Friday, September 30, 2016

Masonic Pathways AMITL

Masonic Pathways became a Hispanic paradise for one meal today! We planned our dinner menu around the A Meal in a Life promotion as well as decorated our dinning halls. The meal featured a Beef and Bean Burrito, Spanish rice, and Fiesta Corn.  To accompany the meal, fresh tortilla chips (made-in-house) and salsa were placed on each table for the residents to enjoy with their delicious meal.  On each table we put a table tent with the featured menu and we also filled the table with index cards of fun facts about Hispanic culture and cuisine. The meal went off without a hitch and we are looking forward to our next themed meal to share with the residents and staff.

Danielle Cataline, RD | Director of Dining Services |Morrison Community Living |Masonic Pathways

Communication CopyCat at HCMCF

Dining Service staff at Huron County Medical Care discussed the different communication styles at their September In-Service meeting. An opening exercise in building was used to demonstrate these communication styles. 
Two member team were instructed to design the exact same “building”. One member was the architect who had to design and construct a building and then communicate to the builder how to make the same building. The catch was that the builder and architect could not see what each other were doing nor could they ask questions to each other. At the end of the building period, both structures were revealed to compare how close they came to copying each other. 
As demonstrated by the pictures, none of the “buildings” were a perfect match, however, some did come close. The staff discussed the team’s tactics involved in communicating their messages. It was interesting to learn how we perceive how others hear the message or instructions we are giving. Some felt the activity’s goal was to be fast, therefore their directions were quick and less details were given, others gave very detailed directions. It was surprising to see how the builders heard both of these messages. Some builders were able to quickly process the information given by the quick delivery while others felt left behind from the beginning. But even the detailed directions were confusing to some who found that the information given was too much. It was easy to see that each team had members who delivered or heard the message in their own unique ways.

The staff and even the Dining Service directors learned the importance of getting the right message across to our co-workers and the value in considering their target audience when delivering a message.

Andra Shier| Assistant Director of Dining Services | Huron County Medical Care Facility

6th Annual Fall Fest

To kick off fall, on grandparents day we celebrated with our 6th annual HopeFest!  We had a huge turnout of resident’s, employee’s and tons of friends and family!  They all enjoyed the live band, great food, and the kids loved the bounce house.

The MCL dining TEAM, put together a great menu including pulled pork, baked beans, a potato casserole, an abundance of salads, and homemade apple crisp made with fresh local apples!  Our beverage was fresh infused strawberry lemonade that everyone couldn’t get enough of!  With great weather and an even better TEAM, including all of MCL and Samarita’s employees, we worked together and pulled off a spectacular event.  Thank you to everyone who helped out!

Angela Leman | Director | Morrison Community Living |­ Samaritas (Hope Village)

Thursday, September 29, 2016


HCMCF finished their final Meal in the Life with Hispanic sizzle! Early in the month a sample Hispanic dinner was served with Beef Quesadillas, Spanish rice and Churros for dessert.

Then a cooking and food demonstration was held. Residents sampled authentic Beef Tamales with traditional Mole’ sauce, fresh made flour tortillas and Sopapillas. The residents learned about the foods that different parts of Latin America were known for and their dining culture. They learned that a piñata has more meaning than just a game at children’s birthday parties. Did you know that many Central and Latin American countries have a piñata tradition that focuses on religious symbolism? It is often used during lent, at baptisms, first communions and even Christmas.
 Our final exploration of the Hispanic heritage was a special facility-wide lunch. Entrée choices included Chimichurri Roasted Beef, Crispy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice as a side dish. Other side dishes included Fiesta Corn and Chili Seasoned Roasted Cauliflower. Dessert included a choice of a homemade Dulce’ De Leche cookie or a Cuban Mango Orange Batido (milkshake).
The residents were pleased to learn that Hispanic food is rich in flavor. They were surprised to learn that they could enjoy Hispanic food that didn’t have to be overly spicy hot! Many will be sharing the Dulce De Leche cookie recipe with their families.

Sweet & Salty Dulce de Leche Cookie
Sugar Mixture for dipping warm cookies just after baking:
1 cup Sugar                 2 ¼ tsp Sea Salt           1 ½ tsp Cinnamon       ¼ + 1/8 tsp Cardamom
Cookie Dough:
2 ¼ cup firmly packed Brown Sugar               12 ounces Butter, room temperature
3 Eggs                                                              3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 pound 6.5 ounces UNsifted Flour                 3 teaspoons Cinnamon
¾ tsp Baking powder              ¾ tsp Baking Soda                   1 ½ tsp Salt
Combine all sugar mixture ingredients in shallow dish; set aside.
Beat brown sugar and butter in medium bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well mixed and creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Scoop dough using green scoops.
BEFORE baking slice top off each dough ball. Make a thumbprint indention then fill with Dulce de Leche (see recipe on back). Place dulce de leche in resealable plastic food bag; snip off small corner of bag. Squeeze dulce de leche into each indentation until level with top of cookie. Cover dulce de leche on each cookie with remaining pieces of dough, smoothing to seal.
Bake at 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes then dip warm cookies into sugar mixture.

Dulce de Leche Filling:
1 – 14ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk        1 – 14 ounce can of Evaporated Milk
½ tsp Baking Soda                   1 ½ tsp Cinnamon       1 Tblsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Place all ingredients in a heavy duty large microwave-safe bowl, preferably glass. Cover with film wrap; keep a tiny bit uncovered to vent and prevent steam build up.
Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove, stir with a wire whisk and recover. Cook for 2 more minutes. Remove, stir with a whisk, and recover.
Then in increments of 2 ½ minutes, continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Stirring between each interval and watching closely to keep from bubbling over. After the first 2 stirs, you’ll notice that the milk bubbles and foams up as it expels moisture. Then, with each stirring, the milk will be thicker and more caramel colored.
If after the 10 minutes, you like the color and consistency, STOP! For thicker sauce, such as for cookie filling, continue cooking in 1 minute increments for up to 9 minutes. Finished consistency should be like thick caramel.
Remove from microwave, and let cool before packing in sealed container and store in cooler.

Andra Shier| Assistant Director of Dining Services | Huron County Medical Care Facility

Fountains Pig Roast

Fall is here! To celebrate, The Fountains at Bronson Place hosted a Pig Roast. Residents along with invited guests loved the pig that was roasted for over 21 hours. Included on the buffet was corn on the cob, baked beans and fresh watermelon! A variety of BBQ sauces was offered to satisfy different tastes. The Carolina BBQ was so popular, the local folk band "Deep Fried Pickle Project", made an impromptu song about it. Along with the band, we had yard games, viewing stations of college football games, cider and a keg of beer to make the Saturday festival a memorable one. Residents already can't wait for the next pig roast!

DavidAnsel | Assistant Director of Dining Services | Morrison Community Living| The Fountains at Bronson Place

Guest Chef at Smith Crossing

This month at Smith Crossing, we invited Chef Klaus to do a cooking demonstration for our residents.  Chef Klaus came up with a special autumn salad for our residents.  The salad consisted of Boston lettuce, farro, beets, red onion, and chilled shrimp tossed in chimichurri sauce.  The residents loved the salad and the demonstration.  A lot of them even ordered the salad for dinner that evening!  Thank you to Chef Klaus for taking time to come to Smith Crossing and make our residents feel extra special!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Luau at The Fountains

We partnered with the Marketing Department to hold a Luau for prospective residents.  Chef Austin made a great luncheon of Grilled Chicken Skewers with Fresh Vegetables and Pineapple on Almond Rice Pilaf.  He made a homemade Pineapple Upside down Cake for dessert.

As usual, they all raved about how great the food was.  We had lei's to give the guests as they arrived, our servers and our buffet table wore grass skirts, and a Marimba group performed.  It was quite the event!

Cheryl Naftel, CDM| Director Dining Services

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Culinary Chat at Masonic Pathways

At Masonic Pathways in Alma, Michigan we hold Culinary Chats with our residents bi-weekly.  This week we introduced our new clinical team (pictured left to right: Michelle Novak, Noelle Schleder, and Joelle DeNisi) and apples as our superfood of the month.  During this chat we discussed the health benefits, nutritional info, fun facts, and more. The residents enjoyed being a part of the chat by telling stories of when they used to make apple pie and apple cider in the fall season. We also made an apple dip for the residents to try. Both the dip and the overall program was a hit with everyone and we are excited for our next Culinary Chat!

Recipe for cinnamon apple dip:
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (any brand, vanilla will be sweeter. If plain is used more honey or brown sugar may be needed to taste sweeter)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in bowl, mix, and enjoy!

Danielle Cataline, RD | Director of Dining Services

Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Corn

For Dining Delights, I made Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Corn for our residents. Fall is quickly approaching so what better way to celebrate than with Pumpkin Pie Spice! The residents loved the smell and the taste so much that we decided to sell it in our café!

½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 16 cups after popped)
1 cup salted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 300.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pop the popcorn kernels, using an air popper, into a large bowl. In a small saucepan melt the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 tsp of salt together over medium heat.  Bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Pour the popcorn into the lined pan, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of salt on top and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow the popcorn to cool on a parchment lined counter.

Katie VanderStraaten
Dining Services Director I NorthPointe Woods

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pie in the Face at Western Home

At Western Home Communities we were struggling at getting new employees hired fast enough as we tend to lose 20% due to student transitions every season.  In anticipation of filling 23 FTE's I made a deal with the HR department.  I let them throw cream pies in my face if they could do this in 5 weeks.  Not only did they accomplish this task but they have been able to keep up with our needs since then because we were able to raise the expectations.  The HR team enjoyed the pie face challenge and my team thoroughly enjoyed it as spectators.

Randy Husted
General Manager of Dining Services
Western Home Communities

Monday Motivation from Elly

Friday, September 23, 2016


This month at EHM Senior Solutions – Brecon Village was all about plant-based dining.  What better way to educate our residents, but a cooking demonstration utilizing our Imperfectly Delicious Produce - #IDP.  Chef Janet created a Zucchini Flat Bread Veggie Roll-Up and incorporated IDP baby kale into the recipe.  The Compass video discussing the new program was played and chef discussed how the production team utilizes the produce in the menu.  Since many residents grew up on a farm, the discussion was engaging for all!

Western Home Carnival

Western Home Communities welcomed the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall today with our first Carnival, hopefully to become tradition.  We teamed up with Leisure Services and planned for an event full of friends and families.  We had close to 300 people show up, many of them children adding so much joy to our residents lives. 

The CEO sat in the dunk tank while many took turns putting him down.  There were many carnival type activities for all to enjoy and we even had the local police and fire department here posing for photos with the kids. 

For food we offered hot dogs, pulled pork, funnel cakes, snow cones, cotton candy, & fresh squeezed lemonade.  It didn't seem like the end of Summer when we started in the 85 degree sun but it was loads of fun. 

Randy Husted
General Manager of Dining Services
Western Home Communities

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Christian Rest Home helps Cross out Alzheimer's Disease

A year long fundraising effort by Dining Services brought all departments together to help fund Alzheimer's Disease Research.  Through a weekly dress-down day and several fundraiser events, we collected over $1000 dollars! 
This culminated in a terrific morale builder with CENAs, Dining Staff, and Administration participating in the 2mile Walk to End Alzheimer's.  Check us out at

Christina Bodanza

October Promotional Ideas

Click on the links below for more information

Apple Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Bullying Prevention Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Corn Month
Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Emotional Wellness Month
Health Literacy Month
Italian-American Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Pork Month
National Seafood Month
Pizza Month
Polish Heritage Month
Sausage Month
Spinach Lovers Month
Vegetarian Month

1 - Vegan Baking Day
2 - Islamic New Year
2 - Rosh Hashanah
3 - Day of Unity
4 - National Taco Day
5 - National Kale Day
6 - National German American Day
7 - World Smile Day
8 - National Pierogy Day
9 - National Chess Day
10 - National Kick Butt Day (Quit Smoking)
11 - Southern Food Heritage Day
12 - World Arthritis Day
14 - World Egg Day
15 - Handwashing Day
15 - National Cake Decorating Day
15 - National Cheese Curd Day
15 - Sweetest Day
17 - Boss's Day
18 - National Chocolate Cupcake Day
22 - National Nut Day
24 - Lung Health Day
25 - Pasta Day
28 - Champagne Day: Recipes with Champagne
28 - National Breadstick Day
30 - National Candy Corn Day
31 - National Caramel Apple Day
31 - Beggar's Night

Board Meeting at EHM Saline

On Monday September 12th, EHM hosted a Board of Directors Meeting where Chef Todd Stapnowski prepared a Greek Salad using tri-colored tomatoes, English cucumbers, red and yellow peppers, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh Italian parley tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. Attendees also enjoyed an assortment of fresh fruit and lemon bars for dessert. 

Ashley Aughton | Assistant Director | Evangelical Homes of Michigan