Menu Planning :: Making the most of the seasons


Fall is officially here, even if the temps aren’t quite cooperating yet. And with that we have been dreaming of our favorite fall food staples. This is by far my favorite culinary season with so many deep flavor options. With apples and figs to wild mushrooms and every kind of squash you can dream up at their peak, the possibilities are endless! In today’s post we’ll be discussing why it’s so important to know what is fresh during the season of your wedding as well as sharing a fun fall menu that we used for a recent project.

People ask me all too often, “How can I make my wedding more ‘green’ where the food is concerned?” It’s easy to spout off the standard, “Use a caterer who sources local and seasonal ingredients.”  Blah, blah, blah!  In reality most people don’t know how to find those caterers, or the right questions to ask to make sure these companies are legit in their claims.  After all, it is difficult to be certain that they are actually using seasonal ingredients if you don’t know what those are. It’s also important to be educated about what is in season so that you can work with your caterer to create a custom menu for your event that satisfies your pallet using your season’s bounty. I.e., if you aren’t a fan of figs, then maybe you would rather substitute plums, or parsnips for turnips.

Fort Worth has some amazing catering companies that utilize the best of the season. Our favorites include Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, Ellerbe Fine Foods, and Brownstone Kitchen. Chefs from all of these restaurants can be seen on any given Saturday morning shopping at Cowtown Farmer’s Market, so you know they are the real deal. These restaurants also have revolving menus, to keep their offerings fresh and utilize what is available locally, which is why we are thrilled to offer referrals for their businesses to any of our clients!

But you may ask how do you actually put this knowledge to use?

I was excited to put my culinary prowess to the test this past weekend as we kicked off our first big Texas cold front with a “glamping” (glamourous+camping=glamping) styled bachelorette party shoot. I just had to incorporate some delicious fall treats that highlight some of my favorite fall foods!

Our menu entailed:

  • Home made trail mix with mixed nuts, dark chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and dried raisins and cranberries.
  • Antipasti platter of prosciutto, hard salami, fresh figs, champagne grapes, goats milk blue cheese, Irish cheddar, and soda crackers.
  • Baby kale salad with apples, figs, pumpkin seeds, and crumbled blue cheese with a blue cheese yogurt dressing.
  • Soup and sandwiches consisted of fire roasted tomato and carrot bisque with fresh ginger and greek yogurt served with fresh mozzarella and marinated tomato sandwiches on seeded rye bread.

And what camping trip would be complete without s’mores? We had a trio of cookies from my favorite Fort Worth bakery Artisan Baking Company, that we paired with gourmet marshmallows and fine chocolates.  Our flavors were:

  • Lavender shortbread cookies with vanilla bean marshmallows and Godiva white chocolate.
  • Cowboy cookies (oats, coconut, and chocolate) with toasted coconut marshmallows and Godiva 72% cacao dark chocolate.
  • Peanut butter cookies with salted caramel marshmallows and salted caramel milk chocolate.

Can you say yummy?

It’s not difficult for anyone really to create a unique custom menu that complements your season. I found this great guide on the Brenda Evans food blog and it is a great resource for those who are new to seasonal dining.

Seasonal Food Chart from Hubpages.com

If you are curious about creating a unique and sustainable dining experience for your foodie guests my suggestion would be to request to sit down with your catering manager and let them know that you would like to customize your menu. By educating yourself on this subject you are more likely to have foods that speak to your pallet, and showcase what you really love.

What is your favorite culinary season? Will you be customizing your wedding menu? We’d love to hear your feedback!

xoxo
Ashley
Owner | Creative Director | Green Wedding Guru

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