Would your next event be better with this popular, new trend?

These days, whether you are hosting a corporate event, a personal celebration, or a wedding, more catering options are available than ever before.

Seven Loaves Catering stations

Stations

One of our favorite catering trends, growing in popularity, is the use of creative catering stations . Stations can best be described as mini-buffets placed throughout the venue. Each offers a different food theme and many times provides customizable toppings or ingredients to choose from.

 

Seven Loaves catering stations with waffles

You can see the appeal of stations at a morning corporate event. Instead of the regular buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns, you could offer your guests pancake, omelet, and waffle stations–complete with a wide variety of toppings. Seven Loaves has catered this corporate breakfast, and it’s always a great success.

You can also offer what is called an “action station.” Here, a chef mans the station and cooks something to the exact specifications and requests of your guests. (Think of the hotel omelet bar where you choose your ingredients and a chef cooks it for you.)

 

Seven Loaves Catering stations with quesadillas

We offered an action station at a corporate event we recently catered. It was a quesadilla station. Dishes of pork, chicken, beef, and lots of various toppings were provided. Then our chef cooked each individual quesadilla for the guests–they loved it!

How stations can improve your next event

Stations provide a lot of benefits, both for the host and the guests:

  • People enjoy stations and have fun building their own food items.
  • Stations allow people to mingle more easily. Instead of sitting at the same table throughout the event, people are able to move around and talk to others at different stations placed around the room. This set-up easily leads to more networking and interaction. And isn’t that one of the main purposes of a corporate event?
  • Stations reduce the long lines that you can find at buffets. When the crowd is heading to three, four, or more stations spread around the room, there won’t be one long buffet line. When you offer stations, the food is ready when your guests arrive and the lines are much shorter–if you even have any!
  • Leaving food stations open throughout your event allows your attendees to munch when they feel like it.
  • You don’t have to provide seating for everyone when offering stations serving. People can stand and nibble on their smaller stations plate, and then go get a different serving of something else. You can even provide tall tables for plates and drinks that people can stand around while eating, drinking, and visiting.
  • Although servings are smaller than a standard plated or buffet meal, stations allow you to offer a wider variety of food items.
  • With people’s dietary restrictions (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) becoming more and more prevalent, stations allow you to offer menu items to these guests.

Seven Loaves Extensive Stations Menu

Seven Loaves Catering stations

At Seven Loaves, we offer a broad variety of 31 different food stations for our catering customers. You can definitely find something for everyone! Take a look at the stations menus we offer here:

Our most popular catering stations lately have been our mashed potato mini bar, macaroni and cheese bar, pasta station, and southern biscuits and chicken station.

We’re getting hungry just thinking about them!

 

 

Not sure how much food you need for party guests? We can help! (Plus: Our favorite chili recipe)

Seven Loaves partiesHaving some friends and neighbors over to watch the game, to celebrate a birthday, or just to get together is always fun– and it doesn’t have to be hard!

But a lot of people stress about how much food to get for these occasions. You don’t want too many leftovers, but even worse, you don’t want to run out of food mid-party! We can help you with this.

Seven Loaves Party Platters

Of course, if you want to keep it really simple, Seven Loaves can provide delicious, made-to-order platters that are ready to serve. You tell us how many guests you expect and we can take it from there.

seven loaves antipasto platter

 

We have antipasto platters with genoa salami, prosciutto, ham, pepperoni, olives and cheeses, served w/ flatbread and crackers. These platters start at $65 each serving up to 20 people.

 

 

Seven Loaves vegetable platter
We also offer vegetable platters with freshly cut carrots, celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and jicama. These are served with Asiago Peppercorn Ranch and garnished with carved radish flowers. Starting at $35, this sized platter serves up to 15.

 

seven loaves cheese board

 

If you want a cheese platter, we have one offering domestic and imported cheeses served with assorted crackers and fresh fruit garnish. These start at $100, serving up to 25 at this size.

 

We have many other appetizers, platters and dips available for your gatherings. Check them out here and see if you’d like for us to provide the platters for your next party!

seven loaves platters
Tenderloin display
seven loaves fruit tray
Fruit display
Seven Loaves salmon display
Salmon display

Do-It-Yourself party? Seven Loaves Tips…

When you want to take care of it yourself though, we can help you there too.

One of the hardest things about hosting a get-together is figuring out how much food to get. We’ve had years of experience with this, and want to share what we’ve learned.

With a reminder that 16 ounces equal 1 pound, here are our recommendations on how much food you’ll need for your next get-together:

Meat:
We recommend about 4 ounces (or 1/4 pound) per guest when serving deli meat. When serving a sandwich, 4 oz. is generally about 6-7 slices.

Cheese:
When serving cheese, we recommend that you make the ratio of meat to cheese about four parts meat to one part cheese. (Each pound of meat = 1/4 pound cheese)

Crackers:
We suggest 1 ounce  of crackers per guest

Chips and dips:
Chips: 1 ounce per person
Dips: 2 ounces per person (volume)

Vegetable platters:
4 oz. of vegetables per person
Favorite options: celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, jicama, carrots, and cucumbers
Dressing: 1 to 1 1/2 ounces per person (volume)

That should cover you on meat and cheese platters, chips and dips, and vegetable platters.

But you also can’t go wrong with a big pot of chili for your group! If you decide to go that route, here’s our favorite chili recipe:

Seven Loaves chili

Seven Loaves Chili

Serves 10

Ingredients:
2 1/3 pounds of ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
5 fresh jalepeno peppers, sliced and seeded
8 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound dry pinto beans
14 oz. beef broth

Optional toppings:
Green onions, sliced
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Fritos corn chips

Directions:
1) Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until browned, about 6 minutes.
2) Add jalepenos and garlic, saute 1 minute
3) Add ground beef, and cook until brown, about 5 minutes
4) Add chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Then add tomatoes (with juice), beans and broth. Bring to a boil.
5) Reduce heat and simmer until chili thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
6) Skim any fat from surface of chili

Ladle chili into bowls and add optional toppings, if desired.

 

Don’t Make these Embarrassing Blunders at your Office Christmas Party!

Your office Christmas party is an excellent way to get to know your co-workers and bosses on a more personal level, take a break from work, and celebrate the season.

But as a caterer, we’ve seen office party blunders that can have even long-term consequences. Enjoy your party, but try not to commit these all-too-common party mistakes:

Seven Loaves Catering Christmas party blunders

Drinking too much

We’re going to start with the most important one first—the big one. In fact, if you don’t make this mistake, you can probably avoid the rest of them. Alcohol is behind almost all office party blunders.

It seems so simple: DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH AT YOUR COMPANY CHRISTMAS PARTY!

Nobody plans on doing that, though. But when the music is on, your co-workers are partying, and the alcohol is flowing, it’s easy to lose track of your drinks. Pay attention. And then after about two, switch to soft drinks or water. Nobody ever regrets slowing down their drinking at the office party!

How about that election?

This is a good rule to follow every year, but in 2016 it may be even more important—don’t talk politics! That supervisor whom you’re sure feels the same way you do about all things political? Don’t be so sure. Especially this year—leave it alone!

Being the Grinch

Seven Loaves Catering Christmas party blundersTry to remember that an office Christmas party is meant to be a time for everyone to enjoy themselves and have a break. If you find yourself in a conversation with a manager, or even a co-worker who you don’t get to talk to often, don’t see it as a chance to complain about work problems.  And don’t complain about the party venue, bar, music, etc. Keep your complaints at the office, and stick to positive conversations at the party.

Cutting Your Time Short

You may have other places to go and other people to see, but don’t try to blow in and out of your office Christmas party. Especially if you have people who work for you, don’t be the person that arrives late, breezes around the room for half an hour, and leaves. It gives the impression that your employees or co-workers aren’t important enough to spend the evening with. And maybe they’re not—ha! But you still don’t want to leave that impression.

Deciding that your boss is your BFF

Remember that your boss is still the boss. Don’t thrown down a few drinks, lose your inhibitions, and take this as an opportunity to tell the boss what a crappy decision it was to eliminate breakroom coffee or to spill the beans on one of your co-workers.  A Christmas party is never a good time to deliver feedback to a manager.

 *#*&(!!

Seven Loaves Catering Christmas party blunders

Watch your language. When you’re in a much less formal setting than the office, you may feel free to let your potty mouth run a little more. But since you probably don’t know if your co-workers (or worse yet—your bosses) are going to be offended by dropping f-bombs or other four letter words, it’s a bad idea to let them flow at the party.

Bringing Sexy Back

Yes, you’ve been dying for the chance to wear that low-cut, slinky black dress you bought last summer. But the office Christmas party is probably not the right time. Sure, it’s a party, but it’s also still a business event. Show good judgment and follow the dress code.

Seven Loaves Catering Christmas party blundersBeing too “friendly”

This involves dangling mistletoe over your head, asking a co-worker if they want to leave with you at the end of the party, or grinding on the dance floor to those awesome 70’s tunes. Just don’t.  And if it’s the dancing, don’t forget there will be video captured that everyone will be enjoying in the office on Monday. Who needs that?
So there you have it—our friendly warnings to avoid making some all-too-common mistakes at your office Christmas party.

If you are planning a party and need help with the menu, give us a call at Seven Loaves. We offer everything from hors d’oeuvres to full holiday meals. Click here to see the many delicious, affordable holiday options available.

As always, we wish you a blunder-free Christmas season!

7 Easy Ways to Cut Holiday Stress (And We Can Help with Number One!)

Holidays can be a wonderful time of reconnecting with family and friends, but also a super busy time with high expectations. Unfortunately, this “most wonderful time of the year” can be extremely stressful for those in charge of planning and providing the holiday fun.

Seven Loaves holiday catering

There are so many things to do: meal planning, house cleaning, putting up a tree, parties, kid’s events, shopping, wrapping, decorating, Christmas cards…whew! The list goes on and on. It’s stressful just thinking about it!

Everyone will have better holiday memories though, if you can limit the stress and try to relax and enjoy the holidays instead.

 

Here are seven easy ways you can reduce holiday stress. We can even help you with the first one! The others are something you can do without us.

Let go of the need to do everything yourself
Imagine how much more relaxing it would be to serve your family a delicious, chef-prepared, holiday meal cooked by someone else! Seven Loaves can take care of this for you.

For Thanksgiving, we can provide a roasted turkey and honey baked ham meal complete with cornbread stuffing, a choice of two other side dishes, cranberry relish, giblet gravy, and Parker House rolls. You also have the options of adding a fried whole turkey, pumpkin or pecan pies, and sweet tea. Click here to find all of our Thanksgiving meal details.

If you’d like for us to prepare your Thanksgiving meal, the deadline for Thanksgiving is Monday, November 21, so call us soon! (972 293 5111)

Seven Loaves holiday catering menu

For the Christmas season, we have several additional holiday menu options available. Along with the roasted turkey and honey baked ham meal, you can also choose from citrus herb chicken, cherry bourbon smoked pork tenderloin, herb crusted beef tenderloin, or slow roasted prime rib for your entree. We offer a wide variety of delicious appetizers, salads, sides, and pies to put together your special meal.

If you’re having a party, choose from our many hors’ d-oeuvres options. We have platters available with antipasto, beef tenderloin, cheeses, vegetable crudité, smoked brisket and more.

Give yourself the gift of letting Seven Loaves provide your holiday meal. Check out all of our Christmas season choices and prices here.

Keep Only the Most Important Traditions
Take some time before things get super busy and ask the people in your family what their favorite holiday traditions are. That gingerbread house kit you buy each year for everyone to decorate, but nobody mentioned when asked about their favorite traditions? Let it go! The advent calendar you put time and thought into every Christmas that nobody seems to remember? Let that go, too. Concentrate on doing only the things that are meaningful to your family, and let the rest belong to Christmases of the past.

Take a Walk
Even if you don’t feel like you have time, walk anyway! It seems counter-productive to add a walk to your already-too-busy day. But studies show that getting outside and taking in the sights and sounds of the outdoors for just a few minutes a day can do wonders to boost your mood and energy. If you can’t do half an hour (what most experts recommend), do ten. You’ll feel less stressed and be more equipped to tackle the tasks ahead when you return.

Turn on your favorite music
Take a break from the news and television for a while—the world will still be spinning when you come back after the holidays. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, your mood will improve when you put some music in the background. If Christmas tunes make you feel festive, put those on. But if country music or 1970’s southern rock is your thing, listen to that!

Get plenty of sleep
You already know this—if you get enough sleep at night, you’re going to be better prepared to face a busy day ahead. Even though you have a lot to do, go to bed! You’ll get more done the next day when you’re rested and will end up being more productive than if you stay up late to do things.

Cut out unnecessary activities
November and December are crazy busy months. If some things can wait, let them wait. January will be just as good of a time to do those car inspections, routine vet appointments, and so on.

Forget perfection
Possibly most important of all, let go of expecting perfection. You can’t expect perfection from yourself, much less everyone and everything else. Instead of focusing on some impossible-to-attain Martha Stewart holiday scene, enjoy your family—warts and all—and have fun this holiday season!

If we can help prepare food for your holidays, contact us at 972 293 5111.

Happy Holidays!

Seven Loaves christmas catering