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Whoops, sorry about leaving you hanging the past couple of days! We’re back in California after a too-short whirlwind of a trip back home. I really missed home and it felt so good to be back. I already can’t wait till we head back in August.. only 53 days! But who’s counting, right?

I ended up having a ton of freelance work to do while I was home but I didn’t let that get in my way of family time. I ended up staying up until 1:30 a.m. one night and 3:15 a.m. the night before my flight to get my stuff done. It was worth the lack of sleep though to get the extra time with my family and friends. I’m also kind of in love with my little niecey..

Jilly Bean Matt

He’s such a good dad 🙂

Jilly Bean Snuggles

Soaking it in

Jilly Bean Snuggles

This made my whole trip ❤

Jilly Bean Snuggles

My girl

Jilly Bean Smiles


Grandpa’s silly!

Jilly Bean

Love those big blue eyes.

How could I not be in love, right? She wasn’t feeling so hot but I snagged all of the snuggles I could get out of her.

And to top off the trip home..

Maryland Steamed Blue Crabs

Wedding Cake Bananas Foster

A little blue crab [obviously the best around] and polishing off the wedding cake with the fam. My sister-in-law flew back to California with us and yesterday we dragged her to a winery yesterday to kick off her first full day here.

Stonestreet Winery

Stonestreet Winery Nathan Marcie

I think it helps that we’re all equally pooped! There will be more running around during the rest of her trip, but we’re taking it easy on her [and ourselves!] to start.

It’s been a really great past few days and I’m looking forward to spending the next few with my SIL and get a little bit back into a routine. Happy Thursday, friends!

Food for Thought

Tell me what you’ve been up to over the past few days!

What I Ate Wednesday #45: The Wedding Food

Nathan and I took the wedding menu very seriously. Very seriously. My family and friends always refer to us as the foodies so we knew that we couldn’t go with the typical “chicken or steak” option. We searched high and low for the right caterer [really.. ask my mom ;)] and decided on Chef’s Expressions. They were the most creative and had the most exciting ideas. It also didn’t hurt that we had been to a wine dinner they had a couple years ago so we knew the food was fabulous.

My dad said during the whole planning process, “all you really need is good food and good music.” And it’s true, the comments about how wonderful the food was were just flying in!

Butler Passed Hors d’oeuvres

Chefs Expressions Baltimore Maryland MD Peking Duck Chopsticks Grilled Tuna Kimchee Dim Sum Bison Chicken Waffles Roasted Beets Shiitake Mushrooms

Crispy Peking Duck Chopsticks
Thin spring roll wrapper surrounding five spice glazed duck with a smokey candied ginger hoisin.

Roasted Beets
Chopped with shiitake mushrooms and finished with a meyer lemon vinaigrette, served on a silver spoon.

Kimchee Dim Sum
Spicy napa cabbage and bok choy wrapped in a dumpling, steamed and served on a bamboo steamer with a sweet carrot and mirin dipping sauce.

Gunpowder Bison au Poivre
Tenderloin of bison, quick sauteed in green peppercorns and cabernet, served on a crispy crostini with a dollop of caramelized onion confit.

Grilled Tuna
Loin of tuna grilled and served on a silver fork with mache and sweet pickled cucumber.

Chicken and Waffles
Crispy chicken bites served in a thin waffle cone, drizzled with honey mustard dressing.

The beets and kimchee dim sum were definitely my favorites. They were full of flavor and so different from the typical vegetarian options you see. Nathan was all about the chicken and waffles. It was an idea that I’d seen on Pinterest [thankyouverymuch] and I knew it would be perfect for him!

Dinner is Served!

Chefs Expressions Baltimore Maryland MD Poached Pear Spring Pea Mint Soup Turbot Roulade Coconut Sambal Black Angus Chimichurri

First Course
Poached pear filled with farmers cheese and orange segments, sprouting a mix of fresh baby greens, and a side of sweet spring pea and mint soup topped with creme fraiche.

Second Course
Roulade of Mid-Atlantic turbot filled with diced vegetable confetti, with roasted asparagus, coconut sambal sauce, and a tempura battered scallion.

Entree
Grilled black angus loin in a chimichurri sauce with a potato and herb rosette and broccolini and plum tomato brulee.

The poached pear and soup were incredible. We had so many comments about the pear in particular and I was more than happy to see that we had a few to take home with us 😉 The coconut sambal sauce on the turbot was also outstanding. It was chock full of flavor and, again, nothing like you would normally get at a wedding! The steak was perfectly cooked and deliciously tender. Overall, a fabulous meal and I would highly recommend Chef’s Expressions to anyone looking.

Cutting the Cake

Midnite Confections Cupcakery Federal Hill Baltimore Banana Pudding Brownie Sundae Full Moon Apple Crostata

Full Moon
Bourbon Madagascar vanilla and real vanilla beans.

Brownie Sundae
Brownie cupcake with vanilla bean and chocolate icing, topped with a cherry.

Apple Crostata
Apple pie a la mode in a cupcake.

Banana Pudding
Scrumptious banana cupcake with homemade vanilla custard filling and bruleed meringue frosting, topped with a mini nilla wafer.

Bananas Foster Cake Topper
Bananas foster sandwiched between two layers of banana cake, wrapped in vanilla bean frosting.

Cupcakes won our hearts from the very beginning and Midnite Confections Cupcakery has the best. It was a really tough job choosing flavors; we were constantly trying new flavors of cupcakes and they were all so delicious.. what a life! It took us a good month to choose our final 4 flavors and then we had to decide on our custom cake topper, but after having the Banana Pudding cupcake, we had a pretty good idea. The cake topper was perfect; so much so that with a full mouth at the wedding I yelled “THIS IS AMAZING!!” I have no shame.

Everything was absolutely perfect. I can’t imagine a better menu or execution for my wedding and I’m so pleased with the way everything turned out.

Food for Thought

If you’re married, was food a big decision in your planning? And if you’re not married, do you plan on putting a lot of effort into your menu?

*All photos courtesy of Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography. Another highly recommended wedding vendor!