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Strawberry Recipes – Summer is Here!

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May we have Strawberries?

Strawberries and summer have gone together for as long as I can remember. Many an evening when I was younger, was spent lying on the grass and rummaging through my mothers flower garden trying to find any strawberries that had not already been consumed by the neighborhood kids. The distinct shape and color of this delicious berry has spread their roots in the hearts of the world and has become so popular that the entire month of May is Strawberry month! The strawberry is the 2nd most popular fruit behind apples and is also the co-star of some of the most amazing partnerships in food history; strawberry-kiwi, straw-banana, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the original pb&j was made with strawberry jelly.

Strawberries do more than just taste amazing, they are also a great source of nutrition and are always willing to give your body a high five of healthiness. Famous for their vitamin C punch, strawberries also have a few other health winning cards up their sleeves. The dimpled delight is also a source of fiber, manganese, potassium, and folate.

Now that we are all more in love with the strawberry, let’s use them to make something delicious.

1 c frozen strawberries
1 c frozen raspberries
1¼ c apple juice
1 banana
Add ingredients to FourSide jar in order listed. Secure lid and select “Smoothie.”

Blendtec Crêpes

2 large eggs
1 tbsp butter, melted
1½ c milk
1 c all-purpose flour

Add ingredients to FourSide jar in order listed. Secure lid and press “Batter.” Allow batter to rest for up to 1 hour in refrigerator.

Heat skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat, and lightly coat with oil or cooking spray. For each crêpe, pour ¼ cup batter into center of pan and swirl pan gently to distribute batter in thin layer. Cook for 1 minute or until top begins to dry out and underneath is lightly golden. Flip and cook an additional 30 seconds or until done.

Repeat with remaining batter. Stack completed crêpes on plate, placing wax paper between each crêpe to prevent sticking.

Fill your crêpes with strawberries, whipped cream, nutella, powdered sugar, or whatever else suits your fancy. They’re great for dessert or breakfast.

 Refreshing Berry Soup

4 c frozen strawberries
2 c low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 c low-fat milk, divided
⅓ c orange juice
6 tbsp agave nectar, divided
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 c frozen raspberries

Add strawberries, yogurt, ⅔ cup milk, orange juice, and 4 tablespoons agave nectar to WildSide jar. Secure lid and select “Batter.” Pour 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls.

Add ⅓ cup milk, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, lemon juice, and raspberries to jar. Secure lid and select “Batter.” Drizzle ¼ cup raspberry mixture over soup.


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Blendtec Recipe of the Week: Falafel

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Originally from the Middle East, this deeply flavorful vegetarian fried dish is usually wrapped in a pita, but also tastes great on salads or dipped in hot sauce or tahini.


1⁄2   c
fresh parsley
1⁄2   c
fresh cilantro
1⁄2   c
baby carrots
2   15oz cans
chickpeas, drained
1⁄4   small
red onion
1   clove
2   tsp
kosher or sea salt
1⁄4   tsp
ground cumin
11⁄2   tsp
baking powder
1⁄3   c
all-purpose flour
1⁄8   tsp
ground black pepper

Add parsley, cilantro, carrots, chickpeas, onion, and garlic to the WildSide jar and secure lid. Press "Pulse" 6 times. Using a large spoon or rubber scraper, scrape the walls of the jar and slightly mix the ingredients. Replace the lid and press "Pulse" 6 more times. Repeat if necessary. 

Empty the contents of the jar into a medium-sized bowl. Add all other ingredients to the bowl. Using clean hands or a large spoon, mix all ingredients until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in refrigerator for a least 2 hours to allow flavors to marinate. 

Heat frying oil in a large saucepan until 350°F. Make tablespoon-sized balls and cook in oil until golden brown. Place on tray covered with paper towl to drain liquid. 

Serve in a pita with fresh lettuce, sprouts, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red pepper


  • Servings 10.0
  • Sodium 685 mg
  • Serving Size 3 balls
  • Carbohydrates 39 g
  • Calories 215
  • Fiber 8.5 g
  • Fat 2.5 g
  • Sugar 7 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Protein 10 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg



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Stone Hearth ovens

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Stone Hearth ovens use the great heat stored in their dense refractory roof and floor to cook pizza and other foods very quickly.

Once chefs become familiar with these ovens, they find them incredibly versatile and are able to cook a wide variety of foods at different times of the day.Dough can be made using a mixer or by purchasing from a bulk dough supplier or your local bakery. Although there may be a million dough recipes.

Once you have made your dough, there are 3 ways to roll it out (Roller, Dough Press or Manual). Choose the method most suitable to you.

The first two mechanical methods lend themselves to kitchens with less experienced staff.

The weight of the dough will depend on the size of the pizza you wish to make and the desired thickness of the base. Individual sized 10″ “gourmet” or “thin base” style pizza will contain 5oz to 7oz dough; a large family size 16″ thick base pizza will contain approx 22oz.

Once you have selected the dough weight and style of pizza, you need to determine how much dough you need per day and how to store it ready for use. Busy pizzerias will use either a separate fridge designed to hold pre-rolled pizza or a chrome rack which can hold up to 20 pizzas.

Some people place pre-rolled pizzas on floured metal pans, which are then placed in their storage area ready for prepping and cooking. Some clients who do not use pans at all use round plywood trays the size of their pizzas for storage prior to cooking.Allow oven to get to operating temperature. Do not be afraid to experiment to get the perfect temperature.

Ensure the floor has been cleaned with a moist (not wet) rag on a broom and move around the floor. A wire brush on a handle can also be used.

Prepare dough into dough balls according the thickness and size required. 5oz balls are suitable for 10″ round thin pizzas.

Roll the dough into bases to the size and thickness required. Use a liberal amount of food release to stop the dough from sticking to the bench and peel.

Place finished dough onto peel and place the pizza in the middle of the oven. Pizza can be cooked either direct on the floor of the oven or in trays. Experiment with different areas of the oven. The hottest area will be close to the fire and the temperature will reduce as you move away from the fire. The coolest place in the oven is next to the mouth. Cooked pizza can be left there to keep warm if business is slow.

When cooking pizzas (either on a pizza-baking tray or directly on oven floor) the pizza should be turned and moved about to ensure even cooking, due to the ambient and reflected heat conditions inside oven chamber. Ideal pans are black perforated, these absorb heat quicker than aluminium pans.

A typical pizza should cook perfectly in 5-6 minutes. The time taken to cook the perfect pizza will depend on how thick the ingredients are and how thick the dough is. If cooking time is greater than 7-10 minutes, the temperature in the oven is too low. This can be caused by a number of factors. Refer to document “Heat in Oven”.

The pizza base may puff up during cooking. If it does, simply prick it with a pointy object. A roller with lots of fingers is available which is rolled across the dough. This has the effect of stopping the dough from bubbling.Eg. Roast chicken, lamb, beef etc can be cooked in roasting dishes (an oven rack should be placed on oven floor with roasting dish placed on rack to prevent excessive heat from base).

Some meats may require aluminium foil placed over top to prevent fat splattering onto pizzas.

Pasta dishes, eg. Lasagne can be baked in the oven; other dishes such as ravioli, canelloni, tortellini can be portioned into individual servings, placed into ceramic oven proof dishes and finished in oven.The pizza oven is designed to cook pizza very quickly at high temperature. With experience you can utilize the effective available heat from the oven by cooking items requiring a lower temperature outside rush hours. By letting the oven cool down to 392°F, you could bake breads all prep food etc between peak periods. Half an hour before your peak demand time, raise the oven temperature with fresh timber and it then ready for maximum temperature and throughput. If you have a particularly demanding peak period, dough bases can be par baked for 1-2 minutes or until the dough holds its shape and stored on individual aluminium / stainless plates in readiness for orders. These can be prepared with tomato paste and cheese prior to par baking.

Once finished cooking for the day, simply leave the fire to burn down, place the door in front of the flue or place another log on the fire.

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Read entire post: DOUGH SHEETER DPR2000

My father was a lesson. He had his own bakery, and it was closed one day a week, but he would go anyway. He did it because he really loved his bakery. It wasn’t a job.” – Christopher Walken

What is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in a bakery besides an oven? How about the dough sheeter? From thin to thick, this machine can handle most types of doughs with its infinite adjustments. I’ve sheeted doughs from many different cultures – Roti / Chapati, Puri, Lavash, Focaccia, Pizza Dough (most popular), Piadina, Tortillas, Empanada, etc.It’s also been used for yeast-raised doughnuts, pie crusts, pasta, oven-baked crunchy wheat crackers, and fondant. You can sheet out dough for breadsticks, biscuits, or even Sangak (Iranian flatbread)! Funny enough, the sheeter has even been used in dog biscuit production! Call or email us to find out how to purchase one today.
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What are the health benefits of chocolate?

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Next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you may not have to feel overly guilty about it. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, there are a number of health benefits associated with this delicious treat. Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds. The earliest use of chocolate dates back to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica. After the discovery of the Americas, chocolate became very popular in Europe, and its demand exploded. Chocolate has since become an incredibly popular food product that millions indulge in everyday for its unique, rich, and sweet taste. But what effects does eating chocolate have on our health? This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides details on the potential health benefits of chocolate as well as some risks and precautions that you you should be aware of.

The potential health benefits of chocolate

Throughout the years, chocolate has been on the end of a lot of bad press because of its fat content, and its consumption has been associated with acneobesityhigh blood pressure,coronary artery disease and diabetes.

However, “the recent discovery of biologically active phenolic compounds in cocoa has changed this perception and stimulated research on its effects in ageing, oxidative stressblood pressureregulation, and atherosclerosis. Today, chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential.”

The potential benefits of eating chocolate are said to include: lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Chocolate may lower cholesterol levels

Chocolate consumption may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition was carried out to determine whether chocolate bars containing plant sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF) have any effect on cholesterol levels.

The study authors wrote “results indicate that regular consumption of chocolate bars containing PS and CF as part of a low-fat diet may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure.”

Chocolate may prevent memory decline

Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help keep the brain healthy and prevent memory decline in older people. The researchers said that hot chocolate can help preserve blood flow in working areas of the brain.

The lead author, Farzaneh A. Sorond, said:

“As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

Chocolate may reduce heart disease risk

Research published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) has suggested that consuming chocolate could help lower the risk of developing heart disease by one third. The report was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris, France.

The authors concluded:

“Based on observational evidence, levels of chocolate consumption seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Further experimental studies are required to confirm a potentially beneficial effect of chocolate consumption.”

Chocolate may prevent stroke

Canadian scientists carried out a study involving 44,489 people and found that people eating chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who didn’t. In addition, those who had a stroke but regularly consumed chocolate were 46 percent less likely to die as a result.

Recent developments on the benefits of chocolate from MNT news

Teens who eat lots of chocolate tend to be slimmer. Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain found that high chocolate intake among teenagers is linked with lower levels of total fat, compared to those who do not each much chocolate, even when accounting for other factors (including exercise).

Chocolate, wine and berries may protect against type 2 diabetes. Consuming high levels of flavonoids, which is found in chocolate, tea, berries and wine, could significantly help protect against type 2 diabetes, according to a study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Chocolate could prevent obesity and diabetes, study suggests. Researchers discovered that a certain antioxidant in cocoa – the main ingredient in chocolate – prevented mice from gaining weight and lowered their blood sugar levels. Their study was published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry in February 2014.

Risks and precautions

Chocolate has a high calorie count, containing large amounts of sugar. Therefore, if you are trying to slim down or maintain your weight, it may be a good idea to set a limit on your chocolate consumption. The large amount of sugar in most chocolates can also be a cause of tooth decay.

In addition, there is research suggesting that chocolate may cause poor bone structure andosteoporosis.

One study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was carried out to identify the relationship between chocolate consumption and bone density in older women.

The authors concluded that “older women who consume chocolate daily had lower bone density and strength”.

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History of Cotton Candy:

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The cotton candy machine was invented in the late 1800s by two men from Nashville, Tennessee. One was William Morrison, a dentist, and the other John C Wharton, a confectioner.  They developed the machine that was debuted at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and the Saint Louis World’s Fair in 1904.  They ended up selling over 68,000 boxes of what was called “fairy floss” and sold for 25 cents per box.


There have been many improvements over the years, but the original concept has remained the same.  Sugar is placed in the head of the cotton candy machine which is located in the middle of the base.  The machine heats the sugar up to 300° which allows the sugar to melt .  While the sugar is melting, the head is spinning at about 3500 rpms, which creates a centrifugal force that shoots the sugar out of the head through a screen causing a flossing effect.  Typically there is a netting that is used on the side of the bowl to catch the floss.  Over the years, flavoring and coloring has been added to the sugar for added fun and taste appeal.  The flavored  is called floss sugar.

Even though the cotton candy machine has only been around for about a hundred years the concept of spun sugar has been around since the 1400s in Italy.  Back then, the delicacy was typically only affordable by the wealthy and elite due to the extensive process in making it.  Now everyone can enjoy the sugary treat with the modernization of the cotton candy machine.

Halls offers two versions of the cotton candy machine.  The first, Spin Magic 5, has a 5” head and comes with a choice of a metal or plastic bowl.  This unit has a built in voltage meter for perfect cotton candy.  The other machine Paragon offers is the Classic Floss 5 and is a lot like the Spin Magic but without the voltage meter for a more economic version.  Both machines can produce up to 200 cones per hour.

Check out all the great cotton candy products Halls  has to offer:
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Wake Up and Shake it Up:

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Hotels are always searching for new ways to improve service, expand opportunities and move past the competition. Judging by the recent trends, hotel managers seeking to add value wherever they can shouldn’t neglect their breakfast programs. A strong breakfast offering can help tired travelers get ready for the business day, enjoy entertainment spots or simply gear up for more time on the road. However, putting out the usual continental spread isn’t cutting it anymore; guests want more. 

The Food Channel reported in its 2011 food trends survey that 95 percent of respondents believe breakfast to be “somewhat” to “very important.” And a recent Technomic study shows hotel guests cite breakfast and coffee as the amenities they value most. Ned Barker, president of the hotel advisement group Grill Ventures Consulting, argues that the hotel breakfast business is at least a £12 billion industry.

Since it’s clear that breakfast is not just something guests look forward to, but also a deciding factor in where to stay, how can hotels ensure their offerings outpace the competition, driving traffic and revenue?

The new trends in consumer tastes indicate they prefer locally sourced, seasonal, organic and nutritious foods. Barker calls it a more “personal” approach to breakfast, because it appeals to a variety of tastes. This also includes offering gluten-free and vegan options. Expanding to offer international plates is also a way to pique guests’ attention, including everything from Latin to Middle Eastern selections. European style breakfasts are also quite popular currently, offering up cold cuts, various cheeses and baked beans. 

As consumers are starting to focus on more healthy options in their food choices, it’s also important to provide lighter options for travelers.The buffet at the Crowne Plaza’s Vineyard Restaurant includes wholesome, fresh foods like yogurt parfaits, fruit, whole grain cereals and zucchini and carrot bread. These foods will give guests the energy to meet the day when it starts and hit the ground running.

Independent hotels are not the only ones to make changes to their breakfast menus though; franchise operations are upgrading their traditional eggs and bacon strategy. The Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin, noticed many of its guests were giving poor scores on breakfast satisfaction surveys. Some of the feedback they received indicated there was no variety; guests were getting tired of eating the same thing every day. The solution was to set several constant meal pieces that would appear every day, but also rotate in certain other dishes so travelers won’t face the same choice day in and day out.

However, presenting guests with healthy, quality options doesn’t have to be expensive. If a hotel can plan ahead and determine when items will be in season and less expensive, it doesn’t have to break the bank to make guests happy. And with the proper research, food and beverage directors can discover new twists on old breakfast options that aren’t expensive to produce. For example, when Choice Hotels discovered its guests were dissatisfied with the standard waffles available it tested new flavors including cinnamon, strawberry and blueberry, which are now available to guests.


Don't be complacent when it comes to breakfast at your hotel. It's a deciding factor for many travelers when they book a room, so make sure to offer the best available food and beverages. Change up the items so guests can experience new choices, and ask for their opinion on a regular basis so you improve and they leave satisfied.



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