Holiday Centerpieces

Here are some playful and elegant holiday  center pieces and table top ideas for the celebratory weeks to come!

centerpiece green

Create a winter wonderland in the center of your table. Place a minature shrub or tree in the center of your table. Cover the pot with a piece of brown paper and a ribbon. Lay faux snow around the pot of the plant and sprinkle some onto the leaves of the plant. (Buy the snow that has a bit of sparkle already built in to catch your guests’ eyes!) Lastly, place a glass dome over your mini winter wonderland.

http://www.wedding-flowers-and-reception-ideas.com/winter-wonderland-wedding.html

centerpiece red

Have some old garland or ornaments away in storage? Fill a festive bowl filled with various ornaments and garland in one color make an elegant centerpiece for any holiday. This centerpiece not limited to Christmas. You could fill your bowl with blue, gold, white, or silver ornaments for a wintery chic look.

https://relishcaterers.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/656c6-aball3.jpg

Holiday Fruitcake

fruitcake

Taste of Home shares their holiday fruitcake recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole red and green candied cherries
  • 3 cups diced candied pineapple
  • 1 package (1 pound) shelled walnuts
  • 1 package (10 ounces) golden raisins
  • 1 cup shortening
  •   1 cup sugar
  •   5 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  •   3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday-fruitcake#ixzz3KgbSwRcI

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°. In a large bowl, combine cherries, pineapple, walnuts and raisins; set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour over fruit mixture and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Wrap tightly and store in a cool place. Slice with a serrated knife; bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Holiday Fruitcake in Country December/January 2001, p51

Gingerbread Cheesecake

MarthaStewart.com

MarthaStewart.com

Martha Stewart shows us how to make Gingerbread Cheesecake for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 recipe of the dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men (see above)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  2. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  5. Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, and carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, and let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  6. Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, and remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward and arms touching, alternating light and dark).

Seasonal Foods: October

Photo via IStockPhoto

Photo via IStockPhoto

Woman’s Day shows us which foods to eat in the month of October.

Grocery shopping is already a pretty time consuming task, but not knowing what to buy when you get there can be overwhelming and pricey. However, purchasing seasonal foods is a healthy and cost effective way to approach food shopping. Grocery stores tend to stock up on these items in bulk because they are plentiful, making them less expensive for you—especially when they go on sale. So at the beginning of each month, WomansDay.com will let you know which seasonal foods should be on your grocery list—making your weekly trip to the store easier on you (and your wallet).

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for October:

Apples
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Butter lettuce
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chicory
Collard greens
Corn
Cranberries
Cucumbers
Dates
Eggplant
Figs
Grapes
Kale
Melon
Peaches
Pears
Peppers
Persimmons
Plums
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Sweet potatoes
Tangerines
Tomatillos
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Winter squash

Independence Day: Healthy Cheesecake Cupcakes

These tasty light cupcakes are a perfect way to end a hot summer day.
Give them a try at your 4th of July bash and impress your guests!

Cupakes

Makes 1 doz.
What you’ll need:

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz blueberries

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
  3. Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, and flour. Do not over beat. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set.
  5. Cool to room temperature then chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Enjoy these light and delicious sweet treats. Each cupcake is only 98 calories!

Recipe & picture from SkinnyTaste

Independence Day: Festive Meringues

Looking for something festive, easy, and unique for your fourth of July bash? Give these meringues a try & let us know how they came out!

Meringues

Makes 36

What you’ll need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup mini chocolate or white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Line cookie sheet w/parchment or Reynolds non-stick foil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt and tartar until foamy.
  3. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Fold in the vanilla.
  4. Spoon or pipe onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  5. Place the cookies in the oven, shut the door and turn off the oven immediately.
  6. Let the cookies sit in the turned off oven for 5-6 hrs or overnight. Don’t open the oven door to peek!

Add festive fourth of July style pipe dots of red and blue frosting on top before serving! Enjoy!

Recipe & Picture from Kristi Murphy

Party Poppers

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. Today we have a cute project for celebration, Homemade Party Popper!

What you’ll need:

  • tissue paper
  • push pops
  • cardstock paper
  • confetti
  • tape

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Cut a piece of heavy paper into a 6” by 1 ½” strip. Roll the piece of paper into a tube and place it inside the push up pop.
  2. Stuff your push up pop, as full as you can, with various confetti.
  3. Cut a 4” square of tissue paper and tape it to the top of the push up pop.
  4. Wrap decorative paper around the outside of the push up pop. Tape it securely in to the push up pop in the back.

fin!

Enjoy!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Relish Caterers + Event Planning would like to salute all of the heroes that died for our country, all weekend long. Have a fun and safe memorial day weekend!

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For BBQ recipes, cocktail creations, or entertaining tips for this weekend, check out the “categories” section the right of this post, or click one of the “tags” below for relevant content.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Home Garden: edition 2

Produce2

Arugula

Arugula is home garden friendly. Growing fresh arugula will offer a zest to your home recipes that could not be achieved with the store bought variety. There are many helth benefits to incorporating more arugula into your diet, with high in folic acid, vitamin A, C, and K, and rich in iron and copper, your body will thank you!

Give this Arugula Pesto recipe a try to spice up sandwiches and pastas this spring.

Rosemary

Rosemary grows similar to a weed and will require little effort and a great supply. Rosemary stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, improves digestion, contains anti-inflammatory compounds, and  increase the blood flow to the brain, improving concentration. Chicken, lamb, pork, salmon, and tuna dishes will benefit from this aromatic sprig.

Add a fresh pop of flavor into dessert with this Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Pistachio and Rosemary.

Spearmint

Having access to fresh mint year round is a great resource. Within a garden, the mint plant is a bit invasive. It is best to plant mint in a large half-barrel or plastic pot and leave it outdoors year-round. Simple as that! Spearmint is packed with minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Cool down with this Spearmint Juleps recipe.

Enjoy!

Pictures do not belong to Relish Caterers.

Easter Centerpieces

These homemade centerpieces will light up a room with spring colors and cheer.
We have two ideas to share with you, one is rustic, yet delicate and the other is vibrant and playful.
Keep in mind, the colors of these centerpieces can be adjusted, get creative, and have fun!

Centerpieces

Marbleized Easter Eggs in a Rustic Bed
from Martha Stewart

&

Candy Vase
from Taste of Home

All pictures below to the sources credited for the ideas.