Category Archives: Food

Labor of delicious love

I love big weekend breakfasts. I love cooking them, I love preparing for them, I love eating them. We had a whole bunch of All-Clad that needed de-virginizing, so I decided that this was the weekend to go nuts with a big Sunday breakfast. We shopped for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. (Granted, that was because traffic was hellacious, and apparently Whole Foods and Publix were the places to be). I didn’t really have a solid plan other than I knew I wanted to make french toast with challah, some sort of berry reduction/syrup/goodness, and turkey bacon.

Bright and early Sunday morning, I went for it. I turned the eggy challah into french toast– thick, puffy, and delicious. I cooked down berries into the most delicious berry sauce on the planet. JP fried the turkey bacon. Then we ate. And ate. And ate.

If you haven’t ever made french toast with challah, do it. Now.

Who else does big weekend breakfasts?

We are going to have some…

(or so I hope)

Last week, we did the whole picking-a-definite-menu thing with our caterer. In our last meeting which was, ah, like forever ago, we gave him about eleventy-billion ideas and options. I was afraid that all of the ideas we had thrown out would just end up in some giant ramshackle mush of a menu. Thankfully, he made sense of our madness and after a few tweaks, we have ended up with a pretty amazing spread. (I’ll go over logistics and layout later– this is just a noms-time post).

*ahem* Here goes nothin’…

Cocktail Hour Yums

For the cocktail hour, we’ll be having two passed appetizers along with, well, cocktails. (Or cocktail, rather, since we’re doing one cocktail, beer, and wine).

  1. Caprese-Kabobs: This is just what I call ‘em, but they’re something I’ve made about 100,000 times for guests, dinner parties, bringing-stuff-along-to-a-party, etc., and they’ve always been a hit. I love Caprese, because c’mon, what beats cheese, tomatoes, and basil? Nothing. These kabob guys are so handy because you hold them! (Ar har har… I’m so punny). They consist of alternating basil, little buffalo mozzarella balls, and grape tomatoes skewered, then drizzled with balsamic, olive oil, and kosher salt for good measure. Delicious, colorful, and portable.
  2. Shrimp Things: Ok, I don’t know what this is going to be called, but they’ll take big ol’ flat-bottomed Asian soup spoons, put a bit cocktail sauce in the bottom, and top it with a ginormous shrimp. I’ll have to be restrained in order to stop me from shoving 5 of those in my mouth at once.

Dinner Noms

As we had planned, the dinner will be sort-of an It’s-a-Small-World-meets-tapas-style-meets-bar-food-meets-the-dang-mini-food-trend-meets-awesome. Whew, that’s a whole lot of things meeting. This food-orgy will consist of four categories– German, American, Italian, and Chinese-ish. (I say “Chinese-ish” because I doubt it’s very authentic. Let’s think of it more as Chinese take-out, shall we?)

For the German part…

{ This is the later-mentioned currywurst // source }

  1. Brats mit Brötchen: Contrary to how Johnsonville commercials show brats, they are not traditionally served in white-bread hot dog buns, but instead with little hard rolls. Brats are much more delicious this way, trust me. Also, I hope to have some curry powder in a salt shaker so that I might be able to hit up some currywurst. (Curry powder+ ketchup+ brat= !!!! in your mouf. Try it).
  2. White Asparagus: Spargel. Delicious. Pretty big deal in Deutschland.
  3. Big Smushy Pretzels: I don’t know how many times JP asked for these guys, but it has paid off, because we’re getting ‘em. I’m in it for the yummy carb-factor.

For the US foods…

  1. Cheese Sliders: If I have time to eat, I hope I’ll be able to shove a few of these down. I am a sucker for a tiny burger, and especially one with CHEESE. (True story: This also makes me sing the “Cheesy Blasters” jingle over and over in my head, hence the video).
  2. A More Dressed-Up Potato Salad: I call this “more-dressed up” because I requested we nixed the mayo-smushed-egg-based potato salad. I’m not really a fan of mayonnaise-based salads, especially in the summer. This will be a vinaigrette-based salad with red skin potatoes. Yummsky.
  3. Fruit: I really wanted this because 1- I’m boring and 2- I wanted it, and it got lumped into this category. At present, it looks like we’ll be having strawberries, honeydew, grapes, watermelon, and pineapple segregated from the rest of the colony, as JP detests it. (I adore fresh pineapple, so pfft).
  4. I think I’m forgetting one more thing here. We’ll just leave this as a mystery for now.

For the Italian section…

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  1. Bruschetta: This was a natural because we adore it, and I make the best bruschetta on the planet. True story. We always anxiously await good-tomato-season so that we can bathe in this stuff. (Ok, not bathe, but eat a whole heckuvalot of it). I believe we’re using my recipe? That was supposed to end in a question mark? Because I’m not 100% sure?
  2. Arista: This is Tuscan-style pork tenderloin. It’s stuffed with rosemary, garlic, and deliciousness. We make make it with a beef tenderloin every Christmas, and it’s always the first to go.
  3. Penne in Individual Ramekins: Hola, cheese. Please get in my belly. Individual servings of cheesy pasta goodness? Yes, please.

The Chinese-take-out part-ola…

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  1. Take-Out Boxes with Fried Rice: Hokay, so, this is a part that I am crazy excited about just on cuteness-factor alone. We’re having Chinese take-out boxes filled up halfway with fried rice, and then peeps will be able to add in the next two things. I did so many excited dances for this.
  2. Veggie Stir-Fry: Broccoli, onions, red peppers, snow peaz, garlic, and magic. For best results, lots should be consumed in the adorable take-out boxes.
  3. Chicken Stir-Fry: Chicken stir-fry, for adding to the other delicious stuff or eating alone.
  4. Fortune Cookies: I’m going to have a whole post devoted to fortune cookies, because they’re one of my thangs. I don’t want to go into to much detail now, but yeah, they are my thang.

Dessert-y Goodness

The only thing in this category is CAKE, because tbh, that’s the only reason I go to weddings. Probably not the only reason, but CAKE is a huge factor. Notice how I have to write it in all-caps– that’s because it’s so exciting. I’m yelling it every time.

  1. Wedding CAKE: White, buttercream, no wet fillings, RAINBOW DOTTED ZOMG INSIDE, crazy sparkles outside. Almondy-vanilla-y goodness. We ordered on the too-much-CAKE side just because I want leftovers. I plan to subsist on sunblock, the horizontal mambo, and copious amounts of CAKE during our honeymoon. (Coincidentally, “cake” was/is our code-word for hay-rolls. So it’s only appropriate that I want lots of CAKE… and cake… during our honeymooning).
  2. Groom’s CAKE: We originally were going to have this in the shape of one of JP’s robots, but then I realized that it would end up looking like a big gray blob. We’re sticking to chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. Decorationing TBD.

Whew, so there you have our actual food for this wedding that is coming up in, oh, almost 100 days. This thing is happening, people, and it seems like it’s going to be pretty dang delicious.

Who else went with a “To hell with convention!” sort of menu and just did, well, EVERYTHING? Did you go above, beyond, or just plain overboard? What do you think about our spread? Also, please let there be someone who knows the deliciousness of currywurst so I don’t feel like a weirdo out here.

I love cake like nobody’s business.

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True story.  Wedding cake is another thing I am strangely, weirdly, and, well, very opinionated about. There are a few things on my list of requirements, and they are as follows (in no particular order):

  1. Delicious, white buttercream frosting. I don’t want fondant to even be in the same room.
  2. No wet fillings. The filling that I like best is no filling at all. I’ll take more buttercream in the center, thanks. (I have a serious phobia of wet bread, and wet cake filling STRONGLY borders on being too close for comfort).
  3. Nothing super frou-frou.
  4. I want big, white, multi-tiered and old skool. No weird shapes. I like circles, I like squares, but I don’t like a mixture of the two.
  5. Preferably delicious, white, yummy, nom-tastic white white vanilla cake. Old skool wedding cake white cake.
  6. It has to be so delicious that I die, go to heaven, come back, die again, come back, and then eat more cake.

With those things in mind, waaaaay back early on in wedding-research land, before the actual planning started, I found this cake. I knew it was the one. You can have a the one dress, and I can have my the one cake. (I don’t remember the source of this either! If somebody could tell me where it came from, that’d be pretty win).

cakeinspirationNow I don’t know what’s going on on the inside of this cake, but I’ll bet it’s filled with awesome. See that? Round tiers. No frilly stuff. AND COVERED IN CLEAR SPRINKLY THINGS. I seriously love this thing. When we met with the caterer for the first time, I practically shoved these in his face. “WANT THIS, K?”

“Uh, sure?”

I even built a mock-up of the cake in SketchUp. (As a former architecture student, and one that had pre-Google SketchUp beat into me, I think it’s my right to use it wherever and whenever I please. It’s my thing– let it go). I bumbled around the internet and guessed that for the number of people we’re having, a 4-tier round cake would be good– 16″, 12″, 8″, 6″, and each tier 4″ tall.

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What’s that you say? The center looks so boring? Especially for a fun and technicolored parade of a wedding? FEAR NOT, dear children, for I have a brilliant idea.

I’m sure you have all heard of the monstrosity that is Funfetti. Funfetti cakes themselves stress me out, and I guess it’s because I prefer not to use boxed cakes. One day, I discovered that all it took to make a regular cake into a rainbow-fetti-ed cake was just… sprinkles. Yep, regular o’ sprinkles! That means you can have a cake with whatever colors you want! For the 4th of July, I throw in red, white, and blue sprinkles. Valentine’s Day? Pink and red! So for our wedding, we could have a ‘fettied cake that uses our colors.

So, as a quick rundown of what we have goin’ here:

  1. 4 round tiers of magic
  2. White buttercream frosting
  3. Clear sugar sprinkle sparkle guys covering the outside
  4. Only buttercream as a filling
  5. ‘Fettied white cake for the layers

Full of win. Now I just have to decide what to put on top of the cake.

So who else has a weird aversion to anything that borders on wet-bread-like-cake? Anybody else strangely particular about certain cake aspects? Any other super-plain super-old-school wedding cake lovers out there?

We wanna rock and nom all niiiight…

JP and I are food-lovers. We can nom like champs.

rockandnom

When it came time to start discussing food for the reception, we were torn. We wanted to be able to have some kick-butt food, but weren’t really thrilled with the idea of a sit-down 45-course meal. We wanted dancing! Revelry! Mingling! Bouncing around! After eating a big sit down meal, I know all I want is an n-a-p.

We decided to nix the sit-down dinner and opt for, let’s call it, upscale bar food. Here’s the reasoning: If you’re dancing and drinking, you don’t want fluffy boring food. After dancing and drinking, all I want is a cheeseburger.

rockandnom2

While we’re not doing giant, delicious burgers like the one above, we are having small portions of things, easy to eat on the fly between songs, but also enough that you could stuff your face for a few hours if that was your bag. Yes, we’re buying into the mini-trend a bit.

We also had trouble deciding on one genre of food. So, true to form, we’re going to do what we want. It’s our wedding, rule-breaking is the name of the game.

The idea is to have 4 main genres of food, which represent our roots and also us as a couple: German, Cajun, Italian, and Asian-Fusion.

flagz

German

Well, JP is from Germany. I also have a lot of German on my father’s side of the family. For the German foods, we’re thinking…

  • Bratwurst mit Brötchen (Brats with little rolls)
  • Brezeln (Big smushy pretzels)
  • Kartoffelsalat (Potato salad, but we’re not doing mayonnaise-based)
  • Senf (Mustard)

Cajun/American/Southern

My parents both went to Tulane, and we have a Louisiana-style plantation home. To pay homage to the Louisiana  history of my family, we’re doing Cajun food. (I also was conceived at the New Orleans World’s Fair. Beat that). Also, well, we’re from the South, so, well, yeah. Self-explanatory.

  • Crayfish
  • Jambalaya
  • Mini Po’ Boys
  • Red Beans and Rice
  • BLTs
  • Sliders

Italian

JP and I, plus our families, love Italian food. I make the best bruschetta around, and I think we’d all die without good pasta.

  • Bruschetta
  • Ramekins of Baked Penne and Cheese
  • Skewered Caprese
  • Arista di Maiale (Pork loin roasted with a butt-load of herbs and garlic)
  • Mini Pizzas
  • Antipasto

Asian-Fusion

I think JP and I went through a period where we ate Doc Chey’s about 40 times a week. I’ve been eating with chopsticks since I was a wee one. (Though my mother still hasn’t mastered them).

  • Stir-Fry
  • Dumplings
  • Spring Rolls
  • Fortune Cookies

Semi-unrelated sidenote: I’m also doing the fold-1,000-paper-cranes thing. I’m an origami nerd.

For dessert land, we’re having wedding cake, groom’s cake, and fruit. That’s, um, the delicious genre?

These are all our rough ideas food-wise. (No judgment in brainstorming). I know they’re lacking in some areas, both evenness of the categories and well, we need more veggies. Hopefully we’ll get it perfected so everyone can easily rock and nom all night.

Anybody have any amazing ideas for additions to our run-around-and-eat-apalooza?

OM NOM NOM

Stay tuned today, ladies. (I doubt there are many gents reading this blog). I’ll be talking later about our FANTASTIC food ideas/selections for the reception. It’s going to be so bananas and awesome.

For the time being, here’s some delicious Fellini’s pizza and some good JP-NOMMING shots.

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Happy Monday!