Author Sheri Castle Helps Prepare Party Hosts For the Holidays

SheriCastle_authorphoto

Stewart Waller

Although students in Sheri Castle’s holiday hors d’oeuvres class at Southern Season this weekend will learn how to assemble a range of impressive items, not every dish on the demonstration menu is highly elaborate: The first appetizer on the syllabus is a roast beef, asparagus and Boursin wrap.

Castle, a cookbook author and cooking instructor from Chapel Hill, N.C., is a proponent of keeping kitchen projects manageable during the holidays – especially when expecting lots of hungry guests.

“Don’t tackle more than you and your schedule can handle,” Castle advises. “Make sure your menu includes plenty of make-ahead and low-maintenance items; It’s fine to fill in with a few thoughtfully purchased items.” Continue reading

Local Brides Sweet on Biscuit Bars

Although not yet as popular as a drippy chocolate fountain, biscuit bars – featuring split buttermilk biscuits and fixings – are increasingly showing up at Southern weddings.

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Charleston Grill

“With a variety of options and toppings, food bars are the best way to let your guests play with their food,” the bridal magazine The Knot earlier this year decreed in an online story titled “12 Surprising Food Bars You’ve Never Seen Before!” The post endorsed taco bars, doughnut bars, mashed potato bars, grilled cheese bars and biscuit bars, illustrated with a photo supplied by Charleston planner A Lowcountry Wedding.

After Charleston Grill chef Michelle Weaver staged a biscuit bar for June’s Bon Appetit Grub Crawl, Charleston Place added the amenity to its list of available event services. Continue reading

Mother-Daughter Team Opens Shortbread Shop in West Ashley

Butter Blossoms

Butter Blossoms

Emily Herr’s three-year year old daughter immediately cottoned to the idea that her mother was creating a dainty, child-sized tearoom in which she could hold her December birthday party. The concept that’s harder to grasp – which won’t surprise any parents of toddlers – is sharing the play space.

“She doesn’t quite understand that other people will have their parties here,” says Herr, who’s opening Butter Blossoms Shortbread Shoppe & Tea Party Room in West Ashley this weekend.

The bakery’s an outgrowth of an online shortbread shop Herr, a Johnson & Wales grad and Sanctuary Hotel alum,  launched after her daughter was born. Herr and her mother, Shell DiTullio, developed 50 shortbread varieties to sell on Etsy. Continue reading