Monday, October 17, 2016

Guilt-Free Pleasures: Low-Carb, Delectable Pizzas

Pizzas are the gold standard for all comfort foods. No one in his right mind would loathe that steaming dough with melted cheese on top. Add some onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, bacon, heck maybe even some pineapples on top and thoroughly enjoy its taste-bud tickling magnificence. In short, pizza was invented to gastronomically experience heaven on Earth. 

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A minor drawback of pizza, however, is that it is often high in calories, fats, and other unhealthy components. Pizzas aren’t especially friendly to fitness buffs who are always conscious of their waistline. Fortunately, pizzas are very versatile. With the right ingredients, there is a way to get the best of both worlds: having a delectable meal while knocking down the weight-gain monster. 

There are numerous pizza recipes out there that are low in carbs and calories. One such example is the basil and tomato pizza. Not only is it delicious, but it contains less than 400 calories. And here’s a bonus: it contains the cancer-fighting lycopene, a phytochemical mostly found in red fruits (such as tomatoes) as well as from herbs like parsley. 

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Another healthy variant is the squash pizza. It has a butternut squash-based crust with some sweet and creamy winter vegetables on top. It is extremely low in fat but is high in fiber. You can gain an antioxidant and magnesium boost by adding a green sauce made from cashews and spinach. You can also add some arugula for a really fresh flavor. Furthermore, it goes extremely well with some tomatoes and thin slices of salmon. 

Hi there! I’m Peter Medlyn. I own a startup restaurant in Oakland, California, and we serve some of the healthiest, tastiest, and freshest pizzas in town. To know more, please follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Marks Of A True Classic Military Watch

The straightforward design and imposing functionality of military watches effectively placed them in a class of their own. The relative scarcity as well as the history and thought that goes into these timepieces made them even more covetable.

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Because the watch was created for the military, the elements of its design were made to perform in an environment where the circumstances would literally be a matter of life or death. For instance, a classic military watch would have a dulled, matte finish to avoid reflecting light and prevent jeopardizing the position of a soldier hiding from the enemy. The matte finish also makes materials less susceptible to harsh environmental conditions and makes for better durability.

The dial is simple and legible and would feature a 24-hour track to enable soldiers to communicate military time accurately, and is stealthily luminescent for nighttime operations. A military diver's watch would have a rotating bezel to show elapsed time.

Straps can snap, so a classic military watch would have fixed bars between lugs for replaceable nylon straps.

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For the collector, the key trait of an original military watch is the markings of the military or the government, which would be etched at the back of the timepiece.

I am Peter Medlyn, a restaurateur, cat-lover, and avid vintage military watch collector. Subscribe to my blog here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ways Restaurant Owners Can Spruce Up Their Establishment

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Sprucing up a business establishment can be both fun and profitable. The trick is to make the place unique. That way, people will want to visit it at least once to see what all the fuss is about. Sure, restaurants are mostly about food, but many factors contribute to the establishment’s success.

An excellent example of factor would be the placements of themes. Pop culture plays a big part when an owner decides on his restaurant’s theme, which, for instance, can be taken from popular television shows and movies. Having a restaurant themed after these shows could be a big hit. In fact, a lot of establishments now have themes inspired by either Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Marvel superhero movies, or even Saturday morning cartoons. Throw in a few collectibles, replicas, and props, and the restaurant could attract fans as though it were a convention.

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Sprucing up doesn’t need to be just about aesthetics, though. Service can also play a great part. Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, waitresses in short skirts and roller skates captured the hearts of many fast food and diner patrons in the United States. Some restaurants even had waiters and waitresses that could carry a tune and actually perform for customers. One of the more amusing service features even had waiters and waitresses singing the menus.

There are countless other ways restaurant owners can elevate the appeal of their establishment. All it takes is a little imagination.

Peter Medlyn owns a pizzeria in Oakland, California. Discover more about being a restaurant owner by following this Facebook page.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ask Peter The Pet Owner: Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Leftovers?

It’s obvious you love your pet, and you express your concern for them by giving them food. And by food, I mean “human” food. You may have seen it on TV or somewhere else, but letting pets eat leftovers is not always a good idea.
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A lot of food that seem edible for humans (and even cat rivals like dogs), can be hazardous for cats. Cats have a different metabolic rate compared to humans and other animals. Certain food can cause them to have digestive problems, illnesses, or worse.

Here’s what pet owners should keep in mind when feeding their pet cats with leftovers.

Don’t feed your cat anything with chocolates

Chocolate causes cats and other animals to have high heart rhythms and other physical problems. Keep choco ingredients away to avoid problems.

Keep raisins and grapes out of sight

These fruits may cause kidney failure for your pet cat. Don’t serve anything with grapes and raisins just to be safe.

Refrain from serving your pet cat with anything canned

A lot of people “spoil” their pet cats by serving them canned tuna leftovers. Canned goods are proven to cause malnutrition in pets because of its high sodium levels. It also lacks vitamins and minerals that your cat needs.
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Do not serve anything with citrus juices or oils

Citrus may cause digestive problems in your friendly felines. Keep their tummies safe by taking these ingredients out.

Hi, I’m Peter Medlyn, a cat lover, restaurateur, and sports enthusiast. Be a good pet parent and feed your cats the right way. Learn more about food, cat ownership, and other interesting things by visiting this blog.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Business 101: a Checklist For Restaurant Startups

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Starting your own restaurant is both exciting and challenging. As with any business endeavor, a startup restaurant demands a lot of preparations and this could be a bit overwhelming especially for first-time business owners. As a guide for my fellow restaurateurs, here is a basic checklist for owners of restaurant startups:


A restaurant's success relies on the creativity and uniqueness of its concept. Select a concept that will highlight your strengths as an entrepreneur and the originality of your chef. It is also best to check out your competition so you would know what else you could offer to your market.


Restaurant patrons, nowadays, do not only come for good food but for a complete dining experience. Align your restaurant's design with your food to create a cohesive theme and ambiance. Remember, today's generation of foodies are all about aesthetics so having a unique and well-designed space will surely attract customers.


Creativity must be paired with business-savvy to open a successful restaurant. While devising your business plan, give equal importance to calculating and evaluating the costs of managing your restaurant. Better overestimate than underestimate costs to ensure that your important expenses are covered.

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Know your market so you can employ the appropriate promotional strategies. For instance, if your target customers are 20-something young professionals, you can make use of social media advertising. A solid marketing plan is essential in building patronage for your restaurant.

Hi there, this is Peter Medlyn. Want to learn more about restaurant startups? Subscribe to my blog to read more insightful articles about the restaurant business.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Elements that Define “kitchen clean”

Almost every day, I start off (for the umpteenth time, it seems) with the “clean” speech, wherein I highlight how our success is ultimately decided by how well we keep the place clean. Although I can trust the staff with ensuring that all protocols are followed, the point bears repeating. This is especially true when one is serving food like pizza, which requires a lot of tactile contact. Strict policies are put in place to ensure that everyone on the kitchen team is wearing gloves, keeping themselves neat, and following every protocol for hygiene we have.

Beyond this, however, is the need to keep the kitchen spic and span. Cleanliness in the kitchen is among the most critical aspects of the restaurant operation. Keeping the kitchen clean not only ensures the prevention of bacterial and viral contamination but also ensures safe and efficient operation.

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Besides making sure that there aren't any spills, keeping things orderly is an important aspect of cleanliness. Just to give you an idea on how strict everything is in restaurant kitchens, the scene in the animated film Ratatouille highlights an accurate protocol on keeping things clutter free in a kitchen workstation (really, I enjoyed that movie due to the accuracy, but rats in the kitchen are another matter). Clutter can interfere with work during lunch and dinner rushes.

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Disinfection plays a key role in keeping a kitchen truly clean. Using disinfectants when cleaning is important, as is making sure that nobody misses a spot. Every spot with a layer of accumulated grime provides a place for bacteria to breed. When restaurants say spotless, we mean really spotless.

Pizzeria owner and purveyor of gustatory delight Peter Medlyn here. Follow me on Twitter for more updates on the ins and outs of restaurant upkeep.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Mind-Blowing Reason You Should Go Hiking

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Not a lot of people are keen to take up hiking. Whenever I mention a trip with my friends, I see the grimace and the half-baked excuses. For the most part, I understand the hesitation. Preparing for a hike takes weeks, if not months, of physical preparation depending on where you’re headed. Still, I always encourage any and everyone I meet to try hiking at least once. There are many reasons I could get into, but here’s one mind-blowing reason you should.

It makes you mentally strong.

I am not selling some psychobabble here. Medical studies have proven that hiking, among all other outdoor sports, increases mental health. This is because hiking is much more varied than other forms of exercise. Each "workout" (for lack of a better term) is different each time, depending on the trail you take. Landscapes constantly change with each season, so each trek is different. Hiking outdoors has the typical mental health benefits such as stress-alleviation and reduction of insomnia. What makes it unique is it also tests a person’s mental fortitude.

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Hiking forces an individual to focus on the trail in exclusion to all other things. This builds mental resiliency that may be used in other aspects of life. Also, as stated, since the landscape continually changes, hikers face new trails each time. Some people may find the change daunting and give up. Those who persevere are treated to a known reward (e.g. seeing a beautiful view) from a new point of view. This actually creates new neural pathways as the brain adjusts to the new environment.

I like to say that hiking is a school all unto itself. Not only does it give me the exercise I need (hello, gym class!) but teaches me new things every time.

My name is Peter Medlyn and I love to hike. Follow me on Twitter and join me in my many adventures.