This weekend I will be catering a ‘friendraiser/thank you event’ for supporters of El Nido Family Centers. Founded in Los Angeles in 1925, it was created as a counseling service for girls. Believing that “a child cannot grow up twice” and that every child deserves health and happiness, they built a camp in Laurel Canyon.
Now celebrating 88 years, El Nido Family Centers has helped families deal with the challenges and problems they face, giving them the support and skills they need to succeed. El Nido — “the nest” in Spanish — has helped LA’s kids become responsible, productive, educated, healthy adults, and has provided adults with the guidance and resources they need to help their kids flourish. El Nido Family Centers has addressed some of the toughest problems facing each generation. Last year El Nido served over 10,000 children, youth and family members with its child abuse prevention and treatment, youth development, teen parenting, and parent education programs in Los Angeles County.
For summer events a great way to get a ‘good bang for your buck’ for beverages is Sangria. The traditional is made with red wine, but I find a good white wine Sangria is light and refreshing. These recipes are great for any warm weather gathering. Cheers!
1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
1 lemon cut into wedges
6 oranges cut into wedges
3 lime cut into wedges
2 tbsp sugar
2 shots of gin
1 cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries
1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 cups ginger ale
Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple; then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.
White Wine Sangria
1 bottle dry white wine
1 cup frozen lemonade
4 cups ginger ale or 7 up
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
4 strawberries, sliced
1 peach, sliced
In a large pitcher mix together white wine and lemonade. Add fruit slices and about 4 cups ice. Pour over the ginger ale or 7-up and mix well. Best is a pretty glass pitcher so you can see all of the fruit.
Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies. CLICK HERE to Learn from Gwen through her instructional videos featured on EHow. Check out her websites www.Backtothekitchen.net and http://magpieminipie.vpweb.com. Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON .