Monday, February 1, 2010

Flowers in Jamaica

Even though flowers are everywhere in Jamaica and I will be creating my own floral arrangements for the reception, I needed to get something more pulled together for my bouquet and Tai Flora in Jamaica is the place to get flowers. Check out the website for Tai Flora if you are going to be planning a wedding Jamaica, they can do anything.

Planning a Wedding in Jamaica?

If you are planning a wedding in Jamaica then check out this website first, Island bride Jamaica .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Planning Our Wedding

So I know I haven't blogged at all recently, it isn't like I have readers chomping at the bit though for my words of wisdom, but besides being in the holiday season and working for a restaurant corporation (crazy time of year) I have been planning my wedding. I know that Weddings are supposed to be the thing that every girl dreams about since childhood and have it planned in their heads to a tee, but for me I never really thought about my wedding at all. I had no vision in my mind of what it would be like. I had been living happily for 7 years with my boyfriend when he finally asked me to marry him, I was of course ecstastic, but completely overwhelmed. I would be happy with just eloping in Vegas honestly, but I knew our families would really want something more, especially since we have moved so far away from most of them. So Christian and I sat down and thought about what really expressed us and the happiest moments in our relationship together. We are not the kind of people who like to do the same things as everyone else, we like to be different and unique. So we instantly thought of having the wedding in Jamaica. But not some Sandal's all-inclusive, just show up kind of wedding. Christian's family has a villa down there and it seemed like there was no place better to have the wedding. We had spent many wonderful times down there over our relationship. However, I refuse to use a wedding planner and doing everything yourself for a wedding on foreign soil can be extremely tedious. Yet, we managed to make a lot of connections and get a lot of things done. But you will have to stay tuned to see how and if it all works out.... If anyone is thinking of doing this themselves, please feel free to contact me for any information, I would love to share what I have learned.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Heart Warming Meal that I give thanks for

I love Thanksgiving and all of the foods that go along with it, but sometimes enough is enough. So this weekend my fiancee made us a traditional "Pho", a Vietnamese noodle soup, to sort of bring our bodies back to life after the bloated feelings from all of the pecan pie, turkey, and stuffing. He made everything from scratch after visiting a local Asian grocery in Sioux City and it was just as good as any restaurants I have ever had.



5 pounds beef knuckle, with meat
2 pounds beef oxtail
1 white (daikon) radish, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 ounces whole star anise pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 slice fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 1/2 pounds dried flat rice noodles
1/2 pound frozen beef sirloin or Chicken (we used chicken in this one)


sriracha hot pepper sauce
hoisin sauce
thinly sliced onion
chopped fresh cilantro
bean sprouts (mung beans)
sweet Thai basil
thinly sliced green onion
limes, quartered


1.Place the beef knuckle in a very large (9 quart or more) pot. Season with salt, and fill pot with 2 gallons of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 hours.
2.Skim fat from the surface of the soup, and add the oxtail, radish and onions. Tie the anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a cheesecloth or place in a spice bag; add to the soup. Stir in sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 4 more hours (the longer, the better). At the end of cooking, taste, and add salt as needed. Strain broth, and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Discard spices and bones. Reserve meat from the beef knuckle for other uses if desired.
3.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Slice the frozen beef paper thin. The meat must be thin enough to cook instantly.
4.Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce on the side. Set onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil, green onions, and lime out at the table for individuals to add toppings to their liking.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free HOG ROAST and Barbecue for Orange City, IA

If you live in Orange City, Iowa or anywhere in its surrounding areas than you are truly blessed, because tomorrow night four local businesses are putting on a FREE Hog Roast for the entire city in honor of their long standing business in the area and the fact that October is National Pork Month. If you don't already know, Sioux County puts out some of the most and best pork products in the world, and you can have them for free tomorrow night. If the weather is nice it will be held at Windmill Park and if it rains then it will be at Town Hall.

Blue Mountain Smokehouse Grill is making the hogs tasty and also providing all of the sides and fixins. So come and see us tomorrow night for some food and fun.

Helping Hands Craft Fair

So I told someone back home that I did a craft fair this past weekend and they instantly told me that I was becoming such a "midwesterner." Which at first I took a slight offense to, I will always be a New Orleans girl, but yes I have picked up a few things from the Midwest and an affinity to craft is one of them. I have been making my own jewelry and beads for a while but needed to recoup some of the expenses that I have put into my hobby and thus the Midwest Craft show, which actually proved to be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the next one. My friend Mary, from the Yellow Door Paperie and Wendy, who does beautiful stuff, my favorite is her recycled sweater bags, they are so cute, were also there and we hope to do our own craft show soon, something a little bit more hip, but for now we will stick to the Midwest circuit and let everyone know that we may not be from the Midwest, but we can craft up a storm, and it ain't nothin that your momma was makin. These were a couple of the things that sold.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So even though I would like to not admit it (only because it means we are closer to winter), Fall has arrived. I believe it may have even froze last night. However, last year was my first real experience with a true Fall/Autumn season and I have to say it was wonderful. There is a briskness in the air, the leaves are golden and on the ground, the sound of football games are in the background, and the smell of baked goods is usually coming from my house. I had gone on pretty much a hiatus from baking over the summer, but I have bounced back with my first fall recipe. I have always wanted to make challah bread, because I love its light yet dense buttery flavor and when I came upon this recipe in the new Martha Stewart Living magazine, I had to commit. It does take a bit of time, but it is so worth it... We managed to not eat it all last night, and hope to make bread pudding with the leftovers.

Apple-Honey Challah

Apples and honey, Rosh Hashanah's symbols of a sweet new year, are perfect additions to a loaf of challah.

Makes one 9-inch round loaf.

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, plus more for bowl, pan, and plastic
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
3/4 cup warm water (100 degrees)
2/3 cup honey
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 3/4 cups)


1.Butter a large bowl, and melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
2.Transfer dough to buttered bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
3.Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 1/2-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted butter; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Butter plastic wrap, and cover dough. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
5.Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. Brush dough with half the honey-butter. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
6.Brush challah with the remaining honey-butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.