2011 Winter Menus!

January 4, 2011

Vegetarian Curry Entree

Nutshell Catering offers a number of menus for warming your Winter dining and keeping life simple!  This is one of several entree dishes we made for a customer who wanted healthy delicious vegetarian meals she could divide up and freeze for easy Winter dining when life is too busy to cook a fresh and healthy meal at home.  We also made Vegetarian Lasagna and a Butternut Squash Risotto, all of which she divided into portions of 8-12, making about 30 meals for $120, that’s $4 per meal!

We also do small dinner parties for 8 or more people with custom made menus.  Here is a lasagna dish, using Black Earth beef from a local farm source and Farmer John’s Asiago, Romano, and Cheddar, served at a book club party in the customer’s own pretty dish she doesn’t get to use often enough.  Dinner parties can be served at $15 per person for simple menus of entree/salad/bread/dessert, or they can be planned to include entree choices, sauces, sides, and appetizers for high end menus from $24-30 per guest.  They are delivered and can be produced in your own dishes if you have pieces you would like to use.

parsnip potato latkes

Brownie/Blondie Platter

Lemon mini-tarts

 

We do special appetizer/sweets menus for small tastes at events.  Menu offerings are priced per dozen people served, with some offerings of large batch items to serve 50 people per order (such as pulled pork and turkey for sandwiches sourced from local farms), and some dessert items that serve 24-50 at one time.

Please visit www.nutshellcatering.com for more information, or join us on facebook at www.facebook.com/nutshellcatering

Stroller’s Theatre Silent Auction

February 1, 2010

At the Stroller’s Silent Auction in Madison, Wisconsin, Nutshell Catering provided:  Roasted local potatoes with fresh rosemary & sage, shrimp shooters, Thai cucumber mushroom shooters, fresh fruit with creme fraiche,  cherry bounce cupcakes with maraschino-almond buttercream, Irish bombs – stout cupcake with whiskey ganache filling & Bailey’s buttercream, & Yahara Bay Apple Brandy cakes with Brandy Cream Cheese

Shrimp Shooters

Shrimp & Thai Cucumber Mushroom Shooters

Cupcake tower

Fruit with creme fraiche

Roasted local red potatoes with rosemary and sage

Dinner Party Ideas

January 4, 2010

Although I have done dinner buffets for 100 and appetizer & sweets parties for over 200 people, one popular use of my catering services, has been dinner parties for 8-12 people held in the home.  They have varied from drop-offs that just need heating to ready-to-eat drop offs, and even dinners that I have stayed to present.  It is easy to enjoy a dinner party when you don’t need to hop up and down preparing each course.  Here are a few ideas for dinner parties.

First, in planning, keep the table too-small.  A table that you need to huddle around is much more intimate.  People’s social bubbles colide and it is difficult to stay out of the conversation.  In the winter, it’s warm and cozy too.  If you are planning the seating, put the two most social talkers in the group together in the center of the table to keep the whole group engaged in the conversation.  Matched dishes are not always necessary.  I knew one person who didn’t have all the dishes she needed, and bought colorful mismatched dishes for 25cents a piece at the thrift store.  It made a bright and interesting table, and when she was done, she donated them back!  Also, some dry cleaners will do cloth napkins and tablecloths for free.  Check it out with yours!

I usually offer custom menus including one salad or soup (soup or warm salads in Winter!), one entree with appropriate sides, bread, and a small dessert.  Here are a few items I have cooked this Fall and Winter:

Salad & Soup: Warm Fennel Potato Salad, Winter Squash Soup with Crumbled Goat Cheese, Rosemary White Bean Soup, Roasted Tomato Soup from Preserved Summer Tomatoes, Couscous Salad with Seitan & Sundried Tomatoes,  Couscous Salad with Dried Cherries & Almonds, Pineapple Rice Salad with Cashews, Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Vinaigrette Veggie Slaw

Entrees and Sides: Double Roasted Chickens with Roasted Veggies & Potatoes Dauphinois, Spinach Pie with Snug Haven’s Hoophouse Spinach served with Caramelized Carrots and Saffron Rice, Spinach-Portobello Enchiladas with Spanish Rice & Favas, Individual Sundried Tomato Turkey Loaves with Cranberry Sauce and Mashed Parsnip Potatoes, Grits & Gouda Souffles with Farmer John’s Cheese served with White Beans and Greens Stew, Beef Stew Stuffed Mini-pumpkins with Cranberry Wild Rice

Desserts: Lime Curd Tarts, Chocolate-dipped Banana Shortbread, Vegan Linzercookies (Hazelnut cookie with Raspberry filling), Chocolate Coconut-milk Creme Brulee topped with Caramelized Banana, Pear-Walnut Wontons with Yahara Bay Apple Brandy soaked Pears, Wheat-free Pecan Shortbread, Fresh Fruit Kabobs with Creamy Dip, German Chocolate Cupcakes (vegan or dairy), Snow-queen Coconut Cupcakes, Brioche Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce, Mini White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Prices vary based on the complexity and cost of your menu, but typically range from $12-$18 per person.  From January through March of this year, when you book a dinner party for 8-12 people, Nutshell Catering will be donating 5% of it’s profits to MACSAC’s Partner Shares program.

“The Partner Shares Program is a unique initiative aimed at improving nutrition by increasing access to fresh, local vegetables and supporting local farmers in southern Wisconsin. Partner Shares provides financial assistance for fresh, sustainably grown produce from local CSA farms.”

Partner Shares

Winter Sports Menu

December 23, 2009

Kickoff Dips and Spreads (serves 8-12)

Madtown Nutbrown Cheese Fondue ~ This fondue is made with Farmer John’s Cheddar and Asiago warmed to a smooth dip with Ale Asylum Beer and seasonings; served in a bread bowl that you can pick apart in the fourth quarter when the fondue is eaten. Comes with a selection of three dippers for $35, additional dipper choices are $8 each. Dippers (choose three): mini gherkins, blanched cauliflower and broccoli, rye bread, soft pretzels, apple slices, sourdough, brat bites, vegetarian kielbasa

Spinach Dip (serves 8-12) ~ Made from favorites of local producers: Snug Haven Farm hoophouse spinach, yogurt from Sugar River, and Primrose Farm hardneck garlic make a delicious spread served chilled in a bread bowl with crackers and veggies. Relatively fresh and healthy game fare. $35

Deviled Eggs ~ $7 per dozen. Your choice of classic, micro-greens, pesto, & lemon curry

Sporty Cheeseball ~ Cream cheese ball made with Farmer John’s sharp white cheddar and parmesan, scallions, pecans, and parsley with red pepper football laces or basketball lines; served with bagel chips or crackers (serves 12+) $29

Salmon Pockets ~ $20 per dozen wrapped in wonton filled with smoked Twin Rivers, WI salmon, scallions, and cream cheese and baked or fried

Bean Dip of the Gods ~ $20 (with feta cheese or vegan option) Organic dip of creamy garbanzo beans, Primrose Farm’s hardneck garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and olives; served with pita chips and veggies

Duo of Tortilla Dips ~ Since we don’t get fresh peak-season, tomatoes in Winter, try these two delicious tomato-free dips with Sun Chips: White Salsa ~ a creamy cilantro-lime dip with black olives and green onion along with Black Bean Dip ~ great low-fat bean dip with garlic and toasted cumin $20

Half Time Fare Seven Layer Chilled Pizza ~ Seven layers served on a foccacia crust. Organic refried beans, fresh guacamole, 2 pounds of Cajun Smoked Salmon from Twin Rivers, WI, a mix of peppers and olives, sour cream, salsa, and Farmer John’s Pepperjack Cheese. Eat as a pizza or serve as a dip and eat the tasty foccacia when it’s gone! $45

Green Bay Booyah! A chicken stew that is native to the Green Bay area. Made with local Jordandahl Farm chicken, tomatoes canned at their peak, homemade chicken broth, and organic vegetables. Traditionally, served with oyster crackers. Gallon of stew $4o

Lasagna ~ Your choice of Vegetarian or Stoddard’s Market Sausage & Mushroom, made with fresh RP’s Pasta and served with a side foccacia garlic bread. $70 pan for 12

Winter Soup Buffet – Vegetarian Meet-up Group in Madison, WI

December 15, 2009

Logoless Designs Photo

Logoless Designs Photo

Logoless Designs Photo

Wheat free Liberian Banana Rice Bread - Logoless Designs

Mediterranean Seitan Salad with Almonds and Chard - Logoless Designs Photo

Vegetarian Meet-up Group of 65

Ginger Citrus Punch with Vegan Orange Rice Dream

Vegan Hazelnut Apricot Cookies - photo by Dave The Freidman

Memorial Reception

December 15, 2009

Punch, white chocolate blackberry cheesecakes, cranberry pecan bread

Greek Kourebedies & fruit skewers

Krumkake, Walnut-Pear Pockets, and Banana Shortbread

Buffet Spread

Football Playoffs Menu for Madison Catering

November 25, 2009

Kickoff Dips and Spreads (serves 8-12)

Madtown Nutbrown Cheese Fondue ~ This fondue is made with Farmer John’s Cheddar and Asiago warmed to a smooth dip with Ale Asylum Beer and  seasonings; served in a bread bowl that you can pick apart in the fourth quarter when the fondue is eaten.  Comes with a selection of three dippers for $35, additional dipper choices are $8 each.   Dippers (choose three): mini gherkins, blanched cauliflower and broccoli, rye bread, soft pretzels, apple slices, sourdough, brat bites, vegetarian kielbasa

 

Spinach Dip (serves 8-12) ~ Made from favorites of local producers: Snug Haven Farm hoophouse spinach, yogurt from Sugar River, and Primrose Farm hardneck garlic make a delicious spread served chilled in a bread bowl with crackers and veggies.  Relatively fresh and healthy game fare.  $35

 

Deviled Eggs ~ $7 per dozen. Your choice of classic, micro-greens, pesto, & lemon curry

 

Sporty Cheeseball ~ Cream cheese ball made with Farmer John’s sharp white cheddar and parmesan, scallions, pecans, and parsley with red pepper football laces or basketball lines; served with bagel chips or crackers (serves 12+) $29

Salmon Pockets ~ $20 per dozen wrapped in wonton filled with smoked Twin Rivers, WI salmon, scallions, and cream cheese and baked

 

Bean Dip of the Gods ~ $20 (with feta cheese or vegan option) Organic dip of creamy garbanzo beans, Primrose Farm’s hardneck garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and olives; served with pita chips and veggies

 

Duo of Tortilla Dips ~ Since we don’t get fresh peak-season, tomatoes in Winter, try these two delicious tomato-free dips with Sun Chips: White Salsa ~ a creamy cilantro-lime dip with black olives and green onion along with Black Bean Dip ~ great low-fat bean dip with garlic and toasted cumin  $20

 

Half Time Fare

Seven Layer Chilled Pizza ~ Seven layers served on a foccacia crust.  Organic refried beans, fresh guacamole, 2 pounds of Cajun Smoked Salmon from Twin Rivers, WI, a mix of peppers and olives, sour cream, salsa, and Farmer John’s Pepperjack Cheese.  Eat as a pizza or serve as a dip and eat the tasty foccacia when it’s gone!  $45

Green Bay Booyah! A chicken stew that is native to the Green Bay area.  Made with local Jordandahl Farm chicken, tomatoes canned at their peak, homemade chicken broth, and organic vegetables.  Traditionally, served with oyster crackers.  Gallon of stew $4

Lasagna ~ Your choice of Vegetarian or Stoddard’s Market Sausage & Mushroom, made with fresh RP’s Pasta and served with a side foccacia garlic bread.  $70 pan for 12

Updated Holiday 2009 Menu

November 10, 2009

nutshell_holiday09_web

Catering in Madison: Holiday 09 Baked Goods Menu:

October 23, 2009

nutshell_green

(Also offering custom-  buffets and holiday events by request & availability)

Here are the baked goods you can order from October through the month of January:

Black Pearl Torte ~ Flourless Chocolate Cake (gluten free), layered with vanilla & chocolate Bavarian creams and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Serves 18+ Made with Valrhona Chocolate Noir 56%
$45 Torte

German Chocolate Cake ~ Cake layers made from Callebaut Cocoa, layered with whipped chocolate ganache and creamy coconut & pecan with bourbon vanilla. Serves 16+
$35 Cake

Fruit Fantastico ~ Orange Cream Cheesecake on a shortbread crust, finished with whipped cream and glazed fresh fruit Serves 16+
$35 Cheesecake

Vegan Pineapple Upsidedown Cake ~ baked with a caramel-y mosaic of fresh pineapple slices, candied cherries, pecans, and Wisconsin hickory nuts; made with a moist and spicy carrot cake with Wisconsin carrots and dried Wisconsin cranberries. Serves 16+
$35 Cake

Turtle Pumpkin Pie ~ flaky pie crust with a pumpkin custard made with caramelized sugar, finished with whipped cream, caramel, and pecans. Serves 6-8
$16 Pie

Coconut Snow Queen ~ flaky pie crust with creamy coconut filling topped with a light meringue and toasted coconut flakes. Serves 6-8
$16 Pie

Holiday Cookie Trays

Brian Fay Photo

Brian Fay Photo

Choose three from the list: Small box (2 dozen) $18, Medium (3 dozen) $28, Large (5 dozen) $38

Mini Linzertorte Cookie (vegan) hazelnut cookie with raspberry or apricot filling
Gluten free hazelnut cookies (made with rice flour)
Vegan Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Espresso Dark Chocolate Cookies
Decorated Seasonal Cutout Cookies
Ricotta Cookies with Vanilla or Almond Glaze
Mint Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
Chocolate Dipped Banana Shortbread
Kourebedies (Greek Wedding Cookies with almonds and cognac in powdery white sugar)

Specialty Bars $20 per dozen

Brian Fay Photo: Vegan Brownies & Blondies

Brian Fay Photo: Vegan Brownies & Blondies

Baklava ~ made with apricots and walnuts
Raspberry Fudge Brownies with dark chocolate ganache
Vegan Maple Pecan Blondies with Wisconsin Maple Syrup
Bread Pudding made with brioche & a side of bourbon caramel sauce
Brunch (custom menus available, pastry selection below)

buffet

Tart and Sweet Glazed Lemon Bread $12 loaf (serves 8+)
Cranberry Walnut Orange Bread $12 loaf (serves 8+)
Cherry Oat Scones & Currant Orange Scones $1.50 each
Apple Pitas ~ phyllo filled with apples, nuts, & golden raisins $2 each (may come frozen for baking)
Sticky Buns ~ made with brioche dough, order walnuts or no nuts $2 each

Mixed tray of breakfast pastries (serves 18) $27

Spinach & Mushroom Quiche with Farmer John’s Romano Cheese (serves 6-8) $16

For best results, please allow one week lead time when ordering. Order at:    card

Kapil Zubin’s first birthday party catered in Madison, WI

September 29, 2009
ginger citrus punch w/ blood orange sorbet

ginger citrus punch w/ blood orange sorbet

fruit salad with maple orange yogurt

fruit salad with maple orange yogurt

tortilla crisps for taco buffet

tortilla crisps for taco buffet

taco toppings

taco toppings

taco toppings

taco toppings

vegan chocolate-oat & hazelnut-fig cookies

vegan chocolate-oat & hazelnut-fig cookies

quinoa black bean salad & homemade taco sauce

quinoa black bean salad & homemade taco sauce

edamame hummus

edamame hummus

BirthdayParty-09