-I packed up one of my offices today – crazy, and so exciting
-Tornadoes scare the sh*t out of me and I can’t imagine what the people of OK must be going through – makes wedding decor seems like the stupidest thing in the world
-Matt is keeping me sane by doing a million things – he made mini burgers tonight that turned out awesome! Can’t wait to eat more burgers at summer bbqs
-I just got super excited to hang out at the beach next week. And I get to see SOOO many friends!!
-Thanks for reading while my posts are sporadic and frantic
-I still need more romance novel recommendations!Read More
I squeezed in a lot of action during the past couple of days in Miami. Matt and I wanted a quick and warm getaway, and when I saw a flight sale I thought, why not South Beach? It was so.much.fun and quite different than many other place I’ve visited in the US. I loooved the international vibe and the European style sidewalk cafes. And the art deco architecture is so neat. Yall know me – eatin’ and drinkin’ is what I enjoy the most, so that’s what I did. Along with lots of walking, beach time, and lounging around. Rather than a drawn-out recap of events that are likely much more exciting to me than you, I’ll leave you with a photo bomb of sorts covering the major highlights:
Drinking tropical drinks on a sidewalk cafe on Ocean Drive. Best people watching EVER! They had these enormous drinks that looked amazing each time I walked down the strip. I stuck with a small one though, because 32oz is a little more liquor than I can hold at this point:)
Thai fusion food at Khong River. This place was brand new and gorgeous inside. The dishes were bursting with flavor and beyond amazing. The only negative was that my intestines were really really mad after I ate this meal. Matt was fine, so I’m thinking it was just the richness/intense spiciness/fatty.yummy pork belly:
Beach time: 80 degrees and blue ocean is incredible, always:
This giant table-side guacamole with a strong and fabulous pomegranate margarita:
An ocean front party that we stumbled upon at the Ritz. I need that DJ at my wedding. There were phenomenal mashups:
Window shopping and outfit dreaming on the Lincoln Road Mall:
A traditional cuban sandwich, plantains, and white sangria on the little Spanish street known as Espanola Way:
I didn’t want to leave:(( But I’ve got bourbon and NYE to distract me! Just one more big night out and then it’s back to work in a brand new year. I hope yall have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. Happy 2013!Read More
Well, I guess it’s clear that cranberry sauce is the least popular of the Thanksgiving dishes! I’m surprised at how many people don’t like the sweet potatoes though…
We usually go to Matt’s house in Maryland for Thanksgiving, but this year we’re heading to Bald Head Island! Since our wedding will be on the island this June, we thought it would be nice to show Matt’s parents the venue, the chapel, and the island in general!
In years past, I’ve written a Thanksgiving post about what I’m thankful for. This year, I’m not even going to attempt to write that list because there are just too many blessings to count. I don’t know if it’s Thanksgiving or all the changes this year, but recently, I’ve just felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m thankful for it all.
So what are we eating this year? Well, my parents arranged for rooms at the Inn where we always stay (usually at Christmas time though). It’s really cozy during the holidays and has a roaring fireplace, but the lack of our own kitchen means no cooking of the traditional feast. At first I was sad, but then I saw the menu! We will actually be eating at the wedding reception site! I hope the food is good because we’re stuck with it for the wedding:)
Enjoy the the feast, the time with family, and all the fun that comes with!
Bald Head Family Style Thanksgiving Menu!
First Courses for the Table
Assorted Cheese Plate | Waldorf Salad | Broccoli Salad | Orange-Cranberry Relish
Turkey and Sage Stuffing Roll | Cranberry-Walnut NC Sweet Potato Casserole | Whipped Potatoes
Roasted Turkey Gravy | Green Bean Casserole | Braised Collard Greens | Roasted Heirloom Potato Salad
Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots | Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown Butter and Parmesan
Herb Roasted Breast of Turkey | Honey Glazed Spiral Ham | Crab Stuffed Flounder with smoked shrimp cream
Pumpkin Pie | Sweet Potato Pie | Bourbon Pecan Pie | Cinnamon-Apple Cake
I didn’t expect to be sitting on a sandy beach on Saturday! But, we drove to Wilmington to do two cake tastings, and one of the bakeries was a few blocks from the beach. Given that we had a lot of cake to eat, Matt and I picked up a salad for a last minute beach picnic.
Of course, we forgot a blanket, and since it was overcast and a little rainy, we decided to have lunch up on the lookout rather than get all sandy.
It was harder than I thought to climb up! But the view was beautiful and the beach so peaceful in the fall.
Greens [and sweet potatoes and sweet + sour pork and feta] for good measure.
And then we were off to our first tasting! We spent a good hour chatting with the owner and baker and helping them envision our colors, design ideas, and overall cake vision. The whole time I just kept wondering when we’d get to eat!
Finally, the time came. And while I was thrilled to see so many flavors, I was a bit disappointed with how little icing was on top of these pieces. I was told too much icing might overwhelm my palate (yeah right). We tasted:
- almond pound with apricot marmalade and amaretto buttercream
- yellow butter cake with raspberry marmalade and vanilla buttercream
- lemon pound with orange-lemon curd alternated with citrus buttercream
- coconut – infused cake with key lime curd and alternated with key lime buttercream
- chocolate fudge cake with black oynx cocoa layered with rich vanilla buttercream
- milk chocolate pound with cappuccino buttercream
- banana cake with chopped bittersweet chocolate, layered with a decadent triple chocolate buttercream.
The verdict? They were all amazing. But they were all quite strong and very unique and none of them really hit me as a well-rounded wedding cake. The yellow butter cake was the closest, but we much preferred the texture and the moistness of the pound cake and Matt concluded that the raspberry marmalade tasted too much like jam (it was actually a jarred marmalade, imported from Switzerland). All the icings were perfect though!!!! The cake designs were absolutely beautiful too.
Our next tasting was located a the baker’s house. We sat down one-on-two and talked through the design in depth. She even sketched out our cake and showed us all the different molds that she could use to make different designs. The neat part about the second baker is that she specializes in a certain type of buttercream, so no fondant is required to make the cake smooth on the outside. I have no idea how she does it! We tasted:
- amaretto cake with an amaretto filing and vanilla buttercream
- lemon cake with lemon curd filling and vanilla buttercream
- vanilla cake with strawberry cream cheese filling and vanilla buttercream
- vanilla cake cake with key lime filling and vanilla buttercream
- red velvet cake with cream cheese filing and vanilla buttercream
- carrot cake with cream cheese filling and vanilla buttercream
- chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and vanilla buttercream.
All of the cakes were super moist and the filings were incredible! I didn’t like the buttercream as much as the first bakery, because it tasted more sugary and less buttercream. Overall, the cakes tasted much more like a delicious birthday cake and less like a specialty cake. I think the cakes are more well-rounded for a wedding cake, but didn’t seem as firm (I worry about durability, especially without the fondant), but trust the baker knows what she’s doing! She can also make a raspberry chambord, which was something Matt and I really wanted after being obsessed with my sister’s cake for years.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience and it’s a very close call in terms of which bakery we will pick. We don’t have long to decide though!
I never ever thought I’d say this but I had a sugar overload! Matt and I both had intense cravings for savory food, so after 2.5 hours in the car, we stopped in Raleigh in search of bar food. We ended up at the famous Poole’s Diner and were not disappointed with the buttery comfort food. I was also soo thirsty (and continued to be for 48 hours) and basically chugged this pumpkin beer.
We weren’t that hungry and were just craving flavor, so we split an open-faced burger and the famous mac and cheese. Little did we know these would be huge and rich. I dare say the burger was the best I’ve ever had!!! It was thick, rare on the inside, cooked in fat, topped with applewood smoked cheddar, and served on a toasted brioche bun. Holy smokes, I was blown away.
And the mac n cheese was also to-die-for (literally, could probably clog arteries after one serving). Matt and I were mmming through this, and would you believe we could only finish half!? We rolled right onto the couch after this dinner, but only after one more bite of cake:)
The first bakery was kind enough to send a to-go box home for my parents. We took a few bites from their box, but happily passed it along to them. Ummm, after a working Monday though, I’m regretting this! I could really go for one of those slices now. But it was for the best.
I loved hearing about the kinds of cakes you guys like! I think we might pick two flavors, just to try to satisfy more people….
Good night.Read More
One more week of work!!!! So pumped to be on summer vacation so I can dream about wedding details!
Did I mention we have a wedding date, because we have a date! June 1, 2013 – I will be a bride (knock on wood). That’s tomorrow! Matt’s browsing coral bow ties as we speak:) I’m thinking of trying on some dresses in a few weeks (just for fun). Next on my to-do list is picking out save-the-dates and making a guest list. And deciding on bridesmaids will be the most difficult task of all: / How do you only pick some friends but not others? I love them all! I used to think I wanted a huge urban wedding, but as I experience friends’ weddings and life gets busier, I’m actually hoping for something smaller. Not casual per se, just more relaxed. Matt and I both love Bald Head Island and we’ve decided that it would be the perfect place for an elegant and breezy wedding weekend! I hope everything works out!
Speaking of the beach, Kath promised my ice cream pie recipe and I’ve had several requests, so here it is!
Ice Cream Pie:
-Crush 24 Oreos (or Joe’s Joes) in a plastic bag with something hard or use a food processor – they don’t have to be very fine because the bigger chunks of cookie taste great!
-Mix crushed cookies with 1/4 cup melted butter until well combined
-Press mixture into a pie pan using the back of a spoon and let harden in freezer (30 minutes minimum) or fridge (1 hour)
-Spread one carton of ice cream into pie crust. Note: it’s best to let the ice cream sit out for a while or make the pie when you get home from the grocery store and the ice cream has softened enough to spread
-Put pie back in freezer for at least an hour
-Serve with whipped cream, cherries, butterscotch, and chocolate syrup!Read More