Spring is Here, and Strawberry Season Galore!

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At CuisineStyle, we love entertaining all year round, but springtime is extra special because it’s strawberry season – ripe, juicy, sweet and delicious. Strawberries inspire our ideas for creating beautiful menus and buffet designs that show off our “berry-licious” creations.

There are so many scrumptious options for including strawberries in your spring menus. For our catered events, we blend them into cocktails and smoothies, toss them into salads, transform their perfumed sweetness into sauces and jams, and of course, we create glorious desserts.  One of our most popular spring desserts is Strawberry Shortcake, made the old fashioned way with cream biscuits. For your next party, try something different and treat your guests to a serve-yourself Strawberry Shortcake Bar.  From corporate events to weddings, and casual backyard parties, we know firsthand from our guests just how much they love the shortcake bar. The glory of this classic dessert is, it’s perfect any way you serve it – a simple presentation of biscuits, berries and whipped cream, or an elegant affair with Grand Marnier syrup and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

The orange-zested biscuits are incredibly easy to make.  And infinitely superior to the packaged sponge cakes available in supermarkets.  For busy hosts, you can bake the biscuits in advance and freeze for later. Prepare the dough and drop it by the spoonful onto your baking pan. Once the biscuits are baked, let them cool. Hull and quarter the strawberries, and whip the cream with sugar and a bit of vanilla, to create a Chantilly Cream.

click-here-for-free-receipeTo create your shortcake bar, you’ll want to design a mouthwatering invitation that beckons guests to the dessert table. Select a favorite space or counter in your home where you can decoratively arrange the components of your shortcake bar.  Stack the baked biscuits on top of each other, piled high on a white platter, a woven, flat basket, or even a silver platter.  Choose a pretty bowl for the berries, filling it high above the rim so guests can see the heap of sweet fruit.  Do the same thing for the bowl of whipped cream. Finally, I love this touch – set out a pitcher of good quality chocolate sauce. Guests will love adding a drizzle of dark chocolate over their shortcake creations.  And be sure to make a very special serving for yourself.

Enjoy the applause. You deserve it. I hope you enjoy this wonderful dessert as much as I do.

Wishing you extra helpings of luscious sweet berries this spring, Pamela

Party Planning 2014!

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Pamela’s Party Planning Guide: Hiring the Right Caterer

At CuisineStyle, our event planning team is kicking 2014 off to an exciting start! We’re busy planning corporate events, weddings and parties galore. Planning events is our business, and it’s a lot of fun! We cater parties for 10 to 1,000 guests, and we collaborate closely with each client to ensure their party is perfect. Recently, one of our clients asked me to create a dinner, paired with an elaborate wine tasting featuring three female winemakers from the Bay area. Unlike a typical wine pairing dinner, our client would like her dinner to be a bit different and unique, and interactive. The menu I created is a four-course dinner served on platters that
downloadguideare shared by and among the guests. I love the intimacy of combining an elegant wine and food pairing experience with a family-style dinner party, all at one gorgeous table. We want nothing less than to thrill our client and wow her esteemed guests.

While the actual event is the one-of-a-kind experience everyone will remember, the mark of a truly successful event is in the planning. This process requires incredible attention to detail, timing, and quality – all accomplished by knowing exactly what the client wants, and how to create his or her vision. For professional caterers, planning parties and managing every event detail comes naturally to us, because we do it on a daily basis. However, I also know how daunting it is to be the host or first time event planner. You’re the person responsible for creating the perfect party and the first thing you need to do is hire the right caterer. This is why I’ve created the Essential Caterer Hiring Guide. It’s a simple, straight forward guide to help you plan your next, wildly successful event! Learn my top 10 event planning basics and throw your next event with confidence and style! Get your free download today. Happy party planning!