Summer Lovin' Nostalgia

Written by Thursday, 12 May 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | May 12, 2016
Summer Camp with No Counselors

Photo Courtesy of Camp No Counselors
Tap into the nostalgia of camp by hosting your next event at camp! Camp No Counselors is a 3 day sleep away camp for grownups happening across the country. If you can't make it to Camp No Counselors, borrow the idea and recreate the experience of summer camp in your area! Think lake side, picnic tables, canoes, and perhaps even a water slide! Have a bonfire and add adult beverages to complement your s'mores! Camp No Counselors states that it taps into that nostalgia when responsibilities were few and the fun was plenty.
 
 
Some More S'mores Please

Photo Courtesy of Lorie King Kaehler
Nothing says summer lovin' nostalgia better than the quintessential summer treat of s'mores. If you can't get your guests around a campfire, bring the summery taste to them in a cool treat - Frozen S'mores. 

 

Line a baking sheet with graham crackers and layer marshmallows on top. 
Broil until golden - keep an eye on them. 
Remove from oven and top with another graham cracker. 
Use melted chocolate (Milk chocolate chips melted in the microwave for 20 second intervals) and dunk or drizzle on the s'mores. 
Freeze for 30 minutes to harden and serve.

 

Beer Cocktails

Photo Courtesy of  Restaurant Latour
We can be nostalgic for our younger days and still enjoy a cocktail. This mixture is a twist on the classic Greyhound drink of vodka and grapefruit fruit juice. 

Instead of topping with soda, choose a grapefruit wheat beer. This concoction here is made with sugar beet vodka, elderflower cordial, and orange liqueur. Topped off with Schofferhofer Grapefruit wheat beer and garnished with a grapefruit rind.

 
Lo-Tech Hi-Tech Social Games

Photo Courtesy of Social Media Examiner
Getting guests to interact with each other and follow each other on social media doesn't have to be boring or even hi-tech. Social Media Marketing World handed out Networking Bingo cards to exchange twitter handles of fellow guests. Nostalgic games such as Bingo are a perfect way to engage and increase guest interaction. Guests with completed cards turned them in for a chance to win a social media prize pack from Social Media Examiner.

 

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Wonderful Wonderland Whimzy

Written by Thursday, 05 May 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | May 5, 2016
Optical Illusions

Photo Courtesy of Taylor McIntyre
Step through the looking glass into an optical illusion of décor, such as the black and white theme here. Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland stories centered on games and illusions, making this a fitting tribute with additional décor items such as dominos, chess pieces and playing cards for the table.

 
 
 
Eat Me

Photo Courtesy of Fahri Yavuz

Bite size cakes and biscuits may be the norm at an Alice in Wonderland inspired event. Get creative with the main course as well serving items such as these innovative Large and Small Shellfish in a Pool of Tears, referencing Alice crying a river of tears. 

Drink Me

Photo Courtesy of  Dirty Martini
Serve a cocktail that your guests will gladly obey the "drink me" rule of Alice lore. This White Rabbit Drink may lead you down the rabbit hole.  However, we can't promise guests will shrink to fit through enchanted doorways! You could serve this in tea cups for a grown up tea party.

Ingredients

1/2 oz Amaretto

1/2 oz Baileys

1 oz white rum

1/2 oz Kahlua

1 oz Half & Half

 

Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake then strain over ice cubes in an old fashioned glass.
 
 
Drink Me (Revisited)

Photo Courtesy of Soul & Ink
The CorkSharing app allows users to find and book wine tastings to drink around the world. Additionally, it allows wineries to manage reservations for public and private events, tours and the like. If you're hosting an event at a winery, consider using CorkSharing to increase awareness and manage attendance, both large and small.


 

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An Event Mom Would Love

Written by Thursday, 28 April 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | April 28, 2016
Go Beyond Brunch

Photo Courtesy of Colin Miller
Who says you have to celebrate Mother's Day in the morning with breakfast or brunch?Treat mom to an elegant dinner for something different and unique. Create a warm tablescape full of natural greenery and moss offset by white flowers and glowing candles, an effect that isn't quite the same in the morning light.

 
 
Make Mom Feel like a Kid Again

Photo Courtesy of  Smitten Ice Cream

 

Every mom is unique and her dessert should reflect that! 

Smitten Ice Cream makes made-to-order small batch ice cream using liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ingredients. If you've never tried liquid nitrogen ice cream, we Highly encourage it! The results are creamy and smooth. The flavors and add-in possibilities are endless to make each dessert special and unique for mom. 

 
When Life Gives you Limoncello

Photo Courtesy of  Barbara Kiebel
This limoncello cooler is a light and lovely way to celebrate mom! 
Tip: By freezing the raspberries in advance they shape and keep the drink cool.

Ingredients

Fresh raspberries (approximately 5 per cocktail)

A couple of sprigs of mint

4 oz cold sparkling wine or lemon flavored sparkling mineral water

2 oz Limoncello liqueur, cold (We keep ours in the freezer; it doesn't freeze because of the alcohol content)

 

Instructions

Put your glasses in the freezer if possible, or at least the fridge so that they are cold.
Put the raspberries on a plate; separated from each other and place in the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving time
Gently 'smush' a couple of small mint leaves and add to each glass along with 5-6 of the frozen raspberry ice cubes.
Add limoncello, then the sparkling wine or water.
 
 
 
Creative Coloring (just not on the walls)

Photo Courtesy of Soul & Ink
Immortalize mom in a custom screen printed tee or silk screened tapestry with a mobile on-the-go screen printing service at your next event. Similar to a food truck, the mobile unit artist will draw an image that can then be screen printed on items of your choosing. The company, Soul & Ink,  is currently located in the DC area.

 

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Let's Have a Fiesta

Written by Thursday, 21 April 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | April 21, 2016
A Pretty Pink Pinata

Photo Courtesy of Wild Whim Design
A Mexican fiesta theme is a perfect excuse to invite a bright colors to your event! Mix different colors and textures with large floral arrangements and potted cacti for a fun and unexpected tablescape. We love these cacti in the glass vases to protect from accidental prickly pokes! 
 
Mexican blankets provide an exotic table runner and mini pinatas add a touch of whimsy without being cliche.

 
 


Authentic Mexican Food

Photo Courtesy of Lesley Tellez

 

An authentic Mexican fiesta should include authentic dishes. According to Lesley Tellez Mexico regional cuisine is as diverse as it is in America. 


Ingredients


3 pounds skinless chicken legs, thighs, and breasts, fat trimmed
1 pound chicken backs, fat trimmed
3 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 dried Mexican bay leaf
5 peppercorns
1 medium onion, quartered
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 large serrano chiles
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lard or canola oil
24 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups Mexican crema (or sour cream)
1 cup mild, shredded cheese, such as Monterrey Jack or Colby
Preparation

At least 2 hours before you'd like to eat, place the chicken, 1 garlic clove, the bay leaf, peppercorns and a quarter of the onion in a large stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken legs, thighs and breasts with tongs or a slotted spoon and let cool. Discard the chicken backs and strain the stock; set aside.
Once cool enough to handle, shred the meat and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Set aside.
Place the tomatillos in a large saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic, peeled, and 2 quarters of the onion. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until the tomatillos turn pea green and soften, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. (Vegetarians can reserve the cooking water, turn up the flame, and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes, to use in lieu of chicken stock, if they choose.)
Stem the chiles and chop roughly with the cooked garlic. Add to a blender jar with half of the tomatillo mixture, and 1/2 cup of the strained chicken stock. (If you have a high-powered blender, toss all the ingredients in at once.) Blend until smooth. Add the remaining tomatillo-onion mixture and 1 teaspoon salt, and blend again until smooth.
Warm 1 tablespoon lard in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the sauce in one quick pour, being careful as it might splatter. Cook until the flavors meld, about 5 minutes.
Heat 2 teaspoons lard in a small skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. Fry the tortillas lightly, one at a time, until slightly tougher but still pliable, about 30 seconds per side. (They shouldn't be crisp.) As you work, remove the fried tortillas to serving plates-I like to serve 4 tortillas per person. Fold the tortillas in a half-moon shape and make sure they sit in an even layer on each plate.
Dice the remaining quarter of onion. Ladle 3/4 cup sauce over over each serving of tortillas, spreading slightly so the tortillas are entirely smothered in sauce. Add a layer of diced onion and cilantro, a layer of shredded cheese, a layer of chicken, some crema and another layer of sauce. Top with another light sprinkling of diced onion.

Cooks' Note
I recommend making your own light stock here, using the water in which you've cooked the chicken. If you can find a hen, which Mexican cooks consider to be the most flavorful stock base, use that. If you're vegetarian, this dish can still be pretty wonderful, especially if you use homemade vegetable stock.
The Other Agave Drink

Photo Courtesy of  Elana Lepkowski
Mezcal is the hottest flavor out of Mexico, which like tequila, comes from the agave plant. Unlike tequila, mezcal must be at least 80% agave (tequila weighs in at 51%.) We like the fizzy and bright fruity flavors in this drink.

INGREDIENTS

1 ounce mezcal, such as Del Maguey Vida

3/4 ounce Aperol

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

2 to 3 dashes of either Angostura or chocolate bitters, such as Scrappy's

3 ounces club soda

Lemon peel, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS 

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add mezcal, Aperol, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with fresh ice. Add club soda to glass and strain cocktail on top. Garnish with lemon peel.



Events in Full Circle

Photo Courtesy of Yahoo
Google's YouTube's latest push into virtual reality will allow viewers to experience live events with 360 degree videos. 
 
The 360 and virtual reality will come into play more and more over the next few years as companies continue to develop the 360 filming technology, 
soon to be on cell phones. 
 
For now, events can live stream and push 360 videos to YouTube allowing more people to participate even if they cannot attend the event. 

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Earth Day Every Day

Written by Thursday, 14 April 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | April 14, 2016
A Toast to the Earth

Photo Courtesy of Shadow PR
Do more good for the earth by serving cocktails that are not only from nature's bounty, but are also made with "do good" products like One Hope, where half the profits go to Save Our Planet or End Childhood Hunger.
 
White Peach Sangria

 
Ingredients:

1 bottle ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc (half of the profits go to Save Our Planet)

1 bottle ONEHOPE sparkling wine (half of the profits go to End Childhood Hunger)

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1 cup Raspberries

Lime Slices from 1/2 lime

Orange slices (1/2 large navel orange)

2 Ripe peaches (cut into wedges)

2 Apples (seeded and cut into slices)

Orange juice (from 2nd half of large navel orange or ~1/4 cup)


 

 

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a sangria bar carafe and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Fill glasses with crushed ice and garnish with fresh orange slices, raspberries, and peaches. Top with sparkling wine before serving (if desired).


 

 


Good Food that's Good for the Planet

Photo Courtesy of Jay Weinstein

 

Focusing on saving mother nature this upcoming Earth Day, by serving food that is sustainable. This arctic char fish is a fast reproducing fish that's similar to Atlantic salmon in flavor and texture.

4 small red potatoes (about 3/4 lb.), sliced 1/4 inch thick

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 skin-on arctic char fillets (about 5 oz. each), scaled

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 3 inches long

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

4 lemon wedges


 

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the potatoes to a boil in enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch. Reduce the heat to a brisk simmer and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
 
Pat the fish dry and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Arrange the fish skin side down in the pan so the fillets fit without touching. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook until the fish is cooked through, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to a serving platter or plates.
 
Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and rosemary and cook, flipping occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the olives, parsley, balsamic, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir gently to heat. Arrange the potato mixture around the fish. Serve garnished with the lemon wedges.


Tip Courtesy of Fine Cooking

 

Nature's Table

Photo Courtesy of  Jason Speth
Natural elements can show up anywhere on your table. Wood chairs, flower centerpieces, and living gardens all come to mind. Incorporate natural elements into your serving dishes as well by adding flowers, twigs, and grasses into a round bowl and filled with ice make for a functional and elegant showpiece. 


Graffiti Gone

Photo Courtesy of Foto Master
Get your virtual spray cans out to paint the town. Instead of painting with real paint, guests in this Neon Photo Booth can use an LED spray can while standing in front of a dark background. The camera tracks the LED light turning it into a sprayed graffiti like effect on screen. Guests can save their artwork as a video or even choose to turn it into a flip book. Party organizers can even brand with logos and messages.

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Spring Fancy

Written by Thursday, 07 April 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | April 7, 2016
Natural Nature Decor

Photo Courtesy of Tyler Curtis
Every spring as the weather warms, thoughts of outdoor events start to prevail. Outdoor gatherings can blend seamlessly with the environment by using natural décor items such as silk canopies, woven rugs and leather accents that create a comfortable natural setting without being overly "outdoorsy."


Tip Courtesy of Biz Bash

Sunshine in a Pan

Photo Courtesy of Vicky Wasik

 

These bars are bright and lemony, making them perfect for spring when few fruits are in season. These sweet treats would make a perfect addition to any spring time event.

INGREDIENTS

 

For the Crust:

4 1/2 ounces (1 cup; 130g) all-purpose flour

2 ounces (1/2 cup; 60g) powdered sugar, preferably organic

1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use the same weight or half as much by volume

1/8 ounce (1 tablespoon; 4g) freshly grated lemon zest

4 ounces (1 stick; 115g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  

For the Custard:

3 large eggs, cold

4 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup; 135g) egg yolks, from about 8 large eggs

9 1/2 ounces (1 1/3 cups; 270g) granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

1/4 ounce (1 packed tablespoon; 8g) freshly grated lemon zest

11 ounces (1 1/3 cups; 310g) lemon juice, from about 8 large lemons (see note above)

  

For Garnishing:

2 ounces (1/2 cup; 55g) powdered sugar (optional)

6 ounces (1 cup; 170g) Lemon Chantilly(optional)

5 ounces (1 cup; 140g) Crispy Citrus-Candied Pistachios (optional)


DIRECTIONS

 

1. For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position, preheat oven to 350°F, and line an 8- by 8- by 2-inch anodized-aluminum baking pan with a piece of parchment paper long enough to overhang the pan's edges. Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, and butter in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to form a dry but pebbly meal. Scatter into the prepared baking pan, press into an even layer, and bake until pale gold and firm, about 30 minutes. Use hot or set aside until needed, up to 48 hours at room temperature if tightly covered.

 

 

2. For the Custard: Combine whole eggs, yolks, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a 3-quart stainless steel saucepan, then whisk in lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly but not vigorously, until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until thick and steaming-hot (custard should register 170°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 8 minutes. Immediately strain into the prepared crust, smooth into an even layer, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until smooth and firm, about 10 minutes. Remove foil and cool to room temperature, then re-cover and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 1 hour.

 

 

3. To Serve: Loosen chilled custard from sides of pan with a bench or butter knife, then carefully tug loose and lift using overhanging parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 two-inch squares, rinsing the knife clean between each slice. Serve plain, lightly dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with Lemon Chantilly and Crispy Citrus-Candied Pistachios. Store up to 1 week in an airtight container.


 

 

 

 

Smoked Rum Punch

Photo Courtesy of  Elana Lepkowski
An outdoor picnic calls for a drink that's both refreshing and natural. This Smoked Rosemary Rum Punch is a smooth mix of savory woodsy flavors, with a light lemony sweet syrup.
 
INGREDIENTS
  

For the Smoked-Rosemary Citrus Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Zest from 2 medium lemons

3 ounces freshly squeezed juice from 2 medium lemons

Zest from 2 small limes

1 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 2 small limes

3 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

 

For the Punch:

24 ounces gold rum, such as Parce 8-Year

4 ounces orgeat, such as Small Hand Foods orgeat

12 ounces smoked-rosemary citrus syrup

4 ounces overproof rum, such as Smith & Cross

4 ounces water

Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


DIRECTIONS
  1. For the Smoked-Rosemary Citrus Syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, water, and lemon and lime zest and juices. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to just under a boil, then remove from heat and cover. Meanwhile, hold rosemary over an open flame using heatproof tongs, turning continually, until it begins to smoke. As soon as it starts to smoke, uncover syrup and place rosemary in saucepan. Cover again and let steep 30 minutes. Strain solids out and reserve syrup for the punch in an airtight container. The syrup will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator, but flavors will be best if used within 2 days.
  2. For the Punch: In a punch bowl, combine gold rum, orgeat, smoked-rosemary citrus syrup, overproof rum, and water. Stir to combine and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight. To serve, add a large ice cube to the punch bowl. Ladle about 3 ounces into a punch glass and grate fresh cinnamon on top. Serve.


 
Perfectly Practical

Photo Courtesy of Laura Decarlo
Deciding on event swag can be practical. These Gifts for the Good Life "miracle worker kits" contain gifts that are simple in design but practical and useful. Think "first-aid" for event related emergencies like a blister, a nail file, and more.

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