5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
According to consumer market research firm Mintel, twenty-four percent of restaurant-goers plan to spend less at restaurants in 2011 than in 2010, with sixty-three percent of those respondents citing that it's just too expensive to do so.
For those opting to dine chez you, executive chef Scott Crawford of Herons at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, North Carolina, says you can still achieve the restaurant experience at home - it's all in the presentation, dahling. Well, that is until somebody walks in wearing their Hello Kitty bedroom slippers.
How to Make Your Food Artful: Scott Crawford
Jennie Bragg is an Editorial Producer in CNN’s Money Unit. Previously - Celiac? To heck with that!
When it comes to food - and pretty much everything else in my life - I have always been a creature of habit. This gets me into what I refer to as food ruts; I eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch (or both) for days, weeks, even months at a time, until I wear myself out completely and decide I can’t stand the sight of said food anymore.
Such was the case recently with almonds. I loved them. I couldn’t get enough. I put them on yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and ate ‘em by the heaping handful. Then, out of nowhere, my almond joy vanished.
Yesterday the New York Times Diners Journal's daily "What We’re Reading" post (with which we are ridiculously obsessed and over which we weep when we [frequently] don't make the cut) pointed us to a 2009 (but new to us) video on Americans’ perceptions of the chain restaurant industry.
The National Retail Foundation and Shop.org partnered with ExpoTv.com to ask consumers to sum up what they like about national chains like T.G.I. Friday's, Chili's, Panera Bread and Cracker Barrel. Their overwhelmingly consistent response? Consistency - as manifested in atmosphere, service, menu items, pricing and even uniformity in food size.
We get it. We totally do. Sometimes we're out on the road, low blood sugared, beset with ennui - something's gone awry, and we just wanna get fed with no major surprises. There are even a few items (helloooooo Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit!) for which we beeline when we're in geographical range. But beyond that, in many ways consistency is rather the antithesis of what we're looking for when we spend our money to dine out. Yes, things should be consistently GOOD, but new choices, flavors, dishes, cuisines and ingredients - that's thoroughly linked to our love of the non-chain places.
Previously - Poll: Maintenance meals
Sick of your current gig? Take a tip from former marketing VP Pam Turkin. With her husband out of work and her job pressuring her to move to Florida, she called it a wrap and decided to pursue her passion: cupcake baking.
$1.6 million in profits later, life is pretty sweet.
Read - 49-year old leaves job, takes a chance on cupcakes
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