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Old 06-18-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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Creative Wedding Day-Picnic Heaven-Ideas needed?!!

I'm beginnning to put together ideas for my Aug summer wedding. I'm hoping to create a large wicker basket with gingham lining filled with sumptious finger foods to feed 10 people per hamper. But do you have any ideas?

All suggestions welcome...

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Old 06-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #2
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If your weather in England is as hot in August as it is in parts of the U.S., you'll have to pay attention to keeping the food safe. You might have to line the bottom of the hampers with frozen gel packs.

The first things that come to my mind are tiny chicken "drumettes," ham and avocado-stuffed deviled eggs (careful keeping cold), prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, chocolate stuffed strawberries (they are on another thread here today).

Instead of having a large wedding cake to cut and serve, you might want to make "wedding" cupcakes for each hamper and have a smaller "token" cake for you and your groom to cut and eat.

I'll try to come up with more.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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Great! I'd already thought of two-great minds think alike! Keep them coming! Thanks So Much!!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:24 PM   #4
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Depending on your budget you could put a bottle of wine or champagne with the glasses if wine dont forget corkscrew.Finger sandwiches and a tomato mozzarella,olives and fresh basil and garlic salad with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette .Oh how fun the possibilities are endless.I love the cup cake idea.Small tins of Pate and a tiny loaf of french bread could also be a nice addition.A tiny box of chocolate truffles or other chocolate in a sense some of these things like the wine,pate, chocolates could be considered as wedding favors.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:29 PM   #5
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One thing I've done for elegant sit-down dinner parties is to create a pretty menu, complete with graphics, on the computer. Then I roll it up like a scroll and tie it with ribbons and place it on each diner's plate.

You might include something like this in each hamper so your guests will know what delights are inside.

I also endorse jp's wine/champagne idea.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
Depending on your budget you could put a bottle of wine or champagne with the glasses if wine dont forget corkscrew.Finger sandwiches and a tomato mozzarella,olives and fresh basil and garlic salad with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette .Oh how fun the possibilities are endless.I love the cup cake idea.Small tins of Pate and a tiny loaf of french bread could also be a nice addition.A tiny box of chocolate truffles or other chocolate in a sense some of these things like the wine,pate, chocolates could be considered as wedding favors.
I'm thinking more along your lines, j. The old "loaf of bread, bottle of wine, and thou" thing.

I love the idea of a fabulous loaf of bread, some cheeses, some canned pate, maybe a cured meat like sopressetta, grapes, pears , cherries (?) and champagne. And truffles for dessert!

Can I come to the picnic?

Congratulations, Smyla!

Lee
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:17 PM   #7
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Yep,I want to come to the picnic as well.Sounds really good.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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I keep forgetting it will be for 10 people at a time mayby you need to down size baskets to 5 or less to make it more personel. Another great addition would be like QSis said a little bit of fresh fruit like pears and cherries etc that would be so pretty.OMG I could go on forever on this one.
Again it depends on your budget and how many people you want to feed etc and how far you want to go.If you dont want pate there is always a great brie cheese or ST.Andre.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:58 AM   #9
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Thankyou All!!!

I love all these ideas! I was thinking maybe some Riccotta and Spinach puff pastry's? Would they fare well? I'm loving the cheese board idea-how easy is Pate to make?

Keep the ideas coming!

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:51 AM   #10
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Pate can be as complex or as simple as you want one to be.

Here are two examples - I'm sure others will have their favorites also -

The first is a very simple, but tasty pate from Sunset magazine a few years ago - everyone I've made this for has enjoyed it very much.

Mushroom Pâté Recipe - Nuts - MyRecipes.com

and this pate from the ACF (American Culinary Federation) is a little more complex.

Chicken Liver Paté

1 1/2 pounds Chicken livers -- cleaned, sinew removed
16 fluid ounces Milk -- or as needed for soaking
1/4 teaspoon TCM (tinted curing mix)
1 ounce Salt
8 ounces Fatback -- medium dice
3 ounces Bread flour -- unsifted
2 ounces Shallots -- minced
1 1/3 ounces White breadcrumbs -- fresh
2 teaspoons Powdered gelatin
1 teaspoon White pepper -- ground
1/2 teaspoon Allspice -- ground
1/2 teaspoon Dry mustard
1 fluid ounce Sherry wine
3 each Eggs
2 each Garlic cloves -- minced
6 fluid ounces Heavy cream

Soak the chicken livers in the milk with 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the TCM for 12 to 24 hours. When ready to use, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

In a blender, combine the liver with the fatback, flour, shallots, breadcrumbs, gelatin, spices, sherry, eggs, and garlic. Purée the mixture to a
smooth, loose paste.

Pass through a wire-mesh strainer into a stainless-steel bowl.
Stir in the cream.

Let mixture rest under refrigeration for 2 hours. Pour into a terrine mold or individual molds that have been lightly brushed with oil or lined with plastic wrap, cover, and poach in a 170°F water bath in a 300°F oven to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Press with a 1 pound weight and chill overnight under refrigeration before unmolding and slicing.

Yield:
"2 pounds"
-----

What a fun idea for your wedding!! Good luck with your plans.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #11
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Finger sandwiches came to mind immediately. A creative type of salad that doesn't require a knife (caprese with cherry tom, basil, smoked mozzarella maybe a smaller shaped pasta, a roasted corn salad, things like that), fruit skewers with a dipping sauce, etc.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smyla007
I'm beginnning to put together ideas for my Aug summer wedding. I'm hoping to create a large wicker basket with gingham lining filled with sumptious finger foods to feed 10 people per hamper. But do you have any ideas?

All suggestions welcome...
Need more info. Will the basket be the main source of food for the wedding? Will there be cocktails served - a sit down dinner? Or, are you seeking muchies prior to or after the ceremony? Will the food be consumed indoors in a/c or outdoors during the hot summer months? Will people be seated at a table or on the grass/lawn/beach?

The first thing that comes to mind - cornish game hens, as it can be served cold, and is a little more upscale than picnic food. Eggs or mayo-based dishes, anything that will become soggy and sit out will spoil. More details please.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:21 AM   #13
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I catered a picnic wedding some years ago, and the piece de resistance for each table was a 16-inch round Muffuletta sandwich. That's a traditional New Orleans sandwich made of hollowed out Italian bread and filled with olive salad, Italian cold cuts, cheeses, lettuce and tomato, then wrapped and weighted down. It's presented wrapped, and then cut into wedges and served, to be unwrapped by each diner (eater?) It benefits flavor-wise from being made a day ahead so that all the flavors come together. It's truly a picnic masterpiece.

I recommend serving it with a bottle of chilled dry Rose wine.

If you'd like the precise details, I'll be glad to post the recipe for you this evening.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:31 PM   #14
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June,
That sounds amazing and just what i was thinking! I'd absolutley love the recipe if you could. Managed to get the numbers down to 80, so 10 or 8 each hamper, will that work?

Thanks So Much!

P.S. I'm a BIG Rose Fan!!!
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:33 PM   #15
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Fruit Skewers? That sounds lovely-what fruits and what kind of dip would you choose? Great Idea!

Smyla x
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:28 PM   #16
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Gazpacho soup kept in thermoses to stay cold - serve in a short bourbon-style glass - either glass or plastic.
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:14 AM   #17
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Just remembered these recipes from Ina Garten (Food Network) for a Portable Picnic. My vote is for the shrimp salad and lemon cake. The food packed in Take-Out containers is a clever idea.

Portable Picnic

Shrimp salad, Pasta Pesto, Tomato and Feta salad and that famous lemon Cake, all packed into Chinese Take-Out Containers and colorful bags.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Shrimp Salad

Tomato Feta Salad

Lemon Cake

TV : Barefoot Contessa : Portable Picnic : Food Network
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:41 AM   #18
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FFreshly made pesto has to be eaten straightaway as it oxidizes changing colour to a dull brown/green, so it's best to go for dips like olive tapanade, grill eggplant etc. as they fare much better in the summer heat. These can be served with pita bread or bread rolls. It is also best to avoid cakes with toppings and to go for those dipped in syrup like walnut cake, semolina cake and the likes. You might want to consider mini pies wrapped in phyllo pastry/puff pastry, namely cheese, spinach, zucchini and chicken that have feta in them.

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:23 AM   #19
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FFreshly made pesto has to be eaten straightaway as it oxidizes changing colour to a dull brown/green, so it's best to go for dips like olive tapanade, grill eggplant etc. as they fare much better in the summer heat. These can be served with pita bread or bread rolls. It is also best to avoid cakes with toppings and to go for those dipped in syrup like walnut cake, semolina cake and the likes. You might want to consider mini pies wrapped in phyllo pastry/puff pastry, namely cheese, spinach, zucchini and chicken that have feta in them.

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!
There is a note re pesto in the links I provided - when storing pesto, cover with a coat of oil - pesto does not have to be eaten straightaway - & if worried about discolorization, try sun-dried tomato pesto; however the pesto is incorporated in a pasta salad. Re tapenade - similar to pesto & don't think I'd want to pack up dips in a picnic basket (or fruit kebobs - too wet/soggy). Re your suggestion for cake with no icing/frosting for a wedding, if that is the only source for a wedding cake, I would still go with icing/frosting.

Keep in mind, any food that is left out w/o refrigeration or ice for a lengthy period of time, will go off. I had asked for more info, but let's go with what info we have.

First, for what it may cost to pay for baskets, packaging up food, prep for ? people, and concern for freshness - I would be inclined to go to a caterer.

Back to my suggestions - for the (chinese) take-out containers, you can find them on line, party stores or a local take-out place. I would go for a variety of colors, & perhaps chopsticks (or plastic forks). Inexpensive bottles of sparkling cider is another thought. Party stores sell disposable cocktail/champagne glasses etc.

For the Lemon cake, I would pack up some blueberries in small plastic containers, to go with.

Have a great time & congrats!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:25 AM   #20
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Smyla, I just learned about a picnic cookbook. Has lots of ideas for inside and outside picnics, as well as special occasion picnics. It's by Hilary Heminway and Alex Heminway and is entitled "picnics." I didn't type the title incorrectly, they did use a small "p" in the title. It might be worth taking a look at.
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