Tag Archives: wedding reception

Get Inspired by this Outdoor Wedding Tablescape from Top Chef

top-chef-edna-lewis
Planning an outdoor wedding reception? For a tablescape that celebrates the outdoors while delivering major style, take this Top Chef table for inspiration. It’s built on a sophisticated layering of color, pattern, and texture:

  • Tablecloth with a large leafy botanical print.
  • Wide table runner in a natural hue with unfinished and slightly frayed edges (You could DIY this with a length of plain weave natural fabric, like hemp)
  • Rafia placemats.
  • Dark amber water glasses.
  • Sideways glass vases holding pink flowers to give the setting a modern lift.

This screenshot, by the way, is from Top Chef’s 14th season, in South Carolina, at an estate that housed the restaurant and home of Edna Lewis, a luminary of traditional Southern cooking.

Maria BywaterMaria Bywater is the designer behind Huppahs.com and author of Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home.

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HE’BREW: Great Kosher Beer for Your Jewish Wedding

wedding bar kosher beerOne big plus of moving Huppahs.com to New York has been finding out about HE’BREW beer, a line of great-tasting kosher craft beers. If you want to offer your wedding guests something different at the bar and give the beer lovers in the crowd something they’ll appreciate, serve up some Origin Pomegranate Ale, Hop Manna, Messiah Brown Nut Ale, or one of the line’s other amusingly-named but seriously good brews.

I don’t have the beer vocabulary to even bluff at describing the tastes, but one reviewer who presumably does have that vocabulary was reduced to the word “WOW.” In the 2011/2012 World Beer Championships, where HE’BREW’s maker, Shmaltz Brewing, entered fourteen beers, nine of their beers won gold medals and five won silver. It’s good beer.

HE’BREW beers are brewed in upstate New York, but you can find them in more than thirty states (as well as extremely selected locations in Canada, Australia, and Japan). A newer line of Coney Island Craft Lagers is available through a more limited number of outlets. Shmaltz Brewing’s website provides helpful lists of wholesalers, shops and bars that carry its products.

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creekRelated: Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

Generally, an unflavored beer made with only water, barley, yeast, and hops, without any additives, will be kosher even without certification (for this information, I go to Orthodox-Jews.com). But when you want to get at all adventurous with taste and still keep kosher, you have to look for certification. HE’BREW beers are certified by the Orthodox-grade Kosher Supervision of America.

I raise my glass to the folks at Shmaltz Brewing Company for advancing the art of beer for the rest of us to enjoy and impress our guests.

East River Bar Brooklyn New York NYRELATED: Real Life Wedding: Alanna + Joe’s Brooklyn Neighborhood Wedding

Persian Pomegranate Sangria (Kosher Drink Recipe)

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Recipe: Blueberry Sauce (Parve, Vegetarian, Non-Dairy)

This gorgeous, sweet sauce can be made with fresh blueberries in the summer and frozen berries year round.

wedding dessert recipeWe post this sauce to accompany our baked pears for an autumn or winter celebration, but can’t you imagine it with something lemony? Let us know how you use it.

The recipe comes from one of my go-to cookbooks, Marlene Sorosky’s Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays. Not all of the recipes in the book are kosher, but sticking to the kosher recipes, I’ve found them to be not only delicious, but fast and foolproof.

Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce

Maked 5 cups of sauce

  • 1 quart (4 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup water

Instructions for Blueberry Sauce

In a medium saucepan, stir all ingredients together. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly and sugar is dissolved. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Make-Ahead Option

Sauce can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe: Baked Pears for an Autumn or Early Winter Wedding (Parve or Dairy, Vegetarian)

wedding dessert recipeThese pears work for both elegant and rustic menus. Add homemade berry sauce and serve them as an accompaniment to a slice of light wedding cake or as a side dish for a wedding brunch.

Today my daughters and I packed a brunch and brought it to my parents’ house to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The planned menu included poached pears, but last night, when I should have started the poaching, I hung out with a bunch of brothers and sisters and in-laws instead, talking about, among other things, Bill’s latest ice sculptures. So this morning, my daughters and I prepared the pears by baking them. The prep for baked pears is less fussy and less time-consuming than than for poaching, which makes them an appealing dish not just for easy-going family weekends, but for small self-catered weddings, too.

Serve these baked pear halves with a slice of light wedding cake and homemade berry sauce for a complete wedding dessert, or include them as a side dish for an autumn or early winter wedding brunch. We’ll make the berry sauce recipe our next post.

Menorah Ice Carving Hanukkiah

Menorah Ice Carving Hanukkiah

BTW, here’s a pic of the Hanukkiah ice sculpture Bill carved today during a demonstration at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in Manhattan.

Ingredients for Baked Pears

Serves 24

  • 12 Bosc or Anjou pears
  • Cooking oil spray
  • ½ cup butter, melted (or for a pareve version to serve with a meat meal, use non-dairy margarine)
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions for Baked Pears

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  2. Lightly spray the bottom of two 9″x13″ baking pans with cooking oil.
  3. Cut pears in half, cut out the core, and peel the pears.
  4. How to bake pears

    Make 4 slices in each pear half, stopping about a quarter inch from the narrow end of the pear.

    Optional: Make four slices in each pear half, stopping about ¼” from the small end. This will enable you to fan out the slices on the plate when you serve it. Or leave the halves unsliced for a more rustic presentation.
  5. Place the pears flat side down in the baking pans.
  6. Mix the melted butter, honey and spices. Drizzle the mixture over the pears.
  7. Cover the pans and bake for 40 minutes or until the pears are tender.

The pears can be stored overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

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Croquembouche and Dragees, Traditional French Wedding Details – And Endangered Species?

Yesterday the BBC reported that French couples increasingly are abandoning traditional French wedding customs and adopting American and British-style wedding details. I find this alarming.

As a champion of small weddings, I like to know there are pockets of the world holding out against the big, bridezilla-inducing wedding machine. Traditional French weddings are intimate and elegant. Until recently, French couples typically have forgone bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the budget-straining trimmings that have become customary for American and British celebrations. That the French in particular, who generally are known for taking pride in their national culture, would now abandon their long-standing allegiance to elegant simplicity seems a fair reason for concern.

The BBC credits last year’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton for making the first significant cracks in the cultural defenses of France’s brides. When those blushing mariées saw Kate’s wedding dress of English lace, they deserted their silk dresses. Since then, French couples have been waving wildly in welcome as save-the-date cards, personalized wedding favors, and tiered cakes veritably march in victory along the Champs-Élysées.

Surely, this development is a net positive for France’s wedding vendors and the British vendors who are marching on Paris to take advantage of the trend. But couples around the world who want a small, elegant wedding are losing a style ally.

This was going to be the paragraph where I compared the traditional French wedding to an endangered species and made the case for the importance of preserving biodiversity in our wedding planning ecosystem. But at this point, I think we all want to move on to the pretty pictures.

So, like scientists who gather and protect species in danger of extinction, let us preserve here the details of a traditional French wedding, so they can be enjoyed by future generations — even if not in their native habitat.

Traditional French Wedding Details:

Silk Wedding Dress, Alexandra King Bristol, England, United KingdomWedding Dress: Silk.
(Source: Alexandra King on Etsy, Bristol, England, United Kingdom.)
Le Vin d’Honneur: A mini reception directly following the ceremony. Many of the ceremony guests, such as work colleagues and friends of the couples’ parents, attend this vin d’honneur but not the main reception. The expected beverage: Kir Royale.
Drinks: Champagne, coffee. Croquembouche French Wedding CakeDessert: Croquembouche
(Source: Fancy That Wedding Cake. Oxfordshire, England, UK)
Flowers: Roses Sugared Almonds Wedding FavorsFavors: Dragées (sugared almonds).
(Source: Milena Bertarelli, MilenaSupplies on Etsy)

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Save-the-Date-Cards: No/No/No.

Related: Our 100 Favorite Backyard Wedding Themes

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Winter Wedding Hors d’Oeuvres Recipe: Latkes for a Crowd

Latkes are great dish to serve for a winter wedding, not just weddings at Hanukkah, because they are so satisfying on a cold day. You can serve them as an appetizer or with the entree as a tasty, creative alternative to baked potato or rice.

One year I had the pleasure of making latkes for a large group of American military service members. It was during Hanukkah in one of the four years I lived in Kuwait. This was between the Gulf Wars. My husband was the U.S. Defense Department’s designated lay leader for the Jewish service people who cycled through the country, which means that I was responsible for making holiday meals and parties for the Jewish service people in my home. It was a great time, we met a lot of really great people, and I hope they’re all now safe at home enjoying the country they’ve served.

On this particular Hanukkah evening, I was rushing to get ready for a crowd of service people who were coming for a party. I was in the middle of preparing the latke batter when they called on their way over to say that instead of the seven people that were expected, they were 16 people. I would need more latkes.

I started throwing all kinds of things into the bowl to bulk up the latke mix: more potatoes, more onions, more eggs, a couple boxes of dried latke mix that family had sent from the States, ricotta cheese, sour cream, and I’m not sure what else, maybe even some cream cheese. Of course, they were amazing, but because I didn’t keep track of exactly what went in them, I would never know how to reproduce them.

It’s OK that I don’t remember, because I want to give you a non-dairy latke that you can serve with any wedding meal, including meals that include meat. And I want to give you a version that is easy to prepare and can be made a day or two before the wedding. The recipe below is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd: Recipes with a Vegetarian Emphasis for 24 or More, a book that I relied on heavily when serving large crowds in Kuwait. I raised the flavor profile a bit to create a more refined, wedding-worthy dish by adding sautéed leeks and a non-dairy sour cream with chives to serve on the side. Yum.

Recipe: Latkes for a Crowd (Parve)

Serves 24 (2 latkes per person)

Latke Ingredients

  • 4 ½ lbs. potatoes
  • 4 lbs. onions
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 24 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs or matza meal
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

“Sour Cream” with Chives Ingredients

  • 2 pints (4 cups) non-dairy sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Latke Instructions

  1. Chop the leeks and sautée over medium heat for 3 minutes until just translucent. Remove them from the heat and put them aside.
  2. Grate the potatoes coarsely with a food processor or hand-held grater.
  3. Put the potatoes into a colander and squeeze them to eliminate excess water.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  5. Grate the onions and drain them in a colander. Squeeze out the excess water.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
  7. Add the potatoes, onions, leeks, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs or matzo meal. Mix well.
  8. Pour ¼ cup of oil into the bottom of four half-size insert pans (12½” x 10¼” x 2″) and place them in the hot oven for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour the batter into the hot pans. Spread the oil smoothly across the top of the batter with a spatula.
  10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until crusty and golden.
  11. While still hot, cut each pan into 12 latke squares.

“Sour Cream” with Chives Instructions

Make the sour cream the same day you intend to serve it. In a medium bowl mix the chopped chives into the non-dairy sour cream.

To Serve

  • If your serve the latkes pre-plated, put two latkes on each plate and two tablespoons of “sour cream” next to the latkes.
  • If you are using a buffet, serve the “sour cream” in a bowl next to the latkes.

Make Ahead Options

You can make the latkes a day before the wedding. Cover them with foil and keep refrigerated. Reheat in 350º oven for 10-12 minutes.

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5 Tips for Creating an Inviting Wedding Pie Dessert Buffet

rustic mountain wedding pie buffet

Photographer: Jessica Watson | Source: Ruffled®

Are you considering a pie dessert buffet for your wedding? Follow these tips to create a mouthwatering display:

  1. Choose rustic/country or pretty/elegant: Does the feel of your wedding lend itself more to a rustic/country feel or a pretty/elegant feel? If it’s the former, choose traditional fruit pies. If it’s the latter, think custards, meringues and fruit tarts.
  2. Vary the pie toppings: For visual interest and to whet your guests’ appetites, choose pies with a variety of tops: crumble, lattice crust, full crust top cut with slits.
  3. Display the pies at various heights: Instead of putting all the pies directly on the table, raise some up on raised cake/pie plates or props such as upturned baskets or stacks of old books.
  4. Add tall decorative elements: Especially if your buffet doesn’t include a tall wedding cake, add tall decorative elements such as flowers in vases, flowering branches, or sheaves of wheat.
  5. Add generous displays of fresh produce: Display fresh produce of the kind used in the pies. The fruits can be stacked on plate tiers or heaped in pretty bowls or baskets. The produce will add color and freshness.


Looking for pie recipes?
Take a look at our recipes (they’re all parve, so they can fit into a kosher meat or dairy meal):

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Persian Pomegranate Sangria (Kosher Drink Recipe)

pomegranate sangria recipe kosherIf your guests aren’t in the mood to celebrate before they have a sip of this fruity pomegranate sangria, they will be after. As presented, the recipe makes up to 15 servings, but you can easily prepare a few batches to satisfy the guests at an intimate backyard or apartment balcony wedding.

Huppahs.com thanks Marlene, the founder and creative force behind The Jewish Hostess (thejewishhostess.com) for allowing us to share this recipe with you here. The recipe was originally submitted to The Jewish Hostess by Joy Betesh, so a big thanks to Joy, too!

Have you ever seeded a pomegranate? If you have, you know it can be a tricky, messy business. The Jewish Hostess provides tips and a video at How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques.

Ingredients for Persian Pomegranate Sangria

Yield: 13 to 15 eight-ounce cups of sangria

pomegranateFor Syrup:

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half

For Sangria:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 bottles red wine, chilled in refrigerator
  • 8 cups pomegranate juice, chilled in refrigerator
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded (How to Seed a Pomegranate for Rosh Hashanah: Two Techniques)
  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds, then cut in half into semi-circles
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds, then cut in half into semi-circles

For serving:

  • Ice
  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions for Persian Pomegranate Sangria

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and split vanilla pod.
  2. Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a low heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes to dissolve sugar and create a thin syrup.
  3. Turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes to cool to room temperature and to allow the ingredients to marinate.
  4. Strain over fine mesh strainer into a large punch bowl or pitcher.
  5. Pour in chilled wine, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Mix well.
  6. Add pomegranate seeds, orange, and lemon slices and mix again.
  7. Serve in glasses with a sprig of fresh mint and 1 or 2 cubes of ice in each.

Make-Ahead Options

You can prepare the sangria through step 4 the day before serving, even letting the mix marinate more than 20 minutes before straining it. Keep the strained punch in the refrigerator overnight. Add the remaining ingredients as the time for serving approaches.

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Recipe: Fresh Raspberry Pie

Meg Bywater Agnes Goldrich Clara Goldrich picking raspberries
Another late summer fruit pie inspired by our fruit picking trip and the popularity of pie dessert buffets for weddings: Raspberry Pie. This recipe comes from canida at Instructables.com.

Ingredients for Fresh Raspberry Pie

  • 5-6 cups fresh berries
  • 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought) [parve pie crust recipe]
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (for tart berries, use the larger amount)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash allspice (optional)

Instructions for Raspberry Pie

Visit Instructables.com for canida’s photos of the steps.

  1. Sort and gently wash berries. Set them aside to dry on a towel or in a colander.
  2. Meanwhile, make or buy your pie crust, then bake it. Use the package directions for baking a store-bought pie crust, or just bake at 350 until lightly golden-brown, 10-15 minutes depending on the recipe you’ve chosen. Homemade pie crusts may require weights to toast evenly without slipping down the sides (line with foil and add dry beans for weight if you don’t have pie-specific tools), but this isn’t absolutely necessary if aesthetics aren’t your thing.
  3. When pie crust is cool, fill with raspberries (reserve 1/4 cup berries for the glaze). Spread evenly, and mound them a bit in the center as shown below.
  4. Place in a small pot the reserved 1/4 cup raspberries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. Cook and stir with a wire whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the berries have turned to mush. When sauce begins to thicken, add lemon juice and allspice (if using). Stir until glaze becomes thick, and remove from heat.
  6. Pour the glaze over your berries, spreading gently to cover the entire top surface. Allow the pie to set up for at least 30 minutes in a cool room or in the refrigerator.
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Make-Ahead Options

Raspberry pie can be stored covered in the refrigerator for two days.

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Hors d’Oeurve Recipe: Clinton Kelly’s Tapenade Three Ways

The last errand my daughters and I ran on Friday while preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene in DC was the library, where we stocked up on books in anticipation of the possible loss of electricity and a three-day reading holiday. As things worked out, we didn’t get much more than the equivalent of a strong summer rain storm, although folks to the east and west of us dealt with some nasty stuff.

Our reading holiday was cut short, but we did make it through a lot of books. Aside from all the curl-up-in-a-chair-and-read-alone books, there was one book, which one of my daughters had picked up, that we read together: Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else, by Clinton Kelly. For those of you who don’t fritter away a lot of hours watching The Learning Channel, Clinton Kelly is the male counterpart to Stacy London on TLC’s What Not to Wear.

My favorite section of the book was “Entertain”. I haven’t found so many simple, tasty, impressive looking hors d’oeuvre recipes together in one book in a long time. I’m going to share with you Clinton’s three recipes for tapenade: black olive, green olive, and sun-dried tomato. Because tapenade is parve, it makes a great opening bite in a meat-inclusive meal. Clinton recommends serving all three alongside each other on a slice of crostini, but you can use just one.

Clinton calls this collection “Tapenade Threeway”, but I’m calling it Tapenade Three Ways. Still fabulous. You can make them a couple of days ahead, which, for a home catered event, makes them freakin’ fabulous.

Ingredients for Black Olive Tapenade

½ pound good-quality black olives, pitted and drained
4 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for Green Olive Tapenade

½ pound good-quality green olives, pitted and drained
2 Tablespoons papers, drained
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon salt
6 leaves basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions for Making the Tapenades

Follow these instructions for all three tapenades:

Put all of the ingredients, except olive oil, into a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine, then add the oil tablespoon by tablespoon until a slightly chunk consistency is achieved.

Make Ahead Options

The tapenades can be made a couple of days in advance. Store covered in the fridge.

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Tablescape of Wine Bottle Candle Holders

wine bottle candle holder tablescape

A tablescape of wine bottle candle holders. Great for evening weddings in the approaching cooler seasons. Plenty of other folks seem to have been inspired by this image; I traced it back through more than a half-dozen blogs and websites to its origin on This Is Glamorous (http://citified.blogspot.com). The photo is by Tom Mannion.

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Wedding Inspiration: Rustic Backyard Summer Wedding

bride and groom barn michigan backyard weddinghay bale wedding seating michigan backyard weddingpicture frame seating chart michigan backyard weddingrustic tablescape michigan backyard weddingpie table michigan backyard weddingtent reception michigan backyard wedding

The look of this backyard wedding was inspired by the soft colors and rustic country feel of peaches, tangerines and plums, with touches of feathers, wood accents and flower pods. And instead of a wedding cake: a selection of home-made pies.

Source: StyleMePretty
Photography: Synecdoche
Event Design: Flourish Event Design
Event Planning: Flourish Event Design
Flowers: New Creations Flower Company
Invitations: Elizabeth Grace
Dress: Carolina Herrera

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Can a Backyard Wedding Be Glamorous? Hang a Crystal Chandelier in the Tree and You’re on Your Way…

glamorous backyard wedding

This glamorous backyard wedding tableau was designed by Southern California’s Bella Raines Garden Studio and the photography team of Lavender & Twine.

A pair of chic satin Badgley Mischka pumps inspired the scene, including the color scheme of white, silver, and emerald green.

The details include crystal chandeliers, beaded curtains, piles of white flowers, sparkly pillows, metallic chargers, chic menu design, crystal cut wine glasses and vases of mercury glass.

glamorous-picnic-wedding-table-decor
grecian-inspired-wedding-dress
white-rose-centerpiecesemerald-silver-white-wedding-tablescapewedding bouquet with crystals and emerald

Source: The Sweetest Occasion
Flowers: Southern California’s Bella Raines Garden Studio
Menu: inspiraDesigns
Photography: Lavender & Twine
Shoes: Badgley Mischka

ALSO SEE:

Plumosa Greens Garland Source Fiftyflowers-com

Garland on the stairs. Source: Fiftyflowers.com

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Recipe: Apricot Rolls for a Middle Eastern Wedding Menu (Vegan, Parve)

These traditional sweets add a Middle Eastern touch to a dessert buffet, hors d’oeuvres reception or, as Gil Marks, points out, a Middle Eastern wedding shower. The recipe comes from Mark’s treasure of a cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining.

Ingredients for Middle Eastern Apricot Rolls

Makes about 7 dozen rolls

  • 1 pound (3¼ cups) dried apricots, washed and drained
  • ½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped blanched almonds or unsalted pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or grinder, grind or puree the apricots with the ½ cup sugar.
  2. Sprinkle a large piece of wax paper with additional sugar and spread half of the apricot mixture on top of a ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
  3. Arrange the nuts along one side of the rectangle, then roll up from the nut side. Repeat with the remaining apricot mixture.
  4. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 2 days, then cut into slices.

Alternatively, mix the nuts into the apricots, roll into ½-inch balls (about 50 balls), and press an additional piece of nut on top of each ball.

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Recipe: Zucchini Pancake Hors d’Oeuvres for a Summer Wedding (Vegetarian, Parve)

When I was growing up, there was always one week when every homemaker’s backyard garden exploded with zucchini. All the Moms in the neighborhood would race each other to hand out the surplus harvest to people in the neighborhood who didn’t have gardens before those folks, too, were inundated with more zucchini than they could use.

Those Moms would have loved to be able to hand over some of their zucchini to someone in the neighborhood who could use them for a backyard wedding.

Even if there’s no one in your neighborhood offering you an armload of free zucchini, you can hit the supermarket or local farmers market for zucchini to make zucchini pancakes, a wonderful savory summer hors d’oeuvre for your summer wedding. I’ve tried a few versions of zucchini pancakes, but I like this one from Ivy Fueurstadt in New Kosher Cuisine the best. The pancakes come out nice and crispy. I’ve upped the quantities to make enough for a crowd.

Like all my favorite backyard wedding hors d’oeuvres, these can be made ahead and frozen.

Ingredients for Zucchini Pancake Hors d’Oeuvres

Makes 100-125 hors d’oeuvres

  • 5 medium zucchinis, coarsely shredded (about 10 cups)
  • 10 large eggs, beaten
  • 1¼ cup minced onion
  • 5½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant Tablespoon baking powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oregano,to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions for Zucchini Pancakes

You may want to mix this up in 2 batches.

  1. In batches, place shredded zucchini in a colander and press out as much moisture as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, mix egges, onion and zucchini. Add dry ingredients and mix.
  3. Heat oil on griddle or in skillet over medium heat. Drop a scant tablespoon of batter into the hot oil. Flatten, if desired, and fry for 3 minutes on each side until brown and cripsy.

Make-Ahead Option

To freeze, place pancakes between pieces of wax paper so they don’t become soggy. When frozen solid, transfer to freezer bags. Reheat in 425 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy.

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Wedding DIY: How to Decorate a Table with Garland

Garland wedding decorations

Let me refine the title of this article: it should be “How to Decorate a Table with Garland WITHOUT Putting Holes in Your Table or Your Tablecloth.” The conventional method of attaching garland to a table requires sticking pins into the table through the tablecloth. Not ideal, especially when the table and tablecloth are your own.

To style our wedding punch photo shoot we avoided putting holes in our cloth and table by attaching the beautiful Ruscus garland with tablecloth clamps.

The key is to use heavy duty metal clamps rather than the plastic versions. Use pieces of florist wire to attach the greenery to the clamps.

how to decorate a table with garland

how to attach garland to table

And here’s the recipe for that tasty watermelon punch.

Photo: Jason Weil; Rockville, Maryland
Garland: FiftyFlowers.com

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Enjoy Our New Summer Bliss Wedding Punch Recipe

watermelon wedding punchWe put on our celebration hats to come up with this cool new wedding punch recipe to celebrate the launch of our new Huppahs.com’s Facebook page. We call our divine creation Summer Bliss.

Your guests will love this original summer punch: a cool combination of watermelon, Catoctin Creek Distillery’s Organic (and kosher!) Watershed Gin, and other tasty ingredients. It makes a refreshing and delicious addition to a wedding or party beverage menu.

Get the recipe on Huppahs.com’s Facebook page.

Along with the recipe, you’ll also find out on our Facebook page how to enter a drawing for a free Catoctin Creek Distillery T-shirt.

Wedding DIY table garlandWe even show you how to style your table like we did using garland from FiftyFlowers.com.

Check it all out – Summer Bliss awaits…

Photo: Jason Weil
Garland: Wholesale flowers from FiftyFlowers.com

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Top-notch #wedding planning calls for managing transitions in time.

One of the goals of event planning is to never have guests asking each other, “What are we supposed to be doing now?”, or even worse, having to answer each other, “I don’t know.”

Help your guests have a wonderful time at your wedding by reducing the confusion that can creep into the proceedings during transitions. In my previous post I gave tips for easing transitions in space — moving from one place to another. Today, I’m giving you tips for guiding your guests through transitions in time — moving from one part of the event to the next.

During a Jewish wedding — for most weddings, actually — transitions from one part of the program to the next usually involve moving from one room to another. After the veiling ceremony, everyone moves to the place where the huppah stands. When the huppah ceremony is over, everyone moves to the next room, anticipating cocktails. Later, it’s on to the meal. In these instances, the tips that help people move smoothly from one space to another will also do most of the work of easing their transition from one part of the program to the next. But there are still more things you can do to make these transitions as smooth as possible for your guests.

Tips for Managing Transitions Between Parts of the Wedding

  • Invite guests to move to the next part of the event. When it’s time to move from one room to another, and guests can’t be expected to know which way to go, don’t just open the door and wait for your guests to figure out it’s time to move. Invite them to do so. When the veiling ceremony is over, have the rabbi or a family member who doesn’t mind speaking up say something like, “Please join us on the lawn / in the sanctary / in the Steinsaltz Room for the wedding ceremony,” and hold out an arm in the direction people should move.” When the cocktail hour is over and it’s time for dinner, have a staff member from the venue, caterer, or wedding planner announce, “Please join us in the Roosevelt Room / terrace / ballroom for dinner.”
  • When transitioning from a cocktail hour to a buffet meal, invite one person or couple to begin. When you have a large number of guests, opening up the buffet can create a chaotic rush. When the number of guests is small, no one may feel comfortable stepping up to serve themselves first. The solution: Invite one person or couple to be first: “Will you start the buffet for us?” If the group is small, start with a guest of honor, such as a grandparent or a guest who traveled an especially long way to attend, or the rabbi. Invite the person to start the buffet, escort them to the table, and hand them a plate. If the crowd is large, start with the group nearest the buffet, and let the rest of the guests follow on as they realize the buffet is open.
  • Keep written programs short. A printed program can be a useful guide to guests who are not familiar with the ceremony, or to acknowledge people who have special roles, but keep the program short. You don’t want your guests spending a lot of time with their heads down reading. You want them watching and taking part in the ceremony they have come to share with you.

Following these tips will help produce a fabulously organized wedding. They’ll also do much more. The personal interactions that happen when people are welcomed and joyfully invited to the next part of the celebration, and when someone is nearby to answer their questions will impart a wonderfully personal touch that costs you nothing but will make your day more meaningful and memorable for your guests.

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Filed under Jewish Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception

Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

Just out: This week’s Weekly Wedding Tips: Tips for Finding and Working with a Top-Notch Ice Sculptor

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Recipe: Traditional Spiced Almond Hors d’Oeuvre (Pareve)

In Hebrew, the numerical value of the word for nuts, egoz, is 17, the same as the value of the word tov, good. Which means that the two things are related to each other. Hence the prevalence of nuts, particularly almonds, in traditional Jewish wedding celebrations.

Spiced almonds also fit into very modern celebrations as a tasty hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvre reception. They can be made a week before serving, which makes them self-catered-wedding-friendly.

This version comes from Gil Marks’ cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining: Menus and Recipes for the Sabbath, Holidays, and Other Family Celebrations. It’s a great go-to cookbook for celebrations large and small. Marks also includes in his book a more savory version with rosemary and cayenne pepper.

Gil Marks World of Jewish EntertainingOne of the great things about a cookbook collection is remembering how each book came to be on your kitchen bookshelf. I received this book as a gift after teaching for a few terms at the New North London Synagogue. I miss London! And as Shavuout approaches, I really miss the cheesecake at Paradise Bakery on Golders Green Road. Best cheesecake in the world, you used to be only a short walk from home. Sigh. Let’s see… does Mr. Marks include a cheesecake in his cookbook? He has two! I’m feeling better already.

Ingredients for Spiced Almonds
Makes 4 cups

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) almonds
  • Optional: Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Combine the oil, honey, and spices. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Store the almonds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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Classic Vintage Ivory Wedding Inspiration Board


Inspiration Board: WeddingWire
Bride: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture
Cake: Dianne Rockwell The Cake Lady
Favors: Nature Favors
Thank You Tags: Holland Designs, LLC
Table Decor: Vineyard Events
Invitations: The 2u Collection & Cordially Invited
Bouquet: Studio B Floral Designs
Centerpiece: A Whole Bunch Flower Market

wedding inspiration board pink blue gardenMORE WEDDING BOARDS:

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