Archive | February 2015

It’s thyme for a tip…saving time with egg salad

fresh-eggs-kitchen-clock-p954-4809_zoomQuick tip of the day:

Making egg salad, and deviled eggs for that matter, can simultaneously make your customer base extremely happy and your staff extremely sad.  Anyone that has ever stood over 30 dozen  hard boiled eggs with the task of peeling them perfectly knows what i am talking about.  To save time and ensure a consistent product, many food service operations have moved into buying peeled hard boiled eggs.  There are some good quality options out there including organic and some companies are making them available in sizes that work for large commercial kitchens.  Talk to your distributors to see what you can find.

Once the eggs are all peeled, they still need to be cut into small pieces to make egg salad.  For moderate sized batches using a Vollrath Insta-Cut Dicer with a 1/2″ blade or larger will work quite nicely.  However, when making larger quantities of egg salad, toss all of your hardboiled eggs  into your Hobart mixer with the flat blade attachment.  Turn it on low and slow until eggs are broken into large chunks.  Then add the rest of your ingredients and mix until done.  This saves an unbelievable amount of time for those of you that have made your egg salad recipe somewhat of a staple in your community and have watched the batches grow to unbelievable yields.  

That’s all the thyme i have today for tips and tricks.  Check back again for more recipes, stories and other tidbits.

Until next time, enjoy your time in the kitchen…

Michelle

For the love of beets

IMG_3631.JPG“The beet is the most intense of vegetables.  The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lustyenough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.  Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.  The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…”

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

I have always loved beets. My parents grew them in our garden and I never thought it odd to love them as much as I did. I remember the first time I read Jitterbug Perfume, and I have read it many times, thinking that loving beets was something that made me part of some secret cool club, because in the pages of one of my favorite books the beet plays such a prominent role.

Beets can be sweet as sugar and sometimes dark and earthy, they vary as much in flavor as they do in appearance. The golden beets look amazing in a salad with chioggas. The red beets pair well with citrus and mint. I have come to find that many grown adults do not like, nor will even try beets. I find this astonishing as our culture eats more sugar than any other people in the world and sugar can be extracted from beets. I’d like to share the simplest of recipes that feature the serious yet delicious beet in hopes that by the end of February, you will associate this month with love and flowers and chocolates and BEETS.  As always, tune this recipe to your particular tastes and don’t be afraid to experiment, the beet is afraid of nothing! Continue reading

Everything Changes

In day to day operations, we encounter an endless stream of changes.  Food service requires us to think on our feet and be extremely flexible to the inevitable changes that come our way.  On any given day we may find that we need to substitute an ingredient because of a distributor out of stock, amend a recipe method due to a broken piece of equipment, and sometimes even create a dish out of thin air as a result of a never-ending stream of possible scenarios.  Does this sound familiar?  If you work in a kitchen then most likely your answer is YES.

Unfortunately, none of these changes can be made without a butterfly effect wreaking havoc on our operation. For example, changing one ingredient can cause changes to be necessary in ingredient signage, POS stickers and labels, menus advertised on your website, and don’t forget kitchen staff, they will need to know about all ingredient changes!  Too many times, I went through the process of trying to remember all the steps to take when making changes. Eventually, i  created a handy dandy little poster to hang in the office to help  remember everything I didn’t want to forget.  Here it is: no small change poster, Check it out, feel free to change it and recreate it so that it is customized to your specific needs.  Hopefully, it will help you as much as it did me. If you happen to be the one lucky food service manager that doesn’t have an endless stream of changes to paddle through daily, i would love to hear from you and learn all of your secrets!  Thanks for reading, and until next time remember:

“Everything passes, everything changes.  Just do what you think you should do.”  Bob Dylan

Why Moxie?

Welcome!  I am excited to be writing and hope that i can provide some tips and tricks of the trade, share some delicious recipes and a story or two along the way.

I want to briefly introduce myself and Moxie Consulting, so that you can understand why I am choosing to put myself out into the world in this way and what inspires me.  My name is Michelle O’Connor. I am a west coast girl and I have been surrounded by good, home grown, home made food my entire life.  When it came time to decide to do what i love, i found myself naturally drawn to the food service industry.  I chose jobs based on the values of the business, and i have been lucky to spend my entire career in kitchens surrounded by organic and locally grown ingredients.  Somewhere along the way, i had the courage to step away from the cutting board and try my hand at leading teams to be efficient and successful in the kitchen while still enjoying the camaraderie and fun that kitchen work has to offer, and i never looked back.

Moxie  by definition means pep, energy, courage and dedication. I chose this name for my consulting business because after years of hard work, i realize that Moxie truly embodies the energy that I bring to the table.  I am an energetic person that does not shy away from hard work and long hours.  I have the courage and dedication it takes to implement changes that will lead to success.  I love a good belly laugh and that is exactly what i did when Moxie was suggested as my business name.  It fits perfectly and i look forward to channeling my moxie to inspire and help others reach their highest potentials.

I welcome and encourage your feedback. If you have any questions, drop me an email at Michelle@moxie.consulting or visit my website at http://moxie.consulting

Be well, and until next time…Enjoy!