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Tips for Planning a Spring Soiree

Saratoga Water - Tuesday, April 05, 2016


  1. 1. The Timeline: Planning a party can be exciting, but also overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. The best thing to do is to plan early so that everything else can fall into place. Here’s a great party planning checklist to help you every step of the way, no matter how big or small your bash is going to be. 

2. Don’t Overdo it with the F&B: Save yourself the time, money and mess by knowing how much you should make. We wouldn’t have been able to plan a party without this helpful guide from Chickabug on how much food and beverage to prepare. (Expert tip: prep as much of the menu ahead of time as possible)

3. Ambiance is Key: The ambiance of a party can make or break a guest’s experience. With that being said, make sure you are appealing to all of the guests’ senses with a great playlist, lighting inside and outside, being mindful of smells, high traffic areas, layout of the room, etc. Throwing a fun party? Make sure your space matches the theme!

4. Drinks Ready, Snacks Handy: Be sure to have your drinks chilled, and easily accessible for guests to grab as soon as they walk in. To alleviate congestion around the main food station and for those who arrive late, have small snacks placed strategically around the house or venue. If you’re unsure of how to organize your space, pretend to be your guest and walk through the venue. Here’s some inspiration you can use for your next beverage station.

5. Set up Drinks with a DIY Cocktail Bar and Food “Bar-Style”: As far as the food goes, letting the guests do the work can be less stress for you and more fun for them. Designating one area for the main finger-food course reduces the mess and allows the guests to pick and choose what they want. Setting up “Make Your Own” food or drink stations like a taco bar or a mimosa bar -- even an ice cream sandwich station -- makes eating another fun activity at your party.

6. Provide a Kid-Friendly Drink Option: If kids are involved, make sure your alcoholic beverage has a virgin version—a great option is to serve punch, lemonade or flavored sparkling water like our all natural Essence. Have the alcohol separate so people who want to drink can add their spirit of choice.

7. Stick to the Theme: Before you buy or DIY your decorations, decide how much time you want to spend decorating. A themed-party can be as simple as using matching cups, plates, and hanging a garland. But if you are game to go all-out, you can make food labels, incorporate straw-toppers, fun lighting, and so much more. Take a look at this tablescape, it really covers every little detail.

8. Be the “Hostess with the Mostest”: You’ve done all this work, it’s time for you to loosen up and enjoy your own party—mix and mingle, show how happy you are to host everyone and don’t forget to introduce your guests to each other. Make sure to thank your guests for attending and share in a toast. The planning and prep are over, enjoy yourself and the company of others.

9. The Clean Up: The whole “clean up, clean up, everybody do your share” song doesn’t always apply here, so when you’ve thrown a big bash, make the process easier on yourself by starting the party with an empty dishwasher and trash cans to fill up and having a fully-stocked cleaning supplies arsenal.

We hope these tips set you up for a great party season. Remember, you’re creating a fun environment for your friends, so enjoy every step of the process. Cheers!

Weekend Brunch Recipes You'll Love

Saratoga Water - Thursday, March 24, 2016

As we head into the weekend and start to finalize plans, don’t forget everyone’s favorite activity. Brunch. The temperatures outside are just right for a mid-morning weekend brunch. Make one or all of the recipes below for your family and friends. They’ll love getting together and eating the delicious spread. Why? Because everyone loves brunch.

Classic French Toast
Taking it back to the basics, French Toast is the perfect brunch staple because it allows for so many different toppings and combinations, from basic powdered sugar and maple syrup to spreading the toast with a layer of mascarpone, sprinkling coconut flakes and topping with strawberries and agave nectar. Using the right bread for the job is important (brioche, challah, sourdough), as it will result in a French Toast that is just the right amount of thick-crispy-chewy-ness. Beware, these French Toast recipes might just send you over the edge!

Egg White Frittata with Lox and Arugula
The best part about frittatas is that you can add just about any ingredient and the result will still be delicious. This recipe from Food Network is especially fluffy, light and full of flavor! The protein from the salmon and egg whites make it a great healthy option to balance the few bites of french toast you may have eaten. 

Fruit Salad with Herbs and Mint-Maple Syrup
No brunch is complete without a fruit salad. Gather your favorite combination of seasonal berries, melons and tropical fruits and use this simple recipe to create your choice of a refreshing mint or rosemary herb syrup to mix in with the fruit.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Candied Bacon
Take your side of bacon to the next level by making this incredible candied bacon from the Kitchen Joy Blog. You can even add in cayenne pepper if you’re looking for a little mid-morning wake up call. The cayenne is completely optional, but either way, this savory and sweet finger food treat will not disappoint.

Arnold Palmer
Iced tea. Lemonade. That’s it! Who knew two ingredients could create such a legendary, refreshing drink? The key is to pour over ice, serve with a lemon wedge and get the ratio right. The common misconception is that the two liquids are mixed in equal parts, but the real Arnold Palmer has clarified that the proper ratio is 3:1—three parts iced tea to one part lemonade. Add a little Saratoga Spring Water to your recipe for a sparkling Arnold Palmer.

Mimosa

Turn this recipe into “bottomless” mimosas when you swap out the four champagne flutes for a pitcher. If your kids are begging to take a sip, make them a virgin mimosa with Saratoga Spring Water’s Orange Tangerine Flavored Essence Sparkling Water.

Bloody Mary

Spicy, salty, tangy, this classic brunch staple lends itself to many variations. Think of a Bloody Mary as not just a cocktail, but a one-stop-shop for booze and food. Try adding bacon, celery, cubes of cheese, olives, even shrimp for an adult-style shrimp cocktail. The possibilities are endless. See for yourself with this recipe from Eater.
 



Clean Eating Recipes Perfect for Springtime

Saratoga Water - Tuesday, March 22, 2016


How clean is your spring this year? “Spring Cleaning” doesn’t only have to mean that we sort through our closet and toss out unwanted items—it could also mean that we clean up our pantry, our fridge and our diet.

The recipes below are so colorful, rich in nutrients and delicious that they will inspire you to stick with your spring clean eating habits year-round. And what’s more, with the sun starting to shine a bit more, the recipes below include those seasonal ingredients that can be found right now at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Breakfast:
Lemon Poppy Seed Steel Cut Oats: This recipe tastes like a scrumptious lemon poppy seed muffin, minus all those unwanted carbs. The heart-healthy fats, protein and fiber from the cashew butter and steel cut oats make this the perfect recipe for the most important meal of the day!

Instead of the usual sweetener of a spoonful (or two) of sugar, whip up the recipe’s rich, all-natural date paste made from blending pitted Medjool dates and water. The paste is both mixed in with the oats and used for the syrup. With the addition of lemon zest and poppy seeds, you’ll have created the most tasty lemon-poppy seed oatmeal.

Lunch:
Citrus, Fennel, and Avocado Salad: If this recipe doesn’t shout eating seasonal, we don’t know what does. Not only is it bursting with color and flavor, but also the citrus-veggie-herb combination is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and enriching nutrients that benefit your hair, skin, heart, and so much more.
 
Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad: A simple yet fulfilling dish—you can’t go wrong with a veggie medley mixed with whole grain rotini or penne pasta. And—in our opinion — since the recipe requires grilling vegetables, you might as well stick a few chicken breasts on the grill while you’re at it to add a little protein.  
 
Dinner:
Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Spring Onions: A little crunch, a tart kick and some pizazz is how we like to describe this dish. We love how baking the spring onions both mellows and sweetens them, complimenting the tart, crispy salmon. Keep in mind; a little orange zest (and juice) goes a long way.
 
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus: Food & Wine’s presentation of Spring Panzanella with Asparagus looks much more complicated than it is. There are really only four steps — (slightly) hard-boil eggs, slice and bake bread, cook asparagus and toss all of the ingredients together — for a fresh dish made with some of most simple, seasonal ingredients.
 
Dessert:
Chocolate Oatmeal & Chia Pudding Parfait: Blogger Moeko Munaretto made this creation of hers for breakfast, but we thought we would finish off this recipe post with something sweet for dessert. As divine as it looks, this pudding parfait actually has plenty of health benefits to offer, such as omega-3 fatty acids from the chia seeds, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and many more minerals from the oats, and Vitamin C and antioxidants from the berries. Eating clean never tasted so good!

Bon Appétit!



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