As food industry folks, we know how important presentation can be, and we can’t help but be a little obsessed with Tablescaping…. yes, it’s a thing! Here are our five favorite holiday napkin folding ideas to impress your guests before the first bite is ever taken!
1. The Elf Hat Napkin Fold
Absolutely in love with the Elf Hat the creative folks at goodhousekeeping.com came up with… pure genius!
For those of you who love to watch videos… here ya go!
Celebrating Thanksgiving may be fun for most, but for a few of us (who are watching our waistlines or have specific food restrictions) Thanksgiving can be a challenge. We scoured the web to find five of our favorite recipes that are perfect for just about anyone! Whether you are vegan, paleo, diabetic, or just love eating clean, these delicious recipes will make your Thanksgiving a bit easier. And from all of us at Beauty of the Bistro, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love, family, and delicious food!
Basically a crustless apple pie recipe, made for you by BuzzFeed Food editor Christine Byrne.
Recipe: Core 8 medium apples without cutting all the way through to the bottom — leave about a ½-inch of uncut apple at the bottom — then cut away a little bit extra so there’s a well in each apple about ¾-inch thick. Put the apples on a lined baking sheet, then sprinkle each apple with cinnamon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and top with 1 teaspoon unsalted butter. Bake until the apple is very soft, 30–35 minutes. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with your favorite maple granola.
So, you’ve decided to host a soiree during the holidays, congratulations!! Now, it’s time to prep yourself, and we’re not just talking about the food and décor. You need to prep your mind, body, and soul because hosting a holiday function can be a whirlwind of emotions, pressures, and expectations. So before you deck the halls or order the turkey, read these simple tips for hosting the day and enjoying it too!
PLAN AHEAD… YOU’LL THANK YOURSELF!! It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday details. Did I decorate enough? Are there enough Christmas lights? No matter how small or large your holiday party will be, creating a game plan is key! Don’t let the decorations consume your life. Allow yourself permission to “let go” of certain decorating elements while spending that time checking to see if you have enough plates, seating, cutlery, or even refrigerator space for your upcoming celebration. Delegating responsibilities to guests and family members is also recommended. Chances are, they’ll want to contribute and would be happy to bring over extra plates, utensils, or prepared food to your party. You may even want to ask another family member (or two) if they would like to come over and help you prep. I know plenty of hostesses that make preparation for the party — a party on its own. Allowing the helpers to sip cocktails and catch up, while preparing the meal.
MANAGE EXPECTATIONS!! Visualize your party focusing on what type of Holiday celebration you are expecting this year. Will it be large and over the top? Or small, cozy, and conservative? Once you decide on your vision, share it with others you will be inviting. Many people will be relieved to know that they don’t have to wear their jacket and tie to your Christmas dinner, because you are keeping it relaxed this year. While others would be disappointed if they showed up in yoga pants to your posh Cocktail party. Realizing what you want and sharing your vision with guests can make the evening more relaxed, no matter the atmosphere. And keep the expectations to a minimum.
KEEP IT REAL!! Keeping your exceptions realistic, not obsessing over the details, and simply “letting go” can be life changing. For some, this is easier said than done, but part of having a well executed evening is realizing that you are not in control (or should you be) of everything, and most importantly, that’s OK! Uncle Willie may talk about politics and grandpa may make those “colorful” jokes everyone feels awkward hearing. But, that’s OK and that is what makes your family unique and special.
PREP AHEAD!! Planning ahead is key, prepping ahead is a MUST!!! Creating dishes you can make one or two days before the party will not only save you time and energy, but a massive amount of stress. Focus on salads with grains, which will absorb flavor over time and will actually taste better the day after they are prepared. Make ahead dips, such as hummus and pesto, are perfect for holiday entertaining and can be prepared well in advance.
WHATCH YOUR INTAKE!! Whether you like to splurge on alcohol or food, maintaining control over both, during the holidays, will contribute to your overall emotional and physical state. It’s easy to “let go” and reward yourself, because hey… it’s the holidays! But overindulging on both alcohol and food can be hazardous. So, if you are hosting, fuel yourself throughout the day with healthy nutrition and consider limiting your alcohol consumption to stay emotionally connected and in control.
Chances are, you’ve seen us rolling through the streets of Kansas City. You may have even joined us at the food truck frenzies at First Fridays, hanging out in our regular spot in Stilwell, or even at one of the many private events we’ve catered. But if by chance, you are still wondering what to order the next time you see our truck, here’s a quick cheat-sheet on our TOP FIVE menu items. These made-to-order sandwiches and sides are RIDICULOUSLY delicious and are the best bites in town… if we do say so ourselves!
BOOM BOOM BURGER!!
With a name like that, you bet it’s INCREDIBLE!! This super-tasty, unique burger is served on a Farm to Market Brioche Bun and is a whopping half pound of delicious meatiness, covered in Pepper Jack Cheese and sports a huge dollop of our very own Broccoli Slaw (MERCY!!!!). And if that isn’t enough, it rocks enough Roasted Salsa and Jalapeño Aioli to make you truly come back for a second one, on the SAME DAY!
BOOM BOOM TACOS!!
Set your phone to mute because you won’t want anyone disturbing you while you’re digging into these incredibly delicious tacos stuffed with mouthwatering Applewood Smoked Pork, our famous Broccoli Slaw and covered in our housemade Salsa and Jalapeño Aioli. Served on flour or corn tortillas, these tacos will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites… oh and did we mention, they’re good…like really, REALLY good!!!
AUBRY ROADHOUSE BURGER!!
We could stop with the BOOM BOOM Burger, but if you are a Beauty of the Bistro fan, you know that we have several delicious burgers, including this gorgeous beauty… AUBRY ROADHOUSE BURGER!! This knock-out burger is served on a Farm to Market Brioche Bun and features a half pound of mouth-watering burger, covered in Smoked Muenster cheese paired with Bacon Jam and Arugula… you’re welcome!!
PORK BAHN MI!!
We all have our favorites, but this one is definitely EVERYONE’S favorite! Our Pork Bahn Mi sandwich is… well, beyond words! House-made Smoked Pork piled on a French Baguette and generously topped with Chipotle Mayo, Raspberry Habanero Sauce, Pickled Carrots, Sliced Cucumbers, Jalapeños and Cilantro. We should mention, BRING YOUR APPETITE!!
CUP OF MAC N’ CHEESE!!
Life is good, but it sure is BETTER with some of our delicious Mac N’ Cheese! America’s favorite comfort food classic, our bowls are creamy, satisfying, and full of LOVE!!! A true must have from Beauty of the Bistro!
When the time comes to planning your wedding, the choices and possibilities, for every aspect of your wedding, seem to be endless. From photographers to floral designers, most brides are looking for a wedding vendor who will bring the most creativity and style to their special day. And although creative photographers and floral designers are important, let me tell you a little secret… why not invest that same creativity and style into your caterer and hire yourself a food truck… yes, a FOOD TRUCK!!
PROS AND CONS
If you are considering hiring a food truck, you’re moving in the right direction! Food trucks are the HOTTEST trends in weddings and give a special event an infusion of creativity and customization your guests will LOVE. But as always, logistics have to be considered to make sure that your wedding is right for a food truck.
There are many reasons to move forward with booking a food truck, fun atmosphere, delicious specialty food, variety of food trucks and food styles, freedom with creative menu planning, not having to make your guests travel from ceremony to reception location, and may be less expensive than most traditional caterers… I can go on and on with the many benefits of food trucks.
However, as with anything, there are a few cons to consider. Limited number of guests can be served per food truck, no seating provided, limited access (some reception venues do not allow food trucks or may not have space for a food truck to park), may not serve alcoholic beverages, may be in high demand or difficult to book.
CONSIDERATIONS TO ELIMINATE OBSTACLES (CONS)
Consider your venue. If your ceremony location does not provide you with a caterer, than a food truck may just be what you are looking for. Speak to the ceremony venue to see if they have an outdoor or indoor area appropriate for your reception, specifically to see if they can accommodate space/parking for one or more food trucks.
Consider the season. Summer may be the obvious choice, but spring and late fall are good options to consider as well. These months are cooler and guests do not have to deal with extreme heat.
No matter the season, make sure to plan for the weather. Needless to say, if you are having an outside reception, you will be taking weather into consideration. Setting up a tent or arranging seating in a shaded area will help your guests feel comfortable or have respite from an uncooperative weather issue.
Consider the guest count. Guest count is key in terms of planning how many food trucks to incorporate. Some food trucks can only handle 75 people or less, others can handle more. Speak with your “first choice” food truck to see if you will need to add more food trucks to your reception. Having multiple trucks can be creative and unique. For instance, you can have Beauty of the Bistro (yes, we just recommended ourselves) and add an additional food truck for strictly dessert, such as ice cream or funnel cakes. Or, you can have two to three food trucks offering a variety of menu items such as one specializing in BBQ, another in pizza, while another is totally committed to burgers. The possibilities are endless.
Consider the seating. In terms of seating, think of food trucks as a hip, modern take on buffet service. This means you have basically two dining options: Set up formal tables so guests can grab their food and have a sit-down meal, or put utensils and napkins in a central location to encourage guests to stand and mingle while they eat. We recommend setting up areas to sit. Having a mixture of cocktails tables and sitting areas is a great idea, but make sure that there are PLENTY of seating areas for guests who want to relax and enjoy their meal.
With the holidays fast approaching, there’s a high probability that you’re contemplating hosting a special dinner or even a holiday celebration. Nervous? Don’t be! Just think: lots of people manage to do it every single year, and somehow they survive. So, if they can do it, YOU can do it!! And with our five easy (time saving) entertaining tips, there’s no reason why your next soiree shouldn’t be your BEST… holiday or any day!
There is nothing that can dress up your party more than some bubbly, the ultimate sign of a celebration! Having glasses of champagne waiting for your guests, whether at the front door or at an area reserved for cocktails, immediately adds a festive element to your home. You can still serve beer, wine, or mixed drinks, but champagne adds an immediate “welcome to the party” vibe. It’s kind of like confetti going off every time a guest walks in your door, but much cleaner! Best of all, you don’t have to stop what you are doing to offer or make your guests a drink as soon as they walk in. To really impress, add a strawberry and a sugar cube to each glass to create a champagne cocktail…BOOM!… you’ve just created your signature drink for the night. Yes, it’s that easy!
INCORPORATE AS MANY “MAKE AHEAD” DISHES AS POSSIBLE!!
Give yourself a break and try to prepare as much the day or night before as possible. Make-ahead recipes are perfectly acceptable for entertaining, and a little secret, sometimes taste better than “day of” dishes because you let the flavors marinate and blend over a period of time. There are several salads, like potato and pasta, that taste much better prepared ahead and chilled than if you were to make them an hour before the party. Cheese balls, dips, and pestos can all be prepared ahead of time, ready to be quickly incorporated into your appetizer tray a few minutes before the guests arrive. So, save yourself time and energy on the day of your party, instead spend that time enjoying a glass of bubbly before the guests arrive… see, you GOT THIS!
DON’T BE SHY TO ASK YOUR GUESTS TO BRING SOMETHING.
It’s pretty much a given… you invite someone to a party or dinner, their first question is “what can I bring?” It’s perfectly acceptable (even encouraged) to let your friends know what to bring to your party… as long as they ask first. Guests don’t like to come empty handed and chances are, they’ll probably bring something anyway… most likely wine! If they ask, tell them EXACTLY what to bring, as long as your requests are simple… HUGE time saver!
Also, if you are having many guests over, don’t feel obligated to cater to every dietary restriction. If a guest has specific food allergies, you can ask them to bring something for themselves. For example, if they have gluten allergies, have them bring their own crackers or a side dish which you can incorporate onto your table and share with others. Chances are, your guest will be excited to share their item or prepared dish with other people at your party.
SET THE TABLE AND DO ALL THE DECORATING, THE NIGHT BEFORE!
This little entertaining tip is known by all the experienced hostesses. Setting your table, the night (or even a few days) before your party, not only saves you time on the “day of”, but also gives you a chance to really play with your table design. If you realize you are missing something or want to add a little something extra, you have plenty of time to find something vs. running frantically to the store. The same goes for cleaning and organizing the house before the party.
OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE!
There is no better way to save time, while planning your next party, than to realize YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING!! Outsourcing certain things, especially the tasks you may not necessarily enjoy, is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged!! Some hostesses have a simple system, preparing the dinner and delegating the dessert and appetizers to a caterer or grocery store, or vice versa. We know some hostesses that don’t prepare ANY food and outsource everything to a caterer. As a rule of thumb, if you have six or less guests, you can handle most things on your own and may want to purchase appetizers and/or desserts at the store. But if you have more guests, consider outsourcing certain tasks to a professional caterer… Beauty of the Bistro, for example (yep, we just recommended ourselves!!). Delegating certain things to professionals allows you, as a hostess, to focus on what you enjoy most about entertaining, spending more time WITH your guests than AWAY from them!