Archive for Table Settings

Spring Brunch

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  This month has always been the connection between winter and spring.  And like March, brunch is the connection between breakfast and lunch favorites.  Maybe this is why most people think of brunch this time of year?  Whether you are planning a brunch for a baby shower, wedding shower, Mother’s Day, birthday, or the fast-approaching Easter holiday, the brunch get-together can be as simple or as elegant as you choose.


outdoor-party-1By now we are ready for spring and warmer weather, and while we can’t choose what kind of day Mother Nature will give us in the spring months, brunch is bright and warm, so keep your atmosphere in tune with the (mostly) sunny season. Colors like yellow, light blue, soft greens, lavender, and pink are all springtime favorites. Picking just two or three spring colors will keep your party from looking like an explosion of Easter jellybeans. For a fun garden party, weather permitting, set up a vintage outdoor seating area with brightly colored tablecloths, mix-matched china and silver, and place spring flowers like daisies and tulips in colorful vases. If you prefer your party indoors, bring bright colors inside placing flowers throughout either in the same tone or have fun with different colors, sizes and types. Set the pots in baskets for more of an outdoorsy feel.


Food Stations

Often when think of brunch we think of make-your-own menu items such as omelets with an array of fillings, or freshly pressed waffles withEggs Benedict Station sweet toppings.  These ideas are fun and will always be classic to the brunch menu.  More currently, we are beginning to see brunch stations branch out into eggs Benedict stations complete with flavored hollandaise sauces, vegetables, ham, salmon, and an assortment of toasts.  Also gaining popularity are crepe stations.  This lighter pancake can be filled with sweets like peanut butter, jellies, or chocolate and can also be filled with savory foods like cheeses, deli meats, or vegetables.  A station can be set with almost any kind of brunch menu, pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns or yogurt parfaits. For more of a lunch twist, items like a pasta or mini sandwich stations work well.  When creating your station, think of filings and toppings that typically go with the food you are serving like syrup, whipped cream and fruit for waffles, then think of surprise foods to put out, like bacon crumbles, spiced nuts, or for a real treat, ice cream.

Elegant Spring Brunch



Mimosa Bar Many restaurants that serve brunch now offer the ever-popular Bloody Mary bar.  This is also a very easy way for an at-home host to set up a bar and let the guests serve and create themselves!   By simply setting out pitchers of tomato juice, one spicy and one regular, a bottle of premium vodka with shot glasses (for measuring), and a few fun garnishes like pickles, olives, salami, cheese squares, and whatever hot sauces you have on hand, a Bloody Mary bar can be an easy addition and wonderful conversation piece to any brunch party.  For a lighter breakfast cocktail, mimosa bars are a brighter alternative, perfect for spring.  With sparkling wine, an assortment of citrus juices like classic orange, grapefruit, limeade, and lemonade, you have an instant mimosa bar!  For garnishes, use a variety of fruits cut into small pieces. For a kid-friendly mimosa bar offer sparkling cider too.  Other good drinks to have on hand are fresh brewed coffee, iced tea and lemonade.

Spring Cocktails Perfect for Brunch



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Ladies Night In

Valentine’s Day is next week and with that comes a mixed chocolate box of feelings towards the sentimental holiday.  Some love it, some loathe it, and others just don’t care.  In honor of lovey-dovey hoopla that comes with Valentine’s, we suggest a ladies night in. In lieu of a crowded over-priced restaurant dripping with couples all celebrating the same notion, invite your married, dating, and single friends over for a twist on the often overly dramatized holiday.  After all, many of us see our significant others daily- why not spend the evening with the good friends you love?  (Save the restaurant date for a less packed night.)



Instead of going with a full-on Valentines theme, just think an elegant appetizer party with friends. This is a celebration of friends whether, DIY Wine Charmssingle, married, or just needing a break from the kids! Treat your friends to fancy party with candlelight, great food, wine, and over-due catching up.  Buy inexpensive wine glasses and set them on a colorful tablecloth, each with these easy DIY wine charms that can double as party favors.  No need to spend a lot of money, this is not an evening spent for romance.  Use colorful flowers (aside from roses) in fun different creative vases, like teapots, wine decanters or Mason jars as centerpieces.  Set out colorful candleholders in different shapes and sizes.  Put together a fun playlist of upbeat songs.


Mini tacos Since it is just the girls, keep the food small and dainty.  Mini tarts, chicken satays, assorted sushi rolls, endive leaves with herbed ricotta, and a good cheese and cracker plate should keep the ladies full and happy. Setting up a few interactive stations is a nice way to keep everyone engaged.  Fun ideas for make-your-own-stations are a mini panini station or mini tacos; this will give everyone a chance mingle while trying out new twists on their creations.  Dessert could be a melting pot of chocolate fondue set on a coffee table.  Cut up fruits and set out skewers and serve!  Place plenty of pillows around the fondue pot and invite the girls to sit and talk around the fondue fire.



A celebration of any kind usually calls for champagne, but to stay from getting too “Valentine’s” include a drinkRasmopolitan that just uses champagne as an ingredient.  Try a signature drink like the girly Rasmopolitan, or champagne mojito’s.  If you do not have the time or energy for planning a signature drink, ask your friends to bring one of two different wines under twenty-five dollars, for example either a Shiraz or Pinot Grigio.  Cover the labels with paper bags and tie colorful ribbons under the opening. Mark each one by number and at the end of the evening vote on a crowd favorite.

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Super Bowl Party!

No matter which team you are rooting for, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to have a party even if you are not a football fan.  Super Bowl Sunday is a day spent relaxing in front of the television with good friends and American snack food—who doesn’t like that?  The Super Bowl is the most watched televised event.  Some like it for the game, some like the commercials, we like the party!



Super Bowl Table Setting A Super Bowl party does not need much in the way of fancy decorations.  If your whole crowd is rooting for the same team, use the team’s colors for plates, napkins and a few balloons.  If you are a super fan and have any vintage memorabilia, team pictures, or game souvenirs like foam-fingers, use them as décor!  For a crowd that is divided between teams, ask your guests to wear their teams colors, sweatshirts and hats.  Divide your living room into two sides with each team’s colors and signs with each logo.  Supply each side with their teams colored pompoms and wigs. Leave out markers and blank poster boards for your guests to make their own friendly rivalry signs.  Watch out, this can lead to a hilarious and rambunctious evening!

The center of the party is the game on television; so don’t spend too much time or money on decorating.



Beer, and lots of it. Sending friends out for a beer run mid-game is never fun.  Beer cocktails are another good play for drinks. For a lighter twist on beer, try a basic Michelada. For alternatives to beer, have a pre-made drink or two.  Fill the punch bowls with this masculine touchdown tea or linebacker limeade.

(Look for Friday’s blog on American beer for more ideas!)



Finger foods and football watching go together like baseball and Cracker-Jacks. For the best football foods think of easy to pick up items that do not require a lot of assembly.  After all, a Super Bowl party host wants to be cheering on the couch too! Kick off your party with classic football foods like wings, veggies with dip, meatballs, and nachos. In order to really score points with your guest set up a buffet table (not too far from the TV) with a chili or nacho bar.  Set out a variety of toppings like cheese, onion, bacon, tomato, hot sauces, guacamole, and sour cream.  You could also follow the same idea with a slider bar.  Make beef or turkey patties the day before. When guests arrive, just reheat and invite them to create their own “super slider.”

BuffaloChickenCupcakesHave fun with bite-sized desserts.  Cupcakes frosted with team colors, or these Buffalo chicken cupcakes to keep your guests commentating.

Super Bowl Party Foods

Sensational Super Bowl Party Foods


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A Wild West Round Up

With the legendary National Western Stock Show in town we like to pay tribute to our hard-working farmers and cattlemen. This event has been a part of our state’s history for years and gets everyone from cow-folk to city slickers in the Wild West spirit.  We have a few ideas to keep the theme alive in your own homestead.


A Western Themed Hoedown

cactusRounding up your friends for a western themed party is easy.  With affordable decorations and a laid back atmosphere any cowboy would be happy to kick off their boots.  Hand out inexpensive cowboy/cowgirl hats as your guests arrive. Create the feeling of west by covering tables in red and white-checkered tablecloths and use flowers or cacti in a tin can for centerpieces.  For napkins, use multi-colored bandanas.  Also, line bandanas in cowboy hats to hold chips and rolls as a fun touch.  Set out toy guns, old boots, camping lanterns, and, if you have them, any horse-riding accessories like saddles, spurs, or lassos. If your party is outside, set out a few haystacks for sittin’. For a fun personalized addition make “wanted” posters with pictures of your guests with fun descriptions of their crimes, “Wanted: Peter, for being too handsome.”



Hitch up the chuck wagon and think of the simple, hearty foods our pioneers ate.  Foods like chili, ribs, Chili6pulled chicken or pork, baked beans, and cornbread are all easy-to-make foods of the west.  To cut down on hosting duties, consider having a chili cook-off.  Ask your guests to bring their best chili recipe and vote judging for the spiciest, most unique, and best all-around.  The same can be done with desserts using the old time pioneer favorite: pie!  Give the winners ribbons tied to tin mugs as rewards. For sides, serve grilled corn with chili butter and biscuits.



imagesCowboys are tough and so are the drinks. In addition to serving beers, like the Texas favorite Shiner Bock, serve whiskey (we are partial to local favorites like Stranahans, or Leopold Bros.) and tequila.  Since refrigeration wasn’t big in the 1800’s many of the drinks were straight up.  Of course, we don’t expect our modern day settlers to consume drinks this strong so offer simple mixers like sodas and limeade for tequila.  If you’d like to offer a signature cocktail, serve a batch of Wild Wild West or Juan Collins cocktail mixes in large rustic glass bottles. Make sure you have old-fashioned root beer on hand for designated drivers.  Make a sign over the bar with that reads the “(hosts name) Saloon.”

Giddy up!

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Winter Parties

For many of us parties are the last things on our mind after a busy holiday season, but it can still be fun to host a post-holiday party that’s full of winter cheer!  As a busy catering company we find that many clients looking to throw social events, like weddings and cocktail soirees, are looking at options throughout the calendar.

A Winter Party at Home

White wine bottle by red fire with corkscrewWinter can feel long and sometimes a little boring.  To make your winter party stand out, think of fun winter themes like a sophisticated après ski party.  Ask your friends to come in their ski coats and hats to enjoy o’douvers and wine by the fire.  If your crowd is on the adventurous side, have an 80’s ski party!  Think campy ski movies from the decade. Serve retro-80’s food like fondue, or potato skins.  If your friends need a more family-friendly gathering, host a winter brunch party complete with to-go mugs of hot chocolate.  Bundle up the kids and head to the closest sledding hill when the meal is over.

Anxious for hot days and sunshine? Beat the winter blues and have a beach party!  Pay no imagesmind to the snow on the ground and create a summer environment by blowing up beach balls, setting out pool towels, playing reggae, or even dusting off the lawn chairs and placing them inside. Serve light summer foods like skewered shrimp, or mini pulled pork sandwiches.  For drinks, serve margaritas or mojitos—don’t forget the mini drink umbrellas!

Bigger Events

When is comes to planning a large-scale event in the winter like a wedding or large birthday bash, it is important to think of a space that creates warmth.  Places like lodges or a venue with a large fireplace or two work welScreen shot 2013-01-04 at 1.57.00 PMl for winter entertaining.  One important factor to keep in mind is, of course, the weather!  If possible, try to choose a venue with little commuting for your guests.  (It’s also a good idea to double check to see if your guests have to walk along icy sidewalks!)  As your guests arrive consider passing around a warm beverage such as apple cider or Mexican hot chocolate.

Winter food is comforting, but often times can feel a bit disheveled.  When planning the menu keep the food winter appropriate and easy to eat.  For appetizers serve items like butternut squash soup in shooter glasses, or mini potpies.  Entrées should be classics, like filet mignon with Rosemary mashed potatoes.  If an item like this is out of your price range, consider a seasonal pasta dish, such as pumpkin ravioli.  Keeping the food simple and cozy for higher end winter celebration is best.

Decorations, like the food, are typically simplified for cold weather events.  Elegant colors like silver and white images-1to match the glistening snow outside, or soft pink and gold for a little glamour.  Lots of candlelight creates a classic look, but for more unique centerpieces place ice carved vases on the tables filled with winter branches, like birch. For party favors leave small throws at each chair, your guests will appreciate this thoughtful parting gift!

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An Easy New Year’s Eve Party

After the hoopla of the holiday season, throwing a large New Year’s party can seem daunting.  We like the idea of a small celebration with close friends or even an intimate evening for two.  Any way you choose to celebrate the New Year, we believe in making it as easy as possible.  We gathered a few tips to help make your soiree sparkle and shine.



Drinking champagne on New Year’s is an iconic tradition.  Why not try adding a new cocktail to your menu such as a French 75 or a cranberry images-5mojito?  Or simply embellish your bubbles with pomegranate seeds or blueberries.  Often our designated drivers or non-drinkers can feel left out on New Year’s, make a few festive “mocktails” to make them feel included.   Having a small bar area set up will ease some hostess stress, as your guests will be able to serve themselves.  Just replace champagne bottles when they are empty or re-fill a punch bowl.

5 Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Serve on New Year’s Eve

Fun and Stylish New Year’s Eve Cocktails



New Year’s Eve is all about the drinks so keep food easy to pick up with one hand.  Elegant mini sandwiches, bowls of nuts, miniature meatballs, images-6stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, or deviled eggs are all good easy-to-make options.  Keep the snacks flowing throughout the evening.  After midnight strikes serve simple sweets like brownies, mini cupcakes, or, whoopie pies.

New Year’s Eve Party Recipes

10 New Year’s Eve Desserts


Have Fun!

New Year’s is all about the celebration of the past year and looking forward to the next.  Play fun games like having your guestwrite down their New Year’s resolution and placing them in a bowl.  At 11 o’clock ask all guests to pick a card and read it aloud to guess whom the resolution belongs to. Or use the same idea to have your guests predict what the next year will bring in current events or among your social circle—“I predict Susan will have quadruplets in 2013!”  This is a way to wrap up the evening and ring in the New Year with a laugh.

New Year’s Eve Games


After decorating for the holidays we tend to be simplistic when it comes to New Year’s parties.  Staying Screen shot 2012-12-27 at 1.59.02 PMwith the classic black, gold/silver, and white is always a wonderful route.  If you wanted to change it up, try adding one accent color to the New Year’s classics like a deep pink, or royal blue.  Decorate with balloons, streamers, white lights, and sparkly ornaments.  Place noisemakers and paper hats decoratively around the house.  If you have old fashioned alarm clocks place them on the table as a centerpiece or on a mantle.  If you have a lively crowd, hang up a disco ball (found at party supply stores) in a designated dancing area for everyone to gather for midnight kisses and dancing to Auld Lang Syne.

Most importantly, have fun and be safe!

images-2Happy New Year from Serendipity!

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Easy Holiday Decorating

With a mere fourteen days left until Christmas it is now time to deck the halls for the holiday and for any upcoming events.  Holiday decorating can be subtle or sometimes outlandish!  We discovered a few wallet-friendly concepts that will keep any home or party merry and bright.


Bring the Outdoors Inside

Without the holidays, winter would just be one long cold season.  Thankfully, we have the great excuse of many celebrations to get us out and 20091229_IcicleTreesocializing, even on the coldest of days.  We like the idea of using nature as inspiration to achieve a familiar festive feeling that won’t break the bank.  Outdoor items like pine cones, birch branches, evergreen, and acorns can either be scavenged for or found at a craft store.  For a simple and elegant look, place tall birch branches in a large cylinder vase, fill the vase with pine cones, and hang with any ornaments that didn’t make it to your tree.  Make an easy centerpiece with four stackable bowls; fill each bowl with wintergreens, nuts, cranberries and smaller ornaments.  Or simply stack pine cones in a festive bowl.  To add extra sparkle, paint or glitter any of these natural findings.


Look to Your Grocery Store for Inspiration

321655598355825261_DNMiZCIY_cThe wonderful part about seasonal foods is that they often correlate with the celebratory colors.  Produce like cranberries, limes, kumquats, pears, and, oranges all can be part of festive decorations. Layer them in large vases adding evergreen branches.  Or float votives and smaller fruits like cranberries, or kumquats in a large colorful bowl.  Make an impressive punch bowl by freezing cranberries and evergreen twigs between two nesting bowls.  If you do not want to go that trouble, just freeze cranberries in an ice tray for a festive addition.  Pomegranate seeds are beautiful in champagne as they bounce up and down with the bubbles! For cute food displays cut a butternut or acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and rinse.  Fill with nuts or olives.  Don’t forget the candy aisle!  Look for foiled chocolates to set in vases or bowls.  Get creative with candy canes- tie them to napkins for place settings, hot glue peppermint sticks around pillar candles, make candy cane trees, or make a lovely candy cane vase.


Recycle! Give Old Items New Life!

Think about any unused items you may have and be creative with ideas on how to repurpose them for holiday DIY+christmas+topiariescheer.  For example, use old sweater sleeves to wrap around large candle holders or turn summer’s tomato cages upside-down and place lights on them for lighted mini trees. (We highly recommend using LED lights–their bulbs are becoming brighter and better!  If you haven’t made the switch yet, that is fine.  Keep using the electric lights until they are no longer working before rushing out to buy LED.)

Use plastic milk or soda cartons for rustic candle lights.  Use old sticky bows to make a wreath, use wine bottles to display greenery and evergreen, or wrap ribbon around coffee cans for a candy display.  Just be creative and see what happens–nothing to lose with things that weren’t being used anyway!

We’d love to hear you best holiday decorating ideas!

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