Archive for November, 2008

Independent meal assembly thrives amongst closures

The boom of the meal assembly business has slowed down as several locations recently announced their closings including My Girlfriend’s Kitchen and Entrée Vous in Littleton, Delish in Westminster and The Supper Club in Denver. However, a new generation of home meal services is evolving as trends in the industry are changing.

Easy Entrees in Lakewood is one such company that is responding to their lessons learned in the marketplace by offering a different approach. Owner, Robin Fickle explains that unlike the many meal assembly franchises out there, being independently owned and operated allows them to be more of a home meal service by catering to their customer’s changing needs.

For example, many meal preparation customers are asking for healthy recipes and fresh ingredients that aren’t frozen or come out of a box or can, because after all, they can easily pick up a processed meal from their local grocer. They want ingredients that are “natural”, “organic” and “fresh” similar to what you find at your local farmers market and Fickle says that is exactly what they have been offering.

Independent meal assembly thrives amongst closures

Talking turkey: Give your bird a regional accent with different spices

I find this article interesting because of the regional aspect of how people prepare the Thanksgiving feast. And also there are a few recipes included at the end including brining the turkey which I have heard really adds some great flavor. I haven’t tried it myself, but I really want to.

You might think Thanksgiving turkey comes in only two flavors: dry or not. But regionally inspired differences in spices, ingredients and cooking methods can separate a bird roasted in Boston from one in Baton Rouge.

“When I think of the Southwest, I think of very flavorful distinctive ingredients: fiery, smoky chiles like chipotle, pungent herbs — epazote, cilantro — and spices like cumin,” says Sarah Tenaglia, senior food editor at Bon Appetit magazine.

“In the Midwest, think hearty comfort food that’s not based on strong spices. You’re not going to see the assertive flavors that pop up in some of the other regions,” says Tenaglia, who has tasted plenty of turkey during her 23 years with the magazine.

Talking turkey: Give your bird a regional accent with different spices

States drain unemployment trust funds

Well this certainly doesn’t instill confidence in the upcoming year. And this is before Citi adds an additional 50k+ workers to the unemployment tally, not to mention the tech companies who will add another 10k+ on their own.

NEW YORK ( — State unemployment insurance trust funds are rapidly running out of money amid soaring job losses.

This is prompting state officials to consider raising employer taxes or curtailing benefits, while forcing them to borrow from the federal government to cover claims.

"Some states didn’t have adequate reserves built up," said Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project. "They are having significant problems paying out the increased number of benefits."

States drain unemployment trust funds

Economy sailing into rougher waters

How is this affecting the way customers spend for Thanksgiving?  As I mentioned I saw some pretty hefty price increases on my last trip to the grocery store over the weekend and I already know several people who are taking advantage of layaway for their Christmas shopping. It would seem all retailers are experiencing some tough times. Normally this time of year is huge for shopping, but I don’t think we’re going to make those numbers this time around.

WASHINGTON – The country is sinking deeper into an economic hole, and it’s likely to stay there for a while.

That’s part of the latest outlook from forecasters in a survey to be released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics, also known as NABE.

Approximately 96 percent of the economists polled believe a recession has started, and nearly three-fourths think it could persist beyond the first quarter of 2009.

Economy sailing into rougher waters

Casual-Dining Continues to Drop Prices

2008-11-12 — Casual-dining chains continue to lower prices in hopes of keeping diners from trading down to quick-serves during the tough economic times. Applebee’s has launched a limited-time “2 for $20” offer where guests can share an appetizer and two entrées for only $20.

“While consumers may be cutting back, Applebee’s wants to ensure they don’t miss out on what’s important: connecting over a meal with friends and family,” says Shannon Scott, executive director, marketing for Applebee’s. “We are offering our guests two full size entrées and a shareable appetizer for only $20. To round out the evening, guests can complement their meal with an ice cold beer, a glass of wine, or a beverage of their choice.”

Casual-Dining Continues to Drop Prices – Restaurant News

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