How to Give at Events

Written by Thursday, 24 November 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Nov 24, 2016
Balloon Ride

Photo Courtesy of  Charity:Water
The holiday season is often filled with good cheer. Good cheer often leads to a multitude of charity events in order to reach goals by New Year's Eve. One way to demonstrate an impact you charity makes is by using helium filled balloons seen here. For each impactful donation, guests were given a balloon to release. The whimsical balloon canopy allowed guests to see how their donations added up. 

Bake Sale

Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Ruperti
The quintessential bake sale items is always a good way to rev up a charity event. Of course, going beyond the traditional cupcake for an upscale event is called for, or is it? These chocolate covered peanut butter cupcakes are sure to leave your guests wanting, and donating more!


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup peanut butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Coating:

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with 10 cupcake cups. In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined; set aside.
    In large bowl, whisk sugar, buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla until combined and smooth. Whisk in dry mixture until smooth. Spoon batter into cupcake cups, dividing evenly. Bake until center is just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
    While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream. In bowl of standing mixer, whisk sugar, egg whites, and salt until combined. Set bowl over pan of simmering water and gently whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees F on instant read thermometer. Immediately transfer to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until mixture resembles shaving cream and is just cool. On medium speed, whip in butter, one piece at a time, until combined and creamy. Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. Transfer buttercream to pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip (#808).
    Pipe about 1/3 cup frosting onto each cupcake. Chill cupcakes in fridge until buttercream is completely firm, about 1 hour.
    When cupcakes have chilled, make the chocolate coating. Place chocolate and oil in a medium bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water. Gently whisk until chocolate has just melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large mug.
    Holding cupcake by the bottom, carefully dip in chocolate to submerge all of the frosting. Pull up and let excess chocolate drop off for a few seconds before turning cupcake right side up. Transfer to cooling rack and repeat with remaining cupcakes. Let cupcakes rest a few minutes to allow chocolate to set and buttercream to soften before serving.
Drink to Donate

Photo Courtesy of One Hope Wine
One Hope Wines support a multitude of charitable organizations through bottles of wine. Nearly 50% of proceeds are donated through the One Hope Foundation. Personally we like the glitter bottles, but choose based on flavor or charitable donation 

Give to Get

Photo Courtesy of Taylor McIntyre
A 3D Photo booth is a fun way to thank your guests for donating to your cause. This photo booth uses multiple cameras to create a well rounded and dynamic 3D gif, that guests can immediately share on social media, continuing to promote your cause!



Winter Wonderland

Written by Thursday, 17 November 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Nov 17, 2016
Warm Winter Glow

Photo Courtesy of  Henry Lin
While we don't see any snow here in Hawaii, that doesn't mean we don't love the winter white décor that follows a winter wonderland theme. These stunning tables were adorned with white orchids and crystal ornaments filled with tealight candles providing a soft winter white glow.

Ice Cream Queen

Photo Courtesy of Max Falkowitz
We're sure you're thinking, ice cream for a winter theme? However, this full flavored goat cheese ice cream takes advantage of the seasons popular berry, the cranberry.

1 1/2 cups half and half
8 ounces fresh chevre
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
12 ounces (1 bag) cranberries
Juice of one orange
Zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon maraschino liqueur (or other fruity liquor)

In a blender, combine half and half, chevre, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and lemon zest. Purée until very smooth, then transfer to a container and chill in refrigerator until very cold. Clean out blender.

Combine cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook at a moderate simmer until berries pop and soften to a jam-like consistency.

Transfer mixture to blender. If blender lid comes with a plug for center feed tube, remove the plug and cover with several folds of paper towel (this will allow you to blend hot liquids without creating a blender explosion). Blend until smooth, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a container, preferably with a spout. Do not push cranberry mixture through strainer (fibers will get pushed through), but shake it back and forth. Stir in orange zest and maraschino, then chill for several hours until very cold.

Churn goat cheese ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a large chilled bowl and very quickly fold in cranberry syrup with a large rubber spatula. Quickly transfer to a container to freeze for two to three hours before serving.
Marshmallow World

Photo Courtesy of BeL Kenji Lopez
It's a marshmallow world in the winter. And this Better than Bailey's Hot Chocolate Recipe is sure to warm your wonderland.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (or 1/2 cup brewed espresso)
  • 3 ounces Amaretto
  • 4 ounces Irish whiskey
  • Marshmallows for garnish


  1. In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture.

  2. Add vanilla, espresso, Amaretto, and whiskey and stir to combine. Pour into glasses and serve with marshmallows.
Personalized Wearable Tech

Photo Courtesy of ErHurdl
Get ice blue (or green or red) to your guests with this personalized wearable tech by Hurdl that lights up based on guest answers. The guest puts on the device and texts a unique code to a phone number. The device then asks the guest questions. For example, imagine visually seeing how many people know someone on the autism spectrum, or who's cheering for a specific sports team. 



Season of Giving Thanks

Written by Thursday, 10 November 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Nov 10, 2016
Cozy Home

Photo Courtesy of  Anna Sekula
Long banquet tables can be intimate with the addition of fireplace centerpieces. These dramatic pieces adorned with fall foliage, pumpkins and warm wooden touches break up the oversized tables, making each section feel more at home. Add more warmth with internal lighting rigged to resemble a cozy fire.

Hawaiian Style

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Romer
For Traditional Turkey we went Hawaiian Style with this Hawaiian Portuguese Smoked Turkey Recipe. While it requires a few days prep, the payout is worth it.

1 turkey (18 to 20 lbs.), thawed if frozen 
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger 
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
4 tablespoons minced garlic 
4 tablespoons minced ginger 
4 cups Aloha shoyu 
1 cup apple cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 cups hickory chips 
2 cups chicken broth
2 large onions, peeled and quartered lengthwise

Cooking Process: 
1. On day 1 (2 days before Thanksgiving), remove giblets from turkey and rinse turkey inside and out. Set turkey, breast side down, in a large disposable roasting pan set on a rimless baking sheet. Add giblets to pan (discard neck). Into cavity of turkey, sprinkle coarsely chopped ginger and garlic. In a bowl, whisk together minced garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar; pour over turkey. Cover turkey with plastic wrap and marinate 2 days, basting 3 to 5 times a day.

2. On day 3 (Thanksgiving Day), remove giblets and 1 cup marinade from pan and set aside for Portuguese Sausage Dressing. About 4 hours before serving, remove turkey from refrigerator. Let stand for 30 minutes in pan; meanwhile, soak hickory chips in water 30 minutes.

3. Remove turkey from pan and pour marinade into a bowl; add chicken broth and set aside. Return turkey to pan, breast side up, and add onions (put 2 or 3 quarters inside turkey). Truss turkey, tying drumsticks together tightly with kitchen twine; truss wingtips together the same way. Cover wingtips and drumsticks with heavy-duty foil "caps," molding them snugly to prevent scorching. Cover entire pan loosely with a double layer of foil, extending foil beyond turkey like an umbrella.

4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill, large enough to hold turkey, for indirect cooking: On charcoal grill, ignite about 60 charcoal briquets. When coals are spotted with ash (about 20 minutes), mound equally on opposite sides of firegrate. To each mound, add 5 unlit briquettes and 1/2 cup drained soaked wood chips now and every 30 minutes during smoking. If using gas grill (with at least 11 in. between indirect-heat burners), put 1/2 cup drained soaked wood chips in a drip pan directly on heat in a front corner and add 1/2 cup chips through grate every 30 minutes during smoking. Turn heat to high and adjust gas for indirect cooking. Close lid and preheat grill 10 minutes.

5. Carefully slide pan with turkey from baking sheet onto center of grill. Pour in marinade and broth. Close grill lid. (If your grill has a lip on it, rest pan at an angle on grill, then carefully slide pan onto grill.) Smoke turkey, basting every 1/2 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted straight down through thickest part of breast to bone registers 150°, about 2 1/2 hours (begin checking after 2 hours). 
6. Slide baking sheet under turkey pan, ease baking pan onto sheet, and lift pan with turkey off grill. Let turkey rest, covered with foil, at least 20 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 160°) before carving.


Historical Cocktails

Photo Courtesy of Vicky Wasik
This sweet and caramel hinted cocktail is perfect for a Thanksgiving flavor. Plus, it offers some historical significance dating to Thomas Jefferson.


2 ounces (60ml) Malmsey Madeira (such as H. M. Borges Old Reserve Malmsey 10 Year or Blandy's 10 Year Malmsey)
1/2 ounce (15ml) simple syrup (see note above)
1/2 ounce (15ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish


Add Madeira, simple syrup, and lemon to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 12 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.

Printing Dessert

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Toth
3-D Printing has turned to candy with the use of the Magic candy Factory printer and over 100 designs. Print greetings on gummy cards and add pizzazz with edible glitter dust. Offered through Dylan's Candy Bar, the edible cards go for $20 per print and available nationwide through Dylan's website



Fairy Tale Fantasies

Written by Thursday, 03 November 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Nov 3, 2016
Stories Come to Life

Photo Courtesy of  Andrew Herrold
For a whimsical fairy tale theme, who says you can't use actors as your décor? This Magical Storybook Gala did just that using the Mad Hatter and his Tea Party, a sleeping Snow White and live performances of a certain soon to be princess losing her glass slipper. 

A Rose is Just a Rose

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Merchant
While most fairy tale foods center around the poisoned apple, we like the romantic image of this Strawberry Rose Tart, perfect for a Beauty and the Beast or Rose Red theme. 


1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (such as graham crackers, biscoff cookies, oreo cookies)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

12 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 pints of strawberries, cut into roses if you're feeling fancy

extras if you wish, but only if you have these things on hand:

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

honey for drizzling

fresh mint for garnish

To make the crust, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter until combined and all the crumbs are moistened. Press the crust into a 4 x 14 inch tart pan, pressing it up along the sides until packed. This will also work in an 8-inch round tart pan.

Stir together the mascarpone and sugar until creamy and combined. If you have lemon juice or vanilla extract on hand, add a splash. Spread the mascarpone on the graham crust evenly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the tart is in the fridge, cut the strawberries. I used this tutorial to cut them into roses. Right before serving, place the strawberries on the mascarpone tart. If desired, you can drizzle the strawberries with honey or add a few fresh mint leaves for garnish. You can serve immediately, or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


The Other Shoe

Photo Courtesy of Beth Branch
What better to go with a Fairy Tale theme than a drink called the Glass Slipper. 

2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2 ounces blue raspberry drink mix
1 ounce vanilla vodka
top with champagne
For each drink:
- Pour corn syrup on a plate or saucer, and sugar on another plate or saucer. Dip the rim of each champagne flute into the corn syrup, and then into the sugar.
- In a champagne flute, add the blue raspberry drink mix and the vodka. Top with champagne.

Storybook Photo Booth

Photo Courtesy of Erik Voake
Immerse your guests into the story with an elaborate photo booth that's a bit more on the forest than booth side. The set dressing here features a carpet of grass, fallen leaves and bare trees with a full moon backdrop to put your guests right inside the Black Forest where many fairy tales emerged. Add fun props like a red riding hood, crimson apples and crossbows to complete the effect. 



I want Candy

Written by Thursday, 27 October 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Oct 27, 2016
Candy Colored Cool

Photo Courtesy of  Shannon Sturgis
Halloween is just around the corner, with frightful and scary tricks. Let's face it, however, this is really the holiday all about candy. We love the candy coated brilliant green color of this décor, and if you look closely, it's devoted to everyone's favorite green candy.



Candy Cookies

Photo Courtesy of J Kenji Lopez
Of course a candy themed event has to have candy for dessert. Go one better with these Better than Twix chocolate covered shortbread cookies for a caramel filled delight.

  • For the Shortbread Cookies:
  • 2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) steel-cut oats
  • 7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 ounces (1/4 cup) cornstarch
  • 3 ounces (2/3 cup) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pats
  • For the Caramel Filling:
  • 6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) white granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Coating:
  • 24 ounces bittersweet chocolate disks, chips, or roughly smashed bars
  • Coarse sea salt such as Maldon

  1. For the Cookies: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F. Place oats in a spice grinder or blender and process to a fine flour, about 1 minute. Combine oat flour, regular flour, cornstarch, confectioner's sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined, about 15 seconds. Add butter and beat on low speed until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the mixer, about 12 minutes. Transfer dough to a parchment-lined work surface.

  2. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Lay a second sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to an even layer about 3/16th of an inch thick.

  3. Cut out as many circles as you can using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Cut a second circle out of the center of half of them using a 2 1/4-inch cookie cutter.

  4. Transfer the whole circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet with a thin metal spatula (there should be room for about 24 circles on the sheet). Top each circle of dough with one of the punched out rings of dough, pressing down slightly to adhere. Prick the center of each cookie four times with a toothpick or wooden skewer to dock. Gather any dough scraps and repeat rolling, cutting and transferring process until 24 full cookies are formed. Discard or reserve remaining dough for another use.

  5. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300°F and continue baking until cookies are pale golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes longer, rotating pan half way through cooking. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack set in a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and set aside to cool.

  6. For the Caramel: Combine condensed milk, butter, both sugars, corn syrup, salt, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula or spoon. When mixture reaches 245°F on an instant-read thermometer, immediately remove from heat and transfer mixture to a 2-cup liquid measure.

  7. Carefully spoon caramel into the center of each cookie, letting it rise slightly above the lip of the shortbread ring. Excess caramel can be poured into a lightly buttered baking dish, cooled completely at room temperature, turned out of dish, and cut into individual caramel candies.

  8. For the Chocolate: Allow caramel to cool while you prepare the chocolate. Remove 1/4 up of chocolate and set aside. Place remaining chocolate in a microwave-safe container and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each one, until chocolate is completely melted and registers 115°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not overheat). Add half of reserved chocolate to bowl and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula. Continue stirring and adding reserved chocolate a bit at a time until temperature drops to between 84 and 86°F. Return to microwave and microwave at 10-second intervals, stirring vigorously in between, until chocolate registers 90°F. Be careful not to heat past 94°F. (If chocolate heats past 94°F, reheat to 115°F and repeat this step. See here for instructions on how to temper chocolate using a sous-vide cooker or a food processor with a hair dryer.)

  9. Pour or spoon melted chocolate over cookies, letting excess drip through cooling rack. Set aside for 1 minute, then sprinkle a small amounf of coarse sea salt on the center of each cookie. Let chocolate harden to room temperature for 10 minutes, transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes, then remove cookies from wire rack using a thin metal spatula. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days.



Candy Cocktails

Photo Courtesy of BLT Steak Atlanta
A simple cocktail gets a candy twist, in the form of twisted licorice strips. 

Red Vine Vodka and Tonic

Infuse Stoli vodka with red-vines or Twizzlers. 
Mix 1 oz vodka with 3 oz soda water. 
Garnish with a strawberry and licorice whip. 
Bonus points using the licorice as a straw! 

Don't have time to infuse the vodka? Replace with Stoli Strasberi to get the strawberry flavor.

Canned Events

Photo Courtesy of Snapchat
Event pages have a new tool in their back pocket with the roll out of Facebook Live Scheduling. While Facebook Live has been around for some time now, scheduling puts the feature into an event mode letting your followers know about the live video in advance. If you're hosting an event, let attendees in on exclusive behind the scenes content, or share with those who cannot attend. 



Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Written by Thursday, 20 October 2016

GOURMET EVENTS HAWAII * 808 735 7788 * This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Oct 20, 2016
Strike Pumpkin Gold

Photo Courtesy of  Better Homes and Garden
We know...everything this time of year is pumpkin spiced. That doesn't dissuade our love for using pumpkins in décor! Pumpkins and other gourds have rich fall colors and last longer than traditional flowers, giving them an added staying power. Tired of the traditional orange? Spray paint the gourds a metallic gold for an even more dramatic centerpiece. These are certainly pumpkins Cinderella would enjoy!



Pumpkin Soup Bowl

Photo Courtesy of Erin McGinn Photography
If you're going to serve pumpkin soup, why not do it in a pumpkin? We like this curried pumpkin soup for a bit of a kick


2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 (15-oz) cans solid-pack pumpkin (3 1/2 cups; not pie filling)
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (12 fl oz)
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
8 fresh curry leaves


Cook onions in butter in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and return soup to pot. 
Keep soup warm over low heat.

Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop, about 15 seconds. Add curry leaves and cook 5 seconds, then pour mixture into pumpkin soup. Stir until combined well and season soup with salt. Soup can be thinned with additional water.

Cooks' note:
Soup can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered.
Pumpkin Juice

Photo Courtesy of
Skip the pumpkin spiced lattes and go straight for the pumpkin juice. This concoction, straight out of a popular novel, works well on it's own. Add whiskey for an adult version

3/4 gallon apple cider
2 cups pumpkin puree
32 ounces apricot nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons orange peel (dried or fresh)

Bring all ingredients to a high simmer, just before it boils, stirring slowly with a wire whisk. Strain through wire strainer, stirring with a spoon from the bottom to get all the thick parts through. Keep in fridge until cold and serve cold. Or can be served warm, up to you! 

Snap To It

Photo Courtesy of Snapchat
Snapchat curates live stories, and with the use of custom filters, you could have a pumpkin theme added just for your event. More and more businesses are putting Snapchat to use to spread the word, especially for millennials and live events.



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