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Wedding Planning: The Venue

Mon May 18, 2009

I always made fun of those girls who talked incessantly about their weddings, swore up and down and backwards that I wouldn’t be one of them. Even if you’re perfectly fine being the single girl, it’s hard to pretend you give a shit about centerpieces. And save the dates. And whether or not you’re going to have your guests ride around on a decommissioned Disneyland steam train. But I’ll get to that later.

I didn’t get it, ultimately, because I hadn’t planned my own wedding, I’d like to think, not because I was jealous or insensitive. I just had absolutely no idea how time-consuming the whole process could be. But it’s like a full time job, especially when you’re not exactly sure what you want. It took four months to find a venue and nearly a month to deal with the contracts. But now, nearly five months after Neal and I got engaged, we’re just one wedding insurance plan and a couple of signatures shy of having nailed down our venue and our date: April 24, 2010.
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Farewell Winter: Murcott Olive Oil Ice Cream

Tue Apr 7, 2009

Murcotts at Burkart Farms, Hollywood Farmers’ Market, Murcott Olive Oil Ice Cream

The pile of Murcotts at Burkhart’s farmers’ market stand shrank a little this week, the stack looking more like a pile of bright orange tennis balls left behind on the playground than winter’s citrus bounty. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, you can see the stand above, and the selection is far from paltry. But I’m waxing a little poetic this morning about winter’s waning. There are probably only a few more weeks left in Murcott season, and I’m a little melancholy. I almost packed up my sweaters in defiance of Mother Nature, hoping the razzing would prolong the season just a couple more weeks. But it looks like our wedding is going to be next spring, instead of the fall, and I couldn’t afford to piss her off. I may want more Murcotts now, but next April I want warm days and mild evenings and mountains of springtime produce to help execute the dinner menu that’s slowly evolving in my head.
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Pulled Pork Sugo, Winter Greens & Chestnut Polenta Cakes

Fri Mar 20, 2009

Pulled Pork Sugo with Chestnut Polenta

Let me start first by saying, no, we haven’t set a date yet. Neal and I might be getting married this fall, or we might be getting married next spring. Or maybe we’ll get married fall 2010—though I think I might lose my mind if I’m in planning stages for another year-plus. We figured we’d pick a date once we found a venue we liked. But that’s just it, trying to find a venue has been like Amazing Race meets Survivor. I’ve gotten lost behind the Orange curtain, hit by a cyclist who ran a red light, seen a wedding venue come menagerie and driven all around Sonoma County with Slingblade barking at me from my father’s GPS, “Bear left, cow right.” All this running around is exhausting. And when I get home from a weekend’s worth of talking about tables and chairs and luxury Porta Potties, cranky for having missed my Sunday morning at the farmers’ market, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time cooking.

Which brings me to reason number 2,356 that I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven: No-fuss cooking. Continue reading

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Feel the Love: Valentine’s Day

Tue Feb 3, 2009

Trying to find a wedding venue has been like trying to decide what to eat for dinner when you’re too tired to cook and too hungry to decide. When the only coherent thoughts you have are about what you don’t want. I don’t want a hotel wedding. I don’t want to get married on the beach. And I definitely don’t want to get married at a ranch in the middle of a suburban industrial park with cars whizzing by on the freeway in the background. Yes the Victorian house on the property is beautiful. No, it’s not interesting enough for me to forget about the Self-Storage and the tile showroom I passed driving up to it.

I’m not as bitter about wedding planning as I was in my first post about the subject. I’m actually starting to enjoy it, thanks to my wedding planner, Emily, who has taken over all the research responsibilities. Now I can click on the myriad links she sends me leisurely. I can rule places out with a glance, and I don’t have to worry about hurting my mother’s feelings. And I can sit in my pajamas all day and flip through the stacks of wedding magazines my friend Suzy so thoughtfully lent me. None of this makes finding a location for both the ceremony and the reception that suits our budget any easier, however; it’s just less stressful.

But with most of my free time devoted to the business of getting married, and Neal hunkered down at his desk, working into the wee hours every night trying to finish a side project he took on months ago, I haven’t thought much about romance.
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Grapefruit & Black Pepper Sorbet

Wed Jan 28, 2009

Grapefruit & Black Pepper Sorbet

 Grapefruit & Black Pepper Sorbet

Something happened while I was waiting for blood oranges. My friend Suzy brought me a giant bag full of Ruby Red grapefruits from her parents’ house in Palm Springs. Juicy, sweet and wonderfully tangy, these were some of the best grapefruits I’d had in years.

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Soup Swap

Fri Jan 23, 2009

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

Planning a wedding stinks. At least at this stage. Neal and I will have been engaged for a month (as of tomorrow), and I’ve already cried three times, gotten a migraine and fought with my folks. And I thought not having a preconceived notion about my “dream wedding” would be a good thing.
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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Categories: Easy, Italian, Recipe, Soup, Wedding
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