HOST WITH THE MOST

I am the first to admit I am much better at attending dinner parties than giving them – my strength is eating and drinking rather than cooking and hosting!

Dinner parties aren’t a recent fad from the 70’s, the earliest one has been traced back to a 12,000-year-old site in Israel where the remains of two cows and 71 tortoises, plus fire pits and shaman bones were found – definitely more than two courses worth. Romans were also great at dinner parties, lots of sitting around in togas and eating peeled grapes – a dinner party anyone would like to get invited to.

Attending or hosting one this weekend? Here are some golden rules to guide you through the next dinner party –

As a host you must provide alcohol, and as a guest you must bring it. And the host should always serve guests’ wine immediately.

People know how much Yellow Tail wine costs – always buy a good bottle of wine to take. It costs a small fortune to put on a dinner party so bringing cheap wine is just rude.

Smoking cigarettes without asking permission is unacceptable.

Brush up on your table manners – slurping/eating noises, eating with your mouth open, picking your teeth and blowing your nose on napkins should just not happen.

What ever happened to the cheese course at dinner parties? Hosts, don’t be scared to bring back the cheese!!!

Get some white wine on ice – it is the most popular alcoholic drink for that special meal, being served at 82% of dinner parties.

Guests lists are just as important and here are the popular must have’s and no thank you’s!

NO’s – Hitler, Charles Manson, OJ Simpson, Sarah Palin and Kim Jong II.
YES’s – Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley.

And remember lunch can sometimes be better than dinner as you have a whole afternoon and evening ahead!

SUPER-SIZED FOOD

Been eating too much on your last business trip? I definitely did!

Globally, there are now more than 1 billion overweight adults, and at least 300 million of these obese.

Current obesity levels range from below 5% in China, Japan and certain African nations, to over 75% in urban Samoa. But even in relatively low prevalence countries like China, obesity rates are almost 20% in some cities.

In the USA, one-third of all children born in the current decade will be diabetic.

Why…

The typical hamburger is now four times the size it was in the early 1980s. You can get an order of french fries/chips that is nearly three times as large as an order from 20 years ago. At the movies, you used to get five cups of popcorn, now you can get a tub that holds a whopping 11 cups.

Even our plates are bigger! The typical plate from the 1970s was nine inches across, now they’re on average 13 inches across.

But being on a diet is not always cheap… the average person spends USD$55 a week on food, but these diets cost a lot more than that:

Jenny Craig $138 per week; Nutrisystem – $113 pw; Atkins $100 pw; Weight Watchers $96 pw; Zone $92 per week

The answer… burn more calories than you consume!

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Tea Time

More and more tea houses are popping up around the world so if you are meeting a colleague for coffee, why not make it tea for a change.

Here are some of the best tea houses in the world, which will be sure to impress for a business meeting.

Bangkok: The Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Singapore: Raffles Hotel, TWG Marina Bay Sands
Tokyo: The Peninsula Hotel
Paris: Maison des Trois Thés
Las Vegas: Petrossian Lounge at the Bellagio
Boston: The Bristol at the Four Seasons Hotel
New York: Astor Court at The St. Regis Hotel, Alice’s Tea Cup
London: Orangery at Kensington Palace, The Modern Pantry, The Connaught
Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The most hard to get to tea house in the world may be this one in Anhui Province, China, which is only accessible after rappelling up a mountain (photo in post)

And while you are drinking your tea, here are some talking points to impress your guest.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. While pure tea may have more caffeine than coffee, once water is added tea contains far less than a cup of coffee.
The UK consumes about 130,000 tonnes of tea a year of which at least 95% is in teabags
On a daily basis, about half of the American population drinks tea, and Americans drink 85 percent of their tea on ice.

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Wine Again!


I know this is the second wine post for the week (maybe I have a problem!!), but as it’s Thirsty Thursday I thought it was only right to give you some vino facts so you can share them at the bar over work drinks tonight. You will look like an educated wine expert in front of your boss and colleagues in no time.

A bottle of opened wine stored in the refrigerator lasts 6 to 16 times longer than it would if stored at room temperature

The vintage year isn’t necessarily the year the wine was bottled. In the northern hemisphere, white wines may not be bottled the same year the grapes are picked.

Australia developed wine in a box in the ‘70s (aka “the cask”)

The purpose of the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle is to strengthen the structure of the bottle

The average number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine is 600

Among the world’s fruit crops, wine grapes rank number one in the amount of acres planted

The average cost of the grapes used to produce a $20 bottle of wine is $2.64

It costs around $1 per bottle to age wine in a French oak barrel. And $3 per bottle to age wine in only new French oak barrels

Move over, Mickey Mouse…. The Napa valley has replaced Disneyland as California’s number one tourist destination, with 5.5 million visitors per year. There are 4,929 wineries in the US. California has 46% of those wineries.

And just in case someone isn’t drinking tonight, Methyphobia is fear of alcohol (although I am yet to meet anyone who has suffered from this!)

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Drinking on the Job!

Stuck on a conference call and no time to get down to Starbucks to grab a coffee. Do not fear, there are some super cool drink accessories on the market – so you won’t ever have to leave your desk (and all for under $20!)

COFFEE DRINKERS – Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer – $19.99
A one cup personal coffee brewer using coffee pods

TEA DRINKERS – IngenuiTEA 16oz Teapot – $18.99
After the specified amount of brewing time, just rest the pot over your mug, and the spring-loaded valve empties the tea into your mug, leaving the spent leaves behind.

SODA/SOFT DRINKS – USB LED Fridge Cooler – $19.99
Simply plug in this small single-can beverage cooler into a USB port and chill a can on your desk

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Beer!

If your drink of choice is beer, here are a few facts you may not have known. So beware when you are ordering!

Low-Carb is not as “healthy” as the packaging and marketing would have you believe. Beer already contains low levels of carbohydrates (the average beer contains only 2 per cent carbohydrate (sugars) by volume, or 7.5 grams in a 375-millilitre can) compared to soft drinks/soda that contain 40 grams (eight teaspoons) of sugar in every 375-millilitre can.

Low-carb beers contain the same level of alcohol as regular beers, and the alcohol is where the kilojoule (calorie) come from, contributing to 75 per cent of the total calories

So if you really want to curb the calories, order ”light” beer not low carb beer!

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Coffee

Travelling in a foreign country and not sure what the etiquette is on how best to order your morning coffee. Stick to this example and you can’t go wrong globally.

“I would like a medium, nonfat, no whip mocha.”

1. State the number of shots of espresso you would like IF other than the typical amount in the size you are ordering.
2. Size of the cup you would like. Typically there are three sizes of hot drinks.
3. If you would like a flavor added, this would be the time to say so (example: “Vanilla”)
4. Type of milk you would like IF other than the default milk used (which varies by country)
5. If you do not want foam, say “No Foam”
6. If you do not want whip cream, Say “No Whip”
7. If you are ordering something other than a latte, state it now, “Cappuccino” or “Mocha”

Now relax and enjoy!