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Tips

Unconventional Uses For Mayonnaise

When you think of mayonnaise, you probably think sandwiches, or maybe even potato salad. Although it is a classic sandwich condiment, its versatility is widely underrated.

First of all, mayonnaise is an emulsion made from oil, egg yolk, and acid (usually vinegar or lemon juice). While it’s great for adding moisture to dry sandwiches, and a great when used for pasta or potato salads, there are any other ways you can use mayonnaise when cooking.

  • Marinade
    Did you know a thin coat of mayonnaise on meat, poultry, seafood, or veggies can prevent them from sticking to the grill? In addition, it also helps to seal in natural flavors and juices, subsequently keeping your protein moist.
  • Dip
    Mayonnaise is also a great base for dip for your chips or veggies. If you can’t commit to dipping veggies or fries in plain mayo like the Belgians do, try mixing in lemon juice, chives, Dijon, and sour cream for a refreshing crudité dip. Or add avocado, cilantro, and lime to your mayo for a guacamole-inspired dip.
  • Eggs
    Try stirring on a tablespoon of mayo per two eggs before scrambling them. The result? Extra fluffy scrambled eggs.
  • Grilled Cheese
    Have you ever tried swapping butter for mayo when making a grilled cheese sandwich? It helps to get the bread crispy and crunchy while enhancing flavor.
  • Salad Dressing
    A great creamy dressing ideally starts with mayo. Get creative with the ingredients you have on hand (fresh herbs, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha, lime, mustard). Start with mayo and add a bit of vinegar and spices, along with your ingredients of choice and you’ve got a delicious dressing.
  • Dessert
    Sounds crazy, right? It’s not! Mayonnaise is great for keeping pie crusts intact and making moist cakes. For your next chocolate cake, try swapping your egg with 3 tablespoons of mayo and let us know how it goes!

Have you experimented with mayonnaise in the kitchen? Did we miss any other uses? Share your own mayonnaise tips with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Our sandwiches and salads are always made fresh to order with the finest ingredients available. Visit us weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm for breakfast or lunch. We also serve delicious baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth, too!

The Art Of Dining Alone

Unfortunately, many people have mixed feelings about dining alone. Some may see it as a lonely task, while others may enjoy the alone time. Whether you’re the former, the latter, or somewhere in between, here are some tips to improve your solo dining experience.

People Watch
Who doesn’t love to people watch? You can pick an outdoor table or sit on the patio and watch the people go by. If you would rather retreat and not be seen, you can request a seat in the back of a restaurant or against a wall to blend in better.

Journal
Do you keep a journal? If you do, when was the last time you wrote it in? If you don’t, why not start one now? Writing in a restaurant can keep you from worrying about people judging you and it can also help you reflect on different aspects of your life. It’s also a great way to pass time while you wait for your food.

Read
Not a writer? Pick up a book instead. You can get lost in a story to distract yourself, and it’s a great way to finally finish any books you’ve been reading.

Catch Up
You can also use this time to call or text your friends and family you haven’t spoken to in a while. Return missed calls, reply to old texts, or simply catch up with a friend or family member. Just remember your phone etiquette if there are other tables nearby.

Sit At The Bar
Sitting at the bar allows you to feel less alone. You can chat with the bartender or meet new people at the bar. You may even be able to watch television if there is one.

Treat Yourself
You can consider taking yourself out as a form of self care. You can treat yourself to a nice meal, maybe even splurge with an appetizer, dessert, or both. Eating alone can allow you to practice mindful eating, a skill that can benefit you for the rest of your life.

Savor The Moment
Dining alone allows you to be present, as other people are often a (good) distraction. Rather than spending time chatting as your food gets cold, you can enjoy the food you are eating while still warm. As mentioned, you can practice mindfulness throughout the meal.

Look Good, Feel Good
While you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to, you should dress in something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You may look into the dress code of the restaurant (if any), just so that you don’t show up under- or over-dressed.

Plan Ahead
To avoid having to wait around, and potentially make your experience longer, pick out your order beforehand so that you can order when the server comes around. And then, ask for the bill before you finish eating to avoid any waiting around for the check later.

Be Grateful
Dining alone isn’t as bad as people may think. There are worse situations, and you may even see some when you look around the dining room. When you’re flying solo, at least you know you’re in good company.

You can dine alone or catch up with friends or family at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Enjoy a yummy sandwich or fresh salad in our dining room or our outdoor patio. Visit us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am-4:30pm. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to what you are eating, heightening our awareness of pleasure and nourishment from our food. While the overall idea of mindful eating seems simple, to really master it takes gentle and consistent practice. Over time it can become a conscious habit, but realistically, we may fall in and out of it as staying present with eating can be a challenge in different situations.

Mindful eating often slows down the process of eating, so begin by taking a few mindful breaths to relax and become centered and present. Here are more mindful eating tips to get you started on the mindfulness path.

  • Mindful Check-In
    As mentioned, before a meal, bring awareness to your breathing. Take a breath, pause, and then notice any present thoughts or feelings, particularly in relation to the food you are about to eat. This can be brief moment or last up to a couple of minutes.

    Take a few deep, relaxing breaths and pay attention to the movement of your breaths in and out. Slowly expand your awareness to include your whole body and notice without judgment what thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are present. Consider how these may influence your choices on how much, when, and what to eat, along with desires or cravings for food.

  • Hunger & Fullness Levels
    As you are mindfully checking-in, tune in to your level of physical hunger. Most of us enjoy food most when we have some to moderate hunger – when we are too hungry, we tend to eat fast and overeat.

    Ask yourself “How hungry am I?” Listen to your body and determine whether it is physical hunger or something else. If it is the latter, ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?”

    To understand your level of physical fullness, you should also ask yourself “How full am I?” Again, listen to the messages your body is sending you. Do what would most honor your body at the present moment.

  • Reflect Upon Your Food
    How did your food get to you? What went into making it and who/what were involved (people, sun, earth, water, farmers)? Think about the quality and sources of your food, and let the sense of appreciation or gratitude for your food wash over you.
  • Senses
    Enjoy your food with all your senses:

    • Feast your eyes on your food – visually appreciate the color, texture, and shape.
    • Breathe in the aromas, and notice the nuances with both nostrils.
    • Savor your food without chewing first – notice the flavor, texture, and sensations.
    • As you chew your food, stay as present as possible with each bite and immerse yourself in the experience.
    • Mindfully swallow when ready.
      Notice any associations that arise, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Bask in pleasant associations or positive memories if you’ve like, while staying present with the full experience.
  • Taste Mindfully
    Savor the taste of your food fully, and pay attention to when the taste diminishes and your enjoyment lessens. This awareness is tool and will help you make better decisions about how much and how little to eat, as well as when to stop and when to eat more.
  • Check In With Hunger & Fullness
    Check in with hunger and fullness levels occasionally throughout the snack or meal. As you did before your meal, continue to do so throughout the meal.
  • Practice
    When you begin mindful eating, you start a slow pace as you get accustomed to the different aspects. As you hone your attention skills, your mindful eating habits will become more natural, enabling you to eat mindfully at different paces, in different settings, and with different people.

Do you practice mindful eating? What benefits have you noticed? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Practice your mindful eating skills with us at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00-4:30pm. Dine in or have your food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS.

Office Catering Tips

So you’re looking to cater an office meeting or networking event. Regardless of the formality of the event, the same catering questions and concerns remain regarding the amount of food, type of food, and so on. Lucky for you, we’re sharing some great tips on nailing the catering for your office meeting or company event.

Variety
When it comes to office catering, everyone loves a little variety. For a regularly-scheduled team lunch, hot food trays served buffet style are an impressive option. If you’re catering a working lunch, platters of finger foods may be easier and less messy. And if you want to impress clients, opt for a taco bar or Mediterranean mezze – this requires no extra effort, yet excites eaters as they get more variety and control in what they’re eating.

Hot Vs. Cold
The type of event you are catering will help determine whether you should serve hot or cold food. With team lunches, food is often the focus, which is why hot food is a smart choice. It is not only filling, but it is meant to be served and eaten right away. With a working meeting, food is more functional and thus, cold foods are a better option as there is no need to reheat in case a meeting runs long.

Dietary Requirements
These days, vegetarian and gluten-free options are necessary. It is recommended that you provide at least 25% vegetarian options for a mixed crowd, as non-vegetarians enjoy meatless options as well. In addition, vegan, nut allergies and other requirements or intolerances among your guests need to be considered when planning your event catering. A simple RSVP asking for dietary requirements can help you choose the appropriate menu.

Portion Planning
So how much food should you order? This is the most common question, and it really starts with you and your event. Think about what your attendees are expecting and what your goals are for catering this event.  Which of these statements suits you?

A.    We’re only providing food so that people show up to our event, but we’re really not looking to feed them a proper “meal”.
B.    We want people to leave satisfied, but nothing too crazy.
C.    We’re really looking to provide people with a good amount of food.

Once you decide which best suits your event, you can plan your choices around your budget. Budgets will dictate the amount of food that is ordered.

Aside from the budget, you need to consider the actual attendees. Aside from the head count, how many males and females will be there? Generally, men eat more than women, so if your guest list is mostly males, you will want to order extra portions, especially if it is buffet style.

Self-serve finger food platters will disappear much faster than passed trays. Typically, four canapés per person per hour is the minimum amount. While ending up with too much food is not ideal, it is much better than running out. Besides, the extra food will get eaten eventually.

Budget
Starting with a predetermined budget will make it easier to narrow down your catering options.

  • Breakfast – The budget for one item (fruit cup, mini muffin, bacon and egg slider, cake slices, a serving of crackers and cheese) averages $5 each – some will be less, some will be more. Generally, 2-3 items per person for breakfast is preferable; for morning or afternoon teas, 1-2 pieces can be enough (keep goals for feeding guests in mind).
  • Lunch/Dinner – An allowance of $10 is usually good for a full sandwich per person. A budget of up to $15 is normally enough to provide a reasonable amount of variety (ex. pasta, roasted meat, salad, or steamed veggies). This also depends on the number of people you are ordering for – the more people who eat, the more variety you can provide.
  • Finger food/Networking – As mentioned, the general recommendation is 4 pieces per person per hour. High-quality canapés range from $2-$4 per item. Platters (meat and cheese board, antipasti, etc.) are a good, budget-friendly option without compromising quality. Anywhere from $10-$15 per person would be a decent budget for a light nibble.

Drinks
You may also want to consider beverages for your event. If you will be serving alcohol at your event, a rough guideline is to allow one person one beverage per hour. But you should always have non-alcoholic options. Providing self-service water pitchers or jugs is generally more cost-effective and convenient – just be sure they are being refilled. For casual office events, you can provide individual bottles or set up a self-service station with larger bottles of water or juice and cups.

Plan Ahead
Reserve your order ahead of time to ensure you get the desired menu options, date, and time. Thos can also eliminate any last minute rushes and added stress. Check with your catering choices to see how much lead time they need for catering orders and plan accordingly.

On-Time Delivery
Provide clear and complete delivery information – ex. parking instructions (if it is paid parking, this may be added to the final bill), logistics information (which may include loading docks or service lifts directions), and any other specific access information. Most importantly, the driver must have a contact name and number onsite to receive the deliver upon arrival. If you will be too busy to tend to this detail, designate someone else to be the main contact and ensure the delivery is correct, complete, and on-time.

Expect The Unexpected
Things don’t always go as planned. To accommodate a changing guest list, it is best to order for the minimum number of people you are anticipating (which reserves your spot) and then wait until the cut-off lead time to add to the order if necessary.

Did you know we offer catering services? From sandwich platters to salad trays to boxed lunches, we can cater to your needs! To learn more, call 909-596-5225 or visit BrickMarketDeli.com to explore our menu. And you can visit us in store for breakfast or lunch 6 days a week, and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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.

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.

Healthy Tips For Dining Out

There are several reasons for dining out at a restaurant. Whether it’s a new hot spot you’ve had your eye on, for a social gathering, or simply a much-needed break from the kitchen, you deserve a nice night out. And while it is great to treat yourself, it does not mean you have to abandon your diet completely.

Despite hidden calories and large portions, there are ways to create a delicious and healthy restaurant dining experience.

Healthier Choices

  • Just say no to appetizers, which are usually loaded with unnecessary calories. If you want to start with an appetizer, a green salad with dressing on the side is a better option.
  • To prevent overeating, you should aim to fill half of your plate with fruit and/or vegetables (and no, potatoes do not count), and the other half with lean protein and whole grains.
  • Skip the sodium-laden soups. Instead, go for a salad, which offers less sodium and more potassium-rich veggies.
  • Restaurant portions are notorious for being oversized, so, if you can, order a lunch portion, box up half of your meal for later, or split an entrée with a friend.
  • As tempting as they may be, bypass the complimentary bread or chips. These fillers will just stuff you with unnecessary and empty calories and carbs.

Salads

  • Choose Darker Greens – Darker greens have more nutrients per serving than the popular romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • Pick A Good Protein – Good protein choices include egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, tuna, beans, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cut The Cheese – You really don’t need the cheese, do you? Skip the excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium that cheese provides.
  • Smart Toppings – Instead of adding crunch from oily, refined flour (crispy wontons, croutons) and salty sodium bombs (olives, bacon), add crisp veggies and fruit to add more texture and flavor. Load up on nutrient-dense toppings such as broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, roasted peppers blueberries, mango, or strawberries.
  • Dress Better – It’s always wise to get the dressing on the side so that you can control how much or how little dressing you use. You may even be able to create your our dressing using oil and vinegar.

Sandwiches

  • Whole Wheat > White Bread – Always a better choice as it provides more nutrients. And please note that “multigrain” may mean more white flour than whole wheat.
  • Avoid Wraps – Unless they are whole grain, skip the wraps (they can have up to as many calories as white bread). Or try a lettuce wrap. You can drop refined grains for whole food. And if you’re feeling adventurous, turn your sandwich into a salad.
  • Craving a sandwich? Opt for a half sandwich, half salad combo. That way, you can get your sandwich fix while taking in more vegetables, too.
  • Smart Sides – When it comes to side dishes, opt for fresh fruit or steamed veggies over chips or bread.

Coffee

  • Choose Nonfat Milk – If you don’t particularly like nonfat, take baby steps and do half nonfat, half 2% milk.
  • Pros & Cons Of Non-Dairy Milk – Soy milk provides around 8g of protein per cup, but depending on the brand, they may have added sugar. Almond milk may have less sugar, but also less protein. Skip the coconut milk as it is low in protein and high in saturated fat.
  • Skip The Whipped Cream – Save yourself from excess calories and saturated fat.
  • Skip The Syrup – Sugar-free syrups may be made with unsafe sweeteners, but if you must, ask for a single pump of regular syrup.
  • Order Brewed Coffee and make your own modifications (one packet of sugar adds about 20 calories.

How do you stay healthy when you dine out? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

At the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli, we serve a variety of signature sandwiches and salads made to order. Visit us in store, online or have our food delivered via DoorDash or UberEATS. We also provide catering for business lunches, special events and parties. Call 909-596-5225 to learn more!

Catering For Corporate Events

So you have been tasked with choosing the catering service for your next corporate event. Not sure where to begin? Let us help you get started on the right track.

  • Budget

First and foremost, you should determine your corporate event budget overall. This should include the venue, catering, decorations, and any other details. From there you can see how much is allocated for each and you can speak with companies you can afford, rather than speaking with those you cannot.

  • Headcount

Getting a headcount of how many guests you will be expecting can help determine your budget and which catering company would be better suited for your event. Some caterers focus more on smaller, more intimate events, while others specialize in larger scale events. While you don’t necessarily need an exact count, you should have a general idea of the number of guests.

  • Food

You can stick with the typical assortment of hors d’oeuvres plus beef, chicken or vegetarian entrees, or you can wow your guests by exploring a wide variety of food options.

You want a caterer that will work with your vision and ideas to create a menu that suits your event. They should also be able to accommodate different diets and allergies should these come up.

  • Bar

Some events have bars while others may not. Consider the type of event you are hosting and whether a bar would be appropriate.

Holiday parties or galas would likely have a bar, whereas corporate conferences could do without. You can discuss these options with your caterer to help you decide.

  • Ongoing Relationship

Considering an ongoing relationship with a catering company you like can help to save you time and possibly money in the long run. Many corporate catering services are willing to sign ongoing contracts to guarantee services for a set number of future events.

You want your corporate event to be memorable in a good way, and the right catering service can help cement that. If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch catering for your office or special event, feel free to contact us 909-596-5225 to discuss our catering options.

You may also explore our menu online at www.BrickMarketDeli.com and connect with us on our socials – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Make Better Salads

As simple as salads seem, sometimes when you make them yourself, they just don’t taste as good as restaurant salads. It’s not you, but it might be your technique. Here are some tips and tricks to perfect your healthy salad-making skills.

  • Always Use Fresh, In-Season Ingredients
    Produce always tastes best at the peak of freshness, which is why a quick trip to the farmer’s market could yield a great batch of salad ingredients.
  • Use A Salad Spinner
    Be sure to wash your greens and get them as dry as possible before starting your salad (the dressing will stick better). The paper towel method can be tedious and time-consuming, but a salad spinner is designed to effectively and efficiently dry your leaves. If you don’t have one already, you may want to consider investing in one.
  • Get Creative With Ingredients
    Lettuce doesn’t always have to be the base of your salad. Get creative and try quinoa or farro or even shredded carrots. In addition, you can change up your toppings. For example, you can try nuts or seeds or roasted veggies. Experiment with ingredients that you like and you just might discover your new favorite salad.
  • Add More Flavor
    Try adding fresh herbs into your salad base or squeeze some fresh lime or lemon juice over the top. And if you like spice, you can try fresh cracked pepper or something bolder like your favorite hot sauce. The possibilities are endless.
  • Balance Textures
    As with most other meals, you want to balance soft and creamy ingredients (ex. avocado, goat cheese) with something crunchy (ex. nuts, croutons). The contrasting textures often work well together.
  • Consider Your Protein
    Before adding your protein, think about the flavors that will complement what you already have. Rather than sticking to safe choices (shredded rotisserie chicken, unseasoned baked chicken), marinate your meat in spices/sauces that will work with your salad.
  • Add Cheese Just Before Eating
    If you’re adding cheese to your salad, be sure to shred or shave it just before you are about to eat. Pre-shredded cheese often dries out easier and loses flavor. By shaving or shredding your cheese just before your meal, you retain the moisture and flavor for a better tasting salad.
  • Want Creamier Salad Dressing?
    Sometimes your store-bought or home-made dressings can be a little on the thin side, causing it to simply slip right off your salad ingredients. When this happens, an easy way to thicken it up is to add some fat-free Greek yogurt. This will also give your dressing a creamier consistency without adding too many calories.
  • Dress Wisely
    While on the topics of dressings, be mindful of your dressing portions. Too much or too little dressing can really mess up a salad. It’s best to err on the lighter side since you can always add more dressing as needed, but you can’t take it away.

If you don’t want to make your salad at home, come on down to the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! With our Mixed Greens salad, you choose the toppings and we do the work. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com for more information on our menu or call 909-596-5225 if you have any questions. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Finding The Right Caterer

A lot of planning and hard work goes into executing and hosting a memorable event. Whether it is a party or special occasion, choosing the right catering services can make or break your event. When searching for quality catering services, keep these things in mind.

  • Knowledge

If you are looking for a specific cuisine or cooking style, you want to choose a caterer who possesses the appropriate knowledge. They should be able to help you build a creative menu to specification.

  • Skills

Along with knowledge, the right caterer should also possess exceptional cooking skills. A good caterer will have confidence in their food and will usually offer free tastings to prove food quality.

  • Budget

A good caterer will also work with your budget while still providing quality food and service. Before any contracts are involved, you should get a clear cost breakdown of the services.

  • Food Safety

First and foremost, food safety should be top priority, and any caterer or chef worth his grit knows this. Be sure you choose a catering service that values food safety and ensure that your food is prepared in a sanitary, health-inspected kitchen. In addition, make sure your caterers can transfer your food safely.

  • Skilled Staff

Should your catering service come with staff, you want to make sure that all staffs are adequately trained, and that there is adequate staff available. They should be able to efficiently deliver food and interact appropriately with guests.

  • Flexibility

Your caterer should also be able to adapt recipes for dietary concerns such as allergies and sensitivities. Be sure you can modify the menu options based on special dietary requirements of your guests (ex. shellfish allergy, vegan/vegetarian options).

  • Accessibility

Be sure the catering service provides contact information, whether an email address or phone number, that they respond to promptly. They should be able to answer your questions regarding the event, and easily accessible should anything come up before, during, or after the event.

  • Experience

With experience comes better knowledge on the appropriate amount of food and drinks for the expected number of guests. Experienced caterers will also have a better scope of what works and what doesn’t in various settings. They can help you create and execute a flawless event.

  • Contracts

Before the event, the catering company should provide you with a contract that confirms and covers all the details discussed and agreed upon. Be sure to review this closely to ensure the pricing and details are correct before signing.

  • References

Gain confidence in your catering choice by contacting past references. Before you even ask, the caterer may even provide references from past clients. You can also do your own research, or get recommendations from family and friends.

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Let the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli cater your next meeting, party, or special event. To learn more about our catering options, please call 909-596-5225.