Restaurant owners need to advertise, and when they do, they want to be able to track the success of an ad. One thing you restaurant owners hear all the time is, "Run a coupon in your ad so you can track it."
We're here to tell you to never run another coupon ever again... EVER.
Here's the short list:
Restaurant Coupons Suck!
How to Advertise Your Restaurant on Local TV
How to Use Print Ads to Market My Restaurant
Super Simple Lemon Drink Recipes
1 to help you relax; 1 to help you refresh, and 1 to help get you drunk...
Foodies should feed their pets right, too.
I had a cat growing up, a super-friendly Siamese cat named "Mai Tai." She ate all kinds of weird things, from tomatoes to spiders to cantaloupe. She even preferred to drink water straight out of the tap at full blast. There would be a fresh bowl of water on the floor and she'd walk right past it. Then she'd jump up on the counter in the bathroom and howl at you until you stopped what you were doing and came in there to turn the faucet on for her. Then she'd lap the water straight out of the tap. What a great cat.
While some cats have weird eating habits, most are creatures of habit who stick to their food dish at feeding time. More importantly, cats are carnivores. Sure, they'll chew on grass and, yes, even eat the occasional chunk of cantaloupe... but by and large, cats eat meat. Now, to see how your cat is doing on the food front, I want you to go to your cat's bag of food and read the first ingredient on the list, then come back and continue reading.
Dried herbs have their place when cooking.
Generally, fresh anything is better than non-fresh anything, but there must be some use for dried herbs, otherwise there wouldn't be a mile-long rack of them at the grocery store. What gives? As we all know, fresh herbs deliver a taste that is unparallelled by their dried counterparts, but there are times when fresh herbs just won't do the trick, at least not as well as you'd like. For instance, when making pasta sauces, soups or other dishes that can take a while to cook, your fresh, green herbs turn black pretty quickly.
While you may get the desired flavor out of fresh herbs, your presentation will suffer. No one wants to eat black, limp oregano, basil, rosemary or other herbs.
A common mistake with cooking seafood is that, since some people are afraid of that "fishy" taste, they season the hell out of it to try to mask it. On top of that, they often feel the need to deep-fry it. I'm as big a fan as anyone when it comes to great seasonings, and ESPECIALLY deep-frying fish (or anything else, for that matter), but I just think more of us should get to know the flavors of our seafood before we decide to falsely flavor it with seasonings.
Here are your ingredients for your next seafood dish: fish fillet of your choice, salt and pepper... AND NOTHING ELSE. Trust me.
Once you've cooked seafood with just salt and pepper, you'll learn the true flavor of the fish and then you'll be able to pair it with other seasonings, side dishes, sauces, wines, etc. For instance, when I first ran across Basa Fillet (also called Swai Fillet), I decided to give it a shot. It's a white fish. I've cooked halibut, snapper, cod, catfish, tilapia... how different could it be?
Making pasta sauce from scratch is fine and dandy, but it is time consuming. It can take all day - literally - to get the down-home, straight-outta-Italy flavor you want. But buying a jar of marinara or pasta sauce at the grocery store just seems so... so... non-Foodie. A lot of us just can't bring ourselves to do it. That is, unless, we buy the pricey stuff, but then we always think to ourselves, "Man, ten bucks for pasta sauce? I could have made it myself for way less." But then we're taken back full-circle to the beginning of our dilemma of not having the time to do it the way we want..
Here's a way to compromise in every direction. We're talking low cost, high flavor, no extra time, and probably even better tasting than some of the run-of-the-mill Italian restaurants in your area:
Cooking with Cast Iron
Cooking with cast iron adds awesome flavor.
Non-stick this, teflon that... whatever. Cast iron is the way to go for almost everything I cook. There are very few things that I don't cook with my trusty, perfectly-seasoned, black-as-night cast iron frying pan. Steak, fried chicken, seafood, quiche, bananas foster - you name it, I've cooked it in that bad boy and I'll never need a new pan.
I remember when I put "cast iron frying pan" on our wedding registry. My wife (then fiancee) thought I was nuts, as did everyone else who saw the list. But my sister was there for me. She saw the light (being somewhat of a Foodie herself). She remembered me talking about cast iron some time before that, so she knew I was serious when she saw it on the list, and voila! My new wife and I were on our way to culinary bliss.
While I'm not blessed with a cast iron skillet that was handed down from generation to generation in our family, I am blessed nonetheless. When I bust that old clanker out in front of guests, they ask me what I'm gonna do with it. My typical answer is, "There ain't nothin'' you can't cook in one of these! Now STAND BACK!" For the sake of blogging, I'll specify:
Local Saute Foodie Blog
Our independent restaurant guides are helpful, but when you can't go out to eat, our Foodie and Cooking Blog will help you make it a great night in the kitchen.