Planning an outdoor wedding with a picnic theme gives you plenty of unique options for catering and decorating. Working closely with the wedding catering company for your event can help to ensure the menu fits the theme perfectly. Here are a few menu ideas to share with your caterer to create a beautiful and delicious picnic-themed wedding.
Picnic Basket Meals
Serve up your meal in traditional picnic baskets to bring your wedding theme to each table. Use one basket for each menu item and use baskets of different sizes to hold the main entree and the different side dishes. Fried chicken, corn on the cob and biscuits work great with this theme, and they are all easy to eat without flatware. Consider using gingham-print basket liners to add a beautiful finishing touch to each basket.
Fresh Fruit Appetizers
Summer weddings sometimes mean hot weather, so consider starting off your meal with cold fruit appetizers. The cool fruits offer a refreshing start to the meal, and they can be served in a number of ways. You can serve up skewers of fresh fruits and serve them in mason jars or on platters, or simply place bowls of fruit at each place setting to start off your meal.
Grilled Burgers And Cold Deli Sandwiches
To truly stick to the theme, opt for plated burgers and cold deli sandwiches. Your caterer can wrap these items in deli paper to help eliminate any messes and make the sandwiches easier for your guests to eat. Consider serving them with pomme frites or freshly made potato chips to elevate the casual them, and look for unique ways to serve these foods. Brightly colored diner-style baskets make great serving pieces for a casual picnic-themed wedding, or you can work with your caterer to put the burgers and sandwiches in brown paper bags for a fun way to serve the meal. Be sure to add a ribbon or use a rubber stamp to decorate the bags to make them a bit more upscale. Label the bags with the contents within so guests can choose between a hot meal and a cold one.
Picnic Drink Stations
Iced tea, lemonade and pink lemonade are all refreshing outdoor drinks you can serve to your guests. Consider having a table set up with large drink dispensers filled with these beverages, which guests can them help themselves to. In keeping with the picnic theme, consider having mason jars and fun straws ready for your guests at each drink station. You can also have your bartenders serve up alcoholic versions of these beverages at the bar area. Keeping the drink stations away from the bar can make it easier for your younger wedding guests to get beverages that are appropriate for their age.
Work with your wedding caterer on these ideas and any others you may have to bring a truly unique picnic theme to your wedding, and don’t be afraid to get creative with the plating and decorations to make your big day extra special.Learn More
Whether you’re hosting and catering a wedding, family reunion, or corporate event, having great food available is essential for a successful experience. If you or the members of your party are vegetarian, coming up with some creative ideas can be a challenge. Even if some guests are not vegetarian but you are, and you want to stay true to your personal eating habits, you can find some great foods to serve that everyone will enjoy eating.
Instead of heavy meatballs or pigs in a blanket, try some delicious Crostini bread slices and top them with a combination of feta cheese, sliced avocado, and pomegranate seeds. The combination of the savory and sweet tastes delicious and makes a great finger food. Grilled kabobs are an excellent appetizer that everyone loves. Instead of adding red meat or chicken to them, use portobello mushrooms. Add onions, peppers, and other flavorful veggies to the kabobs for a really delicious starter, and brush them with soy or barbecue sauce. Caprese salad is also a delicious and easy appetizer that combines fresh basil and mozzarella with sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil or balsamic vinegar.
Pizza is easy to make and eat, and can be created in a variety of different combinations. Serve mini pizzas on Naan bread for a unique dish and top the little pizzas with olives, Italian cheeses, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The possibilities are endless, and you can mix and match the small pizzas with a variety of different toppings that are all veggies. Pasta dishes are also versatile and easy to make vegetarian friendly. Cook up some penne noodles, and throw in sliced asparagus to elevate the flavor to a new level. You can also make a gourmet version of macaroni and cheese and add in artichoke hearts and spinach.
Dessert isn’t quite as challenging when it comes to making sure the food is completely vegetarian, but keep in mind that many desserts are made with animal fats. Use puff pastry cups and fill them with fresh fruit for a simple and elegant dessert. Fruit is very versatile and can be used for any dessert combination, so get creative. You can use fresh berries and create a sorbet with them, or make cookies using oatmeal instead of dough for a chewy, sweet treat at the end of the meal. When it comes to serving vegetarian meals to a crowd, the sky is the limit, and there’s sure to be plenty of great dishes the entire party will enjoy.Learn More
Whether you’re just getting ready to offer shipping services for perishable foods or you’re looking for a new way to keep things fresh in transit, dry ice may be the solution that you need. In fact, dry ice is one of the best ways to ship perishable foods while ensuring that it stays safe. It’s a popular choice because it doesn’t melt the same way that standard ice does, so you won’t have to worry about moisture from ice melt. If you’re considering dry ice, here is a look at the details you need to know to use it safely.
Select the Proper Shipping Container
You’ll need a shipping container that is designed exclusively for dry ice use. These containers have a layer of foam inside, which will provide necessary insulation. Then, the outer surface is crafted from a durable, heavyweight material. Boxes designed for dry ice shipping also have vents built in to allow gas to dissipate, otherwise it can build up as the ice converts back to gas. This venting is important, because it protects the container from explosion. Finally, most containers that are crafted for dry ice shipments will also include the necessary labels for compliance with shipping regulations.
Buying Dry Ice
Order the dry ice that you need as close to the date you’ll need it as you can. That way, you’ll ensure the longest possible lifespan in transit. Make sure you invest in enough dry ice to cover the entire shipping period. The necessary amount of dry ice will vary from shipment to shipment. Check a dry ice shipping chart to determine how much you’ll need based on the weight of the shipment and the estimated transit time.
Pack the Shipment
Place a layer of dry ice in the bottom of the shipping container. Wrap and seal the food tightly, then place the wrapped package atop the dry ice. Finally, top the container with the remaining dry ice, packing it around the food. Seal the container properly and place the dry ice labels on the outside. Mark the labels with the weight of the dry ice that’s in the container. Never handle dry ice without protective gloves – it’s cold enough to cause frostbite if it touches bare skin.
With these preparation steps and careful handling, you’ll be able to ship perishable items virtually anywhere without concern. If you need more advice, talk with a local supplier to purchase dry ice and ensure that you’re using it correctly.Learn More
When you have special diet requirements and all your friends want to go out to eat, it can be daunting trying to figure out what exactly you will be able to order for yourself. Many typical restaurants will offer some type of vegetarian options, but when you go to a specialty restaurant, your options may be a bit more narrow. Chinese restaurants offer a wide variety of foods available for all taste buds and typically has meat that includes pork, duck, beef, and chicken. If you are looking for a vegetarian option when you hit up a Chinese restaurant, here are some great mainstream Chinese dishes that work for anyone on a vegetarian diet.
There are several vegetarian options in Chinese restaurants. You want to be sure that you ask about the ingredients before you order to to ensure there is not meat. Some of these include:
You don’t have to eat light just because you are on a vegetarian diet. There are plenty of dishes to start with before you begin eating your main course. Whether you want vegetable lo mein or fried rice, you can find a starter that will help fill your tummy before your main course.
The entree is the most important part of the meal. It should help take away your hunger and satisfy your needs. This is where you can really get risky and try some new dishes. If you have a favorite Chinese dish from your pre-vegetarian days, then you can ask the server about substituting the meat with tofu. This allows you to enjoy one of your favorites with a twist. Some popular vegetarian entrees include:
The options are endless as long as you are able to substitute tofu in place of the usual meat. This allows you to eat just like the rest of your party.
Questions to Ask When Ordering
Before you go on an ordering spree, it is always a good idea to inquire about some of the dishes. Even if you think it is meat-free, some of the ingredients could have traces of meat in them. For example, if you plan on ordering a soup with your meal, you should ask whether the stock has any meat in it. A lot of broths are made using beef, pork, and chicken. Sometimes, the meat broth can be substituted for vegetable broth. Additionally, you want to make sure the sauce does not have meat in it. A lot of chefs in Chinese restaurants will use a fish sauce to help add flavor to the dish. By being aware of these things, you can ensure you stay true to your vegetarian diet. Contact a local restaurant, like Lilac Blossom Restaurant, to find out what your options are before you arrive.Learn More
The vegan diet excludes all animal products. Vegan meals cannot include meats or fish, and even eggs or dairy products are not acceptable among recipe ingredients.
Creating meals for vegan diners may seem challenging, but it’s easier than you think to come up with delicious foods that will satisfy diners without including these restricted ingredients.
The following are five helpful tips for creating meals that will satisfy vegan and non-vegan diners alike:
1. Aim for simplicity
The fewer ingredients your recipes include, the less likely they are to violate vegan dietary rules.
When selecting recipes for vegans, look for for short lists of healthy, simple ingredients. Vegan diners typically prefer whole foods that are minimally processed and pack in a lot of nutrients and flavor at the same time.
2. Try ethnic cuisines
Looking to ethnic cuisines is often a helpful source of ideas when it comes to preparing vegetarian or vegan meals. In particular, indian cuisine offers many standard dishes that don’t include any meats or eggs to accommodate the dietary restrictions of the Indian religion Jainism. These restrictions prohibit eating many animal products.
3. Be open-minded
If you’re dining with vegans, you’re probably going to have to be open to trying some new things. Traditional diners are accustomed to eating meat and dairy products at every meal, and taking these components out of your meals leaves something of an ingredient vacuum.
Be prepared to fill the void with new and exotic foods. There are always many interesting and creative ideas out there for imitating traditional meats with alternatives like nuts and legumes. For example, taco meat can be imitated with this interesting recipe that uses lentils and walnuts as an alternative.
4. Brainstorm alternative protein sources
Of course, the real challenge in creating a satisfying meal for vegetarian or vegan diners is making up for the missing protein sources.
This isn’t as big a challenge as you think, because there are many other protein sources out there. There are many different types of beans to choose from, and you can also try other legumes like lentils or a protein-rich grain like quinoa.
If you’re looking for a recipe substitute for cheese, you can try cheese made from soy milk or some more creative options like zucchini cheese.
5. Focus on veggies
Vegans typically prefer recipes that are rich in greens and vegetables. They also tend to enjoy trying rare and exotic vegetables. If you’ll be dining with vegans, take a stroll through your grocery store’s produce section for some ideas.
To learn more about group dining, visit a restaurant like Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant.Learn More
Most everyone loves gourmet chocolates. The silky smooth chocolate, sweet toppings or fillings, and luscious mouthfeel are just a few reasons why they are so popular. They make a great treat and even better gift, especially for special occasions. One of the most popular types of gourmet chocolates is the truffle. It’s decadent, delicious, and downright divine.
While you could certainly purchase gourmet chocolate truffles, another option is to make them yourself. It might sound hard, but with a little finesse, it is quite easy.
If you are interested in making chocolate truffles, keep these four tips in mind:
1. Chill Out
One of the most important parts of creating truffles is chilling the “dough.” The chocolate concoction needs sufficient time to become cool to the touch and somewhat rigid. But it shouldn’t be chilled so long that it becomes hard. There is no hard and fast rules when it comes to chocolate, so just pour the chocolate into a pan and place it in your refrigerator. Check on it every 30 minutes until the concoction is chilled thoroughly.
2. Taste Test
If you have ever made chocolates and found that the taste was less then pleasant, don’t fret. It happens. Most people blindly buy melting chocolate and use it to create truffles and other goodies. While these chocolates work perfectly well, they might not taste the best.
To get the best tasting truffle, use chocolate that you like when it’s eaten raw. Take a few nibbles of the chocolate you plan to use before melting it down and chilling. If you like the taste, continue making your treats. If you don’t like it, choose another chocolate.
3. Keep It Dry
A couple drops of water can seriously damage your chocolate. Melted chocolate does not like liquids, so keep your work space and utensils dry. You do not want any water to get into the chocolate because it might seize up and then you will wind up with a big ball of weird-textured chocolate. For an extra measure of safety, keep paper towels or a clean towel nearby to mop up any water messes.
4. Process Carefully
You can use a food processor to make melting the chocolate easier. The food processor will quickly break up the chocolate, which will save you time and frustration. However, you do need to cut the chocolate first, especially if it is in a big block. Use a sharp knife and cut it into peanut-sized pieces, and then place it into the food processor. Process the chocolate until it reaches a sand-like consistency and then put it in the double boiler to melt.
Making gourmet chocolate truffles may sound intimidating, but with the proper knowledge and some patience, it is quite easy. Use these tips to make it easier.
To buy professionally made chocolates, contact a company such as Abdallah Candies And Gifts.Learn More
Unpasteurized clover honey has many health benefits, and is full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties to keep you healthy. When clover honey is kept from the pasteurizing process, it retains its original, fresh-from-the-hive flavor with sweet clover infusion. While unpasteurized honey is reported to be extremely healthy, you do need to make sure you care for it properly, only buy it from reputable sources, and always keep it out of the hands of children under one. Learn where to buy clover honey in its pure form and how to care for it to keep it fresh for cooking and eating straight from the jar.
Buying unpasteurized clover honey
When buying unpasteurized clover honey, always seek out organic stores or local beekeepers. Unpasteurized honey should only be purchased from companies or individuals who take care to collect and package their honey so it does not get contaminated from outside sources. If purchasing unpasteurized honey from your local grocer, look for key words, such as ‘organic’, ‘raw’, ‘locally collected’ and ‘unpasteurized’ to help you choose high quality honey you can enjoy every day.
The most pure and high-quality unpasteurized clover honey you can buy will be directly from your local beekeeper during the seasons bees produce the most honey. Honey is typically harvested in the early summer through late fall, so this is the optimum time to grab yourself a couple jars of untouched clover honey.
Caring for your honey
Unpasteurized honey should always be stored in airtight containers. This helps keep moisture and bacteria from getting into the honey. If the honey you have was harvested prematurely, it may have too much water in it, which can leave it prone to spoiling quickly. You can cook with unpasteurized honey or eat it raw safely, but be careful to keep all honey away from babies under one. Botulism spores which may be naturally present in any kind of honey can make a baby very sick, but do not affect adult immune systems. As long as you can keep air and moisture away from your unpasteurized clover honey, you should be fine to consume it raw or use it in cooking and baking.
Clover honey is a tasty culinary treat to add to your ingredient list. If you can get your hands on an unpasteurized variety, you will be pleasantly surprised how amazing pure honey can be. Take care of it properly and buy from the best sources possible, and you can enjoy unpasteurized honey anytime you wish.Learn More