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Now I've Really got Butterflies!

News Flash!2006_0310california0141 I never realized just how much goes into planning a wedding!

This is a funny thought I'm sure for anyone that knows me well, because I spent my entire adult life helping people plan their bridal registries! We have some idea of what we want, but it's interesting just how daunting a task it is to consider planning a wedding in San Diego from Cleveland, Ohio. In the years since I've retired, I've discovered that I get completely overwhemed without a great structure to work within so I've been wondering where to start!

Today  , I stumbled across a website that brought tears to my eyes, www.sandiegowedding.com ,and I'm feeling such relief! I want to be able to plan the foundations of this wedding easily, leaving us free to be creative and make allowances for all of the things that we might want to do that weekend. La Jolla is such a beautiful city, and so meaningful to us, and there are so many beautiful places to see there.  This San Diego Wedding site is beautifully organized, very upscale and has pictures of places that my husband and I can look at, along with descriptions of their services. There are lists for florists, wedding cake bakers and bands, although I am sure that my sister will know the best place in town to have a wonderful cake made! For our 20th anniversary, she gave us the most gorgeous chocolate cake from a French bakery that she loves. For the flowers, I want them to be heartfelt, not stuffy. The food, well I want to it to be gorgeous in the style of a Tuscan feast, lots of it...very delicious and unrestrained, sort of like an enormous market basket! And of course..............Wine and great cheese , and where better to find great wine then in CALIFORNIA! My favorite cheese store in the world is in Del Mar, a lovely place that I've written about before named Aniata's, that carries not one but THREE kinds of truffled cheese, (my husbands favorite!) and sometimes a raw milk brie  !

I also have this crazy idea that I want to cook for our guests, and create a wonderful experience for them on Friday night. I've cooked many a fete' for over a hundred people, so I'm pretty comfortable with this. The question would be, where to have it ?

This wedding weekend is for me, all about celebrating our life together and the enormous family that we've created. I want to give everyone the feeling of just how big a part of our lives they are, and how much we love each and every one of them. I've never been good at just being the center of the party...I want to provide the experience. So I think that I will enroll my sister, who is a fabulous cook in helping me to create one of the evenings.

And of course there must be surfing, and many trips to Seal Beach with the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Doubleclick on the photograph above!)


Now I've Really got Butterflies!

News Flash!2006_0310california0141 I never realized just how much goes into planning a wedding!

This is a funny thought I'm sure for anyone that knows me well, because I spent my entire adult life helping people plan their bridal registries! We have some idea of what we want, but it's interesting just how daunting a task it is to consider planning a wedding in San Diego from Cleveland, Ohio. In the years since I've retired, I've discovered that I get completely overwhemed without a great structure to work within so I've been wondering where to start!

Today  , I stumbled across a website that brought tears to my eyes, www.sandiegowedding.com ,and I'm feeling such relief! I want to be able to plan the foundations of this wedding easily, leaving us free to be creative and make allowances for all of the things that we might want to do that weekend. La Jolla is such a beautiful city, and so meaningful to us, and there are so many beautiful places to see there.  This San Diego Wedding site is beautifully organized, very upscale and has pictures of places that my husband and I can look at, along with descriptions of their services. There are lists for florists, wedding cake bakers and bands, although I am sure that my sister will know the best place in town to have a wonderful cake made! For our 20th anniversary, she gave us the most gorgeous chocolate cake from a French bakery that she loves. For the flowers, I want them to be heartfelt, not stuffy. The food, well I want to it to be gorgeous in the style of a Tuscan feast, lots of it...very delicious and unrestrained, sort of like an enormous market basket! And of course..............Wine and great cheese , and where better to find great wine then in CALIFORNIA! My favorite cheese store in the world is in Del Mar, a lovely place that I've written about before named Aniata's, that carries not one but THREE kinds of truffled cheese, (my husbands favorite!) and sometimes a raw milk brie  !

I also have this crazy idea that I want to cook for our guests, and create a wonderful experience for them on Friday night. I've cooked many a fete' for over a hundred people, so I'm pretty comfortable with this. The question would be, where to have it ?

This wedding weekend is for me, all about celebrating our life together and the enormous family that we've created. I want to give everyone the feeling of just how big a part of our lives they are, and how much we love each and every one of them. I've never been good at just being the center of the party...I want to provide the experience. So I think that I will enroll my sister, who is a fabulous cook in helping me to create one of the evenings.

And of course there must be surfing, and many trips to Seal Beach with the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Doubleclick on the photograph above!)


Hmmm....Will these actually work? THEY DO, THEY DO, THEY DO!

Smoker_bagsWell, I'm going to find out! I've been obsessed with a recipe that I found yesterday for an absolutely fabulous sounding smoked chicken liver pate'! I don't own a smoker, so I thought that perhaps these could be adapted to create the same results! I cleaned and washed the chicken livers as directed, rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt and placed them in the bag like the directions said! Now they are happily smoking away on my stovetop grill and the house smells like a night at summer camp! I can't wait to slit open the bag and see  the end result! Below is the description straight from the Williams Sonoma Catalog:

"These ingenious bags provide the easiest way we’ve found to smoke foods on an outdoor grill or in the oven – with no cleanup. Use them to smoke everything from succulent ribs, beef or chicken to delicate salmon or vegetables. Just arrange the food inside the double-walled foil bag, then seal and place it on a grill or oven rack. As the closed bag heats up, fragrant smoke from tiny alder wood chips within the bag’s walls infuses the food with rich flavor, sealing in moisture to ensure tender, juicy results. Made in Finland – a country famous for its smoked meats and fish – each single-use, disposable bag holds up to two pounds of food. 19 1/2" x 11". Set of two. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive." 

http://ww5.williams-sonoma.com/

Well! All that I can say is that these smoker bags work very well,very well indeed!  My chicken livers were beautifully cooked, fragrant with wood smoke and absolutey delicious! I'm not printing the recipe for the smoked chicken liver pate yet, becuase it wasn't wonderful, but I'm going to play with it a bit and to see how it could be improved because I like the thought of it so much! Get a few of these bags and try themon your favorite foods. I would think that salmon or fresh trout would be wonderful, or what about a smoked porked tenderloin. Either with a fresh mango salsa would be DIVINE!


Hmmm....Will these actually work? THEY DO, THEY DO, THEY DO!

Smoker_bagsWell, I'm going to find out! I've been obsessed with a recipe that I found yesterday for an absolutely fabulous sounding smoked chicken liver pate'! I don't own a smoker, so I thought that perhaps these could be adapted to create the same results! I cleaned and washed the chicken livers as directed, rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt and placed them in the bag like the directions said! Now they are happily smoking away on my stovetop grill and the house smells like a night at summer camp! I can't wait to slit open the bag and see  the end result! Below is the description straight from the Williams Sonoma Catalog:

"These ingenious bags provide the easiest way we’ve found to smoke foods on an outdoor grill or in the oven – with no cleanup. Use them to smoke everything from succulent ribs, beef or chicken to delicate salmon or vegetables. Just arrange the food inside the double-walled foil bag, then seal and place it on a grill or oven rack. As the closed bag heats up, fragrant smoke from tiny alder wood chips within the bag’s walls infuses the food with rich flavor, sealing in moisture to ensure tender, juicy results. Made in Finland – a country famous for its smoked meats and fish – each single-use, disposable bag holds up to two pounds of food. 19 1/2" x 11". Set of two. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive." 

http://ww5.williams-sonoma.com/

Well! All that I can say is that these smoker bags work very well,very well indeed!  My chicken livers were beautifully cooked, fragrant with wood smoke and absolutey delicious! I'm not printing the recipe for the smoked chicken liver pate yet, becuase it wasn't wonderful, but I'm going to play with it a bit and to see how it could be improved because I like the thought of it so much! Get a few of these bags and try themon your favorite foods. I would think that salmon or fresh trout would be wonderful, or what about a smoked porked tenderloin. Either with a fresh mango salsa would be DIVINE!


Roses in the Morning Rain!

Roses in the Morning Rain
This is one of my father's extraordinary roses in full bloom!  I have lost track of it's name, but I believe that it was a David Austin Rose, one of the old fashioned English varieties. It smells wonderful at anytime, but for some reason it smells the best when coated with drops of warm rain. Perhaps that's when the essential oils rise to the surface, whatever causes it, it smells simply incredible, like  a hot toddy made from rum and spice! This is the rose that I use the most often for potpourri, as the petals really hold their scent even when dried!


Roses in the Morning Rain!

Roses in the Morning Rain
This is one of my father's extraordinary roses in full bloom!  I have lost track of it's name, but I believe that it was a David Austin Rose, one of the old fashioned English varieties. It smells wonderful at anytime, but for some reason it smells the best when coated with drops of warm rain. Perhaps that's when the essential oils rise to the surface, whatever causes it, it smells simply incredible, like  a hot toddy made from rum and spice! This is the rose that I use the most often for potpourri, as the petals really hold their scent even when dried!


My Windowbox Tomatoes!


Well......I feel like a proud parent! This year I made the decision to  grow tomatoes and strawberries in my windowboxes instead of my usual flourish of flowers. I have tumbler tomatoes growing in a basket but these are different.....Sweet 100 is the variety , promising me loads  of tomatoes between now and autumn! I wasn't sure if they would fruit, because I am up on the third floor, but when I went out this morning there were loads of little babies all over the stems! My secret is Osmocote, a long lasting fertilizer that delivers food continuously for 4 months. Also containers are more of an effort because they do need watering every day. The other trick that I've discovered is that I have flowering herbs growing on my patio as well, namely anise hyssop which really attracts honeybees and other pollinators. I also have these planted with French Marigolds and from the beginning they have loved each other! I have noticed much less of an aphid population in my little ecosytem, and I think that it's because of the marigolds. As soon as I planted them, the insects dissapeared!

Yumm.....I'm dreaming of tomato salad with fresh mozzerella and basil!


My Windowbox Tomatoes!


Well......I feel like a proud parent! This year I made the decision to  grow tomatoes and strawberries in my windowboxes instead of my usual flourish of flowers. I have tumbler tomatoes growing in a basket but these are different.....Sweet 100 is the variety , promising me loads  of tomatoes between now and autumn! I wasn't sure if they would fruit, because I am up on the third floor, but when I went out this morning there were loads of little babies all over the stems! My secret is Osmocote, a long lasting fertilizer that delivers food continuously for 4 months. Also containers are more of an effort because they do need watering every day. The other trick that I've discovered is that I have flowering herbs growing on my patio as well, namely anise hyssop which really attracts honeybees and other pollinators. I also have these planted with French Marigolds and from the beginning they have loved each other! I have noticed much less of an aphid population in my little ecosytem, and I think that it's because of the marigolds. As soon as I planted them, the insects dissapeared!

Yumm.....I'm dreaming of tomato salad with fresh mozzerella and basil!


The Strawberry Patch!


I am so excited.....These are everbearing strawberries that I've planted in two of my windowboxes. After wondering if they would ever flower, last week they rewarded me with loads of pretty white blooms. This week they are setting tons of fruit! The trick is patience I guess.....My intuition told me to just leave them alone and let them get established underground, sort of like raspberries do. Fruiting bushes like these do their work under the soil first and then  usually at the point when you are about to toss them explode with life! Now I've got to go get berry netting as I see the robins are keeping their watch!


The Strawberry Patch!


I am so excited.....These are everbearing strawberries that I've planted in two of my windowboxes. After wondering if they would ever flower, last week they rewarded me with loads of pretty white blooms. This week they are setting tons of fruit! The trick is patience I guess.....My intuition told me to just leave them alone and let them get established underground, sort of like raspberries do. Fruiting bushes like these do their work under the soil first and then  usually at the point when you are about to toss them explode with life! Now I've got to go get berry netting as I see the robins are keeping their watch!