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

Make your menu light, fresh for spring events

Changing seasons and changing dietary preferences may mean rethinking your menu for your spring parties, weddings, and celebrations. In general, as temperatures warm we like to keep food somewhat lighter. Spring brings a desire for crisp, fresh choices for appetizers and meals.

In recent years, however, more people also are turning to fresh organic foods and/or favoring vegetarian or vegan diets. Some are simply looking for healthier options or gluten-free ingredients. Rather than opting for traditional selections for your catered event, consider choosing organic (locally sourced when possible) produce and fresh, light options, especially if you know your guests will be looking for such choices.

Caterers report that today’s trend is showing increasing requests for menu options that are sensitive to food allergies, gluten-free guests, vegetarians and vegans, with a focus on meatless appetizer and entrée choices and organic ingredients. With a little creativity, your catered event will impress even the most discriminating guests.

Hors d’oeuvres – Consider options that feature mushrooms, squash or soy chorizo for tasty finger foods that fit all tastes.

Salads – Before the meal or for the meal, salads provide an excellent opportunity to feature fresh, light and locally sourced fare for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Consider fresh greens tossed with local organic vegetables and gluten-free dressings for a starter, or choose a salad entrée in Caesar, Julienne or Cobb with meat options for the perfect spring meal.

Soups – Highlight spring with a choice of cold soups, such as Vichyssoise (potatoes, leeks, cream and stock), Gazpacho (raw tomato, garlic and onions, or a modern version of fruits and vegetables), or Tarator (cucumbers, garlic and dill blended with yogurt and spices).

Fish or herb centered entrees – Fresh fish is a great main meal when you are looking for lighter options. For meatless entrees, feature stuffed peppers or mushrooms, couscous, lentils, caramelized onions or wild rice, adding unexpected flavors with various herbs.

Complete your spring themed event with beverages garnished with mint, lavender or other herbs, or set up a mimosa bar that includes a spread of fresh fruits and fruit juices. Opt for desserts in the form of fruits and lightly whipped creams and sauces; or light cakes frosted in pastels.

At Special Moments Catering, we are ready to design any event, from themed decorations to a full menu, so your guests can enjoy an atmosphere and refreshments that fit the season and their lifestyle. Call today for an appointment with one of our professional planners and get ready for the perfect spring event.

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

A new focus for weddings of 2020

This year, expect to see weddings that cater to guests’ needs, emphasize sustainability, and feature the uniqueness of the wedding couple. With an eye to the bold and a focus on details, a new decade of weddings is embracing a trend away from expected traditions.

The professionals at Special Moments Catering are excited to plan and prepare your perfectly unique celebration from start to finish. That may mean starting with your engagement, as 2020 is expected to see more couples planning engagement events that allow for a practice run—from food to photography—for the wedding reception.

For small engagement gatherings and larger wedding receptions, more couples are turning to choices that support local sustainability efforts and are best for our planet. This means reducing trash by using reusable containers and table wear, repurposing floral centerpieces, and sourcing locally grown food. Couples also are making these choices with their guests in mind by considering allergies, special diets and healthy menu options.

A big effort this year is to make the celebration a statement about the wedding couple. This includes a color palette and unique decorations that create an atmosphere that reflects the couple’s personality no matter how bold. Wedding celebrations are likely to include food and drink choices that are nostalgic for the couple and their family and friends. This can include unusual main courses, personalized desserts, and specific drink offerings. More couples are considering a specialty bar, for example, that features a favorite drink or liquor choice, from tequila to whiskey to rare wine vintages.

At Special Moments Catering, we specialize in event planning, so we can provide the advice and expertise that you need to create your unique wedding. We build our menus to support any theme and any atmosphere, so your personality will be featured in every aspect of your special day and your guests are treated to the very best. Call today to learn how we can help you plan and design your 2020 wedding.

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

Plan a modern Roaring Twenties bash

Every December 31 provides opportunity to celebrate by planning a gala with friends and family. From the low-key house party to the lavish party center event, most look forward to an exciting evening and a big welcome to the new year.

With this new decade, why not ring in the new year with a roar?

Known for a surging economy, exuberant lifestyles that included costume parties, jazz and short skirts, and a flouting of prohibition, the Roaring Twenties of the 1900s present the perfect backdrop for this new 20s era. Your costume party can encourage guests to create a modern version of flappers and their beaus in zoot suits and gangster hats.

Plan décor for your party that celebrates scenes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels, many of which were based on actual events from his life during the 1920s. Black, white and red decorations in the spirt of the Great Gatsby are sure to add excitement and nostalgia to any gathering.

Build a theme around the Harlem Renaissance of the time, with colorful artistic designs in the spirit of African culture and the poems of Langston Hughes. Serve a range of refreshments from pig’s feet and bathtub gin to caviar and champagne.

Turn your living room into a speakeasy, complete with dim lights and a doorman “limiting access.” Serve champagne punch, Mint Juleps, and Old Fashioneds with fruit.

Special Moments professionals are on-hand to help you plan the perfect modern Roaring Twenties party, with themed colors for everything from linens to centerpieces. Let us handle the food, with options that bring back the Roaring Twenties, including fried ravioli, cabbage rolls, crab stuffed mushrooms and nut roll.

Don’t wait to plan your celebration of the New Year 2020! Whether you prefer a traditional, elegant New Year’s Eve event or a whimsical costumed gala, our team is ready to provide all your party needs, including full catered meals and bar service. Call today!

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

Make ahead and freeze for easier holiday meals

If you are reluctant to cut out those time-consuming details that make your holiday meals special, consider than many of these key dishes are easy to make ahead and freeze, with the result just as tasty as if you had spent the entire day in the kitchen. Lessen the work, reduce the stress and enjoy holiday dinners by doing the prepping well ahead of the big day.

A bit of planning is all you need to freeze multiple dishes or just a few. Be sure you have freezer space and containers that you will not need prior to the holiday. Then follow a few tips for a delicious, low-stress meal.

Main dishes

Turkey – Brine the breast before you roast and freeze for a moist bird full of flavor that you can thaw, slice and reheat.

Ham – An easy meal since they are fully cooked and can be served room temperature or heated. For a touch sweetness, try adding a simple honey glaze or brown sugar coating and plan for a little extra time for heating.

Lasagna – Loaded with beef, sausage or cheese, lasagna makes a great main dish for a holiday gathering and it freezes and reheats easily.

Side dishes

Green bean casserole – You don’t have to give up the tradition because this staple freezes well. Be sure to hold the french fried onions to be added when you are ready to reheat.

Cheesy potato casserole – Any cheesy, creamy potato casserole is easy to make ahead. Be sure to use store-bought hash browns rather than fresh potatoes for the best results.

Mashed potatoes – If fresh potatoes are a must, go for mashed—they freeze well as long as you use plenty of butter and cream.

Sweet potatoes – Roasted and pureed into a creamy casserole, they freeze well and are delicious reheated with a topping of chopped pecans or scallions.

Mac and cheese – Along with any other cheesy and veggie casserole, these dishes are easy to make, freeze and reheat, with the addition of crunchy toppings when you are ready to reheat.

Stuffing – Don’t stuff the turkey! Most stuffing recipes can be assembled with bread or cornbread, veggies and/or sausage ahead of time and baked the day of. Follow directions to partially prep, then freeze.

Rolls – Treat your guests to homemade rolls by baking to 75% completion before freezing. You can finish baking the day of with a bit of melted butter brushed on top.

Dessert

Fruit pies – Yes, you can make your secret family recipe and freeze it before baking to get that fresh-baked taste. You will want to use a metal or disposable aluminum pan and don’t overfill your pie to ensure the center bakes evenly without burning the crust. Be sure to make vent holes before freezing and place your pie in a plastic freezer bag.

Short on freezer space? Choose a couple of key dishes to prepare ahead and freeze for your holiday feast and cater to the rest. Special Moments Catering specializes in preparing tasty holiday staples that your family will love so you can relax and enjoy the festivities. With reasonable rates and multiple choices of dishes that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters, you can count on a memorable meal and celebration. Call today for menu options and availability.

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

Boost office morale with a cozy fall mixer

Getting your office staff back on track after the casual pace of summer can be a challenge, especially if you have some new members on your team. A fall gathering can be the perfect way to bring your group together and springboard them toward a successful fall and winter. We suggest keeping it simple, with fall-themed food arranged in an office lunchroom or conference room.

Simple fall decorations can set the mood without a lot of fuss. Cover overhead lighting with sheets of crepe paper in fall oranges and tans to create a cozy atmosphere. Add a sprinkling of silk fall hued leaves over warm yellow tablecloths to convert your office meeting space into a cozy, festive party room. Complete your setting with a fall scented candle or jars of cinnamon and clove.

Whether your gathering is an extended lunch, after work hors d’oeuvres or a casual dinner, the Special Moments team is available to plan, create and serve top quality food and beverages that enhance your theme. From small sandwiches to popcorn balls, donuts to apple dumplings, we handle the work so you and your staff can mingle. Consider fall favorites in beverages, including mulled cider or wine or a coffee bar complete with spiced selections, whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

A fall office mixer is a great way to learn more about your team and get them involved. Ask members of your staff for their favorite fall meal, dessert or snack and our professionals will build your menu using their suggestions. Ask each attendee to share their story behind their favorite as your team enjoys sampling excellent food and drinks.

Let Special Moments help make your office mixer the perfect opportunity for your team to relax, get acquainted and recharge. We deliver your selections and everything you need for your party. Call today for details on our catering services for your office party.

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

This fall skip the harvest and throw a party

Not so many years ago the fall harvest was one of the biggest gathering times of the year. Fields that had been nurtured all summer yielded an abundance of food, and families gathered after days of back-breaking work to share in the bounty and celebrate.

Times may have changed, but you don’t need a farm or a harvest to throw a harvest party this fall. The end of warm summer evenings and a return to the school and work routine are reason enough to gather with friends for one last outdoor party. Build yours around simple fall decorations, a cozy campfire and some traditional foods and beverages, with a few twists thrown in.

Decorations are easy, from pumpkins to hay bales to fall flowers and paper lanterns. Don’t skimp on the fall colors for everything from napkins to tablecloths and gather some fall leaves from your yard and a few candles from your house for homemade centerpieces.

Keep it rustic, using wooden step ladders and metal buckets to put out food, beverages and decorations. An old door set securely over blocks makes a fine vintage buffet table.

Beverages are a great opportunity to add to your theme. Craft beer is huge in Northeast Ohio, and every brewery has seasonal selections. A metal tub packed with ice and a variety of fall beers in IPAs, lagers, and ales, along with some hard ciders is the perfect addition to your fall celebration. If you anticipate cooler temperatures, include mulled cider or mulled wine on your beverage list, and consider adding a stack of throws on a nearby wooden crate for your guests to use as the sunsets.

A bonfire of any size is a must for your fall harvest party, but why not keep it small enough to allow for some marshmallow roasting? Or skip the s’mores and, for a unique twist, provide skewered donut holes to lightly roast and dip in chocolate or caramel sauce.

Speaking of food, let our team of experts provide all the fall favorites, from the barbecue and grilled bratwurst to ox roast or a clam bake complete with chowder. Thinking warm and cozy on a cool day? Soups and chili are great additions to your main course.

We also can provide beautiful fall-themed appetizers and quick and easy desserts, so you can relax and enjoy your guests.

Contact our experts today for all the ideas you need for the perfect outdoor party.

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

End-of-the-summer celebrations are perfect parties

Summer may be winding down but there’s plenty of time for a party. Focus on summer favorites and keep it simple, and your season’s end celebration will come together easily, with friends and family simply enjoying the last of those lazy summer weekends.

The perfect end of summer party should include grilled entrees, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cool drinks and desserts. From hamburgers to ribs, consider barbecue with summer staples of baked beans and potato salad. Package these with trays of fresh fruits with homemade dip and veggies, either raw or grilled. Your party is the opportunity to celebrate the fresh foods we can’t get in the winter.

Complete the menu with cool desserts that beat the heat, such as popsicles and ice cream. Keep the cool flowing with drinks that are fruity and frozen.

Fill the afternoon and evening with a cornhole or volleyball tournament just for fun. End the perfect party with a bonfire and s’mores

Whether your guest list is family or friends, young adults or young kids, focusing on what defines summer will make your party a success without a ton of work. For an afternoon kids party have water balloons on hand. For an evening adult party light tiki torches for atmosphere.

Worried about the preparations? Wondering if your grill is big enough to handle the volume? Prefer to pass on the potluck idea?

Call the professionals at Special Moments Catering and have the perfect summer barbecue ready to eat without the fuss. Check out our menu options and design an end-of-the-summer feast that perfectly suits your guests. Or choose our barbecue entrees and add your own finishing touches.

Celebrate your summer with Special Moments.

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

Get to his heart through his stomach on Father’s Day

They may all be different, but if you have a dad in your home, it’s probably safe to assume he loves a grilled dinner, from burgers to filet mignon. We’ll also bet the grilling is usually his job.

It’s hard to say where the trend began, but certainly in American homes, the kitchen tends to be the women’s territory and, if any portion of the feast is being grilled, the patio or deck becomes the men’s territory. Women gather in the kitchen with cocktails while men congregate around the grill with beers.

If this seems to be the case in your home, Father’s Day may be the day you take up the job of grilling the meal so he can relax. But time in front of the grill can detract from those opportunities to relax together. Maybe a quiet afternoon in the sun with immediate family sounds like the perfect day. Your man may long to entertain your extended family or friends with yard games or to gather with you and the kids around the television for a baseball game.

If quality family time on Father’s Day sounds like best way to please the dads in your life, consider skipping the grilling, but not the grilled meal.

Special Moments Catering has the answer for men who love barbecue, with a multitude of choices on our barbecue catering menu. Your catered barbecue is prepared and cooked to your specifications using the highest quality meats. Your main dish is accompanied by delicious, freshly prepared sides of your choice.

Whether you are feeding a group or just a few, choose from one-third pound hamburgers, jumbo quarter pound all-beef hot dogs, grilled chicken breast, St. Louis-style ribs, and steaks, including ribeye, strip or filet. Your complete meal provides the man in the house with a day off, you with quality family time, and everyone with the best in barbecue.

Consider what the fathers in your life would most like for their special day and call Special Moments today.

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

This St. Patrick’s Day think spring, green and fresh…

Or a little Irish

There’s more than one way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but no matter what you do, it’s sure to be fun and memorable when you throw in a few creative additions with the traditional activities.

If your guests are going to expect green beer and a crock of corned beef and cabbage, don’t disappoint. Serve up both, but consider a couple additional food choices that broaden their expectations. How about corned beef tacos with a spread of green veggies and green chilis to top them? Another unexpected and healthy option is deviled eggs prepared with avocado and green chili hot sauce to green up the yolks.

For drinks that cater to guests who prefer cocktails to beer, keeping with the green theme is no problem. Mix your Bloody Mary using yellow tomatoes, cucumbers and tomatillo’s and add a dash of green tabasco sauce. Serve Mojito’s with a bit of Crème de Menthe added to the swirl of mint leaves. For the best variety in creative drinks, hire a mixologist and request several themed drinks to highlight the Irish festivities. For a simple tribute to the Irish on this festive day, break out the Jameson Irish whiskey and the Guinness stout.

For those leaning towards an elegant feel for their celebration, or to add some spring freshness or a bit o’ Irish to a March wedding or anniversary party, consider the sparkle of gold with a touch of green. Choose centerpieces of gold candlesticks and vases finished with green candles, foliage and green carnations. Add lush green planters on tables and in corners, or complete seating with custom pillows in green and gold.

Table favors can finish your theme, with gold and green foiled chocolates or champagne in a green bottle with gold foil.

For a variety of St. Patrick’s Day ideas from food to decorations, or to plan any themed gathering this spring, consult the experts at Special Moments catering. Let us handle the details so you can relax and enjoy your party.

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

Beating the winter blues in Northeast Ohio

With the holidays behind us and winter setting in, you may be looking for a reason to get out, mingle with friends and kick your heels up a bit. This is a tough time of year in Northeast Ohio. Short days, cold temperatures, and snow and ice can take their toll on even the hardiest Midwesterner.

Why not plan a February “Beat the Blues” party to help pass the time? Venues are generally available and costs reasonable during this slower time of year for entertaining. Theme ideas can range from snow activities to warm getaways, and everything in between. Or simply focus on a distraction from the winter blahs with games and good food.

Some creative ideas:

  • Do you and your friends have a favorite television show or movie? Plan a viewing party complete with themed food and beverages.

  • Organize a game night with a variety of game choices, or choose one favorite game (board game, cards, dice) and plan a tournament. Choose a themed prize for the winner.

  • Murder mystery parties are coming back and easy to plan, with complete kits readily available. Guests are assigned a role and dress for their part.

  • Carnival is celebrated in many countries at this time of year, but best known are the Mardi Gras balls of New Orleans. Plan your own—just add masks, beads, jambalaya and hurricanes.

When it comes to themed parties, the planning is half the fun. Once you’ve decided what your guests will experience at your party, consider venue options. Be sure it supports your theme – big enough, but not too big. For example, a television watch party may be best suited to your home, but a Mardi Gras ball may need a small party room.

Next, dig into the details:

  • Carry your theme into every corner, with decorations and color on walls, tables and furniture.

  • Choose themed names for appetizers, main dishes and desserts.

  • Invent a couple creative drinks just for your party.

  • Don’t forget the music to set the perfect atmosphere—island music, cold weather lyrics, carnival tunes, game show jingles.

Here at Special Moments Catering, our professional planners are ready to set the details for your “Beat the Blues” party. We’ll help with ideas, suggest great food and drink options, provide top notch service and take care of the clean-up. All you have to do is bring guests and enjoy.