I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Showing posts with label Catering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catering. Show all posts

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Valentine's Day Catering

NYC Couples: Valentine's Day is just over a month away. It's time to start considering where you will make your reservation for a restaurant where you will be seated mere inches from the next couple over, where the server's job will be to push you out as fast as possible to get the next couple down, and the food will be overpriced because it's a "special day."

OR you can contact me and spend the night in the comfort of your own home, without the madness, with a delicious meal that you will only have to do minimal work to get on the table. Three courses (appetizer, entree with side, dessert) and wine, all of the prep work done, with detailed instructions on how to finish off the dinner in your kitchen. Perfect to impress a date or for those that want a home cooked meal but have to work all day.

Here's the details:
You will choose between the meat version and the vegetarian version. This time around I will only be offering these two meal choices, but in the future will be able to work on menus for those with allergy/diet restrictions. You will choose either a red, white or sparkling wine. I will purchase all of the ingredients needed, then do all of the prep work for you. I will deliver the food and wine to you on Valentine's Day. The appetizer and dessert for both meals will be fully prepared save for the plating. For the entree you will need to do a little bit of work to cook, but I will give you step-by-step instructions to get through the process. The cooking of the meal should take you no more than 15 minutes tops. You will serve the meal to your date, who will obviously be impressed by your kitchen prowess, meaning you will definitely get some action. You will call the next morning and thank me for the best Valentine's Day ever.

The Meat Option: $110 (will feed 2)

-Crostini with Whipped Ricotta and Olive-Tomato Tapenade

-Lamb Rib Chops with Pistou
Sauteed White Beans with Vegetables

-Salted Chocolate Mousse

-Red, White or Sparkling Wine

The Vegetarian Option: $100 (will feed 2)

-Crostini with Whipped Ricotta and Olive-Tomato Tapenade

-Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Orange Vinaigrette

-Salted Chocolate Mousse

-Red, White or Sparkling Wine

If interested, please contact me at sarahbodeclark at gmail dot com. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Birthday Party Catering

I've been fairly MIA lately, but with good reason. Last weekend I catered a birthday party for a friend of a friend. It was a gathering for 60 on a rooftop in downtown Manhattan with passed appetizers. I've been working my tail off with prep, shopping, cooking, worrying. Despite my nervousness at pulling off such a large event out of my tiny kitchen, things went really well and I think the food was a huge success. I want to send a special thank you out to the husband for being so supportive, as well as to Mary, Laura, Danny and Price for being amazing helpers the night of the event.

So you can get a taste of what was on offer, here is the menu for the night:

Parmesan and Rosemary Sables
Roasted Eggplant Crostini (topped with Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds)
Pea and Mint Crostini
Mini Gazpacho Shots
Port Soaked Prunes (stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto)
Shrimp "Cocktail" Skewers (cherry tomatoes soaked in a cocktail sauce broth and then skewered with shrimp)
Endive Boats (topped with a white bean and rosemary puree)
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas
Mini Fruit Pizzas (sugar cookie crusts topped with a cream cheese "sauce" and fruit)

Roasted Eggplant Crostini

Pea and Mint Crostini

Shrimp "Cocktail" Skewers
Endive Boats
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas
The one casualty of the night--a quart of gazpacho.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homemade Naan, Limoncello, and Oscar Goodies

February can be cruel to those who have made New Year's resolutions. After starting off strong in January, if you slack off at all on your goals February will make you pay for it by being a short month with fewer days to get in your efforts. This year I forced myself to stay focused to make sure I came out on top and didn't let this month win.

I actually got in two new things in the kitchen during February: homemade naan and homemade limoncello. Both are items that I have been telling myself I will make over and over again and never quite got around to them. Now that I have I'm not sure why I've put them off so long--they are both so simple and so delicious. The naan especially will wind up in my regular dinner rotation.

I used the recipe found over on Rasa Malaysia. The ingredients are simply mixed together, allowed to rest for a couple of hours, rolled out, and then cooked in a hot cast iron skillet. By covering the dough with a lid as soon as you place it in the pan you are rewarded with many airy bubbles on top, which you then toast quickly by flipping the pan over and holding it upside down over the flame on your gas stove top (the dough sticks to the cast iron with a quick brush of water before placing it there). Then you brush it with butter (I brushed mine with melted butter mixed with plenty of garlic) to finish and serve immediately. One of the easiest "breads" I've ever attempted. (and very tasty served alongside my curried chickpea salad)
Rolling out the dough
Covering the cast iron to help facilitate the air bubbles
Before the naan gets brushed with buttery goodness
As for the limoncello, the only problem with preparing it is having the patience to wait the couple of weeks before it is ready to go (and the patience needed while it is dripping slowly, so very slowly, through the filters to clarify it). I like the Serious Eats recipe for this refreshing Italian drink because I don't have a lemon peeler and it was so simple to just zest all of the lemons (the leftover lemon juice has been used in sauces, pastas, lemonade). This particular recipe is slightly too sweet for my tastes, but part of me believes this wouldn't be the case if I had actually been able to find Everclear instead of just using vodka (the extra sugar is probably a good balance for the high alcohol content/burn factor in the grain alcohol). I can't wait to try this recipe out with different varieties of citrus. And maybe gin instead of vodka?? (lim/gin-cello?? Sounds like a winner to me)

On a final note, I wanted to share the menu for my Oscar Party spread this year, as it turned out to be a hit (despite the party being a small one this time around):
Wild Mushroom Hummus
Baked Camembert (with Rosemary, Honey and Black Pepper)
Olive Sables
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
BBQ Popcorn

Friday, June 24, 2011

Craft Services, Wrapped

The final few days of shooting for Equity the Movie went by in a whirl of sleepless nights, hours in the kitchen, waiting around, friends, laughs, exhaustion, and good times.

Saturday evening I worked and then headed up to the shoot location in the Bronx to serve up a very late night meal of Wild Rice and Vegetable Soup and Broccoli, Raisin, Lemon Salad (the snacks out also included some snickerdoodles and beer cheese dip). I stuck around for the rest of the night to clean up and send along breakfast for the early morning shoot: muffin cup frittatas and bagels, and some Box 'o' Joes from Dunkin Donuts. Headed towards home at 7:30am.

Got in a couple of hours of sleep before starting all over again--a little bit of shopping and lots of cooking. Then waiting to load everything up into a car to lug off to the second shoot location in Brooklyn. This was definitely the toughest night for me, still feeling like I had so much to do and going on only about 3-4 hours of sleep. I was completely grumpy and no fun to be around, so after setting everything up for the shoot, I headed home for a bit of food, rest, and a glass of wine that was desperately needed. I admit that I had nothing of my own in the kitchen and there was no way I was cooking, so I ordered myself some delivery pizza. Just what I needed to come back to the set at 2am refreshed and ready to serve that night's meal: Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas; and a side of Pesto/Garlic Cannellini Beans. Again it was time for clean-up and prep for the morning breakfast that would be at Battery Park: Tortilla Espanola and bagels, fruit and iced coffee.
Shooting through the door.
We all had Monday night off, which I think was essential to the rest of the shoot. I spent most of the day cooking the meals for Tuesday but then got to spend the evening drinking beers with friends.
The sun rising (I hadn't been to bed yet).
Tuesday dawned--the final day of shooting. All of my prep work was done for the day so all I had to do was lug the food up to the Upper West Side, buy some more water and ice, and set up. Then I got to sit back and watch and enjoy for the rest of the day as we shot in and around Riverside Park. The first meal was in the director and lead actress' home: Focaccia "pizzas" and a Garbanzo Bean/Tomato/Olive Salad. It was a really nice meal as we all got to sit around in the same room, chat, and chill before the long day of shooting began.
Focaccia Bread "Pizzas"

I loaded up some snacks (including no-bake cookies and chex marshmallow treats) and the cooler of water and a small folding table to lug around to the different shooting locations for the day. I enjoyed being able to finally watch the filming happening, and actually got to jump in as an extra in one scene (my career will blossom as the "Jogger". Woohoo!). The final meal took place in the shadow of the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument in Riverside Park. What a beautiful part of town!! I was able to heat up the meal back at the apartment before bringing it over to the park: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos and Yellow Rice with Corn. As the sun set, I packed up all my gear and headed home. I was wrapped.
Getting the shot..maybe...
This was such an incredible learning experience for me. I overestimated the amount food on all the meals, but probably could have had more snacks in between. I did, however, get really great use out of a lot of leftover ingredients putting them into salads or onto the focaccia pizzas. I should have had some better options for coffee serving (perhaps buying a large coffee serving pot would be beneficial next time around). Next time I definitely need better transportation options (it's no fun lugging a table and food on the subway or a case of water, coke, and ice blocks without a cart, and it's hard when the timing of the group transport doesn't work out like it was supposed to). BUT I also learned that I am capable of serving 10-16 people 7 meals and lots of snacks over 5 days in multiple locations. I am pretty damn proud of that. And I will carry that with me for a long time to come.
Lovely place for a meal.
(Once some recipes I used are typed up they will make an appearance here. Stay tuned!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Craft Services, Step 3: After the First Night

It has been a whirlwind couple of days. At times it's been almost overwhelming, but thankfully I've still had fun (despite the anxiety riddled sleep, waking up multiple times thinking I'm forgetting something). I promise that I have a couple of actual recipe posts to put up here, but looks like they are going to have to wait until after the shoot.

Did a ton of shopping Tuesday and Wednesday, hitting up Trader Joe's, then the greenmarket, then the grocery store. The greenmarket was overflowing with bounty--it was hard to walk away with just what I needed. I was able to pick up a couple of extras though (including a fresh smoked cheese for the focaccia pizzas and some fava beans and garlic scapes for our own dinner). What a beautiful time of year to be at the market! At the grocery store I almost had a meltdown as I loaded up my cart with more and more items--it started to feel like way too much to do (and entirely too much to carry home). I parked my cart in the middle of an aisle, starting to feel the tightness in my chest of an impending panic attack, and texted Joe for some comfort, which was dutifully provided. Then one of the cashiers came to my rescue and told me of the free delivery they offer--thank god!
The state of my kitchen table.
Cooking went off without a hitch. Luckily I had that intricately planned out and was even ahead of schedule. The lasagna was oven-ready, salad greens washed and chopped, mini frittatas made, and soup ingredients cooked off and ready to be assembled on-site.
Lasagna with Rainbow Chard
Mini Frittatas
Friday came and it was time to load up into the car to the Bronx. Of course it started raining as soon as we started loading things out the door. Then it stopped for the (longest car ride of my life through terrible traffic) trip, and started down pouring once again once we were blocks from our unloading point. :::sigh::: With some wonderful help, we were unloaded quickly and I was able to get set up.
The crew at work.
The night passed in a flurry of friends old and new, last minute preparations, and then finally sitting down to the first meal: vegetarian lasagna with layers of rainbow chard and a salad of mixed greens, pomegranate, and sunflower seeds. The snacks were set out to keep the cast and crew going through the rest of the night's shoot, including a homemade hummus, party mix, and peanut butter cookies. Fed and (I'm pretty sure) happy, the crew set to work on the first shots of the film.
Snacks (despite my cooking efforts the Doritos were the most popular thing there)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Craft Services, Step 2

Shooting begins in less than a week for Equity the Movie, in which I will be the on-set caterer. What's the next step in my preparations? Freaking out.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I have spent so much time prepping, planning, organizing, going over details again and again in my head. I'm almost positive that I'm ready. It's just the thought of actually executing all those details that starts to get to me. I've prepared many meals for larger groups and once even catered an event for 90 with just one other person--but I've never had to cook for 10-12+ (up to 20 on one day!) multiple days in a row for multiple meals in multiple locations. But, I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the producers, director, and assistant director to nail down some final details and hopefully get the rest of my questions out of the way. The biggest things for me are making sure to know what time food should be ready (so they don't have to miss important filming time) and figuring out how to transport loads of food around the city. Then the week will be spent shopping and preparing any of the snacks I can make beforehand (trail mix and cookies, for instance). I will be double checking that I have all of the extras at hand (plates, flatware, loads and loads of coffee). I will be checking and double checking with my expenses, making sure to stay within budget. Then Friday I will be heading to the first set, food in hand, ready to serve it up for the first night of shooting! For all the fear, there's also a lot of excitement.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Artichoke Pesto

I think it's pretty apparent that I love to throw big dinner parties. I love the planning, the shopping, the lists, the days of prep work. All worth it for a lovely evening enjoying the thoughtfully prepared food with those you care about. However sometimes, there is nothing better than an informal, last minute, potluck gathering with a few of your close friends.

There's no special occasion except the rare day that you all happen to have off work. The texts go around in the morning discussing what time and where to meet up. And then you all come together with a mishmash of food and drink, and pass the day with good conversation and frequent laughter. No need for the stress of final preparations or the fear of a dish not turning out.

The simplest dishes work best for this type of gathering--usually including a stop by the market to pick up some cheese, meat and bread (plus some wine or beer). This time around I also wanted to include something with a little bit of veggies--I was thinking a simple salad, but then remembered this artichoke pesto I had purchased from the deli of a local grocery store a few weeks ago. The price tag was rather high for the prepared version, but the ingredients were straight-forward and uncomplicated, leading me to want to recreate it on my own. A quick chop of garlic and cheese, pop open the artichoke hearts, and then right into the food processor and it was ready to go. No fuss, no muss. Perfect for all of those last-minute gatherings this summer (and quite possibly a simple treat if you are needing snacks for a film you are catering??).

Artichoke Pesto
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. red pepper flakes

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Puree until it forms into a pesto-like consistency, adding more olive oil if necessary to thin it out. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with crackers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Craft Services, Step 1

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was asked to be the on-set caterer for Equity The Movie. I have spent much time lately getting myself prepared for the task.

My first line of business is the research phase. I've started off by contacting the cast and crew to find out food preferences/allergies. No point in planning a weeks worth of food that no one can eat! So far I know I have one vegetarian, one person who does not eat red meat, and one gluten-free individual. I could prepare separate meals for different people, but I feel overall it will be more cost effective to have one meal that fits everyone's preferences-- if at all possible. There may be times where this strays, but for the most part I'm sticking to this plan. Also, keeping things (at least mostly) vegetarian will also save some major bucks.

I also have been trying to work out all of small logistical details. When are we shooting? Where? Will I have access to a kitchen/power/fridge/etc.? How many full meals will be needed for each day? How many people will need to be fed? How will I transport everything? Do I need to find a table/coolers/etc.? A lot of these answers are still in the works as the film crew is still location scouting and working out the finer details for themselves. I do know, however, that the shoot will last 6-7 days towards the middle/end of June and I will be feeding around 10 people per day. I have a basic idea of the budget and know where at least 2 of the shoots are located (and have already cooked in the kitchen at one locale, fortunately). I'm trying to work around the rest of the questions as I wait for the answers to come in.

The majority of time has gone into brainstorming what I want to serve. I have lists and lists of foods for different meals and snacks, most vegetarian and many gluten free. I have spent a lot of time over at Gluten- Free Girl and Simply Gluten-Free to gather some ideas and to better understand gluten-free cooking. I have a file for recipes for the dishes that I've been hunting down so I can keep them all in one place. Since the executive producers would like the food to be as local and organic as possible, I'm also looking into what will be in season when we shoot and creating recipes with those in mind.

Next up I need to narrow down and decide on the basic outline of what I will serve each day so I can seek out prices and put together the budget. The budget is small, but any amount not spent on food will just go back into the film and getting it out to the world to be seen--so I'm trying my best to keep costs low! I need to make a couple of trips to markets to do some pricing to help make sure I'm keeping inbounds. I also need to start gathering all of the little items that will be necessary but are easy to get out of the way now: flatware, plates, cups, napkins, trash bags, towels and the like. With about five weeks left until the shoot begins, it's time to get down to business!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Equity The Movie

I am very excited to announce that this summer I will be acting as the on-set caterer for Equity the Movie. This is a project put together by a group of my very talented college friends. "A suspenseful drama, Equity is a timely and relevant short film that explores the endless sacrifices parents are forced to make in times of economic turmoil."

I am thrilled to be part of the crew. My job will be to provide meals and snacks to the cast and crew during the week of filming. The producers want to make the set a healthy one and do more than just order pizzas for the shoots so I will be working hard to provide healthy, organic, local (when possible) meals with a very limited budget. I will also have to work around and with the diets and restrictions of all of those involved. I am looking forward to the challenge! Over the next two months as I plan and prep for the shoot I will be blogging about the experience here, so continue to check in for reports.

Please head over to Equity the Movie to read about the film and to IndieGoGo to help donate to the project!