Category Archives: Miscellaneous thoughts

Easy and Inexpensive DIY Halloween Costumes

In case you haven’t looked at the calendar or noticed that your neighbors have had tombstones, cobwebs, and skeletons scattered around their homes, it’s October, and you know what that means…it’s time to start decorating for Christmas and Halloween is right around the corner. And, as discussed in our last blog, the best food gift ideas are those made with your own two, loving hands, the same applies to Halloween costumes. So here are a few non-scary ideas for you to consider:

  1. bag-jelly-beansBag ‘o jelly beans – This costume is great for older kids and is sooooo simple. All you need is a clear trash bag, a black Sharpie, colored balloons, and a red ribbon. Simply cut holes in the trash bag for arms and legs, write the nutritional info on the bag, copied from a box of real jelly beans, blow up the colored balloons, place them in the bag after you or your child has climbed in, and then tie the top of the bag loosely around your neck with the red ribbon. Now, just stay away from sharp objects.

 

 

 

 

  1. freudian-slipFreudian slip – It really doesn’t get easier than this costume, and it almost always gets people talking. All you need is a slip, a Sharpie, and some stickie notes or those stickie name tag things. (The clothes under the slip are optional…if you can pull it off, go for it). Next, just write Freudian terms, such as id, ego, superego, penis envy, psychoanalysis, Oedipal complex, regression, repression…you get the idea, on those stickie things and place them, strategically, on the slip. Then, have all your friends lie on a couch and ask them lots of questions about their mothers.

 

 

 

 

  1. geekHarold Wolowitz/geek chic – The now famous character from the Big Bang Theory has helped to make dressing like a geek, well, chic. So, what you’ll need to achieve this look is to strap a pair of Vans or Chuck Taylors on your feet, slip into a pair of painfully tight and brightly colored skinny jeans, pull a matching (or not) dickie over your head, don a gaudy, long sleeved button down shirt, wrap a wide belt around your waist, and complete the ensemble with a geeky belt buckle (batman symbol, old Nintendo controller, or Pac Man being a few of his favs). Now, just be prepared to discuss your time on the International Space Station and your lack of a doctoral degree.

 

 

 

  1. floFlo from Progressive – Hate insurance and insurance agents? Who cares, you’ll still be the life of the party in this almost monochromatic costume. Requirements: white polo shirt and jeans, a pair of blue Chuck Taylors and head band, a white apron with the word “Progressive” across the front, a “Flo” name tag, and a “I insurance” pin. As for the hair style…sorry, you’re on your own with that one.

So, if you’re tired of trolling through magazines, websites or Halloween stores in search of the perfect costume, why not make your own? It can be amazingly simple and inexpensive (or cheap, if you prefer), as evidenced by these four unique, easy and cheap examples…no blood or zombie guts required.

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CKD Patients, Tips to Get Through Winter

When winter weather arrives, many people look forward to snowfall, winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, and the coziness of drinking hot chocolate or coffee by a warm fire indoors. You might enjoy these things too, but when you have renal disease, it’s important to take certain precautions to protect your health during the cold-weather months.

stay-warmStay warm

Cold-weather alone won’t cause you to catch a cold. But frigid temperatures can shrink the size of blood vessels, force your heart to work harder, and increase your blood pressure. If circulation slows, it can have a negative impact on your kidneys. Fortunately, getting too cold is largely avoidable by dressing in layers and wearing warmer clothes. And if you’re worried about catching a cold, make it a point to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer regularly.

Protect your skin

Just because a typical winter day might be gray and overcast, doesn’t mean the sun’s rays are any less harmful than a hot summer day. In fact, the earth is actually closer to the sun during the winter months, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as harmful. It’s important for everyone to protect their skin from the sun, even in the winter. Those with renal disease or people who recently received a kidney transplant may have a compromised immune system and need extra protection from the sun to prevent skin damage and skin cancer. Cover up and use sunscreen when you’re outdoors, even in the winter.

College friends gathered in group affection love and couples date night buddiesBe happy

The winter months and holiday line-up can lead to depression for many people with renal disease. Too much stress can be harmful to your mental health, physical health, and your immune system. You can beat the blues by planning ahead, organizing your schedule, and letting your family and friends know what your plans are. Enjoying time with people you like, watching funny movies, reading a good book, laughing, and getting regular exercise can also help you be happy, beat the blues, and be healthier.

Manage allergies

You’re coughing and sneezing. You have itchy, watery eyes. And even though it’s winter, you might not have a cold. It could be allergies. One in five people suffer from allergies, and symptoms can often be worse during the winter months. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s important to strengthen your immune system to protect your kidneys and your health. If you think you have allergies, talk to your doctor about a simple test to find out what you might be allergic to and come up with a plan to treat them.

Renal meal delivered
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Green Beans- A renal diet meal from MagicKitchen.com

Eat healthy

It’s probably the most important rule to follow for people with renal disease. You already know you need to follow specific diet to protect your kidneys and your health. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Our large selection of Renal Meals will keep you happy, healthy, and well-fed through the winter with foods like Turkey Chili with Brown Rice, Cheesy Vegetable Omelet, Hash Browns and Broccoli, Beef Stew, Carrots & Mashed Potatoes, and many other choices.

Winter doesn’t have to be a worry for people with renal disease. Stay warm, protect your skin, be happy, manage allergies, and eat healthy, and you’ll be happy to have a visit from Old Man Winter.

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Food Quote Fun

We like to include interesting and amusing food quotes on our banner at MagicKitchen.com. Those, by necessity, need to be  short. Here are some of our favorite longer food quotes. We hope you enjoy them as mush as we do!

John Barrymore
John Barrymore

High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us? ~Annita Manning

There is a lot more juice in grapefruit than meets the eye. ~Author Unknown

I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o’clock in the morning. ~John Barrymore

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people. ~Elizabeth Berry

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. ~Channing Pollock

It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. ~Robert Fuoss

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Amiss-piggyfter all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first. ~Josh Billings

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~Fran Lebowitz

A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum

Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great. ~Henry IV of France

Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography. ~Robert Byrne

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Make your Plans Now for July 29th: National Lasagna Day

Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by baconaddicts.com
Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by baconaddicts.com

What better way to add some spice to an otherwise boring Wednesday in July than with some lasagna? This most famous of Italian dishes and Garfield’s (the cat, not the president) favorite meal is also the perfect family meal…I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna?

And best of all, it can be personalized by simply adding, subtracting or replacing some of the traditional ingredients. For example, one could use ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken, pork (mmmmm, bacon) or kielbasa (there’s even a recipe out there that includes ground moose!). You could also decide to skip meat altogether for the vegetarians in your life.

As for cheeses, you’re only limited by your imagination. Here are a few choices: ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Monterey jack, Romano, asiago or provolone. And for you cheese lovers out there, you could combine all seven of the above cheeses into one lasagna dish if you so desire.

As with cheeses, there are a myriad of vegetables you could choose from as well, even if there are no vegetarians sitting at your table. Some of the

Mama’s Lasagna from MagicKitchen.com. Comes in Family Size!

more popular choices are spinach, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms (although they’re neither a vegetable, nor a fruit. Hell, they’re not even considered a plant), onions, garlic, peppers and radishes.

There is one downside to National Lasagna Day, however. And that is the fact that it’s in July! I mean who wants to heat up an already hot kitchen by cranking the stove up to 425 for two hours? So how to share some lasagna with your cat(s) and family on a hot July day? Simply pre-order your lasagna from MagicKitchen.com! We offer three delicious varieties: mama’s beef lasagna, spinach mushroom lasagna with light pesto, and lasagna with meat sauce. Don’t sweat your noodles off! Place your lasagna order today and you’ll be stress and sweat free come July 29th.

Steve, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Diabetes Tools

When you are diagnosed with Diabetes type 2, the first thing you need is a sort of diabetes tool kit.

That tool kit should include:

1. Recipes –  The American Diabetes Association has a large variety of diabetic recipes, and their advice is to “Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats.” Ready made diabetic meals from MagicKitchen.com follow that rule.

2. Fitness Plan – Consult your doctor before beginning any type of fitness plan. If you’ve been inactive, starting a walking or swimming program is probably best. At least a half hour a day, five days a week, and you’ll soon find yourself wanting more! A simple weight training program is good for all of use as we age, so hit the gym as well.

3. Goals – It’s very difficult to change your lifestyle all at once, but it’s extremely important to make changes for the better. Left to run its course, diabetes can lead to kidney disease, nerve problems, blindness, high blood pressure and stroke.  Make a list of things you need to do, like reduce fat in your diet, go for a walk every day, reducing stress.

Break the list down into easy, manageable, difficult. Then develop a chart or calendar for doing the things you need to do. Be proud of yourself for each hurdle you cross.

4. Get Educated! – https://www.youtube.com/user/ndepgov is a series of youtube videos that will help you to understand what needs to be done.

Here’s one of the videos:

 

 

 

Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf

Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?loc=ff-slabnav#sthash.EkhQUupo.dpuf”
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10 Food Buzzwords we are Sick of!

Food marketing is an activity that has been there since time immemorial. But have you ever thought that buying food should not be so complicated? All the labels that go with it take the fun out of shopping, and at times, eating. People eat to live; we get the whole concept but as with anything, when overused, it becomes overrated; even diet buzzwords. The sound of these diet words make us cringe:

  1. Heirloom Tomatoes
    Heirloom Tomatoes

    Heirloom

At one point, heirloom tomatoes really were heirloom- old seeds that had been rediscovered and grown, so that you had an amazing looking fruit that no-one had seen for years. Now it’s used for every tomato out there that’s just maybe fresh picked or really ripe, and everything else from cheeses to corn. Time to give this word a pass.

  1. Natural

We get it; all-natural foods are always preferable over others. But whether you are dieting or not, isn’t everything we eat natural first then processed later? Basically the FDA allows a company to call a product natural as long as it doesn’t have added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. So beware of what you’re getting. Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream is all natural, but not necessarily good for you!

  1. Fresh

Granted, everybody loves fresh food but how many times do you buy something “fresh” at the convenient store or the grocery only to get home and find out it is stale? What if different labels like “baked today” or “arrived yesterday” were used? Truth in advertising!

4. Probiotic

Oh, marketers, you did a good job with this one! Suddenly everything is marked probiotic. Yogurt has had these beneficial bacteria for centuries, but suddenly certain brands had better ones, or more of them. I say shut up and eat your yogurt.

Organic Farmer
Organic Farmer

5. Organic

Organic can be good! But much organic produce doesn’t actually come from small farms, as you may picture it. It comes from huge factory farms that don’t necessarily take care of the environment. It is only a small definition that tells farm management what types of substances can be put on their fields.

6. Antioxidants

They are important because they help in protecting against heart diseases but all fruits and vegetables have antioxidants. Eating pomegranates isn’t going to save your life. Eat sensibly.

7. Junk Food

Everybody knows…continuous eating of junk foods is bad for your overall health. We know these kinds of food add little to no nutritional value to the body but there’s no need to label them as ‘junk’. They can actually get you through a bad day or heartache.

8. 12-grain bread

It sounds healthy, and crunchy, but in reality unless it’s really whole grain it may not be very good for you. As 12 grain (or any grain) bread could have sugar and all kinds of preservatives. Be wise, look at labels.

9. “Eat Clean”

This is a common phrase used in marketing various diet foods. It is annoying in a sense because someone would think they are demonizing the usual foods we eat on normal basis. Food is not “unclean”.

10. Healthy

As the saying goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. When it comes to diet foods, this saying is literal. Healthy is a relative word. Staying healthy is crucial, but one does not have to eat by the book…bend the rules a little every now and then.

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Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

Christmas lighting started centuries ago when people put candles on their trees at night. Nowadays people and communities vie with each other for the biggest  displays. Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

1.  Disney World’s The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

3. Hong Kong, China Winter Festival

4. Lights Spectacular, Johnson City, Texas

5. Tokyo Midtown “The Milky Way”

6. Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium

7. Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens

8. The Lagerstrom House – Surrey, B.C. Canada

9. Brussels: Town Hall

10. Branson, Missouri: Silver Dollar City

Those are the ten biggest we found- where are your favorites?

Melody Scott, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Setting a Holiday Table

Most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are family affairs, with close friends invited as well. So the table setting doesn’t have to be formal, but you do want it to look nice.  Here are 8 tips for creating an attractive holiday table!

A selection of small colorful gourds look great in a glass bowl.

1. Centerpiece – Keep a low and simple centerpiece so everyone can see each other. A beautiful glass bowl with many-colored squashes, or filled with colorful glass balls or ornaments would be lovely.

2.  Runners – Try a white tablecloth with a brightly colored runner (plaid is great) to give the table a striking look.

3.  Chairs– Attach a bow to the back of your chairs, with the name of the person you’d like to sit there, if you have a seating plan.

4. Place settings– feel free to mix up your plates and bowls, play around with different patterns and colors. Do you have blue plates and green bowls? They might look great together!

5. Wonder where everything is supposed to go? Here’s a diagram from Wikipedia. If you’re not using everything, put it in the same general location and move it in!

6. Napkins – There are no rules for napkin placement- lay it on the plate as above, with or without a napkin ring, or tie with a ribbon or silver or gold wire. Roll it up and put it into the water or wine glass for each place.  Or fold it in half and lay it under the fork at the left side of the main plate. If you want to get fancy, Google ‘folding napkins’ and fold them into fantastic shapes and put them on the main plates!

7. Color Schemes- You don’t have to stick with autumn colors for Thanksgiving, or red and green for Christmas. Break out of the mold and try a table color scheme of elegant white and gold,  pale blue and silver,  deep yellow and tan,  sage green and deep black.

8. Placemats- If you have a beautiful wood table, then placemats are a good idea to keep the finish. But if serving a meal for four, a criss-crossed runner could act as placemat. have fun with placemats and napkins- same color, matching colors, colors on opposite sides of the color wheel- whatever looks like fun.

Most of all, have fun and don’t stress out this holiday season! MagicKitchen.com’s Thanksgiving meals delivered and Christmas meals delivered can really take the stress off.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Recent Reviews

Blowing our own horn- every now and then we have to do it! here are some of the reviews and testimonials we’ve received in the last little while!

Yelp reviews:

Have been ordering from here for several years, many orders. Expensive but tastier and convenient alternative to standard take-out  or Stouffers. Food tastes homemade, usually B+.  Their food in prior years and older recipe  dishes are better than recent “new” dishes, which I keep trying, hoping to find another favorite, but the new stuff seems more bland, unsure if they changed chef or shipping origin location or that is what people want now.  Had off/on problems with food almost not frozen enough but customer service was responsive to rectify and refund. Website can be flakey but has improved.
Favorites are Chicken Kiev ( very buttery, filling portions) , Chicken Ana Luisa, magic meatloaf,  lamb shank,  barley vegetable pilaf side, panna cotta dessert,  green bean side, apple sage stuffing side, and all their soups are hearty and flavorful.  Large selection, including for special diets if you like, low carb, low fat, diabetic, meals for one, or low sodium etc.
~Liz T. San Jose

Overall, I was very happy with the shipping delivery schedule and the quality in which my meals arrived.

The Penne with Meatballs came in individually pouched microwave bags, which I preferred much more, and makes it just too easy to have such a great-tasting meal. In fact, that penne with meatballs is a “must-buy” if you are going to place an order, and I would throw in the chicken parmigiana single  too.

The Shrimp and Garlic Vermicelli was very good, and I appreciate that the chefs took the tails off the shrimp. The pasta was still firm and too mushy from being frozen and reheated. The serviing size was a little on the small side but it was good value for $14.

The crab cakes are good, and worth the money at $14 per meal. However, this is not a pure lump crab meat crab cake like you might expect in a restaurant. It tasted more like canned crab meat. The price is very economical for what you get. If you are purist, you may find the texture of heating a crab cake in the microwave a little off, but for a weekday evening meal, it’s a good selection.

The Shrimp Enchiladas was tasty, but the side vegetable blend was awesome. The shrimp were plentiful and reheated perfectly. Another good value for $13.50, in my opinion.

~Chef P, NYC

 Blog review:

Delicious Meals Delivered To Your Home

MagicKitchen.com is my new favorite online company.  If you want delicious tasting meals that are also good for you and are affordable, MagicKitchen.com is the place to go.  With the hectic pace families live these days, it is no wonder we are relying more and more on fast food that is so not good for you.  With MagicKitchen.com, you get chef prepared meals that are delivered to your door and all you need to do is reheat them and they are ready for your family to dive into!  You can order low sodium, low fat, portion controlled and diabetic friendly meals and there is a discount for first time and senior orders.  Oh, did you say you wanted dessert as well?  Ok, they got that covered as well, so you can enjoy sinfully rich and tasty desserts.  I need to mention an awesome program that MagicKitchen.com is involved in called Graham’s Foundation.  In 2009, Nick and Jennifer Hall were expecting twins and at 25 weeks, Graham and Reece were born.  While Reece stayed in the NICU for 4 months, Nick and Jennifer lost precious Graham after 45 days.  Knowing first-hand what it is like to have a micro-preemie in NICU, Jennifer and Nick provide care packages for these parents.  In those packages, MagicKitchen.com provides certificates for meals for the parents.  For that, MagicKitchen.com is the latest company to make it into my Awesome Companies That Give Back Hall of Fame.  Please take a moment to like MagicKitchen.com on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

~Makobi Scribe

SlideShare Reviews:

Wow. This may be one of the best traditional pasta dishes I had from a meal delivery service. The ziti was perfectly cooked and when reheated still al dente. The meatballs were small, but there were six of them, and they tasted pretty darn close to homemade to me. The big winner here was the sauce, which had a homemade texture only to be matched by prefect seasoning and flavor. The package says this meal serves two, which it can, but can be a real treat for one hungry person. And I saved more with my MagicKitchen.com coupons.
Jan F., NYC

Chile & Rice: I Would Order this Again.
I actually had this for lunch and found it to be wuite enjoyable. There could have been more rice, as I had some trouble covering the bottom of my plate with it, but the chili was good. Add some of your own hot sauce if you want it spicy, the heat level is understandably mainstream.

There is a substantial amount of meat in the chili, and a sliced vegetable I couldn’t make out- a carrot maybe?
(MagicKitchen.com note: Ingredients are-Ground Beef, Rice, Stewed Tomatoes, Water, Corn, Black Eyed Peas, Potatoes, Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, Onion, Celery, Green Bell Pepper, Olive Oil, Chili Powder (exclusively from red chili peppers), Salt, Black Pepper.)

It was surprisingly filling. I would order this meal again.
Ja F. NYC

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Taste the Globe: 5 Buffet Ideas From Around the World

Are you planning a themed  party this summer? Here are some of the best flavors from around the world.

There is something very satisfying about preparing a scrumptious spread for your nearest and dearest. I love cooking and if I have friends and family over, I like to get a bit adventurous in the kitchen.

Buffets are great for large parties because it easy for the chef (you!) as you prepare a lot of it in advance. Your guests will love it too, as they can just pick whatever they like and mix and match your delish flavors.

Here are five mouth-watering culinary combinations, which will create the perfect buffet:

Mexican

Image by beccapie

Mexican cuisine is colorful, spicy and lively so this is what you should be aiming for with your buffet. Mexican food needs to have a real kick, yet a fresh and juicy feel – this taste is usually achieved with the winning combo of lime and chili.

Spicy chicken, jalapeno and mango salad is great dish to share and has all the flavors that makes Mexican cuisine stand out. Combine this with spicy fried potatoes and sour cream dip – always a favorite at buffets.

A bean salad is another tasty and nutritious side dish, perfect for a Mexican buffet. In the image to your left you can see a great serving suggestion idea – separating out the vibrant peppers creates a colorful display.

For dessert, you could also try and make some chili chocolate cookies – these are gooey and chocolaty yet have that Mexican kick.

Try arranging the food on a brightly colored tablecloth or in bold, vibrant bowls. Decorate the table with tropical fruits – pineapples and oranges will add a splash of tropical color to your buffet.

Serve with fruit juice or Mexican beer for the perfect party.

Indian

Image by London Chow

An indulgent Indian curry is one of life’s treats! Indian food is rich in flavor and can be spicy, creamy or herby. Coconut, chili and coriander are classic Indian ingredients and adding any of these to your dishes will give them a real burst of flavor.

Tasty spiced rice makes an excellent base dish at an Indian buffet – pretty much everyone likes it and it goes well with all the extras! Include things like onion bhajis, samosas, mango chutney and a mint yoghurt dip.

Other great dishes I would include are a spiced vegetable dish (just roast a selection of vegetables in olive oil and spices) and dhal, a spiced lentil side dish.

Decorate the table with fresh spices, fruit (which can also be eaten for dessert) and lanterns. Serve with fruit juice or Indian beer like Kingfisher or Haywards.

Italian

Image by SummerTomato

Italian is one of the world’s most popular cuisines and it makes me think of sun-ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil. Although Italian cuisine may be famous for pizza and pasta, the latter doesn’t work too well on a buffet, so here are some great Italian ideas…

Mini pizzas work perfectly for a buffet and you can try all sorts of combinations like spinach and ricotta, feta and artichoke and of course the classic pepperoni.

Other dishes that work well are tomato and basil tart, focaccia, bruschetta and side dishes of roasted Mediterranean vegetables and an Italian leaf salad, drizzled in a pesto dressing.

To decorate, try using the colors of the Italian flag and you could even make your own leaning tower of ‘pizza’.

Serve with red or white wine and have some creamy Italian gelatto for dessert.

Spanish

Image by Raelene G

Spain is a vibrant, colorful country and the cuisine reflects this. Spanish cuisine has a spicy flavor, a rich tomato tang, smoky paprika, as well as a herb-y kick.

A classic Spanish dish, which works perfectly at a buffet, is paella. This delicious rice dish can be adapted to suit your tastes – from vegetables to seafood to chicken, or a bit of everything.

Serve this with patatas bravas – the tasty potato and salsa dish pictured above, garlic prawns with sherry dip and a chorizo and egg salad.  Another great idea is to have little cups of the cold Spanish soup, gazpacho.

Decorate the table with citrus fruits to add to that fresh, Mediterranean feel. And, since sherry originates from Adalucia, Spain – why not have a glass with the buffet, or even fruity cocktails?

Japanese

Image by VoixMarionette

Japanese cuisine is delicate and beautiful to look at – as well as packed with flavor. Whenever I think of Japanese cuisine, I can see neat displays of sushi, beautifully crafted chop sticks and bubbling miso soup.

If you are planning a Japanese buffet, then you have to include some kind of sushi, whether it’s vegetarian or the traditional raw fish. I would recommend smoked salmon and avocado sushi as this is particularly tasty and looks great.

Serve with a Japanese salad of lettuce, radish, soya bean and carrot, with ginger soy dressing and add a chili green salad for a spicy kick. You could also make a batch of miso soup and serve it in little cups for each guest.

For dessert, try frozen green tea yoghurt ice cream. Not only is this a healthy alternative to normal ice cream but the green tea give a fresh, unusual and distinctly Japanese flavor.

Decorate the table with chop sticks and origami creations and you’ll have the perfect Japanese buffet spread. Serve with the Japanese rice wine, Sake.

So what are you waiting for? Throw a catering table cloth over your dining table and start cooking and decorating – before you know it, you’ll have a delicious and beautiful themed buffet.

Do you know of any great buffet ideas? Share your thoughts below.

Bio: Elise Leveque is a blogger and freelance translator who loves to write about anything from social media to food. She loves to try new recipes, throw adventurous dinner parties and prepare buffets and exciting party food nibbles.

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