What a Year it Has Been! {2014}

Chef at Firefly Farms

“Hamming” it up at the Firefly Farm’s Butchering Class this past Spring.

Dear 2014: You’ve been exciting, you’ve been exhausting, and, oh boy, you’ve been wonderful! Thank you! We are full of gratitude for ALL of IT.

It was a year full of transition to say the least: with Chef Eric taking a giant leap across country to support his wife in her career, and our welcoming of Chef Jeffrey – who we affectionately refer to as “Cheffrey” around here.  Our Sales team grew with the addition of Keri Bell, Marissa McCue and Amanda Behan Gowen; three talented and intelligent women (beautiful, too, I might add). We bid farewell to Emily {the girls miss you!} and the much-adored Shaina Vlaun {as she set out to chase her dreams}, and, with that, welcomed yours truly in April! Have we met? Here I am! I enjoy cooking, too – follow my adventures on Instagram.

Photo credit: Robert Norman Photography

Photo credit: Robert Norman Photography

We gained some FANTASTIC new venues – Guilford Yacht Club, Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, Stonington Vineyards, The Velvet Mill, Mashantucket Pequot Museum, The Meadows (formerly Stonington Meadows) and the Overlook at Geer Tree Farm – just to name a few! We returned to Jonathan Edwards Winery, as well as Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park – hurray!

We celebrated… a lot! Deep breath: Michael Price (enjoy your retirement, sir!), Eugene O’Neill Theater (happy 50th, guys!), Stonington Historical Society, New England Science & Sailing, Lyman Allyn Museum, UConn, Connecticut College, Mystic Noank Library and Red Thread all partied with us! We shook hands with some new clients: Yale University, President Katherine Bergeron of CT College and Kongsberg Maritime. It is so refreshing to see the corporate world turning a new page!

Photo Credit: Joshua Behan Photography

Photo Credit: Joshua Behan Photography

Speaking of turning a new page, we fed 86 couples their first meal as husband and wife! It gives us goosebumps every time, we truly love what we do! Over the Spring and Summer, we made our property feel more like home by building and installing a large raised garden bed full of beautiful herbs and vegetables. We can’t wait to see who will be the first couple to enjoy their tasting out there!

For 2015, we look forward to a brand new software system to launch us onto a high speed catering freeway! We’re buckled up and ready for the change! In further electronic news, we took steps to become more green by purchasing tablets for some of our event staff to reduce paper waste – yay! Anna continues to share her appreciation for her ever-growing GG family (GG STRONG!), we love you, too, Anna.

Good grief, how did we survive? We would like to wish all of our friends a happy, healthy New Year! Cheers to exceeding all of our goals in 2014. We couldn’t have done it without YOU! 2015: We’re ready! Cin cin :)

GG14-154

xo Kristen and the GG Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We say farewell to a couple of friends soon …

An Ode to Emily and Shaina

Goodbye, farewell, see you soon
Wish you well,
but wish you could stay
for another full moon …

Shaina

… Sailing, takes me away
To where I’ve always heard it
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
Soon I will be free …
Yeah, yeah, whatevs…

Who will get the lunch call?
Who will keep the Salesmen at bay?
Bet your new employer won’t call you
Shay by the Bay!

Treat Yo Self!
Totes!
Bacon?

Emily

Who will lunge?
Who will ring the bell?
Who will represent the Gluten Free?
Who will be DJ?
Who will drive the red car?
We’ll have to wonder from afar …
Is that you in the yellow submarine car?

… Your new office mates, fo sho,
will not be as animated, annoying,
fun or as colorful as GG … just sayin’…

Think of us at lunch, wonder what we are eating …
Think of us at 3, where’s the wine?
Think of the never boring office …
and once in a while … have a drink out of a mason jar!

We send you off with much luck, best wishes and fond farewells …
Off into the sunset, go if you must!
We will miss you!
ttfn
xoxo

{Featured Event} Spring is in the air!

This Friday, we have chosen to feature a very special event – spring! All of us Gourmet Galley girls (and guys) have been longing for warmer weather since about the second snow storm of the winter. We can’t wait to eat spring foods, pick herbs from our garden, and do all sorts of outdoors-y things. With spring comes wedding season, and we are gearing up for that, too. It seems like just last week we filed the paperwork on our final wedding of the season and got ready to “relax” in the “off season.” Looking back, those words really should not exist in the world of catering.

One of the most exciting things for us at Gourmet Galley this spring is our exclusive partnership with the Guilford Yacht Club. We will be the only caterer at this picturesque waterfront venue, and we could not be happier. This partnership also brought us the newest member of our team, Marissa, who fits right in here  :)

We will leave you with some photos of our favorite spring dishes to get your mouth watering and inspire some springtime creativity. Remember, there is always a reason to celebrate!

Our Irish Eyes are Smilin’ today! (even if we’re not all technically Irish).

Maybe it’s our close proximity to Boston, where everyone is Irish. Or maybe it’s the fact that we just LOVE food and parties!  We’re all in the holiday spirit.  Here’s a quick recap of our plans for corned beef, cabbage, a draft or two and the wearing of the green!

 Chrissy’s family is all about traditional corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and beer.

 Kelly’s family never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, although they’re Irish, but she always wears green!

 Shaina is ready for some Green beer!  “My family doesn’t celebrate it really either, but I still remember in elementary school how fun it was. The teachers would put black footprints on the desks and sprinkle green glitter or some remnants that a leprechaun would leave behind. “

As far as Emily goes, sadly, this fake ginger isn’t Irish, and didn’t celebrate, but when she and her sister were in high school the band turned it into a big fundraiser concert, with a corned beef and cabbage dinner.  Thus began her love of the dish.  She actually likes to see it in different forms though- She likes when places sell it as sliders, or last year when Two Wives had it as a pizza topping!

She also has t-shirt that reads, “money can’t buy love, but it can buy corned beef and cabbage”….  because she’s classy!

 Anna turned irish soda bread into French toast this morning and topped it with Dan’s home made maple syrup!

Trish’s family opts for Rye bread with their corned beef dinner.

 Jen is half Polish/half Irish!  She started the celebration yesterday with a little Mexican infused Corned Beef cooked in Corona Light along with Saranac Porter Beer Bread and a lot of cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  “Glissmeyer is German and they are cramping my style so I try to push a lot of Polish food on them, too..soon pierogies for Easter!”

Kristen says her favorite – the absolute most – is having corned beef and cabbage at her mom’s. It is an every year tradition with local siblings, her parents {of course} and all the kids, nieces, nephews.   “Each year, we try hard to out-do the previous year with the amount of corned beef we consume. It is a running joke that my dad never has enough corned beef left over to have a sandwich the next day – it is our running mission to eat it ALL every time!! Last year we ate 10 pounds of beef, so this year my mom ordered 15 pounds – let’s see how we do!!!!”

Personally, I’m not all that thrilled with the day’s corned beef and cabbage dinner.  I’m totally in it for the beer – and the leftovers.  My foodie bliss comes the next day with my hubby’s corned beef hash!  All those veggies, corned beef, and potatoes rough chopped and pan fried with a little butter to crispy deliciousness, then topped with the perfect fried egg!  Add a little Guinness or Killian’s Irish Red and my Scottish heart will sing!

However you and your family celebrate, we wish you a safe and happy Saint Patrick’s Day – and as my grandmother would say – Slàinte mhòr agad!  (great health to you!)

~Peggy

{Featured Event} Elegant and Fun Summer Wedding

This week, we have chosen to feature the beautiful wedding of Chris and Tim. Their July wedding took place at Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT. This couple wanted to have something fun and different for their guests during cocktail hour, so they offered a chip and salsa bar; tri-color chips and assorted salsas were a huge hit with the guests! At Gourmet Galley, we love out-of-the-box ideas.  We adore fun stations and are constantly on Pinterest to see what other people like and to find out the newest food items.

Do you want to see more of this elegant summertime wedding?  View the pictures below and be sure to check out the other wonderful vendors who helped create the event.

Photographer: Bruce Plotkin Photography

Wedding Planner: True Event

Venue: Saltwater Farm Vineyard

Florist: Hana Floral Design

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited and Party Rental, LTD

Makeup: Jennie Fresa

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Brunch

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it is holiday season once again. It is the season for spending time with family, catching up with old friends, and eating until you feel like you are going to burst. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year, and there is one event I always look forward to: holiday brunch. Every year, my best girl friends and I get together to celebrate the holidays, eat a delicious meal, and laugh until our faces hurt. We come together from all over the country, and this is usually the only time all year that all of us are together. Each one of us brings our favorite brunch dish (or cocktail ingredients) and we create an experience sure to be remembered. Since I work for a catering company, my dish has to be over the top in creativity, flavor, and presentation.

Here are some of the items I might try out this year (thanks to my BFF Pinterest):

  • Cranberry Mojito – How delicious and beautiful do these look!? Cranberries are so festive for this time of year.
  • Keeping with the cranberry craze, Cranberry Apple Pie – Traditional and full of flavor!
  • Three words: French Toast Kebabs. What better way to brunch than have a bunch of your favorites on a stick?!
  • Yogurt Bar. Ah, the choices! It’s a great way to get your mid morning fix of fruits & granola mixed up into one.
  • And because this is the cutest and IT IS brunch afterall,  a Mimosa Bar! Garnish and have fun with it!

 What do you think I should try?

~Kelly

 

 

A Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Time!

We are SO excited to be a part of this amazing event!

Mystic Noank Library Fundraiser! Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Mystic & Noank Library Fundraiser! Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Diamonds & Denim is the theme {WE LOVE IT}!

 All are welcome! Join us at the Second Annual Mystic Noank Library Fall Fundraiser – this Thursday, October 3rd. An elegant barbecue with Silent and Live Auctions. It’s a once in a life time party!

Come eat, dance, and create memories with GG and the Mystic & Noank Library. See all the exclusive details and ticket information on their website, here!

 

Favorite Thing: An Ode to Honeycomb and Seaside Treasures

Sorry Chevron. Honeycomb is here to stay and has sweetened the deal! One of my favorite and fairly new styles for décor is the honeycomb design. It has the familiar sharp lines of the chevron pattern, but the honeycomb (or hexagon) connects into an intricate web that can make for an interesting conversation piece!

Chevron:

http://houseofcarrs.com/?attachment_id=4

Credit: http://houseofcarrs.com/

VS.

Honeycomb:

Natalie Shaw Honeycomb

Credit to Natalie Shaw @ http://doodlecraft.blogspot.com

 

Here are some great examples of DIY projects:

 

  • HONEYCOMB MIRROR – on a pallet to boot! See the full DIY creation here:

 

Credit: http://lovinglivingsmall.blogspot.com

Credit: http://lovinglivingsmall.blogspot.com

 

  • HONEYCOMB-INSPIRED SOUTHERN WEDDING

Snippet and Ink  featured this beautiful wedding! Pictures can be found here, not to mention their ideas on a moonshine and honey tasting station! How fun!

 

  • HONEYCOMB SHELVING – with succulents! {Yes, still crushin’ on succulents!}

 

http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8358081ff69e2017d41d3e0a9970c-800wi

Credit: http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/

 

The honeycomb design could also be a perfect theme for a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration mixed with signature gold accents to bring in tradition! Metallics + Honeycomb = BEAUTIOUS!

 

On the flipside of my favorites is my many-sided love for the sea & coast. I love all things turquoise, fringed with nautical accents, and infused with beach finds. The best design elements can be born out of the ocean. Waves, sand, blues & greens, drift wood, sea glass and seashells… to name a few. The different textures, colors, and lines create a natural look that is such a signature style of coastal living.

LoveEmbellished on Etsy created these dainty sailboats to use as wedding favors. A nice way to play up vintage while keeping with the seaside theme. Also, a useful way to incorporate some of your favorite old cloths that need to be re-purposed!

 

Credit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveEmbellished

Credit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveEmbellished

 

Let’s Get A Little Bit Nautical Now…

I recently created some adorable, nautical fold over signs for one of our clients. Clean lines paired with navy & white to give them a crisp look!

Credit: Me!

Credit: Me!

 

So, what do you think? Is honeycomb your new fave? Personally, I think chevron and honeycomb can be friends. Just …maybe they should avoid being in the same place at once 😉

Happy designing and event planning!

~Shaina

 

Happy Birthday, America – {Back to the Classics on Fourth of July!}

The United States of America was born on the 4th of July in 1776. From this time the U.S. population has increased from 2.5 million to 309.6 million today. My how we have grown!

Let’s say Happy Birthday to some famous people who share their birthday with America.
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president was born on July 4th 1872.
President Obama’s daughter, Malia turns 15 today!
Also celebrating on July 4th are Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), her twin sister Ann Landers and Elena Arzak-who was named best female chef in the world for 2012.
Happy birthday to all of you and anyone else celebrating with them today!
We hope your day is filled with smiles, good friends and family, and delicious food and spirits!

Speaking of food and spirits let’s move on to what is on the menu this 4th of July!

Watermelon is a popular food items that is a must on the 4th of July so what better way to start off the celebrating than with a Watermelon Mint Cooler specialty cocktail!
4 cups watermelon
11/2 cups lemonade
½ cup fresh mint
Vodka or tequila(which ever you prefer)
Blueberries for garnish
Blend all ingredients except the alcohol and mint in a blender, stir in mint and ½ cup vodka/tequila and serve over crushed ice!
So refreshing and delicious, cheers!

Now that we have a cocktail let’s go to the buffet!
Again, some foods are traditions on the 4th of July and just shouldn’t be left off the menu.
All beef burgers and hot dogs, fresh pulled pork sliders with delicious cole slaw are some favorites.
Also, brats marinated in Boston lager and onions, country baked beans with bacon, red, white and blue potato salad, and grilled fresh corn on the cob. These along with a garden fresh tomato-cucumber basil salad make up a perfect 4th of July picnic menu.

Let’s not forget dessert!
All American apple pie ala mode with vanilla ice cream is at the top of the list along with build your own strawberry and blueberry shortcakes with homemade biscuits and whipped cream!
Skewers of strawberry, banana and blueberries are also a healthy and fun treat for the kids and display nicely with their patriotic colors.

Later in the evening, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the campfire and watching a spectacular fireworks display really tops off a wonderful day with friends and family!

Lastly, fun decorating ideas with red, white, and blue bandanas!
These can be strung together to make a colorful banner, used to underline your plates on the guest tables, or simply use as your napkins for wrapped silverware or in a mason jar like the picture shown! What a great idea!

Source: A Soft Place to Land http://asoftplace.net/2009/06/for-the-love-of-mason-jars/

Source: A Soft Place to Land http://asoftplace.net/2009/06/for-the-love-of-mason-jars/

Happy Fourth of July to All!

-Chrissy

A Day for Dads!

{Father’s Day…}

Wedged between many early summer weddings and events, Father’s Day came and went and hopefully we all paused long enough to spend some time with our dear fathers, grandfathers and father figures.

I had the pleasure of hosting Father’s Day this year. This entailed major cleaning and shopping Saturday and up early baking and cooking Sunday. Appointed the new “event” house by my mother, we will now hold most dinners, parties, holidays at our house. Mom is happy to bring whatever and most of it, anything to get out of cleaning her whole house and managing 2 huge Great Danes among all of the family. We just have 1 big lab, Mulligan, so a bit more manageable. Mully is greeted by incoming guests with many treats, which he doesn’t necessarily need…but it keeps him happy and thus all of us happy.

I asked and was given simple requests: Cold Beck’s, blueberry pie and sweet chicken, bacon wraps for my Dad. My husband was happy with the day off, a gift card for a massage, cold Ten Penny and banana pudding. We are simple folk…just give us our beer and food and we’re happy! Don’t forget the rolls. Mom dropped off the blue tubes of crescent rolls for Dad Saturday. A must have at any family dinner for my Dad! Who doesn’t love the blue tube? I jump every time I peel the darn paper off the roll, like I don’t know what is to come..

Baking…Saturday night I wanted to bang out at least one pie. In the oven went Dad’s blueberry pie..combination of what I like to call Jenny Crocker’s filling and my beloved Gram’s crust recipe. Weather and all elements aligned because this was one of my best! Crust came out perfectly. No, no picture for evidence. Next time.
Blake’s favorite banana pudding became a google search for something more exciting than banana pudding and resulted in Banana Pudding Pie. Another masterpiece with a perfect meringue top that Blake did say was a Martha Stewart moment for me. Looked great but was way too sweet for me. The sweet tooth’s in the family did approve. My mother’s chocolate trifle was to die for and I think I finished it last night….(no not on my Shred diet :/).

I was disappointed in my ribs. They nested in their rub overnight in the fridge but were not as tender as I would have liked even after hours of slow roasting. Flavor was great though.

It was great to spend the day with the family…always a belly laughing time when we are all together. We are all quite hysterical or think we are so makes for a loud time. My brother has boat/fishing stories, Dad had student/everything stories, husband has golf stories, Mom has her dog stories, T has his school stories, and me, a lot of wedding and event stories. Makes for a informative, very funny day. We were all happy to have the time to acknowledge what a great father Blake is and how giving Dad is …. Every Friday afternoon we hear the growing growl of the John Deere as it nears our house …Dad is on the mower, heading over for the weekly trim. We wanted our chairs on our deck and we couldn’t find them in the barn …I came home from work one day to find colorful faux Adirondacks happily sitting on the deck. Dad strikes again.. I mentioned I would like a tomato plant…a hanging cherry tomato plant appeared Saturday. Some weekend mornings there is an early call that bagels are being delivered..someone run outside to get them! If we are both working late and T has practice, looks like someone has been inside…Dad came and let Mully out! Just a few of the many things Dad does for us and I know he surprises my brother and mom the same.

Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there. Hope your day was as special and fulfilling as it should be… you are appreciated.

Almost gone!

Mully Mojito!

 

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! {Menu}

 

xo
J