Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wedding-Part 2

Now for the best part of any wedding - the reception!  I chose the venue specifically because of their amazing holiday decorations, so I hardly had to do a thing myself.

Our beautiful cake was created by one of my favorite bakery's, Maxie B's.  My wedding was all about winter white, tradition and a little touch of holiday.  Maxie B's really nailed it.

More of the beautiful flowers.  I went with a mixture of high and low centerpieces and a simple table setting.

My sister created this amazing card box for us. She hand painted our monogram in silver and added a sash similar to the one on my dress.  She even added buttons down the back of the box.

This was the first of about a thousand dips.  I like to think we really crushed it during our first dance - we went rogue and never practiced!  The energy in the room was so great though, we spun and twirled and dipped to our hearts content.

Since this is a food blog after all, I have to share the delicious dinner!  We were really down to the wire with our RVSP cutoff date, so instead of providing guests with a choice, we went with a duo plate.  Everyone had a petite filet, scampi style shrimp, and mushroom and goat cheese risotto-one of my favorites!

This was one of many "Opa!" moments throughout the evening.  My father-in-law had just toasted us - how great is Magen's face in this picture?  She won for the official cheerleader of the party.

I cannot say enough good things about the Horizon band. They came in from Atlanta and they brought the house down!  We had a pretty structured evening from cocktail hour, dinner, toasts, cake cutting, and dancing.  As soon as that cake was cut, people hit the dance floor and didn't leave for the rest of the night! Mike loves a good horn section - they did not disappoint!

Every time Mike and I hit the dance floor, a circle opened up.  So much pressure!  I'm surprise my dress was still in tact after all those spins and dips.

Serious husband-wife dance off in progress.

I'm too lazy to participate in "Shout!" when we have to get "softer now."  My go too move is for Mike to take a knee and I'll wait there until it get's a "little bit louder now!"

When I look at other peoples' wedding albums, some of my favorite photographs are the grand exit.  The bride and groom in black and white surrounded by bubbles, a line of sparklers, floating rose petals, you get the drift.  Well, those pictures didn't exactly work out for us!  Mike may or may not have taken a sparkler to the face on the way out and is making the most terrible hilarious expression in every other shot.  Fortunately we have about 100 sparklers left so maybe we can recreate it for July 4th!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wedding - Part 1

Today I want to share a few of my favorite wedding photos, as I promised quite a while ago.  It was such a special day and it's true what they say - a year of planning goes by in a flash.  The actual day was a complete whirlwind. 

Here is my handsome groom.  Since we had a winter wedding, we decided to go with the "first look" photos so we could have some pictures in the daylight.  I'm so glad we did - being able to go straight to the party after the ceremony made it totally worth it. 

These are my beautiful bridesmaids.  Those plum ball gowns caused quite the controversy but in the end, I'm so glad I chose them.  

The flower had such a lovely, wintry feel.  I loved how each bouquet turned out.  My poor florist, I had virtually no opinion on flowers besides the occasional thought of peonies (impossible in December) and dreams of giant baby's breath bouquets.  Fortunately when I was in her shop, I saw a bouquet she was putting together for another bride and I said, 'I'll take that!' 

This picture is very special to me.  Both my sisters and my mother, all looking gorgeous in one photo frame? This is very rare for us.  We usually don't speak for weeks after the family Christmas Card photo session. 

This picture is one of my favorite's because it just screams "LAURA!"  You can catch my sister, Laura, on the far left dancing in the background, like she spends 90% of her time. 

Coming from a family of all ladies, I'm so excited to join a family of almost all men.  These boisterous  Greeks are my new family. 

How adorable are my flower girls?  They really stole the show.  These three girls are like little replica's of me and my sisters in their personalities. 

This was one last cheer before my bridesmaids headed to the church.  When we arrived to the church earlier that day, we were locked out in the cold.  As I started having a panic attack that the groom was about to show up, they started singing "Going to the Chapel" in perfect unison.  It was beyond beautiful, like they had been rehearsing for months, and it happened out of nowhere.

My sister had the idea to sing it right before I walked down the aisle, and it was one of the most special moments of the entire wedding.  After my flower girls walked down the aisle, the church doors were shut, the building was completely hushed and they sang in beautiful harmony. I cannot tell you how many people have called to tell me how special and unique that was.  The best part was that it was a completely impromptu, genuine moment. 

On the left there is the flower girl whisperer, a.k.a, my amazing wedding coordinator and life coach, Leigh Pearce.  Leigh really kept me in line for a year, I don't know what I would have done without her! 

This was the last shot before my wonderful uncle walked me down the aisle. 

Stay tuned for next time - the after party! 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I hate to be so quiet on the blog lately, but things are not really working out in my favor. 

For Valentine's day, I decided I would finally share some of my favorite wedding pictures.  Then we lost power for 5 days due to the ice storm.  Womp Womp.  I really shouldn't complain as we had a warm and comfy place to stay (thanks to my new in-laws), but being away from home during the week really upsets my routine.

And of course, last night as I sat down write my wedding post I discovered we had no internet connection.  Why you ask? Because our satellite cable provider, who shall remain nameless, decided to cut the cable that provides our high speed internet as they were re-hanging some lines that came down in the storm.  UGH.  Oh well, we still have glorious power so I can't complain too much. 

Anyway, today I just wanted to share my newest investment.  And I do mean investment.  The Vitamix!  I decided to bite the bullet once my friend and office-mate Lindsey told me that they sell certified refurbished ones for a fraction of the price, and also made me a delightful kale smoothie that made me feel super-healthy.

I can't wait to try out some new recipes.  Lindsey's kale, green apple, banana, vanilla protein, almond milk and flax seed smoothie will be pretty hard to beat!

Does anyone have a favorite Green Smoothie they make? Do share!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dinner for Two

My poor husband, while we were dating I really put a lot of pressure on him for Valentine's day. I would not so subtly remind him that I really liked getting flowers at work, and that we really needed to make a reservation soon if we wanted to eat anywhere decent, and that I really love when he wears khakis.  

This year, I'm feeling much more low key.  I love any excuse for making a special dinner at home, especially with Valentine's being on a Friday this year.  I'm thinking of breaking out our new fondue pot, perhaps grilling a steak, and whipping up something sweet (a fudgy Texas Sheet Cake with vanilla ice cream, or Profiteroles for something more elegant) for dessert.

Here are some more of my favorite dinners for two for your own Valentine's Day inspiration!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Toffee-Apple Hand Pies

This recipe is nothing short of a Valentine's week miracle.  No, seriously. 

As I was flipping through an old issue of Cooking Light in my Next Issue app, I saw this recipe (just fyi- it is in the kid friendly section, if that gives you any indication of the level of effort required) for Toffee Apple Hand Pies.  I thought these would be so perfect to make this week for a Valentine's Day post.

Once I get an idea in my head it's really hard for me to let it go.  I had it all planned, with the exception of a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Last weekend, I searched high and low and what do you know, I could not find one anywhere!  Well, truthfully, anywhere at Mayfair, and I wasn't about to venture to Target on a Saturday.

I finally gave up on the idea, but since I already purchased the ingredients, I decided to make round hand pies.  [Here's where the miracle comes in.] As I went to reach for my biscuit cutters, a heart shaped cookie cutter literally appeared as if from nowhere.  The rest of my cookie cutters are in the garage and I only keep my biscuit cutters in my miscellaneous drawer because I use them often.  So there you have it - this recipe is from Cupid himself!

These little hand pies were absolutely delicious.  Because my cookie cutter was on the smaller size, they didn't hold much filling and really were more of a cookie in my mind than pie.  If you prefer more filling, try to find a bigger cookie cutter for larger pies.  I enjoyed the last one with coffee this morning for breakfast. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Potato Soup

I've been on a bit of a soup kick lately.  Mostly because I'm obsessed with my immersion blender.  Honestly, this might be one of my favorite kitchen tools.  I love making soup from whole ingredients and the immersion blender produces a perfect texture every time.  It's also great for making tomato sauce from whole plum tomatoes.  On top of that, it's super fun! 
My body, energy level, and wardrobe are all very confused by the weather lately.  On Tuesday, given the 35 degree temperatures and ugly fogginess,  I was all about some warm, comforting potato soup topped with cheddar cheese and bacony goodness and fortunately for me, this soup comes together in no time.

   The best part! 

* 3 russet potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
* 6-8 c. chicken stock
* 5 pieces center cut bacon, chopped
* 1/2 onion, chopped
* 1/2 c. sour cream
* salt, pepper
* cheddar cheese, green onions for topping

Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon.  Drain off all but 1 tbsp. of bacon fat (I use a paper towels to carefully blot it off).  Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft (reduce the heat to medium low if they brown too fast).  Add the potatoes and 4 c. stock to the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Boil for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.   Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and use an immersion blender, or a potato masher if you do not have one, to blend the soup.  Whisk in sour cream. Return soup to heat and add remaining stock, 1 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached (I added 3 c. stock).  Serve topped with crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions.