Weddings In My Kitchen

James and David Wedding collage

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**** WEDDINGS ****
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This was my last in-house Wedding for this year. I hosted 14 Weddings this year!! Phenomenal for my teeny tiny banquet space.. I have my last wedding of the year this weekend. It will be Off-Premise at a Synagogue in Forest Hills. Expecting 200 guests..
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Each Wedding we hosted was uniquely different. Size, budget, family, low-keyed, Friday, Saturday, day time, night time…. But of all the weddings, I have to say that this Fall Theme Wedding was one of my favorites. We planned for a few months and it came down to details and timing.
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Began with the idea to Tent the backyard with a heater for the Ceremony and Cocktails.
As guests arrived, they were greeted with a mug of hot spiked apple cider and ushered to the backyard.
After the ceremony, we opened up a Cheese Station and began to pass hors d’oeuvres. Later we proceeded into the main dining area for a formal sit down dinner consisting of Prime Ribs and Chicken Wellington.
After dinner and some dancing, the guests were then ushered back into the tent for the Champagne Toast followed by Dessert, which was a Pie a la Mode Station.. The grooms did not want a Formal Cake..
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The Decor, choosing the right colors meant we had to go back and forth with samples. The Centerpieces we hand created by the florist using real flowers and the garland laid across each tables with pumpkins in between.. Just beautiful..
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Words can’t express how much I enjoy what I do and to receive an email expressing their joy, makes my running around that day all worth it..
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I’ve already booked 3 Weddings for next year 2015. One of which is Off-Premise at the Queens County Farm.
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Keep us in mind if you decide to get hitched.
Hugs
D

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Hand vs Home Made in My Kitchen

Home made implies “being made at home”..
In My Kitchen, my Chef Hand Makes most of his items (let’s be realistic, I said most not all).. He especially enjoys “hand-making” hors d’ouvres items because he loves to put his unique twist on common item. One of them being “Pigs in a Blanket” (thinks of Geico AD and giggles) Chef comments that some simple foods will never lose it appeal, so it’s important to give them a little update and have since made many variations, over our years of Catering.
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For The Wedding this weekend, he made a Sausage in a Blanket.. YUM!!
Sausage in a Blanket
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I try to convey this to my clients (catering) and customers (restaurant), that everything is made to order here. So for my Catered Clients, I ask them to keep that in mind when pricing out other places, always compare apples to apples, it’s the only way you will get the best value for what you can afford. For my Restaurant Customers, it’s a bit more difficult because a la carte service – NOBODY wants to wait. However, EVERYTHING is done to order. If you order our Grilled Chicken Entree, that chicken is grilled at time create your plate, the slaw on the crab cake is done at the time of plating. Most of our clientele loves this, others who do not understand, will complain that it takes too long but enjoy it once it arrives.. ❤
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FYI: My title of Official Taster is still solid.
See you soon

Hugs
D

Thanksgiving in My Kitchen

Today we catered to over 80 people both in-house and off-premise.. Chef and I are thankful.
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Thanksgiving collage 2014
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We took advance reservations. Each package included: Fresh Roasted Turkey with gravy, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread and dinner rolls. You chose three (3) sides from: Green Beans and Carrots; Peas, Mushroom and Onions; Creamy Mashed Potatoes; Tossed Salad; Candied Yams. Pie was included.
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Some folks ordered just the Turkey, some ordered some sides while another lady ordered a Ham. All Off-Premise was a pick up and they gladly took a piece of our kitchen home to theirs. 🙂
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For our In-House crowd, the first reservation was at 1:00pm and staggered every half hour or so. Drink orders were taken and complimentary Pumpkin Soup shooter was served. After which, dinner service began. The Sides were prepped family style and Chef came out to carve the turkey at each table. So Much Fun..
Chef Baby and I make a great team when we’re not trying to kill each other O_o
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At the end, everyone gave positive feedback and a few already pencilled in their family for next year. How awesome is that.
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After we cleaned up Our son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and niece, joined us at the restaurant and we had Family Thanksgiving Dinner. Chef and I have lots to be thankful for this year..
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We thank you for your continued support and hope to continue doing what we enjoy and hope you will join us next year in Our Kitchen.

Hugs
D

What are YOU doing for Thanksgiving?

This happens to be a regular question we’re face. Also, what are you up to this weekend? or do you have plans for the Summer? Do you take off for the Holidays?
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HELLLOOOOOOOO!! We own a Restaurant!!!
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We will be AT WORK.. (insert ZERO sacarsm here).. because it is the business WE chose.. We are happy to be able to do this AND on top of that, BE BUSY on a holiday..
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Dhanny Joe Kitchen
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Even before “My Kitchen”, Chef and I have always worked on holidays. We were a Meals-on-Wheels provider for 18years. So our “holiday schedule” for our kids and family were always off..
I am THANKFUL we took on My Kitchen at a time when Chef Baby is older. Tomorrow, she will work with us and later, after our last reservation, our Son, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter will join us for Thanksgiving dinner..
Other Chef Wives and Significant others of Chef families usually wait for their Chef to come home LATE or have Thanksgiving the following day or have it without Chef. I am happy that I can be with My Chef..
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This is where I would say stop by for a drink because it’s what we always say to our friends..
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you.. OH AND REMEMBER to take the “innards” out of your turkey before baking.. hehe

HUGS
D

Day Off? What Day Off?

I am really behind on my blog posts.. Coming off Veterans Week, editing photos, back at restaurant and Events on the weekend, I just haven’t had time. So I apologize to those of you who are following..
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Chef and I actually had a DAY OFF yesterday..
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But we both look at each other and ask “what exactly does a day off mean?”.. In between all the phone calls for Thanksgiving and emails, coupled with having to deal with a sick dad, we don’t actually “sleep in”..
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Yesterday, we had to drive to Connecticut, which happens to be about 10-15 degrees colder than it is in NY. We got a flat tire. We were in the XJ8, which is low, so we couldn’t get the jack under the car. Chef had to lift it. Replaced the tire, it’s getting dark now, only to realise the other tire is getting flat also.. HOLY MOSES BATMAN!! what the heck?
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Turns out because of the cold temeperature, the tires deflated.. So we had to carefully and quickly drive to the nearest gas station. Thank goodness in CT they had “FREE AIR”.. Tires should be at 44, they were only at 18.. O_o Got to house, switch cars, occurred to us the other car would have the same issue, drove XJS to same gas station to fill tires.. IT WAS FREEZING!! Our fingers and toes were numb..
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Decided to still go ahead with Date night and stopped off in Mt Kisco. Found a place serving Pigs Ears and Chef thought “oh, let’s go there” I swear, that was the only reason..
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Got lost or thought we did.. Finally got to restaurant – NO PIGS EARS!! They’re out.. GAHHHHHHH…
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We both looked at each other and started to laugh. Ordered a bottle of Cigar Zin (very nice btw) and tried to warm up..
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Cigar Zin
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Oh I forgot to mention, Chef hit his head on the car while trying to remove the tire. He has a black eye.. He said “I won the fight” hahaha.. YEP!! like I said, it was one of those days.

So looking forward to next week’s day off. Hopefully, my story will be a calmer one.

D

How to plan a Surprise Birthday Party for your Chef

Step Number 1:
Just decide to do it.. Meh, I mean, what can go wrong.. You love to host parties, your Chef loves to host parties.. What could possibly go wrong..
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Step Number 2:
Send out “Save the Dates” and announce that it will be a SURPRISE!!! This must happen months in advance because key people in our lives are in the Food Industry and Saturday is just not a feasible day to throw a party. Which brings us to……..
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Step Number 3:
Tell Chef that you booked an Event that evening. Implying that we can’t celebrate but somehow, just maybe, we can go out later for a drink and have the kids meet us..
We own a Restaurant, we close when we have Off-Premise Catering etc. If we closed, he would know it’s for his party. Still thinking that a “surprise party” is the way to go, you continue for 2 months with plan.
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Step Number 4:
Decide on Theme – Order Cake – Organize Music etc..
blah blah blah usual party details.. Unfortunately, this post goes downhill fast…
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Step Number 5:
Realizing your “alibi” of said event, will bite you in the a$$.. When Chef asks for details of Event because he has to organize it. You play it off by supplying a feasible Menu which could potentially be eaten at Chef’s Surprise Party. OH RIGHT!!! I should fess up at this point. The only way a surprise would work, was to throw it at the Restaurant. He’d NEVER suspect a thing.
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Step Number 6:
PANIC BEGINS TO SET IN: Coming to terms with the fact that your plan wasn’t really a good plan..
Chef still doesn’t suspect anything but the guy who would’ve execute the menu, after you somehow get Chef to leave the restaurant on an errand, is not answering and panic sets in..
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Step Number 7:
You and Chef Baby decides to come clean the day of the Event. We had an earlier event, after which we asked Chef is take a seat and we tried to explain that we planned a party and that the food we chose for the MAKE BELIEVE evening event was actually his surprise party.. and That HE now had to prep it, then go home change and come back at 7:00pm… YEP FOLKS, this is what we did….
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After some grumbling and state of unhappiness, Chef complied and before you knew it, he left for home.
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Step Number 8:
Bring in Casino Tables – Have Balloons and Cake Delivered – Cut Fresh Flowers – Set up Table Linens and runners – Guests arrive at 6:45pm
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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!! SURPRISE!!
Even though he found out we were having a party, he didn’t know who was invited and what the theme was, so he was in total awe that Chef Baby and I were able to pull this off.. IT ALL WORKED OUT in the End..
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collage joe birthday

I don’t recommend any of the above to anyone.. The Joke of the night was “Why didn’t I cater in?” My Reply was I’m Married to a Chef and he enjoys what he cooks and so does everyone else who was in attendance..

Hugs
D

Art as Therapy

Today we Catered another Veteran related Event. Today I met some amazing people. I know I use that word often but to me, it sums up who they are. Veterans choose to serve, leave their lives and their families behind, so that I can spend time with my family, build my life, experience joy.. They return broken and struggle to mend.. THEY ARE AMAZING!!!

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Working with the Veteran Community these past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet with various groups who help. One Program in particular is the Veterans Administration NYHHS Veterans Support Center Creative Arts Program. The last two years, I’ve seen the works and met the artists themselves.. The pieces are their hearts and souls on medium, whether it be canvas, photos, paper, craft…

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Just meeting them is an honor; taking the time to listen to them talk about their piece is a privilege. It must be difficult to get them to open up. With the guidance of Beryl Benner, this year the theme was “the Flag Under which I served”.

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The Flag under which I served

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Photography is My Therapy, so I truly appreciate this program. I’ve learnt over the years that listening is sometimes even better than saying “Thank you for serving”.. These Veterans need to know that THEY MATTER even if for just a moment in time. I am happy that I can be that person occasionally.

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I know this Blog was intended to be about our business, My Kitchen, but what is our business, if not a reflection on who Chef and I are..

So thank you for stopping by to read

Hugs

D

A Salute to Women who Served

Today we Catered a Luncheon Event hosted by the United War Veterans Council, titled – Salute to the Women who Served.
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Being Humbled is NOT even putting it lightly. As a Civilian woman, I can’t even imagine the sacrifice these women make. Being present today, listening to the Speakers, I could only watch on in awe. Feeling proud to be a WOMAN. Feeling empowered to help others.
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Salute to women who served
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I listened to their stories. I loved that one woman stated “We are not victims. We just don’t know what was available to us” – They’re not looking for “handouts” or “sympathy”.. Simply looking to transition into Civilian Life whether it be school, family, workplace, life in general, including health issues be it physical and emotional.
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One woman stated that a big pet peeve occured when she attended Veteran Events. Someone would ask “oh, are you married to Veteran” OR “are you the daughter of a Veteran” and all she would want to scream is “NO NO, I AM THE VETERAN” I am just as important and made similar sacrifices and suffered similar wounds. Ask me if I NEED Help. Thank ME for Serving……
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That really got to my Core. It made so much sense and I have to agree. Today was an amazing day to be amongst such strong women and to watch and listen to others lending an ear and helping hand.
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Chef and I are thankful for the opportunity to work with such wonderful people.
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Thanks for stopping by
D

In my Other Life

You know the “other” life. The one where i’m not married to a chef, a restaurant owner, an event planner, a wife and a mother…. I’m a photographer!!!
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Didn’t have much time to spend on my passion these past two years, so when the opportunity arose for me to immerse myself for a couple of days, you can only imagine my excitement..
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swans
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Fooling around a bit in the office now while waiting for Chef to finish organizing things for tomorrow’s Off-Premise Catering – Salute to Veteran Women.. We should be back to open up for dinner in the restaurant.. See you then

Thanks for stopping by
D

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