Categories
Dining News

LA Restaurant Dining Rooms Ordered to Close for Next Three Weeks


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to announce a new round of lockdowns for Los Angeles County, ahead of what is expected to be a busy Fourth of July weekend, according to at least one person with government ties.

The decision to “toggle back” into the state’s stay at home mandate means that restaurants will only be allowed to serve customers in outdoor areas, or for takeout and delivery. Bars, wineries, and breweries that do not serve food from an approved vendor for sit-down service must close entirely.

Per the source, the lockdowns will last for at least three weeks. Restaurant dining rooms were only recently allowed to reopen under specific guidelines and a 60% capacity on May 29 after being ordered to close on March 15 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Newsom’s impending announcement comes after successive days of new highs in coronavirus cases statewide, locally, and nationally — and ahead of what is being billed as a potential “disaster” holiday weekend as crowds gather for family parties and in public spaces. “We will see a lot more deaths,” county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said this week, “if we can’t turn this around, so we do need everyone’s help.”

Los Angeles County officials have already called for the closure of beaches this weekend, beginning Friday at midnight and ending Monday morning at 5 a.m., though county sheriff Alex Villaneuva has said publicly that he will not enforce the order for individuals on the sand. Instead, officers will only enforce traffic and parking along Pacific Coast Highway.

In Riverside County, bars, wineries, and breweries are once again closed as COVID-19 rages on, while in LA County reopened bars only lasted about a week before being told to shutter for health and safety reasons during the ongoing pandemic. Further reopening phases for businesses like bowling alleys and movie theaters have been put on hold, while in New York City plans to reopen restaurants for dine-in service, slated to begin this weekend, have now been scrapped as well.

Newsom will also speak today about increased enforcement for some of the many city, county, and state requirements for businesses and individuals, including the wearing of masks in public and best practices for employees like using both face shields and face coverings, and mandating physical distancing among customers. Los Angeles restaurants and bars in particular have struggled to clearly meet all of the many requirements sent down from the county, with roughly half failing to be in compliance during routine inspections by health department investigators.

The renewed lockdown will be just the latest hurdle for restaurant operators and employees to deal with, following a spring and early summer of shifting to delivery and takeout-only business models, then attempting to reopen safely, and then enduring weeks of important anti-police brutality protests in the streets, even as the National Guard patrolled streets and instituted curfews.

This story is being updated as governor Newsom delivers his noon speech.





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Awesome 7 Layer Dip | The Recipe Critic


Awesome 7 Layer Dip is an addicting creamy dip that includes all of your favorites, like guacamole, refried beans, and sour cream!  You will be amazed how simple it is to put together such an incredibly delicious dip!

If you love creating different dips to entertain your family and friends, you are not alone!  For a recipe with flavors and layers similar to this 7 layer dip, but with a slight twist in presentation, try Individual 7 layer dip.

7 layer dip in a clear dish.

Awesome 7 Layer Dip

Layering these tasty ingredients one on top of the other makes dipping into all the delicious flavors at once possible. Not to mention the beautiful colors that are displayed when you make it in a clear dish.  Every bite is bursting with the distinct flavors of each ingredient.  The creamy guacamole, earthy beans, and taco seasonings are amazing together. Everyone loved this dip and it did not last long at all!

Awesome 7 layer dip is so filling and satisfying it makes a great for a snack or an appetizer. It is really perfect for any occasion.  As written it is a pretty mild dip, but it is easy to customize the heat level to your preference by adjusting the salsa and taco seasoning.  No doubt it will be a huge hit and maybe even a new family favorite!  It’s not called amazing for nothing!

What’s in the Layers?

This short list of delicious ingredients come together so well.  Some can even be made from scratch!  Whether you choose to use store bought or homemade ingredients, this dip will turn out fantastic either way!

  • Refried beans: Sweet, earthy flavor to start off the first layer of the dip.
  • Homemade guacamole: Creamy avocado dip is full of flavor.
  • Sour cream: Mix with the taco seasoning for a creamy layer of amazing flavor.
  • Taco seasoning: My homemade taco seasoning is the best!
  • Salsa: Chunky salsa is great or pico de gallo
  • Colby jack cheese: Shredded fresh and sprinkled on top.
  • Olives: Drain canned olives and slice.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Dice and sprinkle on top.
  • Green Onions: Finely dice them or leave thicker for more crunch in the topping.

Let’s Make Dip!

This will definitely be my new go to dip recipe! Thank goodness it is such a simple recipe that I can throw it together easily and it looks and tastes so incredibly delicious!

  1. Layer ingredients: In a 8×8 inch dish layer the refried beans, and guacamole. In a small bowl mix the sour cream with the taco seasoning and layer on top of the guacamole.  Then layer salsa on top.
  2. Add toppings: Top with shredded cheese, olives, tomatoes, and green onions.
  3. Serve!

Steps to make 7 layer dip.

Variations of 7 Layer Dip:

This 7 layer dip is an impressive dip that is impossible to mess up!  There are many different versions of it floating around, but this is definitely the best one I have seen!  Here are a few more ideas to make your finished dip even more unique to your family.

  • Add toppings: Jalapenos, green chilies and cilantro are great toppings to give your dip even more personality.
  • Meaty Version: Add taco meat for an even heartier version that could easily take this dip from an appetizer to a full meal.
  • Chill: Cover and place the completed dip in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will bring the flavors together!
  • Thick salsa: Use a thick salsa or pico de gallo so it’s not too runny.

View of finished 7 layer dip.

Can You Make 7 Layer Dip Ahead?

This dip is best served shortly after making it.  This is mostly because of the freshness of the ingredients, like the guacamole and pico de gallo.  However, the leftovers will still be good for a 3-4 days in the refrigerator.  Especially since the guacamole is between the bean and sour cream layers.  Placing it in a center layer will keep it from turning brown when the air hits it.  It may start looking less appealing after a couple of days, but it will still be safe to eat and taste fantastic!

Dipping a chip into 7 layer dip.

More Crave-Worthy Dip Recipes:

Awesome 7 Layer Dip

Prep Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 12 People

Awesome 7 Layer Dip is an addicting creamy dip that includes all of your favorites, like guacamole, refried beans, and sour cream!  You will be amazed how simple it is to put together such an incredibly delicious dip!

Nutrition Facts

Awesome 7 Layer Dip

Amount Per Serving

Calories 97 Calories from Fat 72

% Daily Value*

Fat 8g12%

Saturated Fat 5g25%

Cholesterol 20mg7%

Sodium 357mg15%

Potassium 115mg3%

Carbohydrates 3g1%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 3g6%

Vitamin A 429IU9%

Vitamin C 2mg2%

Calcium 107mg11%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Coca-Cola Will No Longer Produce Odwalla Smoothies and Juices


The end of Odwalla, staple of airports and bodegas everywhere

Pour one Mango Tango smoothie out for Odwalla. Coca-Cola, the juice company’s parent company since 2001, announced that it’s discontinuing the brand, the Wall Street Journal reports. Stores will stop receiving Odwalla shipments by the end of July, and any unsold inventory will be picked up through August, a company spokesperson told the Journal.

Odwalla, known for its “premium” refrigerated juices and smoothies with a healthy sheen, has been around since 1980. Its products seemed to be everywhere in the aughts, buoyed by a growing interest in wellness and “natural” diets. But the smoothie category has declined, according to the spokesperson, and Coca-Cola has been evaluating the brand’s performance for several years. “[W]e couldn’t make it work, we couldn’t figure out the cost-effectiveness of it,” the spokesperson told the Journal.

Odwalla will be joining other faltering brands and products — from restaurant menu items to less popular chip flavors — axed by their parent companies during the coronavirus pandemic, as consumer-oriented businesses seek to save money and double down on their most profitable offerings.

And in other news…

  • The House of Representatives has voted to extend the deadline — from June 30 to August 8 — for small businesses to apply for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans. The bill, which was already approved by the Senate, now goes to the president for his signature. [CNBC]
  • As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S., even McDonald’s has been spooked into delaying reopening. The fast-food giant is pausing all further dining room reopenings for the next three weeks. [NRN]
  • NPC International — the largest franchisee in the U.S., with more than 1,600 Pizza Hut and Wendy’s restaurants — has filed for bankruptcy, citing Pizza Hut in particular as a financial weakness. [Business Insider]
  • Staying very much in character, Taco Bell’s latest nationwide offering is a grilled cheese burrito with cheese on the inside and the outside. [PR Newswire]
  • LaCroix has two new seltzer flavors, coconut cola and Cubana mojito. Perfect for sipping at home, closing your eyes, and wishing desperately you could go anywhere sandy and sunny. [Delish]

• All AM Intel Coverage [E]



Source link

Categories
Dining News

Piña Colada | The Recipe Critic


This Pina Colada is a sweet, creamy, frozen drink bursting with fruity flavors from pineapple and coconut.  The flavors are so vibrant that they will transport you from your porch to a lounge chair at a tropical beach!

Summertime is the perfect time of year for quick and easy frozen refreshments like this pina colada.  Try Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon Peach Cooler, or Chic Fil A Copycat Frosted Lemonade for more sweet drink recipes you’ll fall in love with!

Pina colata garnished with cherry and pineapple slice.

Pina Colada

On summer days the best way to beat the heat is with a cold, refreshing drink.  Mix fun lemonades and play around with sparkling limeades.  This creamy frozen pina colada has to be my all time favorite though!  The coconut and pineapple combine to make the perfect fruity flavor.  These are flavors your family will love and they just don’t get old!!

This frozen delight is great as an after dinner treat or as a late afternoon perk up.  It is so easy to make that there is no wrong time to mix one up!  Simply toss your ingredients in the blender and in a few minutes your smooth, tropical drink is ready!  I could drink this dreamy treat every day!

What’s In a Pina Colada?

The ingredients this pina colada are easy to find and easy to store.  When blended together their flavors remind me of a warm beach vacation!  Keep these items on hand to ensure you can have a taste of summer any day of the week!

  • Cream of Coconut: Different varieties may be confusing.  You need cream of coconut, not coconut cream or coconut milk.  This will make your drink creamy and give that amazing coconut flavor.
  • Pineapple juice: Save time and use a canned!
  • Ice: Adding the ice makes this a frozen drink.  Blend well so your drink is creamy not icy.
  • Frozen Pineapple chunks: Use fresh pineapple and freeze it yourself.  Freezing canned pineapple will work too but may be overly sweet.  Store bought frozen pineapple may lack flavor.

How to Make a Pina Colada:

Mixing up a pina colada is so quick and easy and impossible to mess up!  Grab your ingredients and blend until creamy.  It takes just minutes to create this cold refreshing drink, and you and your family are sure to love it!

  1. Fill the blender: In a blender add cream of coconut, pineapple juice, ice, and pineapple chunks.
  2. Blend: Allow ingredients to blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Enjoy!

Pina Colada ingredients in a blender ready to be mixed.

Variations of the Pina Colada:

A great way to relax without ever having to leave your back porch is to whip up this sweet drink.  It smells so delicious and the cold, creamy texture is heavenly!

  • Garnish: Add whipped cream to the top of your drink for an extra sweet and smooth drink.
  • Super sweet: To make your pina colada even more sweet, add cherry syrup.  It will give a more dynamic flavor too!
  • Alcohol: Add a splash of rum to turn this into an adult beverage.
  • Lime Juice: Try putting some lime juice in the mix.  The vibrant citrus-y lime flavor will add a special hint of lime that will set your drink apart from all other pina colada’s you have had!

Recipe Critic Pro Tip:

Presentation of this tropical drink is half of the fun! Use a unique glass and garnish with maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge for the full experience of the pina colada.

Blending a pina colada.

Can you Freeze Pineapple?

Luckily, frozen pineapple freezes very well and can stay good for 1-2 months.  Freeze fresh pineapple in large batches and save yourself time later when you are craving a pina colada.

  • Do not freeze in the can: If you are using canned pineapple you will want to be sure to remove it from the can before freezing.
  • Pre-Freeze: You want each pineapple to be frozen individually, not in chunks.  The best way to do this is to lay them out on a baking sheet that’s lined in wax paper and freeze for about an hour.  Then, remove the frozen pineapple from the freezer and transfer to a freezer-safe bag until you are ready to use.
  • Pineapple cubes: Use an ice cubes tray to freeze pineapple before moving cubes into a freezer safe storage bag.

Areal view of a finished pina colada.

More Refreshing Drinks:

Pina Colada

Prep Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 4 Drinks

This Pina Colada is a sweet, creamy, frozen drink bursting with fruity flavors from pineapple and coconut.  The flavors are so vibrant that they will transport you from your porch to a lounge chair at a tropical beach!

  • 8 ounces cream of coconut I used Coco Lopez
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

*Alcohol optional 1/4 cup rum 

Nutrition Facts

Pina Colada

Amount Per Serving

Calories 332 Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%

Saturated Fat 9g45%

Sodium 36mg2%

Potassium 184mg5%

Carbohydrates 62g21%

Fiber 3g12%

Sugar 57g63%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 59IU1%

Vitamin C 14mg17%

Calcium 26mg3%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Report Alleges Atmosphere of Abuse at the Museum of Ice Cream


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum of Ice Cream was the place to be for those who wanted nothing more than to jump into an enormous pit of oversized plastic sprinkles with a host of strangers, and post about it on Instagram. For nearly $40 — considerably more than the ticket price at most museums that show actual art — customers could take endless selfies in the ice cream-centric “museum.” There’s a room consumed by fake pink bananas hanging from the ceiling, and a wall of pink dial phones, if you’d like to follow Kim Kardashian’s lead.

Here, everything is pink, everyone is happy, and, as it turns out, pretty much everything is fake.

On their site, the MOIC describes this millennial pink fever dream as a place where “unicorns are real and every day starts with a swim in the sprinkle pool.” But according to a new Forbes report, the company’s claims could not be further from the truth. The museum is currently closed due to the pandemic — who wants to jump into a pit of sprinkles at the moment? — but as the museum plans its reopening, hourly and salaried employees alike lay out a pattern of abuse and disrespect, stemming from the company’s founder.

Maryellis Bunn, who founded the Museum in 2016, required everyone at the company to take on an ice cream nickname, according to the report. “Banana Split” or “Mint Chocolate Chip” would have worked for me, but instead Bunn gave herself a more apt nickname: “Scream.” And scream, she allegedly did. In one company meeting, what Bunn called a “Scream Sesh,” she threatened that if an upcoming event did not sell out, the involved employees’ jobs would be on the line, according to Forbes. Life at corporate headquarters was so unpleasant, employees say one room became unofficially known as the “crying room.”

Employees at the company’s headquarters told Forbes that Bunn would rip up their work, call them “pathetic,” and in one striking case, she reportedly told a designer to rework a staff uniform featuring shorts because “fat people’s legs are disgusting.”

If employees at the company’s headquarters had it bad, hourly employees had it worse. As a cast of celebrities and influencers traipsed through the New York and San Francisco locations snapping photos and sharing with millions of followers, staff at both MOIC locations were working in hellish conditions. On June 14, Forbes received a letter from “Many Melted Scoops,” a group consisting of one-fifth of the flagship museum’s hourly employees, outlining the toxic work environment Bunn had created.

Included in the Forbes report is the account of one employee with a chronic stomach condition, who had to tell her manager she was “about to crap myself on the floor” before she was relieved of her ice cream-scooping duties to use the restroom. After announcing by walkie-talkie that she needed to change her tampon, another employee was forced to wait four hours before she could do so. By the time she made it to the bathroom, she told Forbes that she’d bled through her pants, and later got an infection.

In addition to being denied bathroom breaks, employees were often expected to “smile, sing, and dance ice cream jingles for eight hours straight,” the report says. Employees were reprimanded using a point system that docked them for everything from an untied shoelace to missing work for being sick — even if they could provide a doctor’s note. “If we were sick, we were still expected to come even if we were handling food. Or else we get strikes, and then three strikes, you’re suspended,” Chris Statzer, a former employee, told Forbes. These claims are deeply disturbing in the best of times, but even more so as the company plans its reopening during a global pandemic that has taken a serious toll on service industry workers. Not to mention, the signature sprinkle ball pit seems a perfect environment for the deadly coronavirus to spread.

In response to Forbes’ investigation, the company denied allegations of wrongdoing, and made the following statement: “We stand for inclusivity, connection and imagination at Figure8 and Museum of Ice Cream… Although we may disagree with many of the statements made by the anonymous sources for this article, we are committed to looking for ways to grow and improve in how we live out our values in the day-to-day.”

The company’s success, despite its many deep-rooted issues, puts on display the relative ease with which white business owners and entrepreneurs raise money and gain recognition for questionable enterprises, while business owners of color often struggle to attract investors and raise funds. Though according to Forbes the museum had a total revenue of $10 million over its four years of existing, two investment firms infused the business with $40 million last year.

As the Museum plans its reopening, it’s hard to imagine joyously walking through the space taking selfies and eating ice cream, knowing what really goes into crafting the experience. In its signature bright-pink, the company’s website describes ice cream as “a universal symbol of happiness, a vehicle for imaginative wonder, and a powerful force to bring people together.” It seems that so far, the magic of ice cream hasn’t done a whole lot for the company’s work culture. It’s going to take a lot more than rainbow sprinkles to fix the Museum of Ice Cream.





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Pico de Gallo | The Recipe Critic


Pico de Gallo is a made from scratch salsa that is loaded with bold flavors from jalapeño, lime, cilantro, and juicy chunks of tomato and onion.  One dip will certainly not be enough and you will be scraping the bottom of the bowl in no time!

For a more traditional salsa recipes try Best Blender Salsa, Slow Cooker Restaurant Style Garden Salsa or Restaurant style salsa.

Bowl of pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo

Do you ever get so full from an appetizer that you aren’t even hungry when it comes time for the meal?  That is definitely a risk you take when making this incredible homemade pico!  This recipe creates such a fresh, vibrant, and chunky salsa!  We love salsa at my house and are not afraid of a little spice.  The jalapenos give this pico a little kick without being too much!

This is definitely the best salsa I have ever made!  It is a huge hit at my house!  We pile it on our tortilla chips as high as possible!  One batch isn’t enough so I usually at least double the recipe and set two bowls of it out.  It is better than any restaurant pico I have had and I love that I can make it at home whenever I am craving it!

What’s in Pico de Gallo?

A good pico de gallo will usually always have the same basic ingredients.  To be certain, those ingredients will always be fresh.  Since there is no cooking involved, the raw ingredients will make or break your pico.  So, select the freshest ingredients possible!

  • Roma tomatoes: Adds sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Onion: A white onion is the best in this salsa because of its sharp taste and slightly more tender texture.
  • Jalapeno: For a little spice!
  • Cilantro: A classic flavor in any delicious salsa!
  • Lime Juice: Adds a bit of acidity and bright fresh citrus flavor.
  • Salt: To taste.

Easy to Make Salsa!

Quick and easy pico de gallo is so simple to make from scratch at home.  In fact, this fresh, uncooked mixture of fantastic ingredients can be prepared in just minutes.  First, dice up your ingredients, then combine them together and its ready to be enjoyed!

  1. Dice Ingredients: Tomatoes, onion, jalapeno need to be diced evenly and roughly chop the cilantro.
  2. Combine ingredients: In a medium sized bowl combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and juice of one lime. Add salt to taste.
  3. Serve!

 

 

Ingredients for pico de gallo in a clear bowl.

Tips for the Best Pico de Gallo:

Pico de gallo is so chunky and flavorful and if you follow the recipe as written you will have a hit on your hands!  However, you may want to experiment with these variations of this family favorite to make it even more unique to you!

  • Add garlic:  Finely chop 1-2 cloves of garlic and add them into the pico for more depth of flavor.
  • Fruit: Add in different types of fruit along with or instead of the tomato.  For example mango or peaches.
  • Spice it up: Leave a few seeds from the jalapeno in to increase the spice level to your preference.
  • Onion: Use a red onion instead of the white onion for more sweetness and crunch plus great color!
  • Texture: Another great version of this pico includes red bell peppers and avocado in the ingredients.  The peppers provide a great crunch and the avocado is a fantastic creamy element.
  • Easy prep: If you are short on time or don’t care for chopping up your ingredients, they can be bought already diced at the store.

Can You Make Pico de Gallo Ahead?

Pico de Gallo will store well if you pack it tightly in an airtight container.   Properly stored it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for 1-2 months.  Actually, the flavors will get better as they sit and the juices come together.  Make this one or even two days ahead of time for the best flavors.  However, when you smell the delicious fresh ingredients as you are mixing this pico together, you will find it is hard to wait!!

Dipping a chip into fresh pico de gallo.

More Salsa Dip Recipes:

Pico de Gallo

Prep Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 8 People

Pico de Gallo is a made from scratch salsa that is loaded with bold flavors from jalapeno, lime, cilantro, and juicy chunks of tomato and onion.  One dip will certainly not be enough and you will be scraping the bottom of the bowl in no time!

  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • juice from one lime
  • salt to taste

Nutrition Facts

Pico de Gallo

Amount Per Serving

Calories 12 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Sodium 2mg0%

Potassium 94mg3%

Carbohydrates 3g1%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 311IU6%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 6mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





Source link

Categories
Dining News

How Seattle Restaurants Are Finding Alternative Solutions to Calling 911


Last June, a few months after the Filipino coffee shop Hood Famous Cafe and Bar opened in the Chinatown-International District, co-owners Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen wanted to have a frank discussion with their staff about handling potential conflicts. In that neighborhood and others downtown, people experiencing housing insecurity or going through a mental health crisis often look to restaurants for brief shelter or a place to get some food or a cup of coffee. Too often, if there’s a disturbance with diners or someone is visibly intoxicated, the default reaction may be to call the police.

But Hood Famous looked to find a different solution that would still keep its customers and employees safe. One with more empathy and understanding for a neighborhood where raids on homeless encampments are common, and policing can be antagonistic.

“We wanted to be really thoughtful and responsible as business owners in a district that we love,” Amlag tells Eater Seattle. “Is there something that we can do — as citizens, as individuals, as people who care about our community — prior to calling the cops?”

So Hood Famous brought in social worker Aleks Martin — who has over 10 years of experience with drug and alcohol counseling, and over 20 years in the health and social service field — to talk about best practices when it comes to de-escalating conflict. Part of the training involves confronting one’s own racial and social biases (in the latter case, not assuming someone is homeless if they are “homeless presenting,” for instance). But one key part involves becoming familiar with resources that don’t involve cops.

“I’m not asking baristas to be crisis responders,” Martin tells Eater Seattle. “But they can be a bridge to connect people to services that they need. You can call on behavioral health specialists, essentially people like me — like a social worker or a mental health therapist, or an addictions counselor, or a case manager — who are trained to talk with people, not to talk at people, rather than the automatic response of pulling a gun.”

Amlag and Martin mention Crisis Connections as a possible alternative to 911. The King County-based organization’s umbrella includes 211, which is a resource hub for those who need help with housing issues, financial needs, legal aid, or finding a nearby food bank. Crisis Connections also has a program called Crisis Line (1-866-4CRISIS): a 24/7 call center that can help connect people with social workers, case managers, counselors, or other experts in situations that are urgent, but non life-threatening.

Both resources are meant for individuals to call the numbers themselves, but staff members at a restaurant or small business can also call on behalf of someone who may be in need of assistance. “With Crisis Line, either we talk to the person in crisis directly, or we can transfer them to the right help that they need,” says Lauren Rigert senior director of development and community relations for Crisis Connections.

Another resource that already exists as part King County’s crisis response system is the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which has a program called the Crisis Solutions Center. First responders can call on the DESC’s 24/7 mobile team, trained in de-escalation methods, for support when people are having behavioral health crises (there’s also a physical building with 46 beds for temporary shelter, should anyone need it).

According to the official website, the Crisis Solutions Center’s goal “is to divert individuals impacted by mental illness and substance abuse from jails and hospitals by providing a more appropriate therapeutic alternative.” Right now, this is a resource only for first responders, not the public to use for referrals, but that could perhaps change, if the organization expands, says executive director Daniel Malone. “Right now, we just don’t have the capacity to handle that kind of volume of calls,” he says.

Seattle also recently relaunched the Community Service Officers program (CSO), a group of civilian employees who help residents and businesses involved in non-criminal calls navigate services, engage with communities and neighborhoods, and support programming for at-risk youth. The first iteration of the program, which is part of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) ended in 2004 due to budget constraints, but was rebooted after a $2 million investment. The program is still small, though, and their role within the SPD remains unclear.

As has been highlighted by the recent protests, there is an over-reliance on policing to solve many non life-threatening matters, across the U.S., not just in Seattle — and orgs like DESC, CSO, and Crisis Connections can play a large role in finding better solutions. Restaurants may be able to not only train staff on seeking out those resources, but also raise awareness for them among the general population.

In that vein, Belltown bar Neon Boots recently posted on Instagram a list of “Seattle Area Alternatives to Calling 911.” Among the organizations are domestic violence and sexual assault hotlines, youth resources, substance abuse organizations, and many other numbers in a printable PDF for those who want to display them at their place of business.

Neon Boots co-owner Jeremy Alexander says, in his experience, de-escalation tactics have always been preferable to calling the cops. “Even if we are asking someone to leave, we still respect their boundaries of personal space and their right to not be physically touched or threatened,” he says. “With this in mind, it is hard to justify a call to the police, as the possibility of physical force is one of their main coercive tactics.”

Alexander says the Neon Boots list is an “ongoing project that we hope to improve on as we learn and gain insight from the community,” spurred by the hope that the city will reallocate funds from policing to other resources. “I’ve found that the police often create the illusion of public safety, of order, while the community is largely responsible for itself. We talk to our neighbors, we keep each other informed. When you know the people living on the streets you tend to treat each other with more respect.”

Awareness about these solutions may be in short supply, though. Several of the bars and restaurants Eater Seattle contacted about this story weren’t even aware of 211 or Crisis Connections, although many said that they would use such resources if the situation called for them. A few near Pioneer Square and the International District mentioned Downtown Ambassadors as a helpful alternative. It has an outreach team that aims to meet unsheltered individuals where they are, and serves an area of twelve neighborhoods.

In general, from the restaurateurs’ perspective, calling the cops when there’s been a clear threat hasn’t resulted in swift action, anyway. Alexander says that at another bar where he used to work, it once took the cops three hours to show up to a scene where someone crashed a stolen vehicle into the patio and then brandished a knife at customers. “In my experience, the police do not ever respond quickly, and are generally dismissive when they do arrive.”

Another obstacle to expanding alternatives to 911 is the much-discussed Seattle city budget. Mayor Jenny Durkan recently proposed cutting $20 million from the SPD for the last six months of 2020. But that’s well below the 50 percent that area protesters have recently demanded, and even the number some of the city’s own council members, including Teresa Mosqueda, have mentioned.

The city has a major budget shortfall due to COVID-19, in the range of $400 million this year. And it’s unclear whether any money taken from the SPD or anywhere else would go to fund resources like Crisis Connections. Relatively speaking, the money used to keep such organizations going (a combination of government funding and philanthropic donations) is paltry compared to other areas, including the SPD. The annual budget for Crisis Connections in 2019, for instance, was $7.5 million, less than one percent of what the SPD’s budget was this year. DESC’s Crisis Solutions Center has an operating budget of $9 million.

City council members are still keeping options on the table as pressure mounts to defund the police department and boost other alternatives. And, as anybody familiar with Seattle politics knows, that means… more discussions.

“We’re anticipating hearing about what community members are asking for Wednesday in committee,” a rep for Mosqueda tells Eater Seattle.

In the meantime, it could be up to restaurants and bars to deliver more of a grassroots effort to make non-emergency policing increasingly obsolete. “Hopefully, giving our teams proper training on de-escalating situations, cops won’t have to be called, and we’re not putting that person’s life in danger by potentially being killed by a police officer or being incarcerated,” says Jeanie Chunn, group director of the coalition Seattle Restaurants United.

“I’ve seen the cops called on people struggling with mental health issues, and then it escalates,” says Eric Fisher, co-owner of the restaurant Copal in Pioneer Square. “It seems so simple. Just call a different number, and someone without a gun will show up to help.”





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Apple Butter | The Recipe Critic


Apple Butter is a sweet velvety concentrated apple spread that you’ll want to put on everything. It requires just a few ingredients and a little bit of patience to make this yummy jam like condiment.

Apple season will be here before we know it and the best way to enjoy this delicious fall fruit is in Apple Butter! You won’t be able to go a day without spreading this heavenly apple concentrate on something. For more delicious apple recipes, try Apple Pie, Apple Danish, and Overnight Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole.

A jar of silky smooth Apple Butter with a spoon in it.

Delicious Apple Butter

If you love apples, wait until you try apple butter! This smooth concentrated apple sauce is amazingly delicious, requires few ingredients, and is easy to make. It tastes like apple pie filling but in sauce form. So yummy!

What Is Apple Butter?

Apple Butter contains no butter but is very similar to apple sauce in that apples are cooked down with sugar and spices. The additional steps of pureeing the apples until smooth and then cooking again to caramelize it is what makes the sauce thicker and stronger in flavor.

Lifting a spoonful of Apple Butter out of a jar on a plate with apples in the background.

Ingredients For The Best Apple Butter:

  • Apples: You do not need to peel the apples. The skin will get soft as the apples simmer. If using the skin, I do recommend using fresh picked apples since they won’t have any wax on them.
  • Cider: You can find this next to the apple juice in the juice aisle. Plain apple juice or water can be substituted.
  • Brown Sugar: This adds sweetness and a depth of flavor to the butter.
  • Cinnamon: This warm spice gives the butter so much more flavor.
  • Nutmeg: A little goes a long way. You can also add a pinch of cloves if you like them.
  • Salt: This little amount of salt doesn’t make the butter salty, it helps accentuate the other flavors.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract. For a slight tangy flavor you can use lemon juice instead.

Apples cut in half and quarters, teaspoons of spices, a small bowl of vanilla extract, a liquid measuring cup of apple cider, and a measuring cup of brown sugar.

How To Make Homemade Apple Butter:

  1. Place apple in a large pot with cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Cook covered over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft.
  3. Puree apples with a hand blender or a high powered blender until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Cook UNcovered over low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally (about every 5 minutes) until dark in color.
  5. Place in jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Process shots of cooking apples and pureeing them.

What Are The Best Apples?

Apples that break down easily are best. I like to use Golden Delicious but some other good options are McIntosh and Fuji.

How to Serve Apple Butter:

You can eat apple butter on anything you would put jam on- toast, rolls, English muffins, bagels… It could also be used as a sauce on meats.

This is a great homemade gift to give to others during the holidays.

Top view of jars of thick apple butter.

More Apple Recipes You’ll Love:

Apple Butter

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours

Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Author Melanie Dueck

Servings 28 Tablespoons

Apple Butter is a sweet velvety concentrated apple spread that you’ll want to put on everything. It requires just a few ingredients and a little bit of patience to make this yummy jam like condiment.

  • 3 pounds golden delicious apples quartered and cored
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts

Apple Butter

Amount Per Serving

Calories 44 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Sodium 23mg1%

Potassium 64mg2%

Carbohydrates 11g4%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 26IU1%

Vitamin C 2mg2%

Calcium 8mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





Source link

Categories
Dining News

Eater Critic Ryan Sutton Outlines Why He Won’t Eat At Restaurants Right Now


I’m a restaurant critic. It’s my job to dine out. Yet even though the restaurant shutdown ended nearly a month ago on Long Island, where I’ve been living since March, I still haven’t ordered anything except takeout. In fact I haven’t sat down for dine-in service in over 122 days, with no plans to change course. Resurgent COVID-19 infections prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to announce today that he’s pushing back the onset of indoor dining in the city. That’s a good start, but if you care about the safety of your fellow humans amid a pandemic that has killed over half a million globally and sickened many more — myself included — you should consider a stronger measure. You might consider not drinking or dining out at all, not even outdoors.

You should instead stick to takeout. I make that suggestion with a heavy heart. After COVID-19 wrecked my body — I lost 10 pounds in a week — I spent the following three months dreaming about falling back into my old routines: sipping daiquiris at a local Hell’s Kitchen bar, or gorging on vaca frita while a live Latin jazz band plays on stage. It appeared for a while that New Yorkers were about to return to such everyday indulgences. But as states throughout the country loosened restrictions on their hospitality industries and larger economies, the virus came back hard, threatening the progress we’ve made in the five boroughs.

For a patron with a sudden craving, no plate of duck wings or fluke ceviche is worth getting catastrophically sick over, especially if one can order those dishes more safely via takeaway. For a staffer with little alternative but to work, no economic benefit outweighs the reality of getting infected with COVID-19, which can bring with it chronic health repercussions, devastating financial consequences, and death.

Whenever I do feel the urge to go out for a sit-down meal or drink, I think about how COVID-19 cases are increasing in the U.S. more than almost anywhere else in the world, with new infections now double what they were earlier in June. I think about how Texas and Florida are shutting down their bars, how California is shutting down Los Angeles dining rooms, and how revelers in Hell’s Kitchen and the West Village stand as closely together as at a mosh pit while drinking. I think about how scores of restaurant workers have died, and how those that have recovered are going back to work without knowing whether they’ll fall ill again.

I have no doubt that smart people have carried out rigorous cost-benefit studies about keeping businesses open, arguing that at some point the social ills of a stagnant economy will wreak more havoc than the virus. Thing is, my argument isn’t a macro one for policymakers — who should pay workers so they can stay at home — it’s a micro one for consumers. For me, the low risk of sending a single uninsured waiter to an ICU bed, someone who isn’t really there by choice, in exchange for the pitcher of frozen margaritas you happen to be craving in the late afternoon, is a morally indefensible transaction.


A collection of tables and wicker chairs wrapped in plastic wrap in New York
Gary He/Eater

Other food reviewers have shared the larger sentiment against dining out. Los Angeles Times critic Bill Addison penned a newsletter wherein he said he wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to restaurants after hanging out at a Beverly Hills steakhouse. San Francisco Chronicle critic Soleil Ho wrote on Monday that she’s “still just cooking at home.” These statements and essays are meaningful because they implicitly deal with setting the right example. When a president doesn’t wear a mask, his followers don’t. When you see a friend drinking in a group and they ask you to join, it’s easy to say yes. When you know a critic is eating out around the city and filing regular dispatches from dining rooms, it acts as a signal that others can and should do the same.

New York Times California critic Tejal Rao was particularly eloquent in her own essay against dining out, citing the absurdity of having restaurants assume the responsibility of safeguarding the health of workers or patrons. “Restaurateurs, despite being pushed into the role, are not our public-health officials,” Rao wrote. Indeed, there’s something distinctly worrisome about entrusting the U.S. hospitality industry — known for more documented wage violations than any other sector — with the health and wellbeing of millions.

Many ex-restaurant staffers are actually doing okay thanks to a federal pandemic unemployment program that’s paying them $600 every week to stay at home, protect themselves, and protect their families. Those people, many of whom are only earning a living wage for the first time in a long time thanks to government assistance, are being pulled into work to earn less and put themselves at risk for catching infections, spreading infections, and dying. Many of those workers are uninsured, and while federal law is supposed to ensure that most patients not face costs for COVID-19 treatments, the reality is slightly more complicated.

What’s more is that local health regulations for dining out aren’t strong enough. Before every shift, restaurants have to screen employees with health based questions, but temperature checks aren’t mandatory for either staffers or employees. And even though patrons are encouraged to wear masks at tables while they’re not actively eating or drinking, few really do. Even if no one dies or is sent to intensive care under these conditions, the notion of being in a place where underpaid staffers are financially compelled to interact with unscreened and unprotected patrons seeking leisure is unacceptable to me on a very basic human level.


Surely, some people will still insist on dining out anyway. Perhaps they’ve assessed that the chances of falling ill are acceptable, or that they’re ready to tough it out if they get sick. So allow me to recount what it’s actually like to catch COVID-19 — and I was one of the lucky ones.

On March 9, there weren’t any reported infections in Idaho where I was vacationing. There were just 600 or so confirmed cases nationwide, a reality that admittedly caused me to miss a few signals. I felt a little out of breath that day, but blamed that on the 3,000 meters of altitude. My cough didn’t seem odd either, which I attributed to the fact that my companion was vaping. When I got chilly after pizza and beers, I thought, hey, it’s winter. I drank some tequila to warm up.

By midnight, I had warmed up. My temperature likely approached 104 degrees Fahrenheit. My upper respiratory system started to get clogged up with fluid. My nausea was uncontrollable. I kept a cold rag over my head for most of the night because my body had transformed itself into an impromptu Russian sauna without an off switch. My resting heart rate, which often dips into the mid 40s during a good night of sleep, averaged well over 105 beats per minute for nearly nine hours. I was delirious and miserable. A day later a local doctor told me their goal was to keep me out of the hospital.

When I started cycling back in New York a few weeks later, the sensation was akin to breathing gasoline that had been set on fire. At some point during my recovery I regressed and barely had enough energy to stand up for more than 30 seconds at a time. I experienced an uncontrollable dry cough for over thirty days. If I had to be physically present at an office, or engaged in client meetings, I estimate I would have been out of work for at least one month.

Mask-free patrons converse in front of a bar in New York

Patrons converse in front of a bar in New York
Gary He/Eater

So if you think in selfish terms, and are trying to calculate your own risk-reward scenario for dining out, remember that there are about 40,000 more confirmed U.S. cases per day now than there were when I became infected. And while most of those cases aren’t in New York, keep in mind that there aren’t any border guards stopping folks from flying into the city from California or Texas, even if they are required to quarantine now.

My relatively mild infection, confirmed by an antibody test, was among the most traumatic medical experiences I’ve ever endured. Imagine having to go through that, or imagine more permanently maiming yourself, killing your family members, or losing your ability to truly appreciate whatever expensive food you claim to enjoy for up to months at a time. My parents both tested positive later in March, and while I never developed anosmia, my mother lost most of her sense of taste for nearly sixty days. Cilantro, one of her favorite herbs, still tasted like soap to her as of a few weeks ago.

If this line of reasoning is what it takes for you to stay at home and not kill restaurant workers — now that you finally suppressed your hankering for rooftop blueberry mojitos and vegan chorizo arancini — so be it. And speaking more superficially, I’ll argue that restaurant food is a heck of a lot more enjoyable when enjoyed safely in your apartment, or on a bench, or on a grassy field in a park where waiters aren’t hovering around with plastic face shields like in some Michael Crichton quarantine horror flick. So really, maybe just stick with takeout.



Source link

Categories
Dining News

Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto


A Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto is a thick ciabatta bread stuffed with layers of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh pesto.  Add a drizzle of a balsamic glaze and you will have a homemade sandwich that is better than anything you could buy at a restaurant!

The Caprese pairing of mozzarella, tomato, and basil is so amazing you will want to make it again and again.  Try Caprese Skewers for a great appetizer version!

Balsamic glaze drizzled over caprese sandwiches on a plate.

Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto

This caprese sandwich is a perfect twist on the caprese salad.  The soft chewy bread that is coated in fresh pesto is the perfect platform for the sweet tomato and mozzarella.  Each bite delivers juicy tomato and tangy balsamic dressing.  The nutty flavors from the pesto balance out the flavors perfectly!

Best of all, this caprese sandwich is easy to make and take!  It takes just minutes to prepare and is the perfect picnic food.  Wrap it tightly in sandwich wrap or aluminum foil and pack it for a beautiful lunch outside.  It is so light but filling and is a homemade lunch your whole family will go crazy over!

What do I Need to Make a Caprese Sandwich?

A made from scratch pesto will make a huge difference in the finished sandwich.  The pesto will soak into the bread and create the perfect moist texture.  To learn how to make the best pesto check out my homemade pesto recipe!

Basil Pesto

  • Basil: The main source of flavor so choose fresh, green basil leaves.
  • Parmesan: Freshly grated for the most flavor.
  • Garlic: We love garlic so 3 cloves works well for us.  However, if you aren’t as into a garlic flavor, start with less and add more in as you taste it.  Overall, you want the flavor of the pesto to be balanced between all the flavors.
  • Pine Nuts: Great nutty flavor! Swap for walnuts if you prefer.
  • Olive Oil: Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor!

Sandwich:

  • Tomato: Slice to 1/4 inch thick, then layer with mozzarella slices.
  • Mozzarella Cheese Slices: Lay cheese directly on pesto before adding tomatoes.
  • Ciabatta Buns: Or bread of your choice.
  • Balsamic glaze: Drizzle over the tomatoes.

How to Make Caprese Sandwich and Basil Pesto:

This caprese sandwich is easy to make and even easier to fall in love with!  First, slather your delicious made from scratch pesto all over the soft bread.  Then layer it up with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic glaze and you have the most amazing sandwich in just minutes!

  1. Blend pesto: In a food processor first combine basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. Then pulse until the olive oil looks emulsified and the pesto looks uniform.
  2. Build sandwich: First slice the bread in half and spread pesto on one side. Next, layer the cheese and tomatoes and finally drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Steps to make a caprese sandwich.

Sandwich Variations:

The tried and true caprese ingredients like tomato, mozzarella and basil are the start of any delicious recipe.  But when you add bread and pesto and turn it into a sandwich it is even better!  Now try a few more variations to create your favorite version of this traditional flavor combination.

  • Protein: Add turkey, chicken, or flank steak to add a great protein.
  • Bread: A thick, sturdy bread is best for this sandwich.  Ciabatta is great but can easily be swapped out for a sourdough or focaccia.
  • Warm it up!  Heat your sandwich in a panini press or on a grill pan for the perfect ooey gooey sandwich!  Before you start, brush the outside of the bread with a little bit of oil to get the perfect crispy toasted bread.
  • Shortcut: For last minute time saving use store bought pesto.
  • Make your own Balsamic Glaze: Heat 1 cup of balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until it reduces down to about half.  This will thicken it and bring the flavor out.  For a sweeter glaze, add 1/4 cup apple juice to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar before reducing.
  • Green: Add arugula to your sandwich for a little bit of crunch and even more color!
  • No cheese? Replace the cheese with creamy avocado slices!

A finished caprese sandwich on a plate.

More Caprese Inspired Recipes:

Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto

Prep Time 15 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings 4 Sandwiches

A Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto is a thick ciabatta bread stuffed with layers of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh pesto.  Add a drizzle of a balsamic glaze and you will have a homemade sandwich that is better than anything you could buy at a restaurant!

Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 olive oil

Sandwich:

  • 1 medium tomato sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 ciabatta buns or bread of choice
  • balsamic glaze for drizzle

Nutrition Facts

Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto

Amount Per Serving

Calories 422 Calories from Fat 207

% Daily Value*

Fat 23g35%

Saturated Fat 10g50%

Cholesterol 56mg19%

Sodium 823mg34%

Potassium 226mg6%

Carbohydrates 31g10%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 24g48%

Vitamin A 1380IU28%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 453mg45%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





Source link