Catering Central

Tag: Bay Area Bay Area

1558 Gladding Ct. Milpitas CA 95035Call Us: (650) 961-3300

Preserving Fresh Herbs

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Most of us buy fresh herbs for specific recipes, using a couple of leaves or sprigs, then allowing the remainder wither in the fridge. To eliminate waste, and to save money on your grocery bills, you can preserve fresh herbs in the freezer, using a simple ice cube tray

  • Water Method
    For minimal damage, tender herbs like mint, parsley, and cilantro are great to freeze in water. Simply thaw and strain for later use, or keep some mint for tea.
  • Broth Method
    Herbs that you may use in soups and risottos can be frozen in broth. Anywhere you’d normally use broth and herbs are suitable for this method – you can even throw some frozen herb/broth ice cubes directly into your rice cooker along with your rice and liquid of choice.
  • Oil Method
    For sautes, stews, and roasts, freeze those herbs in olive oil. This is perhaps the most versatile of all the methods – you can capture the fresh taste of seasonal herbs and enjoy them all year long!

The beauty of hiring a catering company like ours is that you can enjoy the party with your guests, without so much as lifting a finger. If you’re seeking corporate, private, or wedding catering this summer (or beyond) – call us today on (650) 961-3300. We’re experts in corporate catering in San Mateo (94402), private party catering in the San Francisco Bay Area (94117) and everywhere in between!

Food Startups and the Little Guys

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Gone are the days where people connected directly with the caterer as the sole means of gathering business. Over the past few years many food startups have begun to corral a pool of catering services and help companies decide what kinds of food they serve their staff on a daily basis, which in and of itself is a solution to a problem. Yet, bigger picture, these online alternatives are severely affecting their offline counterparts.

With online accessibility ruling how people find vendors, it’s easy to forget the “little guys” and our dwindling margins when going through a third party system. One way you can help small businesses stay afloat is to cut the middle man and contact us directly when you need catering services. We’re ready to hear your vision for your event and match your budget with the highest quality foods and services from Catering Central. When you come directly to your caterer, more of your money makes it back to our business and we can keep bringing our best to the Northern California catering scene.

At Catering Central, we highly value food as a means of connection with others, and aim to give all of our clients a positive and satisfying experience with our services. We are passionate about supporting small businesses and keeping food fresh, seasonal, and local. If you’re looking for corporate catering in the San Francisco Bay (94111), private party catering in Sunnyvale (94086), or general catering in Mountain View (94040) – call us today on (650) 961-3300!

Spring Table Decorations

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Spring is undoubtedly the brightest time of year – a time to celebrate colors and all things fresh! If you’re planning a party during the spring months, we have a few floral ideas for decorating your tables to suit the season.

  1. Daffodils
    A sure sign that spring has arrived! Daffodils can be purchased inexpensively at local grocery stores for the next few months, making them not only a great table decoration for parties, but a beautiful bouquet for your home.

  1. Tulips
    These spring-blooming perennials grow from bulbs, ready to enjoy in March and April. By themselves in a vase, or paired with floating candles, tulips make breathtaking table decorations.

  1. Citrus
    Believe it or not, you can decorate a table using lemons and limes. With a bit of creativity, these stunning citruses will brighten up any table. Check out Pinterest for some inspiration.

  1. Bunting
    Not strictly a table decoration, bunting are a series of small triangular flags, used to decorate for a festive event. Etsy has some cute examples.

Here at Catering Central, we frequently partner with Aili Ice Designs – experts in floral concepts. If you’re in need of a florist, check out their website by clicking here. We cover Private Party catering in the San Francisco Bay Area, Corporate Catering in Silicon Valley, and events all the way from Mountain View, CA (94035) to Redwood City, CA (94069). If you’re looking for catering when it comes to parties, events and gatherings – call us today on (650) 961-3300.

Snack Right

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Snacks have taken a bad wrap in the past, being viewed as a departure from regular healthy eating. Modern snacking trends have gone back to basics, with most people reaching for natural snacks when 4PM strikes. Here are a few snack trends we’ve seen this year:

  1. High Protein
    These snacks don’t mess around – protein bars, jerky, nut butter, cheese and seeds are all densely nutritious bites for serious snacking.

  1. Low Carb
    Matching the high protein trend, is a need for snacks that are low on carbs. Olives, celery with cream cheese, or low fat string cheese really hit the spot.

  1. Calorie Controlled
    Certain brands of snack food produce portion controlled packs of their product, clearly labeled with the amount of calories per pack.

  1. Fewer Ingredients
    Clean eating is about consuming food that is natural. With fewer, pronounceable ingredients, people feel more comfortable about reaching for these snacks.

If you’re planning an upcoming event, let Catering Central take care of the food. We believe that food can transcend simple nourishment, harnessing the power to connect people. We provide corporate catering in San Mateo, private party catering in Mountain View (94035), the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond! Call us today on (650) 961-3300.

Donating Food

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This year 225,000 people will be nourished by the SF-Marin Food Bank. While so many people in the Bay Area are so financially comfortable, the uncomfortable economic divide still remains. People in the Bay Area are hungry, and we can help.

The effects of providing food to people in need have a ripple effect on society as a whole. Many families with young children rely on breakfast clubs at school for a healthy breakfast, which then enables them to learn with fewer distractions. With proper nutrition, children have an improved ability to focus and gain a more meaningful education.

Food Banks also provide home delivered groceries for senior citizens who find themselves unable to keep up with the cost of living. While the majority of food at a bank is non-perishable, the SF-Marin Food Bank incorporates Farmer’s Market-style pantries, helping those in need to eat more nutritionally dense meals.

We work very closely with InnVision Shelter Network (Maple Street Shelter), where we donate our leftover food. This website, Bay Area Hunger shows the location of all of the Food Banks in the Wider San Francisco Bay Area. For more information on how you can donate to the SF-Marin Food Bank, take a look here at their website. Together we can make a difference.

Hosting a Luau

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Say Aloha to your friends and family by hosting a Hawaiian Luau in your backyard. This is such a fun way to see out the summer, encouraging guests to dress in theme and relax together. As people arrive, give them a lei – handmade if you have access to flowers – but store bought is also great.

Part of keeping that relaxed vibe is being able to serve a mean Mai Tai and an icy Pina Colada. Here’s a list of 9 Best Hawaiian Drink Recipes from Island.com that you’ll want to get onto.

As for food, you can’t go past Luau Pulled Pork. In fact, at Catering Central this one of our specialties. Marinated overnight in a sugar/salt mixture, we cook our pulled pork for hours until tender.

For dessert, serve up a Pineapple Upside Down cake, or a local Hawaiian favorite Haupia. All the sweet treat inspiration you could possibly need is found at Pinterest. Enjoy your Luau!

Pretzel-Mania!

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Soft Pretzels are no doubt the new “it” food. Like cupcakes and bacon before them, be prepared to see pretzels starting to dominate the artisanal food scene. Why not, though? These tasty treats are delicious in their own right, not to mention a superior delivery vehicle for all kinds of flavorful sauces.

On a recent trip to Harpoon Brewery in Massachusetts, we noted that pretzels were the only snack available to munch on while beer tasting. On the sweet side, Harpoon offers cinnamon sugar pretzels with peanut butter maple icing. Salted pretzels come with various sauces, like; garlic butter, IPA cheese, Ale Mustard, Red Pepper Aioli, Bacon Ranch and Marinara Parmesan.

In San Francisco, more traditional German pretzels are available at Suppenkuche – boasting sesame and sunflower seeded knots with dijon mustard. In the Mission, Schmidt’s bake their pretzel rolls daily, and serve them with meals. Monk’s Kettle also makes a beer themed, plate sized pretzel.

Don’t forget that pretzel stands exist, too. In Golden Park, along Fisherman’s Wharf and Downtown, you’ll see the kinds of salty/sweet pretzels that will get you through a long afternoon. We look forward to seeing more pretzel ideas coming up over the next few months!

Quick Weeknight Meals

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By combining decent quality store bought items with homemade sides (or vice versa) you are cutting your nightly dinner prep time in half. For those days when you don’t want to spend an hour making dinner, try these mealtime hacks.

  1. Meatballs or Steak Pie with Mashed Potatoes
    Mashed potatoes are a cinch when they are the only item you need to prepare – easier still if you buy pre-made frozen mash. They’re also a hearty side for Swedish meatballs from Ikea, or a tavern inspired pie from Trader Joe’s.
  2. Fresh stir fry with frozen vegetables
    Sautee your protein, add your pack of pre-cut, snap-frozen veggies, squirt on some sauce – and voila! All you need now is to throw some rice in the rice cooker. Done.
  1. Pre-marinated fish
    Trader Joe’s has some excellent pre-marinated fish, with the absolute winner being Mojito Salmon. While you’re in the frozen aisle at TJ’s, check out what kinds of rice or quinoa sides are available.
  2. Pasta, pasta, pasta
    Mac and Cheese, marinara sauce, pesto with parmesan… the list goes on. For an unassumingly delicious meal, look no further than pasta. Keep some pasta and sauces in your pantry for a low-key, fast dinner.

The more homemade dinner hacks you collect, the less you’ll be eating out. Dinner at home promotes connection with others, not to mention the benefits for your wallet and waistline.

Frozen Cocktails

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There’s nothing quite like a frozen drink on a hot summer’s day… especially if that frozen drink is alcoholic. Dust off your blender and make a shopping list for BevMo – we have some some frozen cocktail ideas to keep you as cool as a cucumber.

BuzzFeed is the ultimate collection of funny articles, lifehacks and interesting facts – also home to a list of 29 Frozen Drinks to Put on Your Bucket List. Check out #12 – The Peach and Honey Sangria Slushy – for a perfect seasonal fruit to blend into your cocktail.

For something creamy, make your espresso frappe a little more adult by adding Kahlua. For a full list of adult frappes, click here. We love the Chocolate Covered Cherry Frappe – talk about indulgent!

If you’re watching your waistline, or simply looking for less decadent options, take a look at this article about making your drinks healthier. We particularly love the tip about using honey to make simple syrup. While it’s still sugary, honey boasts some excellent health benefits like antioxidants and allergy support.

Enjoy the chill while you can!

Simple Appetizers

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Entertaining doesn’t have to be a huge drain on your energy or finances. Sometimes the most simple foods are exactly what you need to enjoy togetherness in a relaxed state of mind. Appetizers are a great way to keep the social aspect alive while you put the finished touches on a meal. So, what are some easy appetizer ideas?

A raw vegetable platter with hummus, ranch or French Onion dip is not only nutritious, but a colorful and tasty addition to your gathering. Since most people want to eat healthy food, this appetizer will almost certainly be a winner.

Grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have well-made frozen appetizers that you can serve to guests, knowing that the ingredients are of a high quality. Many of these finger foods like egg rolls, meatballs and spanakopita are stress-free morsels, simply needing reheating in the oven.

Spinach dip is so delicious that it should probably be its own food group. While homemade dip takes the cake, store bought is almost as good. Hollow out a loaf of sourdough and put the spinach dip inside. Then bake the bread on low in the oven until the dip is heated through and the bread is crunchy.

Summer is all about taking a break from the daily grind, and we truly hope that you have time for togetherness this season. Enjoy some of these appetizers with your loved ones!