Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Choosing the Right Catering Menu for a Special Occasion

When planning a special occasion, one of the first dilemmas is what to feed your guests. You may decide to cater the party yourself, or alternatively forego the stress and hire and catering company to the hard work for you. Either way, the menu decision is often a critical factor on the success of your evening! Guests are often happiest when there’s an abundance of delicious food and drink on offer.

There are types of food which should be avoided for certain occasions. For example, the food and drink choices for a baby shower would be very different to that of a wedding party. Consider the atmosphere you’d like to create with your chosen menu; is it a formal sit-down occasion with wine and gourmet courses, or is it simply background eating finger food whilst other activities are undertaken?

Informal Catering


The classic BBQ menu is simple to create and loved by many. BBQs have a relaxing and laid back nature, and the chosen food should reflect this. Buffet style eating where guests can help themselves to meat, rolls and buns, salads and other accompaniments. BBQs are the ultimate in chilled out eating. Traditional BBQ meats are chicken, beef burgers, and sausages. Typical sides are coleslaw, potato salad, and pasta.

Garden Party

Similarly to the classic BBQ, a garden party is extremely informal and usually a buffet style affair. If you don’t want to stand over a grill whilst your guests eat, try preparing a roast beforehand, which can then be served with cold sides like potato and pasta salads.

Formal Catering

Formal Reception

A more formal event like an Anniversary or milestone birthday party may call for more formal dining arrangements. If you expect a large number of guests, it may be simpler to call in outside help in the form of a specialist caterer. If not, creating the dishes beforehand will ensure you are left ‘relatively’ free to enjoy the party. Create meals which can be easily reheated and served and when guests arrive. A formal event may require a buffet style setup, or for more special events a sit down meal. If the latter, don’t forget to create a simple starter, wholesome main, and delicious dessert!

Choosing your perfect menu can be tricky, depending on the guests you’re expecting, and the type of event you’re holding. Remember to cater for special eating requirements, and it’s always a good idea to have a second option in case guests don’t like your main dishes!

Leeds Seventeen are an award winning restaurant based in Yorkshire, England. As well as hosting weddings and events, they serve delicious English food in their contemporary restaurant. They are currently preparing their Christmas menu. For more information, you can visit them, here: Christmas Party Leeds

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why and How To Make Your Own Soda

Have you ever thought about the cost of buying soda from the supermarket? Every year we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on cans and bottles that we then need to spend millions more to dispose of. Wouldn't it be easier if we could make our own soda at home? Not only would this help our bank balance but it would also reduce the load on the environment. Luckily it's very simple to do this. Sodas are made by a process called carbonation which is what adds the fizzy bubbles to your drink.

What You Need

At its simplest carbonating water requires a seltzer bottle which can hold a couple of liters of water. You will also need a charger that contains pressurized CO2. Put the two together and you end up with sparkling water. Of course this just gives you access to plain fizzy water but what if you want a more interesting drink? That's when it's time to consider a machine that is made specifically for the purpose of carbonating drinks.

A Home Carbonation Machine

There are many companies that make these machines such as Everpure and Sodastream. One of the advantages is that you can have access to a wide range of flavors and basically customize your own soda. These usually include diet flavors and caffeine free flavors and you can also get them without artificial sweeteners and with less sugar, sodium and carbohydrates than the carbonated drinks you buy at the supermarket. In addition, a home soda maker requires no plumbing or electricity -- and you never run out of the drinks you love the most.

The Perfect Blend

One of the great things about carbonating your own drinks is the ability to choose just the amount of fizz or flavor you want. Never again will you have a drink that is too flat or that tastes a little bit bland. You can experiment until you find the perfect mix or check out the multiple home carbonation flavor recipes available online. Some home carbonation machines also have water filters available so that you can get your water is pure as possible.

Finally, going back to the environmental benefits, home carbonation machines make a difference because you can reuse the bottles and the CO2 canisters. Instead of having to send cans or bottles off for recycling, all you do is exchange CO2 canisters to be refilled and use the bottles whenever you need a drink for up to 2 years. That's a much longer shelf life than the average soda can or bottle. So, not only do you get your perfect drink, but you can do your bit for the environment too.

Sharon Hurley Hall writes for Eden Springs, the UK’s No.1 supplier for water cooler hire. Eden Springs provides certified carbon neutral water - the first in the UK to do so. Eden Springs is currently offering Sodastream soda makers with hire contracts.

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