Archive for December, 2009

Boozing up your holiday recipes

Depending on your guest list, you might need this :)

Tis the season….to cook with booze?

In the award-winning Cooking with Booze (Whitecap) authors and liquor enthusiasts Ryan Jennings and David Steele set out to prove that the liquor cabinet is really an extension of the spice rack, using the unique flavours of wine, beer and spirits to add depth to any type of cooking.

The book is full of fabulous ideas and sharp humour – and would make a lovely gift!

Boozing up your holiday recipes

Dream Dinners of Fort Mill Sponsors Holiday Fundraiser to Feed Families in Need

Charlotte, NC – Dream Dinners of Fort Mill, a local dinner assembly franchise that specializes in providing easy-to-assemble entrees, has announced its sponsorship of another “Holiday Meals from the Heart” fundraiser to benefit families who are unable to afford Holiday dinners in the townships of Fort Mill and Tega Cay.

This event follows the Thanksgiving Fundraiser held by the franchise on November 17 in which owners Meera Pattison and Marybeth Lakshmanan, along with Professional Insurance Consulting, Inc. & Compass Community Magazines, raised enough funds to provide 11 local families with Thanksgiving Dinner. The event was well-attended by local area residents including Fort Mill mayor-elect George Sheppard who stopped by to show his support. “Because of the outpouring of support from the local community, 11 families were able to have a nice Thanksgiving meal-something they would not have been able to do if it weren’t for the generosity of the local community,” says Pattison.

Dream Dinners of Fort Mill Sponsors Holiday Fundraiser to Feed Families in Need

Don’t forget the wine

And now for something a little bit lighter. It’s not always doom and gloom ya know. Some times you have to stop and smell the wine cork…

So much thought and planning goes into special holiday meals. Seasoned cooks and first-time hosts alike want to impress their friends and family. But for many meal planners, the thought of picking the right wine to complement their food can send shivers. There are so many choices, so many varieties, an impossible selection of wineries – where to begin?

There are no carved-in-stone rules for holiday meals

At Year’s End

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of years this is the time when I reveal my mystical insight about the meal assembly industry and foretell how the events of the New Year will unfold. But at this point in the game, what’s left for this wreck of an industry? To say more stores will close would be redundant and obvious (even though it’s going to happen, en masse). No points for that one I’m afraid. So what else is there really to say?

Super Suppers is nearly defunct, it exists in name only; there’s nothing holding this company up. Just look at the number of stores they’ve lost this year. What can you say about a 60%+ failure rate? Even the franchise creator has walked away to try something different.

The gals at Dream Dinners are relying on a new name and their brand new unique idea to bail them out of the troubles that have overshadowed them for the past year. Appealing to the busy working mom and family hasn’t worked out so now they’re going after the diabetic crowd, because clearly, they have a lot more time to come in and make meals.

Besides targeting this very niche market they’re also espousing the works of this mysterious Dr. Brent and rehashing all the same news articles from two to three years ago. It might make for good keyword indexing, but that’s about it. Endless stories of spending time around the dinner table and talking to your kids had their place. It got some interest back in the day, but you can’t keep playing the same song over and over again. It’s time for something new, or better yet, it’s time to come to terms with reality.

Even with this “new” image the leopard can’t change its spots and in the end Dinners for Life will get the same acceptance as the parent company. There might be a spike in customers, perhaps even a spike in owners who ignore the truth, but this new idea will burn out more quickly than the idea it’s based on. Dream Dinners is quickly crashing to 100 stores (down from 220, and certainly down from 180 when declarations were made that everything was fine).

Even the meal assembly experts have decided to keep quiet. Are you hearing any real news about this industry? Has anything of consequence really happened this year? Will anything of consequence happen next year? What was the last meal assembly article you read? And what was the last big ad campaign?

Meal assembly ended last year, but some people refuse to admit it. How some stores got this far is a mystery to me; there’s no money to be made in it. We certainly didn’t make 3,000 stores and a billion dollars in revenue did we?

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