Tag Archives: food

Let’s Eat! A Q&A with Elaine Bell Catering

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When we planned our Wedding Blog Launch Party earlier this year, we only wanted the very best for our guests and for Elaine Bell Catering quality and presentation is everything. Keep reading to learn more about Elaine’s menus favorites, how to choose between a sit-down dinner or buffet, their donut machine (Yes, you heard that right!) and more.

Elaine Bell_Kitchen 2013

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about Elaine Bell Catering?

A. Elaine Bell Catering is composed of passionate professionals dedicated to producing lovely food, quality services and precious memories in spectacular locations. Our decades of experience allow us to execute events effortlessly, and our commitment to creativity drives us to take a fresh approach to every event. We are devoted to providing outstanding service combined with constant innovation. From flavor to presentation, our goal is to craft unique events that achieve the vision of each of our clients, every time.


Q. What are some of Elaine’s menu favorites?

A. Elaine has been in the kitchen working on some new concepts and recipes for small plate dishes – lots of fun ethnic food combinations like an Aloo Cottage Paneer and Fontal Grilled Cheese Naan that is paired with a white fig, green cardamom, and almond chutney. It’s a delicious Indian-inspired take on a traditional grilled cheese sandwich that’s both savory and a little sweet. Small plates are great because they provide a concise portion of food with a focus on presentation, and they can allow your guests to try a diverse array of dishes and cuisines.

Beet Salad in a Wire Nest

Q. Buffet presentation or sit-down dinner – how do you choose?

A. This really depends on the client! A sit-down is a much more focused meal, and attention is drawn to each course. It’s great if you’re doing a food and wine pairing, for instance. Buffets are good for entertaining and allowing your guests to get up and mingle. They’re an excellent option for holiday parties, when everyone is moving around and socializing. If they can’t decide, couples can have the best of both worlds with small plate stations for hors d’oeuvres and dessert with a seated dinner in between!

Q. We’re a little bit in love with the donut machine. Is there a story behind it?

A. Elaine and her husband John are always looking at new and innovative ways to create buffets and interactive food stations that engage guests. The donut robots are John’s labor of love. He did a lot of in depth research and found a company in Germany that hand makes them to order.

Breast of Duck

Q. Any advice to couples that are planning the menu for their wedding?

A. It’s important to make the event personal and unique to your identity as a couple, including the menu. One fun way to do this is to integrate elements of both of your cultures or your histories into the meal. You can also incorporate foods that you grew up eating, but with a fun new twist. Work with your caterer to select a unique menu that is not only delicious, but will create a meaningful memory for you and your guests.

Decorate Your Desserts and Other Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips

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Add something special to your pies this year with this charming banner. — Oh Happy Day

Speaking of pie, learn how to make the perfect pie. — The Blender

Your house will look seasonally festive thanks to these Thanksgiving decorating ideas. — Country Living

Holiday centerpiece inspiration thanks to art from the 17th to the 21st century. — Garden Design

How to use dried foliage for decor. — Remodelista

Wishbone accents for a festive holiday. — CasaSugar

Source: Photo courtesy Oh Happy Day

Planning the Thanksgiving Menu: A Strong Finish

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While the turkey is of course the main event at the Thanksgiving meal, you can’t underestimate the importance of a delicious dessert. This year, we’re keen on the idea of serving something that’s individually sized, like these Southern Spiced Apple Pies with Crème Fraîche.(Find the recipe here — they’re actually quite easy to make.)

Individually sized desserts mean that you can eliminate squabbles over who gets the bigger piece of pie, and you can make just as many mini pies as you need for your celebration (or for the day after).

We think that this pie recipe perfectly complements our Rustic Thanksgiving party planner in both taste and aesthetic. Want to add extra style to your dessert table? Here are some suggestions to round out the look.
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How-To: Create a Custom Chalkboard Thanksgiving Menu

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If you’ve put a lot of thought into your Thanksgiving menu, it makes sense to celebrate it. Our favorite way to spread the word is by creating a large-scale menu using our Framed Chalkboard. For our menu this year, we enlisted the help of designer and calligraphy artist Diva Pyari of Linea-Carta, who created a beautiful Thanksgiving menu for us. Even if you don’t have a calligraphy artist in your circle of friends, you can get the look of Diva’s gorgeous handwriting thanks to her Calligraphy Starter Kit. Keep reading to learn the steps and get started on your own Thanksgiving menu.


To try this at home, Diva recommends the following:

  1. Use a t-square ruler to create straight guide lines for the menu.
  2. Then, mark the lines lightly with a pencil. You can also very lightly write in the menu items on each line.
  3. Instead of using chalk, use a chalk pen or chalk marker. Pens or markers give you more control over your writing.


Since the menu is the main star on this chalkboard, use florals or styling that accent but do not obscure the writing on the chalkboard. We chose a mixture of wheat and amaranth that was laid flat on two console tables. We also wrapped a pomegranate and orange winterberry swag in brown ribbon to hang from the edge of the menu.

Have you tried making your own blackboard menu before? Would you try it this year?

Special thanks to Diva Pyari for her incredible work on the menu! Make sure to check out her site and shop for more inspirational ideas.
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