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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Mood Board Monday: January Edition

Mood Boards for two of our upcoming events:

Our Favorite Things: Mexican Coke

I have a confession to make. While I usually am pretty picky about the food and beverage items that I buy, I can sometimes be a sucker for creative packaging. With that being said, one of the original reasons why I bought a Mexican Coca-Cola was because of the packaging. There’s something about drinking a coke out of a slim glass bottle rather then an aluminum can that just feels right. If you haven’t tried a Mexican Coke yet, I suggest you put it at the top of your to do list.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Besides the packaging, American Coca-Cola is made with high-fructose corn syrup while the other is made with sugar. Because of this, the Mexican Coke produces a smoother, less acidic, and superior taste. It’s one of our favorite things!

Superbowl Series: Mango Habanero Wings with Bleu Cheese Cole Slaw

What would the Superbowl be without wings? Or some bleu cheese to slather them in for that matter? Dress up your wings with a bleu cheese and cracked pepper cole slaw for a delicious twist on this sports classic and instead of reaching for the typical buffalo sauce, try this Mango Habanero Sauce. It’s sweet but spicy – you can’t go wrong!

Mango Habanero Sauce

2 Ripe Mangos – Peeled pitted and rough chopped.

1/2 cup of Chardonnay

2 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice

1/2 of 1 Habanero Pepper – Seeded and finely minced.

Puree the Mangos, wine, and orange juice until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Mix in the Habanero. refrigerate if not using immediately.

The Superbowl Series: Ham and Cheese Sliders with a Poppy-Seed Sauce

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s just ham and cheese on a small bun, right?” Wrong. It goes without saying that ham and melted cheese are a delicious combination to begin with, but this particular version has a secret ingredient; A poppy-seed sauce that can turn any second-string slider into an all-star. With the Superbowl in the near future, they are a perfect addition to your snacking line-up. What makes them even better is the fact that you can assemble them the night before to ensure that you spend less time in the kitchen and more time cheering on your favorite team.

Ham and Cheese Sliders with a Poppy-Seed Sauce

Slider Recipe:
2 Packages of Slider buns (24 buns) (you can find them fairly easy in the bread aisle of your local grocery store)
24 slices of ham (thick sliced or to your liking)
24 small pieces of Swiss cheese
1/3 cup of Mayonnaise
1/3 cup of Miracle Whip

Sauce Recipe:
3/4 Tablespoon of Poppy-seeds
1 Tablespoon of Mustard (we use Dijon)
1/4 cup of salted butter, melted
1/2 Tablespoon of minced onion
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the mayo and the miracle whip together.
In a separate bowl whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.
Spread Mayo mixture evenly on the center of each slider buns. Place a piece of ham and cheese on each, close bun, and place each sandwich in a large baking dish.
Brush the sauce generously and evenly on the outside of each slider and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the butter starts to set. Cover with foil
and bake for 10-13 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Uncover and bake for 2 minutes or until the tops of the sandwiches are slightly browned. Enjoy right away!

Behind The Scenes: Initial Planning: Harry Potter Birthday Party

When one of our favorite clients approached us about planning a Harry Potter themed birthday bash for her twelve year old son, we have to admit that the child in all of us got a little (okay, very) excited.

Here we will show you some of the steps we have taken in the initial planning phase of this particular party.

The first thing we do when planning a complex or larger event is to create a mood board. What is a mood board? Good question. A mood board is just like it sounds. It’s a board that we post anything on that we think sets the mood of our event. (see our Harry Potter Board above). This may include images, color swatches, icons, etc. The list is endless. Basically, it is organized chaos of anything that we may find that we can put on to the board to inspire creativity. These visuals also help our staff to get on the same page with the type and tone of the event. It’s Point A, if you will.

Originally when we founded our company we did mood boards the old fashioned way (Cut and paste! ARGH!) but with the addition of moodshare software (finally!) we have been able to create digital boards that our entire event team can share and modify anywhere wifi allows, which is great when we are on the go. Not only are we happy to not be knee-deep in scissors and elmers glue anymore, but being able to add media files to our boards as well has offered up a whole other depth of inspiration.

After we finish our board we start pulling more concrete ideas from it. One of the first is a color scheme. (See our scheme above) The Color scheme we have chosen for this particular event comes from the colors that make up the four houses of Hogwarts, the wizarding school in HP. After we select the colors, we make a chart of the exact percentages and colors that we have chosen. This ensures that no matter what type of project, whether it be one of our chefs constructing a dessert table or one of our designers creating invitations, we all have the same colors to pull from.

…To be continued.

Rainbow Cupcakes

Cupcakes are one of the greatest little joys in life.

This week we’ve whipped up some cupcakes that are not only delicious, but they look cool too!!

Enter stage left: Rainbow Cupcakes. (They’re deceivingly easy to make)



Recipe:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Assorted Food coloring.

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners. In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamed. Add the eggs, beat well after each. Add Vanilla extract.  In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly and alternatly add the flour mixture and milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. When you have your batter, seperate the batter into four or five smaller bowls and add a different food color to each. Pour a little of each color battered into the cupcake liners.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until done.

These cupcakes are great for kids parties or if your event scheme incorporates a multitude of different colors. Also, for those who are culinary challenged, boxed cake would also work here.

Glowing Light Jars

It’s the little things that really add to the atmosphere of an event and one of our favorite things are candles and mood lighting. We are on an endless search to come up with new concepts, lighting crafts, designs, patterns, and placements. Recently at one of our electro themed events we thought it would be fun to use something with a neon glow instead of ordinary candles so we used glow stick light jars to add a creative twist. It’s a really neat candle alternative and it has endless design possibilities.

Here’s how to create the simplest form of glow stick light jars.

First, a quick lesson on glow sticks;

The tube in the middle of the glow stick that you break is made of fiberglass. This is not something to mess with. When you cut open the glow stick be extremely careful and wear gloves. There are two chemicals, the chemicals contained within the fiberglass tube and the chemicals outside of the fiberglass tube are what mix together to create the glow. While these chemicals are non-toxic and non-flammable you will still want to make sure that they don’t get on your furniture or skin. They will stain!

To create these bad boys all you need are glow sticks (There are a host of different places where you can buy them in bulk or you can even find them at the dollar store), Jars, kitchen gloves, scissors, and something absorbent like paper towels or toilet paper.

First, Snap the glow stick to activate the glow

Second, put the absorbent paper into the jar. If you wish to create layers with different colors, then only don’t fill the jars all the way.

Third, With your gloves on, cut open one end of the glow stick and poor the glowing contents into the jar.

Repeat as many times as you wish. It’s that simple!

Note: There are a lot of people who have said mixing water in the jar helps to keep the glow. Simply put, it won’t.

For other design ideas you can draw different patterns on the paper in black ink before putting it in the jar or find other little trinkets that correspond to your event to put in the jar. The possibilities are endless.