Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Staffordshire Catering - The Wedding Menu Guide

Choosing your wedding menu starts with the type of dinner that you are planning for your guests. Remember that experienced catering services will have set up plenty of wedding menus, so you will want to use their expertise in these situations. However, it will most often come down to your budget and the number of guests that are being served. 

Types of Wedding Menu Settings

For weddings that are outdoors and more informal, the bar-b-que setting may be the perfect choice. You do not have to go with a traditional American bar-b-que food selection, but rather light choices that are perfect for the afternoons. This is the type of menu that is best for budget weddings and for smaller groups of guests as large affairs tend to become messy. It’s also best in the catering service has a cook tent to minimising going from indoors to outdoors. 

This is one of the most common types of dinners and perfect for late-morning, early-afternoon weddings. The menu will consist of dishes like fruit platters, muffins, and even omelets which makes things simple, however buffet-style servings are not well suited for lots of guests. Plus, it can be quite expensive if you have hungry guests. 

Cocktail Party
If you are on a budget and your wedding is in the evening, this is a great way to save money. The menu will consist of hors d’oeuvres and wine or other alcoholic drinks and is very well suited for weddings with hundreds of guests. A cocktail party works well in the evenings well after your guests have had their own dinner. 

Traditional Dinners
A traditional sit-down dinner is often very budget-friendly because the catering service will know exactly how much food to serve as opposed to buffet-type courses. Here, the wedding menu can focus on simple dinner preparations that are well suited for clubs, ballrooms, or even at the catering facility. Plus, a sit-down dinner is the perfect way to serve wine.

Menu Suggestions

Remember, unless you have a very large budget, your menu will be more successful by limiting it to a few favourite foods rather than trying to please everyone. Choose a dish that virtually everyone likes and offer only a few side items.

The same goes for drinks as you will be more successful with one or two types of drinks or wine rather than setting up a wedding bar. Naturally, you should have plain water available as well for the universal alternative to the drinks being provided. 

Hors d’oeuvres are the one area where you will want to diversify and offer plenty of choices if possible. Guests love bite-size meals that hors d’oeuvres represent so you can offer ample variety that appeals to many different tastes. 

When it comes to your wedding menu, be sure to work closely with the catering service so that you get the most out of the money that is spent. By sticking to a good, solid menu, you can please your guests and stay within your budget.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

My Favourite Soup Recipe - Quick, Easy and Tasty!

Here is a top recipe for an amazingly easy and tasty soup.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup!

Here's what you need: 
  • 2 Spanish Onions
  • 1 head of Celery
  • A Knob of Butter
  • 5 Carrots
  • 6 Sweet Potatoes
  • Jalfrezi Paste
  • Ginger
  • 1 Lime
  • A Few Stock Cubes
  • Seasoning
  • One clove if Galic

Peel and chop your carrots and onions, they don't have to be tiny so a quick chop is fine. Chop your celery, then sweat all of this off in a large pan with your butter and some oil. This allows the flavours to really come out, sweat off for a long time on a low heat for maximum flavour. 

Whilst your soup base is sweating off nicely, peel and chop the sweet potato with a knife. 

When your base is nicely sweated off add your sweet potato and water. Add the juice and zest of your lime and a big dollop of jalfrezi paste. Peel and chop your ginger and lime and add that along with some seasoning.

Let all this cook off on a high heat, put a lid on or tinfoil the top of your pan so it will cook quicker. When the sweet potato is cooked take it off the heat. Remove some if the water if you think you have added too much, remember you can always add more back later but once blitzed you can't take it away. Blitz with a hand blender. Crumble some stock cubes into the soup and blitz that in too, it's a massive cheat but who's counting.

Taste and season accordingly, add more jalfrezi paste and ginger if needed.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Instagram Marketing For Business - Tips to Get Ahead

Instagram is massive, Instagram is competitive, Instagram is fun. When used right it can be a very useful tool for business to get you out there, get you noticed and reach heaps of potential customers.

Here at Staffordshire Catering, we have been using Instagram for a few months but our account is gaining momentum and growing nicely. There are plenty of online tutorials and articles describing how to market your account but lots of them are filled with unrealistic and over complicated instructions I am going to share with you all the tips and tricks I have learned to effectively market your Instagram in a professional way.

Grow Organically
By this I mainly mean don't spam your followers with endless uploads all hours of the day, keep it down to two posts per day at max! Don't sell out and go after just follower numbers. You want valuable followers that mean something to your business or account. Having large amounts of bots and fake accounts will not help you out in the long run. Following people too fast will just get you automatically banned, especially if your account is new so just take it steady and be patient.

Hashtag Your Posts
This allows people to find you when they are searching on Instagram, if you're hoping to gain followers within a certain location then you can always hashtag that location on your pictures. Don't litter your pics with endless hashtag's though, try and stick between three and five per post. You can always post your hashtags within the comments of your picture which helps make you look more spontaneous and sincere.

Post Attention Grabbing Content
Get your account noticed by posting compelling images that draw people in. Videos are a great tool too, they are much more likely to get clicked on. If you are posting images with text on, write your text out on a piece of paper and take a picture of that instead, this is more likely to get noticed.

Pick Your Time
Choose the time of the day to post and to follow people. The shelf life of a post is around four hours before it is washed away by other content on most people's news feeds so post during busy periods and not during the middle of the night. This just means you have to find the time to post during the day.

Be Social
It's social media, so be social. Reply to the comments you get from people or else they'll go elsewhere. Engage your interactions and nurture them and they may become your social stars. Social stars are the people who regularly interact with you and are a valuable tool to help you engage more people. Like other peoples pictures as this dies the same. People want likes, it makes them look more popular so they are more likely to follow someone that they think will regularly like their pictures.

Share Your Instagram
If your account is new then use your other social media platforms to advertise your account. Have a permanent link on your website, Facebook page and your Twitter. You can even put a link on your business cards too! Once you have gained these followers then your account becomes a powerful marketing tool. If you have friends with well-established accounts and lots of followers then ask them to do a shout out for you, they could screenshot your profile and post it on their account.

Learn from Your Account
Experiment yourself and learn about which content works best for you, which time of the day people engage you the most and which hashtags are the most rewarding.

Our Instagram is Far from Perfect but for a new account it is growing quite nicely, the more you use it the more confident you'll be and the more you'll learn. Check out our account by clicking the Instagram logo below.

The Top 8 Principle Traditions Of the Wedding You Should Follow

Weddings can be a magical time. There are some people that have been planning their dream weddings for as long as they can remember. Weddings actually require a great deal of planning and compromise, which can be very stressful. Weddings are also events that are so rich in tradition, some of which vary depending on cultures and belief systems, though some ceremonies stick to the same format. Today we will take a look at some of these traditions and explain the very significance behind them. 

The Sand Ceremony
While this has recently been a popular choice for weddings, especially for those with blended families, it has been a tradition in certain cultures for quite some time. This ceremony, similar to that of a unity candle, is used to represent the blending of two people (or more, if children from the couple or their previous relationships are involved) into one life together. It is hard to separate the sand just as it would be hard to separate the bond of this new family.

The Wedding Cake
The cake is a centerpiece to the wedding, which is why it takes so much time and effort to pick the perfect one. This tradition has roots that go all the way back to the medieval times, where guests to weddings would bring small cakes for the bride and groom to enjoy. After the guests placed their gifted cakes down for the bride and groom, they newlywed couple would attempt to kiss over them to be granted prosperity in their future. Cakes that were stacked did not exist until 1882. Finding the right wedding caterer can ensure that your wedding cake will not disappoint.

Giving Away the Bride
This is a sweet tradition today, where the bride is escorted down the aisle and given away to the groom. Back then this was where the bride was given over as property from her father to her groom as part of a business transaction that typically involved a dowry. 

Some couples opt for rice or bubbles while some choose other options that may include not having anything tossed at them. This tradition began during pagan weddings, where this act was a symbol of fertility. The Victorian Era moved to use paper instead of rice, though all of the above are used today.

Bridesmaids as Protectors
Today, bridesmaids are the ones who throw you parties and help you use the bathroom on the wedding day. However, the tradition of having bridesmaids actually began in the Roman times. Brides would have 10 women witnesses that were dressed up just like them. They would serve as decoys for the bride, protecting her from evil spirits that would want to harm her on her big day.

Wedding Favors
Wedding favors were originally handed out in the 16th century Europe as a way to show off their wealth and thank their guests. In the Victorian Era, the couple would hand out these gifts as a sign of good luck for their guests.

Veils were originally used to help the bride ward off the evil spirits on her wedding day during the Roman times. The Victorians made veils a sign of status, with the longest and most ornate veils being a sign of status.

Money in Your Shoe
A coin in your shoe was a tradition that you may not have been familiar with. This is supposed to symbolize future prosperity.