Catered Events

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.

Tips for a Remarkable Picnic

West Texas caterer tips for your next picnic

The best time for a picnic is not limited to summer. Remember that such an event is a chance for a family or a group of friends to bond over meals and share stories. Getting the time to celebrate reunions can be scarce; there is a need to grab opportunities whenever they come. So, if there is a chance for a reunion and the plan is to go outdoors, make the best out of it.

There are various ways to make a celebration with loved ones more remarkable. A picnic doesn’t need to become expensive. All you need is to be creative and sincere to make the event exciting and worthwhile. Texas abounds with different picnic locations, so going out is going to be a fun affair. Through preparation and a spark of creativity, the gathering will most likely end up successful.

Tips for a Successful Picnic in Texas

Potluck

Any invitee to the picnic should be engaged in making it a success. One of the best ways to do this is give everyone a meal task they should handle before the picnic. Communicate this in good time so that everyone involved has the time to buy and prepare their food. Involving everyone will make the meal offered at the picnic more diverse, which will only add to the fun.

If there are several groups, then the food assignment must be designated among the groups. Find a West Texas caterer if the time is limited, or the event is spontaneous. There are lots of caterers in Texas, so there’s no need to be anxious.

Prepare for games

People have their inner kid that’s ready to be let out when the opportunity presents itself. Even parents or old folks will be pleased to be part of the games. Anyone can be an entertainer, so prepare for a number of games. Some of the most entertaining games that can be done outdoors are potato sack relay race, shaving cream bead relay contest, photo scavenger hunt, mummy contest, Capture the Flag, water balloon toss game, hikes, watermelon roll relay, egg race relay, and the three legged race, just to mention a few.

Find game facilitators among the family members or friends so the game transitions will be easy, fast and fun. Prepare games for little kids and old folks so everyone can be involved in the fun and fulfilling experience.

Planning

Besides small talk, there is a need to plan about business or financial matters if it’s a family or a company outing. Ask everyone to bring papers and pens so everyone can draft and pitch ideas during the event. A secretary should be designate for the event, to note down any discussions, ideas, and declarations made at the picnic event.

Chipping-in

Preparing a large picnic can be a drain on financial resources, especially if the planning and preparation is left up to one particular person or group. Talk with the attendees before the actual date so everyone can have a consensus on the financial aspects. This will also give you an opportunity to give everyone a chance to contribute to the event.

Anticipate

Anything can happen during events, especially outdoors. Have extra money, outfits, and necessities such as first-aid kits, umbrellas, raincoats, extra tires, and other important valuables that can be needed in case of an emergency. Preparation will make everyone feel comfortable. Designate someone as the president or lead organizer of the event, someone who will ensure the event goes as planned, and will people can listen to incase of an emergency.

The Challenges of Eating Barbeque at a Special Event

West Texas caterer and proper table manners

Any West Texas caterer has seen it all when it comes to table manners. Usually, people will know how to conduct themselves at formal occasions, but things go awry when it comes to barbeques and many such informal occasions. You might have noticed that there are many ways to do things in life, but adapting to an occasion’s etiquette is of the utmost importance in order to blend in. It is important to know that following table manners/etiquette is usually the preferred way to go, independent of the kind of event or gathering. The following tips should be the foundation to barbecue eating at a special event.

Differentiate what can and can’t be eating with the fingers

As a rule of thumb, almost everything on a plate should be eaten with a knife and fork. A good West Texas caterer will tell you that at a barbecue of informal nature, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken pieces, and ribs are usually more enjoyable when eaten through fingers. On the contrary, steak, fish, and sausages are best eaten with a fork and knife. Although this is a great starting point, you should adapt to the event by observing what other individuals are doing.

Eating steak

Some important steak eating etiquette pointers provided by a West Texas caterer can go a long way when it comes to showing your manners at any special event. A common mistake many people make is smothering steak with sauce; you can observe this at a good restaurant, too. Although you can get away with doing this at an informal gathering, it should be pointed that it is not exactly civilized behavior. The correct way of proceeding if you’re going to use any sauce is the following: pour some sauce next to your steak and dip each bite of meat before you eat it. Avoid pouring directly from the bottle to your steak bite.

Eating ribs

This is an important one since ribs are usually served almost exclusively at informal meals (with the help of a bib.) Since the remaining meat on the rib has a considerable level of difficulty when being cut from the bone, it is usually held by the fingers when you eat it. The rule of thumb in this case, presented by professional West Texas caterers, is to see what the hosts are doing at any given time. This usually sets the standard by which the guests, including you, will behave. Be very careful with stains caused by the sauce. You can avoid stains by eating the ribs slowly and in a mindful way.

It is also important to remember that barbecue manners emphasize function, not style. Therefore, you have many degrees of freedom when eating your food. In that way you will not have to be self-conscious when enjoying your meal. As you may have already experienced, knowing what to do in a particular occasion makes you more relaxed, and even though barbeques are a time to let loose, adhering to proper etiquette is no exception.

Time is More Valuable than Money

When it comes to planning an event, organizing a solid budget is one of the starting points that every plan needs. Of course, we often look at how we can save a few bucks here and there in hopes that we’ll be able to spend it more effectively in other areas.

Save time and money with your West Texas caterer

One of these target areas is the meal-time special planning and preparing situation. We may have cooked for our family and prepared a few treats during the holidays, but preparing a meal for a large group is a whole other beast. Many a times, this lesson is learned too late by which precious time has been invested unproductively. What makes sense is to invest in a catering service, and from the following tips you will see why it is wise to do so.

Save time

Time is the most precious resource of any individual’s day. We are either working, keeping up with hobbies, taking care of our family and pets, or for some, planning a party on occasion (among other things) during the time we have in a day. With all these time consuming activities already on the schedule, it can be difficult to actually invest more time and effort into preparing a full-course meal for your upcoming event.

The great thing about utilizing a catering service is that you’ll be able to focus on the planning process rather than worrying about preparing the food. This allows you to not only save yourself the hassle; it will allow you to invest that time where it could be even more valuable. In most cases, you have work to do. Whether it’s an hourly job or owning your own small business, the time you take away from work can cost you more than you might think you’re saving. That said, let a professional handle the meal for you, as you devote that time to other aspects of the event.

Save money

What few individuals realize is that caterers and other food services often offer better prices, have the know-how to select better quality foods, and possess the resources to prepare them safely while ensuring they offer the best flavor. The common foods you might get at the grocer will still add up, but will possibly cost you the same if not more than a catering service would be able to provide. This is along with the fact that you’ve just saved yourself the time and hassle as well.

Enjoy your event

Instead of running around the kitchen and worrying about delivering the next dish or making sure the pot stays full, you can focus on spending time enjoying your own event. Many are the cases where the host is too busy moving up and down that the joy and purpose of the occasion is lost on them.

With the time, effort, and money costs involved, preparing the feast on your own may end up being more costly than you would have expected. Instead, let the experts at your choice West Texas catering service help you during this time. This way, you not only save yourself the time and hassle, you’ll be able to enjoy the upcoming event you’ve been planning for while the experts provide a dish everyone will appreciate.

Great Meals for Children’s Events

Hosting an event for children takes much consideration, especially when it comes to the choice of meals to be provided. For many of us, we can only guess what the kids are going to like. Even then, it is very likely not everyone will be delighted at the food options laid out for them.

What do kids like?

Your next kid’s event with your West Texas caterer

The first question you want to consider is: What do kids enjoy at an event aimed for them? Children’s priorities in such scenarios are often playing, being entertained, and eating cake/sweet treats. What you must consider is how a good meal is going to fit into this rather simple agenda.

One of the benefits to a kid’s menu situation is that it’s naturally less expensive, includes simple food choices, and can be provided in smaller portions. The key factor in this case is that you’re going to need to come up with a menu that caters to the picky-eater crowd. Most kids aren’t going to enjoy the same foods that adults would savor, and will prefer something that they’re already familiar with. In many cases, the simpler the dish, the more appealing it will be.

Food on the go

Keep in mind that kids probably won’t remember to allocate time in their fun-filled schedule to stop and enjoy a big meal. As such, consider what’s popular with the kids and is easy to eat while they move around and interact. Choose foods that are simple and the kids will be comfortable with, such as pizza, hotdogs, and chicken fingers. One of the best ways to gauge a good children’s dish is to consider if it can be topped with ketchup or cheese.

But for those that want to include some healthy choices into the event, it’s important not to blatantly do so, like providing an asparagus with chestnuts dish. Instead, you want to meet them on a common ground, such as mixing broccoli with sausages, topped with cheese. It’s simple and still has healthy benefits to it.

For kids, a buffet may be just the right answer to your event. Though they may be picky, they tend to sample a variety of options. As long as those options are mobile and easy to get to, they’ll be happy. When it comes to the sweet stuff, dessert considerations are a must at any child-oriented event. Luckily, you will not go wrong with cake and ice cream.

As you plan for your upcoming kids’ event, know that West Texas caterers know what it takes to prepare a menu for the younger crowds. Don’t hesitate to discuss child-friendly options with your choice catering service and get some helpful advice for planning and hosting a children’s event that the kids will love.

A Memorable Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Planning a wedding anniversary celebration isn’t usually left up to the individuals that are being honored on that special day. Rather, the planning is left to their loved ones and friends. When planning an anniversary, the one key element to keep in mind is that the celebration is defined by the source and purpose that it originated from- their honorees wedding day.

Throw an unforgettable event with your West Texas caterer

Setting up the same circumstances that your parents met in is one of the ideal anniversary scenarios to plan. What was special about the occasion? What type of music was played, or what type of fashion was the rage then? The smallest details can make a world of difference when planning a wedding anniversary celebration.

Other ideas include setting up the memorable moments such as their first date together. Where was it? What were the circumstances? What did they eat then? These are often stories that parents share with their children over the years, so it’s your chance to live it with them and show them you were listening.

Setting the mood

One of the best ways to light up the atmosphere at the event is to offer the guests topics of conversation. You can do this by using prompt cards with facts and questions to generate discussion amongst the guests. What was popular during the time period? What song was at the top of the charts? What about the dress code? Getting dressed up for the event can be a fun way to complete the atmosphere, so put on your decade’s attire and join in the fun.

Setting the atmosphere also depends on the scents and flavor of the situation. The dish served at their wedding or even their first date together are a must for this type of event. Of course, adding in a few of their new favorites will keep everyone satisfied at the dinner table.

Remember when …

An excellent idea to include is the simple act of remembering the impact the celebrated couple’s life has had on everyone present at the event. Putting together photo clips and videos of the couple’s past all the way to the present day is a great way to show everyone how much the couple has influenced the world around them by being together.

Whether it was last year or fifty years ago, a wedding anniversary celebration is always one to remember. And as a couple spends more time together, the occasion becomes that much more significant in their lives. So, take your time planning the event, and be careful to get your facts right before you start planning.

Gluten Free at Your Next Event

When planning an event, one of the biggest concerns is the food you plan to offer. With so many recipes and ingredients to consider, preparing the right combination for your event is one thing that requires careful consideration. This is mainly because your goal is catering to your guest’s food needs. While some like it all, there are those with allergies to foods such as shellfish, eggs, or peanuts. However, there is a growing concern for one particular food item that can be even more detrimental than allergies- gluten.

Consult your West Texas Caterer for gluten free meals

Gluten-free, please

Gluten is naturally found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley and is primarily found in products such as bread and crackers. But, they aren’t the only products that can contain gluten. Noodles, breading, stuffing, and even canned goods such as chicken broths also contain gluten. As such, it pays to be aware of the contents of your ingredients before you prepare them for the guests.

Gluten has become more of a concern in recent years due to the fact that Celiac Disease can cause intestinal inflammation and scarring. It isn’t like food allergies, but is just as more dangerous to the unsuspecting guest.

But that doesn’t mean your guests can’t enjoy a wide variety of recipes. These days, gluten free pastas, crackers, breading, and assorted recipes have become widely available, though they tend to be a little more expensive when pre-packaged.

Gluten alternatives

As such, you will have to consider alternatives for your gluten-free event. Such entrees as the bacon-wrapped almond or cheese-stuffed dates are excellent dishes. All fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and dairy products are naturally gluten-free, but be sure to double check that the food items haven’t been mixed with gluten (such as breaded, canned, or stuffed items). Substituting ingredients in a recipe for gluten-free alternatives results in a healthier and tastier menu for all of your guests.

Not all grains contain gluten either, so don’t strike starch off the menu just yet. Rice is amongst the better known grains that is naturally gluten free and can replace an array of ingredients in many recipes. Rather than breaded chicken, you can go with a chicken and wild-rice recipe.

Because preparing a gluten free menu will take time and careful consideration combined with food-safety knowledge, it’s ideal to discuss these options with your preferred West Texas catering service. This will ensure that not only is your food gluten-free, but the recipes present the best flavor for your guests to enjoy.

So, the next time you find yourself preparing a menu for an event, consider the needs of your guests carefully so that you can ensure that everyone can enjoy the meal prepared for them. After all, as the host of the party, it’s your task to make sure everyone has a happy and healthy experience at your event.

Big Mistake – Catering Your Own Wedding

While planning a wedding, many soon discover that budgets can often be limited, offering little flexibility. For that matter, the one area of the whole arrangement that organizers look to save on costs is the catering. It sounds easy enough to whip up a few family recipes, perhaps even bake a cake, and plan some interesting ideas for your guests. However, often enough it turns out to be a costly mistake.

West Texas catering service for a smooth wedding celebration

First of all, consider what it is that a catering service offers. It isn’t just about preparing the food, it’s about handling the process and knowing what to expect. A well-trained staff is well experienced for the job, enabling them to perform effectively and solve problems easily. Not only that, but they are also trained on safety and hygienic food preparations, ensuring that your guests get the flavor they want at no risk to their health.

Costs speak loud

Additionally, catering can turn out to be less expensive when considering time, materials, and ingredients (some of which you may not so easily be able to find without professional expertise) needed for a wedding. Dinnerware can get expensive as well, and can quickly drain your budget.

Another issue with self-catering is that it can be difficult to measure exactly the amount of food your guests are going to eat. Professional caterers can focus on preparing enough for everyone and also offer a wider menu for your guests (versatility).

Experience

Ultimately, the professional caterer knows what it takes to be prepared for the requirements of the event. Timing and effective delivery are essential to keeping your guests happy and excited. Food prepping requirements, such as when certain foods need to be prepared and delivered to the guests, can leave many self-caterers confused because they don’t have the experience or the understanding of what it takes to cater successfully.

Experience matters, and is something that the West Texas catering professionals have in plenty. In fact, there is a story about one couple that tried to cater their own wedding for a group of 50 and it turned out to be a disaster. No one knew what to expect, even with family and friends helping. Communication wasn’t effective, and the family found themselves riding the elevator up and down twenty five floors to retrieve silverware and other supplies because the location (the couple’s condo) wasn’t properly equipped to handle the event. Being prepared matters a lot and that takes experience.

So before you decide to cater your own wedding, consider the demands and costs it will take on you. This is a special time for you and your family, so it’s best to rely on the professionals to help you out so you can focus on enjoying the special moments.

Irish Dishes Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is renowned for its green color scheme and extravagant parades. It is celebrated on March 17 to honor St. Patrick for his dedication to bring Christianity to Ireland and help those in need during the fourth century. It wasn’t until many centuries later that he was adopted as an official saint by the Catholic Church. As a result, the Feast of St. Patrick was first observed in the early 17th century and has gradually become a widespread cultural celebration of Irish heritage.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with West Texas catering service

St. Patrick’s Day favorites

We’re all familiar with the green attire and shamrocks which are commonly worn on this special day.  It’s also wonderful to parade around town, enjoying the festivities and wide-spread celebrations that are held on this day. But, St. Patrick’s Day is also about the feast, thus one should always consider what they’re going to serve at their party event.

One of the most commonly served dishes is the good old classic corned beef and cabbage. Often, corned beef was mixed together with potato. Potatoes feature in an abundance of dishes, as it has been one of Irelands leading exports for centuries. However, did you know that corned beef is not a traditional dish in Ireland? In fact, it wasn’t until the celebrations came to America that this became a popular Irish-American dish for St. Patrick’s Day feasts.

All-out Irish

If you’re looking to go a little more Irish, you could try the sausage and potato coddle, which mixes together pork sausage, bacon, potatoes, along with herbs and spices to offer a classic Irish flavor. It’s simple, it’s got the ingredients, and it goes great with an Irish stout beer (served at room temperature as they do it).

Lamb is something very popular in Ireland, and specifically to St. Patrick himself, who as a boy spent time as a shepherd. In fact, Shepherd’s pie has been a classic Irish dish, featuring chopped lamb, mashed potatoes, lamb gravy, and a touch of onions. However, many today replace lamb with beef as it’s easier to cook and often more convenient. But, if you’re interested in preserving its authenticity, you can rely on your choice West Texas catering service to help deliver the flavor you want at your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

If you’re serious about going all-out Irish, beer-baked beef offers a recipe composed of carrots, onions, bacon, and Irish stout beer. Take your classic beef, cut and marinate with Irish stout beer- which is renowned for having a strong flavor, and actually helps soften the meat up as well.

Don’t forget dessert

You can’t forget about adding a little sweetness to the celebration though. If you’re into the sweet stuff, chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish Cream frosting definitely make a fine dessert. Or, for the adults, you could always enjoy some Irish coffee, using only two teaspoons of Irish whiskey, a little sugar, and some cream on top.

Saint Patrick’s Day goes beyond feasting and wearing green to honor Irish heritage. It’s about remembering what one man did with his life, the sacrifices he made, and the great things he did for the country he called home.

Employee Appreciation Day

The first Friday of March, which happens to be the 1st of March this year, is Employee Appreciation Day. Since 1995, employees have received special appreciation for their hard work and diligence in the workplace.

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with your West Texas caterer

You may be wondering how you can show your employees some generous appreciation on this day. But don’t be worried, as there are plenty of ways you can show your employees how much they matter to you and your business.

Show them some love

How can you show your employees they’re working for the right business? Often, a simple note of appreciation can go a long way. Employers don’t often credit their employees for playing the major part that they do. So why not write a short and simple letter. You’d be surprised at how far a few words will lift your employee’s morale, plus it’s something they can be proud to post on their wall.

You should reward positive action. Do your employees go above and beyond their normal duties? Do they stay late to take care of a project? Take these things into consideration when they go the distance for the business they represent.

Something to celebrate

Quite often, nothing says “thank you” like throwing a celebration in their honor. Every worker requires sustenance to keep their bodies and minds active and functioning, which makes the benefits of an excellently prepared lunch ideal for both employer and employee. More energy and higher morale inevitably lead to improved productivity.

The important thing is that you get everyone together- and that means everyone. Schedule it into the day and make sure that everyone attends. In many cases, it’s a good idea to attend an “at work” event in shifts (though it may not get everyone together at the same time).Take on the work if need be, but give your employees a chance to relax and feel separated from work while they enjoy the event. And the bonus here is that you can surprise them with it, like icing on the cake.

Not all employers can handle an “at work” event, perhaps due to space or even timing (such as customers walking in or business situations that need to be attended to). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get together and enjoy some festivities after work (and a great chance to relax after a long day). Just be sure that you plan this ahead of time, since surprises can crash with your employee’s previous plans. Give them notice and most of all, give them a great reason to attend the event (such as a raffle and some good eats from your favorite West Texas catering service).

Employees are an integral part of every business. While they may not have their names displayed on the door, it is always good to show them the appreciation that they deserve. Take some time to plan out an event that will give credit where it’s due and let your employees know how important they are to your business’ success.