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Eating Out with Kids

Simple Ways To Save Big Money On Your Wedding’s Food And Beverage Budget

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Simple Ways To Save Big Money On Your Wedding’s Food And Beverage Budget

According to the Knot, the average wedding in the United States costs around $32,641. If your wedding budget is a little more modest, chances are you’re looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing the elegance and beauty of your big day. In addition to the dress and flowers, for many engaged couples, one of the biggest wedding day expenses is the food and beverages. Here are a few simple ways you can save big money on the drinks and food at your wedding: Choose Your Menu Wisely Restricting your menu to two to three entrée choices is a great way to save money. However, there is another way to stretch your dollar even further. If you’re keeping your menu simple by offering three popular entrée choices, beef, chicken or fish, here are some ways to keep your costs down even more: Avoid Fresh Salmon and Lobster – Although they both taste amazing, fresh caught lobster and salmon are both very pricey. Instead, choose fish that is fresh, but less expensive, such as rainbow trout or halibut. Stay Away from Anything Stuffed – A stuffed chicken breast is a tasty option, but also typically more expensive. This is because it is more labor intensive for the catering staff to stuff and prepare the breast. Instead, choose a chicken entrée that can be prepared in less time and with less expensive ingredients. Choose a Less Expensive Cut of Beef – Finally if you choose beef as your main entrée, stay clear of the most expensive cuts and instead, look for options that taste amazing, but are more cost effective. For example, a well-prepared sirloin or flat iron steak will make a memorable meal that won’t break your wedding budget. Consider Serving a Wedding Breakfast or Brunch Buffet The majority of weddings follow a very traditional timeframe: an afternoon ceremony and evening reception. If you’re looking to save money on your food and beverage budget, considering changing up your timeline a bit and hosting a morning wedding and reception. Not only is this more memorable, but you will be able to stretch your food and beverage dollar by hosting a simple breakfast or brunch buffet. There are a multitude of breakfast and brunch dishes and cocktails that your guests will love and that are very inexpensive. For example, you can ask your caterer to set up an omelet buffet, or offer a variety of seasonal fresh fruits, if you’re serving brunch. Keeping Your Liquor Costs Under Control Now that you’ve chosen a reception menu that you can afford, it is time to move onto another surprisingly pricey expense: the booze. Luckily, there are several ways you can save money without having to sacrifice the fun: Limit Alcohol Availability – Limiting the access to liquor to the cocktail hour and a few hours during the reception will allow you to provide an open bar without breaking the bank. Serve a Signature Drink – Serving a signature cocktail in honor of the bride and groom is a great way to celebrate your big day. The guests will remember the drink, and you can brag about having a cocktail named in honor of your nuptials. Mostly importantly, a signature drink also allows you to keep the cost of liquor under control because you aren’t...

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Feeding A Crowd: Less-Hassle Tips For You

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Feeding A Crowd: Less-Hassle Tips For You

With the major holidays just around the corner, chances are excellent that you will be feeding people outside of your immediate family at some point during the coming weeks or months. While you might be roasting a turkey or glazing a spiral ham for your main holiday meal, it can be difficult to come up with ideas for filling meals in the days before and after the main event. Check out these tips on how to make sure everyone is satisfied during their stay at your home. Serve a Hearty Breakfast Breakfast can be very simple, but it should be filling at the same time. Buy, rent or borrow a coffee maker that can brew 24 or 36 cups of coffee at once; even if you have only eight or ten people staying at your home, if they want more than one cup, you’ll be up and down making more coffee if you have only your 10- or 12-cup carafe full at any given time. This meal can revolve around bread, muffins and other foods that are easy to prepare in advance. Make them yourself or order a big batch from your local bakery. For the ultimate in ease, place a bowl of fresh apples, oranges and pears in the center of the table for guests to help themselves. If you want to take a bit more time, slice up a couple of cantaloupes or honeydew melons. Rely on Takeout You might not want to spend a lot of money on takeout, but something as simple as pizza can be relatively inexpensive and satisfying. If you’re in a hurry, you can even order your chosen fare online, at sites such as, and schedule delivery for a time that is convenient. Paying for it via credit card ahead of time allows your guests to simply open the door and accept the food without feeling awkward over who should pay for what. (Be sure to include a tip, either via cash in an envelope by the front door or by charging it to your credit card at the time of your order!) If you don’t want to serve just pizza, make a big tossed salad or order some wings or garlic bread to serve alongside the pie. Don’t forget beverages! Try mixing a bottle of lemon-lime soda with a few cups of bottled fruit punch and a half-gallon of lime or raspberry sherbet in a large punch bowl. Whether or not you add spirits is up to you. Put Your Guests to Work As a good host or hostess, you should, of course, expect to bear the brunt of the extra chores and cleaning. This does not mean that your guests get off totally scot-free, however. A good guest should offer to help, and you should graciously accept in most cases. If someone asks if they can help, good jobs to assign might include loading or unloading the dishwasher, peeling potatoes, making a salad or setting the table. When it comes to mealtimes, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your guests to help themselves some of the time. For example, if you have a variety of breads, cold lunch meats, raw vegetables, canned soups and potato chips, it’s fine to show your visitors what you have and suggest that they help themselves to...

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Basic Dance Etiquette for Restaurants With Live Music

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Basic Dance Etiquette for Restaurants With Live Music

Have you ever gone out to dinner and felt unsure if the venue you are dining at encourages or frowns upon dancing along? If a a restaurant brings in live music to entertain their guests, they most likely want you to enjoy yourself. For many people, that means dancing. However, before you kick off your shoes and swing your partner around your table, you should consider these basic rules for maintaining an atmosphere you and other diners can enjoy.  Utilize the Dance Floor  Most restaurants that offer dinner and dancing will have a designated dance floor. If you feel inspired to dance, you should make your way to the dance floor as opposed to dancing near your table. You may feel shy about being the first couple on a dance floor or simply want to dance for one song. However, this can cause issues for your servers, who will have to find alternative routes to deliver food to tables if you are in their way. If a restaurant does not have a designated dance floor, you may notice that the servers avoid using paths between certain tables, making it an okay place to dance. Also, some restaurants only encourage dancing after a certain hour, when they rearrange the tables to create a dance floor. If you are unsure of where or when you should dance, you should ask your server and they can let you know the best places.   Finish Your Meal Before Getting Swept Away by the Music Dancing while you wait for your meal to be brought to your table can be a good way to pass the time. However, once your food has been brought, you should concentrate on enjoying your meal before you move onto the dance floor. Eating your food as it is brought ensures that it will be the correct temperature and taste its best. It is also polite for you to be at your table when your server brings your food so you can make any necessary adjustments or additions to your order.  Once you have finished your meal, you may want to move to the bar if you plan to stay and enjoy the music. This allows other diners to be served while you are dancing. However, if the restaurant is not crowded, you may be able to keep using your table. It is polite to ask your server if you should move.  Don’t Bring Food or Drink Onto the Dance Floor  Dining and dancing can be a great combination, but if you bring food or drink onto the dance floor, things can get sticky quickly. Dropping food or drink on the dance floor creates a slipping hazard for other dancers. If you feel thirsty or your meal has arrived at your table, you should take a break from dancing and enjoy your meal or beverage at your table.  Feel Free to Show Appreciation for the Band  Most bands and musicians are paid directly by the restaurant and do not expect tips. However, it is considered polite to occasionally offer applause for the music, if you appreciate it. If the band does have a tip jar, it is considered appropriate to leave a small tip when you are leaving the restaurant.  If you do not often dine at restaurants with...

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7 Tips for Keeping Your Toddler Tidy While Dining Out

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 7 Tips for Keeping Your Toddler Tidy While Dining Out

Treating your toddler to a night out in a restaurant can be a fun and exciting experience. However, it can also be messy, especially if you opt for foods that tend to have a lot of sauces or be difficult for toddlers to handle. If you are taking your toddler out to an Italian restaurant in particular, try these seven tips for keeping them neat, clean, and under control.  Ask for Less Sauce  There are plenty of Italian dishes that are served with little or no sauce. Pasta can be tossed with cheese and vegetables instead of bolognese. Often, lasagna has less sauce than stuffed manicotti. If your little one loves playing in pasta sauce, you can ask for less sauce to be served with their dish.  Choose White or Clear Sauces  While tomato-based sauces can be delicious, they also tend to leave red marks on toddlers’ fingers, cheeks, and clothing. While dining out with a little one, be a bit adventurous and order a different kind of sauce. You can usually get butter or oil, a cream based sauce, or a pesto, all of which tend to wipe off more easily throughout the meal.   Cut Up Large Noodles  Watching your toddler slurp spaghetti can be hilarious while you are at home. However, when you are out it can be distracting and even embarrassing. To make eating easier for your child, cut up their food into small, manageable bites that they can pick up easily with a fork or spoon. They will have plenty of time to practice cutting their own food when they are at home.  Give Your Child a Few Bites at a Time  Watching your precious child dump a bowl full of spaghetti over their head is almost a rite of passage for many parents, however, you don’t want that to happen at a restaurant and you never know when a toddler might get the idea that throwing a full plate of food on the ground or over themselves is fun. When you order your child’s food, ask for a small, empty plate. You can cut up a few bites and put them on the plate, filling it up again when those are gone.  Bring Your Own High Chair  Even if the restaurant you are going to has a high chair, it may be in use by another child, so it is best to bring your own travel chair. Your child will feel most comfortable if they are in a high chair they are familiar with, and you will be at east knowing what has been used to sanitize the eating tray.  If your child is using their own high chair, you can skip plates altogether and put bites of food directly onto their tray, which will help contain their potential mess even more.  Bring a Few Special Toys  While your child is eating, you should look for signs that they are done. When they start playing with their food as opposed to eating it or begin dropping food on the floor, it is a good idea to take their food away from them. Have a few special toys that your child only plays with while you are dining out on hand to amuse your child while your party finishes their meals.  Sit When the...

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5 Unique Ways To Give Local Restaurant Gift Cards

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Unique Ways To Give Local Restaurant Gift Cards

Giving a gift card can be a little underwhelming when compared to opening an actual present. Luckily, instead of just handing someone over a card, there are unique ways to spruce up the gift a little. By adding an extra touch, the card can come off as more thoughtful and sincere. When you purchase gift cards for the best bar and grill in town, there are five unique ways to give the card. Each method caters to the restaurant theme while giving you ideas for holidays, birthdays, and other special events. Restaurant To-Go Container When you purchase the gift card at the local restaurant, request a bag and a to-go container. This allows you to serve up the gift card like you’re giving leftovers from the actual restaurant. When you’re requesting the bag, look for restaurants that have their names and logos on the bag. A small to-go container is ideal to fit the gift card. To prevent it from sliding around, add in some tissue paper. This also helps add a festive touch to the gift giving. Gift Card Date Night Package Instead of just supplying a gift card for dinner, you can make it a complete package by adding gift cards to other businesses in the area. The date night package can also include gift cards to places for desserts, movies, or other forms of entertainment like bowling. It’s a good idea to package these gift cards in a basket or box so that they are presented well. If this is a gift for a significant other, then consider adding the gift cards to a special gift like a bouquet of flowers. It’s a great way to offer a date night and feature the bar and grill gift card of your choosing. Digital Gift Cards A lot of restaurants now offer digital gift cards that can be emailed or printed. Instead of forwarding the gift card to a person, you can still give it to them in person. By saving the digital gift card as a PDF file, you can place it on a flash drive and give the flash drive as a present. Take things a step further by presenting the gift card on a novelty food flash drive. Food flash drives include different shapes like a hamburger, slice of pizza, or a sushi roll. The food theme will be evident when they receive the flash drive and then they can be surprised even more with the gift card that is digitally loaded onto it. Gift Card Clue Game Instead of giving the present away instantly, you can add a little mystery to the gift giving. With a restaurant, there are a number of different ways to do this. Each method can add a nice creative touch to your gift. Menu Pieces: Grab a copy of the restaurant’s to-go menu. Cut out difference pieces of the menu and paste it on a sheet of paper. The person can then use those pieces to try and guess the restaurant they are receiving a gift card for. Digital Map Scavenger Hunt: Write down clues on to how to find the location of the gift card when searching on a digital map. This can include exact coordinates or a variety of directions like “Follow the river until you reach...

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