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Catering in Minnesota (MN)

Caterers and catering lovers of Minnesota

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The leaves are turning, the air is getting crisper, that can only mean one thing. Fall is just around the corner and with fall comes football. Football games bring together families and friends who want to root for their favorite teams. Get-togethers and football parties are an absolute must in the fall. There are the definite essentials that you need for any tailgate or football party the first being the proper set up to watch or stream the game, the decorations and most importantly the food.

First let’s start off with some great game day decorations that will make your get-together truly memorable. Most of these are DIY and are perfect to use for future football parties.

 

  • Football Party Mason Jars - These are great to hold utensils, napkins and other essentials for your food table. The great thing about painting your mason jars are that you can paint them in your favorite team’s colors, make them a football, paint a game plan on them or even dress them up as a referee! These make a cute addition to any table and a perfect way to show your team spirit.
  • Football Party Food Labels - make football shaped picks that make it easy for your guests to know what each dish of food is. It’s festive and practical!
  • Football Field Party Table - this is a great way to kick up the festive attitude with a gridiron table dressing! This makes your table that neatly has all your snacks and food laid out look that much more appealing! It’s a super cute and fun idea and the best part is it leads to a quick and easy clean up at the end of the night!
  • Game Day Paper Chain - This is perfect for any game day party. The best way to complete this is to grab some brown and white construction paper and make little footballs with the brown construction paper and interlock the footballs with the white construction paper. These can be used to decorate anywhere you desire. It’s a fun and inexpensive way to make your party football ready!  
  • Astroturf Yard Line Bunting and Coaster - Use some astroturf scraps to make a yard line bunting to hang wherever you please, it makes a great addition to any football themed party. Another great idea is to use the astroturf scraps for coasters. You can make them yard lines as well and they are a great and festive way for your guests to place their drinks! 

 

The next item up for a perfect football party is the games. You want to make sure that you keep your guests entertained during commercial breaks and halftime. There is no better way to entertain them than having these three games ready. A lot of fun will be had and your guests will enjoy every minute of your football party.

 

  • Football Commercial Bingo - This is a great game to continue throughout the football game and for the duration of your party. It’s also great because you can create your own BINGO card or there are many templates you can find online. You choose different companies commercials and when they come up during the commercial break you mark them on your bingo sheet! It’s a great way to keep guests entertained through the commercial breaks.
  • Rate the Commercial - this is geared more towards a Super Bowl party, as there are specific commercials made for that game, but it would work for any football game. Give your guests paddles or popsicle sticks or whatever you would like to use, and have everyone rate the commercials on a scale of 1 to 5. It’s bound to lead to laughs and fun.
  • Bean Bag Toss (Cornhole) - this game is a staple to any football party. It’s fun, it’s a team game and it’s great to play during halftime. There are ways to make your own or you can buy an already made set. The game consists of two wood or plastic platforms with a hole in it on either side and guests have four bean bags to toss and score points. It’s a load of fun and will make your football party one of the best.

 

 Now, on to the most important part of any football party, the food! Food is so important when it comes to a football party. You should, of course, provide a meal (we are offering some great specials this season). But, on top of that, you might want fun appetizers and lighter meals because your guests will most likely want to snack and eat throughout the game. Here are some of the most have snacks at any football party. 

 

  • Mini Pigs in a Blanket - Another staple of any football party is pigs in a blanket and while these are a more simple dish, they are a crowd pleaser. Make them even more on-theme by making them shaped like little footballs.
  • Meatballs - These are a great comfort food and a great way to appeal to all your guest’s tastes. Meatballs are great for a chilly fall day spent watching football.
  • Corn Salsa and Chips - While suggesting corn salsa, any salsa that appeals to you can be used. Chips and salsa is a great snack to have and compliments any other appetizers or hors d'oeuvres you may have selected for your party.
  • Hot Dip - now hot dip is a general term, but that’s because there are many types of hot dips you can choose from, such as spinach artichoke, but as long as you have some type of hot dip your guests will be happy. It’s an excellent snacking food to have available for your guests and something they can continue to munch on throughout the game and party. 

 

These are just some suggestions that will help you to have a wonderful and fun football party. Whether you are watching a big game, such as the Super Bowl or just having a small get-together with friends and family, any combination of the above will make for a fun and delicious football party. And one that will be remembered. So, this fall get your team’s jersey out, dust it off and enjoy football season and your football party!

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                  The words “this is over our budget” are probably words that you use often as you are planning a function, including a birthday party, wedding, or even a family reunion or get together.  Sticker shock is very common for many, including myself when I am out shopping.  There is a lot that goes into the cost of something, and there is a reason why something is set at the price it is, and for a consumer, that can be hard to understand.  Sometimes all it takes for us to understand something is to educate ourselves a bit. 

 

           b2ap3_thumbnail_5.JPG       When it coms to catering, you, the client, is left with little work to do once you have chosen a menu and time frame and have confirmed everything with your caterer, and let’s face it, choosing a fun and delicious menu is the fun part!  There are quite a few different factors that go into the cost of catering, which is why it is important to keep an open mind as you make your decision on what caterer to choose for your special event. 

 

                 

The first thing to keep in mind is that the event coordinator you are working with needs to get paid, that is of course a reality.  They get paid to work with clients who need catering.  Another item you need to keep in mind is that caterers have base expenses that need to be covered in revenue in order to operate, and these expenses include staffing, the building or kitchen they run, and vehicles and other equipment to name a few.  All caterers have these same expenses.

 

                  More importantly than the base costs, is the fact that you, the client, get to simply show up to the location you tell the caterer to arrive to, and enjoy yourself without having to worry about ANYTHING.  You get to just be in the moment and mingle with your friends and family.  You don’t have to cook the food or go get the food, it all comes to you!  A typical catered meal can cost anywhere from say $14 to $34 (on the high end).  What do you pay for a meal when you go through the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant?  Even a fast food cheeseburger, fry, and soda can cost you nearly $9 now a days. You need to drive to a fast food or sit down restaurant too.  Therefore, when you think about paying a few more dollars per person for food that gets brought to you, and even maybe cooked right on-site in front of you, the price doesn’t seem so bad.  When working with a hand picked caterer and customized menu, you get incredibly great quality and you get so much more for your value when using a caterer, and that is something we don’t really think about as we are price comparing.  Better yet, you don’t have to set up an entire buffet, or clean it up at the end, this is taken care of for you in the cost you are paying for the food.

 

                  Many people often want to try and cut some corners too, and choose the option that is going to save them the most money, however, is cutting corners and choosing the cheapest something you really want to do for your wedding, for example?  A wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, and it is an event that people remember forever.  It probably isn’t wise to give up a good quality meal or the right amount of service and staff just to save a few bucks as trying to cut your expenses too much could lead to greater issues in the end.

 

                  These are all factors to keep in mind as you are considering different caterers for your event, and remember that the price will most likely be higher than the drive-thru at the fast food chain, or even a meal at sit down restaurant, but that is because there is little work that you, as the client, need to do, which means you can spend your time enjoying your special event instead of worrying about the food.

 

 

 

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Exquisite edibles to enjoy during your solar eclipse celebration

All eyes will be to the sky this coming Monday, August 21, when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the giant star for up to three hours. It is the total solar eclipse of 2017 – the first in the United States in 38 years!

The path of total solar ‘blackout’ will move through portions of 14 states – stretching from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. However, all North Americans, and even parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will be treated to at least a partial a partial solar eclipse, with the moon covering part of the sun's disk during Monday’s spectacle in the sky.

Such a rare sight calls for celebration, and nothing sounds more suave than a sophisticated eclipse soiree! But after stocking up on verified eclipse-viewing glasses, equipping your guests with a list of eclipse-exploring mobile apps, and creating a stellar playlist (complete with Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’), you’ll want to ensure that you have the perfect menu to accompany the phenomena. After all, no party is complete without a smorgasbord of goodies, and the solar eclipse holds no exception!

Let’s remember that the actual event will be passing through the United States during the daytime, depending where you are located:

  • Western United States: The first in the country to see the eclipse will be along the coast of Oregon around 9:04 a.m. PDT. The moon will completely cover the sun there by 10:17 a.m. PDT
  • Rocky Mountains: The eclipse will begin in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, at 10:16 a.m. MDT, with the moon blocking out the sun completely by 11:36 a.m. MDT
  • Central United States: In Southern Illinois, a partial eclipse will begin around 11:50 a.m., with maximum coverage at 1:19 p.m. and culminating at 2:45 p.m.
  • Eastern United States: The coastal areas of South Carolina will be the final place in the United States to experience a total eclipse, with the peak eclipse occurring around 2:47 p.m. EDT and the shadow of the moon moving offshore shortly after 4 p.m. EDT.

As most of the direct action takes place during the earlier hours of the afternoon across the entire country, it’s important that you offer both savory and sweet options for your guests – it’s too early in the day to do JUST sweets, and too late not to provide them at all. Being during the day, you also don’t need to feel obligated to serve a full entrée. Small snacks and bites will fit perfectly.

Grilled eggplant and “moon”-zzarella

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Belisimo! Your guests will grant major creativity props for this eclipse-inspired appetizer!

Slice an eggplant into ½ inch thick rounds (the eggplant will be your moon), brush with olive oil, and throw those babies on the grill! You can also roast them in the oven at 420F for about 10-13 minutes. While the eggplant cooks, slice a ball of mozzarella into ½ inch thick rounds (the bright mozzarella will act as your sun).

Layer the eggplant and mozzarella on a serving platter caprese-style. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with some fresh basil.

The contrast between the dark eggplant and the white mozzarella mimics the same idea of the eclipse… the two objects, similar in size and shape, aligning with one and over and covering each other. Viola! A quick and easy catered app.

Get lunar-fied with pizza moons

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This one’s super easy and a great finger food option.

Preheat oven according to directions on crescent roll packaging. Unroll the dough on a flat surface. Top each triangle of dough with shredded cheese and a few slices of pepperoni. Sprinkle on a bit more cheese, and roll into crescent shape. Place pizza “moons” on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Since your party will most likely be outside, these pizza moons offer an easy, hand held way to enjoy a lunar-themed snack.

Explore the skies with pretzel-ations

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Have kids coming to the party? This little offering acts as both a snack and a craft for the kids.

Use mini pretzel rods and mini marshmallows to create pretzel constellations. Let the children make their own crazy combinations, and have some pre-made designs out on display for inspiration (and decoration).

Party snack catering doesn’t get easier than this – and the kids will thank you, too, for being the cool party host.

Soar into space with rocket dogs

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Time to break out that dough once more! Pre-cook hotdogs to your liking. Wrap a regular sized hotdog in Pillsbury Bread Stick Dough and bake it according to the instructions on the dough package. 

Push a skewer through the hot dogs when done and top with a triangle of cheese. Instant. Rocket.

Now let’s add something sweet…

Get galactical with galaxy popcorn

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Your guests will get a kick out of this one – which is a lot easier to make than it looks! For it, you’ll need microwave popcorn, three bags of candy melts (black, lavender, and blue) that can be brought at your local craft store, and edible star sprinkles.

Take a bag of microwave popcorn and prepare as per the instructions. Melt the bag of black candy melts in microwave and gently combine popcorn with melted, black candy until coated. Next, spread popcorn in a single layer onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Melt ¼ cup blue melts and ¼ cup lavender melts and drizzle each over the popcorn. Sprinkle edible stars on top, then refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Break up into bite-sized pieces and serve!

Edible eclipse cookies

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You’ve eaten these guys for as long as you can remember… but did you ever realize how perfectly they fit into an eclipse-themed party? Whether you decide to buy these black and white cookies from a bakery or make them from scratch, they offer the perfect, celestial balance of dark and light – and fit the feel of the party perfectly!

Let’s not forget a libation…

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Whether you are celebrating in the path of eclipse totality or viewing partial coverage from your party place, the ‘Perfect Solar Eclipse’ cocktail is absolutely delicious and a great way to mark the occasion.

Simply mix 4 oz of sparkling clementine or orange soda with 1 ½ oz dark rum. Pour over ice and garnish with an orange slice.

Want to get even simpler than that? Stock up on some Blue Moon beer, of course!

With the main event just days away, the above snacks are quick to pull together, delicious for everyone, affordable, and add the perfect catered touch to your eclipse viewing party’s snack table. In fact, with such creativity and ease, your guests will most likely deem the party out of this world.

When’s the next solar eclipse event after Monday? You’re guests are sure to be wondering when they’ll be able to come back for more!

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The holidays are fast approaching, the next meeting is around the corner, something came up last minute, or maybe you just have too much on your plate. The hardest thing to do is delegate, but delegate we must and why not hire a professional to take care of the food. A caterer is a great person to have at your fingertips. They take care of every little detail for you and give you a piece of mind, so you can move on and tackle your next task. A handy little checklist to use when hiring a caterer should include the following:

 

 

  • Are they available for catered lunches or parties?
  • Have you tasted their food?
  • Do they provide a variety of food?
  • Are they able to accommodate any special dietary needs?
  • Do they need a kitchen or are the self-sufficient?
  • Is their staff knowledgeable?
  • Are they trustworthy?
  • Will they be on time?
  • Can they provide all types of beverages? Desserts?
  • Is the staff friendly?
  • Do they have experience with you type of event?
  • Can they provide their own rentals such as linens, tables, or tents?
  • Is their contract easy to understand?
  • Do they have great food presentation?
  • Can they work with your budget?

 

No matter what your profession or where you live find a caterer and see what they have to offer! And…if you happen to be in Minnesota give Unique Dining Catering a call!

       #RealPeopleRealFoodRealFun

 

Emily

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A lot of time and detail goes into the days leading up to your wedding, which for most, can be stressful at times. Planning a wedding doesn’t just come that easy, but you can bet there are resources out there that you can utilize to get the most out of your special day and the time leading up to it. Every person involved in the planning process for your wedding can be of great use to you!

Let’s start with the venue. What are your responsibilities for the day? Are you to show up and everything is set up for you, or are your responsible for all set up and tear down? This is a discussion you will want to have. If you are responsible for putting up all of the tables and chairs, and then taking them all down at the end of your event, you may want to consider another venue so you don’t have to worry about taking care of this. Courtyards of Andover is a great example of a venue that has an all-inclusive room fee, meaning you just have to show up and enjoy yourself!

I want to discuss catering next, as catering is also a big part of your wedding day! If your venue doesn’t have an exclusive caterer, you are also going to be responsible for going out on the search for the perfect caterer. Of course great quality food and a budget friendly investment are going to be the most important factors of choosing a caterer, however, you also want to think about the overall services that they offer. Are you responsible for providing buffet tables or tableware, or do they? Are you responsible for all clean up or is this something the caterer takes care of? These are all important pieces of information to learn as you do your research, as the right answers can save you from a major headache at the end of the day.

Another great resource to take advantage of would be an event planner (if you hire one). They generally know so many people in the industry so they will have contacts and recommendations for just about any service you might need for your wedding day, from caterers, to venues, to photographers, and DJ’s, they are a great resource when it comes to planning and crossing off items on your to-do list.

 

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