Monthly Archives: May 2011


My sister recently gave me a new pasta maker and a drying stand.  I am a bit “old school” about cooking and gadgets – and pasta is something that is sacred. This huge metal monster only came with a recipe for pasta that resembled glue from my childhood!
Let it be said:  There is NOTHING quite like fresh semolina textured pasta – ideally spiked with tarragon, gray sea salt, loaded with lots of eggs and of course, olive oil.   Would this appliance play with me?

Becoming friends is taking time.

First of all,  it fits under my 12″ open appliance garage in the prep area of my kitchen.  (Be still my heart.)  I left it there, untouched, for several days.  Then my good friend (from first grade!) Kathy came to town and that was when I gathered courage and we took it for a spin.  Four batches later, I am still not in love, but I may have a crush!  Photo: Favorite rustic pasta (adapted) recipe from Michael Chiarello’s “Bottega” Cookbook with my new machine in background.

Keith and Stacy

There is NOTHING typical about these two!  We enjoyed an evening that toggled from laughter to organizing and back to laughter.  Maybe it is the fact that Stacy and Keith have chosen, as their wedding venue, the Big Picture Movie Theater, that has motivated their creativity.  Perhaps this is just the culmination of putting these two fun personalities together.   Regardless, I think all of their guests are in for an evening of levity!

Brock and Emily

“Double Happiness” is their theme for a Japanese, outdoor wedding planned at Kubota Garden.  We met for lunch recently to take some time for relaxation, homemade Potato Leek Soup and Panini Sandwiches.  Theirs is a story of a good friend determined to be a matchmaker!  Thank heavens!  The details are set and we’re hoping for sunshine and, of course… “Double Happiness!

Looking forward to seeing the dynamic team of Richard and Melinda from D’Arco Photo Impressions – a great video company!

Lost In The Moment

Frequently, I am asked the secret to helping my couples relax for their Wedding Ceremony.   Even though the Bride and Groom truly understand that their guests are the people in the world that love them the most, they still find it unnerving to stand before a large group and say the intimate words contained in their ceremony.  So I took a cue from the popular song “The Prayer” which has a line in it: “Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace, To a place where we’ll be safe”.  

1. From the first day we meet, the Bride, Groom and I talk about them being “Crazy in Love” on their wedding day.  How we can’t make 100 or 200 people happy – but LOVE becomes contagious, and the guests collect this joy during the service – and they will become happy. (It is hard to be responsible for 50 – 150 guests!)  Added Bonus: When a Bride and Groom are focused on each other, it is TRULY difficult to  make a fuss about smaller details of the day!!!

2. During the weeks leading up to their Big Day, the Bride and Groom have a daily “homework” assignment of gratitude.   They will also write each other a letter (that each of them quietly reads just before their wedding ceremony).

3. A few months before the wedding, I always meet my couples for a casual, yummy supper and this helps to make us all comfortable and find earnest rapport.  This spills over into the wedding day, knowing that their trusted Minister is there.  Spend time with your Officiant!

4.  We get ORGANIZED, so we have the luxury of being relaxed.  Discussions are held about to whom we are delegating – and then, we hand things off, lighten the load – RELEASE!

5. And finally, when we arrive up front, I have the Bride and Groom face each other so that the world melts away –  “LOST IN THE MOMENT”!  We create a bubble where intimacy and coziness are surrounding them.  It has to… they are holding hands and all is well.

Deep Breath…  It’s a CAKE WALK!

Her Constant

Sonny and Elaine – they are just endearing!  As we enjoyed an Italian dinner last night, our conversation was peppered with “foodie discussions”.  Sonny loves to cook and bake too, so we were continually chatting off-topic about recipes!  Theirs is a story of dedicated friendship and loyalty.  Elaine and Sonny have delighted in fabricating their wedding  to weave their traditional  families together with ample imaginative details!!!  Thank you for my beautiful bouquet of SPRING flowers!!!

Tying The Knot – Italian Style

I wanted to make a quick version of bread yesterday, so I used a trusted basic roll recipe, substituting the sugar for fresh chopped garlic, rosemary and a bit of sea salt as well as replacing the butter with olive oil.   Cutting the dough into equal pieces with my bench scraper (one of my favorite kitchen tools) I  rolled the smaller pieces into 7-8″ long cords and tied each one.  I also substituted some white flour for whole wheat.  Since I didn’t have fresh rosemary, I used dried rosemary, soaked in a little olive oil and milk.  My emulsion hand blender made short order of chopping the softened rosemary with the milk/olive oil  mixture before I added it to the dough.


I first met Anna several years ago because of our mutual work – and again when she, Mike and I met up to discuss their wedding plans last August.  So our little gathering last night seemed extra cozy.  As they sipped and ate, laughed and strategized, I was once again struck by what a great fit they are.  As we rounded out our meeting with fresh baked apple tarts with caramel sauce, I delighted in hearing the anecdotes of how this all started.  I am just so grateful to share this time with them and am looking forward to our next two events – the rehearsal and wedding.  It’s all falling into place, like it was meant to be – Kismet!