, in my office and I buy sodas by the case from Sams club instead of across the street now. It paid for itself in about 6 weeks, and the soda is the same! No compromises here.

I also found I was spending over $1000 a year on cups of coffee! I now make better coffee in my office for far less money. Yes, I’ll still go to the local coffee shop if I want to get out of the office and hangout somewhere, usually with my laptop, but if I just want coffee I make it myself and it’s better coffee too.

Most days I bring lunch to the office. It saves a lot of money and I have a healthier and usually tastier lunch.

Sample Great-Tasting Food and Drink

Are you looking to go on France villa holidays that give you the opportunity to indulge in sumptuous food and drink? If this is the case, you may want to consider booking villas in Provence.

While a visit to this part of south-east France at any time of year is sure to prove a delight of the senses, choosing to travel in November could be particularly advised if you are something of a gastronome.

Over the course of the month, the region holds a variety of food and drink-related festivals and events, which are almost certain to tickle your tastebuds.

And if you’re a fan of truffles there is perhaps no better time of year to visit Provence than November. As this is when the truffle season begins, you are sure to find a holiday here provides you with the opportunity to sink your teeth into the fantastic-tasting fungi.

Towns throughout Provence host weekly markets dedicated to truffles, so you should be able to tuck into black Perigord and burgundy truffles to your heart’s content! Carpentras and Riez are just two of the locations that have such markets, so you will be able to travel around the region while tasting the local produce.

However, you may also want to spend time in Richerenches. Each November, the Provence village hosts Ban des Truffes – a festival held to mark the opening of its truffle market.

As you browse the markets, you may want to purchase enough fungi to take back to your villa so you can create fantastic dishes with the ingredient and have an authentic French meal.

But there is much more than truffles for you to tuck into while on holiday in Provence.

Gilete and Fontan are just two of the towns in the region that hold a chestnut festival every November.

If you’re looking for something to wash down all that fantastic food, you may be glad to know Provence is also home to a number of wine festivals. Why not check out the Cotes du Rhone festival? Held in Avignon on the third Thursday of the month, the event gives you the chance to sample a variety of wines from the Rhone valley region.

Tips for Handling Unlimited Food and Drinks Without Gaining Weight

Even four years after being lap-banded, the idea of going to an all inclusive beach resort makes me more than a little nervous – seven days and nights of unlimited food and drinks. I had been looking forward to this trip all summer. Sun, hot weather, crystal clear water, music, great company, and happy kids are my idea of a perfect vacation.

My only fear was navigating the open bars, the restaurants, and the buffet. I painfully remember all the vacations that I didn’t really enjoy because I hated the way I looked; I was embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit. Depending on where I was in my yo-yo dieting cycle, I’d either be starving myself, or eating and drinking everything in sight, and loathing myself for it!

I was reminded once again that it’s all about my choices. There are good choices for me and there are bad choices for me. I know what they are. I made good choices. I also found myself people watching. Some people can seemingly down 800 calorie drinks and plates of desserts without paying the consequences. Others, like me, can’t. I am responsible for me and what my body needs. My choices certainly weren’t perfect yet I used my lap band on vacation and it worked!

I had a great vacation. I didn’t feel pressure. We had fun. We laughed, we played, we swam, and we kicked back. I am proud when I see my healthy, fit, active kids loving an active life.

When I came home from the trip, I weighed myself and much to my surprise I was actually down 2 pounds! Now to be honest, I think that those 2 pounds are really a result of the work I did prior to vacation that didn’t show up on the scale right away. But still I didn’t gain weight on vacation! I had a great time even if I still haven’t made peace with the loose skin on my thighs.

What I re-learned is that it’s still all about choices and having a plan. Here are some tips that worked for me on vacation:

• My band still restricts high quality solid foods even in a Caribbean paradise but…liquid calories – especially frozen drinks could easily be my downfall; water is the best choice at the pool bar.

• I kept up my physical activity – I used the gym, swam, joined in on the water aerobics, and had fun keeping up with my kids.

• At the buffet – I walked the buffet without a plate. I surveyed the choices and developed a plan for what to put on my plate. There were lots of good choices but I had to “just say no” to my trigger foods.

• I didn’t deprive myself. I planned for some “treats” in tiny portions. After all, when I relax and allow myself to really savor my food, that first bite always tastes best. I allowed myself to try some of the treats I really wanted – one bite of my daughter’s profiterole; a tiny scoop of ice cream. (These are not triggers for me; my triggers are starches, breads, pastas, chips etc.)

• I wasn’t afraid to ask for what I didn’t see on the menu – no plain salad at the seafood grill was easily resolved.

• I brought protein powder – I always had my plan “B.”

• I had a great time and allowed myself to enjoy living in my body!

• Even if I had blown it, I would have gained a few pounds, but I wouldn’t have returned home at 232 lbs; I still have my lap band and I know how to use it.

Food and Drink Serving Etiquette for Restaurants

The etiquette of serving food is a set of rules which are adopted by restaurants, caterers and even at private dinner parties. Use these rules as a guide, they are not official rules and can differ between cultures and countries.

While some of these techniques may sound petty and a bit over the top, most have a sound explanation. Making service appear smooth and faultless allows the customer to relax and not be interrupted by service staff. It dates back to when servants were required to serve their masters without being noticed.

The order of who to serve first starts with the guest of honour and anyone else of importance. Followed by the eldest woman all the way to the youngest male. The host is to be served last. This is for all service to the table including taking food and drink orders and serving them (if serving all at once isn’t possible).

Food and drinks are usually served from the left and cleared from the right but this varies in different regions of the world.

Plates are only cleared when everyone on the table has finished. To make sure everyone has finished, ask the table if they have finished followed by ‘Was everything OK?’ Although, this is fine, try ask a open question so you receive feedback rather than a yes or no.

Never rush your guests, allow for a break between courses especially before desserts. Obviously drinks are served before any food orders are taken. The bill is only given to the table once it has been asked for.

If the table has wine or champagne, remember to periodically top up their glasses. However there is a fine line between being intrusive and neglecting your customer. Avoid letting your customer pour their own drinks unless they have expressed this.

Remember to be human; you want your guests to be relaxed and comfortable. Build rapport with your guests, but don’t become friends with them. Avoid making remarks about your guests, such as don’t comment on a clean plate as that could imply your guest is greedy or fat.

Food and Drink

When we think about losing weight through our diet, we tend to focus on eating less food. Yes, consuming fewer calories will definitely help you to lose weight. But when your goal is to burn pounds and fat, keep in mind that along with exercising, certain foods and drinks will help you to burn weight and fat faster. Here are some of the best foods to help you meet that goal:

Almonds

If you want to boost your metabolism, then go nuts about almonds! The essential fatty acids contained in them make your metabolism higher. As word of caution, eat almonds in moderation since they’re extremely high in calories.

Apple

Make sure to eat the peel! The fiber in apples requires your body to burn extra calories, in order to break it down for digestion.

Cinnamon

Not only will this help to add some pizzazz to your food and drinks, but it will also metabolize sugars more efficiently.

Coffee

This doesn’t provide an excuse to drink a gallon of java per day. Make sure to keep your coffee consumption in moderation. The caffeine contained in two or three cups of coffee would be enough to boost your metabolism-without making you feel ready for liftoff.

Grapefruit

While all fresh fruits are beneficial to your health, grapefruits are one of the “super fruits”. They reduce your body’s insulin levels, which cause it to store fat. Grapefruits are also high in fiber, so your body will burn more calories, in order to reduce it to usable energy. This is a fantastic way to start your morning!

Green Tea

What makes green tea so special? It’s an outstanding source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea helps to boost the speed of your nervous system and brain, thus resulting in your body burning additional calories. While the Chinese have been drinking green tea for thousands of years, modern dietitians are rediscovering the health benefit of this super-healthy food.

Jalapenos

These peppers burn additional calories hours after you consume them-thus boosting your metabolism.

Soy Milk

The high amount of calcium helps to increase your metabolism.

Spinach

You should forgo the canned spinach and Popeye eats, and stick to the fresh stuff. Besides boosting your metabolism, this “super food” is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Turkey

No, it’s not just for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is high in protein, which helps to add on lean muscle tissue to your body. This allows you to boost your metabolism and burn additional calories. If you want to lose weight, then that’s a good thing!

Yogurt

While many of us have the notion that full-fat foods should be absent in our diet, recent research is proving otherwise. For example, the high amount of protein contained in full-fat yogurt requires a whole lot of energy, in order to process it. And more energy used translates into more calories burned!

Facing Funeral Catering

Funeral catering is tough. Unfortunately, being faced with having to arrange a funeral or wake is something that nearly all of us will face at some point in our lives. In the midst of grief and bereavement, having to think about catering for a loved one’s departure is likely to be the last thing you feel able to do but at the same time you also want to give your loved one the best send- off you can. From a funeral catering point of view, the venue and likely numbers of guests is key information to have before you can start thinking about the food and drink you may like to serve.

Food options range from cold buffets, hot-fork buffets to even a sit-down meal, although this tends to be less common at funerals. Buffets allow flexibility for the numbers of guests to change slightly and also gives people the choice as to how much they feel like eating. Many guests will also appreciate the variety of food a buffet offers. Often, guests at a funeral are feeling a bit fragile and will appreciate comfort food and sweet things. Food choices can vary according to the time of year and things like salads, pasta, pork-pies and sandwiches can be replaced by mini-Yorkshire puddings, warm tarts and mini-pies in colder weather. You could also serve a large bowl of rice with big bowls of accompaniments such as a curry dish, beef stroganoff or chicken fricassee on the buffet table and allow guests to help themselves. A dish such as mashed potato is also very comforting. Desserts may include things like trifle, pavlova, chocolate fudge cake or fruit salad.

You may also want to consider any favourite foods of your loved one or even create a theme such as the colours of their favourite football team to trigger happy memories. You will also need to think about what drinks you will provide. Hot tea and coffee, water and fruit juices are always comforting and refreshing but it is also common to serve alcoholic drinks. You may want to think about whether you would want to limit the supply or how to avoid younger guests getting their hands on unsuitable drinks in this case though. As you can see, there is a lot to think about and it may be worthwhile considering employing the services of a professional company experienced in funeral catering.

A good company will be sympathetic and understanding of your needs at this difficult time and can guide you from start to finish. They are likely to have a wide range of menu choices and can suggest the best options according to your venue and budget. Finally, on the day, a good catering company will transfer all food and drink to the venue for you, provide plates and cutlery, serve the food and clean away afterwards relieving you of the stress of having to think about all the small things and allowing you to focus on giving your loved one a beautifully memorable send-off.

Save Money on Food

The weekly grocery shopping bill is many people’s biggest expense after housing. While it’s difficult to save money on mortgages and rents there are plenty of savings to be made by being careful with food and drink expenditure.

Plan a weeks worth of meals, create a list of ingredients and only purchase these items. By sticking to this no food will go to waste and you will be less tempted to purchase extra goodies. When you are in the supermarket where possible try to purchase “own brand” items. You’ll find them much cheaper than leading brands and often the product tastes very similar if not exactly the same.

When you visit your supermarket don’t go in hungry. Research suggests that you will spend around 20% more when you food shop hungry as opposed to shopping after a meal.

Buy in bulk. Markets and greengrocers will give good deals on produce if you buy in larger quantities. Supermarkets often have BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) offers. Take advantage of these: freeze the extra items for use in the future. Grow your own, find an allotment or convert part of your garden into a veg patch. You’ll be surprised by the savings and how good home-grown produce tastes.

Shop around – don’t just stick with one shop play the supermarkets against each other. Special offers tend to move from one chain to the next so use price comparison sites to find the best deals before you set off shopping. Buy local. By supporting your local farmers market more money makes its way back to the local economy. Check out old Christmas gifts – there may be food hampers that you have forgotten about full of luxury food and drinks

Try to cook just what you planned for in your recipe, this way you’ll only use the ingredients you’ve bought and not extras. Don’t cook too large a portion, when cooking pasta and rice use a mug to measure out the amount needed. Consider taking a packed lunch to work, cook up a bit more of an evening put it in Tupperware and freeze them.

Once you’ve finished cooking, use up the leftovers. The end of a chicken, cut offs of vegetables can be turned into stock or a tasty homemade soup. Don’t buy bottled water or soft drinks. Drink tap water! A water filter will do wonders if your tap water isn’t too nice or just leave a glass of tap water in a window for around 30 minutes for the chlorine taste to go away.

Food and Drink to Avoid As Bed

A seemingly strange piece of advice points to our diets as to why we are unable to get to sleep and that there are certain items of food and drink that can be prime suspects in keeping us awake. The timing of your meals is important to get right as our bodies have a natural rhythm where food is expected, at this time our bodies will produce enzymes and prepare itself for the food it is expecting.

If we eat too late then our metabolic rate and our energy levels can increase at a time when they should be winding down, it is recommended that you don’t eat a large meal any less than 2 hours before you are due to go to sleep. If possible it is recommended that you have a larger meal during the day and a smaller one or even just a snack in the evening to help keep your body’s natural rhythm.

There are some foods that contain a substance called Tryptophan, this can help the brain produce a hormone known as Serotonin, Serotonin helps to promote sleep and is often referred to as the ‘sleep hormone’. There are many items of food that contain the necessary ingredients to help promote the production of this sleep hormone such as milk, eggs, meat, fish and cheese. Cheese in particular is a product rich in Tryptophan – despite the urban myth that cheese can cause you to have nightmares; you’re much more likely to have plenty of decent sleep from eating cheese!

Obviously drinks such as cola, coffee and other fizzy drinks can include high levels of caffeine and sugar; these substances should be avoided in the evening and even the late afternoon. Many children will drink sugary drinks with their dinner and this can mean they are difficult to get to sleep in the evening as their abundance of energy is topped up. A better choice would be milk or natural fruit juices and this goes for adults as well as caffeine and sugar have just the same effect on them too.