Contact Us

How To: Food and Wine Pairing

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Blue Plate Groundbreaking-80-Vegetable Skewers

While pairing food and wine is largely a matter of individual preference, there are some general recommendations that will enable you to make wine choices that will enhance the flavors of different meals.

Listed below are several common types of wines, along with some foods that pair well with each one.

White Wine Grapes

Chardonnay – Available as a still or sparkling wine, Chardonnay has rich citrus flavors. It’s a good choice to have with fish and grilled chicken.

Riesling – Much lighter than Chardonnay wines, Riesling provides a fresh taste and often a light apple aroma. It goes well with pork, chicken, and fish dishes. It’s also a great choice for spicy dishes, as its sweetness offsets the spiciness of food.

Sauvignon Blanc – Also lighter than Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc’s dominating fruit flavors often range from green apples and pears to more tropical fruits such as mangos and melons. This is a great selection for seafood and poultry dishes, as well as salads.

Red Wine Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon – This full-bodied red wine has rich currant flavors and is best when enjoyed with a simple red meat dish.

Merlot – Merlot is a very soft red wine with black cherry and herbal flavors that appeal to many palates. Being a lighter-bodied wine, it pairs well with many foods, including roast turkey, chicken, and hearty casseroles.

Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir is a delicate red wine with fresh fruity aromas, which can include cherries and strawberries. It goes nicely with grilled chicken, lamb, and salmon dishes.

Shiraz – This is a very hearty and spicy red wine, with strong black fruit flavors and black pepper overtones. Its strong characteristics make it a great match for red meat dishes like steak and beef, as well as chicken dishes that have a rich sauce.

Zinfandel – Zinfandel contains a slight hint of spice with primary notes that can include cherries, raspberries, and licorice. It’s a medium to full-bodied red wine that’s wonderful with tomato-based meals such as spaghetti or pizza.

What About Cheese and Dessert?

Cheese – Typically, full-bodied wines go well with hard cheeses – for example, a Shiraz with cheddar. Dry white wines, such as Riesling, pair nicely with soft

Dessert – Sweet wines are always a good choice, as long as the dessert isn’t as sweet as, or sweeter than, the wine itself.

Use these recommendations for general guidance to point you in the right direction but rely on your own tastes to determine what you enjoy having together. Have fun exploring and honing in on what you like best!

Catering Direct from Blue Plate? We’d love to help you select the perfect wines to accompany your menu.

Best Foods to Eat on Race Day

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

sandwhiches

Are you training for an upcoming race or marathon? Whether you’re a race veteran or a newbie, it’s extremely important to feed your body properly before and after a race. Eating the right foods at the right times will enable your body to perform at its best and allow it to recover properly, decreasing the possibility of injury.

Nutrient Basics

Carbohydrates are the main fuel for running. The body converts them into glycogen, a source of energy stored in the liver and muscles. A good store of glycogen is needed to sustain energy levels and to prevent the body from

depleting proteins. Proteins are essential for rebuilding muscle, with lean meats like poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy being great options.

Pre-race Tips

Eating immediately before running can lead to cramping, but eating too many hours beforehand can result in low energy levels during the race. Having a light snack or meal approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours before a race works well for many runners but you’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you.

Choose a meal that’s high in carbohydrates and contains some protein and healthy fats. A few good pre-race foods include:

  • A bagel with nut butter
  • A banana and an energy bar
  • A bowl of cold cereal with milk
  • Whole wheat pasta with cheese and veggies
  • A vegetable omelet with toast
  • A cheese stick and carrots
  • A smoothie made with fruit and yogurt

Post-race Tips

The goal after a race is to replenish energy as quickly as possible and to minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. Eating within thirty minutes after completing a race is ideal, as muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores during this time.

Carbohydrates are essential for recovery but protein is also important. Some good post-race food options are:

  • Chocolate milk
  • Oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, honey, or almonds
  • Hummus with carrot sticks or pita bread
  • Chicken breasts with brown rice and vegetables
  • A banana with peanut butter
  • A sandwich with lean meats, eggs, or low-fat cheese
  • Greek yogurt with granola and mixed berries

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Staying properly hydrated is also critical. Be sure to drink water before your race to start off well hydrated. And drink water during and after the race to replace fluids lost through sweat.

By making sure your body receives the proper nutrition before and after, you’ll feel strong throughout your race and finish feeling ready for the next one!

Tips for Planning a Baby Shower

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

watchUsInAction-150527

Baby showers are precious occasions but planning them can easily go from being fun to overwhelming if you’re not organized. Having an itinerary to follow will make the entire process more manageable and keep stress levels to a minimum on the day of the event.

Below are some or our suggestions for a standard itinerary. Feel free to customize it to best suit your mom-to-be and guests.

Arrival

Allow approximately ten to fifteen minutes for everyone to arrive. It’s a nice idea to have a family member or close friend greet guests as they come in. This is also a great place to set up a memory book for guests to sign with special thoughts or advice for the guest of honor.

Icebreakers

Having some finger foods and beverages available when guests first arrive is a great way to quickly make everyone feel comfortable and is conducive to mingling. Also consider having a small icebreaker activity planned to enable guests to get to know one another a bit more. Donut holes and fruit skewers like those featured in Blue Plate’s menu are perfect for a baby shower.

Welcome Announcement

When it’s time for the shower to officially begin, the host can announce that the main food is ready, whether it will be served or set up buffet style. The host can use this time to thank everyone for coming and remind guests to sign the keepsake book.

 Food

 There are no hard rules for food, other than it needing to be delicious and have enough variety for everyone! If you’re looking to have the food catered, check out all the fantastic options available Direct from Blue Plate.

Games

You can start the games as people settle down with their food. Don’t get overwhelmed with the dozens of games you can choose from. Pick a few that the mom-to-be will like best and that are most appropriate based on the guest list. Keep them light-hearted and fun and be sure to have great prizes for the winners!

Gift Opening

Having gift opening as the last part of the shower helps to regulate departure and makes it convenient for those who need to (or want to) leave early. Don’t forget to have a few people helping the mom-to-be out during this time.

Dessert and Coffee

Serving dessert and coffee at the start of gift opening gives guests the chance to sit back, relax and socialize. A selection of housemade cookies or chocolate-dipped pretzel rods are always a big hit.

Wrapping Up

As the shower comes to a close, get some help with clean up (if the shower is at a house) or bringing the gifts to the car, if needed.

While the exact order and types of activities can vary, the key is organizing them in a way that flows and keeps guests entertained and engaged. Follow these suggestions for your itinerary, adjust as needed, and have fun planning!

Summer Cocktails Mixology

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Enjoying a refreshing summer cocktail is a perfect way to cool down and relax on a hot summer day. But the preparation process can make a big difference in how a cocktail turns out. Read the fun cocktail facts below to learn some great tips to ensure your favorite summer cocktail is as spectacular as it should be.

lavender cocktail

Pre-freeze Glasses
Cocktails should ideally be the perfect temperature immediately after they’re mixed. A freezer-chilled cocktail glass will keep the cocktail at this ideal temperature for a longer time than a room temperature glass will, and even a bit longer than a glass that’s only been chilled with ice water.

Salt
Salt suppresses bitterness, making us better able to perceive other flavors. By adding salt to a cocktail that contains both bitter and sweet components, the sweetness in the liquor will become more intense.

In very small amounts, salt can also enhance the perception of sourness, and therefore the flavor of drinks with citrus. You only need a tiny amount, as too much salt will suppress the acidity and make the drink taste less appealing.

Egg Whites
Egg whites are used to add texture to a cocktail, making it rich and creamy, without affecting the taste or aroma. Cocktails with egg whites typically include citrus juice and sugar syrup. When the egg whites, made of mostly water and proteins, are whipped or shaken with these ingredients and the liquor, the tightly wound proteins begin to unravel. At the same time, tiny air bubbles are being folded into the egg white and a beautiful foam cap begins to form.

eggwhite cocktail

Just be sure to use eggs that are clean, unbroken and as fresh as possible in order to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.

Ice Blocks Vs. Ice Cubes and Crushed Ice
Ice can be the difference between a perfectly balanced cocktail and a mediocre one. Usually bigger ice blocks melt much more slowly and keep liquid colder for longer but this isn’t always the case.

Whiskey glassWhen ice is exposed to air, it ends up cooling the atmosphere instead of the drink, resulting in a cocktail that’s more diluted without the benefit of being chilled more. Since small ice cubes and crushed ice tend to stay submerged as a drink is sipped, they’re preferable in cases where large ice won’t be fully immersed in the liquid.

Now that you’re equipped with some mixology science, get your blender ready and use this cool information to give your favorite summer cocktail more pizzazz. Need a few recommendations? Blue Plate’s cocktail, Rare Bird, is a wonderful summer treat!

Ingredients:
1 oz gin
2 oz peach lavender preserves
1/2 oz lavender simple syrup
1⁄2 oz lemon juice
2 oz sparkling white peach sake

Directions:
Combine ingredients and shake. Strain into champagne flute and top with sparkling white peach sake. Garnish with a lavender sprig!

7 Tips for a Successful Outdoor Wedding

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether your reception is going to be extravagant and take place on the property of a fancy venue, or be more of a low-key backyard affair, there’s a lot to plan for to ensure your outdoor wedding is a success. Here are seven useful tips to help you have the wedding of your dreams.

  1. State the Dress Code – People often associate outdoor affairs with casual attire. To avoid any confusion, be sure to let your guests know if your wedding will require formal, semi-formal, or casual dress.
  1. Have a Backup Plan – While everyone hopes for perfect weather on their wedding day, this is one area that’s unpredictable and out of anyone’s control. Be sure to have a tent, canopy, or other backup so you’ll be able to quickly and adequately cover your dance floor or patio in the event the weather isn’t as ideal as you were expecting.
    wedding reception outdoor
  1. Be Considerate with Seating – Have enough seating to accommodate elderly and handicapped guests, and everyone else who will need to give their feet a rest from time to time. You can rent chairs to provide a more formal feel for the ceremony and switch to a lounge type of seating area to create a more relaxed mood for the reception.
  1. Catering food for outdoor wedding Think About Your Menu – If you’re not planning a formal sit-down dinner, consider having a menu with bite-sized foods. Your guests will appreciate the convenience of food that’s not too messy and easy to handle when eating outside.
  1. Make Sure Power is AvailableYou’ll want to have enough outlets and power strips for lighting, music, and keeping food warm. Depending on what’s available and how much electricity you’ll require, you may need to rent a generator.
  1. Prepare for Bugs – Look into options to keep bugs at bay, such as citronella candles or bug repellent torches, so you and your guests can enjoy your wedding in peace from pests. It’s also a thoughtful idea to have a few “bug spray stations” featuring baskets filled with individually wrapped mosquito wipes or insect repellent wrist and ankle bands for guests to use.
    outdoor wedding lights and decor
  1. Set Up Mood Lighting – If your wedding will be going into the late evening, be sure to hang strands of lights or lanterns above the reception tables to create a beautifully romantic effect.

With a plan that factors in each of these components, you’ll be well prepared to avoid some of the most common inconveniences involved with outdoor weddings and be set to have a fabulous celebration that everyone will enjoy.