RSS Feed

Tag Archives: tips

I’m Ten Times Happier When it’s Grill Season….

Posted on

There’s no better feeling then trading in your winter jacket for a pair of shorts and your mittens in for a pair of grill tongs. Grilling is the simplest, humblest, and most basic method of cooking food that their is. And it’s just plain awesome. While you don’t have to be a pro to get great results, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips to help you reach that level.

1. Season your food early. In fact, season your food before you even think about heating up your grill. Giving salt a little time to dissolve onto your food instead of falling off onto the grill will do wonders for your flavor.

2. Get your grill hot!!! Let it warm up for about 15 – 20 minutes. Patience is a virtue. A hot grill will sear meat on contact creating more flavor through carmelization and will also keep things nice and moist inside.

3. Give yourself enough room to work – nothing is worse then trying to have a relaxing time while grilling then having to run around for tools or ingredients or not having a place to put anything.

4. Keep a reasonably clean grill. Last years food doesn’t make for great additional seasoning to this years food. A grill brush can be your best friend. Use it when the grill is hot not cold, it will be easier that way.

5. Oil up your rack. To prevent sticking and to also help with cleanup later, trying using an oil soaked paper towel and rubbing it over the rack with a pair of tongs. You should even oil a clean grill.

6. Leave an unheated place on the grill. Even if you’re cooking over a single-level fire, leave a small space unheated so that you have somewhere to move food if you have a flare-up or if something is cooking too fast.

7. Remember when you’re mother told you as a kid not to play with your food? Well Mommy was right. When you put food on the grill DON’T PLAY WITH IT. LEAVE IT ALONE. Give it a chance to naturally come away from the grates and not get stuck. If you try to move food before it is seared on the bottom I guarantee you that it will stick. And that’s just not fun for anybody.

8. One of the best 25 dollars I have spent is in purchasing a grill basket. Use it for foods that might fall easily through the cracks or are harder to turn over one by one: Ie Vegetables and even fruit. Even Target or Walmart carry some decent ones. No need to splurge a lot of money on one.

And last but not least…..

9. One of the biggest mistakes that most make is not letting their meat rest before cutting into it. Let your meat rest on a clean plate, covered with foil for about 5-7 minutes so that the juices can redistribute evenly. Trust me, your food is not “getting cold”, you just took it off of a large amount of heat, it is still cooking. I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “well then, how do I know if its done?”. The best way is to learn what your product feels like when it is done. The “longer it cooks, the firmer it gets” is a good rule to go by. The more experience you get, the more you’ll be able to tell exactly what your favorite food should feel like when it’s done and it is an important thing to learn. But, while your still learning, remember: When in doubt, you can always throw undercooked food back on the grill, overcooked food doesn’t have the same luxury. Use the above pictures to show you exactly what meat should feel like through the stages of doneness.

Happy Grilling! We expect an invite!

(Photo credit: http://www.simplyrecipes.com)

Advertisements

The Wedding Coordinator

Posted on

Whenever I tell people that I am a wedding Coordinator the immediate question to follow is, “What do you do?”

With wedding season freshly upon us I find myself encountering this question more frequently, and I also find that I have a fairly difficult time explaining my job in a simple, one or two sentence answer like someone in an office, or a restaurant manager, or a babysitter may be able to do.

So what does a wedding coordinator do and why may you need one?

Getting married is certainly a monumental and important moment in your life. The day is all about you!

You get to choose the food you are eating (buffet, or sit down dinner?)

The music you listen to (band, or DJ?)

The dresses your bridal party wears (all the same? Different?)
Your bridal party!
Your photographer (How many do you need? How much money is too much?)
Your videographer (Same as above…hm…)
Your venue (Grandma’s backyard? A hotel ballroom? A golf course?)
Your cake (Chocolate or Vanilla? How many tiers? Multiple flavors?)
Your florist and flowers (How many? Where? What are my colors?)
Your linens (Do you want chair covers? Are you renting chairs? Does the venue have linens?)

While all of these questions probably seem exciting to many, it may also be overwhelming. How do you know that you are choosing a reliable vendor and getting the most back for the money that you spend?

On such a special day, you probably don’t want to leave much up to chance, and THIS is where the Wedding Coordinator comes in.

Most of us have seen our fair share of vendors.

We have seen those that charge you an arm and a leg for one person and 4 hours worth of photography, or those that charge you an appropriate amount, while not cheap, for 3 photographers and some of the best pictures you have ever seen.

We have seen DJ’s who read the guests and play great music, and those who mispronounce the Bride and Grooms name.

A Wedding Coordinator can help point you in the right direction and find you some really great people to help share your special day with.

Furthermore, on the day of the wedding,  the Wedding Coordinator can be your eyes and your ears and your timeline, so that you can sit back, sip champagne, and enjoy the day with your friends, family, and husband to be.

The Wedding Coordinator will help to plan the time slots for you and your bridesmaids hair and makeup, will ensure that the hair and makeup artist arrives on site on time and gets set up in the appropriate area.

The Wedding Coordinator will line up your wedding party in the appropriate order and cue their entrance into the ceremony, as well as cue the start of the music, all while ensuring this is occurring on time.

The Wedding Coordinator will lead your wedding party to the appropriate area after leaving the ceremony for pictures, and ensure that the photographer arrived on site on time and know where people are coming from to get the best shots.

The Wedding Coordinator will make sure the venue is doing their job and that you and your wedding party get beverages or food, while the rest of your guests adjourn to the reception. Your Wedding Coordinator will lead them to the reception if on site or be sure they know where they are going if it is off site.

The Wedding Coordinator will time and line up your party for the entrance into the reception, be sure to cue the DJ and ensure he knows how to pronounce your names….make sure the videographer and photographers know where you are coming from.

Furthermore before even arriving to the reception the Wedding Coordinator will ensure that the florists, linens, and any other vendors arrive on time and set things up the way that YOU want them set up, so that when you walk into the reception you see what you imagined you would see without so much as lifting a finger.

The Wedding Coordinator will get you when it is time for your first dance,  cutting of the cake or toasts, or mother/daughter or father/son dances, so that you can just sit back and relax until told to do otherwise. (As if cutting cake isn’t relaxing enough!)

So how can I sum this all up when someone asks, “So, what do you do?”

I suppose I ensure everything that is supposed to be at your wedding is at your wedding in the way that you want it, as well as time the flow of the day and ensure that the bride has no worries other than keeping her champagne full for the entire day. I am your eyes, your ears, and your voice, so that you can sit back and relax as everything you dreamed unfolds around you.