Vegetable Trays for special event catering or office catering offer color, texture and an economical way to an appetizer or snack option to the catering menu. How much of that will be eaten is questionable. These colorful party trays are also called crudités which sounds more expensive, however, that's French meaning uncooked or raw, so ultimately this type of party platter is raw vegetables, sliced or whole, typically served with some sort of dip, dressing or vinaigrette. With even it's fancier name, the amount that will actually be consumed is probably less than you think.
There are other ways to add a vegetable options
to your vegetable tray catering menu.
Hummus has gained great presence in menu trends lately and is not only vegetable based, it is good for you and offers a healthy option just like the veggie trays of yesterday. Hummus is pureed chickpeas which can be flavored a number of ways, typically with garlic and a bit of olive oil, sometimes with hint of lemon and or tahini (sesame seed butter), it makes a great spread that can accompany fresh veggies, pita bread, flat bread or crostini. You still get the vegetable item, only served in a more modern way.
This more gourmet spread dresses up your catering menu and can replace or compliment an assortment of fresh vegetables. Tapenade is made with finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil and can be enhance with red peppers, onion, artichoke and other ingredients to create a perfect dip or spread for vegetables, crackers, crusty bread slices or party toasts.
Also called antipasta, in Italian this means "before the meal" so it's a great option for an appetizer. These platters often include cured meats like proscuitto or salamis, marinated vegetables like squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoncini peppers, olives and includes cheeses like provolone or mozzarella. Bruschetta, anchovies, crostini and other breads accompany these platters so the guests can create their own appetizers from the platter selections by layering their selections on the crostini, toasted bread or crackers and then drizzling a bit of olive oil on their creation for a perfect "before dinner" treat. This type of party platter offers more versatility than a vegetable tray.
You can ask your professional caterer to customize this platter any way you'd like. You can leave off the meats and cheeses if you truly need a vegetarian menu item and add more vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes or even eggplant.
You can also skewer items together to create some fun and to offer an easy way for guests to enjoy this appetizer. No matter what you select for the items, your caterer can create a fabulous presentation with an assortment of these Antipasto Skewers.
Here are some ideas and recipes to reference when planning your Easter holiday catering celebration. Whether you're serving for family or guests, a special holiday catered meal, or one your prepared yourself, here is a collection of great resources to use when designing your catering menu and your table settings. If you don't want to prepare all of this yourself, ask a professional caterer and they'll be glad to prepare it for you.
Ham. With Easter fast approaching, ham seems to take center stage for Easter Dinner so here are some helpful hints and recipes to create your perfect Easter dinner. Maybe the most popular menu is ham, some sort of herbed or scalloped potatoes, some great green beans or asparagus, fresh salad, a variety of breads and some fabulous dessert.
Starting with ham. There are so many types of hams, just selecting that can be daunting. Fresh, cured, smoked, cured and smoke, country and even turkey ham all have distinct meanings. Check out this great reference for “all about ham” .
Then to cook the ham, should you roast it, glaze it or even boil it? For more on how to prepare your ham read How to prepare the perfect ham.
Now, should you glaze your ham? And if you do, what flavor should you use? Apricot and Honey, Butter and Brown Sugar, Pineapple, Maple syrup or even cherries? The sky’s the limit so here are some recipes to help you decide: Recipes to glaze ham
Lamb is another popular meat to serve for Easter. Should you buy a leg, shank, chops or the ultimate Rack of Lamb? Know how to create a crown roast? You need two racks and you tie them together, meat facing out to create this elegant centerpiece.
The Sides and Salads
Then, what to serve with a Lamb Easter Dinner? Check out A sample Easter dinner featuring lamb along with pictures and recipes will guide you on creating a fabulous Easter feast.
For inspiration on the rest of your menu, look at these fabulous pictures and ideas: http://whattoservewith.com/baked-easter-ham/. For a more meal, pictures and recipes go to the best ever Easter Dinners.
The sweet ending of your meal can range from cake, cookies, cheesecake, pound cake, pudding and just about any other dessert you’re thinking. Beautiful pictures and recipes so you can pick the best one for your guests: Best Easter Desserts
For even more menu ideas and table setting ideas, this will give you some great ideas: Easter Menus and Table Settings
Photo: Sang An
Here’s a Holiday Catering Special Event we just produced for a corporate catering event. It was for a large office building where not everyone really knew each other and the hosting company wanted their guests to stay and enjoy themselves. To get people to mingle and stay a while, we created a fun activity for them to do which sparked conversation and a lot of fun. We created a festive menu that mirrored a holiday dinner but all in bite sized offerings making is easy to grab, eat and still mingle.
All beef meatballs served in festive cranberry sauce
Mini Turkey "Sliders"
Build your own with cornbread stuffing and gravy
Sweet and Mashed Potato Puffs
Whipped sweet potatoes with a hint of cinnamon, made into bite sized treats
Mashed Potato Puffs
Bite sized country seasoned mashed potatoes
Green Bean Bundles
Fresh green beans marinated in brown sugar and wrapped up in bacon
Holiday Dessert Bar Collection
Then to keep the guests entertained allowing them to stay at the event, we created two action stations that offered them something to do, which allowed for fun conversation and them staying at the party a little longer than just a few minutes. Our stations were tables packed full of dry ingredients needed for Chocolate Chip Cookies or Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. The guest took a bag, layered the ingredients in the bag, following the little card we made telling them how much of each ingredient to put in a bag. We also tied the measuring utensil to the basket for color, but also to be sure if the guest dropped it, it wouldn’t fall on the floor. When all the ingredients were in the bag, they simply twist tied the bag with a pre-tied bow and then attached a prepared sticker with cookie baking directions and a holiday wish from the host on the bag of the bag. It was a simple idea and yet the guests had so much fun, they want to do it again next year.
Here is the Chocolate Chip Station
And the Cranberry Oatmeal Station
You too can create a simple activity and there are loads of recipes this would work. Just a little imagination and you too can have something to do at your event!
A continental breakfast is probably the most popular corporate breakfast catering requested. Combine some great pastry with fresh fruit, juices and coffee and you have a somewhat simple breakfast menu to offer your guests. For the holidays, a continental breakfast is still popular however; there are ways to dress this up so you can create a more festive breakfast. Add fresh seasonal berries, fresh squeezed juices, gourmet and flavored coffees along with upscale flavored creamers and even cappuccino or a gourmet hot chocolate or white hot chocolate can add a touch of special to what would otherwise be a somewhat ordinary breakfast catering.
Eggs can also take center stage in a number or ways. Great breakfast casseroles with eggs, cheeses, sausage and/or bacon like a Frittata, Quiche or Migas casseroles can be added to the menu for a more deluxe corporate breakfast menu. Baked French Toast is another elegant casserole to consider which can be topped with warmed maple syrup or fruit sauces and powdered sugar. Crepes and cheese blintzes are yet another option to consider for adding an upscale menu item to your breakfast. Or, create a buffet with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham or even steak, breakfast potatoes, an assortment of breads like biscuits and croissants and gravy or Hollandaise or Herbed Cheese Sauce and you’ve got a great catered breakfast.
These are also a popular breakfast request when you have to have the very best. Professional chefs prepare omelets for your guest to order. Your guest will select ingredients like diced ham, bacon, sausage, and fresh vegetables like green peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms along with a variety of cheeses and the Chef prepares that to order. Think of it as a salad bar for eggs. To successfully offer this, the amount of time you have to feed your guests should be considered along with the number of chefs needed to properly prepare the required number of omelets. If you budget is not ample ask your caterer how to create a buffet with pre-made omelets your guests can top with the same choices you would have had if they were being made to order.
Bowls of flavored and or plain yogurt, sliced and diced fresh fruits, berries, granola, raisins or other popular toppings can be displayed similar to a sundae bar and your guests will create a parfait just the way they like it! To really dress this up, offer a martini or margarita glass or even a champagne flute for them to use for creating their perfect parfait!
Oatmeal is yet another fun idea to consider including on your menu. Piping hot oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, butter, fresh berries, dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans and even maple syrup can dress up this very versatile cereal. Add milk, cream and or some great fruit preserves and you’ve offered a unique and festive way to offer an ordinary breakfast staple.
This can be done either with already prepared pancakes and waffles or, with these made to order at the event. Your budget will dictate which option is best for you. Toppings like whipped butter, honey butter, jams, jellies, maple syrup, fruit syrups, sweetened berries, spiced apples, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and yes even nuts! Think of a pancake house menu and all the varieties you can get there, well that selection can help you build the menu of toppings you wish to offer at your event. Don’t forget the bacon, ham or sausage too for a complete meal!
With a buffet of scrambled eggs, sautéed green peppers, onions and mushrooms, sliced tomatoes shredded cheeses, bacon, sausage and ham, your guest will be able to make an ideal sandwich just the way they like it. For the bread portion, you can offer buttermilk biscuits, four tortillas, flat bread, bagels, croissants or just about any bread you want.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. You can rent commercial espresso/cappuccino machines and hire baristas to prepare beverages at your event, or, you can have the beverage you wish to offer your guests catered in like you would gallons of coffee.
When baristas are custom making each cup of cappuccino, espresso, mocha or hot chocolate, your guests are not only impressed but entertainment as well! Check your local area for companies that specialize in this or, ask your professional caterer for help finding these services in your area.
With the beverages brought in already prepared it’s simple to offer toppings like caramel, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles or whatever toppings you’d like your guests to enjoy and let them build their own perfect cup! Either way you decide, this is still a special treat for all those guests you’ve invited. You can even offer them a special gift of a personalized mug, or a holiday mug they’ll use for their beverage, but, be able to keep as their gift from you!
Happy Holiday Planning
Incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your catering menu can make for a delicious meal that will help get your guests in the spirit of the season. As fall sets in, cooler temperature and more moisture help create great conditions for many vegetable crops to grow.
Many plants are suited for the fall climate. Beans, broccoli, beets, carrots, green peas, spinach and most varieties of melons, squash and pumpkin are considered fall vegetables, so the taste of these is sure to be satisfying. Produce that’s abundant in the fall is typically packed full of nutrients and health benefits. Here are some examples that are in season and would be perfect in a number of dishes at your next party or catering event:
Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables and does well in chilly temperatures because the cold weather keeps it sweet. This hearty green is full of antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin A, and even vitamin C. It’s also high in fiber, with just one cup containing nearly 20% of the recommended daily allowance.
Figs first harvest comes in summer, but they also have a short second season in late fall, making them a perfect alternative sweetener in recipes. They can also be found dried year-round, making for a delicious treat (they taste just like Fig Newtons, but are natural!). Figs are also a good source of fiber and potassium, the mineral that helps control blood pressure. This fruit is naturally low in calories, at just 74 calories for 100 grams and are still packed full of vitamins.
Pumpkins are the most common winter squash and typically come into season in September. They are low in fat and full in disease-fighting nutrients like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which are known to boost immunity and decrease the risk of heart disease. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of zinc, vitamin E, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Looking for recipes? Food & Wine provides a great tool that helps you find tastes of fresh fall produce. You can search by the type of fruit or vegetable you might want to try, or you can always create your own. However you choose, adding nutritious fall produce to your catering menu will create delicious bites and meals that are full of natural, healthy flavor.
Paige Taylor is a creative writer from Michigan who has a passion for health and wellness. In addition to guest posting, she promotes her writings through Orlando SEO Companies.
So, you're having a holiday party and planning on serving alcohol. Where to start? That will depend on what you're planning to serve. The best way to determine all you'll need is to creating a party drink menu which will guide you to all the ingredients, alcohol and glasses you'll need. Here are some options for creating a perfect holiday party bar.
These can be expensive since the inventory of available alcohol will be extensive. If you know your guests preferences, that will help you determine what you'll need. If you're planning a party where you don't know what all the guests might ask for, then you need to have a pretty wide range of items available. To stock a full bar, some essential liquors to have on hand include: Bourbon, brandy, whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, scoth, and tequila. To that list, mixers, garnishes and glass types will also be needed to mix, shake or create the cocktail your guests will request.
If you want to offer just beer, wine and one or two signature drinks, that will minimize the investment of alcohol you'll have to purchase or provide.
Some popular Holiday Signature Drinks include:
Hot Buttered Rum
Mocha Nog Punch
Drink Glasses for your Bar
|Photo: Beau Gustafson /
Styling: Mindy Shapiro Levine
And now, it's time to figure out what glass or glasses you'll need to present the beverages you're offering. Here's some great advice on what you'll need and what to do. Disposable glasses, real glasses and what kind of glasses you'll need will all depend on the drink menu you have.
These are liquors that are made from fruit or fruit juice like Gran Marnier, brandy and Chambord and are ued for mixed drinks or, served on their own after a meal. Will these be part of your party? If so, then these will need to be in the bar inventory too.
Wine and Cheese Parties
If you're planning a wine and cheese party, offer cheeses that compliment the wines you're offering. Since there are so many choices in both wines and cheese, here's a great reference on what cheeses to consider with what wines.
Now you've got all the ingredients, glasses, garnishes and mixers. The last question to ask is who will be serving all of these. Many hosts try and tend the bar themselves, however, depending on the size of your party, bartending can consume all your time and allow you just moments to enjoy your guests or your own party. Professional bartenders are a wise investment to consider when planning your party and are more than likely, readily available in our area. If you can't find a source to rent a bartender, call a restaurant, local bar or country club and aks them if they can help you.
Happy Party Planning!
So, it’s time to plan what you’ll do at the holiday office party. Depending on when you're having this, and how many guests you're expecting, here are a couple of simple, easy and inexpensive ideas to consider for our holiday party.
On the party invitation, ask each guest to bring one ornament, wrapped in white tissue paper, or some colored paper that matches your decorations, and a ribbon but put no gift card on it. Just the ornament and ribbon. As the guests arrive, have a holiday basket, bucket, or bowl ready for the guests to put their wrapped gift in and at or near the end of the party, allow each guest to select one of the ornaments as a take away gift.
You can do the same thing with a coffee mug, pen, small boxes of candy, cookies, or whatever you think your guests would appreciate.
|Photo by Taste of Home
Gifts in a Jar
This is a fun and entertaining thing to create at the party. With so many possibilities, the list of what you can offer is incredible. Cookies, Cocoa, Cider, Salsa, the sky’s the limit. Basically all the raw ingredients are set out on a table in bowls, bags or containers that match your décor. Since the ingredients are dry like flour, sugars and other non-perishable items, there is no need to worry about refrigeration.
At the ingredient table, the guests simply portion and layer those ingredients in a glass jar to create a gift in itself. Have the baking directions printed on a card or sticker that can be attached to the finished product and the guests leave with a gift they can bake later!
Here are some cookie recipes to try:
White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies
Chocolate Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Brownie Mix In A Jar
You can also make Beverage Mixes like:
White Hot Chocolate
You can even make Hot Buttered Rum Mix
Photo by Save On Crafts
Get clear glass ornaments, arrange them in a festive basket or bow, remove the tops and put them in their own container. Then get an assortment of inexpensive glass paint from a local craft store and set up a paint station with all the colors you’ve selected. Squirt bottles are best for this project. Guest will squeeze their paint color choices in the ornament, and then shake, spin or roll the paint around in the ornament until they get their desired look. They then put the top on and they have a simple and easy take away gift from you.
This is another fun idea! Hire a caricaturist to sketch of your guests. Ask the caricaturist how many drawings they can do per hour so you can make sure there is time for everyone to get a drawing and if they’ll do color or black and white sketches. They can theme their drawings to include whatever you want so if it’s near a tree, on a sled, with a hat or in the snow, your guests will have a great take away gift and a fun time at the same time.
Of course the holidays wouldn’t be complete without the carols that are all so familiar with this time of year. Carolers can be hired in Dickens also known as Victorian attire to really resemble carolers of the past and sing all those songs we all cherish this time of year. This adds a very special touch to any corporate office party you may be hosting. You may have to contact an entertainment agency to find out if carolers are available in your area.
Depending on what else you’re planning for your party, you can rent a photo booth for guests to pop in and have a picture taken. The rental place and tell you what kind of packages are available for the times and number of guests you’re entertaining. This also provides your guest a keepsake from the party.
Happy Party Planning!
So you’ve been charged with finding a caterer for your Holiday Party! Not only does this mean you’re planning the holiday catering menu, you also need to find a corporate caterer or special event caterer that can create and provide all the elements of this special event. Here are some basic questions you should consider before you contact your office caterer because, to help you better, they will need to know:
What time is the party?
Is this a dinner, afternoon gathering, breakfast or a special dessert catering? Your budget may help answer that, or, your company may have a preference over what kind of party they wish to provide.
Where are you hosting this?
If you’re hosting this in your office, then your corporate caterer should schedule a site preview to see the actual space where you’re hosting this and guide you to what would be needed based on the menu you’re selecting. If you go off-site, then some special event venues provide that, some make it available, some have none so ask what’s included in the venue you select if you’re going off-site from your office.
What day are you hosting this?
For corporate office parties, you can really host this any day you want but check the calendar. There are only three weeks in December prior to Christmas which means, caterers can offer you service only 15 weekdays prior to Christmas, which means their calendars will fill quickly. The later in the week you plan this – typically Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays being the more popular choices, the more important it will be to reserve your date as quickly as you can. With just those three days being the most popular, that means you’re fighting for space in just 9 available days! Menus can always be decided later, dates will be more difficult to adjust or move.
The earlier in December you host your event, the more likely your guests will show up. The closer you get to Christmas, the more competition your date will have with family gatherings, neighborhood and personal parties. Any vacations being taken the week of your ideal date will also impact the turnout so again, the closer to the actual holiday, the higher the possibility some of your employees won’t be able to attend.
How many Guests are expected?
This too will have budget constraints so the more you expect to host can/may be affected by the budget you’re targeting for this. The cost of a full holiday catering banquet, versus a very nice festive Continental breakfast is vastly different so be honest with your caterer and don’t try and offer a plated meal when you simply don’t have a budget that will support that idea
Some caterers offer different pricing for different head counts. The more guests you have, the higher the possibility a volume discount could be offered. Be sure to ask about that during your initial inquiry.
What special event items do you need?
Décor – do you already have that planned, or do you need your caterer to provide that? Most caterers will have some décor, however, what they have should blend with any décor you already have. If your office has none, and you envision a holiday fantasy land from you caterer, let them know that. Experienced, full service caterers not only provide food and beverages, they can also deck the best of halls with holiday décor.
Are you serving alcohol?
Depending on the time of your event, will alcohol be served? And if so, what alcohol? For liability purposes, we recommend a variety beer and wine but if liquor is a must, then limiting that to one or two signature drinks will probably be more cost effective than a full bar. More than likely a bit more food will be needed for those holiday parties, or really any party, that has alcohol offered. Be sure the bartenders are professional and certified so they’ll serve your guests properly and help control consumption.
Do you need party rentals and supplies?
Another taken for granted item. The price of a catered meal does not imply all the tables, chairs and linens accompany that price. These items can significantly affect your budget, and experienced caterers know how to be creative in designing your event so, let them know if you’ll need tables, linens and chairs during your initial conversation. Those along with any other item you’re thinking about like coat racks, portable bars or furniture should be discussed then also.
Having answers to these basic questions before you speak to your holiday caterer will help you get things rolling. Caterers need to know all of this anyway, so help them help you better and faster and make your holiday party catering much easier and stress free!
Happy Holiday Planning!
Getting Ready for your Holiday Celebrations!
No matter what special event you're planning, it's time...to get ready.
They'll be here before you know it.
As the holidays are fast approaching…now is the time to start planning your special event decorations! Here are some websites full of ideas that may inspire you. For table centerpieces, office catering decorations or home special event catering, a touch of décor can make the celebration even more special
For any special event you're planning, you're sure to be inspired with some of these ideas
Top 12 Holiday Trends for 2012
These berries offer a variety of ways to inspire. Not just in food or drink but also with table centerpieces and more. See what you can do:
Here are some must try trends you just have to see.
Great ideas, repurposing and using accent colors all discussed right here:
Back–to-basics is a the theme for the holidays this year
Mix some nostalgia with some sentimental and you’ve got a memorable holiday for sure. Food, décor and traditions can create a unique and fabulous gathering.
16 Budget-Friendly Christmas Decorating Ideas
And who doesn’t want that? Here are some easy and inexpensive decorating ideas
Deck-the-Hall Holiday Decorating Ideas
Some great photos to show you just how they’ll look. Change the colors to match your theme and you’ll make a statement for sure.
Here are some very simple yet very impressive ideas.
You’ll look like a pro creating one of these creations for your next event
Festive and Affordable Holiday Decorating Ideas
This includes some ideas even children can create!
Handmade, homemade and simple
Respect the earth and try one of these great green holiday decoration and gift giving ideas
For some stunning Fall Table Centerpieces Ideas, look at these.
The photographs are superb and the presentation will dazzle all your guests.
Bring the outdoors in with some of these Winter Floral Centerpieces.
Simple, elegant and unique. You can adapt them to suit any holiday:
Harvest Table Decorations and more:
Holiday Table Décor comes in all different sizes, colors and styles
You’ll find just about every possible décor here:
Now don’t think you can’t create elegant until after you’ve seen these exquisite ideas.
Photographs are very eye catching and offer great detail of the finished table.
No matter what your style, no matter what your budget, all these site should inspire you and your creativity. Now that you've picked your decorations it's time to start planning your menus. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or snacks, we've got the Holiday Catering Menu for you!
With the holidays fast approaching, it's time to start searching our the perfect venue for your party. Here are some of our favorite Dallas Venues perfect for wedding reception catering and corporate or special event catering. All information and photos are provided by the respective venue. The number of guests you're expecting will determine what size venue you'll need. Start with your anticipated head count, then an ideal geographic location for the majority of your guests and scope out the details for these fantastic party venues.
Museum of Nature & Science
3535 Grand Avenue and at 1318 S. 2nd Avenue in historic Fair Park
Can accommodate up to 2,000 guests and has numerous areas you can host a wedding reception or special event
The Nature Building can hold up to 200
The Science Building can from 50-90 guests
The Planetarium can seat up to 175
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Also has numerous areas for reception catering
Richard W. Cree Main Exhibit Hall can host 100-1,000
Mezzanine can host up to 200
Hamilton Family Auditorium/Theater – up to 200 guests
Conference Rooms can seat up to 80 in either room
About the Museum
Hickory Street Annex
Second Ave, Suite B-200
Can hold up to 350 guests
Old Red Courthouse
100 South Houston Street
Has three areas to host your event with capacities of 120, 250 and 400
The Filter Building on White Rock Lake
2810 White Rock Rd
Can hold up to 200 guests
Texas Discovery Gardens
3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
This venue has 9 different venue options for whatever event you’re hosting
The Grand Hall - 300 seated, 400 standing or auditorium seating
Lobby - 175 standing
Discover Garden - 50 standing reception only
Canopy room - 50 seated dinner or ceremony set up
Grand Allee - up to 500 ceremony set up
Circular Lawn - up to 200 ceremony set up
Gossip Lawn - 25-35 seated dinner or ceremony
Shade Garden - 40-45 seated dinner or ceremony
Heirloom Rose Garden - 40-50 seated or standing ceremony
The MADI Museum
3109 Carlisle St.
Can hold up to 200 people for cocktails and about 50 for a seated dinner
times ten Cellars
6324 Prospect Avenue
A tasting lounge and patio are perfect for smaller corporate and wedding receptions
Tasting Room Lounge
Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake
950 E Lawther Dr
Can hold up to 270
Facility Guidelines and photos
Dallas Heritage Village
1515 South Harwood St.
Can host from 20 to 3,500 people
38-structures on 13 acres
Your rental helps support educational programs for over 30,000 area school children
| All information and photographs provided by the respective venues