Last week we brought you some delicious winter drinks, but now we’d like to turn our attention the baked goods of the holidays. Our ovens are chock-full of holiday treats. As you know, catering to the holidays is an important part of standing out as a business. Baked good fresh out of your ovens signal “home for the holidays” to patrons, and provide a way to warm up on cold winter days. Here are a few sweet and fruity as-good-as-a-bakery recipes for a menu that will keep your ovens busy and your customers happy.
Traditional ovens will work for any of these recipes, but you might try baking them in convection ovens as well for faster cook time! Just make sure to adjust baking time as necessary. Enjoy these tasty recipes and have a warm holiday!
Breakfast: Berry Oven Pancakes
Take this breakfast-time favorite and re-shape it! Use the small container of your choice, be it a 2-cup baking dish or a gratin dish. Put a tablespoon of butter in the dish, bake for 3 minutes, then take the dish out, making sure butter fully covers the bottom of the dish, and add pancake batter. Bake for about 13 minutes. Spoon a berry medley or the filling of your choice into these bowl-like pancakes and serve warm.
Appetizer: Cranberry Orange Brie Crostini
A twist on the traditional crackers-and-brie combination, this creation is a great way to start a meal and celebrate the decadence of the holidays. Just spread marmalade over baguette slices, add a thin slice of brie, and bake. Set your oven’s timer for 4-5 minutes to melt the brie. Take the slices out and top with dried cranberries and pistachios. For a savory variation, replace the fruit and nuts with black forest ham, and bake under the broiler for about 3 minutes. Ta da! Instant hors de’oeuvres.
Dessert: Crunchy Oatmeal-Nut Apple Pie
Pie, as a holiday staple, can be found in many ovens this season, and is preferred by many over even the best cookie recipes. Whether you choose to use a ready-made pie crust or you make one from scratch, this textured version of America’s favorite dessert will satisfy traditionalists and adventuresome foodies alike. Simply mix whole-wheat flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until evenly distributed. Add orange juice concentrate for a hint of citrus, and nuts for more texture. Simply bake an apple pie for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven, sprinkle the crunchy topping liberally over the pie’s fruit, and bake for another 20 minutes.
Having winter drinks on our ranges at home is one of the best things about wintertime, and it’s no different in restaurants. As kids we enjoyed seeing how many miniature marshmallows we could fit into a mug of hot cocoa. We sipped at non-alcoholic eggnog, then wondered why anyone would want to sip at eggnog. The smell of cider filling the house meant that the holidays were fast-approaching. The fact is, warm beverages are a tried-and-true part of the winter months.
The nature of holiday libations ranges from rich, creamy refreshments to punches that are easy on juice and heavy on wine. More often than not, the idea behind warm winter drinks is to throw all the ingredients into a saucepan, then let them simmer until ready to serve. They are great to have readily available, because once they require no upkeep, as long as you keep them warm. Here are four of the best winter drinks to please your guests.
1. Wassail (Non-Alcoholic)
This kid-friendly version of the traditional hot beverage will warm children and adults alike. Its name comes from the Old English phrase “waes hael,” which means “be you healthy,” and was involved in an old drinking ritual that ensured a good harvest. Today’s wassail is a more of a variation of mulled cider. It usually combines several fruit juices cooked with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and sometimes allspice and ginger. The result is a fragrant, flavorful punch.
2. Hot Chocolate
This winter drink is a classic. However, there are many, many ways to put a new spin on hot chocolate. Belgian hot chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate, hot chocolate Agasajo-style, and even peanut butter hot chocolate are all options. Give your hot cocoa a kick with ancho chile and cinnamon, add a dollop of marshmallow fluff, or drizzle with some ever-trendy salted caramel. Whatever you do, make sure you top it with real whipped cream and serve with biscotti, cookies, or toast.
3. Mulled Cider
Mulled cider is one of the timeless, great holiday drinks. To make it, combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, whole cloves, an anise star, and some thinly sliced oranges for a citrusy kick. Let it simmer on one of your ranges for as long as you would like; the longer it simmers, the more flavor it has! (Besides which, no one likes cold cider.)
4. Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade
It turns out that lemonade is no longer limited to summertime. Although it sounds an unlikely candidate for a winter beverage, it’s actually perfect for cold winter days. It generally requires the same spices as a wassail, but uses lemonade instead of fruit juices. The result is a lighter-tasting version, and a great way to surprise guests with the unexpected.
No matter how you choose to fill your menu or your ranges, be sure to be creative with your holiday drink recipes. Your unique drinks will keep guests coming back for more!
The holidays are a busy time of year, and in such a fast-paced environment, chaos in the kitchen can lead to accidents. While quality kitchen equipment like Gen2 Ranges can help you create delicious holiday meals with the best technology, be sure to remain diligent about kitchen safety.
With any range or stove, not just Gen2 ranges, always be wary of open flames. Keep your sleeves rolled up and be mindful to turn off burners immediately after you are finished using them. If you are stirring food on a range, stir away from your body. With Gen2 ranges and other kitchen appliances, you can never be too careful.
While it is important (not to mention more efficient!) to keep your knives sharpened, a sharp knife can be hazardous to clumsy fingers. When slicing, dicing, chopping, and peeling, be careful! Food cutters are a safe alternative, and have the additional benefit of slicing more food, faster. You should also be wary of the blades on food processors and blenders.
Keep It Clean
Clean up any spills immediately after they happen. A slick spot on the floor in front of one of your Gen2 ranges can quickly turn into an injury. If you have your hands full and can’t get to it right away, warn others about the spill so they can avoid it. Also, it never hurts to wear shoes with good traction.
Know Your Stuff
When working with kitchen appliances, from large Gen2 ranges to small Amana microwaves, it’s important to know your restaurant equipment. Understand every setting, and fully repair any broken or malfunctioning equipment immediately. It’s also good to know what kinds of foods you can and can’t use with certain pieces of equipment. For example, click here for reasons you should never deep fry a frozen turkey.
Follow these tips and always exercise caution in the kitchen, and you can create successful holiday dishes for your customers. Have a safe, happy holiday from all of us at ShortOrder!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for food. Kitchens have been gearing up their ovens for the winter holidays, and now that they’re here, we welcome the opportunity to try out holiday specials and offer customers a variety of options during the holiday season.
So many holidays feature food as a major part of their celebration. Think about it: chocolates and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day, anything green on St. Patrick’s Day, a traditional Easter Dinner, barbecue for the Fourth of July, the soohor and iftar meals during Ramadan, all things pumpkin for Halloween, turkey and all the trimmings for the Thanksgiving, latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) for Hanukkah, and a feast for Christmas fresh from the ovens. The possibilities for culinary creativity are endless. Here are some good ideas to help drum up some business for your ovens on holidays year-round.
Use Unique Holiday Promotions
Offer customers some incentive to choose your business in particular on a holiday. This might mean offering a specialized “green” menu on St. Patrick’s Day, advertising a discount or special service to larger parties around New Year’s Eve, or if you are a casual establishment, holding trivia nights with themed quizzes and small prizes.
Think about your main demographic of customers and cater to them when advertising. Place ads in the local newspapers’ or magazines’ food sections. If your business has social media outlets, use them to advertise and promote any special offers you may be running.
Decorate for the Holiday
Opt for colors that match the season, and keep your décor neutral to cater to all tastes. Colored lights for winter holidays, sparkly décor for New Year’s, candles and draperies for Valentine’s Day… you get the idea.
Stay Politically Correct
You may think that being “PC” is overhyped these days, but political correctness is something you should pay special attention to in your marketing. Be inclusive in your advertising. A simple “happy holidays” on signs, menus, and wished by your staff will welcome customers of all types, and the kind sentiment remains intact.
Keep your ovens full and your guests happy with unique advertising, and you’ll all have a happy holiday, no matter the time of year.
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