Happy Home Dining and Restaurant Experiences with Children

Your Guide to Eating Healthy at an Indian Restaurant

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Guide to Eating Healthy at an Indian Restaurant

Friday night at your local Indian restaurant sounds like a winning start to the weekend. But all of those rich flavours and the curries swimming in ghee aren’t exactly what you want to eat if you are watching your waistline or your cholesterol. But honestly, if you educate yourself a little about the breadth of Indian food (which extends way beyond chicken tikka masala, as delicious as it may be!), you will be able to order things from the menu, or modify your order, so that you can have a great time at your favourite Indian restaurant without feeling guilty about it afterwards. Just follow this sage advice. Head straight to the Tandoori menu. Any decent Indian restaurant has its own tandoor. This is an extremely hot clay oven, and the dishes cooked inside it typically take minutes, even seconds to cook. Tandoori options tend to be skewered meat or fish, covered in delicious dry spices, that are then blasted in the hot temperature of the oven. Because of the nature of tandoori cooking, the food won’t be swamped in any kind of greasy sauces, and the meat will be lean, making this a far healthier option. The only thing from the tandoor you want to steer clear of is naan bread, which will bloat you up and is typically smothered in ghee. Skip past the starters. Indian food has many delicious nibbles, which can be found within the “starters” section of the menu, but many of these will be deep fried, so it’s best to steer clear of this section altogether. Typical starters include onion bhajis, deep fried clusters of onion covered in spice chickpea flour; samosas, deep fried pastry pockets with meat and vegetable fillings; and puris, which are deep fried chapatis. Look out for trigger menu items. You are forgiven for not knowing exactly what everything on an Indian menu is, so these are some of the trigger words you should be vigilant about. Paneer is a popular vegetarian ingredient, an Indian cheese that is highly fattening, and is often served in huge proportions in dishes like saag paneer (spice spinach and cheese). Ghee is the word for clarified butter, and again, it is very fattening. And malai is the word for cream, so if you see it on the menu you’ll know there is fattening dairy added to the curry sauce. And, by all means, do ask the waiters for their own healthy recommendations. You might just end up sampling a new favourite Indian dish. For more information, contact Royal India Restaurant or a similar...

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3 Reasons Why Lobster Dinners Could Boost Your Health

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Why Lobster Dinners Could Boost Your Health

Going for a lobster dinner at a fine dining seafood restaurant like Maisie’s Seafood & Steakhouse isn’t something that most people on regular incomes can make a habit out of. But when you do splurge and tuck into that white tender flesh, it’s important to remind yourself that the occasional lobster treat is actually great for your body. Although lobster is best known as a pricey menu item, this shellfish also offers valuable health benefits to lobster lovers. Here’s why there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging. Perfect for a low cholesterol diet. When you have to stick to a low fat diet because of concerns over cholesterol, you probably head right for a chicken breast. But putting it bluntly—chicken breasts have no flavour whatsoever. Lobster flesh, on the other hand, is packed full of the taste of the ocean, and it contains less cholesterol than chicken. Of course, where people might trip up is by dipping those lobster claws into hot garlic butter, which is not such a bright idea if you are trying to limit your fat intake. Forget low carb and get yourself on the lobster diet asap. A wonderful Vitamin E boost. Arthritis is something that affects a huge number of Australians—in fact, 18% of the population have fallen victim to this condition that affects joints and mobility. To make sure that you don’t add to that scary statistic, a regular lobster dinner could help you out. This is because lobster is rich in Vitamin E. This vitamin has protective capacities for knee osteoarthritis in particular. And it’s good for your brain too. As well as offering physical benefits, lobster could also assist the way your brain functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high quantities in lobster, and these fatty acids can improve brain function by enhancing learning and memory power. And that’s a great reason to make sure there is room at your dinner table for your kids so they can enjoy the taste and all the benefits of lobster too. As well as improving brain function, Omega-3 fatty acids are also very useful for regulating moods and emotions.   And, of course, being an animal, lobster is also rich in protein so it helps to aid with growth and repair—perfect for growing teenagers or people trying to grow their muscles with intensive workouts and protein-filled diets. Enjoy your delicious lobster dinners, and stay...

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3 Delicious Gluten-Free Cakes for When you Need a Pick-Me-Up

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Delicious Gluten-Free Cakes for When you Need a Pick-Me-Up

Sometimes, all that you need to make the day 100% better is finding yourself a delicious slice of cake. But when you have to stick to a strictly gluten free diet, this is easier said than done. The majority of cakes out there contain wheat flour, which is packed full of gluten. But don’t worry. Although wheat flour cakes are the most popular, there are alternatives out there. If you don’t want to go to the hassle of baking up a cake yourself, ask your local bakery or cake shop if they would be able to create the following gluten-free cakes for you. Carrot cake with buckwheat flour. There is no cake that quite has all the flavours of autumn as a carrot cake. When the leaves begin to fall, there is nothing like the taste of mellow cinnamon and all-spice to make you feel cosy. And because carrot cake is such a robust cake, filled with chopped nuts, raisins, sultanas, and grated carrot, you can opt for a more robust flour than regular flour. Buckwheat flour is a wonderful choice. Despite the name, buckwheat is not actually a type of wheat, and its dense, nuttiness is perfect for a gluten free carrot cake. Polenta lemon drizzle cake. Right on the other end of the spectrum is a summer classic – lemon drizzle cake. Lemon drizzle cake is so delicious because the syrup that is poured on top of the sponge mixture will seep right through into every part of the cake so you get bursts of lemon throughout every slice. And the good news is that this syrup will soak up into polenta even more successfully than with cake flour. A batter that’s made from half almond flour and half fine polenta will create a melt in the mouth sponge that carries the summery flavour of lemon perfectly. Flourless chocolate cake. What list of decadent cakes would be complete without mentioning chocolate? And, in fact, flourless chocolate cakes are so popular now that they can hardly be considered an alternative. When flour is added to already dense chocolate, the result is chewy and heavy. With a flourless chocolate cake, your baker is essentially making an aerated chocolate custard that rises in the oven. It’s simply the amount of eggs in the cake that gives the cake its rise, and chunks of melted chocolate will give the cake the structure it needs. Happy...

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Your Guide to Undersink Water Filtration Systems

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Guide to Undersink Water Filtration Systems

  Undersink water filters are ideal installations in larger households that use a lot of water for drinking and cooking. They are a suitable alternative to reverse osmosis filtration units, both in terms of affordability and water wastage. Installation of these units necessitates a few minor changes to the plumbing system, but they are more efficient and more durable than countertop, refrigerator or pitcher water filters. Undersink filtration units are typically made up of separate water dispensing urns which allow you to choose between filtered and unfiltered water. In addition, they are easy maintenance, requiring filter changes that are as simple as inserting a new filter cartridge in the canister. Being hidden under the sink cabinet, these filters won’t occupy valuable counter or refrigerator space. Undersink water filters come in a number of shapes and sizes according to the space under you sink, and there are different levels of complexity depending on your budget. Contaminants eliminated by under-sink filters While different filters work differently, most undersink filtration units have activated carbon as their filter medium. Activated carbon removes any unpleasant taste and odour from the water. Some filters comes with pre-filters which block dirt, sand, limescale, silt and other sediments. Depending on the level of complexity, there are undersink filters with the ability to remove very small contaminants – up to 0.5 microns. These are the safest since they remove heavy metal particles like lead and mercury and organic contaminants like algae, microbial cysts, herbicides, pesticides and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). How to choose an undersink filter Before deciding on the ideal water filtration solution, it’s important to know what’s in the water supplied to your house. You can do this by asking your local council for a copy of the water analysis report, if this is possible. However, the best way is to engage a private laboratory to test for the entire spectrum of contaminants. While expensive, this will give you the most accurate details to inform your selection process. If you are relatively confident in your water supply, you can use a home testing kit which is available in home equipment stores. In addition, your filter capacity should account for all the needs of your family. In large households for instance, undersink water filters connected to the main supply in the kitchen faucet are ideal, since thousands of litres are used daily for drinking and meal preparation. Consider any future requirements such as new family members on the way and buy a filter that will be able to handle the extra capacity. However, remember that the best filter is not necessarily the most expensive in the shop. Consider level of complexity, efficiency and rating vis-à-vis its cost and then make your...

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Advice to keep in mind when searching for the perfect wedding caterer

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Advice to keep in mind when searching for the perfect wedding caterer

When you are organising a wedding, you have so many different things to organise that it can become quiet an overwhelming experience. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a wedding is the food. The wedding meal is something that will be remembered when you and other people look back on the day, and you want to have good memories of the experience. There are a few common mistakes that people make when hiring caterers for their wedding. Here is some advice on how to avoid these mistakes and pick the best professionals for your wedding. Research the venue There are two main types of wedding venue that you can choose from. You can choose one that is all inclusive and have caterers that are on site, or you can choose venues that will allow you to bring your own caterers for the meals. It can be bit of a problem if you are dead set on a venue but they don’t allow for outside catering coming in if that is what you’d like. If you are bringing an independent catering company into the venue, you should know exactly what sort of technological and electrical capabilities the venue has. There’s no point only having a couple of burners if you need to feed a couple of hundred people. Remember that first impressions are important Everything can look great on paper, but it isn’t until you actually taste the food for the first time that you know if the caterer will be the right fit for you. Having an initial meeting is very beneficial for both parties. It allows you to make sure they have the necessary skills to create the dishes of your choice while it gives them a better understanding of your exact needs so they can develop a specific proposal and plan of action for you. Do not be swayed by glossy advertisements and attractive writing, if the caterer doesn’t have food for you to taste at the first meeting, this can be a warning sign of the quality of the company. Stick to your budget While you want to have the perfect wedding meal, there is only so much that a specific amount of money can buy you. In order to avoid getting let down, you should set a reasonable budget and be clear with the caterers on what it is, as this will help them to work around it in the best way possible and still cook up an amazing meal. The caterer should be honest with you and even be able to refuse your request if it simply is not possible within your budget limits. For more information, contact catering services in your...

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5 Must-Try Chinese Desserts

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Must-Try Chinese Desserts

Going to your local Chinese restaurant on a Friday night is a real treat. Everyone is familiar with the Chinese staples like chilli beef, prawn crackers, and chow mein, but when it comes to dessert, Chinese sweet things may not be as well known to you. But there are a surprising number of delicious Chinese desserts that anyone with a sweet tooth will love, so why not ask your local Chinese restaurant if they can whip up one of these treats on your next Friday night out? Eight Treasure Rice. It seems that most cultures have their own variant on a classic rice pudding, and Chinese culture is no exception. The eight treasures rice is named so because it has eight forms of deliciousness piled on top of sweet and sticky rice. Red bean paste is one of the essential ingredients, and the remaining items are things like candied fruits and peel. Tang Yuan. This is another rice centred dessert, but instead of grains of rice, rice flour is used. The rice flour is mixed with sugar and water and rolled into a dumpling, which can be filled with a whole suite of goodies. Popular ingredients you might find inside Tang Yuan include red bean paste, pumpkin paste, sesame seeds, and ground peanuts. Red Bean Buns. If your favourite Chinese restaurant happens to serve dim sum, you might have already been tempted by a Red Bean Bun. Small steamed buns are staples of dim sum cuisine, and they are usually filled with savoury items such as shredded pork and prawns. But in this variation, sweet red bean paste is the star of show as it is in so many classic Chinese desserts. You might also find variations with pine nut paste or taro paste. Custard tarts. When you think of custard tarts, you probably think of Europe and specifically Portugal before thinking of China. But because Macau was once colonised by Portugal, these sweet bites of custard and pastry made their way to the island of Macau and then on to the mainland. The best custard tarts have thin, crisp pastry and an eggy, sweet filling. Grass jelly. One of the stranger dessert items in China, this kind of jelly is made from the stalks and leaves of a plant that is a member of the mint family. This jelly is typically diced up and served chilled in a bowl alongside some fruits. Next time you visit a local Chinese restaurant like Sun Wah Restaurant & Function Centre, see if they have any of these dessert items on the menu for you to...

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4 Tips to make your take away pizza meal as healthy as possible

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips to make your take away pizza meal as healthy as possible

If you are ordering take away pizza tonight, you’ve already made a great decision. Here are some options to help you customise the pizza in a way that makes it as healthy as possible. Pile on the veggies One of the best things about pizza is that it can be customised with tasty and seasonal produce. Rather than choosing a meat heavy pizza, balance the meats and cheeses with extra veggies to bring up the fibre and vitamin content of the pizza and keep you satisfied for longer. Making sure your pizza has a good selection of vegetable toppings also lowers the overall sodium content of your pizza, making it a healthier option and also making you less thirsty (and likely to indulge in high calories drinks). Select the thin crust option While the stuffed crusts and thick bases are super tasty, they also quickly add to the calorie content of your pizza. Try a more traditional thin crust pizza and enjoy the effect of the lighter crust on making a tastier and healthier pizza. Accompany your pizza with a low Cal drink While it’s common to enjoy your pizza with a fizzy soft drink (or yummy glass of red wine) you can easily add 100–200 calories per drink with these options. Instead, look for a low cal soda or a sparkling water to add an interesting drink without the calories. Sipping on water throughout your meal can  also help you to stay hydrated and avoid you accidentally overeating through mistaking thirst for hunger. Make your meal a social event Another great way to make sure you don’t overeat is to invite your friends to come and share your meal. It can be easy to overeat if you are sitting by yourself, especially if you eat in front of the TV. But if you have a friend come by, it encourages you to switch off the TV and eat with your friend. Equally sharing a pizza can also help you resist temptation to finish the extra pizza slice you have been planning to save your lunch tomorrow. Try a half and half pizza if you have different preferences for toppings. Pizza can be one of the healthiest take way options, providing you make sure to choose healthy options and don’t add calories by over eating or choosing calorie-laden drinks. It’s time to pick up the phone and order your pizza...

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3 Delicious Dessert Pizza Ideas

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Delicious Dessert Pizza Ideas

Indulging in a wood-fired pizza straight from a real pizza oven is always a treat. Fresh tomatoes, stringy cheese, and fragrant basil are always going to be a dynamite combination. But if you’re a real pizza connoisseur, you might want to take your pizza loving to the next level. If you are lucky enough to have a pizza oven in your home or garden, you can experiment with different kinds of bases and toppings – including sweet choices. That’s right, pizzas can be dessert too. Here are five dessert pizza ideas that you will want to try straight away. Strawberry and mascarpone pizza. Summer is the season of strawberries and cream, but you don’t have to stick to the classic combination in a bowl – you can put them on top of a pizza as well. Whip up some whipping cream with mascarpone, icing sugar, and lemon peel until it is fluffy. Spread over a cooled pizza base, and add chopped strawberries. Basil compliments strawberries very well, so this is a classic pizza ingredient that you could choose to tear on top if you wish. Apple pizza. Fresh apples are another classic summer flavour, and they can make a great pizza topping. In fact, you can think of this sweet treat as something between a pizza and a tarte tatin. Slice up your apples and fry them lightly in a pan with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. This will create a caramel gloss all over the apples that is perfect when spread on top of a warm pizza base. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the top of the apples is pretty great addition. Chocolate. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to mention dessert pizzas without talking about chocolate. This pizza requires zero culinary expertise. Spread your favourite chocolate hazelnut spread over the base liberally and dot with chocolate chips and broken up pieces of hazelnut. It should only take one minute to cook in a hot pizza oven, and the result is heavenly. If you are not a fan of nuts, you can substitute them for raisins, marshmallows, or even more chocolate. For all of these sweet pizza ideas, you can experiment with putting different things in the dough as well. Brown sugar will give your dough a caramel taste and an interesting brittle texture. You can also experiment with spices and flavourings inside the dough such as cinnamon and...

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5 Dishes Vegans Can Eat at Italian Restaurants

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Dishes Vegans Can Eat at Italian Restaurants

When you are vegan, eating out becomes that much more difficult. But why you should you miss out on all the fun (not to mention deliciousness) of eating out at a great Italian restaurant now and again? You might think that you have to go to specialist vegan and vegetarian restaurants to find something you can eat, but this is not the case. Here are five authentic Italian dishes that are also vegan. Risotto Primavera. Risottos are bowls of creamy rice that can be matched with virtually any ingredients, but one of the most popular options is Risotto Primavera, risotto rice that is cooked with delicate spring vegetables such as peas, asparagus, and spring onions. And the amazing thing about risotto is that the creaminess come from the starch in the rice—no cream is added. Sometimes, restaurants may choose to add butter and cheese to their risottos, but these ingredients are not essential and you can ask for them to be excluded. Bruschetta. The freshness of a classic bruschetta cannot be beaten, and it’s a totally vegan choice. Italian restaurant commonly serves bruschetta, but it’s also very easy to make at home. Ciabatta bread is sliced and grilled. Garlic is rubbed on to the warm bread, fresh tomatoes are added, basil is torn on top, and Italian olive oil is drizzled all over it. Zucchine Spacece. Italy is a country with many regions, and in each region, you can find culinary specialties. On the stunning coast, one of the most simple but moreish dishes is Zucchine Spaceche, which is essentially thinly sliced courgettes that are dressed in mint and vinegar. The dish is equally great served piping hot as a side, or cold as a salad. Pizza Marinara. When you think of pizza, you probably imagine stringy cheese atop the sauce, but not all pizzas come with cheese, and the Pizza Marinara is a great example. Across the base there is a simple but heavenly tasting mix of tomatoes, oregano, olive oil, and garlic. This is the perfect dish for cold winter nights when only warming Italian comfort food will do. Spaghetti Pomodoro. Of course, what would a trip to an Italian restaurant be without tucking into a heaped pile of spaghetti? Simple but delicious, this sauce comprises fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Just be sure that the spaghetti is not made with egg and that you make sure that no cheese is grated on the...

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Tips and Considerations When Contemplating Event Catering

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips and Considerations When Contemplating Event Catering

One of the most important aspects of any event is the catering. The food you serve and the dining experience your guests have will make or break the success of your occasion. As such, event catering is an important factor to consider during event planning. When hosting an event for the first time, whether large or intimate, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Here are some of the tips and considerations when contemplating event catering. Inquire about the venue’s requirements Before you begin planning your event catering, the first thing that you need to do is establish the rules and requirements of the venue. For instance, established hotels may not permit outside event catering as they already have their own professional kitchen. On the other hand, the venue may allow outside catering but will only let you choose a provider from their own approved list. Other things you should Inquire about when opting for outside event catering at a venue include: Ask about whether the caterers can cook the meals on site. Ask if open flames are allowed on the venue. Ask about whether a barbeque is allowed. Ask if the caterers are allowed to use the venue’s trash services. Ask about the maximum limit of guest and more. Steer clean from special glassware Unless you are on a big budget, the average event planner will be working with budget restrictions. However, having a small budget does not mean that you will not get creative ways to cut on costs. One of the aspects of event catering that can burn a whole in your wallet is the glassware. Using different types of glasses for different types of beverages may make your event seem fancy, but it can be quite wasteful. Instead, opt for versatile glassware that can be used for a myriad of applications. Your choice of glassware does not have to be boring. You can opt for a creative design, which will enhance the contemporary set-up of your bar without having to bleed money into different size and designs of glassware. Do not scrimp on food The true judge of successful event catering is whether your guests were satisfied with the dishes that were served to them. If your guests feel that the food was limited or was substandard quality, it could greatly affect the chances of them attending a subsequent event hosted by you. You would benefit more from culling the numbers on your event list to ensure high quality food with large portions, than having too many mouths to...

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