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At Garden of Eating, we are dedicated to providing all of our clients with fresh, flavorful meals, beautifully and professionally presented for every event we cater. We pride ourselves in listening to our clients’ specific requests and designing a menu that reflects their needs.


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Monthly Archives: November 2014

7 Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods

Cute Young Brother and Sister Children Sitting on Wood Steps Laughing with Pumpkins in a Basket.

Tomorrow when you serve Thanksgiving dinner, you’re sure to please everyone’s taste buds… except for a few of your littlest guests. Kids are famous for not liking foods that they aren’t familiar with, and since many Thanksgiving favorites are only eaten once a year, it can be difficult to get kids interested.

But we’ve found some ways to remedy the situation by dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner foods to look just a little more like the foods that kids know that they already like. If you’re expecting more than a couple of children at your Thanksgiving table this year, you’ll find this list pretty handy!

1.   Turkey nuggets

Kids tend to be picky about meats, so if your child is hesitant when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey, he or she is not the only one. On the other hand, kids love any meat in nugget form: chicken nuggets, fish nuggets…why not turkey nuggets?

2.   Ice cream mashed potatoes

For children, food is often all about presentation. Therefore it’s a super easy fix simply to serve the mashed potatoes with an ice cream scoop. Top the scoops with some melted butter and garlic, or smother with turkey gravy if desired.

3.   Carrot macaroni and cheese

Is there a food more beloved by children than mac and cheese? We think not. The problem is the dish’s clear lack of nutritional value… at least until now! Before mixing the cheese into the cooked pasta, add a couple of cups of pureed carrots to the cheese mixture. Your kids will get their vitamins without even knowing the difference (the adults might, too!).

4.   Sweet potato crunch

Another way to get kids interested in the unfamiliar sweet potato is by dressing it in a kid-approved food: cereal! After prepping your mashed sweet potatoes, add some maple syrup and top with a generous layer of corn flakes.

5.   Turkey rice

Rice will balance out the flavor of the turkey and add some familiar texture. Just chop up a couple of slices of turkey and add a cup of cooked rice. You might even add a spoonful or two of Thanksgiving stuffing. Mix together and serve in a bowl to be eaten with a spoon.

6.   Thanksgiving pizzas

Another kid-approved food is pizza, which is usually not on the Thanksgiving menu. But all you really need for a pizza is a flat piece of bread and some toppings. So this year, try making Thanksgiving pizzas for the kids using wheat bread rolls or pre-baked pizza crust. Use a spatula to cover the bread in a layer of stuffing for the “sauce,” then top with green beans, carrots, and pulled turkey breast.

7.   Spaghetti squash

Many children love eating pasta, so try the healthy autumn alternative: spaghetti squash. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and bake, then let your children help you pull the inside of the squash into a bowl using a fork. The best part is that you can season it in any number of ways. For kids, try drizzling it with a little olive oil then sprinkling it with sea salt and Parmesan cheese.

Get ready for some smiling faces and full bellies at the kid’s table this Thanksgiving! Don’t worry, you can thank us later.

Sources:

http://www.parents.com/recipes/holidays/thanksgiving/kid-friendly-thanksgiving-menu/

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/kid-friendly-thanksgiving-recipes?page=5

Tips for Planning Your Holiday Season Wedding

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Even with the mild climates of Southern California, a winter themed wedding offers a special something that can’t be matched any other time of the year. There are several advantages to having a wedding during the holiday season:

  • Family and friends are coming together already. Of course it’s important for all of your family to be able to attend, and the holiday season is the time when many people are traveling to spend time together and celebrate anyway. Additionally, people tend to take more time off work during the holiday season because of the vacation days built-up over the year.
  • It’s a magical time of the year. There’s no feeling like the one that’s in the air during the Christmas season. If you’re one of the many people who are in love with the Christmas season, it might be a good idea for you to choose this season to celebrate your love and commitment.
  • Something different from the usual spring and summer wedding scene. If you’re desperate to escape the conventional pastel-colored spring wedding, a Christmastime wedding just might be for you. Plus you don’t have to worry about scheduling your wedding for a different spring weekend than all your friends.

If you’ve decided that a Christmastime wedding is right for you, here are a few tips to help make your special day even more special.

1. Send save the dates well in advance.

Since most people have a lot going on during the Christmas season, send your save the dates as early as possible to give family and friends time to plan and make arrangements.

2. Don’t feel boxed in by holiday cliches. Instead, take advantage of them!

You certainly don’t have to use a red and green color pallet for a Christmas wedding, and you don’t need to have fake snow or a cake made to look like boxed gifts. But at the same time, having a Christmas wedding means that you can implement creative Christmas festivities. Take advantage of that fact, but try to put a new, personal spin on traditional Christmas wedding ideas.

For example, while you don’t have to use red and green in your color palette, try combining one of those colors with a complimentary one. Some Christmas color palette options might include:

  • Dark green and silver
  • Red and gold
  • Silver and blue
  • Sparkling purple and gold

3. Consider having a New Years themed wedding.

If you’re not able to get the family together near Christmas, try having a New Years themed wedding instead. The season is actually perfect for weddings: it symbolizes new beginnings, celebration, and the great relationships you have in your life.

Plus, while most people do not have to work on New Years Day, they aren’t as likely to have pressing family obligations like they might closer to Christmas. Your wedding is a celebration of love, so get your loved ones together and celebrate, New Years style!

4. Let your food and beverage choices reflect the season.

Again, don’t feel obligated to offer a traditional Christmas spread if it’s not your thing, but if it works for you, take advantage of the perks of having a holiday wedding. The food is one of the most fun aspects of a holiday wedding. Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Roast turkey or ham
  • Traditional English Christmas foods such as Christmas pudding
  • Hot alcoholic drinks like egg nog, irish coffee, or mulled wine

A Christmas wedding is a beautiful and special occasion. While there are aspects that have become common in Christmas weddings, remember that there are no rules. You can do whatever you like with your Christmas wedding. Be creative and focus on making it a celebration of love, and you can’t go wrong!

Image via Flickr user sleepyjeanie

Alternative Thanksgiving Stuffings

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What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? Is it the tender and juicy turkey, the warm buttered rolls, or perhaps the beloved pumpkin pie?

I’d venture to guess that for many people, the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. It’s one of the few things on the dinner table that we only enjoy once each year, and it’s a quintessential wintery taste that reminds us of time with family and friends.

While that’s all well and good, eating the same recipe each and every year can get a little old. Shake it up a little this year by offering one of these Thanksgiving stuffing alternatives.

Note: All quantities below are based on recipes that serve 10-12 people.

Spicy Stuffing

Add some heat to your usual Thanksgiving stuffing with a little jalapeno.

Dice a half cup of fresh jalapenos. To the jalapenos, mix 3 tablespoons of crushed garlic and a cup of diced yellow onion (usually about 1 medium-sized yellow onion). Sautee with a generous portion of oil. All that oil will become infused with jalapeno heat, so add all of it to your usual stuffing recipe.

Hearty Harvest Stuffing

These additions bring out the natural flavors of the stuffing ingredients, plus they contribute a little extra density and flavor of their own. Just add:

½ cup of dried cranberries

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds

1 ½ cups of diced apples

To add an even greater dimension of flavor, roast the diced apples in the oven with a little bit of oil and maple syrup for 15 minutes before adding them to the mix.

Thai-Infusion Stuffing

While this adaptation is not for the staunch traditionalist, it might please the palette of gourmet-loving guests. To your usual stuffing recipe, add:

1 can of coconut milk

½ cup of chopped unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons of fish sauce (available in some grocery stores and at your local Asian supermarket)

1 cup diced green onion

1 cup sauteed white onions

Serve with fresh lime slices and Thai chili sauce.

Italian-Inspired Stuffing

This stuffing alternative is always a welcome adaptation to the usual Thanksgiving stuffing.

1 cup freshly diced roma tomatoes

1 cup diced white onions

1 lb Italian sausage

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon fresh-cut basil

1 cup ricotta cheese

Roast together the sausage, roma tomatoes, onions, oregano, and basil, then mix the combination into your stuffing recipe. Seperately, mix in the ricotta cheese.

All-American Burger Stuffing

This all-American Burger stuffing adds the following ingredients to your usual stuffing recipe:

½ lb fried bacon

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 cup diced mushrooms

Simple, yet satisfying!

Sweet and Tangy Stuffing

To make this stuffing simply add to your normal recipe:

½ cup of orange rinds

1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

16 oz. pineapple juice

½ cup grated coconut

Do you have an alternative stuffing recipe that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Some recipes adapted with the help of this source and this source.

Image via Flickr user aon

3 Pumpkin Favorites to Try at Home

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It’s November, and you know what that means: pumpkin obsession. There’s almost no food that can’t be turned into a pumpkin treat in some way.

This week, we want to share a few of our favorites. Some are relatively new to the world, such as the homemade pumpkin spice latte, while others have been around for awhile, like good ole’ fashioned pumpkin pie. Either way, you can bet that Garden of Eating Catering has a unique and fresh take on these pumpkin recipes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Forget paying $5 for a PSL at your favorite coffeeshop: you can make your own right at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

1/4 pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Milk and espresso to your taste

Bring water to a boil. Over medium heat, slowly add in the sugar a spoon at a time while stirring. Then add the pumpkin puree a spoon at a time. Finally, add cinnamon and nutmeg. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes as you continue stirring. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

Add as much as you like to espresso and steamed milk.

Savory Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin pie has long been an autumn favorite, but we like to put a savory twist on it.

What you’ll need:

Crust:

1 cup flour

1/3 cup butter softened

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 eggs

½ cup whipping cream

3 medium yellow onions, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh basil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

A pinch of ground black pepper

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated

For the pie crust:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add butter and stir. Add the water a little at a time while folding.
  3. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour, sprinkle ¼ cup of flour onto a flat surface. Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll onto the floured surface. Place the rolled dough into a lightly greased pie pan. Use your fingers to adjust any unevenness.

For the filling:

  1. Sauté onions and crushed garlic in ½ cup of olive oil over medium heat. When onions turn translucent and golden around the edges, remove from heat.
  2. Combine onions, pumpkin, eggs, whipping cream, basil, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, butter, and ½ cup of olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Gently stir in grated swiss cheese.
  3. Transfer pie filling into the crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top appears firm and golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper.

Pumpkin Spiced Rum

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cinnamon

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

1 1/2 cup of milk

Combine pumpkin puree, nutmeg, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a small pan and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you find that it’s too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached the right consistency. Remove from heat and shake together with milk. Serves two, so multiply the recipe for Thanksgiving or your autumn party!

We hope that these pumpkin recipes help make your home feel a little more like fall. What’s your favorite pumpkin treat?

Images via Flickr users the_girl, digitalcolony, and spine