Rain plan

June 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm (wedding)

I hope we don’t need one!  I’m counting down the days until the 10 day weather forecast shows July 3rd and 4th.  So far, there are some thunderstorms during that week.  Hopefully we’ll have a better idea in the next few days, not that the forecasts are 100% accurate.  But at least we’ll get an idea.  We do have rain plans, but I hope we don’t have to use them!  Here are the positive things about having rain.

  1. People won’t be as hot during an indoor ceremony.
  2. The indoor ceremony location is actually pretty lovely.
  3. The conference center has these big fun umbrellas for guests to borrow.
  4. Less harsh lighting for photos.

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Picked up my wedding ring!

February 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm (wedding)

I got it from a jewelry maker in Brooklyn.  She uses recycled and reclaimed materials.  We had a little bit of a communication mixup, but I think everything turned out well in the end.

My ring sort of looks like that.  It is rose gold, like in the photo, but the diamonds are champagne colored.  So sometimes they look dark and sometimes they look like champagne and sometimes they look more white.  How fun!

Those are all the details for anyone who’s interested.   Now here’s my dilemma.  I don’t have an engagement ring because I didn’t think it was fair for me to have and wear a ring when Mark didn’t have one.  Mark doesn’t have a ring.  (He’s still trying to decide.  If anyone has any advice to help him out, let him know!)  I was fine with that.  Until I got my hands on a ring.  Now I’m not so sure any more.  I still think what I thought before.  But it’s so pretty and it’s going to be hard to not wear it.  But on the other hand, will the ring exchange at the ceremony be less significant if I’ve already been wearing the ring for months?  On the other hand (ha ha!), it’s just a ring and all these issues are ones that I’m imposing on myself.  But on the other hand, these symbols are important and I want the rings to reflect our equal partnership.  On the other hand… No! There is no other hand!

But Tevye, there is another hand.  But on the other hand, the ring doesn’t fit on the other hand.  And I haven’t solved anything.

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Too many cakes

November 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm (chocolate, cooking, dessert, food, friends, international, wedding)

How did our weekend of cake tasting go?  It was fun, and mostly quite tasty.  That was all expected.  But I didn’t expect to be so confused.

Here are the results.  If you want the names of any of the bakeries, let me know and I can tell you.

You can use it to mark time

One egg cake

One egg cake from Mark’s father – He makes this every year for Mark’s birthday.  It’s quite sweet.  Both Mark’s father and the cake, especially the frosting.  But that’s not for the wedding.  That was just bonus cake.


Wedding cake baker #1


Wedding cake baker #1 – We liked the design options and we like the cost.  The design consultant was really nice and we talked about a custom-ish design that combined various designs that they already do.  And since we sort of designed it ourselves, we’re a bit attached to it.  But the cakes were either too moist (chocolate) or too dry (swirl or white).  The fillings were good, but not great.  So this would be a good option, but not perfect.

Wedding cake baker #2

Wedding cake baker #2 – These cakes were considerably tastier.  The flavors are also more interesting and the slices look much prettier (if you ignore the saran wrap – we picked up the slices from the baker and ate them at my sis’s apartment).  This baker would be more expensive, and we’d have to use one of the basic designs unless we want to pay even more money for a custom design.

dry, not good flavor, frosting no good

Cupcake place #1

Cupcake place #1 – Not very good.  Not worth talking about

more like muffins with frosting

Cupcake place #2

Cupcake place #2 – Better.  But not what we’re looking for.  All the cupcake places would be cheaper, but probably more effort for us.

It would have been nice to try other non-wedding cake cake places, but there’s only so much cake you can eat in one weekend.

We’re probably leaning toward tastier but more expensive.  I hope that I don’t see any leftover cake next July!

Speaking of leftovers, Thanksgiving leftovers have been turned into a curry turkey pot pie.  It’s baking in the oven right now.  I used turkey, gravy, and leftover cranberries from a pear-cranberry-almond tart.  And I also used some of the extra onion soup.  The curry part is inspired by our visit to a cooking class that my sister teaches.  It’s a class for HS students at a charter school.  We stopped by and enjoyed some curry chicken and roti and some creamy pasta.  It’s a neat idea for a class.  Each student has to do a little research on a country.  Then they bring in a recipe from that country, often where their families are from, and they cook it together in class.

The curry chicken is stuffed inside the roti before it's all pan fried in butter!

It was all really tasty!

Before all our leftovers turned into a curry turkey pot pie, this is what it looked like:

flavored w/ rosemary, thyme, sage, apple cider


Dinner is served

Designing the pear tart

Look at how the pears are kinda rosy.  It's so pretty.  It's from soaking dried cranberries with the poached pears

The result of their hard work

The curry turkey pot pie is done!  Good timing!

Smells and tastes as good as it looks


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Easiest and tastiest ice cream ever!

November 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm (dessert, ice cream, wedding)

I made caramel apple ice cream a few weeks ago.  And I’ve just made a batch of caramel pear ice cream for Thanksgiving.  It’s David Lebovitz’s recipe from The Perfect Scoop.  It’s ridiculously easy and spectacularly tasty.

It’s so flavorful and rich.  It has the feel of a custard ice cream, but with no eggs.  In fact, it only has 3 ingredients.  4 if you count the little pinch of salt.  5 if you count the squeeze of lemon juice.

The basic idea: caramelize sugar (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp), throw in a couple pears or apples chopped (3) and cook those in the sugar.  Pour in 2 cups of cream.  Blend.  Recipe calls for straining, but I never do that.  Fiber’s good for you.  The last few things just brighten the flavor, but they’re so easy that I don’t really count them: Pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon juice.  Chill and churn in ice cream maker.

It’s going to be my go-to ice cream now.  And I imagine that in the future, I’ll be tweaking it a bit and trying some variations.

I’m on the bus to Boston now.  For a weekend of cake tasting!  It all starts with the infamous, annual one egg cake… Stay tuned.

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Colorful adventures in wedding dress shopping

July 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm (wedding)

We’ve made our first appointments to look at wedding dresses.  One place is a non-profit shop that sells donated dresses and the proceeds to go to supporting education in New York City.  I’m not sure what type of education.  I’ll have to find out.  Given that this is NYC, there is a wide range of types of education.  And some types need more help then others.  Oh, I’m glad that I checked more thoroughly on the website – they actually say that they support a charter school in Brooklyn.  That’ll do.  I’m not sure what they’ll have in their store this weekend, but I figured that it’s worth checking out.

The other place is a bridesmaid dress shop that was recommended by my friend, a soon-to-be bride.  When I called this place, I mentioned that I was looking for bridesmaid dresses to use as a wedding dress.  They were super friendly and suggested that I check out some designers that have “bridal alternatives.”  Suspecting that they didn’t fully understand what I had in mind, I told them that I was looking for non-white dresses.  The woman on the phone said, “Oh, I’m glad you told me.  Like dresses in champagne?”  Ha ha!  We’re not sure where the dress will fall on the color spectrum, could be white, could be champagne, could be colorful.  We’d like to consider all colors at this point (well, maybe only colors that are flattering to me).

Reminds me of a conversation that MP had a few weeks ago.  I wasn’t there, so I might be getting some of the details wrong.  Some new acquaintances were asking him about wedding plans and he mentioned that I was thinking about a non-white dress.  One woman said something like, “Oh, I did that too!  My dress was ivory!”

But in the wedding world, at least for wedding dresses, words relating to color seem to have a different meanings.  I’m going to have to develop my vocabulary for describing colors that I currently categorize as white!

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Preview of July 4th weekend, 2010!

May 27, 2009 at 6:18 am (travel, wedding)

The inventor's old farmhouse and barns

The inventor's old farmhouse and barns

Imagine chairs and an aisle here...

Imagine chairs and an aisle here...

Lots of hiking trails through the woods and around the...

Lots of trails through the woods and around the...

... the reservoir

... the reservoir

I think this spot would be great for photos!  But I'm not sure whether there will be flowers in July.

I think this spot would be great for photos! But I'm not sure whether there will be flowers in July.

Fire pit and horseshoes!  A perfect match!

Fire pit and horseshoes! A perfect match!

Or maybe you're more of a volleyball person... HOOOOO!

Or maybe you're more of a volleyball person... HOOOOO!

And if you're still not satisfied, there's tennis (courts are off in the distance), kickball, whiffleball, softball, or whatever other game you want to play on the open field

And if you're still not satisfied, there's tennis (courts are off in the distance), kickball, whiffleball, softball, or whatever other game you want to play on the open field

And don't worry... there are also plenty of lovely spots for relaxing.

And don't worry... there are also plenty of lovely spots for relaxing.

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It’s April, time to go to Paris

April 4, 2009 at 12:17 pm (dessert, food, international, marriage, travel, wedding)

Mark’s on a project based in Paris now and I get to go visit him!  I leave next week.  Maybe I’ll have some stories about April in Paris soon!

Here’s a little preview.  They’re some treats that Mark brought back a few weeks ago:

Macarons from Laduree in Paris

Macarons from Laduree in Paris

Iowa, check!  47 more states!  We’ve already picked a wedding venue, in Massachusetts, but it’s nice to know that now there are 3 states where everyone can get married!

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