Category Archives: Articles

Are Subway Foods as Good as the Advertising

Does Subway’s food live up to their advertising? In some ways the answer is yes, but in other ways, no. Sorry if that does not definitively answer the question with more than a definite maybe. That answer lies with individuals eating there. However, for myself, while the flavors are good the proportions are not, if you go by the ads.

Watch the ads and you see a generously proportioned sandwich with lots of meat, cheese and veggies. The ad makes the sandwich look so appetizing that you want to just run out and get that behemoth of a sandwich. Once you get there, however, the sandwich is nothing like the ad.

You stand there, almost drooling in anticipation for that sandwich seen on TV and then see the almost skimpy portions, that are the reality and it is a real letdown. No wonder they advertise such small caloric amounts for their sandwiches when you can make your own at home, with the generous proportions you want. This is all for a similar price as the restaurant, if you want, or know how, to cook.

The biggest thing one must look at, because it is not the sandwich, is the time factor involved. At home, you must take the time to prepare all the components of your sandwich, chopping the veggies, cooking and slicing the meats, and slicing the cheese, along with either buying or baking the bread. Then you have to put it all together and this takes time. At the restaurant, someone else assembles the sandwich for you, from previously prepared ingredients, wraps it and hands you a cup and bag of chips. All you have to do is eat the thing and get on with your day.

Therefore, for the time savings it may be worth the price to buy the sandwich. There are other choices around town as well however, that I will not name here. Is their advertising false and misleading? Well, that is up to you. Don’t expect the same portions you see in any ads, for any restaurant, unless you have a chance to check them out first because advertising is designed to make you want to go there and eat. The food looks great, as does the service on TV, but the reality can be very different.

Television advertising is rather like buying shoes online. You cannot try them on to see if they fit and feel good, just like you cannot taste and smell the food on the TV. Rather like the difference between riding a stick horse and the real thing. You have to be the judge for yourself.


Recipes Hotdog Delicious

Of all the activities my Mom had to do when she kept house, cooking was not her favorite. Now with that in mind, I wouldn’t dare call her an inspired chef. At the same time, she did well with the recipes she followed. God help me if I wanted one of her recipes. She always recited them by memory, and always conveniently left out an ingredient or two. After making her ‘crumb’ cookies, I asked her why mine were so much harder than her’s were. “Did you put butter in them?” Of course not. The recipe she gave me didn’t have butter. The recipe she gave me for chop suey didn’t include bead molasses until after I ruined a batch, and nor did my pepper steak contain the proper spices to make it taste like her’s. 

There was one recipe she made that I loved, that my kids loved, and that I could reproduce without a recipe. It’s called stuffed hot dogs. Very simply it is a matter of boiling the hot dogs, slitting them lengthwise, and ladling mashed potatoes into the slit and covering that with American cheese. We then broil them long enough to melt and brown the cheese. That takes only a few short minutes, so it is best to check them often. It is easier to pull them before the cheese burns then it is to pull the hot cheese off the potatoes and replacing it. They are to be eaten with a knife and fork rather than on any type of bun or bread.

Of course in those days my Mom always made fresh mashed potatoes by boiling real potatoes until they were soft, and then beating in butter, milk and salt and pepper. When I found myself traveling to Downtown Chicago where I worked daily,and dealing with a two hour commute, I found it easier to replace homemade mashed with boxed. When original instant mashed became such a hit, several brands came out with varieties. I found onion and sour cream, garlic, four cheese and Swiss and bacon, to name just a few. And just because I enjoy cooking, and I enjoy trying new things, it wasn’t long before I tried different flavors of potatoes, and different types of cheeses. My kids particularly liked garlic flavored potatoes with cheddar, where as I like any flavor mashed with mozzarella. The neighborhood kids decided that Swiss and bacon flavored potatoes paired with any kind of cheese was great. 

After helping my daughter with research on a college term paper, we discovered together just how unhealthy prepared food can be. I’ve decided to cook real food again. I now have the time, and I have the know how. And I’ve discovered real mashed potatoes are worth the effort. Stuffed hot dogs with homemade garlic potatoes, chives and sour cream, or even just plain old fashioned mash potatoes are phenomenal. So much so my son calls me when he’s on the road to ask me that when he’s home next to please make them for him. Oh, and could his best friend come to dinner, too?

I usually serve stuffed hot dogs with a fruit and veggie just because of the high content of carbohydrates in potatoes. Corn on the cob, baked beams, applesauce or fruit salad are all good sides. Once in a while, though, it’s hard to resist a fruit flavored muffin or good old fashioned banana bread, too. Although when my son made them at his new home, a visitor who had never tried them before loaded one into a bun and bit into it. She’s hooked, too. 


Why you should Learn to Cook

Learning to cook is an ability that no one should be without, especially if one wants to be able to eat. It is a skill that sticks with you for a lifetime. It’s a basic survival skill not only for single people living in the city, but college students and even soldiers in the middle of nowhere. And, learning to cook saves you money, too.

Some people claim that boiling water is a challenge. Really, it’s not. I got lucky. I can remember standing by my grandmother’s side, and my mother’s as well, at a very young age, learning to cook different foods. The lessons they taught me were invaluable.

I will talk about six methods of cooking: boiling, simmering, sauteing, grilling, roasting, broiling, baking. Hopefully these will be of some help to you. And, I hope you will be inspired to try to cook. Please remember to practice kitchen safety.

Boiling water is simple: Put the water in the pan, place the pan on the stove with the handle towards the center of the stove for safety, and turn the burner on. Do not stand and watch the water, as it always takes longer to boil. Get busy doing other things that are needed for your recipe while you wait. Every once in a while, look over at the water. Bubbles will start to form, slowly at first, and then more and more rapidly. The water is boiling when it looks like a rolling wave that isn’t stopping.

Simmering is similar to boiling. As a matter of fact, a lot of recipes will have you bring your liquid to a boil, add ingredients, and then bring it back to a simmer. This means that you are bringing the liquid to something of a very slow boil. You will still see individual bubbles popping on the top of the liquid, but they will not be like the rolling waves of the boil. Simmering is used over a longer length of time to help develop the flavor of a dish, like a stew.

Sauteing is a method of cooking that is used to keep the moisture, flavor and color of a food in a little bit of fat over high heat in skillets. It is used on meats and vegetables, and it does cook the food all the way through. The two most important things are that all of the food is laid out in one layer to do this properly and that the pan is very hot.

Grilling is simple, but not a no-brainer. Of course, turning the grill on is simple. But it is imperative that you practice grill safety. Know how to light your grill properly. If it’s gas, or electric, keep it properly maintained. Make sure the screen is clean. Cooking things like pineapple and fruit on the grill are easy, as long as you pay attention to them. Follow the recipe directions and don’t wander too far away.

Roasting changes the flavor of meat, vegetables, coffee or even chocolate by caramelizing the food itself. Dry, even heat is used to produce the caramelization effect. The heat source can be an oven, or an open flame. Based on the recipe, either low or high temperature can be used. Moisture is retained by basting with a small amount of liquid during roasting.

Broiling, though it rhymes with boiling, is nothing like it. Broiling is done with a radiant heat source. It sears the outside of the food, much like grilling. Typically, a broiler is found in an oven. However, a salamander, another piece of kitchen equipment is also used to broil food.

Baking, my all-time favorite activity, is to cook food by dry heat. The process used to accomplish it is called conduction. Normally one thinks of using only an oven to do this, however, other things can be used. Grills, skillets, hot ashes or even hot stones come to mind.

I hope that a new cook will find this list helpful. This was just a quick description of cooking. I actually really enjoy it. For me, cooking is therapeutic. If you don’t want to eat take-out every night, you have to learn to cook!


Five Guys Burgers and Fries a Fast Food Success Story

The original “Five Guys” consisted of Jerry Murrell and his four sons in 1986 when the first Five Guys Burger and Fries store opened.  Jerry and his wife had a fifth son in 1988, and he is now the “Fifth Guy” as all five on the sons are still in the business.

The first location opened in Virginia at the Westmont shopping centre, and no longer exists.  Five Guys was an overnight success – people loved the fresh ingredients.  Every hamburger bun was made by hand until 2001 by Brenner’s Bakery, which was located in the same mall at the time Five Guys opened. 

The Morrell family decided to franchise in 2002, as they were kept quite busy running 6 stores in Virginia.  There are currently more than 625 Five Guys locations in 40 states and 5 Canadian provinces.

How did a family-run business become an international success so quickly?

Five Guys Burgers and Fries takes pride in using only fresh ingredients for their burgers.  According to the Five Guys website, only fresh ground beef is used, and you will never find a freezer in a Five Guys locations because nothing is ever frozen.  Fresh toppings for the burgers include: American cheese, bacon, (one topping or the other is free, both are an additional charge) mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, onion, lettuce, pickle, tomato, green pepper, jalapeño, grilled onion, and grilled mushrooms (all free.)  Sauces available include hot sauce, barbeque sauce, and A-1.

The Five Guys website boasts that there are over 250,000 ways to order a Five Guys burger, and that their fries are fryed in only 100% pure peanut oil.  This gives the fries a unique (and loved) taste.

Five Guys’ food has been criticized for being high in calories and fat.  This is most likely what makes the food taste so good and causes customers to be fiercely loyal to Five Guys when they want a burger.  No artificial chemical substitutes are used to lower the calorie counts, just fresh ingredients in large portions cooked the way fast food used to be cooked.  Five Guys tastes great, and they make no apologies for that.

Another factor behind Five Guys success is that when they first started franchising, former Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley was working for Fransmart, the company the Murrell’s first turned to when starting to franchise Five Guys.  His enthusiam for the chain, and, of course, his star power, was instrumental in selling franchises, and he stayed on as franchise director for Five Guys even after the Murrell’s and Fransmart went their separate ways.

Five Guys brought the “food” part of the equation back into “fast food” by realizing that quality shouldn’t be compromised, even in a fast-food restaurant.  Seeing how quickly that attitude earned them millions of fanatic followers, it seems the public agrees!


Food Safety Tips for Summer Picnics

The sizzling days of summer are within our midst. And, when it’s summertime, we tend to become a little carefree and relaxed. After all, that’s when loved ones gather to enjoy the various summer picnics and barbecues. Unfortunately, during the warmer months that’s when many cases of food contamination and poisoning occur. And, majority of this happens during the barbecues and picnics. Therefore, it is imperative that we practice food safety tips for summer picnics. Some of the food safety tips to practice are:

Proper hygiene

One of the best habits to practice and follow is the washing of hands with soap and water.In addition, you could try to keep anti-bacterial wipes and paper towels in close proximity so that others can have them at their disposal. Ensure to take along plastic or garbage bags in order store dirty plates, cups, napkins and other items used.

Separate cut boards/utensils

Many food borne illnesses are caused from contamination of cut boards. Therefore, it is adviseable to keep separate cut boards for fruits and vegetables and meats. It is best to use one for fresh fruits and vegetables; and another for meats and poultry. Before consuming, products like water melons and cantaloupes make sure to wash the whole products first. Then, cut up with separate knife from what used for meats/poultry.

Cover foods

When there is an outdoor picnic, unfortunately, there are unwanted guests in the form of flies and other bugs. These insects are carriers of germs that are dangerous to humans. Thus, it is best to keep cooked foods properly covered. The market carries various inexpensive plastic products that you can utilize to keep your foods safe.

Store and cook foods correctly

Keep cold foods cold in the right storage compartment like an cooler until ready for consumption. And, keep warm and cooked foods at the right temperatures so as to preserve freshness. Make sure to cook meats and poultry at the correct temperature per instructions and guidelines. Do invest in a good thermometer.And, when marinading poultry and meats add a little alcohol like beer, wine, or brandy. The ingredients in the alcohol will allow the meat/poultry to preserve longer; and, at the same time provides a tangy and mouthwatering flavor. A little mustard and/or vinegar will help to retain freshness in that potato salad.

Food safety is very important. It’s reported by different health bodies that millions in the United States and elsewhere in the world suffer tremendously due to mishandling and cooking of foods. The emergency room doctors see a huge jump in their waiting rooms due to e-coli and salmonella contamination especially during the summer months. Therefore, before you plan and prepare a picnic for you and your loved ones, it’s detrimental that you utilize the above tips and others so as to keep everyone safe. Bon appetit!


Great use for Stale Bread

Bread pudding is one of the oldest desserts on earth. It was invented by our frugal ancestors who wanted to find a use for stale bread. “Waste not want not” is an old adage and bread pudding is the perfect application of this saying. When your bread has gotten hard but before it has turned green you can make it into a delicious dessert that is as heartwarming and luscious as you care to make it.

There are as many variations of this recipe as there are bakers. If you want to make it rich you can use whole milk, if you are more calorie conscious you can use skim or one percent. Gather all your bread, about half a loaf is good and break it up into pieces then put it aside. This is not a dessert that relies on exact measurement; it will be good no matter what. If you only have a few slices of bread, you can toast some fresh bread and add it to the stale bread. To take it up a notch use croissants or Portuguese sweet bread or even day old Danish.

If you like raisins in your bread pudding,  place a quarter cup in a small pan with a cup of water and boil for about ten minutes or until the raisins plump up. Drain and mix with the bread. Grease a 13 by 9 glass baking dish. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine

3 eggs

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

At Christmas time you can replace the cinnamon with nutmeg and the milk with eggnog for a fabulous flavor.

Beat until blended. Place the bread in the baking dish and pour the milk mixture over the bread and press the bread down into the milk mixture until everything is wet, flip the pieces as needed. Allow it to set for 15 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes and then start to check to make sure that it is cooked all the way through. You can use a toothpick and when it comes out clean, its done. Depending on your oven this can take up to another ten minutes.

Serve the pudding plain, warm or cold or you can make a sauce to go over it. You can even buy a sauce; this is out of this world with caramel or butterscotch ice cream sundae topping. Whip up a pint of cream or pour light cream over the pudding.

It is perfect with a simple custard sauce.

2 cups of cream

1/3 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

2 teaspoons of vanilla

Place in a small sauce pan and cooked until it thickens. Do no let it boil or it will curdle.

If you want to go crazy and take your bread pudding to another level, you can skip the raisins and add dried cherries or cranberries and chopped walnuts or chocolate chips and pecans. Be creative, this is a simple and yet impressive dessert to serve to your family or your guests and at the same time it uses your day old bread. In this day and age no one wants to waste and this helps you to use every last bit of your bread.


Payoff & Well Deserved Success Online

After years of research and false starts, I have refocused my attention and energies on just two of my websites for selling information products online. I believe strongly in the power of the internet to improve fortunes, and see no good reason why I can’t finally start getting my piece of the pie. I am starting to put things together “properly” in my marketing efforts, and predict that my expensive advertising campaign will pay off…as soon as it starts, which seems to be over a week late. I have lots of hope (and also desperation, because of the local economy & being laid off), so “things have to get better soon”!

To try to be more specific, I see myself earning a decent living from my online efforts, up to $50000 a year for starters, then double that within 12 months.

Other intentions I have had success with so far (after reading The Attractor Factor, which got me started on intentions) are quitting smoking–no cigs for at least 4 months now!) and being a better gardener ?

So things just have to get better! I’m strangely optimistic, defying reason & logic!

Supporting Actions:

I paid for a huge advertising campaign, have redesigned my website so it’s more visitor and sales friendly, & am expanding my follow up newsletter to stay in contact with subscribers longer.

I am making this intention because I have put over 2 years into internet marketing without any real success or profit, & because I was laid off from bartending & after doing that for 9 years want something better for myself. Also, fulfilling this intention will relieve some pressure from empty rental apartments 7 lack of rental income. I believe I deserve to succeed, & that I’m a late bloomer as far as success goes, but that I can & will succeed, be proud of my accomplishments, & be able to “make a living online”.

I went to your website. Internet Marketing info products is a very competitive market as I am sure you know.

A little advice for what it is worth. Make sure your ad campaigns are taking people straight to a specific product page and not to your main page that shows all of the products you sell.

This does 2 things. It creates less confusion with potential buyers. And it will drastically increase your Google quality score for your Adwords (provided your Adwords wording and the keywords your are targeting match the product.)

Another thing is change the title of your specific pages to match your keywords and the Adwords ad, instead of the URL for the page. This will also greatly improve your Google quality score.

And as you know, the higher your quality score the less money you need to spend to get a good position with your AdWords.

Healthiest Eating Choices at Taco Bell

The company known for its “outside the bun” approach to fast food has recently re-launched its “Fresco-style” menu. This time as a permanent feature on their menu. Since January 7th, 2008, there are now 9 new Fresco selections with 9 grams of fat or less. These items feature Fiesta Sauce a mix of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, as a substitute for cheese or cheese-based sauces.

Let’s see how the new Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco compares with its former self, the Regular Chicken Soft Taco.

Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco 4 grams of fat 170 calories
Regular Chicken Soft Taco 14 grams of fat 270 calories

There’s definitely a savings there of 10 grams of fat and 100 calories! Considering that the average person usually eats 3 tacos, the new version offers an eye-popping total reduction of 30 grams of fat and 300 calories. I do believe that eating foods like these could go a long way towards dropping a few dress sizes before the swimsuit season! And that’s always good news!

Other items within the Fresco Collection include Fresco Crunchy Taco, Fresco Burrito Supreme Chicken, Fresco Burrito Supreme Steak, Fresco Bean Burrito, Fresco Fiesta Burrito, Fresco Soft Taco, Fresco Zesty Chicken Border Bowl and Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco.

Crunchy Taco Fresco Style 150 calories 7 grams of fat
Beef Soft Taco Fresco Style 190 calories 8 grams of fat
Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco Fresco Style 170 calories 4 grams of fat
Grilled Steak Soft Taco Fresco Style 170 calories 5 grams of fat
Beef Baja Gordita Fresco Style 250 calories 9 grams of fat
Chicken Baja Gordita Fresco Style 230 calories 5 grams of fat
Steak Baja Gordita Fresco Style 230 calories 7 grams of fat
Bean Burrito Fresco Style Fresco Style 350 calories 8 grams of fat
Chicken Burrito Supreme Fresco Style 350 calories 8 grams of fat
Steak Burrito Supreme Fresco Style 350 calories 9 grams of fat

But… and this may be a big but… how do these new selections compare in taste?

First. let me speak up and say that I love Mexican foods. And I think that, ever since my second pregnancy, I must have salsa flowing through my veins. I love the spice, the bold, smokey flavors, the crunch, and the cheese the glorious cheese! Although the Mexican-inspired items available at Taco are a far cry from truly authentic Mexican food, I still am a huge fan! (Unlike my husband, who refers to the restaurant as Taco Hell!)

After trying a few items from the new menu, I came away somewhat disappointed. Can you blame me? There’s no CHEESE on these new thing-a-ma-bobs! That said, the flavor of the Fiesta Sauce is excellent. I love the blend of fresh tomatoes, zesty onions, and sharp, stimulating cilantro. This sauce or salsa (as they should have called it) gives your mouth a punch of juicy, savory flavor. The juicy part can be a problem though, since your soft or crunchy taco will soon become a soggy taco if you do not eat with a certain degree of speediness.

Taco Bell has not shouted about its new items from the mountain tops. They are mostly relying on in-store signage (tray liners, posters, brochures, and banner ads) to pitch the new line of products. You just might see an occasional print ad in a health and fitness or women’s publication in the future, too. Perhaps they are aware that these items just don’t make the cut for the average consumer and their taste bud cravings.

But overall I commend Taco Bell for making more healthy choices available to its customers. If you are looking to drop a few pounds before the warm weather, you’ll have to forego the cheese anyway. So the Fresco selection is a good place to start it’s pretty tasty, awfully convenient, and, as always with Taco Bell, affordable.


Growing Stevia

Growing Stevia from scratch may be hard (from seeds that’s). Stevioside levels can change considerably from plant, even in the event that you were able to get the seeds to germinate.

You need to try to get Stevia plants which were produced from cuttings of plants that would be to say that it’s better to purchase “proven-sweet” appetizer plants.

Young plants are vulnerable to low temperatures, which means you need to earlier and soil temperatures are in to the 50’s and 60’s before transplanting them into for your garden.

The plants must be put into 18 inches between plants, and rows 20 to 24 inches apart.

The plants appreciate a rich loamy soil. Steviais feeder roots are close to the surface, in case your soil is sandy therefore is it.

Stevia roots are vulnerable to excessive moisture. Take care when watering and make certain their soil drains readily. Regular light watering is best during the summertime.

Put in a level of compost around each place to maintain the shallow feeder roots from becoming dry.

Fertilizers are preferred by stevia greatly since may increase the sweetness of the plants in their reproductive state while they evolve as a result of shorter days and cool fall temperatures.

Your plants should be covered by you in the early frost in order to get sweetness that is greater and several weeks growing.

You ought to prune the branches off before removing the leaves, in regards time to harvest. It is also possible to cut the tips off the stems simply because they may also be high in stevioside.

You’ll be able to leave your plants outside but don’t cut the branches to leave around 4 inches of stalk, if you reside in a frost free climate. Your second year harvest will subsequently be successful.

The plants should be replaced by you after 24 months with new cuttings.

Cuttings have to be rooted before putting. You create your personal from willow tree tips produced water inside your blender or can use commercial rooting hormones.

Dunk cuttings in plant and your groundwork in a rooting kind soil for two to three weeks.

When the root system has received an opportunity to form you’ll be able to put in a 4.5 inch pots.

Put plants in a bright, non- drafty location until springtime.

Stevia can grow indoors. Hydroponics systems function nicely full of a growing mixture that is light weight. Incorporating some much round the top for that swallow roots is almost always recommended.

Why losing teeth

There are way too many factors when a tooth comes out like that.

Implants are the best choice provided your dentist agrees you are an excellent candidate.

Implants take a very through evaluation by a certified specialist, not all dentist place them. Dental Insurance might not cover them either.

Then you need a crown or bridge.

So we’re talking thousands of dollars.

There is periodontal disease, which in that case teeth have mobility or extreme mobility and that is when patients are in dire need of a good oral evaluation with x-rays as well.

It takes time for teeth to get mobile, when we are young our gums are in excellent condition, but in the long run if there is no good oral hygiene, it is a road of pain and suffering.

Dentistry has become very patient friendly.

In the office doctors make sure our patients are aware of how to take care of their oral hygiene, we make sure they have all their questions answered, before they leave our office, regardless if it’s about insurance or dental questions about their mouth.

There’s always a broken tooth from opening “bottle tops” like beers or soda pops back in the day, it’s a shame beautiful teeth get cracked and broken.

Or sometimes there might be a thin fracture line, you cannot see with an x-ray or visually, but the dentist have tools that will instantly let him or her know there is a fracture, because when you bite down, it might hurt where the cusp is fractured, then that’s when you might be eating pizza or you bite something hard and then there goes a piece of the tooth.