Saturday, December 31, 2011

Picnics Caprese Appetizers

Like all things caprese? Just grab a glass and make these great 'shooters.'  Mozzarella, tomato, some basil, and Caesar or Asiago cheese croutons with red wine vinaigrette.  A great marriage of flavors.  What better thing to serve at a wedding?  Cool, tasty, and easy to serve (and consume!)

If you're doing this outdoors consider using tiny plastic 'glasses' I used some tiny glasses I had at home but plastic is certainly doable. 

These are easy for your caterer (or Aunt Mary) to set up quickly, and don't have to be served but can be displayed on a picnic table with some crisp white napery showing off the colors and textures.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

S'More Cups

Photo and recipe from Cookie Sheets and Cake Pans

OK, I don't know anyone who doesn't absolutely love the taste of S'Mores--do you?  So what could be more perfect for a sweet table at your wedding than these easy to make S'More Cups for Cookie Sheets and Cake Pans?  Previously posted from Pinterest and Texas Cottage believed to originally be from Pampered Chef's Recipes.

7 whole graham crackers (1 cup finely crushed)
1/4 c powdered sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted
3 (1.55 oz) Hershey bars
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°. Crush graham crackers in plastic bag, and mix with powdered sugar and melted butter in small bowl.

Place 1 TBSP of crumb mixture into the bottom of mini muffin pans (makes enough for 24). Press crumbs down with back of measuring spoon to create a shallow cup. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling.

In the meantime, break 2 of the Hershey bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven and place one rectangle into each cup.

Cut large marshmallows in half crosswise using kitchen shears and dipping them in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows start to puff up.

Remove from oven to cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove s'more cups from pan. Cool completely for 40-60 minutes.

Melt remaining Hershey bar in microwavable bowl (melt for about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds). Dip tops of s'more cups in chocolate and allow to cool.

Makes 24.

Comments from the cook: It was less expensive to buy one jumbo Hershey bar, so that's what I used. I cut each rectangle in half, and used small squares in each s'more cup...and they didn't seem short on chocolate at all :) I also chose to flick the chocolate across the top instead of dipping them.

These were amazing right after baking/cooling, and were also pretty good the next day (after being rewarmed in the oven for a few minutes).

If you use the Pampered Chef Link it will take you to all the products necessary to make these bites of heaven if you can't find them at home or at your local store.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wine At Your Wedding They'll Remember!

Photo courtesy of Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife
Photos of PSMM  Cyber Monday Party

Looking for a great way to serve wine at your picnic wedding?  Try PDX Vineyards  vineyards.  They package 5 wines in a 'paint can' complete with a push button pour spout.  Paradox is run by physicians who've moved into the world of wine. 

Located in Chester County PA Paradocx presents wines without pretense to be enjoyed by everyone.  No corks to uncork, no fancy bottles and labels, just a simple paint can and a push button spout to prevent spillage.  Paradocx wines aren't your Boone's Farm level wine, rather it's premium wine (about 4.5 bottles of 3.5 liters in each paint can) in an easy serve container. 

For more information about Paradocx Vineyard, directions and operating hours, please visit their web site or call 610-255-5684.

Paradox was nice enough to provide some 'cans' of wine for the PSMM Cyber Monday party at Dave & Buster's last week that I attended. The Philly Social Media Moms, a.k.a. PSMM, are a highly influential group of women in the tri-state Philadelphia area who write blogs or have resource websites and who are active in a variety of forms of social media on both local and national levels. If you're looking for a way to promote your products these ladies have mastered the art of getting the word out.  These are women with power on the net!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Refreshing Salad for Summer Weddings

This fresh tasting salad is based on a recipe from Mark Bitterman's 101 Days of Summer.  He suggests making a peach and tomato salad with slivers of red onion, chile flakes and cilantro tossed in a lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette, I picked up this recipe from Cupcakes and Cashmere she suggests adding avocado for a creamy texture.  The final result? A light and refreshing salad bursting with flavor and tremendous depth perfect for a summer outdoor wedding-picnic style! (Photos courtesy of Cupcakes and Cashmere). 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beet Citrus Salad - The Wow First Course

This Beet-Citrus salad from Martha Stewart Weddings will wow your guests as you serve it for your first course. The salad consists of thinly slice bright and beautiful beets, sliced orange, ricotta, arugula, and black walnuts.  Perfect to serve at a picnic wedding if you allow guests to self serve themselves from a large bowl or served on classic china at a black tie affair.  The flavors and the presentation will make your guests sit up and take notice whenever and wherever you serve it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grilled Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flat Bread

Grilling at your picnic wedding?  This is the perfect appetizer to make on your grill.  The recipe for Grilled Warm Fig and Gorgonzola Flat Bread is from Steamy Kitchen and I guarantee you'll fall in love with this treat.  It's the perfect appetizer to serve at a picnic wedding.  Just cut in bite size pieces after grilling and serve. (Be sure to have lots of napkins, it can get a little sticky!)

There are some shortcuts to this recipe, one of which is to buy pre-made dough, so much easier than making your own! Why go to the bother of messing up your kitchen with all the flour when most grocery stores sell great dough?

Another shortcut for those of you who aren't into huge chunks of figs--buy some fig jam and spead it on the flat bread. (Imagine the filling in Fig Newton's).  You can buy this in Whole Foods Markets but if you have a Home Goods or similar store they often have the jam at a great price and in larger jars.  You can also purchase you honey at Home Goods or try your favorite wholesale club. 

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmegiano-Reggiano), shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.
Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.
If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.
Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.

Let me know how you like this appetizer.  It's one of our favorites for any kind of entertaining.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finger Foods For A Crowd

Planning finger foods for a crowd is always tricky, especially if you want something different than your usual plain crudites.  These fancy finger foods for a crowd ideas are courtesy of the great site, Everybody Loves Sandwiches.  They have the full recipe for you and I love reading the comments of how other cooks have adapted each recipe. 

Up close and personal looks at these pretty finger foods are making me hungry even though it's the middle of the night as I write this and closer to breakfast foods than midday or later when you'd normally eat these beauties. 

These recipes are basically green beans or fresh baby asparagus wrapped in westfalian ham or prosciutto.  Shop Costco or other warehouse store for the best prices on the ham. Be sure to make the reduction sauce that goes over the top of these great veggie treats.

Last on the list of fun finger foods are these goat cheese stuffed dates! Oh WOW! Don't taste test these while you're making them... they're like those chips, 'bet you can't eat just one!' 

If you're looking for some great nuts to add to this recipe, Sante Specialty Foods makes some incredible candied walnuts that will send this recipe over the top.  As if the goat cheese and date combo wasn't enough to turn you into a finger food addict, the addition of Sante's nuts take any recipe from pedestrian to uber gourmet.  (Please note, several months ago Sante sent me samples of their nuts to try, they asked me to review their product.  Although the samples were free and given in exchange for my reviewing them, my opinions about products I review is my own and not swayed by their providing the free product.)

You can also add Sante nuts to your table of finger foods (try the Wasabi Almonds) for some crunchy snacks that will wow your guests. This is the link to their site. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Fruit to Nuts!

Yes, I know, it doesn't look like your typical wedding cake.  But a picnic wedding calls for creative cooking!

This Strawberry-Pistachio Tart (you have to log in to get to the recipe) by Martha Stewart is pretty and it will hold up to the rigors of being transported to an outdoor venue.  Follow the link to Martha's site for the complete recipe.  Serve it at your wedding or use for a wedding shower, either way you will wow your guests with this unique combination of luscious red strawberries, crunchy pistachios, and puff pastry.  I almost hate writing this post because it makes me want to abandon my computer and head to the kitchen!

If you're looking for an alternative to pretty watermelon desserts or just another option, try this out.  And hold onto the recipe for your recipe box for when you're a newlywed and need to bring something pretty to a party!  Warning: Some states don't allow the sale of green pistachios, which may result in a dessert that isn't quite as attractive as the one above. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Glitterberries--Come On, You Know You Want To Read On!

Dip your bite-size fresh strawberries in melted white chocolate, roll in some colored sugar or jimmies(read other DIY post on how to make your own boutique color jimmies to match you wedding colors) and voila! Pretty chocolate covered strawberries with 'glitter' look from colored sugar.  You can get gold or silver colored sugar (I picked some up in Home Goods) which looks nice too! Photo courtesy of Calligraphy by Jennifer's post on Facebook.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Salad For An Summer Wedding

This thin sliced watermelon salad recipe is courtesy of The Telegraph.  First layer thin slices of watermelon, add crumbled feta cheese, some ripped mint leaves and mild red chopped chillis.  Pour some extra virgin olive oil and you're finished! See the exact link following the Telegraph link above.
Serve at your wedding, rehersal dinner or shower to wow your guests.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cake That Won't Melt for Picnic Weddings

Martha Stewart's Watermelon Cake is perfect for picnic weddings.  A slice of seedless watermelon with melon balls heaped on top are the cool and refreshing ingredients for this whimsical and picnic-friendly cake.  No sugar or flour needed!  Refreshing and cool for your guests.  Or if you don't want to use it as your wedding cake because you are set on having a white sugary cake serve offer it in lieu of fruit cup!  You can use all watermelon balls on top of it, or add honeydew and cantelope for more color.  Enjoy!

Directions on Martha's web site linked above.  Consider spiking the watermelon balls -- OK, I admit, my idea, not Martha's!  But it would make a nice dessert for an outdoor wedding.

Rustic Cheeseboard For Picnic Weddings

Ilene from Come On ilene! wrote a great DIY project guest post for Pizzazzerie.  She documents this easy but great looking rustic cheese board DIY project!  It's also posted on DIY Weddings-The Blog for Brides Who Know What They Want and Want to Do It Themselves

This project needs just two items--a piece of slate and some self-adhesive felt pads.  That's it! Project complete except for the cheese!  For specific directions on what slate to buy etc. head to either Pizzazzerie or Come on ilene!'s web sites linked above. 

For an added rustic touch use a piece of chalk to identify each cheese.  Again, simple but easy! And perfect for a rustic picnic wedding. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Serve Shaved Fennel and Strawberry Salad At Your Picnic Wedding

Looking for a different salad to serve at a picnic wedding?  Why not try this take off on a classic form CHOW.  It features some of my favorite combos of strawberries and balsamic vinegar.  Here they are moved from a glam dessert to your salad course.  I love a creative salad at a wedding and a cool salad at a wedding is a must.  Add some shaved fennel, salty Pecorino Romano cheese and pine nuts and you have a Wow! combo.   Even if you aren't planning a picnic wedding this is a great salad for your wedding shower or any wedding.  Photo by Christine Gallery from CHOW. 

Total: Under 5 mins
Makes: 6 servings

2 tablespoons minced shallots
4 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium head fennel, halved, cored, and cut crosswise into paper-thin slices
5 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved into thin strips

1. Place the shallots, both vinegars, the measured salt, and the pepper in a medium, nonreactive bowl.
While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated, about 1

2. Place the fennel in a large bowl, season with salt, and stir to coat. Add the arugula,
strawberries, and pine nuts and gently toss to combine. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Add the Pecorino Romano, tossing lightly (so as
not to break up the cheese) until just incorporated.

Visit CHOW for other great ideas for wedding recipes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Just wanted to wish all my readers a Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy your cookouts or beach trips or the day at the pool. See you tomorrow! Nancy&Bill

Monday, May 9, 2011

DIY Lemonade Labels

Planning on serving lemonade at your wedding? Download these creative labels from 'I Do' It Yourself.  The labels are customized with your names and the date of your wedding.  The labels have a vintage look with an ingredient list that reads: "Ingredients for a happy marriage: love 25%, laughter 25%, friendship 25%, and fun 25%."  The PDF file for these labels have a vintage look and have designs for fresh lemonade, limeade and pink lemonade.  Visit their web site for more great DIY ideas for your wedding. 

Games at Your Wedding

Planning a picnic wedding? Consider adding some fun games for your guests to play duing the cocktail hour and beyond.  These games aren't just for kids anymore!  Try a variety of lawn games from croquet to cornhole (shown above). Photographer: Shyla Photography.  How do you play cornhole? Cornhole is similar to horseshoes.  You toss beanbags and try to get them through the hole or as close to the hole as possible on top of the board.  The photo above features the bride and groom's silhouettes with the hole above their heads. 
Of course some brides prefer the tried and true croquet.  What guest didn't grow up playing this game?
For the hardened croquet addict host your reception at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach.  It's the largest croquet center in the world so for the croquet addict it's the perfect reception venue!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Serving Food At Your Picnic Wedding

So you've decided to have a picnic wedding, some fancy sandwiches, salads, side dishes, but how are you going to serve your food?  One way is to pre-pack lunch bags like the one above.  These make it easy to transport food and give your guests a eco-friendly wedding favor. 

Some DIY experts could make their own patterns, but those of us with less expertise will love the directions and pattern available at Haberman Fabric's web site. Yet another easy DIY project brought to you by The Wedding Queen's DIY Weddings blog.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

High Heel Disaster Diverted!

If you're planning on having an outdoor ceremony or reception, or are even taking photos on the lawn, consider puchasing a pair of Clean Heels Heel Stoppers to protect your shoes from the inevitable sinking into the ground that happens when you wear a pair of high heels on the grass. 

These plastic heel protectors, some with a little bling added, not only protect your heels from dirt but keep them from sinking into the park lawn or the golf course where you are having you photos taken.  Thanks to Belle Divine brides no longer have to worry about sinking in the dirt!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not Into Candy Buffets? Try This

Esther Kim -- My Bride Story had this fabulous idea for a fruit and veggie bar. I love the idea of a healthy alternative to a candy bar and the bright colors really draw the eye.

Add dips and smoothies to add more texture to the display. If you MUST have sweets add some chocolate to dip your fruit into. Photo Credits: Serena Grace.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Watermelon With A Twist

Thanks to Carl Dean Hedin with Abigail Kirsch for sharing these.

If you're having an outdoor wedding serve these refreshing watermelon appetizers by Abigail Kirsch.  They are cubes of watermelon, topped with a dollop of balsamic syrup, sea salt, and a small topping of whipped cream Gorgonzola.  My mouth is watering as I type this!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dessert and Cheese Course in One!

Photo and recipe from:

Your favorite brie, fresh strawberries, a sprig of mint and this sweet mouthful can serve as a cheese and dessert course in one! Even the cooking challenged bride (or her mother) can pull these together.  All you need to do is be able to wield a knife, wash strawberries and trim the mint and join them all on a single decorative toothpick! Simple and sweet. What more could you ask?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shredded Red Cabbage Salad with Pistachios (Are You Hungry Yet?)

Recipe and photo courtesy of
 The Cilantropist at

This simple but colorful recipe is easy to prepare and perfect for a picnic wedding.  You can serve it in the leaves of the cabbage for the perfect side for a 'green wedding.'  The Cilantropist adapted her recipe from James Peterson's Cooking.  The crunch of the cabbage and the nuts make this a 'must save' recipe even if you aren't planning a picnic wedding.  It's also a perfect outdoor slaw--NO MAYO! Enjoy! 

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Cilantropist at

For other James Peterson recipes you can order his book at or purchase it your local bookstore.
James Peterson Cookbook photo courtesy of

Individual Desserts Cool and Refresh Your Guests

Looking for a cool but easy dessert for a picnic wedding (or any other wedding for that matter), consider these individual dessert glasses filled with strawberry shortcake and whipped cream.  Fresh strawberries and sponge cake are a refreshing change from heavy wedding cake, and your guests are sure to enjoy it.  You don't have to just serve one type of singe serve dessert, you can have a dessert table that offers your guests a wide array of desserts and sweets.

Cherry Tomatoes - Bocconcini Lollipops

Photo and recipe from:

Looking for something a little different for an appetizer? Try this easy to make but attractive recipe that is based on caprese salad. This pairing of mozzarella and tomatoes is a perfect combination for picnic weddings or appetizers anytime of year.

Photos courtesy of Dahan Caterers Washington DC

Moogie from Moogie and Pap's web site suggests using black rice inside a tall glass to stabilize the skewers, but you could easily serve this on a base of seen above of grass, inserting the skewer into the field of green.


12 cherry tomatoes (stems removed) You can use regular cherry tomatoes or Trader Joe's sells heirloom cherry tomatoes.

12 bocconcine (baby Mozzarella)

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. With a sharp knife, remove the top 1/4 inch of each tomato.

2. Skewer the bottom of each tomato with a large wooden or bamboo skewer. For the most eye-catching presentation, stand the lollipops in tall glasses. (I put black rice inside my glass to help stabilize the lollipops)

3. In a bowl, combine the seasoning and olive oil, and parsley. Drizzle a little over each tomato before serving.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Colorful Lemonades

Looking for an unusual lemonade to serve at at your picnic wedding or summer outdoor wedding? Try Hot Pink Lemonade or Cucumber Lemonade.

Photos and recipes at:

Cucumber is the perfect complement to the traditional summer lemonade. Display it in the pitcher with cucumber and/or lemon slices.
Cucumber Lemonade in a punch bowl

Hot Pink Lemonade is a refreshing, fun recipe for blueberry lemonade! Tart and sweet with a boost of antioxidants from the blueberries and pretty for a wedding.  Serve Meyer Lemonade, Cucumber and Hot Pink Lemonade in clear drink dispensers for a great ade bar.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Looking For the Ultimate Backyard BBQ Experience?

Photo courtesy of The Windmill's web site

I'm not sure if any of you summer near Long Branch NJ but if you do I'm sure you have spent many days/evenings pigging out at The Windmill.  The Windmill is now offering to provide their gourmet BBQ food for an ultimate backyard BBQ experience.  They offer the WindMill's famous Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and To Die For Cheese Fries in you own backyard! Their professional catering staff will help create the ultimate experience for your guests and guarantees that everyone will be satisfied.  Best of all they offer three hours of unlimited food for 29.95 per person with a 50 person minimum.  So if you're planning a picnic wedding or backyard BBQ give The Windmill a call.  For more info check out their web site at

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wedding Picnics

All photos courtesy of ://

Having a casual wedding in the backyard or park? Nina at Designs by Nina posted these great ideas to inspire you to make your own wedding unique.

Love the pink lemonade served in bottles with straws and the Brownie Pops look so good!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Planning a Wedding Tea or Picnic?

Cucumber Water (stock photo)

If you are unsure what to serve for drinks consider these options: Champagne and Pomegranate Cocktails, Cucumber Water, Lemon Water, Other Citrus flavored waters, Pink Lemonade with Kiwi and Vodka, Bellini's, Mimosas, and Herbal Teas with Citrus.  All are cool and refreshing options for any wedding tea or picnic.

Champagne and Pomegranate Cocktails
Photo Courtesy of:

Bellini Cocktail Courtesy of

Lemon Water Courtesy of: MartySQ