How to Choose a Juicy, Delicious Watermelon

The summer heat always makes us crave for refreshments to help us cool down. Fruits make great refreshments because there are so many ways we can prepare and enjoy them. Watermelons are available almost all year round and make a great healthy treat either as dessert or snack.

West Texas catering service tips for your summer event

Although watermelons are made up of 90 percent water and 6 percent sugar, they pack in good amounts of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, B6, and B1 as well as potassium and magnesium minerals. The challenge is how to choose the right and flavorful watermelon.

Here are some tips on how you can take home a watermelon that you can share and serve to beat the summer heat:

Outside looks matter – To get an idea of how ripe a watermelon is on the inside, you have to go by how it looks and feels on the outside. Look for bright skinned watermelons that are symmetrical, firm, and free from major “scars and bruises.”

Turn your watermelon over and look for its “ground spot”. This spot is where the watermelon sat while it was growing on the farm. If the spot is creamy yellow, you have a ripe watermelon. If the spot is green or white, it may indicate that your watermelon is not as ripe or might have been picked too soon.

Weight – Ripe watermelons contain more water. Try and lift your watermelon and feel its weight. Go for those that feel heavy for their size.

Listen – Finally, you can tell if a watermelon is ripe by tapping it with your free hand. Place it two inches away from your ear and tap. A ripe watermelon makes a hollow sound. A not so ripe one will make a solid sound, while an over ripe one will sound thick.

Ripe watermelons make some of the most flavorful treats and you can choose to serve it sliced or toss it in your blender with some crushed ice to make a fruit shake. If you are throwing an event this summer, serving watermelon in many ways will surely give your guests more ways to enjoy this healthy fruit.

If you are planning an event in the coming days or weeks, and you feel like you don’t have time to prepare the meals yourself, you can count on your West Texas catering service to take care of the event. Consult them about serving up fresh watermelon fruit refreshments that will perfectly match your summer event.

Planning the Family Reunion – Family Party Ideas

When the subject of planning a family reunion comes up among family members many find it hard to agree on the location or activities. Does this dilemma often delay the planning process? Don’t be dismayed. You’re not alone. Most families experience the same challenge. When the well runs dry of good ideas for your next family reunion here are a few suggestions that will get your planning off to a running start.

Plan your family reunion with your West Texas catering service

1. Choose a Theme
2. Choose Theme Related Activities
3. Choose the Ideal Location
4. Create your Itinerary and Luncheon/Dinner Program
5. Event Planning Software

Choose a Family Reunion Theme

The first step in planning the event is choosing a theme. Your theme will help you determine activities, location and the items in your Itinerary and dinner program. There are a number of themes common to annual family gatherings. Themes are often centered on the family name, homestead and heritage. Other themes may be closely tied to the activities of the event such as the following:

Traditional Themed Gathering
Genealogy Homestead Tour
Family Fest
Family Reunion Cruise
Living Legends Ball

Theme Based Event Planners

Some event planning applications feature theme based planning. Each theme comes with a prewritten itinerary, dinner program and activities we well as logos and even t-shirt and invitations designs.

Choose Family Reunion Theme Related Activities

Now that your theme is established you can better consider activities that would be appropriate for this special occasion. Typical activities may include a visit to the old homestead, luncheon program on the premises, family history recital, story time, presentation of family quilt or other heirloom, honoring of family elders. Some of these activities may be incorporated in a dinner program.

Choose The Ideal location

Having established the theme and an outline of activities, choosing an ideal location should be much easier. The locations considered should allow for the enjoyment of most if not all activities listed.

Create Your Itinerary

Once the location is selected it is time to start putting together an itinerary of event. Create a simple list of activities and include the day and time each activity is scheduled.

Event Planning Software

As said earlier, reunion planning software applications make theme selection and associated activities a whole lot easier. When looking for such a planner choose one that provides a theme selector. Theme selectors guide you through the initial planning process by providing theme related activities. The application should provide a prewritten Itinerary and luncheon/dinner program. Other important features would include a timeline planner and attendee roster. Even better are planners that include a budget calculation application.

So if the well has run dry of good ideas for your next reunion, filling it up is as simple as selecting a family reunion theme and associated activities. A reliable theme based event planning application may be all that’s needed.

Mark Askew is the founder of Fimark Home Online at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net, a family reunion planning resource that features event planning software, worksheets and applications, special occasion printables including poems, logos, flyers, invitations, banners and event planning tips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_A._Askew

How to Plan Your Quinceanera Invitations

So, you have your quinceanera theme, you have selected your quince court, you’ve made reservations for a church, and you have booked a location for your banquet? As long as you have your guest list, it sounds like you are ready to plan and order your quinceanera invitations. After all, you want your guests to show up for your big day, and getting them their invitations is the first step to making that happen! Here are some tips and tricks for getting your invites together:

West Texas catering service tips for your Quinceaneara invitations

Timeframe: You want to order your quince invitations at least 3-4 months before your big party. This will give you time to order samples if you are ordering online, and it will also give you time to fix any problems should there be any issues once your invites arrive.

Options: There are basically three main options for getting your invitations: in person at a stationary/printing shop, an online stationer/invitation printer, or you can DIY your invites.

If you are selecting an online printer, as always make sure you are making your purchase from a safe, reputable business. Search for reviews on google.com, check their rating with the BBB, and always make a secure payment (such as a credit card payment-not a wire transfer) in case something does go wrong with your transaction. See also the FTC Shopping Online Guidelines-these guidelines are great knowledge for any online shopping that you may be doing, quinceanera or otherwise.

What you need to get started: Full names and correct spelling of your quince court and padrinos, name and address of church and banquet venue, and the time each will start. You will also need an idea of how many invitations you will need.

Tip: you will need one invitation per household. Exception: If a guests child is living at home (or another member of extended family), he/she will receive a separate invite.

You will also need to have a good idea of what wording you will use. There are many excellent wording examples online.

English or Spanish?: This is your call, but keep your guests in mind with this one. Which will be the easiest for them? You can also do a combination!

Sometimes, the examples don’t cover all unique situations, such as step-families and so on. Not to worry-there are ways to word any situation and it really just requires a little extra thought -play with the wording and just make sure to show the proper respect for all parties involved.

Common types of invitation: One-sided card, traditional card, an invitation with your photo right on it, and an actual scroll are examples of quinceanera invitation styles. There are so many options available, making it very likely that you will be able to find an invitation that goes well with your quince theme. Example: there are ticket-style invites you can use for a Hollywood themed quinceanera.

Special touches: Many quinceaneras include a photo of the quinceanera with the invite. If you want to do this, you can make sure this separate photo shoot is included in the event photographers fee. Money-saver: if it is not included or it is too pricey, you could do a “photo shoot” with a friend or family member taking the pics. You can then edit your favorite photo with a photo editing service, such as Pic Monkey, which I have found to be not only awesome, but easy to use and free.

You can add an extra special touch of personalized photo stamps to your quince invite envelopes-or you could use a photo from your party to make stamps for your thank you notes. You could also seal each envelope with a sticker.

Other options: It is up to you to decide if you want to go formal and include RSVP cards and reception cards. In my opinion, neither are truly a necessity, especially considering that the majority of the RSVP cards will never make their way back to you. You can ask your guests to RSVP by phone, text or email, and you will still find that the practice of RSVP-ing is just truly rare. The reception cards are a nice touch; however, if you can fit that information onto your invite, it is not an absolute necessity, IMO.

Sending them out: Send out your invitations about six weeks before your quince. Before you drop them in the mailbox, head to the Post Office, and weigh an invite or two to make sure you are attaching the right amount of postage. If they have insufficient postage, they will be returned for you and at that point, you will have a hard time getting them to your guests on time.

As soon as you have ordered your invitations, you can move on the next step: which is collecting all of the addresses that you need to send invitations to!

My Perfect Quince is an online quinceanera resource for planning your perfect quince!

For more information on quinceanera themes and quince planning, visit our website, My Perfect Quince at http://myperfectquince.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sarah_Stockham

Event Venue Decoration Insights

Throwing an event is not usually an easy undertaking, given there are a lot of things that you have to consider; the food to serve, a location to accommodate all the attending guests, a theme for the event, and setting up everything in place. Regardless of all the tasks and pressure we face, we still throw events because we want to get together and celebrate something with friends, family, and colleagues. Events also give us the chance to meet new people. There are so many reasons to throw an event but with one goal in mind, to provide everyone with a pleasant setting, delicious food, and welcome company to enjoy.

Event decorations and your West Texas caterer

Event settings speak a lot about the host/event and it is one of the things that your guests will remember. That is why it is important to choose the right location for your occasion. When decorating your desired setting, it is important to think about your theme. What are you celebrating? Do you have a desired motif? Will the motif suit the settings? What mood do you want the decorations to create?

Once you have answered these questions, you have to decide which decorations you will include in your event. These will be items like candles, centerpieces, table and chair decorations, lighting fixtures, balloons, and whatever else you can think of that will suit the environment you want to create.

If you are within a budget and are looking to save on decoration costs, there are Do-It-Yourself kits you can purchase like lanterns or centerpieces. Additionally, something fun like a popcorn bar that serves different flavored-popcorn or candy/dessert will be much appreciated by the younger crowd.

Venue needs

If you are going to rent a place, ensure that the venue can accommodate your desired settings and decorations. If need be, you may have to ask for more equipment from the venue’s owner, like power plugs and cords for the lighting fixtures. It is important to visualize the space that you are going to fill. How many tables will you need and will they fit in your venue? Are you serving a la carte (according to the menu) or buffet style?

Answering these questions will give you a clearer picture of how you can decorate the venue. This way you will have everything you need beforehand, thus ensuring you don’t have to scramble at the last minute, or that nothing goes to waste.

Therefore, take the time to plan your event. Sit down and list the supplies and equipment that you need. Is there anyone who can help you with your event, like suppliers that can provide what you need? If you don’t have enough time to do everything on your own, rely on a West Texas Catering service to take care of everything. They will come up with delicious food as well as help you find the perfect place to host the event. This will leave you more time to concentrate on decorating the event’s venue.

June is Country Cooking Month

The month of June officially marks the start of summer. Kids will fill the streets to play and have fun, and adults will be entrusted to take advantage of the great weather to come up with meals that can be enjoyed by family and friends in outdoor settings, such as gardens and parks.

Celebrate Country Cooking this June

Summer brings with it hot weather; a good reason why many like spending the time outdoors. With many people opting to take vacations so as to spend more time with family, it is important to consider what meals to prepare during this quality time. Do you remember how it felt when you were young and your mom or grandmother prepared meals that you still crave up to this day? Well, it is time to relive those memories by celebrating Country Cooking Month.

What is country cooking?

Country cooking means differently for everyone. Some people consider it a time to cook fatty and unhealthy meals. Others think of it as a time to be frugal and cook what is at hand. Yet other people celebrate it by preparing their favorite family recipes.

While there may be no definite meaning to country cooking, what is important to remember is that the aim should be to always prepare the best meals for your loved ones. Country cooking is about taking the time to prepare special meals for the family, like how your grandma perfected that favorite meal you always asked for. They all started from scratch, prepared in their own kitchen.

How can one participate?

There are various ways you can celebrate country cooking during the month of June. Remember that the goal is to prepare meals in your own kitchen, or if you’re visiting, in your host’s kitchen. Try to avoid pre-made or boxed meals. Instead, ask for an heirloom recipe. If you are cooking with your mom or grandma, it is time to pay attention and help out on how it is prepared. If not, try to get as much details as possible.

Technology changed the process of cooking, making it easier and faster to prepare meals. This June, stick to the old fashioned cooking tools and avoid blenders, mixers, microwaves, and other electric kitchen gadgets. Your hands and stove should do all the work.

Back in the day people would hunt their own food. Although you can’t really do this now, you can always go fishing and prepare the day’s catch for a nice meal. Cookouts are also perfect during summer and are a great way to celebrate Country Cooking month.

Summer cooking also means a little too much than people can stuff, meaning the fridge will always be full of leftovers. If you are out of recipes to prepare for the family, you just have to open the refrigerator and create a meal from the leftovers.

Country cooking reminds us how our ancestors used to prepare meals for their families. Celebrating it reminds us of the importance of spending time with loved ones and strengthening the bond through food preparation. So take the time this June to gather everyone in your garden and serve them with your own country cooked meals.

End of School Year Cookout

School’s almost out and the best way to celebrate another year of school is to spend it with your classmates and friends. As summer begins, people already have plans on how they will spend their vacation. However, before everyone goes out to chase their perfect vacation, throw a cookout that gathers everyone and offers a chance to share stories about the previous school year, enjoy the outdoors, and eat some great food.

West Texas catering service for your end of school cookout

When throwing a cookout, it is important to know how many people are going to attend, or at least a close estimate so you can choose the appropriate venue and the right amount of meals to prepare. Also, is the cookout going to be a potluck situation or will you host it on your own? Potluck means that the guests bring different meal items for the event, which they know and are informed about beforehand. If you choose the latter option (hosting it yourself), the meals that you prepare are going to be crucial to the outcome of the cookout event. If you are still pondering over what to cook, here are some recipes you make use of:

Asian Chicken Skewers

For this recipe you will need a marinade mixture made of cilantro leaves, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, salt and onions. Throw them in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Prepare skewers and place boneless, skinless chicken strips onto the skewers. Place the skewered chicken strips onto a nonreactive baking dish and rub the marinade mixture on each strip. Cover the dish and leave it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to marinate. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until well charred or cooked through.

Grilled Hotdogs with Homemade Pickle Relish

Hotdogs and sausages are favorites among cookouts. What you need is a pack of hotdogs or sausages, assorted mustard, ketchup, hotdog buns, and other condiments that go well with hotdog sandwiches (like your favorite homemade pickle relish).

You can make your own pickle relish with the following ingredients and procedure:

• You will need cider vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, sugar, sour dill pickles, red and yellow pepper, onions, and fresh dill.
• Boil vinegar, mustard, and coriander seeds in medium heat until reduced by half and slightly syrupy.
• Remove from heat then add remaining ingredients. Mix all together. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
• Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

If your guests have any special requests on condiments, consider having jalapenos, tomatoes, and grated cheese on hand. The condiments will give your guests more choices to satisfy their varying taste buds.

Cookouts are always pleasant events and double as a great way to end the school year. If you think that you will be short of time in preparing and handling the meal requirements, you can always ask your West Texas catering service to step in and ensure a great event.

Make Proper Introductions

Knowing how to introduce people at social events and gatherings is an important skill that shouldn’t be overlooked. This is because it speaks volumes about not only the people you are introducing, but also yourself. The main purpose for making introductions is for people to know each other better. Other than just stating the names of the involved parties, it is your obligation to establish a connection and help the parties build on it.

Proper introductions at your next event

While at a catered event, you do not have to introduce the newcomer to everybody in the room. Introduce the person to the closest group, starting with the newcomer’s name and then the others in the group. If you can’t remember everyone’s name, ask the group members to introduce themselves.

Welcome every guest

It is important for the host of the function to meet all the guests so as to make them feel at home. At a business function, it may be impossible for the guests to know the host(s). As such, any organization should choose several representatives to welcome guests at the door when they arrive. The representatives then escort the guest(s) to where the host is, so proper introductions can be made.

Respect authority

Figure out who commands greater respect between any two people you are about to introduce. For instance, your boss commands much more respect than say, your friend. Similarly, your grandmother will be senior to your new boyfriend. If the event is formal, use phrases such as ”May I introduce” or ”Have you met”. Begin with the name of the person who has the greater authority. Include the necessary titles such as ‘Dr.’ or ‘Prof.’ and use the first as well as the last name. As you carry on with the introduction, include relevant details such as the relationship that you have with the person whom you are introducing.

Informal introductions

If the catered event is informal, such as a backyard barbecue, you can simply introduce guests by one name. Avoid repeating names or reversing the mode of introduction at both formal and informal events. Remember, it is your role to try to initiate a conversation between the introduced guests, particularly if they seem unable to do so. The best way to do this is by mentioning something that is common to both of them.

In large meetings, it is necessary to introduce the speaker. The introduction helps to prepare the audience for the speaker and thus heighten their anticipation and openness. It also acts as the bridge between one part of the meeting and the others. Your role is to introduce the speaker rather than take the center stage. Therefore, you should keep such introductions brief. Talk to the speaker in advance to learn about what they intend to talk about. Learn as much as you can about their education, interests, life, experience, and accomplishments.

A good introduction should inform people why the speaker is about to address a certain topic/issue at the event. Thus, the first part of the introduction should state the common concern or problem that the audience shares. The other part of the introduction should highlight the credentials of the speaker, in order to connect the main issue to the speaker’s strengths in that area. Make your introduction and conclude with the name of the speaker. Shake their hands as they approach the podium, and let them take over from there.

In some cases, you may be asked to conclude the event after the speaker has finished. In such cases, make sure you are prepared and ready. Give a vote of thanks to both the speaker(s) and the audience, and release anyone willing to leave at that time. Remember, introductions help to set the mood for the event, so make sure they are properly done.

Luncheon for Your Bridesmaids

Wedding events are a task to prepare for, as often the bride and groom want the day to be a perfect success; just how they have dreamt about. On the wedding day itself, a lot of people get involved, all with different roles. In all the buzz and excitement, one might forget to extend their thanks to some groups of people whose contributions sometimes get overlooked; like the bridesmaids, for example.

Bridesmaids’ luncheon with West Texas catering service

A bridesmaids’ luncheon is a small gathering you can host to thank your bridesmaids and everyone who helps with the wedding planning. Such an event would be a great time for everyone involved to get together and enjoy, without thinking of the wedding. The luncheon can be brunch, normal lunch, or dinner. The bride usually hosts the event. If the bride is too busy, the mothers, close friends or relatives can step in for the bride.

When is the best time?

You can throw the luncheon depending on your needs. For example, is your wedding being held out of town so as to necessitate guests travelling before the event? If so, you can throw your luncheon in your hotel room or function hall for a few hours. Enough to have an intimate sit down meal with your bridesmaids.

Or if everyone is easily accessible, say all your guests are already in town, you can plan a spa date or a picnic a few days before the wedding day. You can choose any activity that the bridesmaids will enjoy. The goal is to show your appreciation to everyone who is part of the wedding planning. If you have gifts for your bridesmaids, this is also the perfect time to give them.

While bridesmaids’ luncheons are not entirely centered on having activities, a nice intimate meal is enough for such an event. There is no better way to form bonds but through good food. Since everyone will be busy with the wedding preparations, you can ask your West Texas catering service to help you plan out the luncheon. Have the catering service offer their ideas on the best locations, preferably outdoors as summer is here.

Wedding preparations require a lot of time and energy. Your bridesmaids in particular will be charged with a lot of responsibilities to ensure the day is a success. As such, it is great if you can set aside a few hours to show your appreciation for all the work and effort they will put in. Not only will a luncheon be greatly appreciated, it will also go a long way in relieving the stress that all of you have been experiencing while going through the preparations. So come wedding day, all of you will have the energy and radiance to make the event a success.

Make a Great Hamburger

With spring time here and summer not so far off in the distance, it is that time of the year where family gatherings and friendly get together are frequent. With the fine weather, it would be crazy not to want to get out more and enjoy the season.

West Texas Catering service and your outdoor events

Cookouts and picnics are a great way to spend your days with the people you care about. But like any other event, the food to eat and how to prepare it is something that needs to be planned properly.

How ‘bout a ‘burger?

Hamburgers are one of America’s favorite food and you can easily find them in your local restaurant. However, it is also great if you can prepare and serve them to your guests in your upcoming event because of the many ways you can enjoy it. First, you need to know how to make a great burger patty because they say that it is what makes a great hamburger. Here are some tips on how to prepare a delicious burger patty.

• It is important to choose the best meat possible so go for the best quality beef you can find. Meat that has about 15-20 percent fat, or 80-85 percent lean meat is fine. The fat is essential to add flavor in your burger. If you have a meat grinder at home, you can use that to grind your meat. If not, make sure to purchase your ground meat in a trusted meat shop to ensure that you get the cuts you want.

• Once you have the meat, you want to add seasoning that will complement the beef flavor. Avoid eggs, bread crumbs, and anything heavy that can ruin the flavor. Instead, go for tried and tested ingredients like pepper, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, shallot, and onions. You can also add herbs and Dijon mustard.

• When shaping the patties, the point is to make them thin and wide as the patty will shrink when cooked. Avoid over-handling the meat because it toughens the burger. There is no need to compress the patty for it to hold.  Press the center of the patties to keep them from bulging out while cooking.

• Grill the patties on medium-high heat and with the cover on. Do not overcook your burger; 3 minutes per side works for medium-rare, and 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through for the kids. Avoid pressing your burgers while grilling them as this pushes out all the juice, ending up with dry burgers. Now that you have the burger patties ready, you can place a buffet of condiments for the guests so they can freely choose which ones go on their burgers.

Make your outdoor events fun and unforgettable by serving your favorite meals in a creative manner. If you find preparing for your next event too time consuming, ask your West Texas catering service to help you prepare great meals that are perfect for everyone at the event.

Happy National Egg Month

Celebrate National Egg Month this May!

Celebrate National Egg Month with West Texas Catering Service

The holiday is a reminder of the numerous benefits of the egg and is observed throughout the month. The holiday originated from the American Egg Board and other related groups to remind us how good eggs are. Apart from being easy to cook, eggs can be enjoyed in various ways.

Eggs are rich in vitamins A, D, E, B6, B12, and minerals like iron, calcium, choline, folic acid, potassium, in addition to being an excellent source of protein. It is for these nutritious reasons that eggs are a great way to start your day. As such, here are some breakfast recipes to try as you celebrate National Egg Month.

The B.E.L.T Sandwich

BELT stands for the healthy mix of bacon, eggs, lettuce, and tomatoes. Toast your bread and set it aside. Cook bacon in medium heat until crispy. Cook your egg scrambled or sunny side up, and add pepper or other herbs that you will enjoy with your egg. Spread a little mayonnaise on the toast, add the bacon, eggs, lettuce (or arugula), and tomatoes to complete the tasty sandwich.

Texas-Style Egg Tacos

For this you need bacon, red peppers, jalapenos, russet potatoes, chopped red onions, minced garlic, eggs, cheese, and warmed flour tortillas. Cook bacon until crispy and set it aside. Cook the potatoes in a non-stick pan until golden brown. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté the mixture until soft. Once soft, proceed to add the red peppers, bacon, and eggs (in that order) into the pan. For best results, scramble the eggs until cooked. Sprinkle a little salt, or leftover peppers to flavor.

You are now ready to place the mixture into the tortillas. Top it off with cheese before rolling up the tortilla.

Classic French Omelet

Omelets are fun and flexible to prepare because you can be as creative as you wish to satisfy your taste. For the classic French omelet, what you need is olive oil, cold butter, eggs, salt, pepper, Gruyere cheese, and finely chopped chives. Start by heating the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Whisk eggs until they are frothy, add some butter into the eggs. Place the remaining butter into the pan and let it melt. Pour the beaten eggs mixture into the pan and cook until they are nearly ready. Add the Gruyere cheese and chopped herbs for flavor. Keep mixing everything until cooked to your preference.

If you are throwing an event this May, celebrate National Egg Month by asking a West Texas catering service to prepare meals that include eggs in it; so everyone in your event can remember the many ways we can enjoy this nutritious food.