Tips

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Weddings are Getting Social

With the growth of online social media platforms, millions of users are constantly using social media as a gateway for sharing status updates, pictures, and ideas with people across the world. Now, social has become relevant to weddings as well, featuring in the planning process and the event itself. So, whether you’re planning for or attending a wedding in the near future, it’s time to get a little social about the subject.

Weddings, social media and your West Texas caterer

Lately, using social sites such as Pinterest and Facebook to seek wedding planning inspiration has become popular. While sharing status updates and even searching for recommendations from friends is popular on such sites, the use of Pinterest has become a big deal for the bride.

With a visual base, Pinterest offers ideas on just about any wedding aspect you can think of, from wedding themes and style to potential flavors for your wedding reception feast. Whether you’re getting ideas for cakes or searching for recipes, Pinterest is a hot spot for wedding food-related content, and is a great place to get some unique ideas for your event which you can then discuss with your West Texas Caterer. But, it isn’t just a place to get ideas; you should also take a moment to share your special event and pin images for others to see.

Going mobile

Mobile technology is on the rise as well, making social connections easier than ever. Of course, the use of mobile is of far more importance during the wedding planning process. Apart from obvious communication reasons, it includes using applications to keep track of wedding planning information, many of which are free and extremely helpful. Of course, asking questions and advice through mobile apps, especially when you’re on the spot, helps to make last-minute adjustments and plans. Use of mobile gadgets and apps has found its way into the fitting rooms as well. Using mobile to communicate information- during fittings- allows more individuals to participate in that part of the wedding, regardless of where they are.

Increased attendance 

Use of social networks isn’t solely restricted to status updates and sharing links. Video sharing has found its way into a rather interesting part of the wedding ceremony itself. Using video conferencing tools such as Skype and Google Groups enables those who once couldn’t make it to watch, interact, and share in the experience regardless of where they are (even a lunch break at work).

Social etiquette 

Of course, there are a few things to consider with the aspect of social’s introduction into the wedding environment. First of all, for all intents and purposes, sharing pictures of the bride in her gown before the wedding is a no-no. Constantly texting and checking status updates is not such a good idea during the ceremony, out of respect to the bride and groom. Keep in mind that it’s only natural that the bride and groom are the first to upload pictures and status updates to their social networks, so that right is reserved for their special moment.

As digital technology allows us to communicate and share with a wider audience, we can expect social media to become a part of some of the most important events in our lives. Therefore, be prepared for a social wedding, whether you’re planning or participating.