Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category
If people’s comments on this blog are any indication (and they are), it’s really rough out there. Really, really rough.
Educated, bright, hard-working, do-everything-right-their-whole-life types are finding themselves out of work. Some for different reasons than others.
Some might be “too smart.”
Some might not have experience (employers love that word, don’t they?).
Some might be overqualified or have “too much” experience.
Others might live in areas that are even more economically depressed than other areas of the country and job prospects are nill.
Regardless, you are still making purchases.
You still have to replace things that broke in your home from Lowe’s or The Home Depot.
You still have to buy dress pants or a suit (because your current suit pants that you have split when you sat down for your job interview).
You still try and buy people birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, etc. from Target, the Home Shopping Network, QVC, Babies R US, Nordstrom, etc.
If you’re lucky, you might even book a vacation through Orbitz, Hotels.com, The Holiday Inn, etc.
During tough times, it makes sense to SAVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, right?
Well, I have GREAT news.
There is a way to save money by making purchases at your favorite online stores.
Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Sears, Disney, Avon, Walmart, Pro Flowers, Sony, Netflix, or whatever store you fancy — you can save money!
How? Through Ebates! All you do is create a FREE and SIMPLE account through Ebates and viola, you’re done!
You find your favorite store on the Ebates site, click a link, and you appear right on your favorite store’s website.
The best part? You can earn from 2-20% back on each purchase for simply doing nothing! You get money back just for clicking a link through Ebates and going to your favorite store’s website.
Don’t be stupid. Save where you can. You have to check this out.
P.S. Between my fiance and I, we got checks back for well over $300 in less than a year for simply using Ebates for everyday online orders. That’s $300 more in your pocket for NOTHING!
In response to reduced consumer spending and a decline in sales, Starbucks has announced their version of a value meal. You can get a tall (12 oz.) Pike Place coffee and a breakfast sandwich or a tall latte and oatmeal for $3.95.
Although I don’t remember the prices from memory, either of the above combinations would cost about $5-$6.
Starbucks has generally declined to reduce prices amidst a struggling economy to maintain their premium brand image. This is probably the first of many value combos the coffee giant will offer to be viable in tough times.
One way to get me excited is to mention, offer, and talk about food. I like to consider myself a foodie and a devout follower of Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, and the restaurant business in general. I love watching food shows on television – not so much the shows that feature the actual preparation of the food but shows that feature people traveling around the country and world eating food (think Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”).
I was excited all day yesterday knowing that I was going out after work with family and the girl to a restaurant that I love and haven’t been to in a while. It made the endless hours at my unfulfilling, monotonous part-time retail job seem not so endless at all. After having an idea of what I was going to order and scanning the menu for anything that might sway me from my original plans, I knew exactly what I wanted – DUCK!
I think I’ve only had duck once in my life and it was when I was very young and at a Chinese restaurant. From the little bit I can remember, the experience wasn’t that good. The duck wasn’t cooked well and for those that are familiar with the meat, the fatty layer on the outside of the duck was chewy and gross. Part of what makes duck so delicious is the fatty layer around the duck that gives it its rich flavor and texture. Duck is like the bacon of the poultry world. However, if you don’t cook it right, the fat becomes like steak grizzle – chewy and unpleasant.
Needless to say, I was excited over the prospective duck dish at a Thai restaurant that always has excellent food. When it was my turn to order, the waiter asked how I would like my duck cooked. I was taken aback as I assumed poultry always had to be thoroughly cooked. I asked him what he recommended and he said it’s best cooked medium rare. I went with his recommendation and my pea brain began screaming “SALMONELLA!”
The conversation in my head went as follows:
“What if I get salmonella?”
“They wouldn’t risk someone getting salmonella…they know what they are talking about.”
“But it is a Thai place…they’re not known for the best food handling practices and perhaps undercooked poultry is some sort of risky delicacy in their country.”
I called the waiter over and asked for the duck medium well, figuring that it ought to be cooked enough to kill any possible lethal bacteria while not turning my meat into shoe leather. Still nervous, I eagerly anticipated my duck.
When the dish was placed in front of me, I nervously took my first bite and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Salmonella or not, it was worth every rich bite and a possible hospital stay was well worth this 10 minute experience.
When we left, I figured that I would put off the job searching process indefinitely considering I only had a few days to live as a result of the delicious poison I just ate. I didn’t want to spend my last few days on Earth furiously searching the Internet for jobs. Rather, I wanted to spend them how I wanted to spend them – eating cupcakes, drinking coffee, and probably racking up some huge credit card bills fulfilling all possible materialistic desires.
When I got home, I frantically told the girl to Google “ducks.” Initially refusing to submit to my insanity, she eventually caved in and handed over the computer. I actually learned that ducks aren’t susceptible to the same salmonella infections as chickens, are supposed to be served medium rare, and are actually considered red meat. Back to Monster…
At least it was a free meal, because, well…I CAN’T FIND A JOB!