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May 12, 2018 |

Archive for » May 12th, 2018«

Library holds recycle fair, spring market and repair clinic

NORTH CANTON  North Canton Public Library on Main Street was a busy place to visit on April 21 as it held its annual recycle fair, spring market and repair clinic event as part of celebrating Earth Day.

It’s an event that always draws a big crowd. One of the reasons it is so popular is because residents could recycle their unused or broken electronics through eCycle Solutions of Ohio.

The company accepted items from household appliances to computer equipment. The service was free with the exception of tube TVs and monitors, CFL bulbs and tube style fluorescent bulbs.

“We are thrilled once again with the turn out for this event,” North Canton Public Library Community Relations Manager Chrisitina Weyrick said. “It makes me happy to see so many partners come together; it’s an inspiring day in North Canton.”

In addition to being able to recycle electronics, people were encouraged to bring any gardening equipment or tools, gently used pots, pans, canning jars and dinnerware for redistribution to the StarkFresh community garden and partner sites.

U-Shredd-It was back again accepting boxes of paper for shredding and recycling. The city of North Canton sponsored this service.

A spring market was a part of the day. There were table set up for residents to meet local farmers, food producers and artisans. Attendees could purchase organic starter plants from Know Your Roots, local and organic food items, seed bombs from Beelieve, a Hoover High School business class company and much more.

The newest addition to this favorite event was a repair clinic with services provided by member of the Canton Hacker and Maker Place, known as C.H.A.M.P. There were a group of experts in the lower level of the library at work repairing zippers, coffee pots, mixers and more.

“The repair clinic is perfect for Earth Day. Instead of throwing away items in the landfills, it’s better to fix and repair,” Weyrick said.

The Cat’s Cradle cat rescue had some kittens and adult cats up for adoption. Susie, the owner, said they rescue homeless, pregnant, injured and neglected cats and kittens.

The organization spay or neuter the cats before adopting them out. Cat’s Cradle is setup for adoptions at the North Canton Public Library every other Saturday.

The Clover Field Wildlife Care was also setup for the event. Owner Kristen Beck said her organization is an Ohio Division of Wildlife licensed rehabilitation center in North Canton.

“We’ve been doing this for 20 years and have worked with hundreds of native mammals over the years, we rehabilitate and then release them,” Beck said.

The repair clinic in the basement had tables full of items that members of C.H.A.M.P were all busy working to repair.

“We are a public workshop where people pay a membership fee to come in and use our shop and our tools, we provide the space for people to make things,” C.H.A.M.P President Bill Locke. “I’ve worked on a flat iron, speakers, and now a mixer today. I’ve always been someone who tore things apart and have always been good at trouble shooting things.”

The Earth Day event is presented with generous support from the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Recycling District and the city of North Canton. The recycle fair, spring market and repair clinic is open to everyone each year. For additional information, contact Christina Weyrick at 330-499-4712, ext. 331, or cweyrick@northcantonlibrary.org.

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Promoting heritage and culture with culinary skills

Entrepreneurs / 12 May 2018, 09:00am / Luyolo Mkentane

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Pedal to the Kettle

How local long-haul truckers are cookin’ lean and mean
By Al Parker | May 12, 2018

Brian Schultz is rolling his flatbed rig through the Georgia countryside, just north of Atlanta, when he decides it’s time to eat.

But rather than hit a fast-food joint, gamble on a truck-stop hot dog or take time out of his busy driving schedule to visit a sit-down eatery, he opts to dine in.        

“I cook on my truck,” said Schultz, a former Kingsley resident who now drives so much that he calls his truck his home. “I’m fortunate to have an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) with a dedicated outlet, plus a 1500-watt power inverter. For appliances, I have a toaster oven, Aroma cooker [a kind of slow cooker/rice cooker that can simmer meals], hot plate, coffee maker, and an electric tea kettle to heat water for my morning oatmeal.”            

His rig also features a small built-in refrigerator with a tiny freezer, plus he has a 12-volt plug-in cooler for even more cold storage. Many times he’ll also carry a small portable propane grill.           

Schultz, a former student at Northwestern Michigan College who worked in customer service jobs before beginning driving in 2015, is among a growing trend of long-haul truckers who shun fast-food staples like burgers, fries, and pizza in favor of healthier choices that they cook themselves as they roll along the nation’s highways at 60 mph.      

These road warriors are putting the pedal to the kettle.             

“Once every week or two, I park at a truck-friendly Walmart or a truck stop next to a grocery store and get my shopping done,” said Schultz, who drives for Melton Trucking, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   

“I try to stick to easier, healthy one-pot recipes, but I make all sorts of things. I like to make a large batch of something that I can eat for a few days, since you don’t always feel like cooking. I always keep a variety of sandwich fixings and healthy snacks on hand for a quick lunch.”

Trucker-chefs swap recipes online and compete in virtual contests like the “Chopped Challenge” run by Big Truck Cooking, a 13,600-member Facebook group whose recent contest entries include slow-cooked Thai peanut pork and skillet shepherd’s pie.

Almost 70 percent of long-haul truck drivers are obese, according to a 2010 survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which also found more than half were smokers. Some trucking companies promote cooking as a way to stay healthy in the sedentary profession, posting instructional videos on social media or outfitting cabs with inverters that convert electricity from the truck battery to power microwaves or hot plates. Dedicated Systems Inc. in Green Bay, Wisconsin, installs refrigerators on its big rigs and auxiliary power units so drivers can run appliances. About half the drivers in its 70-truck fleet now cook, said M.J. Hintz, a company vice president.        

Getting truckers to eat healthier is a big trend in the industry, explained Tim Baker, co-owner of Pinnacle Truck Driver Training in Cadillac. More than 500 drivers have been trained since Pinnacle was launched three years ago.            

“We go over healthy eating in our classes and talk about the importance of nutrition,” said Baker. “You’d be amazed at how many of these guys are eating cold cereal and lunch meat sandwiches. Some of them eat a lot of fruit, but a lot are also eating pork rinds. We do encourage them to eat healthy.”           

Mancelona resident Steve Crider, who has been driving for Schneider trucking for a little over three months, has taken healthier eating to heart.           

“When I started with Schneider, I was at 300 pounds,” said Crider, a Pinnacle grad. “Now thanks to more sensible dining, I’m at 272 pounds. I try to keep under 1,000 calories a day. I’ll typically have an Equate protein drink for breakfast, another one for lunch, and a Campbell’s Chunky soup for dinner. I’ve also cut out pop, and drink water now. And I also have a supply of fruit, veggies, nuts, and protein bars.”        

In addition to the health benefits, preparing their own meals can help truck drivers pad their bottom line, according to Schultz.

“Cooking on the truck saves me a ton of money,” he said. “When I first started, it didn’t take me long to realize I could keep a lot more of my hard-earned pay in the bank this way.”

Whether they are trying to eat healthy, save cash or simply satisfy a discerning palate, some drivers are determined to make their own meals in their own rig, a somewhat cramped, but comfortable environment. It’s an over-the-road trend that sees truck-stop showers function as dishwashing opportunities, engine blocks as grills, and hot dogs boiled in dashboard coffee pots.

There are several tools available that can help a trucker get cooking on the road. Here are a few:

Portable stove. By far one of the most convenient appliances for a trucker who wants to cook in their rig, a portable stove — aka “lunchbox stove” — typically heats up to about 300 degrees. It’s great for warming leftovers, heating up canned foods or cooking fully frozen meals. Drivers set it up before hitting the road for the day, and the meal is ready when it’s time for a break. One popular unit is the Waring Pro, which features adjustable thermostats with “on” and “ready” indicator lights, heavy cast iron plates, and non-slip rubber feet.

Microwave oven. An alternative to the portable stove, microwaves are handy and easy to use. Trucks with power inverters can typically handle units up to 800 watts. Smaller options can save space in the truck.

Crock pot. Models are made specifically for use by truckers. Look for one that operates from the cigarette lighter or opt for one that uses regular power if there are outlets in the truck. It’s a good idea to get one with a cord for the lid. This holds the lid in place and hooks under the handles, keeping the meal from spilling out of the slow cooker on bumpy roads. Start a meal in the morning, set it on low, and enjoy it at dinner time.

Electric skillet. Another popular choice with truckers. There are models of different sizes, depending if the driver is alone or cooking for a group. These skillets cook fairly evenly and are good for preparing meats, quesadillas or just about anything you’d prepare on a stovetop.

Hot pot. Especially nice in northern Michigan winters, this unit plugs into the cigarette lighter and heats up beverages, soups, chili, and any liquid-based food.  Coffee drinkers rely on these units to provide fresh brews on their trips.

Freezer/refrigerator. These have become a ‘must-have’ for drivers who want to cook as they roll. They take up little space and save drivers from having to stop for cold drinks, chilled fruit, or bottled water. The freezer can store burritos, veggies, and prepared smoothie packs.

Blender. In trucks with electrical outlets, a blender is a popular choice. It’s a great way to start the day with a blended smoothie. Some drivers even prepare their smoothie ingredients before they leave on their trip and just pull out the bag and toss it in the blender for breakfast. To save space, single-serve models with a convenient travel mug are choice picks. 

Whatever appliances a driver might use, a key factor in healthier eating is planning ahead. Many drivers create a rough plan for meals and snacks before their trip, then do some grocery shopping and pack their food securely. This minimizes the chance of needing something at a truck stop where convenience items are often more expensive.

“Eating out every meal gets expensive fast, and poor eating habits will affect your health just as quick,” said Schultz. “That being said, I treat myself to meals out once or twice a week usually. You have to live a little!”

One for the Road
While not his creation, here’s one of Brian Schultz’s favorite recipes that he makes in his Aroma cooker while rolling down the highway.

Chili-Lime Sweet Potato and Chicken Skillet
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 bell peppers, cut into small pieces

½ red onion, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon lime zest

 Greek yogurt

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the chicken, and brown for approximately 6 minutes. Remove and place on a plate. Add more olive oil and sweet potato; cook 10–12 minutes until brown. Add the bell peppers, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, and chicken stock. Return the chicken to the skillet and stir until combined. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the black beans and lime zest and cook until heated through. Serve with lime wedges and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enjoy memorable experiences at Home Centre’s mew Ramadan catalog

IN keeping with the spirit of contemplation and togetherness that symbolizes the holy month of Ramadan, Home Centre, the region’s leading home retailer, has launched its Ramadan catalog themed “Unforgettable prices for a memorable Ramadan” on May 1. Featuring over 400 new lines, the 60-page catalog will highlight elegant and affordable furniture pieces, decorative accessories, festive lighting options and essential tableware and kitchenware for today’s stylish and distinctive homes.

A fully digitized version of the catalog with a mobile responsive design will also be shoppable online on homecentre.com. Showcasing interactive elements and embedded videos, the portal provides Home Centre’s online customers with the added convenience of visualizing a product in available colors and specifications ahead of making their purchases.

From spending some quiet time with family and friends to entertaining guests at home or exchanging gifts with loved ones, Home Centre will ensure this holy month is all about making precious memories at unforgettable prices with their diverse range of products and styling tips.

A distinct focus this year is on the Suzani collection, a grand and luxurious line that features mirror-, silver- and champagne-finishes, with exquisite embroidered patterns. The catalog also includes a separate ‘cook’ section for the very first time, to highlight its sought-after kitchenware and tableware ranges. This section also contains some delicious regional Ramadan recipes for readers to try out at home during their Ramadan get-togethers.

This year’s much-anticipated catalog showcases bedroom furniture lines and accessories along with tips on how to remain well-rested throughout the holy month. As per the catalog’s suggestion, Home Centre’s products also make the perfect gifts. Customers can purchase Ramadan gift cards in-store to present to friends and family.

Throughout Ramadan, Home Centre is encouraging customers to share their #ValuableMoments on Instagram, for a chance to win exciting prizes such as dining tables, kitchen accessories, gift vouchers and more.

In line with its commitment to providing exceptional value, Home Centre offers a warranty of up to five years on furniture and up to one year on home accessories, in addition to zero-interest financing options. All Home Centre product prices are now VAT-inclusive.

The Ramadan collection is available across all Home Centre stores, on the mobile app as well as online at www.homecentre.com since May 1. — SG

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5 Worthy Breakfast Spots in Metro Phoenix

Metro Phoenix knows breakfast. We have a deliciously varied range of options for good morning eating. Diner. Mexican. Nomadic coffee. Farmhouse. Toast in an industrial-chic food hall. Given the alluring options of places to eat in the morning, one might say we have an embarrassment of sweet and eggy riches. But we’re not embarrassed at all, only happy to have such good breakfasts. Here are five to look up stat.

Tea Toast
(Desoto Central Market, 915 North Central Avenue)
Tea Toast operates to the right of the broad staircase to the second level of DeSoto Market, the under-appreciated food hall at Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street in Phoenix. Here, tea comes loose-leaf, and toast uses Noble bread. There are hot tea options and a handful of iced teas that are infused with flavors like raspberry and mint. Tea Toast also offers frothy tea-based creations that usually belong to coffee’s domain. A green tea latte. A black tea cappuccino.Toast options are good for a quick breakfast. Yes, there’s standard avocado toast, but also toast that features mashed banana, chocolate, and toasted hazelnut. Another, ricotta and melon. The most decadent toast is the slice spread with bacon jam and mounded with chopped bacon, a lacy fried egg quivering on top. This one is direct journey to the heart of umami and will bludgeon your appetite in a single piece. It’s not a bad way to start a big day.

Luana’s Coffee Yard
(Mobile; find location through Instagram)
In an age of intricate restaurant branding, when posts feel carefully curated to siphon right from your wallet, Luana’s doesn’t give a shit about any of that stuff. Owner Aaron Schofield does his own thing, splashing his digital feed with huge personality. His turquoise trailer may be parked in Glendale one day, and downtown Phoenix the next. The whole operation hums to the rhythm of a tiny espresso machine. Luana’s makes the full range of coffee drinks. Standard cappuccinos and double espressos are on the menu. Regular lattes include a salted caramel and white chocolate. On the more specialty side, things get weird. Schofield has already crafted a viral latte: the Voldemort. It features coconut, vanilla, Italian soda, chocolate, charcoal, and black whipped cream. He created the drink to recreate “unicorn blood,” which, apparently, the dark lord in Harry Potter drinks all the time. The anything-goes vibe of Luana’s is half of its appeal.

Mel’s Diner
(1747 Grand Avenue)
Breakfast is served all day at Mel’s Diner, a no-bullshit diner in a hardscrabble maze of back roads not far from Interstate 10 and Grand Avenue. (Back in the 1970s and ’80s, Mel’s was famously the fictional setting of the TV show Alice.) There are a few classic sweet breakfast dishes – short stack of pancakes, Belgian waffle, French toast – but the bulk of the morning menu is savory. Egg skillets are the item that stands out most from a classic menu of omelets, steak and eggs, and two-eggs-your-way combos. These egg skillets consist of two eggs served over a thicket of toppings so dense that you’ll almost certainly be taking food home. The skillets come with toast, biscuits smothered in a smooth country gravy, or grits. The grits at Mel’s are the diner’s proudest offering. With a scoop of whipped butter stirred into the warm mass, you can see why Southerners are so into this humble grain porridge.

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Arcadia Farms
(7014 East First Avenue, Scottsdale)
Arcadia Farms is a charming restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale that at times feels like a portal to a rural bed and breakfast. Tablecloths are white linen. Wine bottles are stowed away in wooden shelves. Baked goods include strawberry scones and no-frills pastries like coffee cakes, lemon-blueberry muffins, and rugelach. If you skip the pastries, a sweet breakfast main like berry crepes or baked French Toast could be the right call. Savory breakfast dishes have farm-like rusticity. Egg whites cooked with asparagus have simple flavor and the kind of no-frills nature that somebody ordering this dish would expect. A flaky crust contains the warm filling of a mush-room-and-leek tart, which flushes your mouth with the hot tang of goat cheese when you bite into one of the creamy white pockets. Come to Arcadia Farms when you want a low-key farm vibe, throwback pastries, or a hearty breakfast.

Irma’s Kitchen
(906 North 15th Avenue)
At Irma’s Kitchen, a modest nook on 15th Avenue, you can get a sizable Mexican breakfast for a reasonable price. Things start with chips and salsa, whether you’ve ordered them or not. They progress to the main event: chilaquiles, breakfast burros, huevos rancheros, taquitos with eggs, and so on. Menudo is offered daily and is often eaten for breakfast, so don’t feel weird about eating it while still half asleep. The soup has mellow flavors and a thin, restorative broth that, together with steaming tortillas, will launch you feeling good into your day. Huevos rancheros provide an even heartier start. Two eggs smothered in red or green salsa and draped with avocado slices steam on corn tortillas. A mudslide of refried beans slops in one corner of the plate, warm and silky, the best component of the dish. When you’re hankering for a simple breakfast, want to pop in and get out, and have zero trendy ambiance requirements, Irma’s awaits you.

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Downtown Raleigh’s Pizza La Stella expanding to two new locations

Downtown Raleigh’s Pizza La Stella restaurant will open a new location in Cary with a third location in North Raleigh not far behind.

The second Pizza La Stella will open in the former Hurricane Grill and Wings at 1389 Kildaire Farm Road, in the Trader Joe’s shopping center in Cary.

With the move to Cary, the La Stella owners have closed La Stella Wood Fired, the Hillsborough Street spinoff that opened in the former H-Street Kitchen last fall. Its last service was Wednesday.

Pizza La Stella owner Rudy Theale said the new spot will open in the third quarter of this year — by mid-August.

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“We’re thrilled to become Cary’s hometown pizza and wings spot, the place you go to after Little League games,” Theale said.

The new Pizza La Stella will serve the same menu as its original Fayetteville Street spot, cooking Neapolitan-style pizzas in a wood-fire oven, along with wings, mac and cheese skillets and sandwiches. Everything in the restaurant is cooked in the wood-powered ovens.

La Stella Wood Fired opened in October in the former H-Street Kitchen as an extension of Pizza La Stella, serving sandwiches, game-day appetizers and meats cooked in a wood fired oven. H-Street Kitchen had opened in 2016 in the old Varsity Theater.

Theale said it struggled to catch on, citing the parking struggles on Hillsborough Street and a market driven largely by college students.

“It just didn’t make money,” Theale said. “At the end of the day we thought, why work this hard to break even. We thought the move to Cary was more in line with our vision. You need parking, you need families, rooftops. We found that in Cary.”

Despite two restaurants closing in two years in the location, Theale believes the space can work and that a sports bar might be a good fit.

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Hillsborough Street has a new restaurant, and Pizzeria Faulisi’s pop-up bagel shop top our restaurant news

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Pizza La Stella, Smash Waffles joining forces as La Stella makes changes

Pizza La Stella, Smash Waffles joining forces as La Stella makes changes

“The building is beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with the building,” Theale said. “If the price points are right for students, it’s totally doable.”

Hillsborough Street will always revolve somewhat around NC State, to the whims and tastes of students and faculty. The Players Retreat remains an often packed institution, but relative newcomer Gonza has caught on and a Smashed Waffles and future Taco Bell Cantina may be bellwethers to where Hillsborough Street is going.

Theale said one piece of information may help the next sit-down spot.

“It would be good for people to know they can park at NC State after 5 p.m.,” Theale said.

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