Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall Bucket List

I'm in full fall mode here in SF, even with the warm weather that doesn't seem to be disappearing anytime soon. These are the things on my must-do list this fall! 

Host a fundraiser for No Kid Hungry, a non-profit focused on ending childhood hunger in America. Any donation in October will be matched by Domino Sugar. Every dollar provides 10 meals for children in need!

Stock my freezer with chicken soup to get Z and I through cold season. There's nothing quite like homemade chicken soup when you're sick.

Visit New York City and walk through Central Park to see the changing leaves! We don't get those beautiful leaves like the East Coast does.

Try out Thomas Keller's Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter

Plan a mini-bachelorette party for my close childhood friend, complete with a trip to Alcatraz. I've never been, and I'm excited to finally cross it off my bucket list!

Learn how to make apple cider doughnuts and homemade chai. I'm all in for warm spices and seasonal produce this fall.

Sponsor a Stanford Football tailgate to get rid of all of our leftover wedding alcohol!

Schedule a fun and active Thanksgiving Day, with either touch football or a Turkey Trot 5k.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

H&Z's Wine Country Wedding: Cocktails

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Z and I both knew we wanted to offer cocktails as part of our wedding bar. While we both enjoy wine and beer, our tastes differ a lot making it hard to agree on a particular beer or wine to share. I love sparkling, drier whites, and ales, while Z is more likely to drink IPAs and bolder reds. That being said, we both love a good cocktail.

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We got married at a winery, which made the cocktail element tricky to pull off. Our venue had strict rules around hard alcohol--mainly, it's not allowed. Alcohol had to be below 25% ABV and could not be distilled. With vodka, gin, tequila, and pretty much every distilled liquor crossed off the list, we had to be creative with our cocktail choices! We focused our searches on one sparkling cocktail and one cognac-based cocktail.

Our sparkling cocktail was a classic Aperol Spritz. The sparkling wine at our venue was a little on the sweeter side, so we opted for the bitter orange Aperol aperitif to balance it out. It has a bright orange color and was a perfect refresher post-ceremony.

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Our second cocktail was the cognac-based Hey Hey. Z and I had never heard of the drink until we started our search for cognac cocktails, but I think this drink will become part of our normal rotation! It's fresh and citrusy, thanks to Triple Sec and lemon juice. Plus, it has a splash of my favorite aperitif, Lillet Blanc.

During the dancing, we made use of the winery's port selection to create an after dinner sparkling cocktail. We combined sparkling wine with a splash of Trentadue's Muscat port for a delicious sweet treat.

Check out our recipe below for the Hey Hey cocktail we served. It's the perfect drink to serve at a winery (or to be honest, really anytime since it's super delicious) since it meets the alcohol restrictions but still gives that strong cocktail feel guests might want!

All photos from Jennifer Bagwell Photography

Hey Hey Cocktail

1 fl oz Cognac
1 fl oz Triple Sec
1 fl oz Lillet Blanc
1 fl oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Shake all the ingredients with ice and then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

H&Z's Wine Country Wedding: Food

I have been gone from the blog for over a year now, and while no excuse is good enough, I hope getting married (and having lots of beautiful photos to show you!) can provide me with a 'get out of jail free' card this time around. Z and I were married on May 28, 2017, at Trentadue Winery, a winery in Sonoma County's town of Geyserville.
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Over the next few weeks, I will share a few of my favorite aspects from our wedding weekend, focusing on the food and decor. Given that this is a food blog, I will start with the food at our reception first. 

Z and I booked our caterer nine months in advance, and we felt very proud of ourselves for knocking a big item off of our wedding to-do list. Seven months before our wedding, our caterer sent us an email letting us know that they would not be providing catering services for our wedding. After several frustrated phone calls, we found out that the caterer was going out of business. Cue panic. 

After two months of back and forth with our venue and a round of new caterers, we selected a new caterer (Elaine Bell) that met our high standards of local, quality ingredients, fair pricing, and excellent service. 

When guests arrived for the ceremony, cucumber water and raspberry lemonade were on hand to help quench their thirst in the 85 degree sun.

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For appetizers, we served chicken curry salad in puff pastry cups, fried macaroni and cheese balls, and ahi tuna on a homemade potato chip with mango salsa.

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As guests sat down to dinner, the wait staff brought out a salad of butter lettuce with avocado, pear, candied walnuts, and blue cheese. Z loves blue cheese and avocado, and I love any combination of fruit/cheese/nuts.

Our friends and family had the option between steak and salmon for their entree. Z loved the salmon, while I was partial to the steak. Fried onions topped the steak, and Elaine Bell served the steak with mini new potatoes stuffed with blue cheese--I mean, YUM.

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For dessert, I couldn't pass up the traditional wedding cake, even though Z does not like cake (I know, I'm surprised I married him too). Susiecakes provided our wedding cake, and we choose a combination of marble cake and funfetti, filled with strawberry frosting, as our decorative cake. We also served Susiecakes's chocolate cake with coffee frosting.

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However, since Z is not a cake fan, and we are both ice cream fiends, we sprung at the chance to treat our guests to ice cream. We worked with Noble Folk Ice Cream, an ice cream shop in nearby Healdsburg, to provide ice cream and toppings. Noble Folk Creamery has a ton of interesting flavors, but Z and I were surprised by how much we enjoyed the vanilla and chocolate.

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We had so much fun treating our guests to the best food we could find--up next, cocktails (with recipes)!

All photos by Jennifer Bagwell Photography. Paper goods from Lotus & Ash.


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