Home Catering Business – Recipes For Success

Recipe, collect – collect – collect

There is a lot that can be said about this topic.

I wish you could see my collection. From time to time I start cooking through all the bits and pieces that I have collected over the years. However to use recipes in a Catering Business you will have to try them.

When I try new recipes I tend to alter them according to my liking and what I think will work and what not. Please do yourself a favor, write down every little thing you change. Believe me, after only a short time you will not remember what you altered in this particular recipe, and if someone else does your cooking, how is he or she to know.

When catering for a function, your recipes need to be reliable. You will not have the time to go by trial and error. It needs to work the first time; every time.

Before you start with your business, cook the recipes that you will offer your clients; complete menus would be great. When finished, take photos and build yourself a portfolio with sample menus.

You need to know in advance what will work and what not, what flavors will complement others. You will have to collect recipes for special needs, like vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, children’s dishes, and the list goes on. I like the deserts the best, I’ll trial them any day. I actually have a collection of wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, birthday cakes etc. (And Yes, I have a sweet tooth)

I actually take photos of every event I cater for, it helps me to remember. Also when you refer back to that event at a later time, there may be just that special touch they have been impressed with which you can reproduce. Date them, and keep them on file under the name of the host and also in your Portfolio.

Having a portfolio makes it easier for you to hone in on your clients requirements, visual preference etc. A Buffet on a photo can look very impressive; it gives you and your client ideas. Also you will find it easier to find out about the likes and dislikes of your client, the color scheme etc.

One thing I can recommend to you is to take the best photos you have of one or two of your catering events, and enlarge them, frame them, and grace your office wall with them. These things speak volumes. Make sure that at least in one of them either you or one of your staff is visible. This will show your prospective client, he/she is not looking at some generic advertising, but at something they can expect from you.

Here is a tip for your prospective client visiting your office. Have always an onion and a slice of bread ready. No, not to offer your client. Just put the onion in the oven just before they arrive, yes the bread as well, it will give your kitchen that wonderful aroma that will make their mouth water.

And NO! “I can’t open the oven door, it will ruin the dish.”

To your success,

Skye Harmony

Organizing Your Recipes

While many of us enjoy cooking, it isn’t always easy to keep track of our impressive recipe collections. In order to make your recipes easier to find (and not to mention giving your patience a break!), we’re going to talk about a few ways you can get your recipes organized.

Recipe Book

Instead of storing your recipes in the “haphazard shoebox” fashion, how about converting them into a nice recipe book? If most of your recipes are on index or recipe cards, a photo album with plastic sleeves may work particularly well for you as long as the card fits comfortably in the slot. If you have quite a large collection of recipes, try obtaining a large family photo album that allows eight to twelve slots per sleeve (front and back). The order you put the cards in is totally up to you, as your recipe book should reflect your preference. Some people prefer to sort based on main dishes, desserts, breads/pastries, beverages, etc., while others prefer alphabetical order.

If you don’t have your recipes on cards, or if you’re like most people, you might have your recipes on papers and cards of all shapes and sizes. If this is the case, you might want to think about typing them all up and printing them off. After all of your recipes are transferred to this new format, the next step is to get a binder (three ring binders work well) and some tabbed dividers. Label each divider by the category you wish (ie: type of meal, alphabetical order, etc.) and get to work punching holes in your recipe sheets to accommodate the binder’s rings. If you prefer, you can purchase plastic sleeves to keep your sheets spill-proof-which is highly recommended to counter those splatters of sauce, batter, or grease that always tend to smudge our favorite recipes.

Whether you use a photo album or a binder, don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipe book. Get some construction paper and glue or clip clip pictures from magazines. There’s nothing wrong with adding a dash of imagination that might even inspire your cooking!

eRecipe Catalog

The Internet is not only a great place to search through millions of recipes, but it’s also handy for storing the ones you already have. Sites like WeGottaEat and OneTSP are free to sign up and allow you to add your own recipes by simply typing them up. Yes, this can be quite tedious if you have a lot of recipes, but just imagine how easy it will be to find a recipe by simply typing in a keyword and clicking “search.” You can also browse thorough members’ recipes and send recipes to friends and family. Online recipe storage sites are very user friendly, so you don’t have to be particularly computer savvy to utilize this great feature. Also, by storing your recipes online you can easily include pictures that would otherwise mean added bulk to your recipe collection.

Software

Say you like the idea of easily searching for and pulling up your recipes, but you aren’t too keen on relying upon an Internet connection. You might not want to totally rule out the option of a computerized recipe book. There is a wealth of recipe software available for download on the Internet. Many of them are classed as “freeware,” which means that you can download and use the software for free. Some cooking software is available online for purchase, but they do throw in some handy “extras” that are worth the money, such as measurement calculators and converters, meal planning and shopping lists, and nutritional value calculators.

These are just a few ways that you can free up that recipe drawer and simplify the entire task of cooking from a recipe. Best of luck in whichever method you choose to organize your recipes-and happy cooking!

Why Pay for Recipes When You Get Them Online for Free?

With so many recipe web sits online, why should you pay for recipes? The Internet really gives you a great resource of many different web sites. There is a great variety of web sites out there. Some sites are run by food companies such as Kraft foods, Barilla Pasta, and Land O’Lakes. Other sites are run by magazines like Martha Steward, Women’s Day, Family Circle, and many others. There are other websites that are simply collections of recipes.

Many companies such as Kraft foods build websites so you will use their ingredients in the food that you make. On Kraft’s website you can find so many recipes for things made with cheese: casseroles, appetizers, breads, pizzas, and so much more. Other sites such as Barilla Pasta feature recipes that are specialize in pasta. Land of Lakes features recipes that contain butter: cookies, sauces, breads, a variety of desserts, and so much more. If you buy a particular brand of food, chances are that there is a web site to compliment what you just bought.

Many magazines offer free recipes online. Bon Appetit, Gourmet Magazine offers tons of recipes from current magazines as well as the past. Other magazines such as Woman’s Day, and Family Circle offer so many free recipes. So if you can think of a magazine you enjoy, chances are there is a web site to match.

Another terrific type of recipe web site are simply ones that are collections of recipes. Allrecipes.com features many recipes from its viewers, people just like you. SOAR recipe archive has been around since around 1995 and is a non profit web site that features thousands of recipes from many different categories. Be sure to use your favorite search engine to find recipe collections based upon pies, cakes, Jewish, French, and just about any other sorts of recipes you can think of.

You can easily see that there are many different free recipes available online. There is really no need in purchasing recipes when there is a great variety that is available for you. There are literally thousands of recipes and cooking web sites that are waiting for you to explore them.

Web Sites Mentioned

Major food companies

http://www.kraft.com

[http://www.barillaus.com/index.aspx]

http://www.landolakes.com/

Magazines with recipes

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/ – Features recipes from Gourmet and Bon Apetit Magazines

http://www.womansday.com

http://www.familycircle.com

Other Recipe Websites

http://www.recipesource.com/

http://www.allrecipes.com