10th February, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Weddings are a pricy affair, and sometimes you need a little help to prevent you starting married life with a second mortgage. One area you can help cut costs is with the food and drink, if you come up with some little creative ideas.
One way to lower the costs is to provide your own appetizers. This might sound like a lot of effort and it’s almost tempting to just get the checkbook out, but this is much easier than it sounds. Pick some finger foods which can be either made in advanced or can be frozen, then just warm them up before the cocktails are served. This is an area caterers love to overcharge, so by doing it yourself you can save a huge ton of money.
Skip the servers if you want to save for the piggy bank. It might be fun and classy to have waiters walking round with silver platters, serving champagne and appetizers, but to be honest, this is not an essential luxury. Your guests are there for you, and if anything is of importance it’s the quality of the food – not who serves them.
Going all out on elaborate appetizers is a waste of time. The cocktail hour is about socializing before the formal meal, and chances are guests are going to be on the hungry side, so any snack will do. Even something as simple as cheese, crackers and some fruit will go down a treat for peckish guests.
The drinks tab can be a hefty price to pay, and one way to save is to make the event bring your own bottle. By doing this, you save on inflated prices the venue would charge for serving those drinks. An open bar can create some problems, and not just with the bridesmaids making a fool of themselves, but in terms of price. Limit the bar to maybe one or two hours, and to even cut costs – just serve wine and beer only or maybe one signature drink.
Saving money on the meal can be done a various ways, from skipping the sit down meal in favor of a buffet with multiple stations. You can even get your catering from a take out services, but make sure your venue allows for outside catering. If you do want a sit down affair then go for family style – have each table come with their own dish you can serve yourself. It’s fun, intimate and you’ll get some great quality food. And remember, seasonal food is always cheaper than non-seasonal, and tastes better too.
Save on the elaborate wedding cake with some alternatives, like some beautiful cupcakes, which can be displayed in a tiered style to mimic the wedding cake. Have friends or family bring their own desserts – the choices are limitless! If you’re not a baking type, then opt for a sweets bar – get some bags of candy and prepare a buffet, or offer a variety of cookies and brownies. This is a lot cheaper than a wedding cake, and you’ll find your guests get to have more fun
30th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
The words ‘tradition’ and ‘wedding’ go hand in hand. Part of that tradition includes the reception menus. Most of the time guests choose between ham or roast beef, corn or green beans, ranch or Italian dressing and tea or lemonade. Not, bad, but why not shake it up? The following menu ideas are cost-effective, easily prepared for a crowd and well-received by guests everywhere.
- Lasagna, salad and garlic bread. This meal can be self-serve or served restaurant style.
- Taco bar; buffet style, of course. Offer both soft and hard shells and all traditional toppings.
- Chicken pot pie, salad bar or vegetable platters and dips, rolls; comfort food to carry over the feeling of relaxation and enjoyment
- Pulled pork sandwiches, french fries and dips, potato salad and slaw, vegetable and fruit platters or pasta salads; easy, casual and delicious. NOTE: it will be best to serve this buffet style and offer a variety of barbeque sauces on the buffet to eliminate the need to have them on each table.
- Chicken tenders, scalloped potatoes or potato salad, honey-glazed baby carrots, rolls; easy, kid-friendly and filling.
- Pasta buffet of cold and hot pasta salads, baked spaghetti, toasted ravioli and tortellini. Offering marinara, meat and Alfredo sauces adds an extra-special touch. Pasta dishes are inexpensive and can stretch to feed several.
- Brunch! Breakfast casseroles, pastries, fruit and even biscuits and gravy; different, filling and who doesn’t like breakfast? In order to have convenient flights, one couple opted to have a mid morning wedding on a Saturday followed by brunch. They were leaving the church one o’clock and bound forSt. Luciaby three in the afternoon. So much more relaxing for everyone.
- Fruit and vegetable trays, cheeses and crackers and ice cream/toppings to go with the cake. Small, mid-afternoon weddings don’t necessarily need to serve a meal at the reception. It’s after lunch and well before dinner time, so a light finger food buffet is sufficient.
The reception venue, meal and décor often eats up a major portion of the wedding budget (no pun intended). If you elect to serve something a bit less pricey, you’ll have more to spend on something you really want. Besides, your guests aren’t coming for the food-they’re coming for you.
www.fantasticfood.com (Pulled Pork)
8th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Vegan cuisine is becoming a trend at all occasions, including weddings! Regardless if it’s just for the taste, the variety, or the originality, vegan dishes are a great way to try something new and appease your guests with a different type of cuisine. Looking to be more environmentally concious? Vegan is truly the way to go. You’ll find with various caterers that vegetarian and vegan will be your cheaper option when picking your menu or buffet choices.
Veggie Tip #1: Stuff It! Choose stuffed dishes, they’re more filling and many people won’t even notice that there isn’t meat in it. Stuffed peppers, mushrooms, or even stuffed squash are great and filling dishes that will keep your guests’ satisfied, full, and meat free.
Veggie Tip #2: Pasta Popularity. Pasta is an extremely filling dish that everyone enjoys. Zucchini Risotto, Veggie Lasagna, and vegetarian ravioli are popular options to fill your guests up yet keeping the menu elegant and classy.
Veggie Tip #3: Try before you buy. Before compiling the menu with your caterer or chef, be sure you try each dish. Many people spend anywhere between 16-30 dollars per person per plate on their wedding food menu, it’s important that you’re satisfied with your menu choices…especially when choosing an original menu theme such as vegan or vegetarian.
To give you even more inspiration we have obtained a list of concrete menu options !
Mediterranean-style Hors d’oeuvres:
- Tomato risotto cakes
- Tofu cheese filled dates wrapped in crispy smoked portobello bacon
- Faux farmer’s cheese and caramelized onions in a puff pastry
- Crudite with dips like cannelini, black bean, hummus, or spicy artichoke Grilled Veggie brochettes (could be mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, chives, herbs, etc)
- Tomato bruschetta brushed with olive oil
- Lemon-potato pancakes with gingered avocado creme
- Stuffed grape leaves
- Lemon risotto balls
- Falafel with tahini sauce
- Crostini with dips like eggplant caponata, white bean puree, kalamata olive or sun-dried tomato tapenade
- Baba Ganoush with pita bread
American-style Hors d’oeuvres:
- Potato crochettes with chive creme
- Twice-baked red and white potatoes
- Sweet potato spread and plum tomato crostini with balsamic vinaigrette
- Endive and apple haroseth salad
- Fruit skewers
- Potato cakes with apple chutney
- Mushroom and Leek Empanadas
- Artichokes filled with fennel and tomatoes
- Guacamole with tortilla chips and pico de gallo
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Stir-fried sugar snap peas with shiitake mushrooms
- Mini spinach quiches
Asian-style Hors d’oeuvres:
- Vegetable Samosas
- Spring Rolls with soy-ginger dipping sauce
- Avocado and cucumber sushi with pickled ginger and wasabi
- Seitan fingers with tamarind dipping sauce
- Avocado tempura with tomato dipping sauce
- Caesar Salad
- Red beet tartare
- Baby greens with candied walnuts, stone fruit, and balsamic vinegar
- Field greens with sliced pears
- Spiced green beans and walnuts with dijon vinaigrette
- Couscous, chickpea, and sun-dried fruit salad
- Mesclun greens with sliced nectarines, jicama, pistachios with maple-sherry vinaigrette
- Green salad with avocado-lime vinaigrette
- Vegetable maki and tempura rolls
- Tabouli salad
- Three-bean salad
- Spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette
- Romaine lettuce with mandarin oranges, candied almonds, and vinaigrette
- Cucumber tomato salad
- Fresh fruit soup simmered in red and white wine
- Potato-leek soup
- Miso tofu soup with sliced portabello mushrooms
- Barley slit pea soup
- Tomato dill soup
- Minestrone soup
- Spicy ratatouille served over rice
- Couscous stuffed portabello mushrooms
- Pasta primavera with seasonal vegetables with sauteed onions or marinara sauce
- Mushroom phyllo roulade with smoked-paprika creme
- Tofu-squash ravioli in a cashew cream sauce
- Roasted bell peppers stuffed with bulgur, herbs, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and toasted pine-nut stuffing
- Roasted vegetable lasagna with vegan ricotta, broccoli rabe with white beans, sundried tomatoes, chili, and garlic
- Rice with slivered almonds and snap peas
- Southern fried mock chicken with BBQ sauce
- Seitan meatloaf with mushroom gravy
- Lemon-rosemary mock chicken
- Mushroom ragout with pasta
- Refried black beans and tomato rice with guacamole
- Sweet plantains and corn tortillas with pico de gallo
- Stuffed butternut squash
- Peppers stuffed with rice and vegetables
- Seitan and veggie skewers with plum sauce
- Vegetable Thai curry with steamed quinoa
- Angel hair pasta with vegetables in a ginger soy sauce
- Vegetable Samosas and Pakoras
- Chickpea curry
- Spiced spinach and potatoes with mango chutney
- Pistachio-crusted tofu over horseradish potatoes and wilted spinach
Side dishes to accompany entrees:
- Garlic Mashed potatoes
- Herb roasted vegetables
- Collard greens
- Sauteed vegetable ragout
- Vegetable skewers with garlic and rosemary
**List obtained from www.vegan-nutritionista.com.