Go Green

Good Enough to Eat

Photo Courtesy of Brian Dorsey Studios

If these centerpieces look good enough to eat, that’s because they are! Ring pops, gummy frogs and flowers as well as lollipops and sour apple gumdrops make up this appetizing green centerpiece.

Get Your Greens

Photo Courtesy of Robin Bellinger

Stratas are a gourmet take on a yummy down home favorite, the casserole. Get your greens with this smoky Gruyere and Spinach Strata.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 loaf French or Italian bread (8 ounces), cut into 1/2 inch thick slices; supermarket bread is fine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 shallots or 1 small onion, minced

1 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Salt

Pepper

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Gruyère cheese, shredded (Havarti, sharp cheddar, and Colby are also good)

6 large eggs

1 3/4 cups half-and-half

DIRECTIONS

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots or onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook until the spinach is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Grease an 8-inch-square baking dish with butter. (I used an 8 x 11 inch baking dish and filled it up completely, but it had short sides–only about an inch.) Arrange half of the bread, buttered-side up, in a single layer in the dish. Scatter half of the spinach mixture and 1/2 cup of the cheese over the bread. Repeat, making another layer of bread, spinach, and cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the layered bread, spinach, and cheese. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and put a 2-pound bag of sugar on top to weigh it down. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Allow the strata to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking. When ready to bake, remove the sugar weight, remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Bake until both the edges and center are puffed and the edges have pulled away slightly from the sides of the dish, 50 to 55 minutes. (The center of my strata never really puffed, so I removed it when the edges pulled away from the sides of the dish.) Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before serving.

Minty Fresh

 Photo Courtesy of Carrie Vassios

Sweet, refreshing and not overly green, a Mint Lime Granita is part dessert part drink.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup lime juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, mint leaves, and sugar. Turn heat to medium high and stir until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.*

  2. Let mixture cool slightly then stir in lime juice. Pour mixture into glass baking dish and put in freezer.

  3. Every hour or so, scrape mixture with a fork, continuing until frozen, about three and a half hours.

  4. *You can also make simple syrup without turning on your stove. For directions, see here

Classic Green Screen

Video Courtesy of Jack Daniels

A classic green screen might not seem like anything new in the world of technical event photography, but it’s still fun. Get creative with branded graphics and fonts that you can place in after the fact, or with characters or designs representing your brand.

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