Three Impressive iPhone Apps to Try

Smartphones have changed the way we live. They have become affordable and are being used by a large number of people. These devices are embedded to our daily life to increasingly enable creativity. Mobile apps too are helping people get things done easier and faster. Let us examine three impressive mobile apps here.

Sherish: This app provides a new social networking platform that helps in finding friends and groups nearby. Users have to register with their mobile number to enter into it. They can also optionally login with their Facebook account. Just like other social networks, Digisocial has a newsfeed that allows comments and a messaging service. An impressive thing about this app is, it is available for free and has no ads. However, the developers should look for a way to improve its coverage and make it stand as an effective social networking platform. Digisocial is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later. This app is also available for Android devices.

Acro-Dict: English language has been adding a vast amount of abbreviations, codes and acronyms every day. This app helps users keep track of all the AAC that they deal with at work, home, and daily life. It lets users search with an abbreviation and lists all the possible expansions under the suitable categories. As the entire database is available offline, Internet connection is not required to use Acro-Dict. It also presents a good tutorial and helps users get the most out it. Acro-Dict comes with an inbuilt keyboard, but users can also utilize the iOS keyboard if they want. I prefer using the iOS keyboard as the in-app keyboard doesn’t support a few things. Acro-Dict is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Starmatic: This is the old Kodak Brownie Starmatic camera that has been reborn for the iPhones. This toy camera and photo sharing app helps users express their photographic talent and to be inspired by the amazing photos from others. Users can shoot photos and share it with the Starmatic community and there is Stramacolor film to add effect to these images. With a lovely sidebar controlled UI, this app makes it very easy to use. They can also view, like and repost the photographs of other users. This app is impressive, but it is heavily inspired by Instagram. A few innovative updates could change this. Starmatic is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or later. It is a free app.


Restaurant Marketing Ideas

In order to grow your restaurant sales you need to come up with unique restaurant marketing ideas to make your restaurant stand above the rest. These unique marketing ideas need to cover a range of marketing distribution channels, these channels are how you as the restaurant or cafe owner will attract your customer to dine with you. In your restaurant marketing idea efforts you will need to ensure that you have multiple customers coming from multiple marketing ideas and strategies and in effect you will then not rely on one income or customer source. Here is what I am talking about;

Say you want to implement some restaurant marketing in your venue to attract more customers, you should in effect target those customer through different mediums such as, email, direct mail, web site, joint venture marketing, database marketing and radio just to name a few. By attacking your market and bombarding your market through many mediums will enable you to find out which restaurant marketing medium is the best for your restaurant.

Marketing covers many customer generation channels these channels include:

Print advertising

This medium include magazines, newspapers, books, trade books, telephone directories and brochures.

Broadcast/electronic advertising

This marketing medium include radio, television, facsimile and internet/email

Display Advertising

Display advertising include outside billboards, bumper stickers, signage, posters and vehicle advertising.

Direct Response

This medium include marketing direct mail as well as telemarketing

Events and promotions

This marketing medium include trade shows, fairs, exhibits, conventions and promotion novelty items such as key rings etc

Publicity and Public Relations (PR)

This include press releases, feature articles, internal newsletters, speeches, seminars and sponsorships.

Word of mouth

This medium includes spontaneous word of mouth and restaurant customer testimonials.

Although this list of restaurant marketing mediums is not exhaustive it will however provide you with a list to start from when marketing your restaurant or café. What is important when you start or rejuvenate your restaurant marketing it is to ensure that you target your market, don’t try and be everything to every one. Here is an example, lets just say you were a fine dining restaurant and you wanted to market your restaurant, you certainly would not market your restaurant on a shopper docket (know those ads that appear on the back of your shopping docket receipt). This would be foolish as this is not the market you may be wanting to attract to your fine dining restaurant. You could however advertise in the business section of the Wall Street Journal or Financial Review.

Marketing your restaurant does not have to be a daunting exercise, if you are going to increase your sales you need to do some marketing. Oh…. One last thing if you are marketing your restaurant then make sure you test and then measure the effectiveness of the marketing. There is no use to throwing away your money on marketing that is not working.

Restaurant public relations

Are you looking for different ways not only to increase your restaurant marketing, but as well to come out of economic conditions? If so then you need to go for promotion and publicity with public relations because it’s truly a very effective tool that can be used for the success of your restaurant business.If you hold a restaurant business, just make sure to promote it in the local community and by using radio promotions. You can give offers to your customers like free lunches in the off hours and some contest etc which would not merely cater the attention of the customers and make them come to your restaurant but as well to flourish your this business.

If you want to promote special offers in your restaurant then it’s vital that the public is well aware of it and for this you need a good PR. Nobody is going to know about it unless you make some sorts of promotion. Taking help of a public relation department can keep you to stay in touch with the public and also will improve your restaurant business image very high. So, if you are a new owner of a restaurant owner then don’t forget considering consulting a PR specialists to find possible ways to gain publicity. The PR specialist usually seeks work in dealing with newspapers, radio, television, magazines and more. They might also deal with the press, making public speeches and hence they must have good communication skills to deal with any PR issues.

Public relations for restaurants in the contemporary times use ample of techniques such as opinion polling and focus groups to evaluate public opinion, combined with a variety of high-tech techniques for distributing information on behalf of their clients including the internet, satellite feeds, broadcast faxes, and database-driven phone banks and more. Hiring very well experienced public relation firm may help you to give broad business recognition in the public by paying concern over company news and spreading it to the masses.

It is the fact that good public relation agencies have a good working relationship with key reporters and hence they easily deal with large and well established clients. Hiring a well-reputed PR agency can play a substantial role in a company’s reputation management.

So, if your aim is to provide meaningful information to the public about your restaurant business then don’t miss any opportunity to hire a professional public relation firm.

chinese hamburger recipe

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound freshly ground beef or pork
cup diced green pepper
1 cup finely diced scallions
1 tablespoon soy sauce (thick type)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon mono sodium glutamate
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon five-spice powder

chinese hamburger recipe

Heat oil in skillet; sizzle garlic in it, and discard. Mix the other ingredients, form into 4 patties, and pan-fry. The cornstarch binds the ingredients and keeps the meat from shriveling. Serves 4.


This method of roasting pork produces a heady richness without fat, a memorable result for which the Chinese cuisine is famous. You may use the recipe for 8 main-course servings, or cut the meat into bite-size pieces to be served on toothpicks as a cocktail hors d’oeuvre. Cook an extra pound or two and store in the refrigerator; then shred the meat as needed for flavoring stir-fried vegetables or for enriching soups.

8 medium pork chops, all fat removed (or equivalent weight in pork loin, cut in strips the
thickness of chops)
2 slices green ginger, crushed and minced 2 scallions, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce (thick type)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

You will need some metal shower curtain hooks for suspending each chop, or strip of pork, in the oven. Make a marinade of all remaining ingredients, and coat chops on both sides. Pierce meat with a fork here and there to allow marinade to penetrate, and let stand 2 hours, turning chops 2 or 3 times.

Hook a shower curtain hook into each chop or pork slice, and hang them over the rods of the upper oven rack.Set a pan of water underneath to catch drippings and keep meat moist. Roast in 350° oven until well done, about 1 hour. Result is the most fat-less roast pork you’ve ever met.

Priscilla is a cooking lover has been teaching in food industry almost 15 years. She has involved teaching in Chinese Cooking, Japanese food, Thailand food, Eastern Cuisine, Indian Food, Hawaiian Style, Philippines Style, Oriental Food, Asian Cuisine, Western Style, Meals in Minutes and etc. She would like to share with people a broad knowledge of and keen pleasure in the good healthy life style of good eating through her many years of experience.

hotel public relations

Most hotels think of hotel public relations and marketing as afterthoughts. Advertising a hotel is a great first step, but in these days of both out-of-the box thinking and remarkable new ways to approach media, advertising alone won’t do it. A strong, strategic message that encompasses everything from social media to event planning, along with more traditional marketing/advertising such as direct mail, ensures that your hotel or chain will stand out from the crowd.

What is Hotel PR?

Hotel public relations includes a diverse set of activities, such as newsletters and traditional press relations, planning special events, creating trips for travel writers (so they will favorably cover your hotel), and online marketing including developing a social media presence, as well as some unexpected choices, such as community philanthropy.

PR is the unsung hero in the sales/marketing/branding world. Done right, it can establish your credibility with potential new clients, raise awareness of your brand, and cost you much less than traditional advertising. In fact, probably the most cost-effective method available to you is hotel public relations. Creating story seeds, or even full-blown stories, with the modern media means being featured in blogs, on web sites, and with aggregators, as well as in traditional print and online magazines, trade journals, and newspapers.

Think Vegas…

You’ve seen the hotels on the Vegas strip, each more gaudy than the last, or more elegant, or both. How do they stand out in a marketplace so crowded there is literally nothing else? They learn to differentiate themselves (the hook), to tell a story unlike the others (the theme) and to build relationships with the media and their clients (the network).

Hotel public relations starts by determining your PR strategies and allocating a budget. This will include distribution of traditional media releases (which these days include multimedia elements such as photography), developing special events, and creating opportunities to interact with and entertain reporters and travel writers. Skip the clipping service in favor of having your PR rep set up Google Alerts, and know that everything in this area of your business is changing faster than you can keep up. That’s where your PR expert will really earn their money.

Hire Right!

Allocate staff to act as spokespersons to each hotel – a media rep – and start by outsourcing your PR. Hotel public relations must be done properly, by experts and not as an afterthought; you can always change your mind later and bring the position in-house, but the job will require someone who can speak to the media, write a strong well-worded press release with a headline that will make the phone ring, and who will bring existing media relationships to the table, thereby jump-starting your PR with no ramp-up time, which translates into dollars saved for you.

If you can give yourself a year’s window to see the results of your hotel public relations campaign, you’ll note an uptick in awareness and an ongoing strategic base you can draw your customers from, which should also translate into increased sales and perhaps also a welcome reduction in your advertising budget.

Stick with hotel PR and you will notice the long-term benefits of continued awareness and loyalty among customers who demand that they are not just advertised to, and appreciate the more subtle marketing of good PR.


homemade chinese black bean sauce recipe

Chinese starter recipes can be a great option whether you are catering for a dinner party or a buffet. You can serve a Chinese starter recipe before any main course cuisine and you might even want to serve a Chinese starter before a traditional western main meal.homemade chinese black bean sauce recipe

Examples of tasty Chinese starters recipes include spring rolls, prawn crackers with a homemade dipping sauce, wonton soup, chicken and sweet corn soup, Chinese stuffed mushrooms, steamed dumplings and more. If you serve recipes like these on Asian crockery with Chinese spoons or chopsticks your home cooking is sure to be very much appreciated.

More Chinese Starters Ideas

There are lots of vegetarian Chinese starters you can make. What about homemade egg rolls or spring rolls with cabbage, mushrooms and bean sprouts inside or vegetarian dumplings?

Stuffed mushrooms or zucchini work well and you can use spiced rice as the filling. Chinese chicken wings are great at a buffet and you can add Chinese ingredients like water chestnuts, oriental mushrooms or bamboo shoots to any salad recipe to give it a flavour of China.

Recipe for Chinese Crepes

These tasty crepes are filled with spring onions, black bean sauce, fresh coriander and more for an authentic Chinese flavour. Use fried wonton skin or fried pork rind to make a crunchy filling. This recipe makes one Chinese crepe, so double it as many times as necessary, making one crepe at a time.

You can find these crepes on Chinese street corners, cooked fresh to order, and they also make a great starter before any kind of meal. They are hot, flavourful and spicy without being too spicy. If you prefer a mild flavour you can leave out the chili sauce.

You will need:

1 tablespoon black bean sauce

2 tablespoons soy milk

2 tablespoons millet flour

1 teaspoon water

1/2 teaspoon chili sauce

1/2 green onion (spring onion), sliced

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 small square crackers

1 tablespoon torn fresh cilantro leaves

1 beaten egg

Cooking spray

How to make them:

Whisk the soy milk with the vegetable oil and millet flour to make a batter. Add a teaspoon of water if it is too thick. Stir a teaspoon of water into the black bean sauce. Mix another teaspoon of water into the chili sauce. Put these two sauces to one side.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat it over a moderately low heat. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it so you get a thin crepe. Cook it for a couple of minutes or until firm, then pour the beaten egg over it.

Cook it until the egg sets. Sprinkle the cilantro and green onion slices on top, pressing them into the egg.

Flip the crepe over and spread the chili sauce and black bean sauces on. Put the crackers in the middle, leaving 1/2 inch of space between them.

Flip the top third of the crepe over the crackers, then fold the bottom third up. Double the crepe over so the crackers are on top of each other. Serve hot.

recipe for farinata

I love this recipe as you can really mess around with it and truly make it your own

recipe for farinata

This tasty savoury pizza like pancake originated in Genoa and later a typical food Ligurian sea coast, from Nice to Pisa. In Italy it is known as Farinata in France Socca and South America Faina. These crepes are a staple street food in India and surrounding countries.

This is a savoury pancake made from 3 simple ingredients. Chickpea flour water and a tiny drizzle of oil. These vary in thickness according the ingredients and how much liquid you put in and how much batter you put in to cook. They can be quite thick or quite thin and crepe like making them pliable.

Chickpea flour can be found in most larger supermarkets usually in the world food section or with the other flours that are commonly available. If you really can not find any in the shops then the internet or specialist artisan shops will be sure to stock this staple. It is used around the world. It is usually quite cheap. Chickpea flour is also known as gram flour, garbanzo flour or besan.

Chickpea flour is high in carbohydrates despite this compared to other flours it has a relatively high proportion of protein.

I originally found a recipe for farinata in a Denis Cotter cook book, For the Love of Food, vegetarian recipes from the heart. A truly stunning collection of inspiring recipes. He topped his with red onion and fried sage then popped it into the oven. Delicious. A few weeks later I was scrolling through an instagram feed and stumbled across a picture that looked like a pizza, they called it socca. After some research I found they were one and the same thing! I love this recipe as you can really mess around with it and truly make it your own.

Instructions – Makes 5 to 8 pancakes – cooking time 5-7 mins each

    1. Whizz together in a blender a handful of spinach with a handful of coriander with 3 chopped chillis and 2 cloves of garlic. Moisten with a few tablespoons of vegetable stock, just enough to help the ingredients move around.
    1. Put the puree to one side.
    1. Mix chickpea flour with the water a little drizzle of oil and some salt and pepper.
    1. Leave to one side for 30 minutes.
    1. After 30 minutes skim off any bubbles that may have formed on the top of the batter mix.
    1. Mix with a few teaspoons of the prepared spinach and coriander puree. Keep tasting to suit your own taste buds.
    1. Put a teaspoon in a small non stick frying pan. Heat the oil and add a ladle full of batter. They can stick so a non stick pan is an essential for these pancakes. I use a large very pliable spatula to loosen these from the pan.
    1. Cook like a traditional pancake/crepe, they take a little longer in the frying pan than a traditional pancake. I found it works better over a low heat.
  1. I prefer mine as a thin as I can.

These can be served flat and loaded up like a pizza or open sandwich or they can be delicately rolled like a wrap.

Mostly they can just be eaten all by themselves and are tasty and filling.

Suggested toppings
I topped mine with artichoke/quinoa/celery/radish/rocket/feta cheese/linseeds/olive oil/lime juice/pimento powder and salt and pepper.

They are great with hummus, salad and a sprinkle of crispy chorizo.

They are also nice with simple fried onion and sage. Put your favourites together on top for a quick snack or serve as a meal all by itself.

I am looking forward to finding out what my favourite topping is going to be and will be trying lots of combinations in the future.