10 Must Have Ingredients for Your Kitchen

When it comes to Bay Area event planning, we find that ten basic ingredients are used over and over again. Therefore, we consider these ten ingredients to be a must in every kitchen. Since water has been determined to be the most used ingredient worldwide, we consider this to be a given. So, below, we offer our ten most essential ingredients every kitchen must have: Eggs – eggs are not only a meal, of sorts, that can come in many varieties: hardboiled, soft-boiled, scrambled and/or poached, eggs are also a staple found in most baked foods because of their binding quality and ability to provide moisture. Flour – what would the world of food be like without flour? Flour has been around since the most ancient of times and is used in such universal and timeless dishes as breads, crackers, cakes cookies, coatings and gravies. Very few baked items do not include flour. Oil – while oil provides moisture and is a binding ingredient, oil also provides texture, flavor and reduces elasticity in nearly every baked item. Oil also provides variety to the cooking process, specifically frying, deep-frying, stir-fried, and also frees other foods from sticking to the pan. ...

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Spring Catering in the Bay

Ideas That Resonate Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, you can wear your sandals again without unwelcome judgment from passerby — spring is here! What better way to ring in the new season than by throwing a springtime celebration? Answer: there is no better way. It was a rhetorical question. Read on for some ideas to keep your next party as fresh as the new leaves.   Keep it green. This one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s swept under the rug in the pursuit of an extravagant, up-to-trend party, even in the environmentally-conscious Bay Area. But there’s no need to sacrifice flavor, fun or creativity for the sake of environmental friendliness — find you a catering company that can do both! Handheld Catering is the perfect choice for sustainable, delicious and beautifully-prepared Palo Alto catering. Their farm-to-table approach to dining ensures your food this spring is as kind to the earth as the earth is to you.   Take advantage of re-opening farmers’ markets. Warmer weather means farmers’ markets are opening back up all across the country. Let your countrymen have their fun, and try your best not to brag about California’s unbeatable produce. Bay Area residents certainly know...

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What Does ‘Farm-to-Table’ Really Mean?

Farm-to-Table Food Doesn't Necessarily Mean Organic or Non-GMO Over the past decade, thanks to books like Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories and documentaries like Food Inc. and That Sugar Film, more and more consumers have begun to question where and how their food is grown. In response, the food, event catering and restaurant industries are rushing to evolve to meet this need for “real food” which has come to include farm to table, organic food, and foods free of genetically modified ingredients. The so-called Farm-to-Table movement began with the goal of eliminating as many steps as possible between the farmer and the consumer. However, there are two distinct views as to what Farm-to-Table actually means. Traditional Farm to Table This is the most literal definition of the term. Caterers and restaurants who offer traditional Farm-to-Table meals will: Purchase food that is locally grown, often within a set radius such as 100 or 200 miles. Change their menus with the seasons, since only seasonally available produce is used. Use organic foods as much as possible. (This depends on the chef.) Many of the best catering businesses and restaurants follow this practice. Pragmatic Farm to Table Other chefs are less...

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event catering bay area

Fall Wedding Catering for Bay Area Foodies

Wedding Catering Should Take Advantage of Fall Produce Although we’re entering the heart of the summer, autumn beckons around the corner with its colorful leaves, brisk breezes and cool nights. Especially in the beautiful Bay Area, fall can be the perfect time to host a wedding. Here’s a nice plus: if you’re a foodie planning a wedding during this season, your catering options are virtually limitless. Below are some ideas to consider as you game out your wedding menu. 1. Autumn-Themed Appetizers. Consider soups that include squash or other fall vegetables. If you would rather serve a salad, opt for salads with fall toppings, such as cranberries or pumpkin seeds. The best event catering companies should be familiar with these types of dishes and be able to create flexible and even spontaneous menus. Just be sure to taste samples before you make your final choices! 2. Entrees. For fall weddings, you can choose to serve traditional entrees, such as salmon, steak or chicken. However, you can also opt for something more “harvest season oriented,” such as Cornish hens or veal. Serve the meal with a fall-friendly side, such as candied carrots, cinnamon apples or sweet potatoes. 3. Desserts. As you consider the dessert options provided by your wedding catering...

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How to Pick Fresh Fruit & Veggies at a Farmer’s Market

The Benefits of Using Local Produce When Catering Events  Our commitment to using locally grown food enables us to provide nutritious and delicious results when event catering in the Bay Area and surrounding neighborhoods. Thanks to the many farmer’s markets across the region, every meal we prepare offers a fresh and unique appeal that is specific to great California cuisine. For large parties that require corporate catering in the Bay Area, our chef makes multiple stops to the farmer’s market so that the quality of food remains high, and does not take on a “commercialized” taste. While we are trained to know what to look for when selecting food at a farmer’s market, more often than not, people go to the farmer’s market unaware of the best things to purchase and avoid. We have put together a short, comprehensive list so you can know exactly to look for (and avoid) the next time you visit the local farmer’s market: Bell Peppers Surprisingly, green bell peppers have as many antioxidants as their red and yellow siblings, but tend to be cheaper. Why not “go green,” and save a few extra dollars? Your pocket-book will thank you, and you’ll still enjoy almost an equal amount of nutritional...

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Bay Area Fresh Seasonal Catering

Benefits of Buying Fresh, Local Produce

Best Bay Area Catering Ingredients Purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables offers more than nutritional benefits; it helps stimulate the local economy. Local foods require less processing and shipping time, and they work as a fresh alternative to grocery store produce, which may be weeks old by the time it hits shelves. Read on for more reasons smart shoppers (and catering companies) choose to buy local. Improved Taste Locally grown foods provide the opportunity to taste fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness. Unlike produce shipped from other states (or countries), local foods boast rich, crisp flavors unaffected by pests or decay. Environmentally Friendly Making the decision to buy locally grown decreases your family’s environmental footprint. Since foods grown locally do not require storage, chemical treatments, or long-distance shipping, you reduce the time, money, and resources invested in the process. Supports Local Community Cultivating local produce helps build the community. By buying from local businesses and farmers, consumers and caterers put approximately 300% more money back into the local economy than they do when they purchase imported foodstuffs. Hire the Right Local Event Catering Company A Bay Area catering business committed to using fresh, local products and supporting farmers and growers, Handheld Catering believes food should be served...

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Is Organic Food Better for You Than Conventionally Grown Food?

Organic Catering In The Bay Area The best catering companies in the Bay Area know that events aren’t just about providing exquisite food and fine service. When you host an event, you want your guests to enjoy food that isn’t simply a "step up" from the mundane. The food should be healthy and nutritious -- a real treat, in every sense of the word. But does the food need to be organic, specifically? Arguments abound on both sides, but we believe the answer is a resounding "yes." Here are several reasons why you should consider organic event catering for your next function: Organic Food Contains More Antioxidants Fruits and vegetables grown using organic methods contain higher values of cancer-fighting antioxidants than their conventional counterparts do. In some cases, as much as 60% more antioxidants! So why not give your guests the nutrition they need to counteract any overindulgence! Organic Food Contains Fewer Pesticides and Antibiotics The best catering experience features both excellent nutrition and quality food. Organic meats and produce are not exposed to antibiotics or pesticides which can have harmful effects on the human body. Let your guests know you have their best interests at heart by reducing their exposure to excess pesticides, antibiotics,...

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