Monthly archives of “May 2016

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Patriotic Cocktails for Memorial Day Weekend!

TGIF!  Welcome back to our three day cocktail series.

It’s a three day weekend!  Celebrate in style with your family, friends and customers with the following patriotic cocktails!

red white and blue margarita


Red, White and Blue Margaritas

1 cup ice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
3 ounces tequila
2 ounces lime juice
1 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
1/2 ounce simple syrup

Blend  strawberries and freeze for several minutes.  Combine and blend remaining ingredients and pour the strawberry back into the blender.  Top with limes and blueberries for color.

captain america slushie

Captain America Slushie (courtesy of Giraffes Can Bake)

Captain America Slushy Cocktail
Ice Tray
Food Coloring
2 oz Irish Whiskey and 1 cup frozen sprite cubes (for white layer)
2 oz Blue Blue Curacao and 1 cup frozen sprite ice cubes (for blue layer)
1/3 cup frozen strasberries and 1 cup sprite (for red layer)
Put sugar and blue food dye in a zip lock bag and shake to make the garnish.  Wet rims of glasses and dip in sugar.   Combine each layer in the blender and spoon into glass.  Serve with a patriotic straw.
red white and blue jello shots
Red White and Blue Jello Shots

1 6-oz package strawberry Jell-O
Blueberry vodka
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 6-oz package berry blue Jell-O
Whipped cream

Combine strawberry jello and 2 1/2 cups hot water.  Add 1/2 cups blueberry vodka and stir to combine.  Fill shot glasses 1/3 of the way and set in the fridge for one hour.  Repeat with unflavored (clear) jello and add sweetened condensed milk.  Repeat one more time with blue jello. Set in the fridge for one hour between each color.  When complete and ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles.

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Throw Back Thursday – the Origin of Some Classic Foods!

It’s Throw Back Thursday, and we are taking a look at some of the most beloved menu items – and their origins! Disclaimer: some of these items are heavily disputed, with multiple people claiming to have invented them around the same time frame. We don’t claim to be experts OR forensic scientists – so feel free to dispute in the comments if you think there’s another ‘claim to fame’ we should know about!

potato chips

Potato Chips: an American staple of every picnic and many a boxed or plated sandwich meal, the crispy, salty potato chip is nearly universally loved. But how did it begin? Legend has it that a chef in Saratoga Springs, NY was frustrated with a customers incessant demands for super thin french fries, so he sliced them smaller and smaller until the crispy potato chip was born! Not unsurprisingly, the original customer loved the new dish, and potato chips quickly spread throughout the land.


Pizza: a classic that has its roots deep in Italian tradition, Pizza has been popping up in cultural references for – literally – millennia! The first mention of the word “pizza” took place in 997 AD. Beginning as a simple peasant dish, the addition of tomatoes to the flatbread and olive oil took place in the 1800s. The traditional pies which we know and love today started to take shape with the invention of the “pizza margherita” in 1889: created in honor of the Queen Consort: Margherita of Savoy.


Hamburger: a true classic and staple of almost every bar menu in America, the hamburger can be a fast food slider in a paper bag or an elaborate creation involving kobe beef, caviar, and other outrageous luxury ingredients – or almost anything in between! The hamburger meat is largely traced back to Germany in origin, but the sandwich we know and love today is largely credited to Louis Lunch in New Haven, CT. Still standing to this day and with a largely unchanged recipe, Louis Lunch placed a patty between two slices of simple white bread and the sandwich was born! Add a piece of cheese to create a cheeseburger, and don’t ask the restaurant staff for ketchup – they simply don’t carry it. Sometimes the simple classics are best!

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Technology for Your Restaurant – What You Should Know!

restaurant tech - 1How is your restaurant tech?  Chances are, you might need an update.  The National Restaurant Association reports that up to 30% of restaurants are in serious need of a tech upgrade, but have held off doing so.  The main reason?  Cost of course.  But consider the benefits of keeping updated tech.  When your tech is updated, your labor costs go down.  With labor being the largest – by far – cost for most restaurants, anything you can do to improve efficiency will also improve your bottom line – long term at least.  With that in mind, here are the areas that can certainly be helped by top of the line technology:

Supply Chain – this is especially important if you have multiple locations.  The Darden Restaurant Family is currently rolling out updated Supply Chain Software across all of their locations.  How can this help your bottom line?  By standardizing the experience at all of your restaurants, making smarter decisions when ordering product, and increasing efficiency for your Operations Manager. Overall, investing in good Supply Chain software will improve the flow of your restaurant in vital, physical areas.

Point of Sale – your front of the house will thank you – over and over again – for an updated, customized POS System.  Not only will they benefit from something which is easy to use and intuitive, but your customers will appreciate the faster service and higher attentiveness they receive when your servers aren’t wrestling with outdated equipment vs. taking their dinner orders.  Your cooks and line chefs will also benefit from clear, easy to read tickets which will cut down on errors and ensure, overall, happier customers!

Email Marketing – a strong email system will go far towards retaining existing customers as well as increasing your marketing reach with them!  Your own email marketing will allow you to capture addresses from your core customer base and market to them directly with specials, particularly for the holidays and special occasions.  Choosing the right hosting software is very crucial – you’ll want something which allows you to upload customer’s email addresses easily and also design attractive email templates.  Shop around and choose one that you know will be efficient so that you don’t waste time working maintenance of it when you could be doing – well – everything else that needs to be done every day in a busy restaurant!

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Five Fun Cocktails to Enjoy this Summer – TGIF!

Welcome to TGIF!  Every Friday, we will post something fun from the wonderful world of cocktails  It’s finally hot outside. Celebrate with the type of drinks which are perfect for patio season. We are talking frozen drinks of course. Although they were out of style for a while, ‘ironic’ frozen tiki style drinks are making a come back. The more elaborate and quirky, the better. Here are five of our favorites to wow your customers with during the hot summer months ahead:

frozen white russian

Simple and yummy! And for the Big Lebowski generation – definitely ironic. Combine Milk, Kailua and Vodka with ice. And you’re done!

frozen chili mango margarita

Margaritas are pretty standard – but spicy margaritas offer a fun twist and are perfect for the summer months! Fresh mango puree, a little bit of chili paste (adjusted to your heat preference), agave syrup, tequila, and ice is all you need for this – plus a nice chili/salt garnish of course.

frozen sangria

Frozen sangria? Yes please. Combining two summer classics is a sure crowd pleaser. Use fruit sorbet, your choice of red wine, and garnish with berries. Simple and fun!

frozen jack daniels

Frozen Jack Daniels slashes are a fun way to riff off a popular bar drink. Jack Daniels, coke, and ice is all you need. Add a lime garnish if you’re feeling fancy. <br> <br>

frozen orange julio

Frozen Orange Julio with a twist. Make a more sophisticated version of this classic when you combine Gin, Aperol, Orange Juice, and ice. A little less sweet and a little more complex than your standard daiquiri!

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Throw Back Thursday – Vintage 60s Recipes

The 60s were an… interesting… time for American cuisine.  The rise of modern technology, including the refrigerator, gave way to a plethora of ‘scientific’ foods created in labs – and brightly colored jello was considered both ultra modern, elegant, and appropriate for virtually any dish.  Thankfully, we have learned from our mistakes and now jello is consigned to the dessert table (and often the kids table) but take a look at some of these monstrous main courses from back in the day:

ham and bananas

Ham and bananas!  Ham. And. Bananas.  Truly horrifying even before a creamy sauce is slathered on top.

festive chicken salad log

If it has four different sections, it has to be good right?  …wrong.  Along with jello, the humble brick of cream cheese was put to some horrific uses in the ’60s

hot orange cider

“I want a glass of hot orange cider,” said no one, ever.