If you know anyone who is a vegan, preparing food for a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy can be tricky. This is especially true if you are having a party at your house. Since vegans do not eat normal party foods like buffalo wings, creamy dips and dairy desserts, you may believe that it will be impossible for your vegan guest to eat. However, adding foods to your party that do not have meat and dairy is not has hard as you may think. If your inviting a vegan to your house but don’t know what to cook, here are some options:

Chips with salsa and guacamole Not only is chips with salsa and guacamole vegan friendly, it’s a great party dish. Just make sure you don’t add cheese to the salsa. If you want to add cheese, set aside some salsa for your vegan guest. In addition, make sure the guacamole does not have sour cream in it.

  • Salad This is easy and simple to prepare. Also, you can add a bag of precut vegetables to make the salad more like a meal. However, check the label of the salad dressing because there could be cheese as one of the ingredients. Most olive oil and Asian based dressings are usually vegan friendly.

(Recipe here)

  • Rice and beans By adding canned tomatoes to rice and beans, is like making chili without the meat. You can make it spicy or mild depending on your guest’s taste. You can also add other vegetables like onions and green peppers. Your vegan friend or family member can eat this as their main dish.

 

  • Pasta with marinara sauce Similar to rice and beans, this is also a main dish. You can get creative by adding squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and canned tomatoes. Just make sure the marinara sauce does not have cheese in it.

 

  • Fruit salad Fruit salad is one of the most simplest vegan friendly dishes you can have at your party. You can buy precut fruits and serve it as a dessert. Also, you can make your own by using cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, peaches, etc…the possibilities are endless. This is especially helpful if you have other desserts at your party that are made with eggs or dairy.

 

 

Serving food for your vegan friends and family does not have to be difficult. These foods can be enjoyed by everyone. By adding these foods to your list, you can make your vegan guest feel welcome in your home.

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Track lighting offers advantages wherever it is used, but particularly in the kitchen. Quite often, a kitchen has several different spots that can use additional lighting other than a single ceiling fixture. For example, the sink can use more light when vegetables are being cleaned or maybe under the cabinets as foods are prepared. Moreover, you can add to the kitchen décor with the style of track lighting that you select.

In planning the use of track lighting, it’s best to consider how light from one fixture can overlap the light from another fixture and and make the lighted area much more usable. The overlapping of light removes some shadows and shows more detail. Some kitchens with a single ceiling fixture cause tasks to be done while working in a your own shadow. Track lighting eliminates this “shadow work” area.

Take into account the color and reflectivity of existing kitchen surfaces. For example a very dark surface with a dull finish will seem to absorb light. On the other hand a white, shiny surface may reflect so much light that it seems too bright. You can test some of these areas for the kind and brightness of a proposed track light by using a strong flashlight as well as check on the best location. It’s not hard and it doesn’t take much time.

You have a choice between two different kinds of track lighting. One is called free form and the other is called fixed form. The free form style lets you adjust the location of each light on the track This allows you to remove a light head or you can relocate a light head. Also, you can change the color of the light heads and add to the kitchen’s style. The fixed form system has light heads that cannot be moved, they can only be turned around in their fixed location.

A fairly handy do-it-yourself person can install track lighting with some ease. You might need a helping had to hold some tracks in place white they are being attached to the ceiling or the underside cabinets, but otherwise it’s a one person job. Access to an electrical outlet or perhaps a junction box will be necessary also. You may want to consider some touch up painting or re-painting some areas, as well. And be sure to purchase your track lighting system components from the same supplier because the parts are usually not interchangeable between manufacturers.

Once installed, you will find track lighting in your kitchen a very great advantage over other common kithen lighting that cannot be focused or directed. Plus, track lighted kitchens are bright, efficient and beautiful.

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When hosting for clientele, little details can make or break the experience for partygoers. When they’re paying good money to have parties planned for them, they don’t just expect the basics to be down pat and nothing special to go along with them. They want the works and they want to feel like their party was truly unique, truly something that will live on in the minds of the people they host. No one hosts a party in order to be a blasé quickly forgotten night of tedium for their guests.

slate cheese board

Slate Cheese Board with Muffins FT. livingthegourmet.com

We do many things to make the little details a reality for the hosts that hire us. The vast majority of our decorations are singular, often hand-crafted, pieces of art. That means the partygoers are getting a completely specialized experience when they attend an event. They’re not inundated with the same old decorations one could pop into any big box merchandiser and purchase. Our decor is fresh, fun, and most importantly, wholly ours. Obviously we work closely with the hosts beforehand to align everything with their expectations, but even during the initial planning stages, I’ve yet to hear any true complaints about our adornments.

One of our tried and true decorations is actually the plating on which we serve our catered food. If the host so chooses we have the ability to serve everything from hors d’oeuvres to appetizers to entrees to desserts on our Slateplates. I’d estimate over 75% of our patrons choose to go this route after they see the quality of the product. Slateplates are lovely little (or big) serving dishes. You can easily purchase their cheese boards with chalk individually or in bulk, if it’s in bulk I recommend you contact them to see if you can get a deal . We purchased a variety of sizes and have our caterers plate the most scrumptious looking delicacies upon them. Though our most used one is the Charger/Large Plate which is the ideal size for our servers to carry bite sized party pleasers around. We also ordered the Server Tray and the Super Slate in order to accommodate our more sizable cuisine when necessary.

slate cheese board

A Slate Cheese Board – FT. Slateplate

The slates themselves are gorgeous, classy looking stone slabs. They’re a dark dark black, which is incredibly perfect for bringing out the visual stimulation a properly prepared hors d’oeuvre can display. You see when the colors are set against a pitch black background they pop to life and showcase every succulent detail of each bit of food. Foods that were previously lost against a pasty white serving platter, or silvery reflective tray are suddenly and properly featured when set against black slate. This is especially true for the most colorful and ornate food. For things like sushi or fruit or even certain cheese and veggie combinations I can’t recommend black slate strongly enough.

The company itself is well worth supporting, in my opinion. I’m always eager to support women-owned companies, especially when it’s a company in charge of its own manufacturing and completely based within the US. It’s incredibly rare for a woman to take ownership of a company of that type and scale. And as I mentioned, the product is manufactured entirely within our own country, so I have no guilt about supporting outside labor or child workers, or any other atrocities around the world.

The slate itself is incredibly chic and a huge party pleasure amongst our hosts’ guests. It’s not like the rough outdoorsy slate you’re probably imagining. It’s finely crafted so that it’s smooth, cool, and perfectly rounded on the edges. It fits elegantly with any upscale venue, but it even finds its place just fine amongst less exclusive venues as well. The food doesn’t stick to it, it keeps the food at its original temperature long enough to be served, and is generally easy for the servers to carry and wash, as it’s non-stick, non-slip, and dishwasher friendly. Evidently they use acrylic feet instead of cork feet in order to accomplish all those things simultaneously.

One many more than one occasion I’ve had hosts ask me about our slateware. They assumed it was somehow unique to only us, as if we made the slate, which gave me a chuckle. I suppose that’s the way we like it, it definitely sets us apart, but it’s easily orderable for individuals and businesses and the perfect complement to a party. I guarantee you’ll be forced to field a ton of questions about your slateplate, so it’s well worth the investment for this brilliant serving attraction.

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Seeing is everything! When it comes to food and gastronomy, the presentation is king. What is appealing to the eye is indeed appealing to the stomach and that is what works for most events and parties these days. Even when we opt for personal dining, a hearty looking meal with balanced nutrition and a balanced presentation is a clear winner. So, the importance of stylish food presentation cannot be underplayed today.

Stepping into the world of catering and events services, food presentation is a crucial determinant of who is better than the other. Gone are the days when taste was the only deciding factor as to whose food is a winner, today it is all about taste, innovation, look and presentation. Take for instance an appetizer dish like baby corn skewers in a party. Serving them in a cluster on a plate along with a sauce and a few toothpicks to pick them up is clearly the popular choice of presentation but is totally old school and unappetising. Taking the same dish and putting an extra spin and effort into plating it individually in one toothpick each along sitting on a dash of the delectable sauce, now that is inviting to the eyes and the palate.

Getting the balance of color, nutrition, and elements is very crucial when you set out to plate your dish for the final presentation. The best part about food presentation today is that it need not be gourmet to look fancy on a plate. It is more about increasing the face value of the food that is being served. Food presented in single servings is a clear winner and makes the one receiving it on a plate feel real special! And there is nothing better than delectable food that looks great on the plate too.

 

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If you are following along on my business ventures you know that I have been on The Rhode Show a few times to feature some of my candy and dessert buffets (link to watch the latest video is here). It is so much fun and is such a great opportunity, that I jump at every chance I get to be on the show. It is, however, a ton of work (I’M NOT COMPLAINING, I SWEAR!) and I would be crazy to add to that by doing a photo shoot of that exact setup the night before, right? Welp, I guess I am bat poop crazy because that’s just what I did!

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Hey, guys! I’m here to share with you the fun little Balloon Bar I styled a few weeks ago. It’s no secret that I’m balloon obsessed! Balloons are a classic and easy way to bring a little “pop” to any type of get together. I use balloons at EVERY event (not kidding) and I’ve been trying to come up with a fun way to bring my balloon love to the next level. So this time I substituted the dessert bar for a balloon bar.

 

STEPS******************

1) Pick a balloon

2) Fill with confetti and glitter

3) Inflate

4) Tie with ribbon of choice

5) Decorate with bow

The feathers were my favorite part!

And what is a balloon bar without a tassle garland?

Try this at home, you guys! This was seriously an easy DIY station perfect for any age and any party. Make sure you share your pics with me on Instagram xoxo

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When i was a kid I loved seeing cotton candy when I’d go to the theme parks, I would tell myself that when I’m an adult I would eat cotton candy all the time…

Well that did not work out, I also told myself that I would eat a cake before actually cooking it, that also did not turn out the way I expected.

But at least I can have a nostalgic experience with kids that are completely crazy for cotton candy through my work. Kids and parents often go crazy when I suggest that they should do a cotton candy party with me. Below are some pictures of our latest cotton candy party, enjoy!

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Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, lots of people are preparing to celebrate this day in their own little way. Some might be extravagant, but some might prefer to keep it simple. Here I’ll give you some ideas on what to do if you want a little extra effort in your celebration.

Even if you’re just celebrating with your significant other, you can show a special side by preparing treats you don’t see regularly. My staches and sweethearts theme is something that will cater both ladies and gentlemen, so don’t be shy and give this theme a try!

Make some finger foods that are both appetizing and pretty – mini pancakes, candy hearts, and lollipops are all good choices. You can also opt to serve cheese and crackers. Actually, you can make whatever you want, and whatever you know your partner will like.

Decorations are not required, but are certainly a nice touch to any event celebration. Even if your Valentine’s day is just an intimate occasion, you can still make it grand by putting some nice embellishments around the house or even inside your bedroom. Let your creativity take over and let love guide you (cheesy, I know!).

On the other hand, if you are going to host a get-together for a small crowd, you can add other party elements that are in line with our staches and sweethearts theme, such as centerpieces, party favors, servingware, and even in whatever is included in your program, like games or icebreakers.

Either way, a stache & sweetheart themed celebration is sure to be a hit: it’s cute, it’s charming, and it definitely screams “Happy Valentine’s Day!” that is sure to reach the hearts of your guests.

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