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What are the Supper Friends saying?

May 21, 2012

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“We had such a great time last night!  The food was delicious and as a “newbie” we were welcomed with open arms!  Look forward to attending another soon.”

– Karen Larissa Nicholson

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This past weekend was a busy one at 2 Dine 4.  The Hays County Cattle Baron’s Ball on Saturday, a wedding at beautiful Camp Lucy in Wimberley on Sunday and not one, but TWO, Supper Friends dinners featuring Chef Jeff Ulrich where we made new Supper Friends like Karen.  Welcome, Karen!  We look forward to seeing you at Supper Friends again soon, too.

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Vision of Love

May 19, 2012
Katie’s first experience with 2 Dine 4 came at an event that we catered in conjunction with her work.   When she made the decision to get married at The Wild Onion Ranch and discovered that we were the preferred caterer there she knew she was in good hands.  After reviewing the customized proposal that we did for her that featured several sample menus, and attending a Supper Friends dinner along with her parents, she decided on the following menu:

 

Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Achiote Grilled Shrimp Tostada with Black Bean Puree and Nuevo Guacamole
Griddled Spinach, Black Bean & Cheese Flautas
Pork & Green Chile Empanadas with Cilantro Aioli
Reception Buffet Dinner
Butter Lettuce Salad with Avocado, Feta and Sangria Onions tossed in Red Wine Vinaigrette
Braised Beef Brisket with Guajillo Barbecue Sauce and Goat Cheese Crema
Smoked Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Mango Pico de Gallo
Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad with Honey, Lime & Cilantro Dressing
White Cheddar & Chipotle Mashed Potatoes
Smoked Vegetables in Herbed Sherry Vinaigrette
Cornbread Muffins and Spanish Foccacia

 

Katie is a designer and when she came to us to discuss catering hers and David’s wedding it was clear she had a vision.  Of course, a big part of what we do is help people realize their vision, which extends beyond just what’s being served on the buffet and at the bar.  Our event planners work with a wide range of vendors to help our clients select a flattering flatware pattern, a perfect plate or a glorious glass to complement a signature cocktail.  Prickly Pear Margaritas, you say?  Bolero glasses all the way!

 

When we had our initial meeting Katie explained to me that they would not be needing any linens.  None.  She went on to tell me that her aunt would be making all the linens, for the guest tables, buffets, satellite bars, as well as the the toppers and runners.  “Well, you’ll be needing napkins, correct?” I asked.  “No napkins, its crazy, but my aunt has made 250 green napkins in the perfect shade!”  Now THAT is commitment to a vision.   And lots of time spent sitting in front of a sewing machine.

 

The result?  Check it out for yourself in the most recent edition of The Knot:

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Photos courtesy of Eclectic Images Photography

 

Shortly after the wedding we received the following email from Katie’s mother:

“I can not express to you how much I appreciate all of the work you and your staff provided for Katie and David’s wedding.  What a beautiful presentation you provided.  I kept hearing everyone talk about how fresh and tasteful the dinner was. I saw plates that were full to the brim and it got a little quiet when they all sat down.   We could not be happier with the way everything turned out. 
 
We hope that you and your staff at “2 DINE 4” will continue to have many more successes in the catering business.  You truly do shine in the industry.  I am so glad that Katie picked you all for such an important feature of her wedding. 
 
Thanks again for making us feel that we were your most important wedding ever.”

What are the Supper Friends saying?

May 12, 2012

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“It was a great evening and every bite was outstanding.   Can’t wait to come again.”

Jennie and Tom

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And here are just a few of those outstanding bites; Smoked Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Goat Cheese, Pears & Pecans with Fig Sauce, Braised Swoop Garden Greens & Mashed Sweet Potatoes to be exact.

We’d show you a photo of what was served for dessert,  Banana Cream Pie with Peanut Butter Mousse & Dark Chocolate Ganache, but that would border on being mean.

When Worlds Collide… with Delicious Results

May 9, 2012

One of the most enjoyable aspects of planning any wedding is creating a menu that’s a reflection of the bride and groom.  After all, the food we enjoy says a lot about who we are, where we come from and what’s important to us.  Yes, Mac-n-Cheese is important; don’t even try to pretend it’s not.

What makes the menu planning process even more enjoyable is when the future Mr. & Mrs. Foodie come from different culinary backgrounds and they want to show off the best that each world has to offer.

Such was the case with Anna Bell and Bert.  In her first email to us Anna Bell wrote, “2 Dine4 was recommended to me as a stellar caterer with impeccable service. Because my fiancee is from Georgia and the Carolinas, we want to incorporate Texas and Southern cuisine in a fun, stylish way. Also, as a former employee of Cippolina from many years ago, I am a huge fan of Chef Chris’s cooking!”

Working with that in mind, plus a few additional suggestions from the bride (BACON!), Chef Chris came up with the following menu.  Can you guess which buffet was marked “His” and which one was “Hers”?

Passed Hors d’oeuvres

Warm St. Andre on Spanish Olive Oil Torta with Jalapeno-Red Onion Relish

Grilled  Pimento Cheese Panini on Homemade Foccacia Bread

Green Chile Pork Empanada with Cilantro-Poblano Pesto

Candied Bacon Skewers

Heavy Hors d’Oeuvre Station 1

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Tacos with Goat Cheese Crema, Poblano Rajas and Cilantro-Sesame Cole Slaw served in a Snow Cone Cup

Grilled Shrimp on Smoked Tomato Grits Cake with Creole Sauce

Mushroom Ajillo Empanada with Salsa Negra Aioli

Yukon Gold Mashed Potato Fritters stuffed with Aged Cheddar Cheese

Heavy Hors d’Oeuvre Station 2

Butter Lettuce Salad with Avocado, Grapefruit, Sangria Onions and Candied Pistachios tossed in Citrus Vinaigrette

Green Bean Bundles wrapped in Serrano Ham with Shiitake Mushrooms and Crispy Leeks

 Gougeres filled with Pulled Pork Barbecue and Queso Oaxaca

Petit Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich on Homemade Roll with Creole Cream Gravy and Cornichon

Fresh Vegetable Crudités with Chipotle Ranch and Green Chile Hummus

Homemade Cornbread and Sweet Yeast Rolls

What does CANDIED BACON, on a stick no less, say about a person?  It says that you, sir or madam, have your priorities in order.  Who cares what The Most Interesting Man in the World drinks?  Does he like Candied Bacon?  If he does not, he ceases to be The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Epilogue:   These days Bert and Anna Bell call Washington D.C. home, but the last time they were visiting Austin Anna Bell requested that we recreate some of their favorite dishes from their wedding reception for friends and family who had gathered at her parent’s home for the holidays.  What a wonderful way to relive a memorable moment and enjoy the food that helped make it so.

Allan House Wedding

May 6, 2012

It’s always a delight being at the Allan House, a beautiful Victorian home located  in the heart of downtown Austin.  2 Dine 4 is privileged to be one of the preferred professionals that the folks at the Allan House trust to treat this turn-of-the century treasure with the care and respect it deserves.

And we were even more privileged to have been selected by Wenny and Steve to cater their wedding there recently.  Wenny and Steve came to a Supper Friends dinner and after experiencing an evening of fine food and enlightened hospitality they knew they had found their caterer.

Wenny and Steve enjoy good food and so composing the perfect menu was very important to them.   Working closely with their event planner and Chef Chris they came up with a menu that would delight both them and their guests.

Passed Hors d’oeuvres

                 Gougeres of Duck Confit with Cherry Compote and Arugula Sprouts

              Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Tostada with Marinated Cucumbers & Wasabi Guacamole

Dinner Buffet

Arugula and Baby Spinach Salad with Pumpernickel Croutons, Toasted Caraway, Gorgonzola, Heirloom Tomatoes and Sake Pickled Onions

Oven Poached Atlantic Salmon with Ginger Lobster Sauce & Crispy Leeks

Beef Shortribs en Daube with Baby Zucchini and Roasted Pearl Onions

       Potatoes Lyonnaise

Ratatouille of Fresh Garden Vegetables

Freshly Baked Focaccia Bread

With a menu like that it wasn’t surprising that several guests made more than one trip to the buffet which is always the ultimate compliment!

Many thanks to Wenny and Steve for allowing us to be a such an important part of their big day. And we look forward to the next opportunity to spend another charming evening under the majestic oaks of the Allan House.

 

Okie Dokie, Artichokie

May 2, 2012

While these did not spring forth from the compost pile at the SWOOP House they are without a doubt one of the most striking additions to the gardens there.

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If I was camping overnight in a field of artichokes I think I’d sleep with one eye open, wouldn’t you?  Feed me, Seymour!

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Look at those blooms!   MAGNIFICENT!

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Fun Facts About Artichokes

  • Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to man. Zeus was said to have turned a scorned lover into an artichoke.
  • In 1948, a young Marilyn Monroe (then Norma Jean) was crowned Castroville‘s first “Artichoke Queen.”
  • Artichokes are said to be aphrodisiacs.
  • Technically, an artichoke is a flower.
  • In full growth, an artichoke plant can spread nine feet in diameter and stand five feet tall, and one plant can produce over 20 artichokes a year.
  • Baby artichokes are simply normal artichoke buds that grow lower on primary artichoke stalks.
  • Americans are divided on the artichoke’s favorite sidekick. Eastern state residents prefer butter while Western region residents opt for mayonnaise or aioli (garlic mayonnaise).
  • Artichokes are a significant source of vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium. Virtually fat-free, the artichoke weighs in at 25 calories (per medium artichoke) and is low in sodium.

SWOOP House Gardens

April 24, 2012


Like most gardens this time of year those at the SWOOP House are beginning to take off.  But would you believe that all of the plantings that you see in these pictures came not from a nursery, not from a seed packet, but from our very own compost pile?

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To compost pile at the SWOOP House is not just a pile, it is a pile with style!   Behold:

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Just like with mullets and El Caminos, all the action happens in the back.  These are tomato plants whose forefathers were composted only to rise again another day in the form of beautiful healthy new plants.

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It won’t be long before Chef Chris will be coming up with a myriad of creative menu ideas using all the fresh vine-ripened tomatoes that will be harvested from the SWOOP House gardens.  It will be a veritable Tomatothon of epic proportions and YOU will be invited to take part.  Look for the  Supper Friends dinner invitations featuring dishes made with our very own home grown produce coming soon!