Author: Rose Dougall

Here are Some Table Etiquettes You Should Learn

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Whether you’re eating at home or in a restaurant, it is important to practice proper table manners. Aside from the fact that this will help other diners feel comfortable, following correct dining etiquettes will prevent social embarrassment, on your part and the part of your dining companions.

Since proper table manners are seldom taught in schools nowadays, this guide will help you do a self-check, so you’ll be prepared the next time you dine out.

1. If you are invited to an event or a dinner gathering, respond before the specified deadline.

The RSVP or Respondez S’il Vous Plait that you see on invites means “Please Respond.” Be mindful of the schedule specified in the RSVP card or section. You should always respond on time, not on the day the event. Additionally, when you respond to an invite, be sure to include relevant details like your food allergies or restrictions.

2. Once at the venue, please wait to be seated.

Do not run off to a table without verifying if there is a seating position. Consult with the assigned individuals to find out to which table you are assigned and wait for someone to take you there. On regular days in restaurants, you have to wait to be seated.

3. When you are seated, get your table napkin and place it on your lap.

Table napkins are normally used for wiping your lips, but they can also be used to prevent food from dropping to your clothes or on the floor. This is why you should unfold your table napkin and place it on your lap.

4. Eat with your mouth closed.

And do not talk when your mouth is filled with food.

5. Use your utensils properly.

When they are not in use, the knife and fork should be on the sides of your plate. Once you are done eating, position your utensils side by side and place them at the center of your plate.

6. Avoid talking loudly while at the dining table.

If you need to talk, make sure that you don’t shout or talk loudly. Loud talking will distract not only your dining companions but also the diners at the other tables.

7. Do not display your mobile phone on the dining table.

Do not use your mobile phone during the entire dinner. Answer only emergency calls and messages. This is why you should never place your mobile phone on the dining table.

How to Bake Beautiful and Delicious Cakes

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Cakes are popular with almost any age group. So if you’re thinking of baking something – maybe for a family gathering or a get-together with friends – cake should be number one on your list. However, even if it sometimes looks easy, baking a cake can be challenging. Sometimes, your cake does not come out the way you imagined it would. To prevent cake baking mishaps from happening, here are some tips you can follow.

1. Do not use cold eggs.

This is a common mistake because most of us get our eggs straight from the refrigerator when we’re baking. Using cold eggs will not allow your mixture to emulsify completely. Instead of cold eggs, use room temperature eggs. Or, you can take out the eggs from the ref at least an hour before you start baking.

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2. Proper mixing is important.

If your cake mixture is over-mixed, your cake will have tunnels and holes when it comes out of the oven. You can always cover these with icing or cake decoration, but this is not really recommended. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you properly and completely mix the mixture before proceeding to the next step. You can mix manually, with a hand blender, or with a standing mixer. This is another reason why you need to use room temperature eggs and butter.  I just started to use my new Oster ckstbrtw20 to mix and knead the dough.  It’s been working great!  If you own a bread machine, try it out.

3. Use ingredients stated in the recipe.

Use only the ingredients that are indicated in the recipe. In other words, do not use substitutes for the ingredients on the list. For example, it is never correct to use margarine instead of butter. You should not use bread flour in place of cake flour.

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4. Follow instructions for baking the mixture.

Do not forget to line the pan with parchment and to use a baking brush for greasing it. Pre-heat the oven before you put the mixture inside. Then slowly place the baking pan inside the oven, making sure that it is position at the center of the oven. To avoid uneven cakes, use the correct size of baking pan for the mixture.

Tips for Becoming a Good Food Blogger

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Blogging is the new media. Sure, traditional media is still very much alive, but all over the world, bloggers are also making significant noise. Food bloggers, for example, are getting more popular, with some of them being invited to try out new restaurants and to endorse some dining establishments.

If you want to be a food blogger, here are some tips that can help you become a good one.

1. Work on your personality or your branding.

Before you can go out and start blogging, you have first to determine what personality and style you want the people to identify you with. It can be the kind of food that you like or the way to take videos and photos. It can also be how you present your blog. A lot of people who follow food bloggers like to get a detailed account of every restaurant featured on the blog. It will help you a lot if you do just that.

2. Always be one step ahead of the others.

Food bloggers need to know the latest and the trendiest. You should always be one step ahead of the pack. If there’s a new restaurant opening soon, you have to know the details weeks ahead of its actual opening. Once you post the information on your blog or social media pages, people will keep following your blog all the way until the restaurant opens. It’s a good way of establishing your online presence.

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3. You have to love food.

As you are a food blogger, it won’t make sense if you do not love food. It doesn’t make sense for you to talk about the best tankless water heaters and then in the next sentence talk about your favorite new recipe.  That is an exaggeration, but you get the point.  Every event that you go to will require you to taste different kinds of food, so you can’t just say no and then write about the experience based on observations. You’ll be fooling your audiences. Your passion and love for food will reflect in what you write.

4. Learn how to post mouthwatering photos.

Food looks glorious in photos, so you should use them to entice people to read your blog. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good food photos; you will learn along the way. Some food bloggers even use their iPhones only when taking food photos. Of course, you can always practice at home. It all depends on you. Just make sure that you post as many food photos as you can, not only on your blog but also on your social media pages.