Puff 'n Stuff Catering Blog
Nisbett 50th Birthday Party
April 28, 2009 by Puff 'n Stuff | comments

Social catering has always been my favorite type of event. I love meeting with the clients and seeing their lovely homes. Creating fun themes and really getting to know my clients on a personal level is very important to me. Most of my social clients have been with me for several years. I’ve watched their kids grow up and have been able to enjoy being a part of their lives in a special way with baby showers, baptisms, birthday parties, 1st communions, sweet 16 and high school graduations.

I had the joy of meeting Janice Nisbett this past month who was planning a 50th birthday party for her husband. She had put so much thought into her event and we were planning it in a small park in College Park. We met there and walked the site to be sure there was proper lighting, electrical outlets and work space for us as we bring our ovens and kitchen equipment to the site. With our layout in mind we moved onto the menu – which consisted of chef attended tenderloin of beef, great heavy hors’d and a beautiful lemon cake for the birthday boy in addition to our miniature pastries. The event colors were white, black and a splash of red with tall cocktail tables throughout the park and a group of seating tables. Of course we needed centerpieces so I call my good friend at Special Event Floral and she designed beautiful centerpieces to compliment the event style.

Everything was running smoothly except the weather reports were starting to say that rain and windy conditions were most likely to be on and off that weekend. Janice and I spoke early in the week and since the work had not begun at her home as of yet we decided to meet there as a back up plan. Well, she has a great house and certainly large enough to move the event over there if need be, and it put her to ease that we could be so flexible. We decided we would make that decision on Friday so I could relay it to the appropriate management teams in our organization. I didn’t hear anything from her so I assumed we were a go for the park. Saturday morning came and I get a phone call from Janice and she is very worried about having the b-day party at the park so I tell her no problem we will just move it over to her home.

Lucky for me I have a wonderful management team and service staff. I made a few phone calls and it was a done deal! Everyone was flexible and had no issues with the change. The best part of all was the beautiful displays and fabulous food that we put out that evening. I was so proud of my staff and Janice was delighted, as well as, her guests. That is what makes if all worthwhile. No matter what changes are made we partner together and get the job done!

I have been in this business for 20 years, but I have to say that by far this is the best team of people I have ever worked with. I guess that’s what keeps my social clients coming back again and again!

Mary Brumley, Special Event Planner

407.398.6304 | mary@puffnstuff.com

Eco-Friendly Event Ideas
April 22, 2009 by Puff 'n Stuff | comments

Whether you are planning a wedding, baby shower, private dinner for two or a large corporate event there are a lot of ways to not only make your guests happy but also the environment. Many people are focusing on making their events eco-friendly. Saving our planet just gives us one more reason to celebrate. So in honor of earth day, here are some great ideas for making your next event more green.

Invitations. When choosing your invitation, consider using plantable seeded paper, recycled paper, or even bamboo paper – and to go completely natural have them printed with soy or vegetable oil-based inks. A less formal alternative is to send an email invitation. Sites like Evite.com have endless options to choose from with every theme imaginable and the best part there is no paper, no waste and no fuel emissions.

Décor. There is nothing like first impressions. Using natural, earthly elements will enhance the ambiance of your party. Try decorating with old colored glass bottles in shades of green, blue and browns to bring the colors of nature right into your centerpieces. These one-of-a-kind vases used in different shapes and sizes add dimension to your tables. You can also use potted plants and flowers and invite your guest to take them home as a cheerful reminder of your special event that they can cherish for years to come. Fresh fruit also gives lots color and texture to a normally plain centerpiece. Use fresh oranges, limes, lemons or kiwis in a crystal vase with twigs to add color. Place cherry tomatoes and blueberries around a white candle in a hurricane to set the mood for a Fourth of July celebration. Allow your imagination to go & grow wild.

Menu. Ask your caterer to buy organic and use local farms, when possible. When Puff ‘n Stuff Catering needs organic materials we turn to our local farmers for example Adale Farms. Adale Farms helps supply our innovative chefs with micro greens to incorporate flavor and texture as well as added nutrition. We have also teamed with up with places like the Orlando Brewery when we want everything including the Ale to be organic. These days everything from organic fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats can be readily found, so there is no reason not to have a healthy, eco-friendly meal for your guests to munch down on.

Serviceware. Lots of companies are making tableware with raw materials such as bamboo, bespoke palm, sugarcane or recycled biodegradable plastic. Puff ‘n Stuff Catering frequently uses bamboo bowls, spoons and other serviceware not only to be more green, but also to enhance the décor. Or for a more formal option, pull out the “Good China.” This is a reusable option and is very environmentally friendly and adds a sense of sophistication to your party.

Dana Alvarez-Ferry, Special Event Planner Associate

407.478.5829 | dana@puffnstuff.com

Personalize Your Reception by Creating a "Couple's Signature"
April 13, 2009 by Puff 'n Stuff | comments

Creating a couple’s signature as a surprise during the Wedding Reception is a great way to add a personal touch to a traditional or “out of the box” reception. The details are important, and noticed by all the guests. Of course, they take in the color scheme and the centerpieces, but they absolutely notice what they put in their mouth! So I can hear the questions – how do we accomplish a surprise using food? Easy – just use a little artistic thinking.

Jaime and Michael had a traditional family, so we needed to accommodate them with tasty, yet customary cuisine for their plated dinner. We developed a three-course custom menu that would create conversation amongst the tables. As guests entered the reception, they couldn’t help but notice the crystals and orchids hanging high on the table centers. The ambiance was perfect for the fall theme–a clear chill in the air, mood lighting, espresso brown pintuck linens, deep winter orchids by Lee Forrest Design and of course a few hors ‘d oeuvres and beverages from the pre-reception.

Once the guests were seated, the first course was presented. Our team worked the room, serving shots of soup and a petite sandwich to each guest. We got creative with the serving style and the taste as we alternated flavors at the table. One guest received a Butternut Squash Soup Shooter with a Mini Havarti and Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Panini, the other received a Tomato Basil Soup Shooter with a Mini Portabello, Roasted Pepper and Olive Tapenade Panini.

As the second course was served, the guests couldn’t help but notice that something was missing from their salad, as they only recieved a wedge of lettuce. Once the whole table was served their individual wedge, the team served a platter of all the fixings: chopped bacon, diced tomatoes, bleu cheese dressing and champagne vinaigrette – all the accompaniments to the couple’s favorite wedge salad at a local Italian restaurant. The final courses were full of flavor and expertly presented, while still maintaining a traditional feel.

Bronwyn and Michael had a great background to work with for their Wedding Reception, as Bronwyn’s Family was from South Africa, and Michael’s family from Trinidad. In our planning session we decided to feature Trinidad cuisine during their station-style reception. They wanted the entire reception to feel like a party, so station were really the only way to go. Guests were welcomed with Pewter Pintuck linens, White Chiavari Chairs and stunning arrangements by Lee Forrest Design. The toast was delivered, and the party began!

Stations were arranged in several areas throughout the room. An Elaborate Pasta Station with Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage among a table variety of appetizers from Crab Cakes to Chicken Marsala Brochettes. The second station of Trinidadian cuisine featured Roti and Curry lamb – a traditional Trini meal. Of course the family was excited to have one of their favorite lamb preparations, but the real thrill was among Bronwyn and Michaels American friends as they experienced the Trini cuisine.

The more I hear the reception cuisine referred to as “Wedding Food” the more creative I want them to become! We cannot simply refer to it as “Wedding Food” as it is much more than that – it’s part of the design and ambiance of a very special day in your life. Just remember, a personalized “surprise” adds a special touch that will be remembered for years to come.

Heidi Brice, Senior Special Event Planner
407.398.6301 | heidi@puffnstuff.com

Kotzin Bar Mitzvah
April 6, 2009 by Puff 'n Stuff | comments
From the moment Evan Jon Kotzin stepped foot onto the Bimah until the clock struck midnight at his Philadelphia-themed bash, he was in the spotlight and loving every minute of his bar mitzvah weekend. Puff ‘n Stuff was able to be a part of his special weekend by catering three separate events for the family. The family was in very capable hands with Special Event Planner Shira Smith.

First was the Friday night dinner at the Kotzin residence for close family and friends. We set up a buffet of Chicken Marsala, Israeli Salad, Penne aglio e olio, Israeli Couscous and Broccolini followed by a beautiful assortment of our Little Luxuries for dessert. We also provided the linens and centerpieces for each table consisting providing an elegant, yet festive atmosphere.

The next day, following Evan’s perfect reading from the Torah, was the Kiddush luncheon at Temple Ohev Shalom, also catered by Puff ‘n Stuff. This was a new and exciting endeavor for us and we’d like to thank Ohev, especially Phil Wolgel and Sindi Ackman for allowing us to cater Evan’s Kiddush. Guests enjoyed traditional Jewish fare including a delicious sweet kugel that everyone raved about.

That night was the big celebration event at the Orlando Museum of Art. To represent the Philadelphia theme our logistics manager, Scott, created a 13-foot “Skyscraper Hors d’Oeuvre Buffet” that consisted of our Mediterranean sampler, imported and domestic cheeses, oak grilled vegetables and even a cheese wheel with the skyline of Philadelphia carved into it.

The supervisor of the event, Jeremy, created a Hoagie Shop for the kids buffet complete with a roof and a customized sign. This chef attended buffet allowed the young guests to pick out their favorite ingredients for a custom hoagie.

The adults enjoyed noshing on some Philadelphia pretzels (sent overnight directly from Philly) with a side of mustard while they waited for their entrée. Following the Horrah, the adults sat down to a beautiful meal of Margarita glazed Mahi Mahi with roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. They completed the evening with a Caramelized Banana Tart for the adult dessert and a water ice cart from Jeremiah’s for the kids’ dessert.

Shira Smith, Special Event Planner
407.478.5820 | shira@puffnstuff.com

Puff 'n Stuff Catering Blog Launch
April 2, 2009 by Puff 'n Stuff | comments

Welcome to the Puff ‘n Stuff Catering blog! We’re thrilled you’re here and look forward to sharing our expertise and ideas with you. We’re crafting new and exciting menus and event ideas to meet every budget. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just give us a call and our expert team of Planners & Chefs will custom create the perfect blend for you. This business has been my family’s for over 30 years so rest assured we are passionate about perfecting life’s celebrations!

Check back as our Team will be adding event ideas, recipes and even special offers in the coming months! Please let us know how you think we’re doing!