How To

Upscale, Country Picnic Wedding at the Utah State Capitol!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Food, How To, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Wedding Trends | No Comments

Today, I have a beautifully sweet wedding Culinary Crafts did at the Utah State Capitol last summer!  We loved how colorful, fun, and full of cute details there were in this wedding!  Plus, the bride wanted to host an ‘upscale country picnic’ – which we loved!  The menu was so perfect and in line with the playful feel of this event.  Thank you to Kelli Bramble for capturing this event so well – check it out!

The mix of color, textrure, and vintage rentals from Refined Vintage Events were so PRETTY!  We loved how it all came together.  Of course, we would expect nothing less from Michelle Leo Events (who did the day-of planning)!

These escort ‘cards’ were so cute!  So whimsical and bright.  Plus, look at how beautiful the menu board turned out (thanks Karli Noel Calligraphy!)

We love welcoming guests to the table with a tasty bite, so we put together these decadent ‘couples cheese boards’ with local cheeses, fruits, and crisps for each couple to share.  So yummy (and fun)!  Plus, check out the fabulous country-striped napkins, bright table numbers, red chargers, vintage glassware, and organic florals – such a perfect tablescape for the upscale county picnic feel!

How gorgeous is this day?!  A perfect day for this picture perfect wedding!

The bride wanted to incorporate some fun elements like a Lemonade stand.  Isn’t is cool?!  And these Rosemary Shortbread Cookies were a light, summer-y treat that the guests loved!

The bride’s breathtaking bouquet was put on display during the reception, because, I mean why not show off this beauty???  Lizy Bowden Floral Design hit it out of the park!

After dinner, guests were encouraged to mix and mingle at these pretty highboys that were placed around the perimeter of the reception space.  We love dressing up the linens with a simple rosette.  Simple, elegant, and impactful.  Love it!

The bride and groom had an extra special place at the head table with these AMAZING turquoise, vintage chairs and this cute ‘Mr & Mrs’ signage.  We love setting the couple’s seats apart with cute details that really add to the visual interest of the reception space.

Our staff is so AWESOME!  Look at them putting together SO many beautiful plates and looking so stylish to boot!

The guests started their meal with our Summer Greens Salad with Citrus and Kiwi, dressed with a Raspberry Vinaigrette.  Such a perfect summer salad!

Next, the guests were served House Made Potato Chips – and let me tell you, these chips were out-of-this-world!

Because the bride wanted an ‘upscale’ feel, we served this country picnic as a formal plated dinner.  Such a fun twist!  So, along with the delicious chips, the guests were served this AMAZIN’ plate – a trio of sliders.  We made a Classic Hamburger Slider on a Sesame Bun, a Pulled Pork Slider on a Poppyseed Bun, and a Turkey Slider on an Onion Bun.  Add our Watermelon garnished with Mint and Feta and you have a classic summer menu!

Another look at this gourmet trio of sliders, beacause, why not?!  They are so DELICIOUS!

We love this pretty, organic wedding cake.  Not quite a ‘naked’ cake, but definitely with that style.  And the floral touches were so perfect for the feel of this event.  Of course, we made sure dessert was over the top too!  Not only did the guests get wedding cake, but we made House Made Red Velvet Donuts with Culinary Crafts’s Signature Gelato  too!  This was a favorite dish, for sure!

Wasn’t this event so fun?  We absolutely loved it!   From the decor to the menu, every detail was perfect and the guests were thrilled with this one-of-a-kind event.  We hope this inspires you to do something a little different for your wedding too.  Happy planning, everyone!

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Setting the Perfect Table

By | Event Tips and Planning, How To, Parties, Top 5 Tips | No Comments

By Kaleb Crafts

Whether you are planning a corporate function, your big wedding day or just entertaining your closest friends for an intimate dinner party, the table setting sets the tone for the event more than almost anything else. Here are a few tips to help you think through this important piece to your event.

The Linen

The right tablecloth or linen is the first thing down on the table. A clean, crisp, white, linen that hangs just to the floor can be a great fit for any event, but get creative. Bring some colors in, use some unique patterns or fabrics. Don’t hesitate to get out the sewing machine and quickly hem or surge an edge on your favorite fabric. Add a pop of color with a runner or additional cloth overlay. Be mindful of textures and how they go together.

The Centerpiece

Get creative with your arrangements. Fresh florals can be used in almost any situation and tailored to fit the feel of the party. However, don’t be tied down to florals alone, add in votive candles, tiles, mirrors, beads, etc. For themed parties, use anything from sports caps to wood boxes to tiki torches. One thing to keep in mind is that while a tall and wide centerpiece will certainly be breathtaking at first glance, it can detract from table conversation once guests are seated. If it blocks the view of guests who are opposite one another, it can be bothersome.  

The Serviceware

Pick a china pattern that fits the event. If you have space and budget, add a charger or service plate to the place setting. The flatware should look cohesive with the china and be set according to common etiquette. An entire book could be written about place setting etiquette, so I won’t go into too much detail. But keep the flatware half an inch from the edge of the table and work outside in, meaning that the flatware should be placed in the order it will be used throughout dinner service working from the outside towards the plate. I love this picture from that shows a traditional formal setting. In most circumstances, you won’t have all of these pieces set and you won’t set more than 3 pieces of flatware to left and right of the plate at a time, but this shows where the appropriate location for pretty much anything you could think of would go.  

The Accouterments

It is always helpful to think through the evening and plan the additional needs on the table accordingly. Salt and pepper shakers, water pitchers, place cards, table numbers, etc. Keep in mind that the additional items placed on the table may clutter the clutter and detract from the rest of the table.  

I hope these quick tips help you at your next big event and remember, life is too short to eat bad food.  

Happy New Years! Recipe for Black Eyed Peas

By | Food, How To, Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments
Black eyed peas are a staple for New Years. Tradition says if you eat this dish on New Years Day (Jan 1st), it will bring you good luck for the rest of the year! If you add collard greens to your dish it is said to make them even luckier because it’s the color of money! The beans are usually simmered with onion and a meaty bone like pork or ham and seasoned with just salt and pepper. 

  • 2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
  • 1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish


  1. Drain peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone (if using slab bacon, cut it into 2-inch chunks), cover with 10 cups water and turn heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add water as necessary, always keeping liquid level 1 inch above surface, stirring with wooden spoon occasionally. Turn off heat. Check broth for salt and adjust seasoning. Mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove ham hock, ham bone or bacon. Chop meat and skin in rough pieces and set aside.
  3. Put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until wavy. Add garlic and red pepper and let sizzle without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add 1 cup water, stirring to help wilt greens. Add chopped ham and reduce heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.
  4. To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. Sprinkle with scallions.

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Food, Holiday Parties, How To, Instagram of the Week, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Parties, Vendor Love!, Wedding Trends | No Comments


Today’s Instagram of the Week is a fun one and was captured BEAUTIFULLY by Gideon Photo!  Did you know that in addition to our amazing wedding and events eats, Culinary Crafts has also started making amazing cheese cakes?!  It’s true!  For the couple who doesn’t want a traditional cake (or a confection at all) we make gorgeous (and delectable) cakes made out of cheese!  Seriously, so good – and a wonderful idea for all of the cheese lovers out there!  Thank you again to Gideon Photo for this amazing capture!  And remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, just add the hashtag #culinarycrafts or tag us at @culinarycrafts and check back to see who gets picked!  Happy weekend, everyone!

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Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, How To, Recipe of the Month, Recipes, Tips | No Comments

It’s super easy to homemake BBQ sauce. Just add a bunch of ingredients to a pot and let it simmer! You can customize it to your taste. Add sugar, honey, or molasses to make it sweeter.  Add more apple cider vinegar to make it tangy. Anything you want! It’s perfect for the last grilling you’ll do before the weather gets too cold.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.


  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large diced yellow onion
  • 1 large diced bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 TBSP Tabasco
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 cap liquid smoke

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

The first thing you’ll want to do is chop up the onions and bell peppers into a large dice. Put a large pot on the stove and turn it on to a high heat. Drizzle some olive oil into the pot. Add onions and bell peppers to the pot.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Let the onions and bell peppers sauté and caramelize in the pan. It will usually take around 5-7 minutes. It goes a lot faster if you have a gas stove rather than electric. In the picture below, you can see the difference of when the onions and peppers first went into the pot and then when it’s ready.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

After they’re caramelized, you’re going to deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar. Add it into the pot and let it steam and pick up the caramelization from the onions and bell peppers. Then add the ketchup and garlic powder to the pot.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Then add the brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and liquid smoke to the pot.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Next, add the honey and mix all the ingredients together.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Let the pot simmer on low for about 30 min to a hour. The onions and peppers will be soft when it’s done. You can see the coloring difference in the picture on the right.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

After it’s done simmering, you can either blend everything together for a thicker sauce or you can strain the bell peppers out for a thinner BBQ sauce. We strained it out in this one.

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Now you can see the BBQ sauce all done. Get some ribs or chicken and get a brush and brush on the sauce on top of the ribs. Now eat and enjoy!

How to make homemade BBQ sauce.



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Grilled peaches With Honey Mascarpone

By | Food, How To, Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments

Grilled peaches are the epitome of August. They’re perfectly ripe and delicious. What is better than a grilled peach with honey mascarpone on top?

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Here is everything you’ll need to make this treat!

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone


  • 6 peaches
  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 raspberries
  • 6 heads of mint

First, get out your peaches and cut them in half. Brush the peaches with olive oil on both sides. This will help the browning process when you put it on the grill. Then put in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt and mix together.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Now take your peaches to the grill. You’ll want the grill to be around 450 degrees. Using tongs, place the peaches on the grill. Let sit about 2 minutes and flip over to the other side. Let cook for 2 more minutes then take off the grill.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Put the peaches on a baking sheet and sprinkle honey over the peaches. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Take 2 cups of mascarpone and put it in the mixer. Then drizzle in 1/2 cup of honey. Mix only until incorporated.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Put the honey mascarpone mixture into a piping bag. Pipe onto a peach half.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Sprinkle almonds on top and add a mint leaf.

How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Add a raspberry on top and you’re done! Enjoy your delicious grilled peaches with honey mascarpone.

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How to make grilled peaches with honey mascarpone

Repost from All Seated: Top 5 Ways To Simplify Your Event

By | Corporate Events, Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, How To, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, News, Tips | No Comments
Check out this AWESOME post from All Seated with tips from our very own Kaleb Crafts!

Kaleb Craft, Chief Sales Officer at Culinary Crafts is here today as a contributor to the AllSeated blog to share the top 5 ways to simplify planning your event. Thanks Kaleb!

Planning a large event can be one of the more stressful experiences of your life! But, it can also be quite enjoyable if you do it the right way. Planning doesn’t depend on your personality as much as it depends on your approach to event planning. Event industry professionals aren’t always passionate about events to begin with.

Often times they begin with a passion for organization and organizational systems, which in turns leads them into the event industry where they get a chance to use those skills to pull off incredible things they get to experience and share with others on a daily basis.

Culinary Crafts

Here are 5 quick tips the sales team here at Culinary Crafts use to make the process a bit smoother.

Nail down your vision before you jump in.

Contractors won’t start digging a hole, setting footings and pouring foundations the first day a client comes in a says “I want to build a home.” They have blue prints complete, engineered plans finished, building permits in place, and a plan in place to execute from start to finish before they turn the first shovel full of dirt. Stress free event planning starts the same way, you should have a general vision, budget, and concept in place before jumping in. This will prevent doubling back tasks multiple times.

Ask yourself questions like, “What is my overall goal?” or “What feelings do I want my guests to have while at the event?” and “What is the single most important thing to me about the event?”

Make a chronological checklist and itemizing the tasks to be done and prioritize by what makes the most sense to you.

This usually helps paint a road map of what to do. We like to do things in this order, 1) pick a date 2) pick a venue and 3) pick a caterer. Complete your list with as many details as you can think of. Work through your list step-by-step.

Research vendors that fit your style and budget.

Often, people suppose that all event companies are created equal. That is not so. Each company has a niche type of event and demographic they work best with. Most can do many things, but that still doesn’t mean one company is going to be the perfect fit for every situation. I wouldn’t walk into a Ferrari dealership looking for the most fuel-efficient car on the planet.

Similarly, if luxury is the single most important thing to me when it comes to buying a new car, I wouldn’t go to the Hyundai dealership. Consider styles, budgets, and overall healthy working relationships. Do some online research and narrow your vendors choices down to 2 or 3 for each category. Have a short 5-10 minute conversation with each one and see who you feel most comfortable with.

Use your contracted vendors to your advantage.

By now you have picked your first couple of vendors and you feel really good about them. They know their stuff, they are clear experts in their field, and they have oodles of experience creating exactly what you are looking for. Well, use that knowledge and expertise.

Culinary Crafts

Ask your caterer for recommendations on good florists, bands, and entertainment companies. Ask your AV company what additional services they offer. Often times, these vendors can help ease the stress of all those additional details. In fact, many times, they may be able to be your one stop shop for all things event. They can coordinate your ice sculpture, transportation, linens and everything else.

Bring in additional help.

Some events really are just more than one person can handle. If your event has the high level of detail that is just too overwhelming no matter how you organize, checklist and structure, then find a good event planner or coordinator. Let them know up front how much help you need. Determine if you need someone you can trust with everything and hand over the reins, or if you just need help with a few key tasks.

Culinary Crafts

Our bonus tip is to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day… don’t try to plan the event of the century in a day. Give yourself plenty of time. Enjoy the process and the smaller details. The best events are about creating memorable experiences and using all 5 senses to do that. Happy Planning!

Learn more about Culinary Crafts by visiting their website and following along on social media:

Instagram: @culinarycrafts

Twitter: @culinarycrafts

Pinterest: @culinarycrafts

Of Possible Interest: Vendor Spotlight: Culinary Crafts

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Local Cheese And Apple Hors D’oeuvre

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Here at Culinary Crafts we use local and fresh ingredients for all of our dishes. (Except when our clients want a dish that is asian or mediterranean influenced, because lets be real, it’s hard to find some of the ingredients locally for those dishes!)

For this hors d’oeuvre we only used 3 ingredients; apples, cheese, and honey.

We love using local honey because it is raw and unfiltered. Processed honey takes out the amazing flavor honey have to offer, so buy local! Wherever the bees are located and getting their pollen from is how the honey will taste. If the bees are up in wildflowers, the honey will have a floral taste to it. Same with if they are by a pumpkin patch, they will have the hint of pumpkin.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

Some of our favorite cheeses is Beehive Cheese, Heber Valley Cheese, Deer Valley and our own cheeses we made in-house. Pictured is the Barely Buzzed cheese from Beehive Cheeses, located in Northern Utah. Beehive cheese sources the milk used in the cheese from Wade’s Dairy, also in Northern Utah. The Barely Buzzed cheese is a white cheddar cheese with an espresso rub on the outside.

They get the rub exclusively make for them from Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee. It is made from espresso and lavender with subtle notes of butterscotch and caramel. Barely Buzzed is then aged in their humidity controlled facility and moved to two different temperatures during the aging process to develop texture and flavor.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

We love Mountainland Apples in Santaquin, Utah. For this hors d’oeuvre we used a delicious granny apple.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

Below is our really popular local cheese and apple hors d’oeuvre. Utah apples are harvested in the late Summer/Fall. Apples hold really well in a really cold storage but they’re at their best when you get them at a farmers market or a orchard because they’ll be extra juicy. Because of the cold storage, we’re able to serve this delicious hors d’oeuvre year-round.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

We used clover honey from Miller Farms which is made in Salt Lake City, Utah. The hives were surrounded by clover fields, which is where they got the pollen from and it’s affects the taste.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

We love this hors d’oeuvre because you get the sweetness from the apple and the savory from the cheese which has a little bit of fat in it so it coats your mouth, and then the honey gives it a nice extra flavor. You can garnish it with a micro green or herb. We used thyme in these pictures.

Local Cheese And Apple Hors D'oeuvre

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How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

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It only take two ingredients to make homemade vanilla extract. It’s so easy! You’ll never go back to store-bought vanilla extract after making this recipe.

How to make homemade vanilla extract

You can even find a fun cute bottle to reuse just like the one pictured here. Or you can use the rum bottle and add in the vanilla beans!

How to make homemade vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 3 vanilla beans

Other things you’ll need

  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Funnel
  • Storage container
  • Liquid measuring cup

Vanilla beans are easier to find that you think. If you prep ahead of time you can order them online. But you can find them in William Sonoma or Harmons here in Utah.

The first thing you do is measure out the rum into a cup. Then take the vanilla beans and make a cut right down the middle as straight as possible. take your knife and scrape out the vanilla beans in one long scoop. Put the beans in the cup with the rum.

How to make homemade vanilla extract

Pour out the mixture into a bowl. Using your hands, scrape out any leftover beans in the vanilla pods.

How to make homemade vanilla extract

Pour the mixture into your storage container and add in the vanilla beans at the end. It will give the vanilla more flavor!

How to make homemade vanilla extract

You’ll want to let the ingredients sit together for at the very least a month, but it’s best to let sit for 3 months before you start using it. Great news, it can last forever! It will never expire.

Here is a side by side comparison of what your mixture will look like right after you put it together and what it’ll look like after 3 months. You can see how much darker the mixture needs to get! Now take a break, put it in your panty, and enjoy some delicious chocolate chip cookies with your homemade vanilla in 3 months!

How to make homemade vanilla extract

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Gotta Try Our Panna Cotta

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, How To, News, Recipe of the Month, Recipes, Tips | No Comments

Summer is in full swing and temperatures are high! Here’s a cool and refreshing, easy to make dessert that is perfect for serving at barbecues and summer soirees. It chills for a few hours before serving, which makes it super easy to serve whenever the time is right.

This would be a great dessert to serve at your Pioneer Day celebration next week!

I featured the panna cotta (along with several other patriotic themed desserts) when I was a guest on KSL’s “Studio 5” earlier this month. Check out the video here!


Wishing you a happy, safe and fun-filled summer  — Mary

Here’s a recent video of Mary at Studio 5 with Brooke Walker.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Serves 8
1/4 cup Water
1 TB. Gelatin
2 cups Cream
2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1 cup Sugar
4 cups Buttermilk
2 tsp. Vanilla

1) Bloom gelatin in ice cold water for 10 minutes
2) Heat cream, zest and sugar to low boil.
3) Add gelatin off of heat. Stir until dissolved.
4) Cool mixture to lukewarm stirring often.
5) Stir in buttermilk and vanilla.
6) Pour into ramekins or glasses, (or use push-pop mold as shown at left) and chill at least 4 hours.