Friday, May 31, 2013

From My Table To Yours...

Mama Caruso in Cambodia
Want to bring authentic cooking from Cambodia, Ghana, Nicaragua or other countries right into your own home? Well I want to expand on the concept of "From my table to yours..." with an innovative concept. Look forward to a cooking club - where we will cook side by side. Time to make it happen..."from my table to yours..." what would you like to cook with Mama your kitchen?  Mama Caruso

Mama Caruso in Ghana
Mama Caruso in Thailand...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creating a Simple & Elegant (and low stress) Prom Dinner Experience

Make an event special by paying attention to the little details
A Simple & Elegant Prom Dinner

Take at least one stress...or several...out of your child's prom night by following these fun and easy ideas:

  • Host the dinner at your home;
  • Set the table with your finest china, silver and glassware to make it special - pull out all of that stuff you have been saving for a special occasion;
  • Use cloth napkins and a decorative tablecloth;
  • Decorate the table with candles, fresh flowers (I like to use fresh begonias that go out into the garden the next day) and the creatively folded cloth napkins;
  • Serve appetizers outside while pictures are being taken (make extras for the parents who come for photos);
  • Have your guests select the menu ahead of time (ensure that they will like, and perhaps eat the food you serve- if they want macaroni and cheese - make it so, just dress up the plating...);
  • Modify the menu for easy eating (serve an Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce);
  • Keep the meal simple and accessible you are cooking for kids, who may be dressed up like adults, but they are still kids - let them be kids
  • Type up the menu and put on the table as a keepsake;
  • Encourage your children to invite friends who may not be attending Prom (that adds a fun and relaxed energy to the evening);
  • Get into the spirit and act the part - don a Chef's jacket or hat, a special apron, server's clothing, a maitre'd outfit, pour the NON-alcoholic sparkling cider like a Sommelier - play it up and have fun! 
Simple can be elegant too
Here's our menu from this year:

  • Antipasto including provolone cheese, salami, procuttio, marinated artichoke hearts, olives, pepperocinis and cherry tomatoes;
  • Bread sticks;
  • Veggie tray with tomatoes, mini peppers, olives and a brie wheel with crackers
  • Ceasar salad
  • Fettucini alfredo
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Garlic bread (yes...they wanted garlic bread)
  • Asparagus
  • Assorted cakes (store bought...and again, decoratively displayed) cut into small sections
  • Coffee
Sparkling cider and San Pellegrino with lemon slices were served all night

To complete the experience several of us chauffeured them to the dance reducing worries about getting dresses dirty, parking, and dealing with jackets (it was 39 degrees outside). They loved being driven and picked up right at the door. Special, elegant and simple.

Shrimp and mushrooms were
added later to accommodate tastes
Prom is fast becoming a high stress evening where the expectations of a “perfect night” are out-pacing the expectations of a two year old on Christmas Eve. The pageantry and pomp is equal to that of a wedding and could rival the costs of at least being a bridesmaid in a wedding including garter, corsage, dresses, hair and make-up. Jewelry, manicures and shoes complete the look and send the cost soaring. Take a number of stresses off of the evening by hosting the dinner party at your home and making it special by dressing up and dressing up the table - those special moments are far more memorable when shared in a relaxed fun atmosphere instead of a stilted, formal event. These guys are kids - let them be kids and have an appropriate, and special event that will be one they will be sure to talk about for years to come...and who knows, perhaps they will even host their children's Prom dinners later...much later...because they enjoyed their experience that you helped create for them.  From my table to yours...enjoy!  Mama Caruso

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where to start? How about a dinner for prom?

 I just got in a new batch of Oilerie products from St. Paul and just can't decide where to start they are all calling me to cook....from the Roasted Hazelnut Oil, Rosemary E.V.O.O. and Vanilla E.V.O.O. to the Cherry Balsamic, Raspberry Balsamic and Fig Balsamic all kinds of recipes and menus are racing in my brain - I think I am just going to have to dive in and use them all. Fortunately this weekend a friend and I are cooking the dinner for my daughter's prom party so I imagine I will be able to break these out!

For more info about these great products please go to

From my table to yours...Mama Caruso