Posts Tagged corporate catering

Creative Corporate Gathering Ideas

Corporate lunches are often the same expected lunch- sandwiches, a salad, assorted sodas, and cookies.  While many employees and clients may look forward to this mid-day break no matter what is being served, we always like the idea of making any event, big or small, a little more interesting.

Try Something New for Everyday Lunches

If you find your company is ordering the same lunch as often as every few weeks or more, we suggest trying a different ethnic theme each time Taco Barlunch is ordered.  Including fun and inexpensive menus like taco bars, make-your-own-salads, a Cajun themed buffet, or even an easy Italian menu are all good ways to escape the mundane lunch routine.  For corporate clients that use Serendipity Catering often, we have what we call, “Chefs Choice” menus.  These are regular menus designed by our executive chef to keep the food interesting.  We have included everything from Moroccan to South American-inspired menus.  Chef’s choice menus can also satisfy dietary requirements; if you have vegetarian or gluten free employees, the kitchen staff will take this into consideration when designing menus. Ordering regular menus like this can save a lot of brain damage and keep your crowd happy.

 

Get Outside on a Weekday

Luau Beverage Station Spring is around the corner and on some days in Colorado, it feels like it is already here.  If the weather is nice, consider getting out for energizing fresh air and a welcome change of scenery.  Having easy warm weather foods like shrimp kabobs or fun themes like a luau are appreciated and welcome during workdays. When planning larger outside events on weekdays, consider what times are busiest for your employees; if much of your business is done mid-afternoon, have your event at the end of workday so everyone can enjoy the gathering stress-free.  It is always a good idea to insure that the catering company will come to clean up and pick up supplies.  This way, you won’t get employees ducking out early in order to ditch cleaning duties!

 

Weekend Picnics

Weekend company gatherings often include families.  It is always a good idea to have gift Sundae Barbags immediately available for children.  Include items like chalk and bubbles to keep them busy and give adults a little downtime.  In order to keep business talk to a minimum and make spouses feel included, set up games like horseshoes, or potato sack races.  Picking a theme that is age sensitive will also help set the mood.  Good family picnic themes are Wild West BBQ, Tropical Island, pirates, (complete with pirate accents), carnival, 1950’s, or really go with the game idea and have the theme be an Olympic party. For desserts, bring out everybody’s inner-child with a make you own dessert bar, including treats like cupcakes, sundaes, or s’mores.

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Breakfast in Bed

Mother’s Day is one day each year when many dads are helping their children whip up a tasty breakfast to be served in bed to mom. Every mom dreams of breakfast in bed! Make her dreams a reality by trying one of these delicious recipes for the ultimate breakfast in bed.

Eggs

Photo from Martha Stewart

Scrambled, fried, poached, hard-boiled or baked, eggs are a breakfast staple. Moms will love any egg dish but you can really impress her by preparing one of these delicious recipes.

Taste of Home: Green Onion Scrambled Eggs

My Recipes: Crustless Smoked Turkey Spinach Quiche

Taste of Home: Apple Cinnamon Omelet

You can personalize mom’s eggs by cooking them into a heart shape. Martha Stewart suggests browning a piece of buttered bread in a pan. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to remove a heat in the center of the bread. Put the bread back in the pan and crack an egg into the open heart-shaped center and cook until the egg is done.

 

Pancakes

Photo from Epicurious

Pancakes are a fun, easy way to impress mom. Pancakes can be made with hundreds of different ingredients and a variety of toppings and syrups. Here are two of Serendipity’s favorites.

Epicurious: Sour Cream Pancakes with Sour Cream Maple Syrup

Serious Eats: Maple Bacon Pancakes

Sticking with a basic pancake and jazzing it up with a special topping is another great way to win mom’s heart. Here are a couple of great toppings.

All Recipes: Blueberry and Raspberry Pancake Topping

Yummly: Norwegian Apple Sour Cream Pancake Topping

 

Muffins

Photo from Evil Shenanigans

Headed out to do something active and fun with mom? Make muffins for a delicious breakfast on the go. Personalize your muffins by buying brightly colored or patterned muffin cups found at most craft stores.

Epicurious: Raspberry Topped Lemon Muffins

Evil Shenanigans: Orange Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

Something different

Moms deserve something out of the ordinary. Make sure when you serve mom on her special day, to make the breakfast look as good as it tastes — add a fresh flower or hand-made card along with a cloth napkin.

Although these recipes may take a little more time to prepare, mom will savor every bite!

Serious Eats: Breakfast Sandwich with Chive Biscuits, Cheddar Spread,  Canadian Bacon,  and Fried Egg

Food & Wine: Bacon Tomato  and  Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs

 

Cooking for a crowd?

Don’t fret about trying to make the perfect breakfast for your crowd. From a broccoli and cheddar frittata to red velvet pancakes with cream cheese topping, Serendipity can create a custom menu for your breakfast celebration.

 

 

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Super-food All-stars

When researching healthy foods, you will find thousands of resources that list foods with cancer-preventing properties.  While each list varies slightly, there are a few foods that have a starring role on almost every list — blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic and carrots.

All of these foods are low in calories and fat and they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that may help reduce your risk of cancer and even prevent a wrinkle or two.  Knowing that, here are some tips and recipes for these five all-stars.

 

Blueberries

Most people think of breakfast or dessert when they consider blueberries. But have you considered salsa, pasta and soup? Serendipity has found some amazing recipes to help you incorporate super-food darlings into your diet.

My Recipes: Chilled Blueberry Soup

My Recipes: Blueberry Salsa

Eating Well: Healthy Blueberry Recipes

Now that you have a few recipes to get out the blueberry blues make sure to choose the best berries possible. The “Food Lover’s Companion” recommends choosing blueberries that are firm, uniform in size and indigo blue with a slivery frost.  Not washing your blueberries until you are ready to use them and storing them in the refrigerator in single layer in a moisture proof container will assure longevity.

 

Tomatoes

While you are selecting your blueberries, take a stroll over to visit their super-food friend the tomato. Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. All are good for you and there are recipes that utilize most varieties.

When choosing tomatoes, select the tomatoes that are firm and fragrant. They should have rich colors and no blemishes. To prevent a mealy texture, never refrigerate tomatoes.  Tomatoes can be ripened by putting them in a paper bag with an apple for several days at room temperature.

Once your tomatoes are ripe and ready, try one of these great recipes.

My Recipes: Fennel Tomato Tart

My Recipes: Tarragon Crab Salad Tomato Cups

Eating Well: Healthy Tomato Recipes

 

Broccoli

Why settle for your mother’s broccoli — boring and bland? There are so many delicious ways to incorporate the green super-food king into your diet. Epicurious, one of Serendipity’s favorite sources of inspiration, has an amazing collection of broccoli recipes and tips.

Epicurious: What to Cook Now: Broccoli

When buying broccoli, look for deep, strong color of green or green with purple, according to “Food Lover’s Companion.” The buds should be tightly closed and the leaves crisp. Refrigerate unwashed in an airtight bag.

 

Garlic

Smelly breath is definitely worth it when it comes to garlic. Some of the best recipes call for fresh garlic. Here are a couple of delicious, unique recipe collections that call for garlic and could help keep a few vampires away.

Saveur: Spring Green Garlic Recipes

The Daily Meal: 9 Garlicky Garlic Recipes

When at the store, select garlic with firm, plump bulbs and dry skins. Store fresh garlic in an open container, away from other foods, in a dark, cool location.

 

Carrots

Last, but not least, are the crowned carrots. Carrots are used in thousands of recipes but are also a great snack served raw.  Here are two unique carrot recipes Serendipity is sure will delight your inner bunny and keep you in bouncing shape.

Bon Appetit: Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad with Feta

Eating Well: Hot and Sour Carrots

Carrots are available either with or without greens attached. If you purchase carrots with greens, make sure the leaves are moist and bright green. Remove the greenery right away, as they deplete the roots from moisture and vitamins. Don’t buy carrots that are cracked or that are too soft. Store carrots in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator. Keep carrots away from apples — the apples emit ethylene gas that can make carrots taste bitter.

Serendipity can include all these food all-stars in your next menu. Don’t forget, Serendipity is having some of its vegetables grown locally this year, providing you with the freshest ingredients possible. Call a service consultant today to start planning your menu.

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Cinco de Mayo

It is time for a fiesta! Cinco de Mayo, translated to the 5th of May, is a celebration of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France. While this celebration is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it has become a major celebration of the Mexican culture in the United States. It is a time for preparing delicious foods inspired by Mexican tradition.

House-made salsa by Serendipity

Salsa

While salsa is often served with tortilla chips, the flavorful tomato-based sauce is also used to spice up main dishes from eggs to tacos. Many salsa recipes date back to the Aztecs and have always used fresh ingredients.  Making your own salsa is a great way to infuse any meal with a burst of flavor. Try one of these recipes:

Authentic Salsa Recipes

 

Tacos

In Spanish, the word “taco” is a generic term like “sandwich.”  It signifies a tortilla wrapped around a filling. Whether you prefer flour or corn tortillas, there are endless options for filling the tasty flat bread. From spiced crab tacos to turkey tacos with cranberry salsa, the recipes we’ve found are unique but delicious.

Simply Recipes: Tacos

Delish: Beyond Basic Tacos and Toppings

 

Corn

Corn is staple in most Mexican communities. Corn is eaten on the cob but also incorporated into many authentic Mexican dishes.  Martha Stewart has a great corn on the cob recipes that will be a hit at your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

Martha Stewart: Mexican Corn

If you are looking of a tasty recipe for corn off the cob, try this one from Epicurious.

Epicurious: Mexican Corn

 

Enchiladas

The first documented enchiladas were from the Mayans and consisted of corn tortillas rolled around small fish seasoned with a chile sauce.  Similar to tacos, enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients. Epicurean.com offers several recipes for sauces and fillings that are sure to satisfy any palette.

Epicurean: Enchilada Recipes

 

Desserts

Flan, popular in Mexico, Spain and Portugal is custard with caramel topping. It is typically made with eggs and milk with vanilla flavoring. There are, however, many variations on the theme. Serendipity found a pumpkin flan sure to satisfy.

Gourmet: Pumpkin Flan

Or, try this basic flan recipe from the Good Food Gourmet.

Good Food Gourmet: Delicious Easy Creme Caramel Flan/

 

Churros were originally a Spanish dessert that migrated to South America. Traditional churros are deep fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar. As the dessert has become more popular, filled versions of the sweet bread have popped onto plates everywhere. Try this basic churro recipe for your celebration.

The Sophisticated Gourmet: Churros (Spanish Doughnuts)

Want a churro with a little more flavor? Consider this delight filled with almond cream.

Group Recipes: Almond Cream-Filled Churros

 

Fish tacos by Serendipity

Serendipity

Tip from Serendipity service consultant, Suzie Loya: “Make a fruit filled empanda — have it for breakfast or dessert!”  Need help with your fiesta?  Call Serendipity today.

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Great Tasting Restricted Diets

Guess whose coming to dinner! Do you know what they can eat? Those with medically necessitated food restrictions or voluntary special diets often struggle to eat in restaurants and at parties.

As a host, it is proper etiquette to ask guests if they have any dietary restrictions and to do your best to accommodate their needs. As someone who requires a certain diet, help the host by offering to bring a dish you can eat.

You should know the lingo and consider your options before planning your next party.

Gluten Free

A gluten-free, vegan meal from Serendipity.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder where certain types of protein, called gluten, set off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. The small intestine then loses its ability to absorb the nutrients found in food. Those with the disease should avoid all forms of wheat, commercial salad dressing, instant coffee, canned soup and stock, beer or any beverage made from grain alcohol and canned tuna, to name a few.

There are a lot of delicious gluten-free recipes that all guests will enjoy.

Self: Gluten Free Recipes

Whether you have Celiac disease or you know someone who does, plan to attend the sixth annual “The Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair” at the Denver Merchandise Mart Aug. 19. More information about the fair, in addition to gluten-free recipes and information can be found on the Denver Metro Celiac Support website.

Denver Metro Celiac Support

Lactose Intolerant

Many people can’t properly digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. People who experience this intolerance should avoid milk products. While most people with lactose intolerance can find plenty to eat at a party, there are numerous lactose-free recipes that are delicious. Food.com has a very comprehensive listing of lactose-free recipes.

Food.com: Lactose-free Recipes

 

Vegetarian

More and more people are choosing some form of a vegetarian diet. However, there are many categories of vegetarians and, as a host, knowing what you can and can’t serve can be confusing. Here is a quick guide.

Semi-Vegetarian: Someone who consumes dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish but no other animal flesh.

Ovo-Lacto-Vegetairan: They eat no meat, poultry, fish or seafood but they do eat eggs and drink milk. A majority of vegetarians fall in this category.

Ovo-Vegetarian: They eat no meat or dairy products except for eggs.

Lacto-Vegetarian: They consume no meat or dairy products except for milk.

Vegan: They do not consume any animal products or by-products.

With the increasing numbers of vegetarians, it is usually a good idea to prepare a vegetarian option for you party guests. It may seem overwhelming but there are thousands of recipes that are easy to make and taste great – recipes that both vegetarians and meat-eater alike will devour. Here are some options Martha Stewart just released for Earth Day.

Martha Stewart: Vegetarian Recipes

 

Raw Food Diet

Made up of 75 percent fruits and vegetables, raw foodists choose to eat plant foods in their natural form, uncooked. Raw foodists believe high heat destroys enzymes and vitamins critical for proper digestion. Staples of this diet include seaweed, sprouts, sprouted seeds, whole grains, beans, dried fruits and nuts.

Webmd: Raw Food Diet

Try one of these raw food recipes at your next party.

Rawfoodrecipes.com

 

Working with a Caterer

Serendipity will always work with clients to accommodate dietary restrictions. We will help you select a menu that satisfies all the guests’ palettes. Call a Serendipity service consultant to start planning your party today.

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Spring Foods

The sun is shining and it is unseasonably warm. Grass is starting to turn green and it seems as if each morning new signs of spring are making their appearance. Soon it will be time to prepare the garden and make way for the fruits and vegetables Colorado has to offer.

Vegetables that grow well in Colorado include beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, collards, cucumbers, lettuce onions, peas, peppers, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. Fruits that are successful in Colorado include apples, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, raspberries and shrub fruits. There are a ton of resources for planting directions and advice — most local garden centers have experts on hand to answer questions and a simple Web search will provide a harvest of information.

Colorado Gardening

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

While you wait for your garden to grow, there are a lot of fruits and vegetables that are in season now that will add some spring to your diet.  While shopping this weekend, add some artichokes, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, fennel, kale, potatoes, rhubarb, rutabaga, and turnips to your basket.  Sweeten your diet with some blood oranges, grapefruit, kiwi or pineapple.

Natural Home and Garden: Spring Foods

If you are trying to slim down a little so you look great in your bathing suit when summer rolls around, Shape magazine has named the Top 50 spring diet foods for weight loss. This handy Web page lists the foods, describes their health benefits and offers a recipe or two for each food.

Shape: Top 50 Spring Diet Foods

For the gourmets out there, Bon Appetit put together a “Spring Awakening” list of dishes that include tasty meals like peas, mint and parmesan crostini; beet, rhubarb and orange salad; and Moroccan-style vegetable stew with Harissa yogurt sauce.

Bon Appetit: Spring Awakening

With all the delicious, healthy foods of spring come a variety of fattening foods to avoid. Sorry, gang, hot dogs at the ballpark are not good for you and made WebMD’s list of Spring’s Most Fattening Foods.

WebMD: Springs 10 Most Fattening Foods

Not matter what you are craving, let Serendipity help you plan your menu. From basic tasty dishes to globally inspired food featuring Colorado ingredients, we can cater any party for any occasion. Call us today!

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Irish Food

For little ones, March 17 is the day to wear green or get pinched – the myth behind this is leprechauns will pinch anyone they can see and wearing green makes you invisible to the little creatures. For adults, green beer and Irish inspired food mark the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

History

Believe it or not, the jovial holiday began as a minor Christian feast day more than 1,000 years ago. Patrick was a slave in Ireland as a young boy. As a result of his hardship, he found religion. After escaping from Ireland, he returned home to Roman Britain where he was ordained as a priest. The spirit moved him to return to Ireland and convert the Irish people to Christianity. Patrick used the three leaves of the Irish shamrock to explain the Catholic concept of the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Patrick, recognized at the patron saint of Ireland, died on March 17, thus date for the annual feast.

The party-like celebrations and parades were started by Irish-Americans in the United States as way to confirm ethnic identity – wearing the color green was a way to show loyalty to Ireland.

National Geographic: St. Patrick’s Day

History.com: St. Patrick’s Day

No matter how you celebrate, Irish inspiration is hard to find, especially when it comes to food.

Irish Stew

Irish food is known for its fresh ingredients and the lack of herbs and spices, except for salt and pepper. The staples of the Irish diet include potatoes, grains and dairy products including many types of seafood, beef, lamb and pork. A typical Irish dinner consists of potatoes cooked whole, cabbage and meat.

Irish stew is the national dish and is known the satisfy the hunger of anyone who eats it. Basic Irish stew consists of potatoes, onions, carrots, bacon, lamb and salt and pepper. Modern recipes call for more spices and other twists the traditional dish.

Epicurious: Irish Beef Stew

Allrecipes.com: Irish Lamb Stew

 

Potato Dishes

Irish Colcannon

Champ/Poundies

While quite basic, this is claimed to be the most widely eaten potato dish in Ireland. Potatoes and scallions are the main ingredients with a little butter and salt and pepper.

Best Health Magazine: Irish Champ

Colcannon

While popular in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day, this recipe started as a Halloween tradition in Ireland. The Irish would make the dish, hiding a charm somewhere in the pot.

Christian Science Monitor: Irish Colcannon

 

Modern Day Cheeses

Irish cheese from igourmet

While there is a bland history of cheesemaking that almost disappeared during World War II, farmhouse cheeses have returned to the Emerald Isle in recent years.

Epicurious: Irish Cheese

Once you buy your Irish cheese, try this soup recipe!

Food.com: St. Patrick’s Day Irish Cheese Soup

 

Irish Beer

No, not American beer with a little green food coloring, we are talking about real Irish beer.  Aside from Guinness, most Irish beers are low profile and can only be found in specialty stores, but they are available.

Stouts are the most popular in Ireland, dark brown with roasted flavors and foamy heads.

Ireallylikefood.com: List of Irish Beer

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