Connor McGinn Studios - where we get our plates from

Support local businesses! Here at Peppercorn Events, we believe strongly is supporting other businesses and giving credit where it is due. Connor McGinn started with a culinary background, working in farm to table restaurants, before moving in the world of ceramics.

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In making a plate for a restaurant the desire to impart my own personal creativity and artistic touch must be balanced with restraint and simplicity in order to create a final product that not only stands alone as a piece of art but can be subtle enough to act as a canvas for the chef to showcase his [or her] own works of art. - Connor McGinn

Learn more about Connor by visiting his website and Instagram


Desserts for ALL Dietary Restrictions

Hosting is hard. Hosting while accommodating all your guests dietary restrictions, preferences and current diets is nearly impossible.. Below are some tips and tricks to make the end of your celebration sweet and easy!

Always have fruit. Most dietary restrictions and diets can enjoy fruit so have some on hand. Enjoy the season and dress it up by using a fun bowl or platter. You can also make fun dips to go with the fruit such as a maple whipped cream.

Semi home made is OK. You may be a top notch baker, but making dairy free, gluten free, vegan desserts are time consuming and take practice. Use pre made cakes or mixes and dress it up with homemade toppings and garnishes.

Remember to ask questions. Dairy free baking may be new to you, but your lactose intolerant guests navigate dessert on a regular basis. Ask them what they like, what works and doesn’t work for replacements in recipes and where they get their recipes. They will be happy you are putting in the effort.

Make desserts everyone can enjoy! This won’t work with every dietary restriction, but if you have a guest with nut allergies, leave them out of dessert. Gluten free? Why not a flour-less chocolate cake. Dairy free? Try a lovely meringue dessert with seasonal fruit. Don’t create more work making multiple desserts. Try to find something that will accommodate most of your guests. This will help you and will also avoid dessert envy!

Have questions about desserts? Want Peppercorn Events to do the baking for you? Reach out!

Fifty Shades of Rose

We are in the middle of summer and by now we have all had our fair share of rose. Let’s make sure you truly enjoy the rose you are quaffing on for the rest of the summer!

A brief overview of rose making techniques:

Rose is made in a few different ways. Red grapes can be pressed and the minimal skin contact will give the wine a beautiful pink color. Some roses hardly have any skin contact and result in a very pale pink color. Saignee is a popular method because it is often a bi product of red wines. A small amount of juice is ‘bled’ from the tank, allowing the remaining wine to have concentrated skin contact, while the juice that was removed is used for rose. The final method is blending, or mixing red and white wines, but is not allowed in European wine regions (except for Champagne) and can be found in New World wine regions such as the US, Australia and South Africa.

Styles of Rose

Still, sparkling, dry, off dry, canned, rose tequila. There is truly a rose for everyone, it is simply about finding what you like.

Bubble Lovers: We love Cava for so many reasons, one of which is the approachable pricing. Cava is made using methode tradicional (same as Champagne!) using traditional Spanish grapes. This Cava rose has elegant bubbles, nice acidity and makes any gathering a party.

Something Sweet: Take any bottle of rose and make a festive batch of rose sangria! We LOVE this recipe. How easy is that ;)

Floral Scents: When you are looking for a floral rose, there is no better place to look than Provence. We recommend this rose for the fluer lovers out there!

Fun and Fruity: Heading to the beach, having a pool side BBQ? This canned rose is spritzy, light and fruit forward. 8 Chicks Rose is made in NJ and is great with light snacks and hot summer nights.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and let us know what you have been drinking!

Email us for more wine recommendations.

Be a Summer BBQ Pro!

Everyone loves going to a great summer BBQ but hosting that perfect outdoor party can somethings be overwhelming. At Peppercorn Events we have a few tips to make hosting your summer BBQ a breeze!

  • Shade! It’s summer and it’s hot. While your guests will love the outdoor seating, in the middle of the day with the sun beaming down, guests are going to want some shade and often end up migrating inside. Keep the party going outside by setting up umbrellas OR rent a tent for the day and ensure an outdoor party rain or shine!

  • Ice! Nothing is worse than having to send your friend, partner or neighbor out mid party to get more ice. On a hot day ice melts quickly and you will need ice to keep beverages cold AND for your drinks. Keep extra ice in a freezer to replenish or for your next event.

  • Plan your grill time! Depending on your menu, you might have 4 or more items to grill and with proper planning you can spend less time cooking and more time with your guests. Start with the items that take the longest, like chicken or thick cuts of meat and finish with the items with the shortest cooking time like hot dogs or grilled watermelon. Want to avoid the grill all together? Hire a grill cook for the day!

  • Easy desserts! Don’t make anything elaborate or hard to assemble. Have something that can be served simply so you aren’t taking any time away from enjoying your guests. We like to serve assorted cookies and highlight fresh fruits in mini tarts or even an icebox cake!

Whether you are doing all the cooking yourself or have a fully catered affair, let us help!

Building an Instaworthy Cheeseboard

Cheese, the perfect appetizer, snack, side dish and dessert. It is also one of the easiest ways to create a stunning platter with minimal time in the kitchen. With these easy steps you will be well on your way to that Insta worthy cheese board #socheesy

  1. Decide what to put your cheese board on. We love using wood or marble boards but when we are looking for a show stopper, we plate right on the table. Just make sure you line the table with parchment paper! We also recommend pre slicing the cheese so no one is cutting directly into your dining room table.

  2. Bowls! These will hold honey, jams, chutneys or even spreadable cheese. Feel free to mix and match colors and styles.

  3. Let’s talk cheese. When building a great cheese board you want a variety of flavors, textures and styles. We like to have at least one aged cheese, like pecorino romano or parmesan, one soft like St. Andres or brie, one blue cheese, one fresh cheese like burrata or chevre and then something unique like a truffle studded cheese. Tip: build your cheese plate with enough time for all the cheeses to come to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.

  4. Breads, crackers, chips. After the cheese is plated, the breads etc should come next. If using bread, pre slice it. Have an assortment of crackers and spread them out between the cheeses.

  5. Nuts! Salted, spiced, candied, just get them on your board to fill in between cheeses.

  6. Something fruity. Like nuts, we use dried and candied fruit to fill in the empty spaces. Fresh fruit can work as well, but stay away from anything messy or that could oxidize over the course of the night.

  7. Dip, drizzle and spread. A great compliment to cheese is something sweet and/or spicy. Local honey or even better, honey comb is a beautiful addition to any cheese plate. Jellys, jams, chutneys and mostardas are also a nice way to add flavors and colors.

  8. Greens. Still have some empty space? Fill in with fresh hearty herbs like thyme or rosemary.

  9. Enjoy! Step back and check out your masterpiece and be sure to tag us @peppercorn_events

Try New Wines

We are halfway through 2019! Earlier this year, our owner Daniel was interviewed about one of his favorite wines as part of a ‘Wine New Years Resolution’. The challenge was to try one new wine each month. With so many wines out there, it can be difficult to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Daniel spoke about a beautiful and versatile grape, Gruner Vetliner. “Grüner Veltliner comes in a range of styles starting like spring with flowers and blossoms…Lighter styles are very refreshing with a light spritz and a delicate vegetal undertone of radish, asparagus, sweet herbs, and white pepper.”

Read about the 11 other suggested wines here.

Smoked Paprika Carrot Crostini

Carrots - 1 bunch

Olive oil – 1/4 th cup

Apple cider vinegar – 1 tbsp

Smoked paprika – 1 tbsp

Salt and pepper - to taste

Baguette – 1

Cooking spray or olive oil

For Carrots:

Preheat oven to 375F

Peel and wash the carrots then cut them into a small dice, approximately ¼ inch

Mix together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper then toss with

carrots. Put the carrots on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until tender, approximately 20

minutes.

Chill down and serve cold.

For Crostini:

Preheat oven to 350F

Slice bread thinly, approximately ¼ inch.

Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil on both sides and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350 until lightly golden brown and crispy. Approximately 10 minutes.

To Serve:

Place a small spoonful of carrots on the crostini

This is an easy and delicious meal for entertaining. You can make the carrots and crostini the day

before then just assemble before your party. Everyone will love the rich smoky flavor of the

crostini while still being vegan friendly.

Notes:

If you want this dish to be richer, try adding a thin layer of mascarpone or ricotta on the crostini

before adding the carrots.

Romesco

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Romesco, a pepper sauce from the Catalonia region of Spain, is one of our favorite sauces to offer our clients. The roasted red peppers make this sauce bright red which adds a pop of color to any plate or display. It goes well with meat, fish or vegetables and is dairy and gluten free. We love how versatile romesco is and all the flavor we can develop so quickly. Feel free to adjust spice to taste and try different nuts for variations on our romesco!

16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained, liquid discarded

2 cloves garlic

¾ cup whole almonds, roasted

3 tbsp sherry vinegar

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend to desired consistency. We like ours

fairly smooth! Adjust cayenne, salt and vinegar to taste. Store in the fridge for 1 week or freeze for up to

1 month. Use the romesco to dress up your sandwiches, as a side to roasted or grilled vegetables or any

protein.