Sunday, March 20, 2016


When you think of Easter treats, brightly colored eggs are probably the first thing to come to mind, however there are many other foods that are incorporated into a traditional Easter meal.  Hot Cross Buns, a glazed yeast bread, is a common favorite.  It was also very customary for a roasted lamb to be the traditional centerpiece on the Easter table.  This tradition dates back before Easter to the first Passover.  On many tables in the United States, a glazed ham has replaced lamb for the celebratory Easter dinner.  Chocolate treats often complete the meal.  Like most large family meals, leftovers are something to look forward to!  Here is an easy recipe to help utilize your remaining eats.

Ham Salad
2 cups ham, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 Tbl pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp minced celery
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix everything together.
Add cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve chilled.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Recipes for the Prefect St. Patty's Day

Guinness-Braised Corned Beef in Slow Cooker 

  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-3” chunks
  • 6-8 small-medium size red potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 large yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 2-3 lb flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 1 14.9ounce can of Guinness Draught
  • 3 Tbl yellow mustard
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided *See note
  • 2 Tbl grainy mustard
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 medium size head of cabbage, cut into wedges
  1. Rinse the corned beef under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Place the corned beef, fat side down in a 6 quart crock pot.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions and carrots around the beef.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the yellow mustard and seasoning packet together.
  5. Spread the mustard mixture all over the top of the corned beef.
  6. Pour the beer around the beef.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar over top the beef, veggies and beer.
  8. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  9. Remove the lid and add the cabbage wedges.
  10. Cook for 1 more hour.
  11. Remove the meat from the crock pot and set aside. Place a tent foil on top.
  12. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the veggies and place in a bowl.
  13. Place a sieve over top a medium pot and strain the juices into the pot.
  14. Place the pot over high heat.
  15. Bring to a boil, add in the remaining 1Tbl - 1/4 cup of the remaining brown sugar, water, horseradish, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, Worcestershire, honey and mix.
  16. Put the heat to a simmer to reduce the sauce by half and it starts to thicken. ~35 minutes.
  17. Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the glaze.

Added Bonus recipes: 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Truth Behind Corned Beef... YES CORNED not CORN

Corned beef and Cabbage, yummm….yes it’s CORNED BEEF, not CORNBEEF….I know mind blown right? So if you’re of Irish-American heritage, or just like claiming you are on March 17th, corned beef and cabbage is probably a St. Patty’s Day must have. I mean who can resist that tender fatty pink piece of succulence? Not mention the deep rooted Irish heritage and tradition that goes along with each tasty morsel.  Well as delicious as the meat may be, did you know that corned beef is NOT a traditional Irish meal?  I hate to tell you but it's the truth. Although, the Irish do love their meat, in the tiny, primarily impoverished, water locked country most of the population did not have the resources to raise to cattle. Smaller stock animals, such as pigs and sheep, where fair easier to raise and were the main source for meat and dairy in Ireland. Corned Beef is an Irish-AMERICAN tradition that was integrated into Irish immigrant's diet after arriving here in America.  In truth, the meat is actually a historically Jewish dish.  Immigrants of both groups were mostly unwelcome in established Anglo Saxon neighborhoods of the time and were subjugated to live in the poorest of areas.  Each culturally diverse group developed its own independent neighborhoods but were in close proximity to one another.  Since Jewish law prohibits the consumption of pork, butchers in and around the Jewish sector did not carry pork cuts such as bacon. Without the easy availability to his favorite cut of meat Irishman's had to look else were to curb if craving.  Corned beef on the other hand was similar in texture and taste to the fatty bacon cuts but was much more readily available.  Since it could be purchased in large portions at a relatively lower expense many of the new Irish-Americans replaced bacon with this new Jewish meat. Later New Englanders would add their own twisted and decide to boil the meat with cabbage and root vegetables.  This is how it is typically prepare today….why boil you may ask? Well to answer that I’d also have to understand why New Englanders somehow turned C-A-R into KAH...the world may never know….but I’m at least glad we got corned beef and cabbage out of it all! Hope you all eat well and are merry this St. Patty's Day!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tip 6 of My 6 Tips to the Perfect Day

So want to know my last and final tip to planning your big day? Keep the meddlers out of your planning.  We all have those extra interested moms, aunts, sister friends, families, etc that will tell you they know better.  Planning your big day definitely requires help but it’s important that your day stay your day and everyone else's grand ideas are left in the suggestion box.

Tip 5 of my 6 Tips to the Perfect Day

Wedding Planner.jpg
It’s easy to get caught up in planning your wedding.  People working on a tight budget often think “DIY” is the way to go and that a Wedding Planner will ruin their tight budget.  Before you make the decision to do it all on your own consider that fact that a full service Caterer can provide the same functions as a Planner but maybe more cost effective. Full service caterers have ins with venues, photographers, florists, D.Js, and other service providers that they work with regularly. Which means they’ve already done the legwork so you don’t have to. They are also professionals when it comes to working with budgets. They understand your bottom line means your bottom line and will find creative ways to fulfill your wants. Before you do any other planning start with your caterer, find out if they offer full service wedding planning.  Finding a caterer who can off set the time, stress and money associated with your big day with will never be a choice you’ll regret

But don't take my word for it, check out what some of our newly weds  had this to say about the assistance we provided:

"I could not imagine a better catering experience for our wedding. Heather Casto and The Chocolate Mousse Catering staff were professional, flexible and very personable. The food was varied, fresh, and delicious.  Our wedding cake was so gorgeous and tasty.  Heather was easily accessible and extremely patient with the entire process, including her full coordination of the rental items needed, as well as numerous day-of details. We had a very tight budget, and Heather took the time to go painstakingly through every detail to help us balance cost with the quality of our reception - which was an absolute success.  She made the whole wedding experience so much easier -- beyond what we expected from a caterer!  I recommend Chocolate Mousse very highly!!"

- Heather and Jon Whitman

"I idea of getting married thrilled me, the reality scared the living daylights out of me!  Ican not lie I'm a high maintenance girl.  I like what I like and I wont settle for anything less than perfect. I didn't think I could get everything I wanted on the tight budget I was working with.  Heather didn't just provide an incredible meal (which my guests' still rave about) she provided me peace of mind as well as priceless contacts with venues, photographers, DJ's and florist who were able to make my vision of a romantic rustic wedding a reality without the need to rob stage coaches to fund it all.  If you need a caterer I recommend Heather because her jack-of-all trades versatility and go to attitude were my winning combination" 

-Brittany Smith   

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tip 4 of my 6 Tips to the Perfect Day

FLOWERS ARE EXPENSIVE! Flowers are generally a must at weddings and I fully agree they are an essential part of setting the mood.  However, rather than paying thousand for flowers everywhere consider limiting the amount of real flowers and using a bit of creativity.  Vines, twigs, tall grasses, and even live planted shrubs, vegetables, fruits and herbs can be used to create beautiful centerpieces. Many brides like the idea of keeping their wedding bouquet after the big day. If that sounds like you consider a none-traditional piece composed of only a few flowers or be really edgy and try the bouquets below with no plants at all.  If you're thinking table center pieces choosing live planters can also double as great gifts for your guest.  If you want to get your hands “dirty”...I crack myself up….consider growing your own ferns, rubber plants, herbs, etc for use instead of floral arrangements.  If you decide to DIY your plants it will also double as a great Bridal Shower event, a.k.a use your bridal party for free labor.