Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cake Ball Sensation

Cake has been around for centuries. Ancient societies used sweetened breads for celebratory traditions, much like today's birthday or wedding cake. Cake pops, or cake balls, on the other hand, are a rather recent baking phenomenon. The precise origin of the cake ball is unknown, but it is clear that the round pastries were created from excess dough mixed with frosting or icing to bind the cake crumble together, resulting in a sweet and sugary bite-size delight. The idea of utilizing extra goods to prevent waste is nothing new, and cake pops are no exception.

A cookbook from 1963 provides directions for making lollipop cookies, but up until the past decade or so cake pops have never been used as a trendy or mainstream treat. The innovative dessert is often credited to the creator of the Bakerella blog, Angie Dudley, who was the first to put the cake ball on a stick. Her cake pop posts exploded with hits and the new dessert sensation went viral, quickly being adapted by bakers, restaurants, and homemakers across the nation. 

Creativity and decorations with the popular treat now seem limitless. Candies, sprinkles, and chocolates are combined to create everything from Ninja Turtles to pineapples to the perfect accent for a summer dessert party. Cake balls are versatile, tasty, and ideal for a backyard birthday party or an upscale wedding. So make sure you have enough at your special occasion, because they will go quickly!

Until next time!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summerfest 2014

Each year over Father's Day weekend the historic Logan Tabernacle transforms into the perfect gathering for Cache Valley residents and visitors. Summerfest showcases a wide variety of talents from culinary crafts to entertainment and fine art. Visitors to the Summerfest have the opportunity to visit each talented artist and purchase items for great prices. 

One of the greatest features of the Summerfest is the Plein Air Paint Out and Photography Contest. This contest is for artists who create original art of Cache Valley between June 9 - 11.University Catering has the great opportunity to provide a reception for the Plein Air Contest reveal that occurs the evening before the Summerfest kicks off. 

This year University Catering provided a unique and fun menu. Guests of the Plein Air Contestants enjoyed Fresh Fruit and Berries, Mini Crab BLT Croissants, Open faced Korean Pulled Pork Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo and House-Made Kimchi, Andalusian Baked Peas with Asparagus, Split Chickpeas and Tomato, Chicken Empanada with Avocado Ranch, and Fresh Fruit Tarts.

Fresh Seasonal Fruit with Berries

Mini Crab BLT Croissant

Andalusian Baked Peas with Asparagus, Split Chickpeas and Tomato

Open faced Korean Pulled Pork Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo and House-Made Kimchi
Fresh Fruit Tarts

We loved sharing the talents of our chefs with those who have such a wonderful artistic talent themselves.

Until next time, 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Breakfast: Off to a Smart Start

It seems everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why do so many of us skip it? The most common answer is time. Mornings are often crazy and rushed to get everything ready for the upcoming day. As a result, our bodies suffer from the lack of nutrients they need to perform well both physically and mentally when we skip out on morning food intake. Studies have shown that individuals who eat a healthy breakfast tend to be more alert, fit, and less vulnerable to making unhealthy eating choices. Morning meals "break" your night time "fast" and stave off hunger until lunchtime, preventing mid-morning munchies and consumption of foods high in fat and sugar. So aside from the mental advantages, breakfast eaters are also able to maintain weight easier by preventing hunger and unhealthy food cravings.

University Catering The Traditional
Includes Scramble Eggs, Hash Browns, Ham, Bacon, or Sausage and Fresh Baked Hazel's Bread with Butter and Preserves. Served with Seasonal Fruit and Orange Juice with choice of Ibis Coffee or Hot Cocoa. 

Breakfast Tips

Here are a few tips and suggestions for those of you who need a little extra push to eat breakfast in the morning. Creating healthy eating habits can be easy with just a few simple routine changes.

1. Prepare the night before. Rather than working away in the early morning to chop vegetables for your omelet, maintain a stash of chopped fruits and veggies in your fridge for anytime use. Know what your going to put together the next morning to make breakfast easier when your tired or rushed.

2. Have grab n' go food on hand. Granola bars, muffins, fruit cups, yogurt, bananas, or a slice of whole wheat bread. It's all quick, easy, and sleep lover friendly.

3. Don't skip the protein. Foods high in protein content make you feel full longer. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity suggested that people who ate protein packed breakfasts consumed 26 fewer calories on average for lunch. Protein also builds muscle and provides more energy for those morning workouts.

4. Balance out the food groups. Try eating a breakfast that supports grains, fruits/vegetables, and dairy. Putting these items on your plate will give your body all the essential nutrients it needs in the mornings to starts the day off right.

5. Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier. It has been said that the richest people in the world are early risers.Whether it's rich in spirit or in wealth, research shows that it goes both ways. Morning people tend to be more productive, motivated, and active. So give yourself a few more minutes in the morning to eat breakfast, exercise, and approach your day with enthusiasm.

6. Eat sooner not later. Keri Gans of U.S. News Health tells her clients to eat within one hour of waking up. Once breakfast begins to blur with lunchtime, the purpose is defeated and your eating routine for the day is thrown off. 

7. Don't be afraid of fat and fiber. A little fat goes a long way, so don't overdo it. But, like fiber, it fills you up until your next meal because it digests slower than sugar. Eating sugary foods such as doughnuts and sweet breads, will only cause your body to crash and call for more food early on.  

 Until next time, enjoy!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

USULC - Harry Potter Edition

Every summer here at Utah State University, Admissions puts on a great summer camp for High School newly elected student government leaders. Each year they get the opportunity to fine tune their leadership skills and get fired up about the upcoming school year. The conference is also a great chance for student leaders to build positive relationships with other student leaders from the surrounding areas.

This years USULC occurred in June and the theme was Harry Potter! Each student becomes immersed in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and each government group is assigned a house within the Hogwarts School. The students enjoyed team building exercises, crafts, and even a magician show. The final banquet was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Taggart Student Center and University Catering created an atmosphere of wonder for the students.

At the end of the USULC we received many Thank you notes from the students and the Admissions Staff!

We always are excited for opportunities to create an excellent experience for these groups and enjoy being able to create an atmosphere that matches their theme!

See you next year!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catersource 2014

Once a year a large group of Caterers and Event Planners embark on an adventure in Las Vegas, Nevada at the annual Catersource Conference! University Catering was among the adventurers this year. Our Catering Sales and Event Manager, Amy Rasmussen, our Executive Director of Dining Services, Alan Andersen, and me, Annie Christensen, Catering Sr. Sales Associate and Graphic Designer attended the conference.

Leaving the cold and snowy weather of Logan, Utah we arrived on Saturday, March 22nd to beautiful and warm Las Vegas and we immediately soaked up the sun and prepared our selves to not only soak in the rays from the sun, but to soak up all the information we could to help us in fulfilling our mission of "Exceeding Expectations...every event, every time". The conference was hosted at the Paris Hotel & Casino this year. We were able to enjoy the festivities the hotel could offer including the delicious food such as the Salmon from Chef Gordon Ramsey's Restaurant and the delectable salad from the Paris Eiffel Tower Restaurant.

The conference was full of amazing presenters as well. A few that made an "ah-inspiring" conference for me were:

1. Alan Berg, is a Social Media Guru who presented a few great sessions. One of my favorites of his was "Why won't they call me? 8 Tips for Better Email Conversations". He touched on ways to provide better communication with your customers! 

2. Meredith Commender with Significant Events of Texas session provided such great insight into the current generation with managing and marketing was. This "Gen Y", "Millenial Generation", "Picture Generation", "Entitled Generation", and other names might be a hard generation to understand. In a short session she covered all the aspects you as an employer and a marketer needed to gain a better understanding of Generation Y and how to impact their lives for the better and provide them a spring board of work ethic and what your business can offer them!

3. Darnyelle Jervey with Incredible One Enterprises is a powerhouse when it comes to making you feel motivated and market like a rock star! One great quote of many was "What's your core marketing message? If you can't say it in one sentence you can't market it!"I've been able to implement much of what Miss Darnyelle shared and enjoying following her for more motivating opportunities.

After all of the sessions that were attended my notebook that was bought the first day there had page upon page of items to remember! There were the moments for a quick break in the attendee lounge too which we took advantage of!

Last on our list of to-dos at Catersource was to attend the large trade-show. There we were able to part take in mini sessions such as this one on staff training of a served meal:

Along with mini sessions we enjoyed voting for the best table-scape, entertainment from some of the booths, as well as an opportunity to be one of the $100 Giveaway Winners from Sterno who celebrated 100 years this year!

We look forward to another great year in 2015 at Caesars Palace!



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