King Cafe – The Prime Study Spot

Tests, exams, and quizzes (that are actually tests). It’s easy to be overwhelmed by school work, which is why it’s important to have a study spot to beat the procrastination. Well there is a place you can essentially live at, food and all, during the unfortunate time of tests and late night studying?

The one and only King Cafe!

You might as well pitch a tent there because not only is it a floor below the library, but they have choices galore to satisfy your need for food, drinks, and snacks while studying. King Cafe has been around for quite some time and, boy, their options for food and drinks are amazing.

They are ready to serve you if you’re starving and want a big meal or just need a quick pick-me-up to keep your brain chugging along. King Cafe offers delicious make-your-own sandwiches and wraps, a variety of bagels, fresh salads, and even a pastry section if you’re feeling fancy. To-go snacks are a must have but don’t worry, King Cafe has got you covered with a variety of options.

As far as drinks go, they will keep your momentum going with refreshing smoothies, a number of Starbucks coffee drinks hot or iced, a whole fridge filled with bottled drinks and water, and did we mention coffee? We feel the caffeine kicking in already.

When you need a place to study that’s not your bedroom, with food and drinks along the way, go to King Cafe! Find a table and settle in to make your roller coaster of emotions a little less… hectic.


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Student Spotlight: Project SEARCH

On September 26th, we received a direct message on Instagram from a student expressing how a student employee, Zane, was a phenomenal worker and always put a smile on everyone’s face at Western Dining Commons. As you know, social media is a powerful tool and is a way for our student body to communicate feedback about dining and other areas on campus. This message from a student sparked the interest of us here at Miami Dining and after contacting the manager at Western, Amy Allen, we were told that Zane is one of the few interns with the Project SEARCH program on campus.

Project SEARCH is a 9 month program that helps students with developmental disabilties secure a job within the workforce. Through that time period, the interns interact with a skills trainer, review their position, and rotate to other positions on campus every 3 months – giving them a range of locations, styles, and atmospheres to strengthen their skills. Project SEARCH has been working with dining and other facilities on campus since the 2010 – 2011 school year.

Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996 when Erin Riehle was Director of the Emergency Department. Erin saw a need and believed since the hospital served individuals with developmental disabilities, it made sense to be reaching out and hiring people within this group. She began to think of the logistical steps to hiring and if it would be possible to train people with developmental disabilities to fill some of the entry level positions in her department, which involved things such as stocking supply cabinets and other tasks. As a starting point, Erin presented her ideas to Susie Rutkowski, then the special education director at Great Oaks Career Campuses. Erin and Susie formed a partnership and together they launched Project SEARCH.

Since the beginning, Project SEARCH has grown from a single site at Cincinnati Children’s to sites across the United States and Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Netherlands.

After visiting with the interns with Project SEARCH at Miami, their passion for their work was evident. They were eager to share their personal work experience, stories, goals, and dreams for their time in the program and after.

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Through his time working at Western Dining Commons, Cameron Jacquillard credits his experience working at the International Station at Western for furthering his interest in the culinary arts. He describes his time as something that has inspired him to one day start his own restaurant and apply for the television show, Hell’s Kitchen.

Cameron, among the others within the Project SEARCH, said they enjoy getting to interact with everyone and are gaining essential people skills. Developing upon those skills is crucial to them as people but also as employees in the future.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment’s August 2017 statistics, only 20.5% of people with disabilities participate in the labor force compared to 68.8% of people without disabilities.  In addition, the unemployment rate of people with disabilities is more than doubled of that of people without disabilities, 9.4% and 4.4% respectively.  This is an improvement from August 2016 which had and unemployment rate of 11.3%.

For 2015 and 2016 Project SEARCH National/International graduates, the average employment was 75.5%. In 2015 – 2016, average employment of Butler Tech Project SEARCH was 90%, and for the 2016 – 17 graduates the current employment rate is 93%.

93% is a number that Project SEARCH coordinator and instructor, Rosi Wood, is proud of.  She says, “With this program, we instruct them to be better employees and better people. I challenge them and push them to be the best they can be with the 9 months that I have them so when they leave, they are ready for the workforce.” With a number like 93% of post-Project SEARCH employment rate, that is proof that the formula is working and we are proud that Miami Dining can help in that process.

Miami University Dining is committed to the employment of students all across campus. Student employees make a difference in the way our dining operations are ran and are vital to the culture. We are grateful for their hard work and contribution to all of our dining facilities, especially those involved with Project SEARCH.


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Your Favorite Fall Drink

The leaves are turning colors on the maple trees, some falling slowly to the ground. The cool, brisk air flowing through campus. Jackets, pants, boots, and hats are coming out of hiding since early spring. Fall is upon us. With that being said, we need some things to fuel our passion for fall.

Some go to farms to pick out pumpkins, some go to haunted houses, but everyone loves to grab their favorite fall beverage that smells inviting and tastes delightful.

We decided to go to the delicious Maple Street Commons to poll votes asking everyone’s ideal fall drink. Who knew this question would be so hard to decide? Students found it difficult to pick from our options; PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte), Chai Tea, Hot Chocolate, Maple Pecan Latte, Hot Tea, and Salted Caramel. We provided an option to write their favorite drink if it was not one of our options and let me tell you, there were some surprising results.

Who thought the most “famous” drink, the PSL, would be the top? We certainly did! But no, we had three others in the lead ahead of the PSL. Here’s the list all of you have been waiting for:

1st place: Hot Chocolate (23.9%)

2nd place: Chai Tea (22.4%)

3rd place: Salted Caramel (19.4%)

Honorary Members: PSL (17.9%)

                Maple Pecan (4.5%)

                Tea (3%)

                Other drinks (8.9%)

This was a close race all around, but it looks like hot chocolate is our big winner! Hot chocolate is a heart warming drink not just for fall, but for winter too! What’s even better is that we have all of these options throughout our campus. From King Cafe, to the Starbucks on Maplestreet, we can satisfy all of your beloved fall drinks that will prepare your heart for the wonderful season ahead.


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The Toasted Roll…Bagel?

Tradition has played a role in the hearts of Miami students ever since Miami was founded. Miami mergers, kissing under the Upham Arch, petting the turtle’s head at the sundial, the seal, and plenty more. But one of the best traditions for food includes the beloved Toasted Roll at Pulley Diner in Armstrong.

The tasty Tuffy’s Toasted Roll was named after Myrion Timothy “Tuffy” Potter, who opened an eatery called Tuffy’s Place in 1929. The warm, powdered-sugared rolls were a popular item on the menu back then and they continued when Miami brought it for all students to enjoy.

Now there is a new toasted roll in town. Just in the center of the main court in Armstrong is an a la carte location now called the Toasted Bagel. Not only do they have Toasted Bagels, which are phenomenal, but they made the bagel of all toasted bagels. In their dessert menu is a bagel of your choice, but Toasted Roll style.

This bagel includes your choice of bagel toasted with butter, cinnamon, and sugar then sprinkled with powdered sugar—Tuffy’s Toasted Roll style. Not only do they make it Toasted Roll style, but you get to choose which bagel you prefer to entice your taste buds. It’s a win-win . This savory, delicious, and satisfying bagel is new to the menu and is already one of the most popular food items.

The tradition of the Toasted Roll lives on in the new Toasted Bagel dining menu with a big twist to the original. If you’re looking for a sweet treat while also wanting to satisfy your hunger, buy one today! Or two. Or three and save one for later. Either way, you just cannot get enough.


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Staff Spotlight: Scott Rouse

“Have a little bit of adventure every day. It keeps life interesting.” Executive Chef Scott Rouse is a man with many hobbies and extracurricular activities, all of which keep his life interesting outside his extensive involvement here with Miami University Dining. Whether it be driving a hearse (he loves when you take selfies with it), scuba diving, or scaring people at Halloween Haunt for 11 years, he’s way more than a chef.

Scott is currently the executive chef for Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall, Dividends, Middletown campus, and the Hamilton campus. He has been in the dining culture of Miami for 6 years, but has been a chef for 30 years. He has worked in every aspect of food service other than a hospital! He is heavily involved in staying busy and loves to have a good time doing it. We thought we would sit him down to learn even more about him.

Q: What is your background, both personal and professional?

A: I grew up in Liberty Township, Ohio, so I’m a local boy. Junior and senior year I went to vocational school at Butler Tech-D Russel Lee. I worked in the field for a year, then I went to New England Culinary Institute in Vermont for two years. I’ve worked at hotels (including Netherland Plaza), The Regal Cincinnati, fine dining, NKU,and also a retirement community. Outside of work, I do volunteer work two nights a week as a facilitator for Smart Recovery, which is a 12 step alternative that meets here in Oxford every week.


Q: What is the most exciting part about your job?

A: You know, sometimes these guys (students) are just having a bad day and they just want something hot in their stomach, they want to relax or chill out, or they might have had a bad test. When they come in, we get them on the right path again. That’s the most exciting part for me.


Q: What is your favorite part about Miami University Dining?

A: Diversity. As far as some of the other food operations I’ve seen before, I think we have a lot going on— it’s really cool. In my 6 years on campus, we’ve seen a huge shift in the dining halls. With all these new concepts like Garden and Maplestreet Commons, the cost of a swipe gives you multiple food concepts. The big push is because of the students. The students are well-traveled and know different food concepts and know what good food is, so that’s what they expect and we give them just that. It’s been exciting to see parents when they walk in and say “Wow this wasn’t like this when I was in college.”


Q: How would you describe your personality?

A: Quiet and shy… No, not at all! I can’t even say that with a straight face! I like to have a good time and that’s what it’s about. Your day is what you make it and if you’re having fun when you’re working, you’re going to give 100%. No one wants to go some place and be absolutely miserable. That makes your whole life miserable. There’s going to be times when you spend more time with coworkers than family, so you might as well have some laughs along the way.


Q: What are some of your hobbies? Interests?

A: I have more hobbies than I have hours in the day. I ride motorcycles, I drive a hearse that people take selfies with all the time outside, I’m a scuba diver and a certified rescue diver and I’m working on my divemaster certification. I am never bored! You know it’s true, idleness is the devil’s workshop, and let me tell you I’m a pretty good carpenter.


Q: What is one of your favorite dishes to prepare?

A: I can’t say I have a favorite dish but I have a favorite style. I’d say my favorite style would be creole. I love creole cuisine because it’s very American. You’re taking influences of French, Spanish, and African and you’re blending that just like America – it’s a big melting pot.


Q: What is your favorite dish to eat?

A: Anything that doesn’t eat me first. But really, my favorite meal is anything I don’t have to cook. It’s funny because people find out what I do for a living and they ask my wife “Oh, you must get some great meals.” She is like, “Yeah, but he doesn’t like to cook when he gets home.” Then they look at me like I’m a lazy bum. Woah, hold up! What do you do for a living? Do you want to do that when you go home? Because I don’t either!


Q: Cat or Dog?

A: Yes! We have a cat, a dog, and three fish. At one point we’ve had five dogs, two cats, a handful of fish in a water garden I built outside, and I even owned a pot bellied pig. Animals over kids! There’s some things even I won’t do.


Q: Any advice for people applying/working for Miami University Dining?

A: I think working in dining is a great experience, especially students that are potentially looking for their first job. That’s something here at Miami that I think is very interesting, is that we do have students who come that have never worked before. This is a really good experience for them to transition into the work world. The shifts are quite different than the real world, but it gives you a different perspective on things. For example, guest interactions. Everyone knows how they want to be treated, but now you’re on the other foot and now you get the opportunity to take care of somebody else. You learn time management, cleanliness, and so many interpersonal skills. It is a great transition into the real world.


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Pumpkin Recipes

Fall is here and it is time to start baking like it. If you’re obsessed with anything pumpkin, you’re reading the right blog post. These recipes all include pumpkin to boost your seasonal dosage of fall’s staple ingredient.

Breakfast

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake – Soft, doughy, and loaded with pumpkin flavor! This healthy pumpkin pie breakfast bake will start your day off right.gallery-1469801354-54ea469bb01b0-pumpkin-casserole-lgn.jpg

Pumpkin Pancakes – Elevate your pancake game with the addition of pumpkin.

No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Bites – Quick, healthy no-bake pumpkin oatmeal energy bites that taste like cookies but are good for you.

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Muffins – Only 7 ingredients and 120 calories each.

Lunch/Dinner

Harvest Pumpkin Soup – Cooler weather means it’s time for soup.

Pumpkin and Cauliflower Casserole – You love fall? You’ll love this casserole.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese – Unique twist on a classic sandwich. pumpkingc_feature.jpg

Desserts

Pumpkin Bread – Nothing like loaf of pumpkin bread to make your stomach happy and your kitchen smell great.

Frosted Pumpkin Bars – If you like pumpkin (and maybe even if you don’t) these pumpkin bars are for you.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies – These cookies are something different and great with a big glass of milk.


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5 Tips to Eat Healthier on Campus

With limitless access to burgers and fries and no parental supervision, it’s not a surprise that many college students struggle to maintain a healthy diet. Although you can enjoy an occasional treat in the dining halls or a la carte location on campus, constant splurging will lead to more than just weight gain. Poor nutrition will make you feel lethargic and will make it difficult to concentrate on your studies. With a little planning, you can tackle the Miami Dining locations and emerge with a stomach full of healthy food.

Tip #1

Calculate what you need. Calorie requirements for college students vary because of differences in activity levels. Rather than worry over calories, eat to appetite and make sure your diet is mostly whole foods including low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies.

Tip #2

Avoid skipping breakfast. Many college students get in the habit of staying up late and rolling out of bed to rush to class. Without food to kick-start metabolism, energy levels will be low and will leave you to be very hungry. This hunger often times leads to overeating by the time you make it lunch. Stop into the market locations or commons locations and grab a piece of fruit, a granola bar, juice and/or a carton of milk to-go.

Tip #3

Make a plan. The dining locations on campus offer an assortment of foods. Get familiar with the layout of the dining hall and decide, before you walk through the doors, where you are headed. Walk straight to the salad bar or a certain station, so you won’t be tempted by the desserts (even though they are really tasty).

Tip #4

Divide your plate. Instead of loading up 5 plates, limit yourself to a single dinner plate at meals. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with lean protein. For instance, you might have an orange, a piece of grilled chicken, brown rice, a tossed salad. It’s all about the balance.

Tip #5

Look at the menu. You can’t eat salads every night of your college career. Review the MyTray online once a week and look for healthy, new foods to try. You might discover a new item you want to try or learn about our expansive vegan and vegetarian options.


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Homecoming Feast Recap

Over 900 people joined us for the Homecoming Feast in Western Dining Commons on Friday, September 15th. With favorites like Bang Bang Shrimp and a Brownie Sundae Bar with various toppings, those 900 people didn’t leave hungry.

It was great to have the cheerleaders and Swoop in attendance as we built excitement for the big game on Saturday night.

 

For those in attendance, Miami Dining had prizes and giveaways for everyone that simply liked or followed us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @MiamiUDining. It’s an easy way to win yourself some Miami gear or a chance at gift cards to Starbucks.

Our next special dinner is Family Weekend dinner on October 7th. Mark it on your calendars and plan to go! We hope to see you there. For other special announcements and event information, follow us on social media!


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The Story of the PSL

The Pumpkin Spice Latte aka the PSL is a staple in many peoples lives. If leaves are on the ground and the weather is cooler, many people will have a warm PSL in their hand. It is the infamous drink of Fall and is a highlight of the final months of the year. But how did it become the phenomenon that it is today? That brings the story back to 2003.

Peter Dukes, director of espresso Americas for Starbucks, was the product manager who led the development of Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was created in the “Liquid Lab,” a secure research and development space in the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. The lab was combination of a chef’s kitchen with industrial refrigerators, espresso equipment, and a diverse mix of potential ingredients and flavors.

With fall decorations and pumpkin pies surrounding the team, Peter began to explore ideas for a pumpkin-inspired espresso beverage. They would take a bite of pumpkin pie, then follow it with a sip of hot espresso. This would tell him, and the rest of the team, which flavors from the pie would best complement the coffee – pretty smart!

The Pumpkin Spice Latte was favored by the team and rolled out to a few test locations. After the test launch, Starbucks knew they had a massive success on their hands. The PSL was then put into production and now is a staple of fall. The abbreviation, “PSL”, was started by the baristas abbreviating the drink name on the cups while making it.

As of today, over 250 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been sold at Starbucks.

Grab a PSL at Starbucks at Maplestreet Station today while they are in season!


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Red Zone

Debuting this semester, Red Zone is the go-to spot for a fun atmosphere and unique twists on traditional arena style foods. Red Zone is meant to pay homage and promote the RedHawk sports culture. When you walk in the door you are standing on repurposed flooring from the Withrow basketball courts and quickly feel the tradition that is Miami University Athletics.

For starters, you can try popcorn in various flavors, loaded French fries, mozzarella sticks, and more!

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For a bigger meal, the menu includes loaded hotdogs, classic hot dogs, loaded grilled cheeses, and various burgers. Whether it be a hot dog with mozzarella sticks, a grilled cheese with BBQ pulled pork and Mac & cheese on top, or a loaded hot dog with avocado, you won’t be bored with your meal.

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While you enjoy some delicious food, you can watch one of the many TV’s, play foosball, or pool. Red Zone is a great place to hang out with friends to break up the typical day or routine schedule. Located in the new East Wing of the Armstrong Student Center! Stop by today!

Red Zone is open Monday – Friday (10:45am to 9:00pm) & Saturday – Sunday (11:00am to 9:00pm)


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