Tag Archives: wedding reception

Recipe: Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangle Canapes (Parve, Vegan)

This is the eighth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

It doesn’t look like The Queen’s canape reception menu include anything for the vegans on the guest list, but we will. We are reinterpreting the wild mushroom chausson, which incorporates a butter-based pastry, and offering these wild mushroom in triangle-shaped packets of phyllo dough. The recipe comes from meign via VegTalk.org.

Ingredients for Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 cups spinach, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp kosher red wine vinegar
  • ½ package phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Heat a large pan to medium-high and saute the garlic in 1 tsp of the olive oil. Add the other tsp when you add the mushrooms, and stir them around to coat them in the oil. Leave them on the heat, stirring occasionally, long enough to allow the mushrooms to release and then reabsorb their juice. This will take about 15 minutes.

Once the mushrooms have fully cooked, add the thyme and salt & pepper to taste, then the spinach. Allow the spinach to just wilt and then add the red wine vinegar and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Remove the filling from the heat.

Lay one sheet of phyllo pastry flat on a cutting board and brush lightly with olive oil or coconut oil. Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice the pastry along the long side into 5 strips. Place a small spoonful of the mixture at one end of each strip. Fold the phyllo up in a triangle shape, keeping the filling in the middle of the pocket. Continue until all the filling mixture is used.

Bake the triangles at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until the phyllo starts to brown.

The next royal wedding canape: Chocolate Truffles

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Recipe: Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney Canape

This is the seventh hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

The canape reception that The Queen threw for Will and Kate included an hors d’oeuvre called Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney. A traditional duck terrine falls firmly in the unkosher category. Duck itself is kosher, though, and one of those extravagances that can elevate a special occasion menu. So I developed this hors d’oeuvre of roast duck and spiced fruit chutney on a slice of rich fruit nut bread. Its a hearty, fillling, and tasty addition to a cocktail or hors d’oeuvre reception.

The instructions for cooking the duck come from The Complete American Jewish Cookbook by Anne London and Bertha Kahn Bishov. It’s a wonderful, 1 ½-inch thick cookbook that includes instructions for cooking pretty much anything kosher you can put your hands on. My copy came as a gift many years ago. It’s out of print now and a cookbook that I’m grateful to have on the shelf. Thank you, Anne, Bertha, and Mrs. Goldrich.

Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney Canape

Instructions for Roasting the Duck

Wash carefully inside and out. Dry. Truss, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place duck on a rack in roasting pan. Roast uncovered, baste occasionally with pan drippings. If breast becomes too brown, turn breast side down. Roast 20 to 25 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.

Assembling the Canape

Cut the fruit bread into slices about 3/8″ thick and cut each slice in half. Spread fruit chutney on a piece of bread, and top it off with a piece of duck. Try to keep the whole canape small enough to eat with one or two bites.

The next royal wedding canape: Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

parve dessert hors d'ouevresTRY THESE, TOO:

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Recipe: Fruited Apple Loaf, Hors d’Oeuvre Base (Parve)

This recipe is for the seventh hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

This fruited quick bread makes a great hors d’oeuvre base for cheeses and our roasted duck with spiced fruit chutney. The recipe comes from Quick Bread by Beatrice Ojakangas, which is now out of print.

Ingredients for Fruited Apple Loaf

Makes three small loaves.

  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light or dark raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup pitted chopped dates
  • 1 ½ cups chopped tart apple (about 3 small apples)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 5 3/4 x 3 ½-inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, Sherry, eggs, vanilla, raisins, fruits, nuts, and dates. In a small bowl, stir the apples and baking soda together and add to the fruit-nut mixture.

In another bowl, stir the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together and blend into fruit mixture.

Spoon into the prepared pan or pans and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Cut into thin slices, and cut each slice in half to make hors d’oeuvres bases.

Make Ahead Options

Breads can be frozen up to three months. Wrap tightly. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

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Recipe: Spiced Fruit Chutney (Parve)

This recipe is for the seventh hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Photo: Ocado.com

We’re building up the components of a delicious duck canape, beginning with this spicy fruit chutney. The recipe comes from Karin Engelbrecht at About.com.
The other components will be roasted duck and a nut bread for the canape base.

I’ve halved the measurements since we don’t need to put up four jars of chutney. Two jars will suffice for our reception. You will need 2 jam jars and lids. Make the chutney a few weeks before you plan to use it.

Ingredients for Fruit Chutney

Makes 2 jars of chutney

  • 1 lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium-sized chunks
  • 1 lb Conference pears, peeled, cored and cut into medium-sized chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, grated zest and juice
  • ½ Tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 ½ cups kosher white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup kosher rose wine
  • 4 oz dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 4 oz raisins
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon speculaas spices (or pumpkin pie spices)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried chile flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar

Instructions

In a medium soup pot, bring the apples, pears, onions, garlic, lemon zest and juice, mustard seeds and 2 cups of the vinegar to the boil and simmer until the fruit is tender, but not soft.

Add the remaining vinegar, the rose wine and the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until thick and jelly-like. Check regularly and stir so it doesn’t stick, especially towards the end. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, wash 2 jam jars and lids with warm, soapy water, rinse well, and leave to dry in a warm oven (250 degrees F/130 degrees C) for 15 minutes.

Spoon chutney into the sterilized jam jars. Store in a cool, dark place for a few weeks before serving.

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Recipe: Pea Guacamole (Parve Vegetarian)

pea guacamole dip recipe

Photo: Fiona Haynes via Allrecipes.com

This pea guacamole accompanies the sixth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

This dip accompanies the haddock fish cakes in the royal wedding canape reception menu. You can also serve it with crudites. The recipe comes from the Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja, Mexico.

Ingredients for Pea Guacamole

  • 1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into ¼ -inch dice
  • ½ red or sweet onion, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions for Pea Guacamole

  1. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, process the peas until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher. Add the juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Add the peas and mix well.
  3. If the guacamole won’t be served immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent browning.

More new wedding planning posts…

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Recipe: Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole (Parve, Vegetarian)

This is the sixth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Will and Kate’s canape reception included smoked haddock fishcakes with pea guacamole. Haddock fishcake we do in traditional Jewish cuisine. The pea guacamole we will, like the Brits, borrow from Mexico.

The fish cake comes from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook, which has a lot of classic Jewish and classic American recipes for entertaining a crowd. The original recipe calls for 2 ½ diameter patties, but I’ve reduced the size to 2″ to produce patties that are more canape-size. That increases the yield to 75.

See the next blog post for the pea guacamole.

Ingredients for Fried Fish Patties

Makes 75 two-inch patties.

  • 4 lbs. haddock fillet
  • 4 lbs. cod fillet
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 level Tablespoons salt
  • 1 level teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 level Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ sunflower or other flavorless oil
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) medium matzah meal

Instructions for Fried Fish Patty Canapes

  1. Wash and salt the fish and leave to drain.
  2. Cut the onion in 1-inch chunks and put in the food processor, together with the eggs, seasoning and oil, then process until reduced to a smooth puree. Puree the ingredients in batches is you need to. All the seasonings can be put into the same batch.
  3. Pour puree into a large bowl and stir in the matzah meal. Leave to swell.
  4. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks. Put into the food processor, to fill the processor up to halfway. Process the fish in batches if you need to. Process for 5 seconds, until the fish is finely chopped, then add to the egg and onion puree. Blend with a large fork. Once all the fish is processed, mix everything together in the bowl with your hands. The mixture should be firm enough to shape in patties. If it’s very soft, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of matzah meal. If it’s too thick, rinse out the food processor bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and stir that in. Leave for at least a half hour or overnight under refrigeration.
  5. To shape, dip the hands into cold water and form the mixture into patties that are 2″ in diameter and 3/4″ thick.
  6. Fry in oil that almost covers the patties, or deep fry for speed.
  7. The patties can be served warm or cold. The cooked patties keep three days in the refrigerator. To re-crisp, heat in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead Options

  1. Cooked patties can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days using the instructions in the recipe.
  2. You can freeze the raw patties up to 3 months. Start the freezing by laying them out in a pan, in layers separated by foil. After they are firm, transfer them to freezer bags. Defrost the patties in single layers on a board, overnight in the refrigerator or 1 to 3 hours at room temperature.

    To serve with the fishcakes: Pea guacamole.

    The next canape: Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney on Fruited Nut Bread

    More recent wedding planning posts…

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Recipe: Mini Orange Almond Cakes, Dessert Hors D’Oeuvre (Parve, Non-Dairy)

This is the fifth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Two of my favorite words from the Royal Wedding are “fascinators”, those contraptions a lot of the ladies wore on their heads instead of hats, and “financiers”, the classic French almond sponge cakes. The Queen served them during her canape reception following the wedding ceremony.

Financiers (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr) may have been good enough for the royal wedding, but they have butter in them, so they are out of our kosher-fied menu of meat and parve canapes. As it happens, classic Jewish cuisine includes a parve almond sponge cake. The base combines ground almonds and a mixture of eggs and sugar. There are no grain-based flours and no chemical leavening agents, so this cake is a centuries-old star of the kosher baker and homemaker’s Passover repertoire. There are many variations. This version incorporates orange zest and orange juice. It is the traditional Sephardic orange-almond cake called Torta de las Reyes, “cake of kings”, which makes them a grand choice for your royal wedding.

parve dessert hors d'ouevresThe recipe comes from The World Of Jewish Desserts, by Gil Marks. His classic recipe calls for baking the cake in a 9″ springform pan, but to make canape-sized bites I used small bundt cake shaped molds.

Because classic financiers are garnished with berries, I placed a raspberry in the center of each tiny torta. The berries’ flavor complements the orange in the cake, and they make a festive touch.

The number of hors d’oeurves you get from this recipe will depend on the size of the molds you choose. The mini bundt cake molds used to make the canape cakes shown in the photo take a half tablespoon of batter, and the the batter yielded 110 hors d’oeuvres.

Ingredients for Torta de las Reyes

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) ground almonds (find them at your kosher grocer’s or the kosher aisle of your grocery store)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cups bread crumbs or matza meal
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon orange blossom water, or 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the molds with a thin layer of vegetable oi.
  2. Combine the ground almonds and ¼ cup sugar and mix well. Add the crumbs, zest, and salt.
  3. Beat the eggs and remaining 1¼ cups sugar until thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the nut mixture and orange blossom water.
  4. Pour into prepared molds. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 to 12 minutes. If you are going to serve the cakes within a day of baking the cakes, you can place a berry on top of each cake about halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Place on a rack and let cool.

Make Ahead Options

If you leave off the berry during cooking, you can freeze the the cakes for up to 2 months. Add the berries up to a few hours before serving, using a small dot of decorator’s icing to stick the berry on the cake.

The next canape: Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole

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Recipe: Quail Eggs with Celery Salt Canape (Parve/Vegetarian)

This is the second hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

quail eggs and celery salt

Source: tradenote.net, a European quail egg supplier

Quail is kosher, and so are quail eggs. In fact, the Torah tells us that when the Israelites wandering in the desert cried out to God for meat, God sent them quail to eat.

Quail eggs with celery salt are often served as part of an English breakfast. They also make a filling, earthy canape. For breakfast they are usually served in the shell or with the shell half peeled off, but when serving them as reception finger food remove the shells entirely before you serve them.

Ingredients for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

Makes 60 eggs.

  • 5 dozen quail eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons celery seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons kosher salt (sea salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnish: Enough leafy herbs to generously line the serving basket or platter.

Instructions for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

  1. Boil half of the eggs at a time. Bring a large pot of water to boil over moderately high heat. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Rinse immediately under cold water.
  2. Peel and dry the eggs.
  3. Grind or crush the celery seeds, salt, and pepper together. Keep the celery salt covered and dry until ready to use.
  4. For an attractive presentation on the buffet, put the peeled eggs in a basket or on a plate generously lined with leafy herbs. Put the celery salt in a bowl alongside the eggs.

Make-ahead Option

Boil the eggs a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Peel before serving.

The next canape: Parve Gateau Opera Dessert Canape

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Your Own Royal Canape Reception: Kosher-fied Menu and Recipes

We’re tickled pink to see that The Queen’s canape reception for Will and Kate took a cue from Backyard Huppah’s own hors d’oeuvres reception menu by including miniature Yorkshire puddings with roast beef. Your welcome, Your Majesty.

The full menu from The Queen’s reception is below. It includes some mighty tasty looking tidbits.

For your own royal wedding, and for the sheer fun of it, we’re going to create a kosher version of the menu and give you the recipes over the course of a dozen or so posts. The final menu will be meat (fleishig) with parve options. Some of The Queen’s canapès will have to go because they’re just not kosher, like the crab and the pork belly, and some will be cut as we edit the menu down to a selection that is doable for a self-catered reception (although you’ll need to get some help in the kitchen).

To start you off, we’re going to link you back to the hors d’oeuvre that started it all: Individual Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef, then we’ll move on to Quail Eggs with Celery Salt. See the full menu below.

Royal Wedding Canapè Reception Menu
Not all of the foods listed in the menu below are kosher. You can find the edited, kosher version of the menu at Kosher-fied Royal Wedding Hors d’Oeurve Reception Menu with Recipes.


Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini
Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelised Walnuts
Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws
Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
Poached Asparagus Spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping
Quails Eggs with Celery Salt
Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling
Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson
Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb
Grain Mustard and Honey-Glazed Chipolatas
Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole
Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse
Gateau Opera
Blood Orange Patè de Fruit
Raspberry Financier
Rhubarb Crème Brulee Tartlet
Passion Fruit Praline
White Chocolate Ganache Truffle
Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts
Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

Related posts:
Update: The Complete Kosher-fied Royal Wedding Hors d’Oeurve Reception Menu with Recipes
Tips for Hors d’Oeuvre Receptions
Backyard Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
Read more recent posts…

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Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creek

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

Every once in a while I get really excited about bringing you a new find.
This is one of them: Catoctin Creek distilled spirits from Catoctin Creek distillery.

The distillery, located in Virginia, is only two years old. All their whiskys, brandies, and other distilled spirits are certified kosher, certified organic, and — based on all the awards they’ve won — certified delicious.

I’m all for choosing one or two wedding details that will surprise and delight your guests, and I’m all for serving one amazing featured drink in lieu of springing for a full bar. A featured cocktail using a Catoctin Creek spirit fits the bill. The Catoctin Coctail recipe and description below are from Catoctin Creek’s website, catoctincreekdistilling.com.

Show off the cool looking bottles at the bar so everyone knows they’re getting something new.

Catoctin Cocktail

Catoctin Cocktail

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

This is a variant on the classic “Canadian Cocktail” but is so much better when made with a 100% rye whisky. Mmmmm….. delicious, eh!
.
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash bitters (Peychauds is a good one)
.
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all the ingredients. Shake well, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

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Our 100 Favorite Backyard Wedding Themes

This is a big day for Backyard Huppah, and we’re sharing the joy – We’re celebrating our 100th blog post with a list of our 100 favorite backyard wedding themes and a few of the details that bring them to life!

    WEDDING THEMES FOR ALL SEASONS

  1. Plumosa Greens Garland Source Fiftyflowers-com

    Garland on the stairs.

    Classic Style: Flowers in urn-shaped vases, tightly manicured hedges, monograms.
  2. Chocolate: Chocolate liqueur, beef with chocolate and chili mole, chocolate mousse.
  3. Brunch: Mimosas, savory quiches, a jazz trio.
  4. Cocktail Party: Cityscapes, signature drinks, stilettos.
  5. Childhood Home: Garlands on the stairs, rolled up rugs, dressing for your wedding in the room where you grew up.
  6. Community: Long tables, young and old sharing the dance floor, making a charitable donation in honor of your guests instead of giving favors.
  7. Spheres: Spherical vases, bourbon balls pre-set on the tables, paper lanterns.
  8. Champagne and Cake Reception: Clinking glasses, heart-felt toasts, butter cream frosting.
  9. Surprise Wedding: Invitations that throw everyone off the scent, informalwear, a champagne toast to announce the wedding ceremony.
  10. Afternoon Tea: Lace huppah, herbed sandwiches, tiered serving platters.
  11. Vintage: Birdcage veil, bias-cut satin, champagne punch.
  12. Simple Elegance: White huppah canopy, a gown with simple lines, understated floral arrangements.
  13. Pot-Luck: Gathering around the huppah, buffet table overflowing with everyone’s best festive dishes, the heart-felt support of family and friends.
  14. Nights in Morocco: Hamsa, gold thread embroidery, a bridal crown.
  15. family style catering weddings

    Family-style meal service; Source: Family Style Catering, Portland, Oregon (www.familystylecatering.com)

    Family: Family members holding your huppah poles, a family slideshow, family-style meal service.
  16. Dancing: A dance floor, a DJ, friends you can count on to get the party started when the first song hits.
  17. Dessert Reception: Tiered serving plates, passed champagne, chocolate.
  18. Hors d’Oeuvres Reception: Savory hors d’oeuvres, carefully chosen wine, cocktail attire.
  19. Candy: Pastel colors, candy buffet, candy favors.
  20. Country Romance: Lace huppah, wooden tables, sweet tea.
  21. Lakeside Wedding: Raising the huppah by the lake, the wedding dress catching the breeze, The sun -or moon- reflected in the water.
  22. Roses: Rose petals strewn in the aisle, rose water, heaping bouquets of roses.
  23. The Big Tree in the Backyard: Huppah under the tree, tree leaf decorating motif, taking turns on the swing.
  24. Paper: Wrapping paper table runners, paper lanterns, paper flower centerpieces.
  25. Mini: Mini quiches, mini cupcakes, petite roses.
  26. Just Close Family and Friends: Handwritten invitations, shared memories, homemade wedding cake.
  27. Candles: A hundred borrowed candlesticks, candle favors, an internal glow.
  28. Yair Emanuel kiddush cup

    Yair Emanuel kiddush cup

    Jewish Artisanal Style: Hand calligraphed ketubah (wedding contract), Yaer Emanuel design kiddush cup, klezmer band.
  29. Sparkle: Beaded lace, champagne bubbles, a bride’s beaming face.
  30. Fiesta: Vibrant colors, Mexican peasant dresses for the bridesmaids, large paper flowers.
  31. How We Met: Food and centerpieces based on the place where you met, the natural conversation starter: “So, how did you two meet?”
  32. Fairy Tale Wedding: Pink roses, a tiara, silk satin.
  33. Passion Romance: Red roses, chocolate covered strawberries, passionfruit sorbet.
  34. Farm: Bushel baskets, tall grass, reception in the barn.
  35. Italian Feast: Italian wines, antipasto, cannoli, tiramisu, gelato, cassata, amaretti, pizzelles, panna cotta, limoncello semifreddo, zabaglione, mascarpone frosting…
    .
    SPRING WEDDING THEMES

  36. Wholesale Flowers at FiftyFlowers.comSpring Greens: Spring green satin pumps, spring green orchids, salad of mixed spring greens.
  37. Pinks: Mixed flower bouquets, strawberry punch, a blushing bride.
  38. Gingham: Bouquets wrapped in gingham ribbon, gingham tablecloths, favor boxes topped with gingham bows.
  39. Flowering Trees: Huppah by the trees, flowering branch centerpieces, flower petals dusting the ground.
  40. Berries: A mix of purples, raspberry kir, berries on the wedding cake.
  41. Tulle: Tulle details on the wedding dress, bouquets tied with tulle ribbon, candy favors tied up in tulle.
  42. Victoriana: Posy bridal bouquet, sugared violets, flower arrangements filled to overflowing.
  43. Sweet Romance: Shoulder length veil, petite bridal bouquet, stolen kisses.
  44. Tulips: Tulip bridal bouquet, tulip centerpieces, tulip-skirted flower girl dresses.
  45. Lag B’Omer (A Jewish holiday between Passover and Shavuot): Flowering branches, laughter, young love.
  46. Lilacs: Purples, lilac table bouquets, the sweet heady lilac scent.
  47. Daisies: Yellow and white, daisy bouquets, “…she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me!
    .
    SUMMER WEDDING THEMES

  48. pennant banner by Lilybella

    Pennant Banner by Lilybella

    Carnival: Pennant banners, caramel popcorn, ring toss.
  49. Garden Party: Layers of stripes and chintz, small full flower arrangements, ladies in hats.
  50. Barbecue: Sweet-smelling smoke, micro-brewed beer, wetnaps.
  51. Picnic: Gingham tablecloths, fried chicken, potato salad.
  52. Tropical: Citrus colors, cool drinks, mango ice cream.
  53. Southern Charm: Mint juleps, magnolias, photos on the veranda.
  54. Cottage garden: Garden tours, a leisurely meal, herb garden menu.
  55. Stripes: Striped ties, widely striped tablecloths, huppah poles wrapped in ribbon.
  56. Hydrangeas: Blues, greens, and purples; linen table cloths; silver flower bowls.
  57. Americana: Family photos on the porch, touch football on the lawn, a bonfire.
  58. Fourth of July: Stars and stripes, bunting, sparklers.
  59. Fairy Garden: Fairy lights reflected in the birdbath, pinks and blues, butterfly wings in the flower arrangements.
  60. Lavender: Lavender bouquets, lavender ice cream, lavender sachet favors.
  61. Chintz: Rose-themed invitations, chintz overlays on striped tablecloths, overflowing rose bouquets.
  62. the calla lilies are in bloomLawn Games: Croquet, horse shoes, lemonade.
  63. Evening Romance: Raising the huppah at twilight, a cello, dinner and dancing under the stars.
  64. Calla Lilies: Dramatic large calla lilies, elegant small calla lilies, echoes of Katherine Hepburn’s “The calla lilies ahre in bloohm…”
  65. Forest: Moss, tree-branch huppah poles, pinecone place cards.
  66. Luau: Leis, hibiscus, piña coladas.
  67. Evening in the Garden: Lots of white, huppah lightly sparkling with beaded lace, heaps of candles.
  68. French Countryside: Toile, topiaries, garden benches.
  69. Beach: Sand, surf, ocean breezes.
  70. Midsummer Night’s Dream: Twinkly lights, flower garlands, moonlight.
  71. Sunset Ceremony: Tiki torches, tiki torches, tiki torches.
    .
    AUTUMN WEDDING THEMES

  72. pomegranates talkoftomatoes

    Source: talkoftomatoes

    Pomegranates: Pomegranate themed invitations, deep red table setting, pomegranate tablescapes.
  73. Apples: Huppah under the apple boughs, sparkling cider, apple centerpieces.
  74. Rustic: Wooden tables, hemp table runner, home-made wedding cake.
  75. Velvet: Velvet huppah, velvet table runners, red velvet cake.
  76. Country Store: Mason jar vases, natural fabric tablecloths, home-made pies.
  77. Autumn Harvest: Pumpkins, natural tablescape, a pretty cardigan.
  78. Wine Tasting: A knowledgeable sommelier, dark wood, savory hors d’oeuvres.
  79. Fruits of Israel: Marzipan-stuffed dates hors d’oeuvres; broiled figs; centerpieces of pomegranates, figs, grapes, dates, and sheaves of wheat and barley.
    .
    WINTER WEDDING THEMES

  80. hanukkiah meredithloveslife-blogspot-com

    Hanukkiah from meredithloveslife.blogspot.com

    Hearth and Home: Glowing fire in the fireplace, family and friends gathered from far and near, warm hugs.
  81. New Year’s Eve: Champagne, cocktail attire, glittery golds.
  82. Snowflakes: White and blue, crystals in the centerpieces, sugar snowflakes decorating the wedding cake.
  83. Glimpses of the Garden: Snow covered trees, red cardinals, cardinal red.
  84. Desert Landscape: Long horizons, succulent centerpieces, desert sunset.
  85. Greenery: Ruscus green garlands, white flower accents, garland decorations draped on the wedding cake tiers.
  86. Hanukkah: Evening ceremony, lighting the hanukkiah, gold-wrapped chocolate coins scattered on the tables.
    .
    WEDDING COLOR THEMES – By Time of Day
    .
    DAYTIME WEDDING COLOR THEMES

  87. Fiftyflowers.com orange and fuschia flower bouquets

    Orange and fuschia bouquets

    Orange and Fuschia: Fuschia bridesmaids’ dresses, orange and fuschia bouquets, white table linens.
  88. Brown and Green: Moss, pinecones, tree branch huppah poles.
  89. French Blue and White: French blue tablecloths, white porcelain urn flower containers, touches of brown.
  90. Turquoise and Orange: Turquoise tablecloths, orange flower centerpieces, lots of energy.
  91. Lavender: Lavender bridesmaids’ dresses, lilac bouquet centerpieces, touches of light grey.
  92. White and Navy: Navy suit jackets, khaki pants, touches of yellow.
  93. White, Ivory, and Creamy Pink: White gown, pink tablecloths, ivory ribbons.
  94. Silver Grey, Gold and White: Silver table service, gold brocade table runners, crisp white linens.
    .
    EVENING & NIGHT WEDDING COLOR THEMES

  95. Black and white baroque wedding cake

    Baroque patterns; Source: A Piece of Cake Utah

    Black and White: Formalwear, baroque patterns, a touch of bling.
  96. Ivory and Gold: Duchess satin fabrics, double-sided satin ribbons, Chiavari chairs.
  97. White: Layers of white in a mix of textures, tapers, vanilla bean wedding cake.
  98. Fig, Dove Grey, White: Fig centerpieces, dove grey tablecloths, white votive candles.
  99. Silver Pewter: Silver pewter bridesmaids’ dresses, deep grey organza chair sashes, pewter goblets.
  100. Charcoal Grey: Charcoal grey suit, white rose boutonniere, silver kiddush cup.

Is your favorite backyard wedding theme here?

Thanks to Clara for the idea for this post, and to Clara and Agnes for their enthusiastic creativity in compiling the list!

Related posts:
Brown and Green Wedding Details
8 Pomegranate Red Wedding Details
8 Lavender Wedding Details

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Give tzedakah instead of party favors – We can change the world!

Free fundraising flyerCouples planning weddings typically spend 3% of their budgets on party favors for their guests. If that money went to tzedakah (charity), we could change the world!

U.S. wedding expenditures are about $40 billion dollars per year. Three percent of that is $1.2 billion. Imagine $1.2 billion more dollars going to charitable organizations each year. That’s much ka-ching could do a lot of good.

And we’re talking about a way that couples can give charitable contributions without adding a dime to their wedding budget. What’s not to love?

I so much love the idea of couples making a charitable donation in honor of their guests in lieu of buying wedding favors, that I turned an article of mine on the subject into flyers for distribution by charitable organizations or anyone else who wants to help spread the word.

There are three versions each with a different headline, so you can choose the one that works best for your organization.

They are free to print, download, and distribute.

Donations could be made to any type of organization, of course, but because the article originally appeared in the Washington Jewish Week, the article has a Jewish bent.

Having done a short stint in fundraising, I hope that the idea will take off and be an added source of support for the Jewish institutions who do so much good for our communities.

See the flyers

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Raspberry Kir: A Great Champagne Cocktail for a Spring Wedding

This delicious spring champagne cocktail comes from the menu of The Fearrington House Restaurant, in Pittsboro, North Carolina. It would make a festive addition to a spring wedding cocktail hour and reception.

The recipe appears in Sharon O’Connor’s romantic Dinners for Two: Cookbook with Music CD.

Ingredients for Raspberry Kir Recipe

  • ¼ cup defrosted frozen raspberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 split (7 ounces) of champagne

Mixing Instructions

  1. At least a few hours before the reception:Strain the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the Grand Marnier and chill.
  2. Place 1½ teaspoons of the raspberry mixture in the bottom of each of 2 champagne flutes. Slowly fill with champagne and serve immediately.

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Do a Favor for Your Guests and a Good Cause

When planning your wedding, consider skipping the traditional favors and using the money instead to make a donation to your favorite charitable organization in your guests’ honor. On the table where guests would normally look for a favor, tell your guests about the donation with stylish tzedakah cards. Free printable tzedakah card templates.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote that originally appeared in Washington Jewish Week’s 2011 Wonderful Weddings guide.

Sometime between Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden and the rise of Martha Stewart, giving favors to your wedding guests became an expected custom. The wedding industry offers many choices, including small picture frames, candles, and organza-wrapped candies, but finding the right favor can be tricky.

You want a gift that adequately expresses your gratitude to your guests without straining your budget. Favors generally cost between $1.25 and $3.50, but multiply the price times the number of guests and the cost adds up quickly. Moreover, you want a favor that looks worthy of a place on your reception table. That’s a lot to ask from $3.50, let alone $1.25. In the post-wedding analysis, brides and grooms often look back and wonder if their wedding favors were worth the effort and expense.

If you want to honor your guests in a way that you know will make a difference, forgo the favors. Instead, make a donation to an organization or cause that is important to you, and do it in honor of your guests.

Giving charity, tzedakah, is always a wonderful idea, but in tight economic times your gift can make an especially big difference to a cause that is important to you. Honoring your guests with a gift that impacts the larger community is a way to spread your wedding joy.

The size of the donation is up to you and the constraints of your budget. As a rule of thumb, three percent of the wedding budget goes to favors. If you plan to redirect this money toward a charitable contribution and your overall wedding budget is $10,000, the amount of the donation would be $300.

Let your guests know about the donation in a simple, inexpensive, stylish way. On the table where guests would normally look for the favor, place a card that tells them about the gift. You can create a tzedakah card for only a few pennies, and creating a card that fits the feeling of your wedding and looks great on the table is easy. Depending on the method you chose to make the cards, you can do it in less time than it takes to lasso candy into bundles of organza.

This article has been turned into fundraising flyers that can be used by charitable organizations to encourage donations.
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8 Lavender Wedding Details

proflowers love and lavender wreathHuppahs.com-lavender-ring-pillow Huppahs.com free place card templateyofah lavender suede kippahfloralartvt.com thistle and lavender boutonniere smh.com.au Faye Cahill Photo McKay Wedding Photographyvistaprint wedding invitation lavenderfiftyflowers lavender rose

Lavender’s beautiful, soft color works for both formal wedding settings and natural, rustic decors.

The lavender flower blooms in summer, but lavender colors, which range from violet to lilac to blue, work from spring through fall.

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8 Pomegranate Red Wedding Details

pomegranates talkoftomatoes

blueorchidblog champagne pomegranate cocktails
pomegranate and pear salad

yair emanuel stemmed kiddush cup seven speciesyair emanuel challah cover pomegranatesyofah red velvet kippah helendresses.com sheath strapless bridesmaid dress
Pomegranate Template

The Jewish significance of pomegranates dates back centuries. Many Torah scholars believe that the pomegranate, not the apple, was Eden’s forbidden fruit. The pomegranate wedding details here include three Jewish wedding items (center column, from top to bottom): a kiddush cup, challah cover, and kippah (yarmulke).

My next two posts will be recipes for the Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail and the Pomegranate and Pear Salad shown in the left-hand column, so stay tuned…

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Brown and Green Wedding Details

moss
new-year-challah
Huppah-Ribbons-Detail
Jerusalem tallit brownbrown velvet kippahbrown_green_wedding_colorado Rustic tzedakah place cardGreen-Lady-Slipper-Orchid-Maudiae-150ketubah naomi broudo etsy

A selection of accessories and details for a brown and green wedding, including accessories for a Jewish wedding: challah, a tallit (prayer shawl), kippah (yarmulke), and ketubah (marriage contract).

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Spring Berry Compote Recipe (Parve/Non-Dairy)

berriesThis week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

Fresh berries make colorful, fresh decorations for a spring wedding cake. They also make a great accompaniment when served with the cake. You can serve fresh berries uncooked with your cake if you serve them the same day you buy them or –if they are very fresh– the next day. Turning them into a compote will preserve the flavor an additional day as well as create a pleasing melding of the flavors.

Ingredients for Spring Berry Compote (Parev/Non-Dairy)

40 Servings with cake

  • 2½ pints fresh raspberries
  • 2½ pints fresh blueberries
  • 2½ pints fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2½ cups graduated sugar
  • ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

Instructions for Spring Berry Compote Recipe

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat raspberries and strawberries; Simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Add the strawberries and simmer until strawberries begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add sugar and orange juice concentrate and simmer until sugar dissolves (about 3 more minutes).
  4. Chill 1 hour. Stir and spoon into dessert dishes.

Make Ahead Option

Compote can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
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Recipe: Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Figs for an Autumn Wedding (Parve/Non-Dairy)

This week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

fig_brnturkey-usgovFor those of us who love autumn, just the thought of autumn foods transports us to the warm kitchens and homey spices we love. For fellow autumn lovers, let’s savor each word in the name of this recipe: Broiled … Honey-Glazed … Spiced … Figs … Oh … Yeah….

These broiled figs make a sumptuous treat served with a slice of autumn wedding cake. They are exceedingly easy to make, but best served warm, which is another reason to have experienced kitchen help on hand the day of the wedding, even if you are self-catering your reception. The recipe is from scott at SeattleFoodGeek.com. Thanks, Scott.

Ingredients for Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Figs

40 Servings

  • 20 figs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions for Broiled Honey-Glazed Spiced Fig Recipe

  1. Preheat the broiler and set the top rack as close to the heating element as possible.
  2. Wash the figs and pat them dry. Cut off the stems (you don’t have to, but the stems aren’t edible). Slice figs in half from stem to root.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Lay the figs, cut side up, on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle the honey over the cut side of the figs, then sprinkle on the spice mixture.
  5. Broil the figs on the top rack until honey bubbles and begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes. (Note: Watch the figs carefully, because cooking time will vary from oven to oven.
  6. Remove from heat. Serve one fig half with each piece of wedding cake.

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Recipe: Lavender Ice Cream for a Summer Wedding (Dairy)

This week, we’re sharing recipes for dessert foods to accompany the wedding cake. Intimate weddings don’t need elaborate dessert buffets, but serving something alongside the cake helps end the meal on a celebratory note. Look for an accompaniment that will complement the cake’s flavor, add color, or provide a contrasting texture.

lavenderFor a summer wedding, when lavender is in bloom, homemade lavender ice cream provides a cool, sophisticated note to the end of a wedding meal.

The lavender essence would work especially nicely alongside a cake flavored with vanilla bean. This recipe is from Syd on allrecipes.com (thanks for sharing, Syd!).

A small scoop is enough for each person, but you’ll still likely need to make several batches.

Ingredients for Lavender Ice Cream

12 servings

  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 stems of fresh lavender flowers
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream

Directions for Lavender Ice Cream

  1. Heat the milk and lavender in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat until warmed through. Remove from heat, and allow lavender to infuse for about 20 minutes. Remove flowers.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in large bowl. Whisk the lavender-infused milk into the egg mixture, then pour it back into the saucepan. Heat the mixture over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours.
  3. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency. Transfer ice cream to a lidded container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, ice cream should be place in the freezer at least 2 hours or overnight.

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For a Romantic Table Setting, Consider Toile

toile tablecloth tablescapetoile tablecloth detail

Last night at a re-launch party for the Washington, DC edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide (you can find local editions of this free guide in lots of cities), one detail jumped out at me: a red toile tablecloth on a sample table setting. Very dramatic. Very romantic. Very gorgeous.

Toile (pronounced twahl) fabric is printed with a pattern of pastoral scenes. It’s reminiscent of the French countryside; a kind of refined rustic. In fact, the full name of the fabric, Toile de Jouy, refers to a town in France, Jouy-en-Josas. The fabric has a romantic feel to it, especially because the scenes on them depict romantic subjects, such as a young couple sitting on a garden bench or picnicking under a tree.

You’ll see toile printed most often in red, blue, or black, and last year for the first time I saw versions printed with brown and lavender.

Toile not only softens a formal table, it elevates an informal table. Picture the toile shown in the photos printed not in red but in blue, on a table under a backyard tree. Breathtaking.

For a romantic table setting, consider toile for the tablecloth or table runner.

The flowers on the table are by Petal’s Edge Floral Design. The party was held at The Madison hotel in DC.

More about toile | DIY a table runner

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