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How to Throw a Salad Bar Party Idea’s

Salads are great any time of year but in Florida during those hot, humid summer days, they are absolutely refreshing. A salad bar at a Party offers so many great options and can also cover those who are looking for lower fat intake, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, diabetic or simply wanting to fit into their bathing suits and watching their weight. You can include a variety of fruits, vegetable and proteins and have a beautiful, colorful good for you salad bar enjoyed by all.

Start with the base of the salad, the Lettuce.  It is easier to pick great lettuce these days at your local grocery store with many options that are already washed and ready to go.  Have a separate plate or bowl for each one.

You could offer a variety of three types and let your guests mix and match or just choose to have one.

Romaine – Crisp and has high nutrition value
Radicchio – a bit bitter and has a lovely marble red and white color
Arugula (nickname rocket) has a light peppery flavor.
Spring Greens Mix – a variety of flavors and color and you could easily add fresh kale or spinach to liven it up even more.

Fresh Herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, Parsley gives your lettuces a boost of flavor. You can tear the leaves of each and have available to add to the lettuce or top a salad.

Toppings

This is the fun part of the salad, adding more flavor. Be creative and offer a good number of toppings like veggies, fruits, nuts, cheeses, legumes and proteins.

Here are some ideas:

Vegetables

Choose at least five vegetables.

Cherry Tomatoes – (officially a fruit) cut them in half to make it easier to eat. No one like to chase that round tomato around their plate.
Cucumber – slice thin or cube
Mushrooms – White button or Cremini there are lots of varieties to choose from
Radish’s – It may be a bit strong with the peppery flavor for some guest, so slice them very thin
Scallions/Green Onions – Both the white and green parts are delicious
Red Onions – Offer great flavor and color, slice thin
Carrots – Adds a bit of sweetness to the salad. Slice thin
Zucchini – Slice in rounds or cubes
Broccoli – loaded with vitamins and adds crunch. Cut into small trees for easy eating
Bell Peppers – Red, Yellow, Orange or Green offers great color and taste. Slice thin or cube them.
Shredded Cabbage – Adds crunch, flavor and color. Choose green or purple
Jicama – Has a sweet and nutty flavor and adds crunch and fiber
Fennel – Has a Licorice flavor and crunch

Fruits

Choose at least three fruits.

Apples – adds sweetness and many to choose from. Cut into bite size pieces or slice thin
Pears – adds sweetness and fiber. Slice thin
Strawberries – Wash the day you are going to use them. Cut off the leaves and slice thin
Pineapple – Adds citrus and vitamin C. Cut into cubes
Mango – Sweet and healthy. Slice up or cut into cubes
Watermelon – sweet and juicy they will add great flavor to any salad. Cut into small cubes

Cheese
Mozzarella – shredded or small pearl mozzarella
Parmesan – Makes a great nutty flavor topping. Slice thin
Feta – Greek Cheese that has a mild bite
Goat Cheese – Made from goats’ milk and has a tangy flavor

Proteins

Choose at least three proteins.

Adding a variety of proteins like beans, meats and vegetable-based proteins allows you to cater to everyone.
Chicken – Boneless, skinless, grilled or broiled will go well as a topping to your salad bar. You can also buy already cooked chicken in the freezer isle of the grocery store. Heat per instructions.
Roast beef – For an easy way to add this topping, visit your local deli and have them slice it for you.
Ham – You could purchase a cut of ham from the deli and cut into cubes’
Bacon – Cooked crisp and crumbled makes a delicious topping.
Black Beans – Are popular with rice, salsa and make a great topping for protein in a salad
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans – Add a nutty flavor
Cannellini Beans – Soft and creamy bean with a light flavor
Tempeh – Soybean product that is high in protein. Comes in different flavors. You could try the maple bacon tempeh for a substitute for a bacon topping.
Tofu – Soybean product that is made from soybeans, high in protein.

Nuts
Nuts add crunch and flavor. Buy them in a variety, flavored or raw.
Walnuts
Pecans
Sunflower Seeds
Cashews

Dressings – Sweet, sour, salty, cheesy, fat free and oil and vinegar are a great variety. Put the dressings into bowls with ladles so your guest can pour the dressing over their salad easily.

Extra’s
Croutons – Plain and flavored
Bread – A good crusty bread or rolls
Crackers – Offer a variety, saltines, Ritz or a gourmet cracker

Set up your Salad Bar with Plates, Silverware, Napkins at the beginning of the bar. Have all the food in separate dishes starting with lettuces, toppings, fruits, proteins, cheeses and then nuts.  For each one have spoons, forks, tongs or what is easy to use for them to get the food to their plate.

Have bowls with ice under the bowls of food to keep it cold longer (no one like wilted lettuce…) and keeps it from spoiling.

Keep spare lettuce in the refrigerator and replace as needed as well as toppings that need that attention.

 

Enjoy :}

 

 

Photo Courtesy of  Suat Eman. at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fun Things To Do For the Family This Thanksgiving – Macy’s Parade – Games and Free Print Outs

thanksgiving-1009127_640Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Turkey with all the trimmings and Football, Thanksgiving is a fun filled day for the entire family and friends.

While you are getting your day ready and crossing things off your to-do list, have some fun prepared for the rest of the family.

Start the day off with the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade November 25th, which starts at 9 a.m. and goes to 12 pm in all time zones. If you cannot be there in person, watch it from home on NBC.

Have fun playing Thanksgiving Bingo! Go Here to download Bingo Cards just for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving table just for the kids

Make a table cloth from brown paper and size it to your table. Add drawings for the kids to color in.To draw out Turkeys, trace around your hand and in between fingers with a black marker. Make sure that the your fingers are spread out flat on the paper. Add a dot for the eye, a beak, wattle, legs and feet. You could also draw and outline of Pilgrims and Indians, pumpkins or whatever Thanksgiving theme you would like. Place a small cup with a few crayons on table in front of each chair. If you would rather have coloring pages or get ideas for drawings at each seat, go here for free pages you can print out.

Have a pumpkin hunt

No, you don’t use real pumpkins for this hunt. Most of your craft stores should have plastic mini pumpkins already to go for you. Depending on how many kids will be participating, will determine how many pumpkins you will need. You can hide them inside or outside or both. Have a number on one of the pumpkins that will lead to a big prize and numbers on random pumpkins for smaller prizes, this way everyone will win something.

Great Photo Op

Let them be a Pilgrim or Indian! Easy to do out of paper and construction paper. Get instructions for the Pilgrim Hat Here, Bonnet Here also an Indian Headdress Here and Turkey headband. Have the kids participate or make them up ahead of time. Once they have them on get a memorable photo.

Thanksgiving is a special day for family and friends. People will travel far and wide to make it home for the love of family and the Turkey Feast. Make this a safe holiday and please don’t drink and drive.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of EScwartz at Pixabay.com

Preparing For Hurricane Season and What to Consider for a Supply Kit

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Preparing for a flood, hurricane or tropical storm is to get out of town for many. Securing your home the best you can and hitting the road. Many times a flood can come about with a hurricane or tropical storm. Before the warning goes up for a big named storm, you need to think ahead about safety and supplies. From June until November it is hurricane season in Florida and if you live on any coast you should make plans to put together a Hurricane supply kit or check the one you have and refurbish if necessary.

Number one on your list should be water.
One gallon per day per person and you should have a least a 3 day supply. (Considering the stronger Hurricanes i.e. Michael 2018, more then a three day supply may be needed). You will also need water for cleaning, and cooking. When you see bottled water on sale pick up what you need and for your supply kit to use during Hurricane season. If there is no hurricane, you can always drink it up when out of Hurricane season. See this article about how to store bottled water and more. Five Facts You Should Know About Bottled Water

Power Outages

With power outages you will not have refrigeration unless you have a generator and when it comes to food supplies canned or non perishable foods are essential.

Crackers, peanut butter, jelly, bread, canned goods, energy bars, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, etc. What ever your family likes consider this for your food supply, and don’t forget you will need a manual can opener if you do not have on already. These Are the Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency

Tip: When Hurricane Charley (2004) was on its way on the west coast of Florida, we were caught off guard and had a short time to prepare when it turned in early and came through Ft. Myers to central Florida. Coolers went fast, they were hard to find as well as ice and generators. With the ice I could gather up, I packed it in my freezer and moved as many items I could freeze from my fridge to the freezer so it would last longer and we could have a chance to use up the food cooking it on the grill after the storm. You should not eat any food that has been in a refrigerator that has been off longer then 4 hours. A well packed freezer will hold your food good for up to two days. Food and Water Safety During Power Outages and Floods

Here are some other items you will need;

Cell Phones and Chargers:

Cells phones should be fully charged before the storm hits. With searches on the internet, texting and phone calls after the storm, you can use up the life of the battery fairly quickly if not careful. Since there had not been in a Hurricane since 2004 when Hurricane Irma 2017 came to central Florida, many learned how fast that cell phone charge lasted. What saved us was a charger you could plug into your vehicle for recharging. This is essential to add to your supply kit or even to keep in your vehicle at all times.

Coolers and Ice – You may want to have a separate smaller cooler for any medications that need refrigeration.

Medications: At least a 2 week supply should be on hand

NOAA Weather Radio – Always have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand with batteries. The NOAA Weather Service will keep you up to date for flood warnings, hurricanes, tropical storms and other critical information you will need.

First Aid Kit, Insect repellent and sunscreen, moist towelettes and personal hygiene items

Flashlights and Batteries and if someone in your household has an hearing aid, make sure you have extra batteries.

Copies of personal documents like your insurance policies should be placed in a plastic baggie and sealed.

Baby Supplies – bottles, diapers, formula, baby wipes, medication, Baby Tylenol, baby food, blankets, wash clothes.

Pet Supplies – Food, water, ID tag, carrier, leash and of course toys.

Emergency Blankets and Towels

Extra Clothes for everyone in your family. Laundry will not be available so you may want to consider doing laundry before the storm hits.

Multi Purpose Tool Kit for any repairs needed.

Gasoline -You will need this for a generator and be sure to fill up your vehicle before the storm. Generator Safety Tips That Will Get You Through a Storm, and Maybe Save Your Life

Propane for your gas grill or Charcoal. If you have a gas grill you can cook on that or make use your supply of charcoal. (Always use outdoors)

Keep cash on hand for after the storm, it may come in handy at a grocery store or other places without back up generators.

Once a storm hits and the days after you will be glad you have supplies. You also may want to consider purchasing a floor fan that can be run by your generator.

Don’t forget your neighbors. Check on them before and after the storm to be sure they are prepared and safe.

Photo Courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo – What Makes An Authentic Taco

Most taco’s are made with hamburger cooked up with Mexican spices and placed into a taco shell. The most popular toppings are cheese, lettuce and tomato and sour cream.

What about the authentic Mexican tacos?

Fact: Did you know that authentic Mexican Tacos do not use lettuce, tomato or cheese? These three ingredients are an American addition to the taco. This video from Food Network tells you more about the traditional taco of Mexico and shows you how they are made with the best combinations of meats, salsas and toppings.

Happy Cinco De Mayo

Photo Courtesy of hayme100 at Picabay.com

Driving Through a Storm Safety Tips

ID-10066768Driving safely on the road in pouring down rain and wet roadways can be a challenge. One of the things to keep in mind is the method of driving on wet pavement versus dry.

Just like a boat on the water, your vehicle can skid over the water in what is called hydroplaning. When your hydroplaning your tires lose traction with the pavement and you are now slipping and sliding over water. Worn tires, tires not inflated correctly, how fast you are going and the amount of water on the pavement contribute to hydroplaning. This is scary and the first thing to do is Don’t Panic!

Here are some tips to get your though hydroplaning safely.

Take your foot off the accelerator.

Do not step on the brake.

Shift the vehicle into neutral.

As the car is slowing down, steer in the direction you want to go.

Here are some tips to help you in a rain storm.

• Turn on your lights if they do not automatically come on. It is required by law but sometimes it is the smallest things we forget to do. This will not only help you see but will help other motorists to see your car on the road.

• Reduce your speed when you are approaching any sort of large puddle or flooded roadway. Decreasing your speed will increase the contact of your tires treads on the surface of the road and reduce the risk of hydroplaning in pooled water. (See tips for driving on flooded roads here)

• Stay a safe distance from other cars to avoid an accident. If they start to hydroplane it could cause them to come into your car.

• If you are approaching stop signs or light signals, slow down a bit sooner than normally and give yourself time to stop completely when you get to the light or stop sign.

Try to drive as smoothly and cautiously as possible. Avoid excessive braking and accelerating and be careful when going around corners, if you tires are slippery you veer off instead.

Maintaining your vehicle is vital for just a time such as a very wet roadway or rain storm.

• Make sure both your headlights are working correctly. You want others to see you in the daylight and at night.

• Check your windshield wipers. Replace the current wiper blades with new ones whenever there are any issues with it cleaning the windshield properly.

Your tires are vital for your safety. Get good tires that are suited for wet and dry conditions. Look more for quality then low price. Make sure your tires are inflated to standard of your vehicle. Well maintained tires can cut through water and more importantly keep traction better then worn tires. If you do not see good tread on your tires, its time to go shopping.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of jiggoja at FreeDigitalPhotos.net