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Great Summertime Appetizers for Your next Event

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Long summer days means it’s time to get together with friends and eat outdoors. At summertime parties, people are too busy to eat full meals, but outdoor recipe appetizers are a great way to feed people and keep the fun going. Here are some great appetizers that you can use at your next barbeque, tailgate event, or picnic.

One of the most popular summertime appetizer is a cream cheese filled pepper popper. A hollowed-out pepper can be filled with cream cheese, topped with chicken and cilantro, and then wrapped in bacon. This appetizer is great because it packs a lot of taste into a recipe that has very few steps. Other great ideas include garlic shrimp, fresh salads, and light sandwiches. A favorite light sandwich that’s popular right now is a slider. Sliders are small two-bite sandwiches that come in multiple sizes and varieties. These are similar to finger sandwiches, and can be enjoyed outdoors. Barbeque sliders are a popular option which can include your favorite barbeque sauce, coleslaw, cheddar cheese, and toasted rolls.

No summertime appetizers are complete without treats. Popular options include sliced fruit with cream cheese toffee dip, cookies, banana pudding, peaches and whipped cream, and other light but delicious sweet treats. Chips and dip is another must. You may want to consider making some jalapeno dip with tortilla chips, or some smoky ranch dip with some chipotle peppers mixed in served with vegetables.

Most Popular Food Themes for Catered Events

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When planning an event for friends or employees, the food is the most important decision you’ll make. Here are 4 popular themes that your guests are sure to love.

Decade Parties

Retro parties are a great way to have a little fun and reminisce about the past. Encourage everyone to dress up for a particular decade and serve food and drinks that will take you back in time. Whether you choose burgers and shakes from the 50s or shrimp cocktails and deviled eggs for the roaring 20s, authentic food is the best way to bring your theme together.

Mexican Fiesta

If you want to introduce a little extra flavor into your party, Mexican and Hispanic foods are the way to go. They’re generally familiar enough to appeal to young and old alike, and they can be tasty without being too spicy for your guests to handle. Tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas are all popular options with sides like rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole.

Traditional Barbecue

Most people love the traditional foods you’d find at a backyard barbecue, making them the perfect catering option that’s sure to be a hit with your guests. Burgers, hot dogs, and pulled pork are all staples for the main course, with sides like coleslaw and potato salad to round out the plate. Have a slice of pie or cake to finish off the meal.

Tropical Paradise

Summer is a great time to enjoy a tropical-themed party with seafood dishes like fish and shrimp. Kebabs are another popular choice, and a good way to offer some options to guests who don’t enjoy fish. Provide plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as side dishes, and try to include tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapples for a more authentic flavor.

Summer Color Schemes and Themes for Your Catered Party

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The warm days and nights of summer provide plenty of opportunities to hold a party for your friends, family, or coworkers. Here are 3 popular themes that are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Traditional Themes

There’s a lot to love about the classic American picnic staples: hot dogs and hamburgers. Guests can choose their toppings and enjoy familiar comfort foods that are easy to prepare and serve. Emphasize the summer theme with bright colors and bold patterns, or stick with a truly all-American theme and deck out your walls and tables with traditional red, white, and blue.

Hispanic

Summertime is ideal for the bright colors and bold flavors of Hispanic cuisine and decorations. Tacos, quesadillas, and fajitas give your guests plenty of choices and customizable meals. And, sides like beans, rice, and chips and salsa are popular with guests of all ages. Vibrant colors are key to decorating your fiesta: choose bold red, orange, blue, and green accessories for a bold look.

Pool Party

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool available for your party, water themes make a popular way to celebrate the summer. Blues and greens bring out the theme, while shrimp, fried fish, and other seafood are sure to get your guests in a tropical mood! For adult parties, complement your meal with beverages like piña coladas and margaritas.

Barbecue from Around the World

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A lot of people think of barbecue as a strictly American form of cooking, especially in the South. However, countries all around the world have their own forms of barbecue. Check out this list of barbecued foods from different countries across the globe.

Argentina

In Argentina, a barbecue is known as an "asado." At these spirited events, huge slabs of meat--sometimes whole animals--are smoked over an open fire pit to a nice, crisp finish. Meat is served with chimichurri, salads, and grilled veggies.

South Africa

For South Africans, barbecuing is a part of their culture. Known as a "braai," outdoor grilling has even earned its own holiday in South Africa. At these events, people serve up pork and beef sausages, skewers of chicken or lamb, and a variety of jerky meats.

Phillipines

The Filipino form of barbecuing is known as a "lechon" or "lechon baboy". These events usually feature a whole roasted pig, served up with sides of noodles and rice, as well as a sweet Filipino gravy called Mang Tomas.

Korea

Korean barbecue, or "gogigui" is traditionally cooked over a small indoor grill instead of an outdoor pit. Common dishes include beef sirloin (bulgogi) and beef short ribs (galbi). The greasy dishes are often served with sides of noodles, soups, and even the occasional fried egg. Chase it all down with a shot of Korean rice liquor, known as soju, as you're in the money.
If you want to have any of these delicious types of barbecue at your next event, speak to a caterer.
 

How to Accommodate Guests with Food Allergies

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Food allergies are becoming more common in America and throughout the world. According to current research, approximately 15 million Americans have serious food allergies. The most common allergic responses come from these eight foods: tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish peanuts, eggs, and milk. Another growing allergen is soy. If you’re trying to accommodate guests who have food allergies, it’s important to realize that even trace amounts of some of these allergens can cause serious reactions among your guests.

Ask Ahead

As you prepare for your guests to arrive, make sure you talk to them about any potential allergies. You may be unaware of a problem, and planning ahead will allow you to pick a menu that will be comfortable for everyone. If only one of your guests has an allergy, but everyone else can eat the main dish, you may want to try and find alternative ways to prepare the meal to see if it works for everyone. For example, if you have a gluten-free guest, you may be able to use gluten free noodles in your pasta dish.

Separate Meals

If you need to prepare a gluten-free or allergen-free meal, make sure you use a separate space in your kitchen. It’s also important to sanitize and keep clean all work surfaces and equipment. You should also store common food allergens in a separate part of your kitchen while preparing the food, so that there is no accidental contamination.

The Most Expensive Dining Locations in America

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When it comes to dining, Americans all have different definitions of what is an affordable meal. For some people, it would be considered “splurging” to spend more than twenty dollars on a single entrée, while for others it’s common to order $50.00 items every night of the week. Although out of range for most people, there are some restaurants that leave people wondering whether anyone can afford the prices. Here are a few examples.

New York

One of the most famously expensive restaurants is Masa in New York City. This place is well established as the premiere Sushi spot in New York, and is considered by many to have the best sushi in the United States. This restaurant does not have a menu, and the fish is flown in directly from Japan daily. The average price is $450.00 per person before tip.

Las Vegas

Another famously expensive restaurant is Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. This decadent dining spot is located in the MGM Grand Hotel. This is the first American restaurant opened by Robuchon, who is commonly considered the greatest modern French chef. In addition to an impressive wine selection, the menu includes a 16-course option that is $425.00 per person.
Other famously expensive restaurants include sushi places in California, and other famous French restaurants on the east coast. Other expensive spots are pricey based on the location alone, like Per Se in New York, which includes an open fire, open seating overlooking Central Park, and a luxurious dining room.

What Are the Different Types of American Barbeque?

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In the United States, barbecue refers to a technique of cooking over a fire, which adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat. There are 3 primary ingredients: meat, wood smoke, sauce or seasoning.

Aficionados throughout the country take their barbecue seriously. They'll argue the merits of pork vs. beef; dry rub vs. sauce, vinegar-based vs. sweet-tangy, and the merits of Hickory vs. Oak vs. Apple vs. Pecan wood for smoke.
To keep it simple, let's look at a few of the most well-known:

Memphis

Pork is the preferred meat for Memphis barbecue. Ribs are ordered “Wet” (slathered with tomato-vinegar-based sauce after smoking using hickory wood) or “Dry” (dry rubbed with seasonings and smoked, no sauce).

Texas

Although there are plenty of sub-styles and regional variations in this big state, Texas is cattle country, so barbecue generally means beef cooked over oak or mesquite with a slightly sweet, spicy tomato-based sauce. Sliced beef brisket is a perennial favorite. 

Kansas City

Because of its central location, Kansas City barbecue has been influenced by all of the other regions. KC BBQ uses beef, pork, and chicken. Pork ribs and beef brisket are favored. They're cooked over different types of wood and usually slathered with a sweeter tomato-based sauce with molasses. 

Carolinas

In North and South Carolina, pork is cooked over hickory and oak with regional preferences for the sauce, which can be tomato-based, vinegar-based, or mustard-based. Pulled pork is a favorite choice for barbecue lovers in this part of the country.
There are dozens of variations of barbecue throughout the country, but most are combinations or variants of the ones discussed here.

The Best Hot Weather Catered Desserts

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When it comes to planning your summer wedding, reunion, or corporate get together, you want to look for a dessert menu that'll help your guests beat the heat. Check out these popular summertime desserts from the catering experts at Coburn’s Catering.

Popular Summer Pies

No matter what time of year it is, there’s always room for pie. Without a doubt, key lime pie is a must for outdoor catered events. This American classic will satisfy the sweet tooth on your guest list. Refresh their palates with a cool dollop of whipped cream on top. Another popular pie that'll help you and your friends say cool is the classic strawberry pie. Add a few mint leaves as garnish and serve chilled with whipped cream.

Parfait and Sundae Bars

Dessert bars are especially popular with the kids who like the idea of building their own treats. For a healthy dessert option, consider adding parfaits to your event menu. Parfaits are usually made with low-fat or nonfat yogurt layered between handfuls of fresh berries and finely chopped nuts. Let your guest customize their own desserts with at a dessert bar. You can also offer your guests the ability to create their favorite childhood desserts, the sundae. Don’t forget the extra toppings like sprinkles, syrup, caramel, and walnuts.

Frozen Delights

For party planners on a budget, frozen treats like slushies are a great and affordable way to help your guests keep cool at your event. Not only do these desserts evoke happy childhood memories, they’re also perfect for outdoor weddings, family reunions, and even corporate events. Kids love the different colors and flavors you can create and parents love them because they're fat-free. For the grownups, a splash of rum will turn these popular desserts into a frozen cocktail.

Kid-Friendly Catering Food to Look For

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When it comes to organizing the menu at your catered event, it’s important to select foods that everyone will enjoy, including your smaller guests. To incorporate kid-friendly meals, snacks, and desserts into your menu, look for these popular selections.

Main Course

For main entrees, you can’t go wrong with classic finger foods like chicken fingers or wings. Beef sliders are another great option because they're basically bite-sized hamburgers that are perfect for tiny hands. Battered and fried fish sticks will also keep them entertained as they sample different dipping sauces. Pair these entrees with some of their favorite sides like macaroni and cheese, seasoned fries, or corn fritters.

Fruits and Veggies

Make sure your guests have healthy options as well, like fresh fruit and vegetables. Steamed broccoli complements any meal and parents will be glad for the nutrient-rich option. Entice your younger guests with cinnamon apples and caramelized carrots and fruit salad. Paired with cubes of cheese, grapes, melons, and strawberries also make perfect hors d'oeuvres for adults and kids alike.   

Desserts

For desserts, no one can pass on classics like chocolate pudding or ice cream. Take your kid’s menu to the next level with options like candied pears with vanilla ice cream, sherbet balls, tiramisu, and bananas foster (minus the rum of course). While wedding cake is a given at most catered events, you can’t go wrong with a few pies on the menu. For summer and spring events, go for strawberry or apple pie and serve pumpkin and rhubarb during the cooler months.
It’s easy to incorporate a kid’s menu into any catered event or theme. Go beyond the traditional kid’s meal to really make them feel special on this important day. For more great catering ideas, ask the professionals at Coburn's Catering.  

Food Themes to Consider for Your Catered Event

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If you're organizing a catered event, you want every detail to be perfect. And if your event has any kind of theme associated with it, your food should mirror that theme; and even without a theme, the food you serve needs to be complement each other to create a perfect meal. Here are some food theme ideas to help you decide what to serve at your next catered event, whether it's themed or not.

Movie Themes

If your party is inspired by a movie, then you should definitely be serving food that goes along with that movie. For example, at your Harry Potter-themed party, you could serve butterbeer, cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, and other delicious treats inspired by the books and movies. If you're having a party inspired by "Alice in Wonderland" then you could have a tea party accompanied with tasty foods, and delicate treats labeled "Eat Me."

Ethnic Themes

Whether your party is inspired by a certain country or you just want to have a specific type of food, there are many culinary creations from around the world that would be great at a catered event. For an Indian-inspired theme, you can serve naan and chicken curry. If you want a Hawaiian-themed meal, you could have sticky rice, kalua pork, and poi rolls. Whatever ethnic food you desire, speak to your caterer and see what they have available to accompany that theme.
A caterer is experienced with pairing foods, so if you're not sure what to serve at your party, speak to a catering company to get their ideas!