Friday, June 4, 2010

13 Things your Waiter/Waitress will not tell you

1. Avoid eating out on holidays and Saturday nights. The sheer volume of customers guarantees that most kitchens will be pushed beyond their ability to produce a high-quality dish.
2. There are almost never any sick days in the restaurant business. A busboy with a kid to support isn't going to stay home and miss out on $100 because he's got strep throat. And these are the people handling your food.
3. When customers' dissatisfaction devolves into personal attacks, adulterating food or drink is a convenient way for servers to exact covert vengeance. Waiters can and do spit in people's food.
4. Never say "I'm friends with the owner." Restaurant owners don't have friends. This marks you as a clueless poseur the moment you walk in the door.
5. Treat others as you want to be treated. (Yes, people need to be reminded of this.)
6. Don't snap your fingers to get our attention. Remember, we have shears that cut through bone in the kitchen.
7. Don't order meals that aren't on the menu. You're forcing the chef to cook something he doesn't make on a regular basis. If he makes the same entrée 10,000 times a month, the odds are good that the dish will be a home run every time.
8. Splitting entrées is okay, but don't ask for water, lemon, and sugar so you can make your own lemonade. What's next, grapes so you can press your own wine?
9. If you find a waiter you like, always ask to be seated in his or her section. Tell all your friends so they'll start asking for that server as well. You've just made that waiter look indispensable to the owner. The server will be grateful and take good care of you.
10. If you can't afford to leave a tip, you can't afford to eat in the restaurant. Servers could be giving 20 to 40 percent to the busboys, bartenders, maître d', or hostess.
11. Always examine the check. Sometimes large parties are unaware that a gratuity has been added to the bill, so they tip on top of it. Waiters "facilitate" this error. It's dishonest, it's wrong-and I did it all the time.
12. If you want to hang out, that's fine. But increase the tip to make up for money the server would have made if he or she had had another seating at that table.
13. Never, ever come in 15 minutes before closing time. The cooks are tired and will cook your dinner right away. So while you're chitchatting over salads, your entrées will be languishing under the heat lamp while the dishwasher is spraying industrial-strength, carcinogenic cleaning solvents in their immediate vicinity.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rainy Day Boredom Busters!

 Boy with all this rainy weather, nothing makes it worse than bored Kids...here are some helpful hints to help combat rainy day blues



Indoor / Outdoor Activities
  • Blow bubbles
  • Dance
  • Play hide and go seek
  • Play I Spy
  • Play jacks
  • Play Marco Polo
  • Paint
  • Make and fly paper airplanes
  • Plan a party (NOT a birthday party): an art party, a bug party, a baking party, a water party (sprinklers squirt guns etc.) ... be creative! Invite a few friends and think up related activities.
  • Plan a trip somewhere and research what you could do there
  • Train a pet to do something new
  • Act out a play or story
  • Do one of the projects you put off until summer
  • Read Aloud (my personal favorite)
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Tie-dye T-shirts (or Daddy's underwear!)
  • Do a paid job (Ask mom for a list)




Indoor Activities
  • Fill a large plastic bin with different shaped dry pastas dry beans rice whatever you can buy least expensively. Give them cups and "sand" toys and you have a winter alternative to the sandbox. (Spread a sheet under the bin they will get it everywhere then you can just gather up the sheet and dump it back in the bin.)
  • Books on tape and stuff like that from the library.
  • Camp in the house. One of our tents can be set up without the stakes so we have camp outs in the living room and make smores in the microwave. You can always drape a blanket over a table.
  • Make a tower from paper cups as tall as you can. Then remove the bottom piece and watch it tumble.
  • Subscribe or go to Family Fun's website. They always have a ton of creative ideas to try!
  • Invite some friends over
  • Learn something new together.... A foreign language, an instrument, how to sew, candle making, jewelry making, typing, etc.....
  • Think up 100 things you can do besides watch TV
  • Ask a question and find the answer
  • Go to McDonald's playland and get a soda for the morning.
  • Movie night - a special night a week where we rent a kid-friendly movie and eat popcorn.
  • Take a nap (you can always try)
  • Make a teepee
  • Let them sort your spools of thread or stick pins into your pin cushion (if you think he wouldn't hurt himself).
  • Write on a white board we all like that!
  • Make your own word search puzzles
  • Make a book of favorite animals, trees, bugs, etc.
  • Kids' Aerobics Video.
  • Play basketball with the Little Tikes basketball hoop.
  • Line up cans etc and get a ball and bowl
  • Go to the local appliance store and get large refrigerator boxes etc and make big forts (similar to McDonald's playland...okay use your imagination). The kids can have hours of fun running through them turning off the lights and using flashlights getting dad to play monster and even sleeping in them. You can also decorate them with paint or turn them into cars etc. My kids love to "invent" stuff out of them. I have even seen playhouses made that include curtains wallpaper etc. Check your local library for "The Great Big Box Book" by Flo Ann Hedley Norvell.
  • Play chase
  • Chin up bar we put it in one of the boy's rooms. This also helps to get out energy. - Diane
  • Set up an obstacle course in the living room or the basement using chairs with pillows over them (kids crawled under) different things to make circles they could step in with different feet a jump rope and a mini-trampoline.
  • Play racquetball in the garage or cellar (as long as you don't mind ball marks all over your walls)
  • Have an indoor "snowball" fight. Divide; give each one a stack of newspapers yell go and they have to wad up the sheets of newspaper into "snowballs" and throw them. Great fun! Last part is seeing who can gather the most balls into a trash bag!
  • Jump on a mini trampoline
  • Clean out a drawer
  • Clean the house fold laundry do dishes vacuum the rug... - Hee Hee
  • Mend
  • Help a child re-organize or decorate his/her room
  • Let them sort your canned goods or jello boxes.
  • Plan a treasure hunt
  • Do a craft
  • Use large dry beans (limas etc.) and school glue and let him glue beans onto heavy paper or old folders. (You could dribble out a line of glue in the shape of something fun--a car for example--and then let him press the beans onto it.)
  • Save boxes and containers then give them a roll of foil and duct tape and let them create.
  • Make & send a card to someone who needs encouragement
  • Start a new collection of something (besides dust :o)
  • Color
  • Make and color paper dolls

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tex Mex Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • Butter, for preparing 8 by 8-inch glass pan
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix (recommended: Jiffy)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into strips
  • Creamy Lime Dressing, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
  • Special equipment: glass trifle dish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch glass pan with butter. Stir together the cornbread mix with the egg and milk. Evenly spread into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool completely. Mix together the beans with the sazon and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salsa with the tomatoes. When ready to serve, cut the cornbread into 1/2-inch croutons. Toss the lettuce with 3/4 cups of the dressing. In a clear trifle dish, layer the Tex-Mex Salad beginning with the black beans followed by the Monterey jack cheese, the tomato salsa mixture, the Cheddar, the dressed romaine and top with the cornbread croutons. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Creamy Lime Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Special equipment: blender
Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil until smooth. While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups