Tag Archives: wedding menu

Wedding Cake Recipe: Hazelnut Cake for 50 People (Parve)

This cake recipe comes from a cookbook published more than 25 years ago called “The Kosher Gourmet Cookbook”, by Mildred Miller and Bascha Snyder. I love that the book’s recipes and styling come right out of the era when a woman’s baking ensemble included a calico apron and pearl necklace. There are chapters titled “Luncheons”, “Teas”, and “Cocktail Parties” along with “Saturday Afternoon Kiddush”.

My copy has passed through many hands. One of my brothers bought it for me from a library book sale when I was studying for my conversion to Judaism. I’m glad my brother rescued it from the book sale and I can bring this recipe to you today.

The original recipe is for one 10″ round cake. I’m recommending that you make two of these cakes and cut one down to 6″ diameter. That will give you a traditional two-tiered wedding cake that serves 50 people (Wedding Cake Size and Servings Chart). Constructing the cake involves cutting one of the 10″ cakes down to 6″, resulting in some unused cake, but I’m going to trust that you can put the trimmed pieces to good use.

You will need a 6-inch diameter circle of currogated cardboard. Buy one from a craft or party store or make one of clean cardboard and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Tomorrow I’ll post the frosting recipe and instructions for assembling the cake.

Ingredients for Hazelnut Cake (Parve)

Serves 50. There are enough ingredients to make two 10-inch cakes.

  • 14 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. flour

Instructions for Hazelnut Cake

These instructions make one cake. You will need to make 2 cakes total.

  1. Preheat oven to 275°.
  2. Separate 6 of the eggs, putting the yolks into a large bowl. Add one whole egg. Beat for 10 minutes until thick and light yellow.
  3. Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar, 1 cup ground hazelnuts, and 1/3 cup bread crumbs.
  4. In another bowl, beat 6 egg whites until foamy.
  5. Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 Tbl. at a time.
  6. Continue to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  7. With a spatula mix gently one-fourth of the whites into the hazelnut mixture.
  8. Sprinkle 1 tsp. flour over mixture and gently fold in the rest of the whites.
  9. Grease and flour a 10-inch spring-form pan. Pour batter into pan.
  10. Bake at 275° in the middle of the oven 35-40 minutes, until it shrinks away from the sides of the pan. Immediately remove the rim of the spring-form and let the cake cool on a rack.
  11. Slice through the cake horizontally into two equal layers.

Use the cardboard circle as a template to cut one of the cakes down to 6″ diameter.

Next Steps

  1. Make the frosting
  2. Assembling the cake

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8 Stylish Wedding Trends for 2011

Stylish Wedding Ideas identified 8 wedding trends for 2011 that work fabulously for small weddings. Here they are:

pretty simple wedding tablescape
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
1. Pretty & Simple

After the weddings with huge and opulent flower arrangements come the small and simple ones, with less quantity. Tables should be long and elegant instead of round, because long tables not only emphasize the decoration but are also reminiscent of other times, when they were part of homemade family celebrations. Must trends: include country flowers, recycle small glass recipients (such as yogurt or mason jars) and tin tea cans, create an eco-chic and rustic ambience for the wedding, which is simultaneously original and elegant.
Huppah ribbon poles
Source: Style Unveiled | Photographer: First Comes Love Photography
2. Outdoor Weddings

The weather is hard to predict, but outdoor weddings are a huge trend for 2011 because a party in the outdoors is different, fun and relaxing. If it’s possible to make yours an outdoor wedding, than do it! However, it’s very important that you have a plan B, just in case the rain decides to bless your big day!

3. Back to the Past

The past is back and all vintage ideas as well. Incorporating modern elements that have a historical past is a growing trend, which is very appreciated by everyone that participates in weddings with these types of ideas. Presenting your guests with party favors from historical brands, building the wedding theme around this concept, recycling and wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress, incorporating your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding pictures into the décor, creating an atmosphere of nostalgic romance is always nice and very, very trendy these days.
green brown wedding
Source: The Wedding Chicks | Photo: Karie McLain, Denver
4. Details, Details, Details

Details are hardly overlooked but now they are more important than ever! No tiny detail should go unseen and everything should be planned right down to the last feature. If you don’t have time for details, there’s nothing like hiring a wedding planner to transform your wedding dreams into reality. The wedding cake table is a main focal point, the place cards should be original and personalized, the chairs should have a special touch, the wedding color palette should be very well thought out – basically, think about all the small details that will make a big difference.

5. DIY

The DIY concept – Do It Yourself – is definitely here to stay and it’s one of the biggest 2011 wedding trends, not only from an economical point of view, but also because there isn’t anything more special than incorporating handmade elements – made by the bride and the groom – into the wedding.

6. Old School Photography

Photography is going to take a vintage spin, with wedding albums that are reminiscent of the seventies. Draped textiles as backgrounds for photographing the bride and the groom, as well as guests, in a relaxed setting is a big trend, so don’t forget to set up something like this at your wedding: it’s very simple and, best of all, loads of fun for everyone.
economical wedding beverages
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
7. Simple But Quality Menus and Food

Just as weddings in general are going to be simple and pretty in 2011, so should the menu. Traditional food presented in a very modern way or with a touch of originality is the way to go. Serving lemonade, mazagran, colorful teas – all in a special way – is definitely a very pretty trend.
rustic wedding cake
Photo source: Stylish Wedding Ideas
8. Rustic Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes will continue to be tall and elegant, but with a touch of rustic-chic, where fondant is replaced by a delicious butter cream and large sugar flowers are substituted by natural flowers, sugar glazed fruit or just fun details. The wedding cake table is a huge trend: it should be beautiful and a highlight at the reception venue.
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Recipe: Herbed Mixed Vegetables for a Crowd (Parve)

British Royal Family Wedding

"As soon as the service is over, I'll race you to the buffet."

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This is the final dish in our Buckingham Palace reception menu. The traditional English dinner is meat and two veg. We put the two veg’s into one simple-to-prepare side dish. (And if you ask for this dish at Buckingham Palace, be sure to pronounce the “h” in the word herbed.)

The recipe is based on the herbed green beans in Jeanne Jones Entertains: Cook It Light Menus for Every Occasion. I don’t think the book is in publication anymore, but it’s been a good friend to me.

Recipe: Herbed Green Beans and Carrots (Parve)

Serves 50


  • 2 lbs. fresh green beans
  • 2 lbs. fresh carrots, cut into long thin pieces
  • 6 Tbls canola or corn oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 heaping Tbls dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped chives


  1. In batches, steam the vegetables for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold running water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Using two large skillets, heat 3 Tbls of oil in each skillet. Add half the herbs and salt to each skillet. Add half the vegetables to each skillet. Heat just to serving temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Steam the vegetables the day before. After they’ve cooled under the running water and drained. refrigerate them in sealed bags. Reheat them with the herbs the next day.
See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Wedding Recipe: Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast for a Crowd (Meat)

Royal Beefeaters

Royal Beefeaters.

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast

Satisfy the meat eaters: Garlic-herb crusted beef roast

Here is a dish to satisfy the meat eaters at your wedding feast. This oven-baked roast is simple to prepare and cook, and the rub of garlic and herbs showcases the taste of the beef. The dish can be served hot or cold, so it can be made conveniently the day before the wedding.

During four years in England, I don’t think I ever came across an English buffet that did not have a carvery station — someone standing behind a butcher block cutting slices meat for each guest. It’s a nice touch to a buffet service. If you have professional catering help, arranging for a carvery station will be simple. If you are catering your own casual wedding, ask a friend to do the honors.

Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat reaches the correct internal temperature. If you don’t have one, buy one; it’s worth the investment.

Recipe: Garlic-Herb Crusted Beef Roast

Serves 50


  • 6-8 boneless beef round rump roast or beef bottom round roast (3 to 4 lbs. each), 9 to 10 lbs. total.
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • 3 Tbls garlic-pepper seasoning
  • 3 Tbls dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 3 Tbls dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 Tbls dried parsley leaves, crushed


Given the large number of roasts, if you are using a conventional oven you will need to cook the roasts in two shifts.

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl. Divide it into 2 small bowls, and set one bowl aside to be used with the second set of roasts.
  2. Press the rub evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast.
  3. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 325°F oven 1-1/2 to 2 hours for medium rare doneness.
  4. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare.)
  5. Roast the remaining roasts the same way.
  6. To serve, carve roast into thin slices; season with salt and black pepper, as desired.

Make Ahead Option

The beef can be cooked the day before the wedding. Let it rest for the required 15 to 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven before refrigerating it.

TRY THIS: Recipe: Chocolate Mousse for 50 People (Parve/Non-Dairy)

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Vegan/Vegetarian Wedding Recipe: Spanikopita (Parve) – Serves 8

Prince Philip Buckingham Palace Reception

"I say, have you tried the spanikopita?"

This dish is from the Buckingham Palace reception menu posted on December 13. I’ll be posting recipes from the menu all week, kosher-fied and with additional special touches, so that you can recreate the menu for your wedding.

This entree is for your vegan/vegetarian guests. The Buckingham Palace reception menu calls for spinach-filled crepes, but crepes require milk, which wouldn’t fit into our kosher meat menu. We turn, then, to spanikopita, spinach pie, which uses parve phyllo dough. The tofu, walnuts, and nutritional yeast in the filling provide hunger-satisfying protein. Since The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, was born The Prince of Greece and Denmark, I’m sure he’d appreciate the dish’s Greek roots.

The recipe comes from Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock. The author is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a Jewish vegan tsunami. I picked up my copy of the cookbook several years ago in order to get protein into my meat-averse daughters. (One of my daughters was only five years old when she first yelled, “I’m a vegetarian and you don’t understand me!”)

The instructions are a bit fiddly, so if you’re catering your own wedding, making servings for all of your guests is going to take a lot of time — time that’s especially precious in the hours leading up to your wedding. Instead, prepare one of these pies, which provides 8 servings, and reserve the servings to the side for your vegan/vegetarian guests. (If all of your guests are vegetarian, then enlist extra hands to prepare enough servings for everyone.)

Prince Charles in synagogue

"Do you think they'll let me hold one of the huppah poles?"

Recipe: Spanikopita – Spinach Pie (Parve)

Serves 8


  • ¼ plus 2 Tbls. olive oil, plus extra oil for brushing the phyllo
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed very well, long stems removed
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 2 lbs. firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Dash of ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup finely ground walnuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Several dashes fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 box frozen phyllo dough, thawed overnight

Instructions for Making the Spinach Filling

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm 2 Tbls olive oil over medium heat for a minute, then add the scallions, spinach, scallions, garlic, and dill. Add the spinach in small batches if pot it too full.
  2. Satuè until completely wilted and soft and a good amount of liquid has sweated out of the greens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the drained tofu (use your hands for more control) to a smooth but slightly grainy consistency.
  4. Take the cooled spinach mixture by small handfuls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.
  5. Add the squeezed spinach to the tofu. Add the lemon juice, oregano, nutmeg, ground walnuts, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the nutritional yeast. Mix well with your hands, season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture; it should be pleasantly salty and tangy.

Instructions for Making the Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Oil a 9”x12- to 13” baking dish.
  3. Prepare eight sheets of dough with olive oil in the following manner: Lay one sheet of dough in the pan, brush it generously with olive oil. Lay the second sheet on top and brush it generously with olive oil. Continue until you have eight layers of dough. If the sheets of dough go up the sides of the pan, that’s OK.

    Helpful Hint: Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. Keep the layers you’re not working with covered with a damp cloth or piece of plastic wrap. The first time you work with the dough it can seem like you don’t have enough hands to work and keep the layers covered, but once you get into a pattern it’s quite easy.

  4. Gently spread the spinach mixture on top of the dough.
  5. Prepare another eight layers of phyllo (or add a few more layers if you have leftover dough), put on top of spinach layer, and tuck into the sides of the pan any overhanging dough.
  6. Lightly score the top layer of dough into 8 rectangles of equal size (this will prevent the dough from crumbling too much when slicing after it’s baked.)
  7. Brush with lots of olive oil.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown, being careful not to let the phyllo burn.

See the full Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)

Prince William and Kate Middleton engagement photo

"What shall we serve at the wedding?"

This weekend, Prince William and Catherine Middleton released their official engagement photos. Mazel tov, William and Kate! In honor of the happy occasion, we’re posting a wedding menu based on the menu of an actual Buckingham Palace dinner reception. Throughout the week we’ll post recipes for all the dishes so you can serve them at your wedding, too.

The menu comes from a reception I attended at Buckingham Palace some years back. I can’t say it was an exclusive affair — there were more than 3,000 guests — but it was memorable. The night included cocktails, a meet and greet with the royal family, a buffet dinner, and dancing in the ballroom(!).

What I remember most, because it’s what I had been most looking forward to seeing, was what The Queen served for dinner. The event planning part of my brain, which takes over nearly all of my brain sometimes, knew that it had to be a menu that met some of the most complicated food service challenges an event planner can face. The menu had to provide something to satisfy most of the dietary restrictions the world has to offer. The preparation could not be complicated, and all the food had to hold up impressively on a buffet. Finally, because The Queen had to feed 3,000 people at a cost-conscious time, the ingredients had to provide good value for cost.

wedding in privy gardenGod bless The Queen (and her kitchen staff). The menu met all those criteria, and it serves as a great example for anyone who wants to create a no-worries special event dinner, even if the backyard in which you raise your huppah doesn’t feature a royal privy garden. Here’s the menu:

Wedding Buffet Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)


Wedding Cake
The Queen didn’t serve wedding cake, but you’ll need one:

During the next week, we’re posting recipes for all the dishes on the menu, with quantities for serving an intimate wedding crowd of 50 people. We’ll add some special touches that are possible when you’re serving 50 rather than 3,000 people.

We’ll include make-ahead options where possible, especially for couples who plan to self-cater, or partially self-cater, their weddings. The menu will be kosher, of course.

We’ll start with dessert. Check back for tomorrow’s post: Chocolate Mousse for 50 (parve)…

(And Kate and Will, if you’re looking for a huppah, for your wedding I’d recommend a huppah of beautiful bridal lace.)


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Recipe: Salade Niçoise for a Crowd (Parve/Vegetarian)

There’s a special place in my heart for couples who cater their own weddings and communities whose members join together to make a wedding meal. I’ve thrown plenty of dinner parties of various sizes in my life, and I’m a serious student of the buffet. I’ve read books, I study photos, and I’m always on the lookout for delicious, practical, and beautiful foods worthy of a celebration table. Today at a Bat Mitzvah lunch I came across a buffet dish worth sharing with those of you out there who find themselves responsible for feeding a celebratory crowd. The dish: a salade nicoise platter. It’s delicious and easy to make, and sitting on a buffet it’s alive with color.

Salade Niçoise is a great dish, because it’s a hardy main-dish salad with a variety of nutritious foods: fresh salad greens, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, tomatoes, and black olives. Traditional salade Niçoise also has anchovies, capers, and shallots, but this version leaves them out in order to appeal to a wide crowd (and eliminate the most expensive ingredients).

When you’re making enough food to feed a crowd, a platter is a great way to present the salad because guests can build their salad as they like, and unlike salads served in large bowls, the tastiest ingredients won’t get lost in all the greens.

The platter also looks beautiful on a buffet with all the colorful ingredients set out in different sections of the platter. If it hadn’t been Shabbat, I would have taken a photo for you, but let me describe it for you: the bright greens of the lettuce and green beans, the red of the tomatoes, the white and yellow of the eggs, and the black olives, along with the flaked tuna.

I’ll also admit that I like salade Niçoise because it’s fun to say: Having spent a year in former-French-colony Tunisia, I can pass on the pronunciation with some confidence: salad nee-SWAHS. For the times when a written menu is called for, it’s also fun to write (or to take the time to track down the required website design HTML tag for) the letter “c” with the cedilla mark in the middle of niçoise. There it is. Did you see it there in the middle of the word? Lovely. Too much fun for a Saturday night.

Enough about my love affair with salade niçoise; it’s time to begin yours. The instructions are for a platter of 24 servings. To feed more people than that, prepare more platters.

I need to give credit to the folks who put together today’s lunch, which was at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Washington, DC. It’s an exceptionally friendly community, and their special occasion kiddush lunches are always wonderful.

Recipe: Salade Niçoise for a Crowd (Parve)

Serves 24

4 heads Boston-lettuce leaves; washed, dried, and shredded into small pieces
4 pounds green beans, steamed
12 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
16 small boiling potatoes, cooked and cut in half
12 ounces canned chunk tuna, oil packed, flaked with a fork
18 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 cup good-quality small pitted black olives

Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp kosher red wine vinegar
3 cups good quality olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Instructions for Salade Niçoise

  1. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Adjust the seasonings as necessary.
  2. Toss the green beens with a quarter cup of the the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the shredded lettuce in a heap running down the middle of a large platter. Arrange the other ingredients around the lettuce, keeping all of each component together.
  4. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side of the platter.

Make Ahead Option

You can prepare the components a day before. Cover and refridgerate each component separately. Combine them on the platter just before serving so that the salad looks fresh when you serve it.

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