As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

Planning the Perfect Holiday Party

holiday-party
It is never too early to begin planning for a holiday party.  With just a few weekends within what is considered the “holidays,” knowing when and where your party will be are just a few of the top considerations, according to caterers in Cleveland.  In order to make your party a success, here are just a few things to keep in mind when starting your party plan:

Develop a theme. Parties are always better when they have a theme.  A holiday theme can range from the football playoffs to a winter wonderland or Christmas celebration.  Knowing your theme can guide your decisions about food, site and dress for your guests.

Choose your site. There are many options for hosting a holiday party.  You can book an elegant party at an art gallery, museum, or nature center or even host a larger event at a party center or conference center.  The choice of site will help determine how many people you can host and what theme might work better.

Create creative invitations. Having creative invitations is a great way to set up the theme for the party well before it ever begins.  For a tailgate football playoff holiday party, send bags of peanuts with the invitation, or for a more formal party, send lovely ornaments to accompany the event dates.

Choose your menu. Choosing your menu carefully is the best way to make sure that your theme is carried through your party.  Ethnic foods, formal dinners, casual get-togethers – the options are unlimited.  An Akron caterer can help you to determine the best foods for your party.

Collect RSVPs. Once your holiday invitations are out, make sure to keep track of who is coming and who is unable to attend.  Sending your invitations out four to six weeks ahead of your party date is the best way to ensure a good turnout.

Planning a holiday party can be a fun, enjoyable way to spend fall hours.  When you get started early, you’ll have more options for sites and to create memorable party details.  Call Special Moments Catering today to schedule your holiday parties.

As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

Maximize Your Wedding Food Budget

An astonishing 50% of your wedding budget can be food, which can become quite expensive if you are considering having a large wedding. While you certainly want to include all of your family and friends on your special day, there are ways to decrease your food costs and get more tasty treats for your money. Consider these cost saving tactics:

Order foods that are “in season” and locally grown.  According to caterers in Cleveland, foods that are in season cost less and taste better.  In season fruits and vegetables offer a more affordable cost because of decreased transportation costs.  Peaches grown at a farm a few miles down the road will be less expensive and taste better than peaches grown in South America and flown here.

Limit the appetizers.  So many times, people eat tons of appetizers and barely eat their entrée.  You can help your guests to enjoy your main course and save money by offering passed appetizers instead of an appetizer buffet.

Simplify the sweets.  While the trend might be to offer many miniature desserts as well as an intricate cake, that can be a costly option. Instead of a dessert buffet, consider just offering cake and a small display of cookies.

Manage the main course.  Vegetarians, vegans, meat lovers – everyone has their preference for what they prefer to eat.  While it is kind to offer more than one entrée, it can increase your food costs.  You can simply choose one entrée that you feel most people will enjoy and know that the rest of your guests can eat more appetizers, salad and dessert if they don’t care for the main dish.

Bypass dinner for brunch.  Brunch foods can stretch your food dollar a long way.  You can offer hearty shrimp and grits, a custom waffle or omelet station, or smoked salmon and bagels as a way to celebrate right after your ceremony.

Kill the shots.  Shots of liquor can really run up your beverage bill for your reception.  You can instruct the bar staff to not offer shots, which will save you money.

Offer kid’s meals.  Providing kid sized meals for your smaller guests will save you money and give children something they really love to eat.

If you are looking to maximize your wedding budget, then your Akron or Cleveland catering service can give you suggestions on how to feed your guests well for less.  By using in season produce, offering a brunch and providing kid’s meals, you can still have lovely food and save money, too.

As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

Clambake Season!

There is nothing that says summer like a clambake.  A long, relaxing evening punctuated by delicious food and fun will leave your guests asking you to host the party again in the future.  What can you do to make your clambake creative?  Here are just a couple of ideas:

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Choose your location wisely. Instead of simply doing the clambake in your backyard, considering hosting your party at a marina or beach.  Sand and boats really add to the clambake atmosphere.

Decorate with the theme. Nothing says clambake like red check tablecloths, but change it up a little with the other details of your party.  Starfish and shells scattered intermittently on tables with votives can spice up your table.  Or, pour a pile of sand on the table (clean sand can be purchased at a home store) and add some tools for your friends to play in.

Bring the beer. Beer goes well with seafood.  Offering a beer bar with many different types of brews can provide a discussion point for guests as they sample each type.  You can even ask guests to bring a six-pack of their favorite to share.

Cook on the grill or in the sand. Clambakes don’t have to be boiled.  In fact, most caterers in Cleveland prefer to cook them on the grill or even build a wood fire right in the sand.  The smoke gives the seafood an amazing flavor.

Bring a favorite side dish or dessert. One economical way to add variety and still have a clambake is to ask everyone to bring their favorite side dish or dessert.  Your caterer can still provide the meat, but you can save by providing your own sides.

While clambakes can be traditional meals, they don’t have to be lackluster.  By decorating with a theme, offering a variety of beers and cooking on the grill, your clambake will be a success!

As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

Choosing The Best Caterer For Your Wedding

If you have just gotten engaged, then part of your planning will certainly involve choosing a caterer to provide food for your special day.  Knowing which Cleveland or Akron-based catering company to select can be a hand-wringing experience.
catering-wedding
Asking good questions is the first step to finding the right caterer for your event.  When you begin researching the best caterer for your wedding reception, it is important to have a few key pieces of information to help you start the conversation with any caterer you choose to interview.  Knowing the date of your wedding, the estimated budget you’d like to spend for food, the location of the reception and an estimated headcount for the event are all pieces of information that will help you to determine very quickly if a caterer will be a good fit for you.

Once you have decided if the caterer in Cleveland is able to service your event, there are other considerations to take into account.  If you have family members or friends who have special dietary needs, asking if the Akron caterer can provide vegetarian or vegan entrées may make your day delightful for those with specific food preferences.  The use of local ingredients is another prime consideration.  Local ingredients not only are more flavorful, but often cost less than out of season ingredients.  Additionally, knowing if a caterer will offer a variety of different types of food service, including plated meals, buffets and family-style will give you and your fiancée options as you design your wedding reception.

If you are from a family that has many ethnic traditions, then asking the catering service if they can accommodate family recipes, regional or ethnic cuisines may be an important aspect of the interviewing process.  Knowing that they are willing to offer your aunt’s famous tamales may be the piece of information that you need to make a decision.

In addition to the food itself, there are other considerations that will help you to determine if this is the right caterer for your event.  Finding out if your caterer offers a rental service can help you to get the tents, chairs, and service pieces you need under one roof.  Making sure they have the proper licensing protects you and your guests from issues with the food service.  Lastly, you’ll need to find out how much of a deposit the caterer requires and read their service contract carefully.

As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

What Not to Serve at Your Wedding

There is nothing more daunting for an engaged couple than choosing their wedding menu.  With many people to serve and many different tastes, getting the menu just right can be nothing short of a challenge.  There are some foods that you might not want to serve at your wedding.  What are they and why?  Read on!

Shrimp cocktail. So many couples think that serving shrimp cocktail brings a level of elegance to their wedding.  It can, if it is done well.  Overcooked shrimp is mealy in texture – not something you want your guests to remember.  Before you add this to your menu, be sure your Akron caterer will purchase high quality shrimp and cook them correctly.

elegant-wedding

Anything raw. Raw bars and sushi can make your wedding really special.  Unfortunately, when raw foods are served they have to be handled carefully to make sure they are safe for your guests.  Concerned?  Leave them off of your menu.

Cheese and crackers. Run-of-the-mill cheese cubes and crackers are just not that special.  If you do want to serve cheese, consider an artisanal cheese tasting board with varieties that are local to your area.

Frozen vegetables. Mushy and soggy, a frozen vegetable medley is just not a good choice.  Professional caterers in the Cleveland area suggest a crisp salad or grilled, marinated seasonal vegetables instead.

Pasta on a buffet. Baked pasta can be a delicious meal, but not when it has been sitting on a steam table.  Avoid the large pasta dishes on the buffet and opt for a pasta bar which will taste much more fresh and delicious.

Some of the go-to foods for weddings will simply not do anything for your event. Poorly cooked shrimp cocktail, cheese cubes and a resusciated frozen vegetable medley are not the best choices. Call Special Moments Catering today for delighftul options!

As the premier catering service in North East Ohio,
Special Moments will handle all the details

Planning for a Spectacular Family Reunion

Having a spectacular family reunion doesn’t have to be hard or stressful.  In fact, the more people that attend means more people to assist with the planning, set up, cooking and clean up.  If you are considering organizing a family reunion, take these ideas into consideration.

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Host a Potluck. You can easily host a potluck dinner at a relative’s home, outdoors at a park or in a church hall.  Simply assign dishes for guests to bring based on the first letter of their last name, or do a drawing.  The only drawback to this, according to caterers in Cleveland, is that you won’t have any control over the food quantity or quality.

Sponsor a Barbeque. If your reunion is taking place during the warmer weather, then it is the perfect time to host a barbeque.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, artisanal sausages or even steaks with chimichurri sauce can be delicious main dishes.  For a more upscale option, an Akron caterer can cook all of the meats on site and you can provide the side dishes.

Themed Dinner. Is your family creative or do they love games?  If so, you can host a theme dinner around your family history (Think “All things Irish” or “All things Italian.”).  A local caterer can help you to design a menu around your family’s favorite foods.

Plan a Picnic. For active families, having an outdoor picnic can create a whole day of fun.  Red checked table cloths, dogs playing Frisbee, sand volleyball – each of these activities can lend a festive atmosphere to your party.  Offering easy to eat foods such as sliders, homemade macaroni salad and a colorful fruit salad will satisfy the most active appetite.

Coordinate a Catered Event. If the central reason for your family reunion is a momentous occasion like a fiftieth wedding anniversary, then a more formal event may be better.  Caterers can create a custom menu for your family that will leave them savoring every moment.

Family reunions can take many forms including picnics, theme dinners and even more formal catered events.  Need ideas or help?  Call us!  We offer amazing food and friendly customer service that will allow you to enjoy your event.