1. T’was the Night Before Thanksgiving…

    November 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    I will never forget the first Thanksgiving dinner I hosted for my family. Newlywed in our new house, my husband and I were excited and nervous the night before. Then disaster struck. My charming “new” Edwardian home was built in 1903 and while I’m sure the refrigerator wasn’t nearly as old, the outdated appliance inexplicably quit working.

    These things don’t sound an alarm when they go out but when I realized my bird wasn’t as cold to the touch as it should have been, I nearly panicked. I quickly reminded my husband that it had been my idea to replace the rinky-dink fridge when we bought the house but this was no time to argue! With casseroles cooling on the stove, waiting to be shoved in the tepid refrigerator, my twenty two pound bird was probably breeding salmonella for all I knew.

    Visions of family members reeling with sickness nearly made me panic but I flew into action, dispatched my husband to the nearest gas station for ice, promptly wrapped the bird with an entire roll of cellophane and shoved it into an ice chest. I stuffed freezer bags with ice and placed them on top of my casseroles and the dinner was saved. All in all I was a little impressed with my ability to improvise!

    Most Thanksgiving disasters can be avoided with simple planning and improvisation. Make a list of last year’s troublesome moments. Did you run out of room in the fridge (unlike my disaster, at least yours worked!). Clean it out down to the bare essentials the night before. Maybe you went to the pantry to cook a dish and realized you thought you had everything you needed. This time, write down every menu item and it’s ingredients for a checklist before you think you know what’s in the cupboard. It only takes a minute to do an inventory! Did you end up making all the food, doing all the decorations and clean up? For your own sanity, make it a potluck! Were kids running a muck? Doing a “stressor” inventory checklist will help you make things even better this year.

    Start thinking of things you can do now! As always, the more you cook in advance, the less stressful your day will be. Things like pie crusts, dough, and casseroles will freeze well. Break up the “deep cleaning” chores into two weeks, tackling a room each day or delegating those chores to your kids or spouse a few days before. Prepare indoor and outdoor activities for kids or enlist an older teen to babysit for extra money. Who says you can’t decorate now? Now is the key word…

    Whatever you do, don’t wait until the night before Thanksgiving!

    By Mindy Ragan Wood SEO Feature Writer

  2. Norman’s Award Winning Caterer!

    by Kris Abbey

    Some people get an adrenalin rush from skydiving out of plane or bungee jumping off a bridge but to me nothing is more thrilling than what I do. Catering labor intensive, high quality food takes creative instinct, seamless timing, and fantastic presentation. I’m Kris Abbey, owner of Abbey Road Catering in Norman and I can’t get enough of my work!

    I first got a taste of the hospitality industry one summer when I worked by day as a concierge for the Hyatt and by night waiting tables for banquet dinners. I had been apart of DECA in high school but when I experienced the excitement of pulling off a spectacular event, I was hooked. I decided to get my college degree and find a job in paradise. It was too bad that OU didn’t offer a hospitality program so I graduated with my degree in communications and headed to Belize where I got a job running a restaurant.

    When I returned to the U.S. It was a whirlwind of experiences. I got married and took a management position at Legends restaurant where I worked for four years until I gave birth to our first child. I knew I would need a more flexible schedule and left Legends to help a catering business for Hal Smith restaurant Group. From there I went on to managing Harold Powell’s restaurant, Cafe Plaid. When our second child came along, it was time to start out on my own.

    Today we have three children and they’ve grown up much like our catering business. Abbey Road Catering is a full service, three time award winning team of culinary artists and experienced event professionals. We bring our inspiration and creativity to every event with carefully designed floral arrangements, table settings and linens, and a customized menu to suite our guests.

    Whether your palate prefers rich and sophisticated cuisine or embellished originality and simplicity we serve a labor intensive, high quality product. Highlights from our plated and buffet dinners are the herb crusted tenderloin with amaretto infused sweet potatoes and for the hors d’ orderves that satisfy as a meal, guests rave over our Caribbean Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa and unique cheeses. Our mixed media presentations are exciting and alluring while we make sure our food is the perfect temperature from the first guest to the last.

    Weddings are some of our favorite occasions but we serve all types of events from grand galas and corporate events to ladies luncheons and intimate birthday parties. We can help you plan and design your event from the venue to the menu. Come by for a tasting at either of our two locations or visit our website at www.abbeyroadcatering.com to view our menu selections.

    Abbey Road Catering
    Kris Abbey
    1138 N. Robinson
    Oklahoma City, OK 73103

  3. Canterbury Choral Society

    by Kay E. Holt

     The Voice of the City!

    Oklahoma City’s holiday season and special event calendar simply wouldn’t be the same without the sounds of the Canterbury Choral Society  – joyful presentations which have lifted the spirits of audiences and given voice to the arts for more than four decades.

    Hello, my name is Dr. Kay Holt, the executive director of the Canterbury Choral Society.  For twenty-six years, I directed university operas and musicals and in community theaters in Oklahoma and several other states.  My PhD is in Education integrated with the Arts, and in addition I also worked as a consultant for school districts in creating arts-integrated curriculum for their schools.

    Eventually I moved into the field of arts management, more recently serving as the Director of Education and Community Partnerships for eight years with The Dallas Opera.  I returned to Oklahoma after over 20 years because I was very impressed with the commitment and vision that had inspired a Renaissance in our great City! The MAPS projects had brought new entertainment venues and a surge of interest in the arts.  When I was offered the position of executive director for the Canterbury Choral Society, I was thrilled to return to Oklahoma City and become part of its vision and regeneration.   

    The Canterbury Choral Society has been an Oklahoma City tradition for more than 40 years.  This 145 all volunteer choral group performs in OKC venues primarily in the metro area, such as the Civic Center, but also all over Oklahoma.  We are proud to serve as ambassadors to other states as well.   

    Smaller groups of our singers (usually four to 40) entertain at private parties, grand openings, weddings, in addition to sports, corporate and community events.

    We keep quite busy during the holiday season with our public presentations at the Civic Center, as well as tree lighting ceremonies and other public and private festivities.

    Our Canterbury Youth Choruses are comprised of extremely talented young people from 2nd grade through high school who are also available to perform during the holidays and at special events  

    Canterbury Choral Society is committed to collaboration and partnership. Tickets to Canterbury performances can be combined with a reception or other innovative ideas to create a full evening’s experience for your guests.    

    (Read More…)

  4. Latest & Greatest Novemver 2011

    by admin

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  5. Whodunit Dinner Theater

    by Terri Myers

    Murder Most Hilarious! 

    It’s been said that everyone loves a good murder mystery.  That’s especially true when the “whodunit”  (and a good laugh) is shared over a delicious meal among friends, family and business associates.    

    Hello, my name is Terri Myers, Director of Whodunit Dinner Theater.  I began my association with Whodunit back in 1991 when I was a 16-year old actress in the shows.  I performed over an 18-year period with the theater, as well as in commercials and for modeling assignments.   

    Whodunit Dinner Theater has always been a family run business with tasteful productions suitable for any age and church group.  So, when my husband, Eric, and I began the responsibilities of running the theater several years ago, we decided to continue the tradition of fun, family-appropriate entertainment.   While I’m busy directing and communicating with the actors, Eric is managing backstage and taking care of business.  (Read More…)