Monthly Archives: April 2018

How Much Will My Guests Eat & Drink?

As a host, when you invite people to your house, it is usually a goal to make sure your guests are comfortable, having fun, and enjoying themselves. Part of making sure this is accomplished is being assured that everyone has enough to eat and drink during your party. You do not want to have a situation where food and alcohol has to be rationed to make sure everyone gets a little.

There are many factors to consider when figuring out how much to buy. First, you will need to create your guest list. In order to buy the right amount of supplies you need to know how many people will be attending your party. Once you have this number determined, you will need to decide what you will be serving. Generally, a typical meal at a dinner party will include appetizers, salad, a meat of some type, a starch, vegetables, dessert, and drinks. You can decide to make all of the items yourself, have some guests bring a dish, or buy some of the items already prepared. You will also need to factor in the number of hours that you expect your party to last.

Now comes the question, how much will my guests eat? These numbers are based off the average amount of food a person typically eats while at a dinner party. You may want to overestimate a little just in case you have guests who want seconds.

  • Appetizers: Each guest will eat approximately 10-12 pieces of whatever you serve. If you have multiple appetizers, you should make about 3-4 pieces of each dish to ensure that there will be enough.
  • Salad: A head of lettuce feeds about 5 people or about 1 cup of salad per person.
  • Meat: People typically eat about 5 to 6 ounces of meat at a meal; you will want to buy enough so that each person will get this amount. If there are bones in the meat, you may want to increase the weight.
  • Starch: As a starch, you can serve pasta or rice. One pound of pasta will serve four people. You may also choose to serve a vegetable with your meal; your guests will eat about a cup of vegetables with their meal.
  • Dessert: The last course served is dessert. There are many different options as far as what you can serve; you want to make sure that you make enough so that each guest will have at least one serving or piece.

The last thing to figure out, how much will people drink at your party? This number is a little more difficult to figure out because you do not always know who will be drinking alcohol and who will not. What people prefer to drink and the weather and season can also impact this number. Buying drink items in bulk is usually the best way to go and the most cost effective. To figure out the quantity of drinks you will need, many people typically have two drinks the first hour they are at the party and will have one drink for every hour after that. On figuring out what types of drinks to buy, it is good to have a selection. Some people drink white wine and others drink red. If you have a party with a lot of beer drinkers it may be beneficial to buy a keg. If you are buying hard liquor but do not want to buy multiple bottles, vodka is typically the most popular and can be mixed with many different things. You can also check with your liquor store if they will allow you to return unopened bottles in case you buy too much. If you want to keep your costs lower and your options simple, serve only beer, wine and soft drinks.

All About the Indian Recipes and Food

When you talk about Indian food and drinks the major thing that you talk about is the spices that they use. In fact many spices that are used in the cuisine are similar to the spices that are used in the other parts of the world. For example saffron is known to have Iranian origin and not Indian. This way there are spices from all over the world and every civilization has its own set of spices. However, what is peculiar about the in Indian food is the special combination of these spices and the treatment they are given as per the different dishes and ingredients. For example it is not always necessary that the spices be always grounded for use in the food.

There is a particular style of cooking in the Indian cuisine that involves whole spices to flavor the food. This way when you eat the food you get a burst of flavor when you chew on these. Also, they are first fried in the oil which brings in a different kind of flavor to the food. When these spices are fried whole in the oil or fat that is used to cook food, it leaves the flavor in the oil and this spreads onto the whole dish. This is one way of spreading the flavor into the food. The other is by using these spices and steaming it with the food.

In this form the steam is used to permeate through the food. Some believe that this is a better way of making food as the spices are steamed and no longer harsh on the body system, however, this is very personal. People can use the spices the way they wish to. In most of the Indian Food books there is clear indication for the spices and their quantities, this brings in the accurate flavor of the food item. However, the personal touch and bringing in a flavor of your own is the liberty that the Indian cuisine gives to the cook. The next what we talk about is the use of spices in Indian drinks. There are many drinks that are known form this land.

The drinks of yogurt are the typical of the northern side. Then drinks like jal jeera and Amm Panna are from the plains of the country. The south brings in the delicacies of coconut flavor. Hence every part has its specialty to add to the list of Indian summer drinks. The spices that are most commonly used for the drinks are the cumin seeds (crushed and roasted), asafetida, rock salt, and powder of green mango.

They are known for their abilities to keep the ion composition balanced in the body and keep the water retained. This way it helps in the regulation of water content in the body. This also is extremely good for the taste buds. There are many variations these days which are making the Indian food and drinks very global. A few managing with the spices and there quantities they are matching up to the taste buds of different region bringing in a new dimension to the Indian food and cuisine.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Food and Drinks

Wedding Reception Food

For those who opt for an outdoor wedding reception, there are several ways food can be served. Following are some popular and money saving methods for serving food at an outdoor wedding reception:

  • Barbecue. At a casual reception, it is common to serve barbecue items such as hamburgers, chicken, or ribs. To make your barbecue buffet-style, ask your guests to forego a wedding gift in exchange for bringing their own special dish to accompany the barbecue. Although, if you do this, be sure to confirm with your guests beforehand so that you don’t have everyone bringing the same dish.
  • Buffet. Ask your guests to bring a favored dish instead of a wedding gift. If cost is an issue, serve vegetable, cheese, fruit, and meat trays with dips and other snacks rather than hosting a huge meal.
  • Theme. Create a theme to base your reception meal around, such as Mexican or Hawaiian. Choose an outdoor theme that is simple, easy and affordable.

Wedding Reception Drinks

The bar tab can often account for one of the largest wedding expenses. Following are tips on serving drinks at your reception without incurring a major expense:

  • Semi-open bar. Offer several beverages for free, such as beer and all non-alcoholic drinks, but have guests pay a nominal fee for mixed drinks, such as a dollar per drink to cover some of the expense.
  • Bring your own. Request that guests bring their own drinks to the outdoor reception in lieu of bringing a wedding gift.
  • Bulk purchase. Buy your spirits in bulk from a wholesaler.
  • Multiple purchases. Purchase the drinks over a time period rather than all at once to spread the cost and payments.

The beauty of hosting one is that it provides the flexibility to be casual or formal. A more casual theme will leave you with more room to reduce the expenses associated with the wedding reception food and drinks.

Train Your Taste Buds to Prefer Healthy Food and Drink

There is an ancient Latin saying, De gustibus non est disputandum, meaning that there is no disputing about tastes. Is this statement true? Perhaps it is true to a point, but in this article I will argue the opposite–that there is a degree to which taste and preferences in food and drink have an objective component to them. In particular, preferring sweet, salty, but bland foods leads us to make poor health and nutritional choices. In addition, I will argue that drinking tea actually retrains your taste buds to prefer food and drink which is healthier for you.

The Evolutionary History of Human Taste:

Humans evolved in an environment where certain foods were scarce. Our ancestors faced conditions where it was often difficult to consume enough calories and protein to get through the day; salt was also often a limiting factor. An active lifestyle in the hot sun leads to intense sweating and a great need to replenish salt and other electrolytes. It is no mystery then why we prefer sweet, fatty, and salty foods. The savory or umami flavor is a signal that a food is protein-rich, which ensured that we got enough protein daily, and our preference for sweet and fatty foods helped ensure that we consumed enough calorie-rich foods.

Food in Our Modern World:

The conditions we live in nowadays are vastly different from those faced by our ancestors. Calories, especially those from sugar, refined starch, and fat, are abundant, and many people consume too many calories daily, leading to epidemics of obesity, type II diabetes, and other problems associated with poor diet. MSG enables nutrient-free foods to fool our taste buds into perceiving these foods as nutritious and protein-rich. Our preference for sweet, fatty, and salty foods leads us to seek out highly processed foods, devoid of other essential nutrients. Our diet is low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention the myriad of healthful phytochemicals that function as antioxidants or have other health-promoting properties.

Tea Offers a Solution to This Conundrum:

When people discuss the health benefits of tea, they usually focus on the chemical components of tea itself. While some of these have been studied extensively and demonstrated by rigorous research to have tangible benefits to human health, there is another, much overlooked way in which drinking tea can promote health. Tea is a bitter and aromatic drink. In stark contrast to the processed foods dominating our modern society, tea is almost completely devoid of sweetness and saltiness, and contains no fat. The predominant flavor in tea is bitterness, and the main complexity and depth of tea lies in its aroma, the beautiful smells that rise from the cup and ultimately define the experience of drinking a cup of tea.

Do Not Sweeten Your Tea; Confront Your Fear of Bitterness:

People often sweeten their tea and dilute it with milk because they find its bitterness unpleasant. Humans have a natural tendency to be cautious with bitter foods–and for good reason–most poisons are bitter. But we can naturally grow to enjoy bitter foods after we have been exposed to them for a period of time. Tea is no exception.

Bitterness is not to be feared. If we train ourselves, we will come to prefer bitter foods. It is actually a well-known phenomena that over their lifetimes, most people come to move away from sweet foods and develop a greater appreciation for bitter and aromatic foods. This development serves us well as many healthy vegetables are bitter, and many spices and other aromatic foods have numerous health benefits.

Our environment has changed considerably since the ancient times in which our innate biological taste preferences were formed. We would now be well-served to seek out foods that are less sweet, less salty, and more intensely aromatic. By drinking tea, and by refraining from sweetening our tea or adding milk to it, we will come to naturally prefer those foods which are healthiest for us in the context of our modern world. We will naturally shun the empty calories and chemical additives of processed foods, and develop an appreciation for truly natural flavors and aromas.

Certain Food And Drink Could Be To Blame

If you’re like several of my patients you may have an overactive bladder which keeps you running to the bathroom to urinate frequently. Some people have smaller bladder capacities than others and therefore naturally have to urinate more. Other people may be eating certain foods that can irritate their bladder causing the need them to urinate. I’d like to explain to you what some of these foods are and what you can do to minimize your “going” issues.

Overactive Bladder – What Is It?

Overactive bladder is a mild to severe condition that can not only become a nuisance in always creating the to find a restroom while you’re out in public, but can also have some embarrassing consequences. It is also a condition that can be accompanied by something called “urge incontinence”, or UI, where you have to go so badly you just can’t hold it and urine leaks into your clothes; or “stress incontinence”, or SI, where you have involuntary leakage of urine through laughing or sneezing. Usually UI and SI are just variant symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome which also can include nocturia (waking up at night to urinate) and frequency, just “going” a lot all day long.

As mentioned above, overactive bladder can be caused by a few things which include:

  • A congenitally small bladder that has less holding capacity than most people
  • A “neurogenic bladder” – caused by damage, or pressure, pinching of the nerves of the spine that may occur in certain medical conditions like spinal injuries, epilepsy, Parkinson disease, MS, and stroke, that can result in involuntary emptying of the bladder.
  • Certain medications used to treat other conditions like diuretics for high blood pressure, or medications that contain caffeine.
  • Hormonal. Decreasing estrogen in menopause can cause bladder and urethra muscles to weaken and fall forward, resulting in more frequent urination and leakage. In men, an enlarged prostate can cause frequent urination as well.
  • Constipation. Pressure from retained waste in the rectum can aggravate the bladder.
  • Obesity. Too much abdominal fat can put pressure on the bladder as well.

However, the most common cause of overactive bladder is simple foods that we eat everyday! These are foods that have certain compounds in them that can irritate the bladder and sometimes result in a chronic inflammatory condition. The bladder attempts to wash these irritants out through triggering frequent urination. Here’s a list of the top bladder trigger foods:

  • Tomato products – tomato products generally have a lot of acid in them and can really irritate the bladder. In an attempt to get rid of the irritant, the bladder tries to flush itself out with frequent urination.
  • Caffeine – a stimulant present in coffee and tea can really irritate the bladder and make you go more. Decaf varieties can help, but they also have very small amounts of caffeine.
  • Chocolate – also contains caffeine plus other compounds like theobromines that can irritate the bladder. White chocolate has less caffeine but still has some. Try to cut down on the amount of chocolate you eat.
  • Citrus fruits – also highly acidic, lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, can also irritate the bladder like tomatoes. Try to cut down on citrus fruits and supplement with an Ester-C type of Vitamin C to avoid further irritation.
  • Beer, wine, hard liquor – “spirits” draw more water out of your body to process it through your kidneys and make you urinate more.
  • Carbonation – soft drinks, champagne, tonic water, all contain carbonation that can trigger the bladder and make you urinate frequently.
  • Hot spices – like cayenne, jalapeno, especially when combined with tomato, can really keep you hopping to the bathroom. Not only does the spice itself irritate your bladder but they prompt you to drink a lot more cold fluids to wash them down.
  • Sweeteners – real sugar, honey, and artificial sweeteners like Equal, Splenda and Sweet N’Low, can over-stimulate the bladder as well.
  • Preservatives/Spices – MSG, salt, pepper, other kitchen spices and certain herbs like oregano and dill also have diuretic action that can keep you urinating more frequently.
  • Onions, cranberry – like tomatoes, are acidic based, which can irritate the bladder. However, cranberries can also help keep the bladder free of bacteria by neutralizing it with the compounds it contains and flushing them out.

What Can You Do To Slow Your Go?

The best recommendation I give my patients who seem to have overactive bladder symptoms from food sources is to do the following:

  • Keep track of your symptoms and what foods seem to irritate them the most. Then, try to reduce the amount, or eliminate, these foods altogether to cut down on your frequency of urination.
  • Keep drinking your recommended amount of daily water intake, generally eight 8 ounce glasses a day, or more if you’re sweating a lot. Adequate water intake dilutes your urine so that if you do eat some of these foods, they will be less of an irritant to your bladder.

If you have symptoms of overactive bladder, visit your doctor for an evaluation to determine if there is a medical condition behind it such as those mentioned above. If you’re like my patients, however, most likely foods and drinks that you take in every day are causing over active bladder symptoms. To get your “going” problems under control, try the recommendations noted above, watching what foods you eat and what your symptoms are. Continue to drink your recommended amount of water to flush out any irritants and keep the rest of you healthy as well!