Recipe for a proper kitchen: These ingredients make it right

Karyn Miller, owner of Gourmet Gallery in Waco, with a few of her favorite kitchen items in her home kitchen. DUANE A LAVERTY

Gourmet Gallery, a tradition with those who love to cook and shop for cookware, bakeware and specialty foods, has relocated from Ridgewood Village to 502 Austin Ave., joining the re-development of downtown, said owner Karyn Miller, who added with a laugh she “drank the Kool-Aid” being consumed by those sold on the inner city’s future.

Miller said she is leasing about 700 square feet, which is considerably less than she had available at North Valley Mills and Cobbs drives.

“But our foot traffic had dwindled, and I thought it would be a good idea to re-invent Gourmet Gallery downtown,” said Miller.

She tossed open the doors to her new location last week, and said business has been steady if not spectacular.

“I have quite a loyal following after eight wonderful years in Ridgewood Village,” said Miller. “But we’re not yet where we want to be or need to be.”

Miller said she tries to carry specialty foods that reflect the culture of Central Texas, but also offers items with ties to French and German cuisines.

Gourmet Gallery traditionally has offered cooking classes, but those will not take place at the “cozy” new home, which has no kitchen facilities.

Miller said she may make arrangements to continue providing cooking instruction at a different location to those who crave it.

Steel City Pops opens

Steel City Pops, a regional chain with locations in Alabama, Kentucky and Texas to sell gourmet, all-natural popsicles, has opened a store in Waco. It does business in a new strip center between South Fourth and South Fifth streets near the new In-N-Out Burger and CVS Pharmacy, where Dallas-based DuWest Realty leveled the Clarion Hotel.

The Steel City Pops menu includes fruity, creamy and dripping/drizzle categories, as well as cookie pops and gourmet coffees, according to its website.

Prices range from $1.50 to $4.50 per selection, with flavors that include cranberry orange, cinnamon apple, wassail and strawberry lemon. Creamy selections include butter pecan, chocolate mint, peppermint, rum raisin, sweet potato pecan and buttermilk, among several others.

Other eating establishments going in around Steel City Pops include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Smoothie King.

Women’s earnings

Texas women still receive wages and salaries less than those of their male counterparts, according to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Southwest Information Office of the BLS released a study titled “Women’s Earnings in Texas, 2015,” and it contained the following results:

Texas women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $683, which is 79 percent of the $864 median weekly earnings of men.

Although fluctuating from 1997 to 2010, the Texas ratio of women’s to men’s earnings generally trended upward, reaching a high of 85.6 percent in 2010. But since then, the general trend has been downward, falling in four of the previous five years. The 2015 ratio was the third lowest since the series began in 1997.

Nationally, women earned $726 per week or 81 percent of the $895 median income for men in 2015, according to the report.

Among all states, full-time median income for women ranged from $907 in Massachusetts to $591 in Mississippi.

The 2015 ratio of female-to-male median weekly earnings ranged from a high of 88 percent in Hawaii to a low of 69 percent in Wyoming.

These findings were made public in a news release prepared by Stanley W. Suchman, the BLS’ assistant commissioner for regional operations.

Sleep before travel

Getting enough sleep sometimes is challenging during the holidays, when Americans are busy shopping, planning trips and decorating for guests.

But AAA Texas, the auto club, warns that missing just one to two hours of a recommended seven hours of sleep nightly can double the risk of having a car crash.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily,” according to a AAA release. “And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences.”

A chart prepared by AAA shows getting six to seven hours of sleep produces 1.3 times the crash risk; five to six hours produces 1.9 times the crash risk; four to five hours means 4.3 times the crash risk and less than four hours of sleep causes the risk of having a crash to skyrocket to 11.5 times the normal risk.

While 97 percent of drivers told the AAA Foundation they view drowsy driving as a “completely unacceptable behavior” that is a serious threat to their safety, nearly one in three admitted that at least once in the past month they drove when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.

To prevent drowsiness behind the wheel, AAA recommends drivers travel at times when they are normally awake; schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles; avoid heavy foods; travel with an alert passenger who can take turns driving; and avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

Farm, ranch show

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 46th annual Mid-Tex Farm & Ranch Show, scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday in the Extraco Events Center on Bosque Boulevard.

More than 3,000 Central Texas farmers and ranchers are expected to attend the two-day show that includes displays of products and services. They and the public, who can attend free of charge, learn about the latest farm and ranch equipment, seed, chemicals and agriculture-related technologies, the chamber said in a news release.

Show hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the chamber.

The 55th annual Blackland Income Growth Conference will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Tex show. It will offer commodity sessions, special meetings and forums. Topics of discussion will include beef, horticulture and grain; health and fitness with a busy schedule; cotton, forage and wildlife; and other training and recertification classes.

Sponsors include Equipment Depot, Dealers Electrical Supply, Educators Credit Union, Buzbee Feed & Seed, Bar None Country Store, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, National Banks of Central Texas, Clark Auction Company, Holt Cat and Walter Moss Seed Company, the Waco chamber said in its release.

Selected McLennan County high school students will be awarded scholarships for outstanding FFA, FHA and 4-H membership during the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Scholarship Luncheon. Scholarships are sponsored by Associated Concrete Contractors and Brazos Valley Equipment.

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