- March 1, 2015 - 1:50 pm
- Beyond the Cafe
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2015 FitWorth Challenge
February 2nd through March 13th
The Z's Cafe team has always encouraged a healthy lifestyle both by offering healthy menu options and by being involved in local Fort Worth initiatives. This competition seems to be a great fit for us and we invite all of our friends to join us in answering Mayor Price's call to get involved in the FitWorth Challenge!
This is a six-week health competition. Join with a buddy or form a team, then log at www.fitworthtrack.com to track nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss. You can even earn points for running in or volunteering at the Cowtown Marathon, attending a healthy cooking class from Tarrant Area Food Bank, participating in the FitWorth Restaurant Crawl, and more. The challenge is open to everyone, don't wait!
FitWorth Restaurant Crawl Locations
- February 9, 2015 - 11:55 am
- Planning Your Wedding
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Whether you are going for elegant or cute, traditional or unique, your wedding invitations play an important role in the festivities. They convey the personality or theme of your wedding, as well as informing people of the details of your event. Even if you have a wedding website, physical invitations still play a key role. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Key points to remember:
- Keep it simple - Even the most creative invitation should spell out all essential wedding info -- who's getting married, who's hosting and where, when and what time the ceremony will take place.
- Traditional Invitation Wording - The host is listed first on the invitation.
- More formal invitations will spell everything out, including the time of the ceremony (i.e. Fifth of November Two Thousand Fifteen)
- On classic wedding invitations, there's generally a request line or a call to action after the host's name -- something along the lines of "request the honor of your presence."
- RSVP - Most invitations include the address of the ceremony. Some also include the address of the reception. RSVP information can be included right on the invitation or on a separate RSVP card. (RSVP cards are easier if you'd like people to respond by mail.) Either way, it's important to let your guests know what to do next!
Invitation Format & Wording
Less Formal Invitation
- January 12, 2015 - 1:40 pm
- Planning Your Wedding
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How do you plan? Where do the ideas come from? One option is to attend a bridal show. A bridal show or wedding expo is generally a showcase of offerings by a variety vendors who could be involved in producing a wedding. This can include florists, caterers, cake designers, travel agents, wedding coordinators, dress and tuxedo retailers, etc. It can be a great way to see what’s out there and start gathering ideas for wedding themes.
Some shows charge people to attend but this is not always the case. Often those that have a cover charge will also have fashion shows, food/drinks or expensive door prizes as enticements. Since most shows will have a list of which vendors are attending on their website, do your research and let this guide your choice.
Bridal shows are often held in convention centers or other expansive venues, and can be quite large. You should plan to spend several hours there to give yourself time to explore it fully.
What to bring
- A tote bag - to carry any packets or flyers you may pick up. And a pen to make notes on those flyers so you can tell them apart later.
- Address stickers - with your name, address, wedding date and phone number, to save you time in filling out forms. * If you plan to give out email contact info,consider setting up a “wedding” email account, so that your personal email isn’t bombarded with emails from wedding vendors.
- A camera - to record any great visual setups. Though be sure to ask vendors first before snapping away.
- Walking shoes - these venues are large and there is a lot to see
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some vendors will want you to book right away to “lock in your discount.” Ask if you can get still get the discount for booking an appointment with them to go over further details. Sometimes it's better to resist the urge to book at the show so you can check out all of your options first.
And most of all, remember to have fun! Even if you don’t make any hard decisions, it can be neat to simply check out all the possibilities.
Bridal Shows in Dallas - Jan 24-25 2015
Bridal Shows in Fort Worth - Feb 1st, 2015
- November 10, 2014 - 4:26 pm
- Party Theme Ideas
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Don't worry about dinner ideas for your event, try a food bar and let this buffet style serving option take the stress out of your party planning. No more worrying about who specifically wanted chicken or fish or the vegetarian option. Provide the options and let people choose. Different spreads can even give a bit of character to an event or highlight the theme of the evening.
The Pick Your Own Toppings bars
Omelette bar: Works as brunch or as breakfast for dinner, and can include anything from a classic sausage and peppers to a fancier capers and salmon.
Taco bar: Tacos may seem common place at first but when you put seared baja fish, with grapefruit salsa, cotija, and avocado together, you may just be surprised at how fancy you feel. Or try these 21 other taco recipes.
Mac & Cheese bar: Throw it in a martini glass to dress it up, or celebrate it as a comfort food. Bacon and cheddar mac & cheese. Pesto and parmesan mac & cheese. Lobster and Gruyere. Your guests will love you.
Grilled Cheese bar: Don’t think this classic sandwich gives you many options? Check our pinterest board with over 40 melty, delicious grilled cheese ideas to offer.
There’s Always Room For Dessert bars
Cookies & Milk bar: Invoking a little bit of childhood nostalgia. Pick out all your favorite kinds of cookies and share them with your friends.
- September 30, 2014 - 6:16 pm
- Planning Your Wedding
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Feeling overwhelmed by a long list of to-do’s that you haven’t to-done yet?
Planning your wedding is supposed to be wonderful, amazing and fun....but sometimes making wedding arrangements can become overwhelming and threaten to take over your life. Part of what causes stress is thinking about everything you have on your list all at once. We’ve gathered a few strategies that we recommend to help relieve your wedding planning stress and get back to enjoying yourself.
Meditation to Relieve Stress
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.”
Benefits of mediation include:
- Gaining clarity and peace of mind
- Seeing things from a new perspective
- Reducing negative emotions
- Learning and refining skills that help you manage stress
- Increasing self-awareness and focusing on the present moment
Because mediation takes a fair amount of calm and concentration, the place you choose for meditating can be very important. You want to create a space that feels safe and relaxing to you. You can do this in your home by finding a quiet, de-cluttered space to set up in. Or if you need a little help, we found some local classes to guide you.
- The YWCA in Fort Worth offers free meditation classes. They also offer a great wedding venue.
- Meditation in Texas (Meditation Classes)
Absolutely no time for a class? Just need a quick escape? We CHALLENGE you to DoNothingfor2Minutes.com! Can you relax and do nothing for 2 full minutes?
Exercise to Relieve Stress
Exercise can help you burn that anxious energy. It also fills your blood stream with the feel good endorphins (the neurotransmitters responsible for runners high.) Like meditation, it helps to steer your mind away from stressful thoughts that so often clutter the brain. It also helps to build the self-confidence you need to tackle those difficult wedding decisions.
- Need to get out some frustration? Try kickboxing and learn some valuable self-defense techniques while you’re at it,
- Dancing is always a fun, creative way to burn calories,
- Don’t like leaving the house to exercise? There are hundreds of exercise classes available for free on Youtube,
- Yoga is another great way to de-stress that has some meditative elements and also improves flexibility, posture, and strength.
Places to exercise in Fort Worth:
Where to do Yoga in Fort Worth:
Overall it’s important to know yourself and your limits. Taking a mental and physical time-out when you are feeling overwhelmed, allows you to come back to the task at hand feeling refreshed and energized. Just remember to take your list one to-do at a time.
- August 8, 2014 - 2:09 pm
- Planning Your Wedding
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There are few things quite as natural and beautiful as an outdoor wedding. There are also few things as unpredictable. Wind, rain and even an overabundant sun can quickly change the dynamics of your reception. You can’t control the weather, but you can certainly be prepared for whatever blows your way. Here are some ideas to beat the heat and be prepared for what ever comes your way on your wedding day.
Fun Lighting Ideas
One way to enjoy your Texas wedding is to have it in the evening just after the sun goes down. The light is beautiful in the evening and you can keep the party rockin’ with outdoor lighting that doubles as decoration.
- Fairy Lights or Christmas Lights (any string if delicate lights will give a soft warm ambiance to your reception)
- Contained Fire Pit (this will also provide a bit of heat if it’s chilly out)
- Candles (mix citronella candles with decorative ones for ambiance and bug protection)
- Tiki Torches (smoke from these can also repel insects)
All Kinds of Weather
- Create shade, either with umbrellas, canopies, or strategically setting up chairs underneath a tree
- Design programs that double as fans
- Offer complimentary sunscreen and bug spray to your guests
- Provide parasols for guests
- Give away sunglasses as wedding favors
- Consider renting some large Port-a-Cool fans that create cool air and keep it moving
- Cover your food. Nothing tastes worse than food that is dry or insufficiently warm.
- Umbrellas can double as sun and light rain protection depending on their size.
- Keep a stash of towels around to dry off feet or seats if a light rain blows through
- Weigh things down that might blow away
- Fasten table cloths to the table (remind your rental company to include the clips, as they sometimes will forget them)
- Set-up buffet table away from wind. Sometimes the sterno flame will not stay lit and food will get cold.
- Provide blankets or wraps if it might get chilly
- Fresh Fruit Platter/Fruit Skewers (fruit will be in season and extra sweet)
- Green Beans Amandine
- Chicken Epinard
- New Potatoes w/ Dill (dill is said to be a cooling spice; great for summer dishes)
Beat the Heat
- Keep food covered and in coolers if necessary
- Ice bucket is a fancy way to make ice available
- Provide water and ice, especially to the wedding party who will be running around all day
- Keep cake cool, so the icing doesn’t melt
- Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
- Mac ‘n Cheese Bar (a little comfort food to warm the soul)
- Z’s Chicken Parmesan Marinara
Stay Warm & Toasty
- Keep food covered and consider warming plates
- Provide warm beverages (like hot cocoa or a hot toddy)
- A Fire Pit at the reception provides light and warmth
Wedding Idea Boards:
- July 13, 2014 - 7:25 pm
- Party Theme Ideas
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Channel your Favorite Characters
Borrow some ideas from some of the most popular shows on television to add a fun twist to your get-together. Don't just host a watch party for a new episode...Dress up as the character you'd most like to be, gossip about your favorite moments. and speculate about upcoming plot twists. Test your knowledge of the show with fun trivia and of course...offer theme-appropriate prizes for the winners!
Game of Thrones - Step into the world of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and enjoy a feast.
Attire: Will it be House Stark, Lannister, Targaryen? Choose your house affiliation and color-coordinate accordingly. Tunics and flowing gowns are appropriate if your leather and furs are at the cleaners.
Suggested menu: In case you haven't had a chance to purchase 'A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook', here are some ideas to get you started:
- Or try the Official Game of Thrones Food Blog, where you can find all sorts of recipes from Elderflower Fritters, to Hotpie's Wolf bread to whole roasted leg of lamb.
Decorations: Hang homemade house sigil banners, and use a few sheets to mock up a dothraki tent. If you can set up in the backyard, a roaring fire could be an appropriate way to roast your lamb.
Mad Men - Though sadly in its last season, a Mad Men themed evening is always a great excuse to pull out your grandmother’s china, a few decanters of hard liquor, tease your hair up or wrap it into a french twist and step back in time.
Attire: Ask yourself, what would Jackie Kennedy wear? Think glamour, elegance and simplicity. Black and white, with pearls...understated, yet polished and feminine. Looking to keep things casual? Polka dot fountain dresses, box-shaped jackets and circle skirts are actually making a comeback, so you really can't go wrong.
Suggested Menu: Master the art of French cooking with some Julia Child classics. Or if you’re looking to be a bit more low key here are some quick and simple throwback recipes:
Clam dip & UTZ chips
And remember, every hour is cocktail hour when you're watching Mad Men...so have the highball glasses ready and keep the martini's coming!
Decorations: Tuck away your modern contrivances and set out some vintage decor, possibly from a local flea market. Set your record player to some 60's grooves with mambo and bossa nova or graduate to Elvis, the Beatles, and Motown classics to really get the party groovin’.
Of course if you'd prefer, the Z's Cafe staff can create a fabulous party menu for you, leaving you free to say Hello to all of your guests AND manage the remote!
- June 5, 2014 - 1:57 pm
- Learn to Cook Healthy & Delicious
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There’s more to grilling than burgers, ribs, and hot dogs. Here are some grilled food ideas for this summer's backyard BBQ that go beyond traditional grilled chicken and corn on the cob. Grilling brings the flavor out, so don't be afraid to be adventurous! You already know fruits and veggies are healthier for you, but who knew they were so delicious off the grill?
Ice Tea & Cocktails
Grilling lemons & limes causes them to release more natural sugar, giving them a divine sweet, smoky flavor. Try grilling lime slices for your vodka tonic or peaches to go in your old-fashioned.
Peaches, Watermelons, Pineapple-- much like lemons & limes, grilling these fruits will release more of their natural sweetness. Add cinnamon, honey or sorbet on top to create a decadent dessert.
It sounds crazy but what better thing to add to a seemingly boring salad than the delicious smoky flavors you already love from the grill. Try it, we dare ya. We even found this grilled romaine lettuce recipe for you to get you started!
Take your salad from 'the usual', to amazing. Slice an avocado in half and toss it on the grill for a bit before you dice it in with the lettuce. Or simply enjoy the avocado with salsa and sour cream.
You can grill olives on a skewer mixed with other deliciousness or wrapped in foil, depending on the effect you are going for. Toss them with olive oil and herbs as an excellent appetizer or as another layer of awesome on that salad.
Everyone enjoys a grilled cheese sandwich but grilled cheese itself can be just as delicious. Try warming a thick-rinded cheese on the grill and serving it with crackers as an appetizer.
Set your cast iron right on the grill next to your meat. You can even add in fresh grilled corn if you’re feeling ambitious. Recipe for cast-iron cornbread...
Enjoy your dinner, while delicious cobbler grills away in a disposable aluminum cake pan. Just be sure to add the biscuit topping in the last half of cooking so they don’t burn. Recipe for blueberry cobbler...
It’s the next best thing to having a smoker. Use a foil pan, add some butter, soy sauce, & spices, and remember to stir. Recipe for 'Hot & Smokin' grilled nuts...
Slice open a banana longways and stuff the middle with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in tinfoil and grill. Unwrap the magic and enjoy!
As if regular pound cake weren’t decadent enough. Try adding a little more butter, give it a light grilling and then pair it with those peaches we mentioned earlier. Or a summer berry compote. Recipe for grilled pound cake...
Come on, tie on your favorite 'Kiss the Cook' apron, trade in your spatula for a set of tongs and rediscover your favorite grilled fruits & veggies!
A potluck party can be a super fun way to get together and let everyone show off their creative side. Plus it can also relieve the stress of hosting a bit. With a good plan and a fun theme, a good ole fashioned potluck can be the perfect dinner party idea.
Inspire your friends to be Iron Chefs
Just like Chef Morimoto!
Dress like the chefs or the judges. An apron and a chef toque or a suit and a bib.
Here’s where you can get creative. Announce a “feature” ingredient the morning of your party and ask guests to bring either an appetizer, main course, or dessert with that ingredient in it. It could anything from strawberries, to ginger, to tumeric.
Or have your cooks assemble at thegrocery store. Reveal the secret ingredient, a time and money limit, then let the cooks go wild. The cooks go home to make their dish and have to arrive at the party at a certain time.
Spray paint a wooden spoon gold and write the date of the party on the handle as a trophy.
Wine and Cheese party
You don’t have to be a connoisseur to enjoy a good pairing. Wine and cheese are a perfect match for a simple yet elegant party.
Dress it up with cocktail dresses and button-ups, or keep it casual with comfy cashmere sweaters.
A variety of crackers are a must. Also as the host you may want to provide a few, other snack foods/ appetizers for guests to enjoy: fruits, nuts, pretzels, etc.
Be sure to have enough stemware. Don't worry if it doesn't all match. It will be easier for your guests to find their glass if it is not exactly like the others anyway! Some corks and a shaped wooden cheese board can add a nice touch to the food display, or try a table runner of chalkboard contact paper...an easy way to give your guest written instructions.
If you don't necessarily consider yourself a wine expert, but you are enthusiastic...check out some of Gary Vaynerchuck's unorthodox but fun wine reviews or visit the Cheese Course.com for some insights on pairing wine with cheese.