Not Martha

back from being Receptioned

welcome bag of snacks for wedding guests

I’m so very tired today. Scott and I returned from our wedding reception in Ohio yesterday, went to bed really early and slept for a solid twelve hours. The week was a blur of planning and prepping, the party went really well and all the usual things applied (we didn’t get to spend enough time with anybody! we didn’t get enough pictures! I didn’t get to eat dessert!) A huge, huge thanks to all the far flung friends who came, especially Steph and Ryan (miss you guys!) and Cinnamon and Andrew, whom I’d never met in real life and was very honored to have attend (we’ll have to make up for the missing breakfast soon).

I don’t have pictures back from family and friends yet, but here is what I pulled off of my cameras:

perogis from Sokolowskis University Inn in Cleveland

We had lunch at Sokolowski’s with my mom and stuffed ourselves on perogis. (Oh perogis how I love you.)

The Waynes!

We stayed in the secret and fabulous upstairs apartment of a member of the recently reunited Waynes. Wish we could have seen the show.

breakfast at Luckys Cafe in Tremont

Laurie took us to the most amazing breakfast in Tremont where we ate outdoors at Lucky’s and lingered as long as we could, it was a lovely morning.

There were a few places in Cleveland I was hoping to get to but we ran out of time. I really, really wanted to grab another Ramos Gin Fizz at the Velvet Tango Room, wanted to have dinner at Lola’s (last time I went there they were still in the Tremont space and we stumbled in there by mistake not knowing right away how incredible it was that we had a table without a reservation), the best corned beef sandwich at Nate’s Deli in Fairview Park, and the new (to me at least) Greenhouse Tavern, the first certified green restaurant in Ohio.

update: The New York Times published this travel piece just after we returned, 36 Hours in Cleveland, and they mention a few of the places I like. In the slideshow they also recommend Big Fun (think, what Archie McPhee used to be).

favor bags, assembled

Scott and his dad helped me assemble the favors including the letterpressed cards from Iron Curtain Press, caramels from Curio Confections (Brie Vanilla Bean, Espresso Hazelnut, and Goat’s Milk). The favor bags are from Martha Stewart, but we discarded the paper tops and used handmade tissue paper flowers instead.

We gave people staying overnight bags of snacks and water. I was second guessing this option after reading this thread at Ask Metafilter, but considering we all stumbled back to our rooms around 2 a.m. I suspect everybody else appreciated having a bottle of water and some pretzels as much as we did.

Salt Fork Lodge reception room, with the last of the sunset

Our reception was at the Salt Fork Lodge, held in a tall open room with a view of the sunset. Afterwards we all moved outside to a private bonfire area and had smores. I hadn’t seen the lodge or the grounds before so I was thrilled with all the spaces, the lodge was very comfortable and accomodated our crazy group of family and friends with seeming ease.

Martha Stewart pom pom decoration lit from inside using tiny individual LED lights

Since we were decorating from afar the Martha Stewart pom poms were a great option, I assembled them at home, shipped the flat to Ohio and all we had to do was open them up. The ceiling of our reception room was too tall to hang things from so we used them as centerpieces. They are lit from inside using a few little LED lights. We took these outdoors later on. More pictures and details soon, I shed my camera before we moved outdoors so I’m hoping somebody else got good photographs of the ourdoor decorations, I am looking forward to telling you how we did them.

· comments [27] · 09-15-2009 · categories:mumbling ·

Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana at Pulcinella Pizzeria

Pulcinella Pizzeria

A while back I had the pleasure of getting to attend an event at Pulcinella Pizzeria celebrating their recent certification by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Pulcinella Pizzeria

The delegates from Italy came and talked about what the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana is and what they do, then rolled up their sleeves and made some delicious pizza.

Pulcinella Pizzeria

Pulcinella Pizzeria is a warm and friendly place located on Rainier Avenue South near the waterfront and Lakeridge Park. If you can, snag a seat at the bar so you can watch the pizza makers in action. One side of their sign on the street is upside down, a tribute to the bar that used to inhabit that space.

Pulcinella Pizzeria

I was also introduced to this dessert drink they call Dolce Fine. It’s not on the menu but everybody will know what you want when you order it. It’s meant to be drank all at once and it is a very yummy and sweet ending to your meal.

Huge thanks go out to Seattle Tall Poppy for letting me know about this remarkable experience.

· comments [5] · 09-14-2009 · categories:food · seattle ·

Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press

Scott and I splurged a little for our upcoming reception and had thank you cards and cards to give out with favors letterpressed for us. I’m awfully glad we did.

Iron Curtain Press

I found Iron Curtain Press at the summer Urban Craft Uprising. I was lucky enough to get to peek at the shop when I went to approve the proofs and Rosanna was kind enough to let me take pictures while I was there.

Iron Curtain Press

Here is our ink:

Iron Curtain Press

Her studio is bright and filled with drawers and drawers of antique stamps.

Iron Curtain Press

I love this bicycle:

Iron Curtain Press

She showed off an example of this neat newsprint like effect made from an old stamp:

Iron Curtain Press
Iron Curtain Press

And her favorite stamp:

Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press

And the press itself:

Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press also has an Etsy shop which you should keep an eye on, she let me peek at a few Christmas cards that were very cool, cross your fingers that she offers them again this year.

· comments [14] · 09-11-2009 · categories:seattle · shopping ·

links: food

What cooking secrets take your food to the almost-pro level? | Ask Metafilter. A couple of suggestions to use Marmite to boost umami.

CakeSpy: Put a Lid On It: How To Ship Cupcakes in Mason Jars, from Beantownbaker.com.

Cheese Souffle | Steamy Kitchen. Oh man. That looks good.

10 Beginner Cookbooks : Helpful titles for the novice cook – CHOW.

Seattle Tall Poppy: The Sustainable Seafood & Sushi Guide…for your iPhone.

What is your best, favorite bourbon for under $100? | Ask Metafilter.

Big Green Egg. Worth it? | Ask Metafilter.

ArtJournal – Pickles, Appearances and Purchases.. A pickle recipe in cartoon format.

· comments [2] · 09-10-2009 · categories:food · iphone · links ·

Tousle Me Softly

Tousle Me Softly mousse

Ok, the name is a bit silly but I have to tell you how much I like the Tousle Me Softly mousse from Herbal Essences. I scrunch it into my wet hair, let it dry, scrunch again so it isn’t crunchy and, ta da!, the natural waves in my hair stay all day and even after I wake up the next morning. It even gives my hair a little bit of shine and cuts down on frizz (which, for my hair, is quite impressive). It’s getting good reviews in the Naturally Curly forums as well. It’s cheap right now to, I think it’s being offered at an introductory price. Worth trying out.

I’ve also tried the spray gel and I’m not quite as enamored of it. It’s a little sticky, but holds well.

· comments [15] · 09-9-2009 · categories:beauty ·

links: the home

Pretty Things: Check out the goods at art.com – Home By Sunset. This reminded me that I need to really get on that putting stuff on the walls thing. I like the oak trees print shown here.

Cool Tools: GutterShutter.

shelterrific » vintage fixing: re-webbing a patio chair.

swissmiss | Hook and Pinboard. I need one of these for Scott.

DIY radiant floor heating at Design2Share, via Shelterrific.

· comments [2] · 09-8-2009 · categories:links · the home ·

Just Bare Chicken

Just Bare Chicken

A while back the people at Just Bare Chicken asked if they could send me some chicken. I agreed, it was an unexpected offer, and what came to my house was a rather larger than expected box of packaged chicken. We ate really well for a while there.

Just Bare Chicken is family farm raised, sustainable, cage free, vegetable fed, no hormones, no antibiotics. It comes in packing that is recyclable. And you can learn more about the farm where the chicken was raised by entering the Family Farm code on the packaging into the website. It’s all good stuff, you can read more here.

Just Bare Chicken comes with all the icky bits neatly trimmed away*, in packaging that is easy to open. I was pleased to find that the chicken stays tender no matter what sort of cooking torture I put it through, including when I was sure I terribly overcooked some plump breasts while making Mustard-Tarragon Chicken, tenderloin strips put up with my aggressive overbaking when making parmesan chicken strips, both drumsticks and boneless thighs held their own in some Chicken Marbella and a whole chicken turned out very well when we roasted it upside down (on purpose I swear) but stuffed it so full of lemons and herbs that we needed to give it extra cooking time.

I find myself missing Just Bare chicken this week as I’m in a hectic whirl of last minute travel and reception planning for an upcoming trip to a distant state. The chicken was so easy to pop out of the packaging and throw into a pan, and yielded outstanding (at least for me, admittedly it doesn’t take much to make my cooking better) dinner results. It’s not widely available yet but if you can find it I can recommend trying it out, especially if you’re in a bit of a hurry that evening.

* (Despite myself I’m still squeamish over raw meat and find trimming it to be a bit of a trying experience while trying to keep things in my tiny kitchen uncontaminated.)

· comments [12] · 09-7-2009 · categories:food ·

links: craft

Hipknitism.com | Lesson 4: Sherman Heel.

knitbot, by Hannah Fettig » Kindred Knits Collection: Zip Up Cardigan. This is a good mens’ sweater, dare I make one for Scott?

Obsessiondujour: Reversible Cable Scarf.

Clover Extra Large Pom Pom Maker. I knew about the small and large pom pom makers but not this extra large one. Pom pom rug here I come.

Posie Gets Cozy: Free Embroidery Pattern at Sew, Mama, Sew! This is lovely and might just get me to attempt an embroidery project again (last one was in, gulp, high school).

craftlog » spoonflower marketplace. Looks like you’ll be able to order other people’s Spoonflower designs, neato.

· comments [5] · 09-4-2009 · categories:craft · links ·

Monjay

Monjay

I was given a sample of Monjay to test out, and I like it. Monjay is a supplement that will stop the after effects of eating foods with lots of onion or garlic. You simply sprinkle on your food, using the lid to measure. I seems to work for both Scott and myself. We’ve tried this in our house at various times with garlicky kale, onion-y salsa, and hippie hummus made with lots of fresh garlic. It doesn’t have a flavor of it’s own so it doesn’t affect the enjoyment of your food, but I am not plagued with the garlic asserting itself for hours afterwards. It is worth a try.

· comments [8] · 09-3-2009 · categories:food ·

links: shopping

Butterfly seat cards at Martha Stewart. I’m only bookmarking this one because I love the shape of these cocktail glasses. Where can I find these?

Creme de la Mer… without the price tag? | Ask Metafilter.

Surprize Balls – Design Kit : TOPS Malibu. Very nice! A kit that has everything you need to wrap up your own surprise balls. (p.s. I have some instructions for DIY surprise balls which I made last year.)

swissmiss | The Miniature Moustache Stick.

· comments [10] · 09-2-2009 · categories:links · shopping ·

quick question for those in Seattle

Does anybody know where I could find plain white (like these) or maybe white and green striped (like these) twist ties in or around Seattle? I’m in a situation where it’s too late to order them online.

I’ve already looked at the following places: Packaging Specialties in SODO, Champion Party, Display & Costume, Cookies in Ballard, and Home Cake Decorating Supply Company. I am going to start a telephone campaign tomorrow morning (Paper Zone? Paper Source? Impress Rubber Stamps?) but I figured maybe one of you might have an idea on where I could find them. My thanks!

· comments [30] · 09-1-2009 · categories:seattle ·

thing I like: Sheperd’s Grain flour

Shepherds Grain Northwest-Grown All-Purpose Flour

I’ve written about Shepherd’s Grain flour on this site before, so I was excited to hear a founder of the company speak at the International Food Blogger’s Conference. What wasn’t entirely clear to me before was that Shepherd’s Grain (flour made from wheat grown in Washington state) is a separate company from Stone-Buhr. Stone-Buhr stocks the all purpose flour in stores, which is excellent because it makes the flour available to us in larger grocery chains including QFC and Fred Meyer stores here in Washington. Shepherd’s Grain has a few different products including high and low gluten flour, whole wheat and cake flour.

Shepherds Grain founders

Shepherd’s Grain was started by two long time farmers who wanted to build a market for more sustainable farming. The whole chain of product has nothing but advantages, the farmers are paid a fair amount for their wheat, the farming practices help preserve the quickly eroding topsoil of the farmlands in the Pacific Northwest where it’s grown, and the consumer knows where their flour comes from and can even track their flour back to the farm at FindTheFarmer.com and see pictures of the farmers on the Growers pages. You can read more about the company’s sustainablity here, their farming practices have been certified “environmentally and socially responsible” by Food Alliance. The company keeps a monthly newsletter so you can keep in touch with what they are up to. It isn’t any more expensive than other flours, and if you can find it I encourage you to buy it. Supporting this company means you are supporting sustainable farming, gentler treatment of our farmlands and some awfully cool people.

update:Seattle Tall Poppy reminded me that you can listen to an mp3 of a session of IFBC that Carl Coopers, one of the founders of Shepherd’s Grain, spoke at called “Passionate Purveyors & Producers”. Carl’s talk about Shepherd’s Grain starts at 8:24.

· comments [8] · 09-1-2009 · categories:food ·