Catherine's Catering Blog

A Peek Inside an Intimate Home Wedding

Author: Catherine | Published: June 10, 2015

home wedding

Are you thinking about a small, intimate wedding? We had the pleasure of catering a plated dinner reception hosted in a beautiful home on the river.  The setting and decor was romantic and bridal magazine worthy.  With a guest list of less than 40 people and cooperative weather everything seemed to fall right into place.

The service was held pier-side in the back yard over looking the Lynnhaven River. The bridal party and guests had a few light appetizers while they gathered beforehand. As the service finished up we plated salads, poured goblets of cold water and set out the wine.  Tables were arranged banquet style on the screened in porch for family and on the outdoor deck for the younger guests (along with a self-serve bar and tunes). White twinkle lights hung from the ceiling and together with the table votives they reflected off the glasses and silver as the sun descended. Blue, peach and white linens coordinated with understated flowers along the length of the tables. The effect was simply spectacular!

table settings

With a group this size we were able to serve a delicious, hot plated dinner using the home’s kitchen. The menu included caesar salad, beef tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese and spinach served medium rare, herb roasted fingerling potatoes alongside fresh asparagus dressed with seasonings, olive oil and shaved parmesan. Vegetarian guests enjoyed mozzarella and  tomato portabella mushrooms in place of the filet.

plated dinner


Dessert was a refreshing strawberry shortcake served in  mason jars. Southern sugar biscuits were layered with fresh sliced strawberries, a special splash of syrup and topped with home-made whipped cream and a sprig of mint. The bride supplied the jars and asked us to wash them after we cleared so she could reuse them as favors. She and her friends had pre-decorated the lids and quickly filled the jars with dried fruits and nuts-what a great treat for late night snacking or long drives home!

dessert favors


Thank you Adam and Katie for asking us to be part of your special day.  We loved catering for you and wish you a lifetime of happiness! -Cat

Sandbridge Beach Wedding Season Opener

Author: Catherine | Published: April 20, 2015

Spring is finally in the air and beach weddings are already happening here in Sandbridge, Virginia Beach. I had the pleasure of catering for a beautiful couple- Maura and Joel, this weekend. Such a wonderful family with many guests visiting our beach from Massachusetts. Great clients always make my job worthwhile and remind me why I do this. The wedding and reception were held in a stunning oceanfront home rental on north Sandbridge beach. Although we had a few light showers the rain held off till after the vows and cleared up in time to enjoy dinner outdoors. I remember someone once telling me “don’t worry about the weather report in Virginia Beach, just wait 20 minutes and it will change”…. and it did! Even with a bit of rain the atmosphere was happy, calm and stress-free. Did I really just say “stress-free?” I think the vibe of an event flows from the crowd and these folks were fabulous.
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A little party never killed nobody

Author: Catherine | Published: April 7, 2014

We have had the pleasure of catering all kinds of events- weddings, showers, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties for little ones all the way to Eileen’s 75th!
The best one yet was Isabella’s Great Gatsby party. With the help of Kathleen Anderson, party planner not to be topped, no detail was left unattended. It started with the invitations- I will post one here later today. They were perfect and captured the feeling of a 1920’s party to a tee. And the centerpieces were so creative- I will put some of those up as well. I don’t think Kathleen slept for the month prior to the party. I am pretty sure her mind was going non stop thinking up new ways to enhance the evening.
The candy/dessert bar was the best part of it all and I think the guests enjoyed all those sugary sweets. The kids were beautiful in their dress. How impressed we were with their effort.
I was exhausted for days following but I guess that means it was a success.

Hope it’s more than just a trend

Author: Catherine | Published: March 3, 2014

If you are on facebook, than maybe you have seen that the cocktail party is making a comeback. Some of you are probably too young to remember those- they were big in the 60’s and 70’s and my mom loved hosting them. I loved being her assistant. I didn’t help so much with the prep as I did with the passing of the appetizers. I don’t know what was the most exciting to me- making the food look pretty on those silver trays or interacting with the adults. The energy was always so upbeat- and back then dressing up meant dressing up. Maybe this is where my love of food and entertaining took root. Luckily for me, my mom allowed me to be involved from the time the first guest arrived until the bitter end. The food back then was so simple- pigs in a blanket, shrimp cocktail, ham wrapped in white bread and swedish meatballs- and of course, deviled eggs. A far cry from what people would expect now.
This past Friday, we catered the perfect cocktail party. Katie, the hostess, and her husband knew what they were doing. To start, the bar was set with all things necessary- including the mixings for a manhattan. More than one was served. Cherries and big, beautiful olives overshadowed the lemon and lime slices. Actually, I don’t think I garnished one drink with a lemon and used limes for the gin and tonics only.
The music was great. Not too loud so that conversations could take place and there were lots and lots of those. And laughing, lots of laughing.
Of course, the food was as important as the drinks. It was a beautiful spread with lots of variety and something for everyone. Sweet potato biscuits with ham and honey mustard, crabcakes, asparagus with proscuitto, chicken satay, beautiful cheeses and andouille stuffed mushrooms. Not a deviled egg in site!
Melissa and I left at 10:15 and the party was in full swing and it didn’t look like anyone was going anywhere too soon. Like I said, the perfect cocktail party.

Busy week

Author: Catherine | Published: February 24, 2014

When it rains, it pours. For me, anyway. January was so quiet I was beginning to like the idea of not working. February has me running in many directions. Lots of inquiries for upcoming weddings and even a vow renewal which means lots of computer time. And we have been busy with lots of parties both corporate and private. This week is no exception. Please know that I am not complaining. This is what fuels me. On the menu this week; pan seared chicken with artichokes, cherry tomatoes and a white wine reduction, beouf bourgignon, sweet potato biscuits, potato pancakes topped with pork tenderloin and a bourbon glaze and crabcakes, to name a few. Hoping my husband will do the cooking at home this week!

Checking in

Author: Catherine | Published: February 19, 2014

So, I am rather new at this blogging thing. It should come easy for me as I love to talk. That is probably one of the reasons I love what I do, other than the obvious, cooking. Next to planning menus and preparing a meal, interacting with people is my favorite thing…. workwise, anyway. Spending time with my husband and daughter is my most favorite way to spend any free time I have. When I am not working and my family is happily occupied, I curl up with a good cooking magazine- my favorites, Bon Appetite and Cook’s Illustrated. All in the hopes of giving my customer the best meal possible. 🙂

Getting started

Author: Catherine | Published: January 30, 2014

In just a couple of days we will be celebrating the birth of Catherine’s Catering. It has been a wonderful first two years- I could not have hoped for a better start. While my original intent had been to focus on corporate events, I have been pleasantly surprised with lots of private functions AND weddings. What an honor! To boot, we have been so very lucky to work with the best, most down to earth brides. Each special day has had its own touch reflective of each bride and her personality. There was the beautiful barn wedding in Smithfield- made me wish I could get married all over again. There was the quiet, simple wedding at The Planters Club in Suffolk, the dessert only wedding and the backyard wedding under a tent, by the water with lots of candles and vintage decor. I love working with these brides. They are all so gracious. Here is hoping 2014 will bring even more chances to continue doing what we love. Oh- and before I forget, I couldn’t do anything without the help of Melissa. She is my saving grace. And our waitstaff is pretty awesome also. Thank you to all the brides who trusted us and because of that trust, have allowed us to grow. 🙂

Cooking class at home

Author: Catherine | Published: November 25, 2012

Tomorrow I am giving a cooking lesson to Chantel and her mom.  I am nervous for two reasons- the first, I haven’t held a cooking class in several years so I have lots of planning to do.  The second reason….Chantel and her mother are french.  Like have a french accent french.  Chantel and her American husband live here but her mom is just visiting from France and they want me to teach them a thing or two about cooking.  Lucky for me we are working with a menu I know and like- Poached salmon with a cucumber dressing, wild rice and something with carrots.  This is where the planning part comes in.  Guess I should pull out my recipe box to find a carrot dish that will compliment the salmon.  Wish me luck- me teaching a Frenchie how to cook.  Who would have ever guessed?