Tips for Planning Your Restaurant Kitchen

As you probably know, although restaurant labor costs are the largest part of the expenses that you have in your business, they are often difficult to avoid, leaving you with finding other ways to optimize the operations that you have.

If you are a franchise owner, this is normally taken care of for you because the corporation will plan everything in your kitchen to match its efficiency standards. For the rest of the owners, it is worth spending some time looking at integrating efficiency into your overall design in order to keep your operating costs as low as possible.

Here are some tips for planning your restaurant kitchen:

Use energy efficiency: Some commercial manufacturers have started putting out products that take less money to operate due to their energy efficiency. The savings is something that you will recognize immediately. One company, Mission Restaurant Supply, typifies this type of organization. They started as a manufacturer and branched into distribution of restaurant equipment, making it easy for owners to partner with them and expect that their advice regarding energy efficiency in their own brands or the brands that they carry will be accurate.

Add green power: Using solar power to add to lower the cost of powering your restaurant’s commercial fridge and freezer equipment is a very good way of lowering overall costs. In the past, it was difficult to achieve complete 24 hour coverage with solar because of the lack of battery systems that are approved for commercial use. Fortunately, Tesla announced that they are now selling batteries that are slim in design and will power your equipment through the night after being charged during the day by your roof installation, giving you the option of running your refrigeration equipment completely on solar and saving money on electricity.

Value your warranty and service contracts: Restaurant owners are normally price-sensitive, but value quality over cost because it helps no one when a piece of equipment does not work. So taking the time to research which manufacturers and distributors provide the best support deals is an important part of determining which equipment will be right for your restaurant. The length of the warranty and the warranty terms are often key factors.

Planning your restaurant kitchen so that efficiency and maintenance costs remain low is a good way of organizing the production part of your business. Finding a partner that can provide good advice regarding which equipment matches your requirements the best will also help you save time and money.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Sorry for the late posting. I made the Red Velvet Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day, but I got too busy and forgot to post it. But it’s better late than never, right? The sides are not so perfect, but I later found out that if you wet your knife with water before using it on the sides to remove, you’ll have a smoother edge.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake


  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick red food color
  • Prepared Chocolate Crumb crust


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
  2. Measure 1 cup batter into medium bowl. Stir in melted chocolate and food color. Pour into crust. Top with remaining (plain) cheesecake batter.
  3. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Okay, now that I’ve finally posted the recipe, I can start looking for the gz34 hubs asked me to check. Tomorrow, I promise to post the recipe of the Filipino Macaroons I did the other day.

Brazo De Mercedes Cupcakes

I first saw the cupcakes on Facebook; they looked so pretty and delicious, so I made a note that I am going to do it one of these days. Here they are…




The sweet yellow filling.


The meringue.

Brazo De Mercedes Cupcakes


    For the filling
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 300 ml condensed milk
  • 300 ml water (just use the condensed milk can to measure this)
  • For the meringue
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


    For the filling
  1. Pour condensed milk into a small pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch together. Add to the condensed milk and start heating up the pan.
  3. While still not too hot, whisk in the yolks. Don’t add in one go: add a little at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Whisk continously, until thick.
  5. Whisk, whisk, whisk until the texture is of piping consistency. Set aside to cool down. No need to cover, just whisk once in a while so a skin won’t form.
  6. For the meringue –
  7. Beat egg whites until foamy then add the vanilla and cream of tartar.
  8. Gradually add sugar while continuously mixing the egg whites. Mix until stiff.
  9. Pipe the meringue in the cups, leaving a space in the middle for the filling.
  10. Bake at 375F for 5-7 minutes, or until the top browns beautifully.
  11. Let the meringue cupcakes cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  12. Pipe the filling.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Tip: Look for a sturdy cupcake liner. Regular cupcake liners won’t stand alone once you’ve piped the meringue, so use a cupcake pan.

Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just knew I had to make this when I saw this from Juliana’s Lair. The cookie is rich and yummy, but it won’t leave you feeling guilty because it doesn’t contain flour and instead of regular sugar, coconut sugar was used to sweeten the cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe Jul!





Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup thick almond butter
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup or more dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together almond butter and coconut sugar
  3. Add egg and mix again
  4. Add a bit of cocoa powder at a time until well mixed
  5. Add baking soda, vanilla, salt, chocolate chips
  6. The dough should be thick, if too runny add almond flour
  7. Roll cookies into balls and place on a parchment paper
  8. Use a fork or the palm of your hands to press the cookie down slightly
  9. Bake for 10 minutes
  10. Cool the cookies on a baking rack

Simply Delicious Cran-Apple Crumble

This is one of the easiest desserts I ever made. It’s one of my favorites, too. You may enjoy it as it is or eat it with Vanilla Ice Cream. I love it with ice cream because its creaminess compliments the tartness of the lemon.

cran-apple crumble

Cran-Apple Crumble


  • Filling:
  • 4 large Golden Delicious apples, about 3 pounds (I used Fuji Apples)
  • 1 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional


  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour the juice of 1 lemon into a large mixing bowl. Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices and place them mixing bowl. Toss and mix well to make sure all the apple slices are well-covered with the juice to prevent them from browning. Add sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix well. Pour into a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish, and spread out into an even layer. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, gently work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.
  4. Top apples evenly with the mixture and add a few more slices of butter, so the topping won't get too dry. Bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Hershey’s KISSES Candy Cane Blossoms

Looking for holiday cookie ideas? Here’s a yummy treat from Hershey’s using their candy cane kisses. It’s a bit different from the original recipe because I can’t find colored sugar crystals around here. What I did was color the though instead.

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Hershey’s KISSES Candy Cane Blossoms


  • 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Candy Cane Mint Candies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Red or green sugar crystals, granulated sugar or powdered sugar (garnish)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Remove wrappers from candies.
  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar or a combination of any of the sugars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

Cranberry Apple Pie

The first thing I thought of when I saw the bag of dried cranberries that my sister sent me is Cranberry Apple Pie! I’ve been craving for this and since the oven is finally set up, I can bake, bake and bake!

Cranberry Apple Pie

Cranberry Apple Pie


  • 4 lbs. Fuji and/or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 pkg. caramels (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • 4. Tbs. flour
  • 2 9" refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. sparkling sugar (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit. In microwave-safe bowl, combine apples, next 5 ingredients, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cover and microwave 10 minutes or until apples are tender and caramels have melted, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature. Add flour; toss gently to coat.
  2. Arrange 1 piecrust in greased 9" pie plate. From remaining piecrust, cut strips to make lattice. Spoon apples into prepared pie plate. Arrange strips alternately over apples, brushing each strip with egg.
  3. Sprinkle sparkling sugar over pie. Cover edges with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees Farenheit. Bake 30 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and golden brown., removing foil during last 10 minutes of baking.

I Miss Sewing

One of the things I miss doing is cross stitching and embroidery. Ever since the twins were born, I’ve been too busy, so sewing had to take the back seat. Usually around this time, my house is decorated with Christmas ornaments that I’ve sewn. And every year I use a different theme. The past three years I had to rotate the old ones that I’ve made and I also look for personalized ornaments online to add a different touch. Hopefully, next year I can go back to sewing and make new ornaments. I miss it a lot and it’s a great way to de-stress.

Frozen Yogurt


Yup, I know it’s too cold, but I just can’t resist this yummy frozen yogurt, especially that it’s free. Compliments of my dad. We were waiting for our donuts when he asked if we would like some fro-yo. yum!

He’ll Have His Guitar

I never thought I’d be able to buy the new LP classic guitar at half the price. I was on my way home from the grocery store when I chanced upon the sale at the music store. I don’t normally pass that way, but because it’s a weekend and there was a lot of people shopping, I was parked outside. It was near closing time when they announced the 50% Off on All Items Sale and I was lucky to be passing by when they did. My son wanted a guitar for Christmas and I was just right on time for the sale. The classic guitar is safely kept inside my cabinet until Christmas morning. I’m sure he’ll be very surprised.

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