Monthly Archives: March 2017

Japanese Mexican Recipes – The New Fusion Trend

You might not think that Mexican food recipes and Japanese ones have much in common but it is amazing how well these two cuisines can be combined. Asian Mexican fusion food has recently become to get popular, in parts of Mexico and also in the United States and Europe.

There are various misconceptions about both Mexican food recipes and Japanese dishes. For example, many people assume that Japanese cuisine is nothing but raw fish. Actually beef, chicken, tofu, and other proteins are widely used in this cuisine.

People might think that food from Mexico has to feature hot chilies, tortillas, and cheese but that is not true either. Mexican food can be spicy or it can be mild. Cheese is a component in some dishes but is not essential in all of them and tortillas are popular but not universal and certainly not used in every recipe.

Fusion Food Ideas

If you like sushi rolls, what about trying a Mexican style sushi roll? Imagine chilled salmon or tuna, corn, avocado and queso fresco (or queso blanco) wrapped in Hierba Santa (an herb from Mexico that tastes like aniseed) instead of seaweed, or chocolate with a ginger wasabi sauce. Chocolate with chili is amazing and chocolate with wasabi is just as good.

You can combine ingredients like coconut milk, cilantro, mango and pineapple or chili, mint, green apple and marinated with your fish to make exciting appetizers or entrees. Vegetarians can enjoy tofu or vegetable dishes and meat lovers can enjoy yakitori or teriyaki beef served with a Mexican salad on the side.

How To Make Fusion Fish Tacos

The Guacamole:

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 halved, pitted, peeled avocados
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1 minced, de-seeded jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 5 leaves each basil and mint
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix all the guacamole ingredients except the tomato, salt and pepper together until everything is well combined and you are happy with the texture. You can make it chunky or smooth. Stir in the tomato and add the salt and pepper to taste. Add some hot pepper too if you like.

If you keep the pit from one of the avocados you can put it in the container with the guacamole; this keeps it fresh. Make the guacamole before you make the fish tacos, then you can chill it until you need it.

The Tacos:

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tilapia filets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

You can use any kind of fish for this. Cod or red snapper is fine if you do not have tilapia. Cut the fish fillets into one inch strips and put them in a plastic bag with the spices.

Give the bag a good shake until the fish is coated. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the fish for a minute or until it is done. Arrange the hot fish on the tortillas with the guacamole. You can add any other condiments you like to your tacos.

Five Great Guatemalan Desserts

Every country has its own sweets and desserts. Sometimes they are known mainly only in their country of origin, and sometimes they become quite popular through exposure in ethnic restaurants. Some Guatemalan desserts are similar in nature to ones in other countries, as with their Borracho cake. Many cultures have cakes that are soaked with a sugar syrup and alcohol. Other Guatemalan desserts are far more unusual.

The cake mentioned above, the Borracho is a light sponge cake that is literally drenched in sugar syrup laced with a typical Guatemalan rum made from their sugar cane crops. This cake is found in pastry shops around Guatemala City, and is generally sold by the slice. Slices are set into a larger muffin paper to contain the syrup dripping out. The cake is topped with a cornstarch pudding made with milk, and then decorated with raisins. In my early life I had never heard of this kind of cake, and it quickly became a favorite. The sugar syrup is cooked with a true cinnamon stick so the syrup is cinnamon flavored. The cake is simple to make as any sponge cake will do, and any simple cornstarch pudding works for the topping.

Rellenitos de Platano are one of the desserts I have always been enchanted with. Platanos are plantains, and relleno means filled. In this case, these little oval shaped desserts are filled with black beans cooked down to a paste. If this sounds strange, it is nonetheless a delicious flavor combination. Eating plantains and black beans, a common pairing at any meal, are a particularly tasty combination. In this case, the plantains are cooked and pureed, a little sugar and cinnamon are added and this is the outside of the dessert. Pureed black beans are cooked down to a thick paste and a small bit is placed into the center of an oval shaped bit of the plantains. These are fried and rolled in granulated sugar to serve, hot or cold.

Chancletas are another interesting use of a vegetable. These are made with Chayote squash. At times, these squash are plentiful, and using them as a dessert is just another way to use up the excess. The chayotes are cooked whole. Once tender, they are split in half and the insides are scoped out as for a twice baked potato. The inner flesh is mashed or pureed and sugar, cinnamon, raisins and cookie crumbs are added to thicken. The mixture is placed back into the skins of the chayote and set on a baking sheet. These are baked until set, about 20 to 30 minutes. The name chancleta means slipper, as they are supposed to resemble a slipper.

Polvorosas are a type of shortbread cookie. The name comes from the word polvo, meaning powder or dust. The cookies are rolled into powdered sugar when baked, so biting into them gives one the reason why they are thus named. Shortbread of any kind is made without eggs added to bind the batter or dough, and this makes shortbread unusually crumbly. These little cookies are made into small round shapes with a flat top. They are much the same as the cookies known as snowballs, or Mexican Wedding Cakes.

Other typically Guatemalan sweets are found sold by street vendors on many street corners. The Guatemalans make candy out of unlikely things such as squash or sweet potato, along with some fruits like figs, orange peels or guavas. These candied fruits or vegetables can take days to make, because of the long, slow cooking process required to get them down to their dried, crystallized state.

Many other typical candies are also sold alongside these candied fruits or vegetables, and all of them have their particular flavor and shape. All of these desserts are amazing in their variety and in the imagination of those who came up with the recipes. Nothing is wasted. Even leftover cakes are made into a new cake, using the crumbs as a base.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.

Creating a Chart of Accounts for a Small Restaurant

Independent restaurant owners often do their own bookkeeping. Even if they hire a professional accountant at year’s end, they may save considerable money by handling the weekly tasks themselves.

Setting up a chart of accounts to fit the restaurant needs generally requires customizing the default choices of any accounting program. The selection of sales and cost of goods accounts on most systems does not provide for the separation of food and beverage categories that are needed.

Even the leading bookkeeping program for small business, while it has a default selection for restaurants, fails to provide all of the accounts that most restaurant owners require. In addition, many of the expense accounts that are added are rarely used, leading to confusion during data entry, and don’t help with the overview of the business finances.

The National Restaurant Association publishes a book titled Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants. The book provides detailed descriptions of the application of generally accepted accounting principles to the restaurant industry.

That book includes a sample chart of accounts, but notes that “the codes used here are not the only method for classifying the accounts”. It points out that most restaurants will not use all of the categories listed, and it also notably lacks breakdown of inventory and cost categories beyond “food” and “beverage”. Many restaurant owners want further separation of those categories to include sub-categories such as “meat”, “seafood”, and “produce”, and possibly “beer” and “wine” for beverage categories.

While many programs do not require the use of account numbers, the NRA book states that some type of account numbering system must be used. If your program is not showing account numbers, it should have an option on a set up screen to activate that feature.

Any account numbering system is generally grouped so that accounts of a particular type fall within a specific range of numbers. For example, assets may be in the 1000 range, and income accounts in the 4000 range. On systems with many detail accounts, 5 digit numbers may be used to allow more sub-categories, but that is rarely needed for a small restaurant.

Typical number ranges that are used by many accounting systems are as follows:

Asset accounts: 1000-1999

Liability accounts: 2000-2999

Equity accounts: 3000-3999

Revenue accounts: 4000-4999

Cost of goods: 5000-5999

Expenses: 6000-8000

“Other” accounts: 8000-9999

Asset Accounts

Asset accounts include cash, bank accounts, inventory, and everything else that is owned.

It is common to assign the first account number, 1000, to Cash, since they are usually ordered, within each group, by liquidity (ease of converting to cash).

A separate account should be used in the chart of accounts for each bank account maintained for the business. If merchant deposits take a few days to reach the bank, a merchant account can be used. Also, if checks are accepted and not processed electronically, an account should be created for checks to be deposited.

New accounts are normally numbered 10 digits apart, so your first two bank accounts may use 1010 and 1020 as account numbers in the chart of accounts. Leaving gaps between the numbers makes it easy to add another account later and squeeze it in to the sort order in any position.

The asset accounts can be numbered as such:

  • 1000 Cash
  • 1010 Primary Bank Account
  • 1020 Bank Account #2
  • 1060 Merchant Deposit Account
  • 1080 Checks Received
  • 1100 Accounts Receivable
  • 1200 Food Inventory
  • 1210 Meat Inventory
  • 1220 Poultry Inventory
  • 1230 Seafood Inventory
  • 1240 Dairy Inventory
  • 1250 Produce Inventory
  • 1260 Bakery Inventory
  • 1270 Frozen Inventory
  • 1280 Grocery Dry & Canned Inventory
  • 1320 Beverage Inventory
  • 1330 Liquor Inventory
  • 1340 Beer Inventory
  • 1350 Wine Inventory
  • 1360 Merchandise Inventory
  • 1380 Bar & Consumable Inventory
  • 1400 Prepaid Expenses & Advances
  • 1450 Recycle return value

Assets that have a lifespan of several years or more are referred to as Long Term Assets. This also includes any real estate.

  • 1500 Fixed assets
  • 1510 Land & Building
  • 1520 Automobile
  • 1530 Furniture Fixtures & Equipment
  • 1540 Leasehold Improvements
  • 1600 Accumulated Depreciation
  • 1700 Capitalized Start Up Expenses
  • 1800 Security Deposits

Liability Accounts

Liability accounts includes things like credit cards and payables to vendors. It also includes money that has been received for things like tax that is due to the state, tips due to the employees, and gift cards sold but not yet redeemed. Real estate loans and other major financing is sub-categorized as long-term liabilities.

Liability accounts can be numbered as:

  • 2000 Accounts Payable
  • 2110 Credit Card
  • 2120 Credit Card #2
  • 2130 Credit Card #3
  • 2140 Credit Card #4
  • 2210 Sales Tax Payable
  • 2220 Second Tax Payable
  • 2250 Payroll Liabilities
  • 2260 Second Payroll Liability
  • 2280 Tips held
  • 2300 Gift cards & certificates
  • 2350 Customer Credits
  • 2400 Notes Payable
  • 2500 Other debt

Equity Accounts

The owners’ investment in the company is represented in the equity accounts. For a corporation, this includes the shareholders equity. It is effectively the money that the business owes back to the owners. When an accounting period is closed, the balance of the income and expense categories is transferred to Retained Earnings, which is also an equity account.

The most basic equity accounts could be numbered:

  • 3000 Owner Capital
  • 3100 Common Stock
  • 3300 Retained Earnings

Income Accounts

Sales fall into the general category of income accounts. A restaurant will obviously want separate categories for food and beverage sales, and may want further separation of beer, wine, and liquor sales.

Typical income accounts are:

  • 4000 Sales Revenue
  • 4200 Food Sales
  • 4320 Beverage Sales
  • 4330 Liquor Sales
  • 4340 Beer Sales
  • 4350 Wine Sales
  • 4360 Merchandise Sales
  • 4500 Catering & contracts
  • 4700 Other Operating Income
  • 4900 Discounts

One difference between the NRA recommendations and many other lists involves the placement of the “other income” accounts. This can include income from sources such as cover charges, games or vending machines, and banquet room rental. Most lists place these accounts in the 8000 range, above expenses, but the NRA list places them in the 6000 range.

Most smaller locations will only need a single category for other income. Since “cost of goods” is a general sub-category of expenses, it makes sense to avoid placing an income category in the middle of the range from COGS through expenses. A single account has been placed in this list within the 4000 range.

Putting the discounts into the revenue category implies that this will be a “contra” account. Where most of the sales categories will have a credit balance, discounts will normally have a debit balance.

Cost of Goods Accounts

The Cost of Goods accounts, also called Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold, represent the food and beverage purchases to provide the meals. Other expenses directly related to sales may be included, such as merchant fees or consumable cups and napkins.

The numbers used here also provide consistency across all accounts, as the last 3 digits of each COGS category is the same as the last 3 digits on the associated inventory account.

A cost of goods list could include:

  • 5000 Cost of Sales
  • 5200 Food Cost
  • 5210 Meat Cost
  • 5220 Poultry Cost
  • 5230 Seafood Cost
  • 5240 Dairy Cost
  • 5250 Produce Cost
  • 5260 Bakery Cost
  • 5270 Frozen Cost
  • 5280 Grocery Dry & Canned Cost
  • 5320 Beverage Cost
  • 5330 Liquor Cost
  • 5340 Beer Cost
  • 5350 Wine Cost
  • 5360 Merchandise Cost
  • 5380 Bar & Consumable Cost
  • 5600 Delivery & direct labor Cost
  • 5700 Merchant Fees

Expense Accounts

This example separates the expense accounts into three primary categories: payroll expenses and other expenses. The payroll expenses are grouped in the 6000 range, with the other operating expenses in the 7000 range. Overhead like rent, taxes, and amortization are bumped into the 8000 range.

While accounts must be broken down at least far enough to separate tax lines, combining rarely used accounts will make the overview much easier to understand. The following list combines several categories that are often separated on other charts.

You should check with your accountant or tax preparer to ensure that anything you combine does, in fact, share the same tax line.

The Inventory Loss/Waste account has been slid in under the 6000 marker, as some may consider it to belong with the Cost of Goods categories.

  • 5800 Inventory Loss/Waste
  • 6000 Labor related expenses
  • 6100 Management Wages
  • 6200 Staff Wages
  • 6300 Contract Labor
  • 6400 Commissions paid
  • 6500 Employee Benefits
  • 6600 Workers Comp Insurance
  • 6700 Employers Payroll Taxes
  • 6800 Payroll processing expense
  • 7100 Direct Operating Expenses
  • 7110 China – Glassware – Flatware
  • 7120 Restaurant & Kitchen Supply
  • 7130 Cleaning Supply & Expense
  • 7140 Decorations & Guest Supply
  • 7150 Laundry – Linen – Uniforms
  • 7160 Fees – Permits – Licenses
  • 7200 Pest – Security – other contract
  • 7250 POS – Tech support – Online serv
  • 7300 Marketing
  • 7310 Media & Print advertising
  • 7320 Promotional events
  • 7400 Automobile & travel
  • 7500 Music and Entertainment
  • 7600 Repairs and Maintenance
  • 7700 Utilities
  • 7750 Telephone & net connection
  • 7800 General and Administrative
  • 7810 Bad Debts – Over/short
  • 7820 Bank fees
  • 7830 Insurance
  • 7840 Interest
  • 7850 Professional fees
  • 7890 Misc. Office expense
  • 8100 Rent and Occupancy costs
  • 8200 Equipment Rental
  • 8600 Sales tax paid on purchases
  • 8700 Amortization
  • 8900 Other expense
  • 9000 Income Tax

Other Accounts

The only remaining items to account for are the sale of major assets, other income from sources besides restaurant operations (such as investments or sub-letting space), and a placeholder account for transactions where the business owner needs their accountant’s assistance.

  • 9500 Gain/Loss on sale of assets
  • 9900 Other Income (not from operation
  • 9999 Ask My Accountant

Kahlua Oatmeal Chip Cookies Recipe

We’ve outlined the basic information for this recipe below. I think that you’ll find it’s quite easy to make, meaning that even a novice can pull it off. The ingredients are all readily accessible in most US and international grocery or baking food stores.

Serving Size: 4 Dozen Cookies

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Calories Per Serving: 135

Grams Of Fat Per Serving: 4

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Of Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

3/4 Cup Of Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Of Light Brown Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Of White All Purpose Baking Flour

1 Teaspoon Of Liquid Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 Cups Of Butterscotch Chips

3 Cups Of Uncooked Rolled Oats

1/2 Teaspoon Of Table Salt

3/4 Cup Of White Granulated Sugar

1 Teaspoon Of Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Of Fresh Ground Cinnamon

2 Whole Eggs

Preparation Instructions:

1. First you will need to preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C.

2. In a large mixing bowl thoroughly beat together the white granulated sugar, softened butter, and light brown sugar. The stirring can be done manually or with an electric mixing device.

3. Thoroughly stir into your cookie batter the whole eggs, liquid vanilla extract, and Kahlua coffee liqueur.

4. Using a separate mixing bowl sift together the white baking flour, baking soda, fresh ground cinnamon, and table salt.

5. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the butter base cookie batter.

6. Stir the uncooked rolled oats and butterscotch chips into your batter.

7. Drop large scoops of the delicious cookie dough on to an ungreased cookie sheet. Don’t forget to let the kids taste a little raw cookie dough.

8. Bake each cookie batch for approximately 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.

9. Let the cookies cool on a wire wrack before serving them.

If you are interested in trying out variations of this same recipe, then simply swap the Kahlua Coffee Liqueur with Baileys Irish Cream, Amarula Cream Liqueur, Carolans Irish Cream, Saint Brendan’s, or any flavored liqueur of your choosing. I should also mention that the recipe is very flexible, so please do feel free to play around with the liqueur depending on how strong you want that particular flavor note to be. With regard to the butterscotch chips, those can be substituted for either white or milk chocolate chips instead.

We hope that you enjoyed this great recipe.

Qualities of a Good Baker

Like any other profession, a baker requires certain qualities to qualify as a good baker.

We have consolidated a list of qualities for individuals aspired to be a good baker:

· Passion and good leadership

· Good numerical skills

You will need to measure ingredients, order ingredients that are needed and plan cooking times extensively therefore being good with numbers is an added bonus.

· Creativity

Anyone can bake but to stand out from your competition, the element of creativity is necessary as you are able to offer something different from the crowd.

· Able to work under pressure

Baking is a lot about timing, timing and timing. It is important to grasp the right timing that may cause unnecessary stress. The ability to face the immense amount of stress when the end product does not turn out as expected.

· Good organisational skills

This is essential to keep your ingredients in check and to prevent the kitchen from turning into a warzone every time you bake. Baking can be a tricky thing with so many nitty gritty things to take note of but with good organizational skills, baking will be a breeze.

· Awareness of safety and hygiene rules

Not only should your baking creations taste good, they should also reach strict hygiene standards. You want the people who consume your food to stay safe too. Some countries (especially Singapore) have stringent rules on food safety and hygiene that you should be aware of.

· Reasonable level of physical fitness

As per every job, you need to be physically fit to carry out the job tasks. Baking also consists of carrying heavy trays laden with baking goods and sacks of flour and sugar etc. All these carrying require a fit body to carry out.

· The ability to work in a team

Teamwork is extremely important in a kitchen. You need to be able to work with other people to make beautiful creations on a large-scale. Communication with your team members ensures that things are done efficiently and quickly as well.

· Perceptiveness

This will allow the baker to be sure of the exact mass he/she wants to produce the desired baked goods.

· Time consciousness

This attributes to the ability to carry out and meet orders within the designated time frame.

You need to be able to express your intentions to the people working with you. Clarity is key as one tiny mistake will contribute to the imperfection of the final product.

A baker does not just bake goods but has to take on many different responsibilities. Just like how a teacher does not just teach but has to helm administrative duties, a baker has to learn to work with other people besides just knowing how to bake.