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

Thanksgiving 2018 – Get Creative with side dishes

The typical Thanksgiving feast in most American homes will include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, and cranberry sauce. Of course, there are variations of these dishes, but you get the idea. This year, why not shake things up a bit with a unique side dish?

If your guests are adventurous, there are a host of options you can consider. Better yet, if you have been tasked with supplying a side dish for someone else’s feast, ask the host how creative you may be. Most guests love the chance to try unique variations on the expected or something completely unexpected.

When you are asked to bring…

A vegetable side:

  • Choose any winter squash and roast it. Serve as is, or add mushrooms and greens for a salad dish.

  • Consider artichokes prepared in a cheesy casserole or spiced up.

  • Collard greens or spinach sautéed in a skillet with bacon, crushed red pepper and broth pair perfectly with turkey.

  • Brussels sprouts sautéed, roasted, or steamed are becoming a holiday delicacy. Prepare with bacon, garlic, shallots or melted butter—your choice.

  • Cold weather means root vegetables. Consider cooking with parsnips, turnips, beets and rutabagas.

  • If corn or green beans are a must, consider a corn pudding or adding crushed red pepper or chopped chilis to your traditional green beans and mushrooms or green bean casserole for an added kick.

A salad of greens:

  • Skip the iceberg lettuce in favor of mixed greens and add some crunchy nuts and pumpkin seeds to your selection of chopped veggies.

  • Choose less greens and fill in with chopped apples or pears for some crunch and pomegranate or cranberries for color and a touch of the exotic.

  • For a small group, arrange plates of greens topped with roasted squash and citrus slices

  • Saute a variety of course greens for a warm salad option.

Rolls:

  • Choose a fresh crusty bread from the local bakery for a nice change from standard rolls.

  • Prepare home baked corn bread with some southern spices, or add rosemary or sage for a new flavor.

Many suggestions for new food ideas and recipes are readily available through search engines and social media. Or check with your local caterer if you are looking for ways to shake up your traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

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

Fall Events made easy and fun

Here at Special Moments Catering, our specialty is making your event special. Don’t stress as you anticipate the fall and holiday season. Let our experts plan your event for family, friends, or business associates. We handle the planning, the set-up and the clean-up.

Cooler weather and brilliant foliage mean fall festivals, gatherings around a fire and holiday events. Whatever your reason for celebrating, your options are endless with Special Moments Catering.

Themed parties are still one of the most popular trends this fall, especially in the weeks both before and after Halloween. Our team will customize your party for your guests, with fun decorations and foods geared to the neighborhood children, or smoking cocktails for adult parties. From a costume contest to fall hoedown, We cover the details down to special fall punch and S’mores around a bonfire. Have your heart set on a haunted house? Our professionals can do that too, including bringing a team of monsters to populate your garage, patio or yard.

Murder Mystery parties are again taking center stage as a fun gathering activity right up through the holidays. We plan the mystery and the dinner to go along with it, then help with all the decorations and preparations. You provide your most enthusiastic, mystery-solving guests, and let the fun begin.

Looking for the best way to show your appreciation to your co-workers or employees? Sometimes it’s just keeping it simple. Let the professionals at Special Moments bring it all to your office with a complete Thanksgiving lunch, including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, a green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and homemade pies. We’ll even provide the decorations to set the perfect mood for the people you rely on to keep things running.

Call Special Moments today to get plans in motion for your fall and holiday season of gatherings, parties and special events. It’s not too late to plan the perfect party.

 

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

Fall events demand food and fun

Summer is wrapping up and school is back in session. Maybe you are already thinking about the holidays, but don’t let fall pass you by! Cooler weather themes are the perfect backdrop for reunions, company ice breakers and school meet and greets.

Hiring a professional party planner is your ticket to the best event possible, getting you the help you need to cover the details from themed decorating to unique menu items that will delight your family and friends. At Special Moments catering, our experts can suggest healthy menu items that appeal to all the latest diet trends for everyone on your guest list, from vegan dishes to high protein specialties.

Ask our staff about fall and cool weather themed beverages that perfectly set the mood.

Is your event a meet and greet for the school dance team or the new fall crew at your company? Consider grab and go options that allow for mingling, and let the decorating experts at Special Moments help you create an atmosphere that encourages lingering over snacks and beverages.

Fall is the time to plan that long-anticipated clambake or Oktoberfest party, but providing quality food and authentic dishes can be intimidating. At Special Moments we provide the freshest food items, fully prepared to perfection so you can relax and enjoy.

Looking for an opportunity to celebrate fall sports? If your family or friends are football fans, consider catering the upcoming Big Game.

School activities quickly kick into high gear once those doors open. Have you been tasked with the fall fundraiser? A catered event is ideal for treating your supporters. Special Moments Catering has extensive experience planning fundraisers that pamper your supporters and bring in big profits. Let us partner with you to plan a menu that impresses your guests and raises maximum dollars for your school, team or organization.

Call today for the best in party planning.

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

Cater to graduate when planning party

Planning for graduation parties is in full swing, as high schools wrap up senior projects and end-of-the-year festivities. If you haven’t considered details for your graduate’s big celebration, call on an expert to help get things rolling. But first, talk to your graduate!

Picking a theme and menu for a graduation party is easy when you consider the personality of your graduate. Is he or she organized, a planner, or spontaneous? Does he like pizza on the go? Does she enjoy sit-down dinners? Is the graduate going to major in art or accounting? Build your party around the personality and preferences of the graduate, and your road map is set for you.

For the spontaneous, consider quick and easy choices that guests can grab and go. Your graduate and special guests will likely be on the move, circulating among friends and relatives, so pizza squares, wings, compact hors d’oeuvres, cheese and veggie trays, are all simple choices that can move with them. Keep decorations clean and at a minimum, with a memorabilia table and a color scheme that highlights the high school, college or both. Simple desserts, such as cookies or small cakes finish the design perfectly.

For a more traditional affair, choose meal options such as chicken parm and pasta or roast beef with vegetable choices that move your guests easily from food tables to seating. Limit your offerings, including choices for vegetarian, and your party is simple to organize and enjoyable for all, with plenty of opportunity to gather and relax. A themed cake is a perfect dessert option. Be sure to have enough tables and chairs to accommodate your anticipated guest list.

If your guest list is long enough to make seating everyone a bit challenging, talk to your caterer about meal options that are satisfying and still somewhat portable. Your caterer also can help you with creative settings that can seat more people without using large tables. The layout and décor can make the celebration, so be sure to use these services to make your graduate’s party memorable.

For the detail-oriented decorator, talk to your caterer about themed desserts to truly complete the theme. Graduation comes once in a lifetime, so make your celebration the best it can be. The experts at Special Moments Catering are available to help you get the planning started and build the perfect party.

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

Healthy choices, presentation are trends for spring events

Planning a spring gathering, graduation party, business meeting, wedding or family reunion? Whatever your event and whoever is on your guest list, consider healthy and aesthetically pleasing offerings and you will be the hit of the season.
Current trends have more and more people turning to garden fresh choices and simply prepared foods. Recommendations from keto and paleo diets are consistent with these trends, so including more greens and veggies, along with grain and protein options, is an excellent choice when working with your caterer. Add a modern twist to the classic veggie tray by serving a healthy hummus instead of traditional veggie dip. Offer a station for guests to build their own Buddha bowl using vibrant veggies and flavorful meats.
Stations, in fact, are ideal for most gatherings this spring, as more people are interested in seeing how their food is prepared. Presentation is key, with fresh foods displayed for guests to see. Consider a taco station that fits the health food craze by taking it beyond a purely Mexican option. Today shrimp tacos and soft shells stuffed with blackened mahi mahi are popular meal choices.
Dinner choices aren’t the only items influenced by the veggie trend. Check with your bartender about refreshing warm weather cocktails that incorporate veggies as more than a garnish. The spring trend is to create unique drinks using carrots, radishes, squash and beets that are as beautiful visually as they are tasty.
Finally, think outside the norm when it comes to dessert, especially if you are planning a wedding. Health conscious guests are looking for small and simple desserts, and many this spring are influenced by those summer treats enjoyed as kids. Instead of a tiered cake, consider an ice cream sundae bar, adult ice cream shakes, s’mores round a “campfire,” or a spread of homemade cookies like grandma used to make.
Be sure to focus on the visual for your spring event. Trends continue to find guests posting their food and drink choices on social media and your party can be the hit of the season. Contact the experts at Special Moments Catering for ideas for your spring event.

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

Winter business gatherings growing in NE Ohio

Planning a winter business meeting or gathering? Northeast Ohio has become a popular location for business meetings, conventions and entertainment, even in the winter. Cleveland caterers are available to make your planning easier, from choosing a venue, determining themes and a menu, through wrapping it up with the perfect entertainment.
Throughout Cleveland and Akron, many unique venues offer a variety of options for constructive meetings, followed by creative dining and great indoor and outdoor entertainment.
Consider Northeast Ohio’s popular Boston Mills and Brandywine ski resorts for team building sessions and ski packages. Venues in Downtown Cleveland range from sporting events to music or museum venues, where your brainstorming session can lead to an exciting and stimulating evening. Try the classy Severance Hall, the expansive Geneva wine country or the casual Akron Zoo for truly unique experiences for your business team.
Cleveland caterers can help you create the perfect atmosphere to make your winter meeting a great event without the high cost and inconvenience of travel. From hors d’oeuvres to multi-course meals, your caterer can craft a fully themed event that perfectly fits your unique venue.
This winter, talk to a Cleveland caterer about creative venues to host your business meetings, team building sessions or brainstorming gatherings. Let your caterer help make your meeting constructive, fulfilling and memorable.

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

Holiday party planning for the procrastinator

It’s not too late to plan that holiday gathering at your home for your closest friends. Whether your group ranges from three or four couples to 10 or 15, the key is to keep it simple. This fits in perfectly with today’s trends!

Holiday revelers in 2017 are looking for social gatherings that allow for more mingling than sitting, so don’t spend the extra time trying to organize a formal dinner. Your guests will appreciate the freedom to make a plate and cocktail and roam. A buffet of substantial hors d’oeuvres is the perfect addition to your small or medium-sized event.

Since you have already put the planning off a bit longer than you should have, there are a couple of things to consider if you are to make this party possible with the least amount of stress for you, the host.

First, don’t be picky about the date. Sure, we all like to have weekend parties, but that’s the problem. Your guests will already have other obligations on their calendar, including that annual company party that takes a spot on everyone’s December calendar, so choose a date that is less likely to be booked, such as a Monday. If your guest list is small, you may want to take a few minutes to check with them. Believe it or not, Fridays are not as popular for parties as you may think.

Second, hors d’oeuvres may seem simple enough to make yourself, but since time is short, let your favorite caterer do the work. Even gatherings that seem rather large to you are simple for the experts. Your caterer can also recommend selections that fit your casual theme and accommodate any dietary restrictions your guests may have.

Remember to keep that interactive trend in mind as you consider food and drink options for your party. A fondue bar is an excellent centerpiece for your buffet, encouraging guests to gather around and partake. Consider adding something unique to your selections, such as a dish that represents your heritage, or several that reflect the various seasonal celebrations—Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and others. You may also consider serving food and cocktails on carts, allowing refreshments to roam along with your guests. Your caterer can help with creative ways to do this.

If dinner simply must be part of your celebration, a family style, pass-the-plate format is a much better fit for today’s social trends. Another option is to set your buffet alongside your table seating and incorporate a narrow table for eating rather than the standard dining table. By keeping your candles and table décor low profile, a narrow will table allow for easier conversation over dinner.

Third, let social media get the word out quickly, so that your last-minute gathering makes it to your guests’ calendars as quickly as possible. Electronic invitations are today’s simple, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to reach those most important to you, so there is no need to create more work for yourself with those glitter-covered paper invitations.

Finally, consider attire. The latest trends are toward more dressy celebrations, but no one knows your guests better than you do. You will want to take a moment to determine how the most special people in your life will want to celebrate. Whether you lean toward black tie or ugly Christmas sweater, the best party is the one where you, your family, and your friends can be most at ease.

Happy Holidays!

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

Taking the stress out of Thanksgiving dinner

Even the most seasoned cook and entertainer can experience stress when preparing a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends. For those who prepare such a dinner only once a year, it can potentially remove all the joy from the holiday.

Thanksgiving does not have to produce dread in the hearts of its hosts and hostesses. Some advance planning and a few helpers can streamline some, if not most, of the process, but, since your goal is to have everything ready to eat at the same time, there will inevitably be some chaos just before dinner is served.

A few helpful tips:

  • Remove the risk that your frozen turkey is not thawed in time by purchasing a fresh turkey. You will be rewarded with a juicier finished product.
  • Shop early to avoid your choices being out stock.
  • Don’t try a new recipe, no matter how tempting.
  • It is easy to overcook your turkey in the chaos of preparing your other dishes. Assign a helper to keep an eye on it.
  • Don’t add the stress of undercooked stuffing. Bake it separately.

There is no shame in asking for help with your Thanksgiving endeavor, especially if you are a first-timer. For example, canned cranberry sauce is quick and easy, but if you have your heart set on homemade, ask a guest to prepare it at home and bring it, freeing you and your kitchen for other dishes. Assign the carving and the mashing to other family members while you prepare the gravy.

If you prefer visiting with your family over cooking and clean-up, consider catering your Thanksgiving dinner. Cleveland caterers specialize in preparing food in volume and can easily prepare a feast for your family that tastes like it just came out of your kitchen. Also, many caterers will offer multiple choices of side dishes, allowing you to satisfy those picky eaters in your family.

A catered meal means a relaxing visit with guests and minimal clean-up afterwards. Worried about the cost? Most local caterers’ rates are quite reasonable, and require only that you arrange a pick-up time 48 hours in advance. Some will even deliver!

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

Halloween parties that cater to adults

Most adults would agree that Halloween should not be reserved for the kids. Theme parties are on the rise, and Halloween provides the perfect backdrop for a full range of creativity. From whimsical to formal, you are limited only by your imagination when it comes to the details of your party.

Theme parties are at their best when guests are immersed in the event. Start by choosing a theme that sets the tone. A formal gathering may be a masquerade event set in old Paris. A more casual event could be set in an ancient New Orleans haunt complete with voodoo dolls. Emphasize gory or emphasize silly, but work with your caterer to carry the theme through every detail of your party. Transform your home and yard so your theme is everywhere your guests will be. Use entryways, patios, lighting, music and landscaping to take your guests to your chosen location, era or fantasy.

Trust your caterer to help you with ideas to build your theme, beginning with a color scheme. Table decorations are key, especially if your party leans toward the formal. Formal dinners can start with on-theme table setting and seat assignments, and continue through service of a carefully constructed meal of “brains” and “eyeballs” in perfect presentation. Casual buffet or hors d’oeuvres service should create the unexpected from the expected. Mini weenies dressed as mummies, bloody fingers, fruit displayed as pumpkins and goblins, punch in bubbling cauldrons, are all possibilities your caterer can help you dream up.

Let the experts do the work. Spend your time building a guest list and deciding on the perfect costume while your caterer creates a meat and cheese tray complete with a skull centerpiece. Snacks can be served from an autopsy table. Serve elegant gore or whimsical marshmallow ghosts, but carry your theme across your dinner table.

Encourage social gathering with a Halloween s’mores table and “campfire,” or a candy apply bar accompanied by a simmering cauldron of caramel.

Your caterer is an expert event planner. For the perfectly themed, stress-free party this Halloween, leave the food and decoration details to the professionals and get ready to immerse yourself in your haunted house, graveyard or zombie ball.

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

Making a Memorable Holiday Party

Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us.  If you love to have people over and want to do something a little different this year, consider these options for an amazing holiday party.

Have a themed party. Caterers in Cleveland believe that incorporating a theme is a great way to coordinate all of your dishes and decorations.  If you love chocolate, then a dessert themed party might be for you.  If you want to celebrate family, then incorporating family traditions and treats might be the way to go.

holiday-family

Explore your heritage. Discovering a little more about your family’s history is an intriguing way to add a little spice to your party.  For instance, if you have recently discovered that part of your family hails from Great Britain, then making Yorkshire pudding would add a great conversation piece to your party.

Elegant appetizers. Instead of serving an entire dinner, which can be challenging to coordinate, caterers in Akron suggest making a bunch of different types of appetizers for people to share.  The benefit to an appetizer party is that people have a chance to mingle more easily than a sit down dinner, allowing guests who don’t know each other well to get to know more people.

Trim-a-tree party. For families, having a trim-a-tree party is a lovely way to share a Christmas tradition.  Cocoa, hot coffee and sweets are the best way to give your guests something to nibble on while they are hanging lights and ornaments.

After outdoor fun. If you and your family have been skiing or ice skating, then a hot, easy-to-do dinner is the right menu for the day. White chicken chili and homemade cornbread, enchiladas or even a pasta dinner can be a warm, satisfying meal in the cold.

The holidays are filled with opportunities to get together with family and friends for fun.  No matter what type of holiday party you are hosting, these tips will help you to create memories and fun for the people you love.