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Holidays

Summer Party Tips

Summer is in full effect! Your schedule is likely filling up quickly, from Fourth of July barbecues to vacations to casual summer soirées. While it’s fun being a guest, hosting has its own perks as well. If you plan on hosting your own summer party, here are some fun entertaining tips.

  • Choose a color scheme.
    Themed parties are fun, but not for everyone. Instead, try a simple color scheme ask guests to dress in the colors. For example, if you’re throwing a 4th of July party, you can go with red, white and blue. To further tie the party together, apply your color scheme of choice to your food as well.
  • Prepare food ahead of time.
    Don’t get stuck in the kitchen after your guests have arrived. Try using a slow cooker to prepare food early and keep it warm. If you are set on grilling burgers and dogs, prepare any side dishes, toppings, and condiments beforehand.
  • Mix it up.
    When thinking about your menu, feel free to serve a mix of guest favorites as well as some new recipes. Take it a step further by putting a modern spin on a traditional recipe. Guests can enjoy the foods they love while trying something new with you.
  • Be mindful of summer weather.
    Scorching hot or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Have a cooler filled with ice and bottled waters, or you can set up a water station with a variety of infused waters. You may also consider leaving a basket filled with sunscreen, bug spray, and paper fans for guests to use.
  • Label it.
    Whether it’s the food or your drink, labels can help your guests while doubling as added party décor. Keep track of drinks by using wrapping paper, origami, or other hand drawn designs and double stick tape. Tie it together by using your color scheme. You can do the same for your dishes, or utilize signs, placards or mini chalkboards. You can even put down brown butcher paper or parchment paper and write the names of the dishes around the plate.
  • Nice ice.
    Wow your guests with your fruit and herb ice cubes. Add berries, stone fruits, basil, mint, or other fruits and herbs to ice trays with water, and then freeze them. They’ll look great and keep drinks cool.
  • Herbs for unwanted guests.
    Aside from adding flavor to your food, hardy herbs can also act as natural bug repellents. Keep a few sprigs on the grill or in a fire pit to keep the bugs away.
  • Make clean up part of the décor.
    Have your guests help keep the party tidy by providing waste containers around the party area. They don’t have to be an eyesore – you can use lined wicker baskets, galvanized steel buckets, or even aluminum pails.Share your own party and entertaining tips with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Just a friendly reminder that we will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019, for the holiday. Our normal store hours (7:00am-4:00pm) will resume on Friday, July 5, 2019. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Please be safe and have a Happy Independence Day!

Popular St. Patrick’s Day Foods

This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day – a holiday in which many of us don green apparel and indulge in Irish food and drinks. But some of the iconic dishes we associate with the holiday are not that authentic. Find out more about the history of these St. Patrick’s Day foods.

Corned Beef & Cabbage
Beloved by many beyond the holiday, corned beef and cabbage surprisingly is not something you would eat in Ireland to celebrate, despite its popularity in the U.S. So how did it come to be closely tied with the Irish culture?

During the time of the Irish immigration to the U.S., the first generation of Irish Americans were looking comfort food from home. Because they couldn’t afford pricey pork and bacon products, they turned to beef brisket, the cheapest cut of meat. They then adopted the brining technique of the Eastern Europeans. They used corn-sized salt crystals during the brining process, and thus, corned beef was born. It was then paired with cabbage since it was one of the cheapest vegetables available.

Irish Soda Bread
The misleading name may make you think there is Coke or Pepsi in this bread, but that is not the case. “Soda” refers to bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, which is a leavening agent and one of the main elements that gives this bread its distinct flavor. Back then, bread was baked over an open fire in a round pot or casserole, or baked on an iron plate over remaining embers. This explains why the bread is round and cut into pie pieces. Traditional Irish soda bread is plain, although you may find it flecked with currants or other fruits in the United States. Fruits are only added for special occasions, in which case the bread goes by a different name.

Guinness
The inspiration for this Irish stout beer came from Great Britain, as it was created in the style of an English porter brew from the late 18th century. Arthur Guinness began making the tangy, creamy, dark beer at St. James’s Gate in Dublin in 1759. It took a decade for his ales to hit the public in England, and then 71 years later, they debuted in New York.

Colcannon
This traditional Irish dish is made of boiled potatoes mashed up with cabbage or kale, and then mixed with onions and butter or cream. The word “colcannon” comes from the Gaelic “cal ceannann” which translates to white-headed cabbage.

What Irish foods will you be enjoying on St. Patrick’s Day? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Join us this weekend for a yummy Corned Beef & Swiss sandwich or any of your favorites! We’re located at 105 East Arrow Highway (the northeast corner of E Arrow Hwy & Garey Ave) and open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm & Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Food-Related Resolutions For 2019

Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions. While many turn to resolutions that alter their diet and exercise routines, here are some food-related resolutions that can lead to a delicious New Year.

No-Cost Kitchen Makeover
After spending extra time in your kitchen over the holidays, you’ve likely noticed that your kitchen could use a good makeover. Aside from deep cleaning the entire kitchen, you should also try purging. You can take it step by step, or if you’re feeling ambitious, knock it out in a day or two.

  • Take an appliance inventory – Think about how often you use them or whether or not you truly need them. If you haven’t used it in over a year, or if it’s only good for one thing, you can probably get rid of it. And, if it’s broken and irreparable, toss it. You can always sell or donate the functioning items you decide to part with.
  • Next up are gadgets, dishes, and utensils. Novelty items such as egg, banana, or tomato slicers can go since you probably own a knife. If you have an overflow of dinner plates and mismatched mugs, simply keep what you need to serve guests. The rest can be discarded or placed into storage somewhere outside of the kitchen.
  • Spices and dried herbs can definitely grow old in your kitchen. With that said, ground spices can go stale and lose flavor in as little as eight months. Take a look at what you can keep and which should be tossed, and then do the same with dry ingredients like flours, beans, and grains.
  • If you’ve got storage containers without lids, let them go. You’re not going to find that lid and there’s not much else you can do with it.
  • Clear out that freezer. Do an inventory and throw away foods you’re not going to eat. Then deep clean that freeze before you restock it.

Learn A New Cuisine
Expand your culinary horizons by learning a new cuisine that takes you out of your comfort zone. No matter which cuisine you choose for whatever reason, dive in. It’s not just about learning the new food and creating delicious meals – you can also learn about another culture, language or history based on the different cooking techniques and recipes you acquire.

Once you’ve narrowed the cuisine down, look for cookbooks aimed for beginners. Most of these cookbooks will include a section at the beginning to familiarize you with ingredients and techniques that might be new to you, and will likely break the cuisine down by region or style (sometimes you’ll find a glossary, too).

It’s key to try the recipes more than once and practice the hard parts. You should also taste the expert’s version of the dishes you’re learning so you can compare and improve. Don’t expect to master it, as it can take a lifetime, but stay dedicated to improving your skills and enjoy the good food along the way.

Master A New Cooking Technique
If you would rather not tackle a whole cuisine, try learning a new cooking technique instead. While not necessarily easier, mastering a new technique takes practice and lots of it. With the constant repetition, you will be able to notice and understand the subtle nuances and refine your skills.

And challenge yourself to focus more on learning the actual technique than buying a new appliance and learning how to use that. Utilize your current resources and master the basics of the cooking technique of your choice.

Meal Planning
Meal planning can be intimidating a first, but once you find recipes you like and a routine you can work with, it can be a breeze. If your weeknights are too busy to cook even simple meals, try setting aside some time on the weekend to prepare a few meals at once. Casseroles can be relatively easy and can make a few meals in one batch. You can try to make one for the beginning of the week, and then freeze another for the second half of the week. If you’re just cooking for yourself, you can make one or two dishes and store them in single-serving containers before freezing.

Giving yourself options ensures that you have enough variety to ensure you don’t get sick of your food. And if the thought of cooking so much food at once may seem overwhelming, you will find that once you actually get to cooking, it isn’t so bad. The key is choosing foods you like and recipes that match your cooking skill level.

Start A New Tradition
If the aforementioned resolutions seem like a bit more than you can chew, you can still enjoy kitchen time by starting a new food tradition. Whether with friends or family, you can resolve to get together for a yummy meal every week, or once a month, depending on what your schedule permits. For example, you can do Friday Night Meatballs, Pizza Sunday, or whatever pleases your palate.

You can spend quality time with family cooking the meal together, assigning each member a specific cooking task so that you can all enjoy the fruits of your labor. If it’s a get together with friends, you can do themed nights pot-luck style so that everyone can contribute.

Whatever tradition you start, remember it is about sharing, not showing off. Dishes need not be fancy or perfect, but more about sharing your labor of love with the people you love.

Share your New Year’s resolutions with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Just a friendly reminder that we will be closed on Monday December 31, 2018 and Tuesday January 1, 2019 – normal store hours resume Wednesday January 2, 2019. We appreciate your understanding and would like to sincerely thank you for your support. We are excited for what 2019 will bring. Happy New Year from everyone at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli!

Have A Healthy & Happy Holiday Season!

We all know it can be hard to stay healthy during the holidays. Amid all the holiday stress, comfort foods and various gatherings, it can be difficult to stay on track. Luckily, there are some smart ways to make healthy choices.

Stay Active
We all lead busy lives, and for whatever reason, it seems to be heightened as the year draws to an end. Our normal routines are inundated with parties, shopping, special traditions and more, but we must remember to make our health a priority. Despite a busier schedule, you should still set aside some time to exercise. Remember,  a little goes a long way and something is better than nothing.

Keep Plates Small & Colorful
Indulging during the holidays can feel like a tradition for many of us. To prevent yourself from going overboard, choose small plates and fill them with naturally colored foods (think fruits and vegetables). Bu choosing fruits and vegetables, you are getting more nutrients and less calories, which is a win-win. If you can’t commit to a full plate, set a goal for filling at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Make A Healthy Dish
To make it easy on the host or hostess, most gatherings are potluck style, which works in your favor. You can choose to bring a healthy dish so that you have a smart option if the rest of the food available is too heavy. And while it’s fine to sample the other dishes, it’s important to be mindful of portions.

Watch Those Drinks
Eggnog and hot chocolate are nearly synonymous with the holiday season. They can be a nice treat, but if you drink too much, you’ll end up with an excess of sugar and calories. The same goes for soda, alcohol, and other sweet drinks that often take the place of water at holiday events. Stay hydrated and healthy by drinking water and remember that beverages also affect our caloric intake.

Share your own holiday health tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Friendly reminder, in order for our staff to enjoy the holidays, we will be closed on Monday & Tuesday December 24-25, 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. We appreciate your understanding.

Season’s Greetings from the Brick family to yours!

Dinner Party Etiquette

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, you will likely be attending more and more dinner parties, whether it’s a work event or hosted by family or friends. Whether you’re in someone’s home or out at a restaurant or banquet hall, keep these dinner party etiquette tips in mind.

Before The Dinner
It is always best to respond whether or not an RSVP was requested. If not explicitly offered, refrain from asking if you can bring extra guests. The exception is if your family is invited to someone’s home for dinner – then you should ask if children are included. If so, be sure your children are on their best behavior.

Gift
Bring a host or hostess gift if you will be dining at the home of a friend or family member. Keep in mind that most dinners have carefully planned menu items so do not expect your gift to be used during the meal.

Getting Started
Seating depends on the host or hostess. Some formal parties may have place cards for where the host or hostess wants you to sit. If not, ask if there are seating preferences and wait until the host sits before you do. Sometimes, a blessing will be said before dinner. If you do not follow the beliefs of the prayer, respectful silence is acceptable. If the host offers a toast, lift your glass – a “clink” with someone else’s glass is not necessary.

Napkin
After sitting down, take a cue from your host or hostess for when to begin. When the host unfolds his or her napkin, you should do the same. However, if you are dining out, you should place your napkin on your lap immediately.

Your napkin should remain in your lap until you are finished eating. If you must get up at any time during the meal and plan to return, place the napkin on either side of your plate. Once finished completely, place your napkin on the table to the left of your plate.

When To Eat
At a restaurant, you should wait until all members of your group have been served before you begin eating. For private dinners, take cues from the host or hostess. For buffets, you may start when there are others seated at your table.

Silverware
Silverware can be tricky. Typically, it is best to start with the utensil that is farthest away from your plate and work your way toward the center of your place setting. However, if the host or hostess is doing something different, you may follow his or her lead. Your best bet is to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

Food
If the food are your dinner party is served at the table, the dishes should be passed n a counter-clockwise flow and remember to never reach across the table for anything. Ask that condiments be passed from the person closest to the item (salt and pepper should always be passed together). And always use the serving utensils, not your own, when lifting food from the serving dish.

Eating
Some common table manners and essential dining etiquette are as follows:

  • Turn off your cell phone before sitting down – it’s rude to talk on your phone or text while in the company of others.
  • Never talk when you have food in your mouth -even if someone asks you a question, wait until you swallow before answering.
  • Taste your food before you add salt, pepper, or other seasoning. Doing otherwise may be insulting to the host or hostess. If you are dining with a prospective employer, the person may perceive you as someone who acts without knowing the facts.
  • Don’t cut all your food before you begin eating – cut one or two bites at a time.
  • Never blow on your food – if it’s hot, wait a few minutes for it to cool off. And scoop soup away from you.
  • Some foods are meant to be eaten with your fingers – follow the lead of your host or hostess.
  • Stemmed glasses are meant to be held by the stem.
  • Break your bread into bite-sized pieces and butter only one bite at a time.
  • Unless you are allergic, try at least one or two bites of everything on your plate.
  • Compliment the hostess if you like the food, otherwise it’s best to keep mum.
  • Use your utensils for eating, not gesturing.
  • Keep your elbows off the table and rest the hand you are not using in your lap.
  • Eat slowly and pace yourself to finish at the same approximate time as the host or hostess.
  • Avoid burping or making other rude sounds at the table.
  • If you spill something at a restaurant, signal one of the servers to help. If you spill something at a private dinner party in someone’s home, pick it up and blot the spill. If necessary, offer to have it professionally cleaned.
  • When you finish eating, leave your utensils on your plate or in your bowl.
  • Never use a toothpick or dental floss at the table.
  • You may reapply your lipstick, but refrain from doing the rest of your makeup at the table.

After The Meal
As mentioned, after you finish eating, partially fold your napkin and place it to the left of your plate. Wait until the host or hostess signals that the meal is over before you stand. If nothing is planned after dinner, stick around for approximately an hour before thanking your host for dinner and leaving. For informal events, you may offer to help clean up.

Later
Always send the host or hostess a thank you note or card in the mail, but don’t wait more than a day or two after the event. You brief but heartfelt note should address the host or hostess, thank him or her for the lovely dinner, and include another short, positive comment to show your appreciation.

Share your own dinner party etiquette tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Let us cater your next holiday party or event! You can view our menu online at BrickMarketDeli.com or call us at 909-596-5225 to explore your options.

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is here and there are so many things we are grateful for, one of which is our extraordinary customers who have helped us thrive over the years. Whether you have visited us on a whim, were recommended by others or have been with us from the beginning, we appreciate you giving us a chance and allowing us to do what we love.

We are also grateful for our amazing staff, who are dedicated to upholding our reputation for yummy sandwiches and excellent customer service. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and we appreciate each and every one of you.

In order to allow our staff to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closed for Thanksgiving weekend starting on Thursday, November 22, 2018. Our normal store hours will resume on Monday November 26, 2018. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and sincerely appreciate your understanding.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with love, cheer, and good food. From everyone at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli – Happy Thanksgiving!

Build The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

Thanksgiving is next week, but we have been thinking about Thanksgiving Leftover sandwiches all month. While we all have our own personal preferences, here are some sandwich tips to help you create a delicious Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich.

Bread Choice
It seems wrong to go out and buy bread specifically for a sandwich made from leftovers. As the name states, you should be using what you have on hand, which is what most of us can and will do. However, if you do go out of your way to get bread for this sandwich, the key is to get something that isn’t too bready. Since you will likely be creating a hefty sandwich, choose bread that’s strong enough to hold up without overpowering the ingredients.

A fresh Kaiser roll might be the best choice as it adds some flaky crispiness on the outside but is airy enough within to complement your leftovers. And this may cause a stir, but a wrap can also be a fine option as it allows for more of the stuff on the inside without adding too much starch. Also it helps to ensure your whole sandwich won’t fall apart while you eat it.

Easy Dressing/Gravy
First and foremost, avoid mustard. While it is a perfectly fine condiment, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to this sandwich. If your sandwich consists of mainly turkey, then mustard is great. But because it’s such a strong flavor, it may be too intense for the rest of your ingredients. Instead, a neutral condiment like mayonnaise can help to add some greasy moisture to your sandwich.

You want to add gravy to your sandwich because we’re talking Thanksgiving here. But you have to be careful – too much gravy will soak your bread and create a soggy mess. To err on the side of caution for sliced bread, make sure there’s a dry ingredient between the bread and the gravy. If you want to avoid it all together, you can always have a little extra gravy on the side to dip your sandwich in.

Starches
You may be tempted to pile on the starches, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and candied yams, but disrupting the starch-to-meat ratio will result in a dense, carb-heavy sandwich. If that’s what you like, we are definitely not here to judge. This is merely a suggestion to help balance out your sandwich.

Stuffing may be your best bet for a starch, but you have likely have many options, such as sweet potatoes or mac n’ cheese. Much like everything in this sandwich, go easy. If you are using a wrap, you can probably go with two starches, but keep portions and ratios in mind.

Dark Meat
While many may prefer white meat, whether for taste or health reasons, they may not realize how moist and tasty dark meat is. You don’t want to risk your sandwich being too dry, so when you can, go with dark meat.

Cranberry Sauce
A thin, well-distributed layer is such a good addition to your leftover sandwich. The tart, sweet and fruity flavors add moisture without overpowering the other flavors, nor creating a soggy sandwich.

Egg = Breakfast
Add an egg and you’ve got breakfast – enough said. This tactic allows you to wake up Friday morning and dig right back into your Thanksgiving food.

Follow Your Heart
Ultimately, it comes down to what you like in your sandwich (and what’s on hand – this is a leftovers sandwich). Trust your instincts with flavor and texture combinations, and if it doesn’t work out sometimes, lesson learned.

Share your Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich recipes, tips, and tricks with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

For Thanksgiving week, we will be open for normal store hours (7:00am-4:00pm) on Monday-Wednesday, but will be closed Thursday-Saturday for the holiday. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Hope to see you soon!

Food Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing are fun pastimes associated with Halloween. Unfortunately a lot can go wrong if the proper safety measures are not in place. To ensure your children are safe, follow these Halloween food safety tips via FDA.gov:

  • Snacking – Have your children eat a light meal or snack before they head out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they are home and you can inspect their treats before consuming them.
  • Safe Treats – Children should not accept, and especially not eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped. Inspect all candies for any signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Toss anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies – If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen is not present. Seek houses with teal pumpkins on display, as these denote that non-food treats are available. Any home-baked goods he or she may have received should not be consumed.
  • Choking Hazards – These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. If you have very young children, be sure to sort through their bags and remove these choking hazards.

Bobbing For Apples
This classic game has the potential for spreading bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • To reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables, thoroughly rinse them under cool running water. Consider using a produce brush to remove surface dirt as well.
  • New spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper and write an activity on each (ex. do 5 jumping jacks). Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let the children take turns “bobbing” and doing the activity written on the apple. Treat the kids to fresh apples after you are done.

Party At Home

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Stay safe by always serving pasteurized products at your parties.
  • Resist the urge to taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs.
  • Keep all perishable foods chilled until serving time – bacteria will creep up on you if you let food sit out too long. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Share your own Halloween food safety tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli before you head out for your Halloween fun! We will have normal store hours for Halloween on Wednesday, October 31 (7:00am-4:00pm; breakfast served until 10:30am). You may also order our food for delivery via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Tips For A Healthier Valentine’s Day Meal

February is American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re planning on treating your Valentine to a fancy restaurant dinner or a hearty home-cooked meal, be sure the menu is safe and heart-healthy. Here are some tips to make healthier choices on Valentine’s Day (and every day).

Restaurants

  • Assess the scene – Food safety is priority so look for the health inspection score (you may be able to access the health inspection reports online) and certificates verifying the staff is trained in food safety practices. Take a look around to ensure the glasses, silverware, napkins, and tablecloths are clean.
  • Know the facts – Look up the nutritional information in advance – most major restaurants chains have this data online. You can identify the healthier dishes and plan ahead.
  • Beware of unexpected sources of sodium – More than 40% of sodium that we eat comes from these common foods: bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, poultry, soups, cheese, meat dishes, and snacks. Luckily, most restaurants offer lower sodium options for entrées and dressings, so be sure to check the menu or ask the staff.
  • Ask before ordering – Unless they are commercially pasteurized, raw or undercooked eggs can be a hidden hazard in foods (ex. Caesar salad, custards, some sauces).
  • Order it cooked thoroughly – Remember that foods like meat, poultry, and fish need to be cooked to an internal temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria. To err on the side of safety, order your foods well done.
  • Sharing is caring – Restaurants are known for hefty portions so consider sharing one entrée.
  • Refrigerate your leftovers – Your dinner was delicious, but you’re too stuffed to finish it. Unless you are going straight home, leave the leftovers there. Food should be refrigerated within two hours of being served, or one hour if the temperature outside is warmer than 90°F.

Dining In

  • Make recipes healthier – Healthier versions of classic recipes are just a click away (thank you, Internet). Get creative and find healthy swaps for saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol in baked goods and other foods.
  • Choose low-sodium options – Reach for spices before you reach for the salt, and try adding a citrus element. You may find that you don’t need salt after all. If possible, avoid prepackaged mixes (which may be loaded with lots of salt) or seek low-sodium or salt-free versions.
  • Steer clear of frying – Instead, try roasting, grilling or steaming your foods as these methods add little to no fat.
  • Keep HOT food HOT – Once food is cooked, it should be held at an internal temperature of 140°F or above. Just keeping food warm (between 40°F and 140°F – also known as the “danger zone”) encourages fast growth of germs that cause foodborne illness/food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to make sure your meal stays out of the “danger zone”.
  • Keep COLD food COLD – Cold foods should be kept at 40°F or below.
  • Follow the two-hour rule – Throw away all perishable foods (ex. meat, poultry, eggs, casseroles) that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the outside temperature is above 90°F).
  • Continue the celebration – Ate to your heart’s content, but still have leftovers? Go ahead and put them in the fridge to eat within three to four days. If you don’t plan on eating it within that time period, stick it in the freezer.

Share your own Valentine’s Day dinner tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Avoid the crowds and treat your Valentine to a yummy breakfast or lunch at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. You can dine in with us or get the goods delivered to you via DoorDash or UberEATS!

Guilt-Free Holidays

When it comes to the holiday season, often times we feel guilty for indulging in the decadent holiday foods. While some of us might exercise and eat a balanced diet, others may not. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, eating should not make you feel bad, and the holidays are no exception. Instead of setting rules and feeling terrible for breaking them, try telling yourself these things so that the holidays are more enjoyable and less guilt-laden.

  • I deserve to enjoy holiday meals without the guilt.
    Food is food. It’s meant to nourish and fuel your body, and you deserve to enjoy it. Take time to truly enjoy every bite and the traditions and memories associated with it. The act of focusing on the different elements of your food (such as the smell, look, and taste) without distractions is known as mindful eating. Practicing mindful eating will teach you to fully enjoy what you eat without regret or shame.
  • What I eat every day matters most.
    Rather than obsessing over the foods you eat over the holidays, concentrate on what you eat daily. If you maintain a healthy diet year-round, a few days of indulging won’t hurt. If you don’t usually eat well, make that a goal for the upcoming new year. It’s important to remember that the holiday season doesn’t last forever. Focus on enjoying the quality time with family and friends instead of worrying about the foods you are eating.
  • I have the power to control my portions.
    You are in charge of how much food you eat, and this should be dictated by listening to your body. Slow down and pay attention to the way your stomach feels before eating. If you still feel hungry, have another bite, but once you’re almost full, stop eating.
  • I have the right to eat seconds or to say “No, thank you” when I’m full.
    It is not your responsibility to make someone else happy by overeating, nor by denying your hunger. Although it’s often the norm to eat more when the host graciously offers more, but it doesn’t have to be. Trust your appetite and be polite, yet firm, when declining.
  • It’s normal if I overindulge during the holidays.
    We’re all human. The important thing is to accept that you did and move on. There is no need to dwell, feel guilty, or punish yourself, as this behavior may even push you to seek comfort in more food. As mentioned, eating mindfully has many benefits and may lead to less food consumption to satisfy cravings. So remember to slow down, pay attention, and listen to your body.
  • I will eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m feeling emotional.
    Loneliness, boredom, sadness, and stress are emotions that may lead us to eating, and these emotions can be heightened during the holiday season. More effective ways to deal with these feelings can vary from person to person, but might include calling a friend, exercising, or even practicing meditation. You should take the time to learn what works for you.
  • I don’t need to “healthify” my beloved and traditional holiday recipe.
    The holiday season comes but once a year, so you should enjoy your favorites as they should be. Who really wants sugarless sugar cookies, anyways?
  • I promise not to comment on the size, shape or weight of my friends and relatives.
    Just as your weight is your business, so is theirs. If you find yourself met with a rude, unwanted comment about your appearance, it is okay to tell that person why it’s not okay to talk about it.
  • I will enjoy quality time with the people I love.
    Studies show that our close relationships are crucial to our long-term health and happiness. So rather than worry about the foods you may or may not eat, focus on spending quality time with those near and dear to your heart.

Do you have any mantras or advice that helps you get through the holidays? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Enjoy a yummy breakfast or lunch with us! The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli is located at 105 E. Arrow Hwy in Pomona and we’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.