Bacon Guacamole Recipe

Bacon Guacamole

 

3 large ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and scooped out
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 medium red onion, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork until it is nearly at your desired consistency. Stir in the bacon, red onion, lime juice, paprika, chipotle, salt, and pepper.
  2. Gently fold in the tomatoes. Serve immediately or else press a piece of plastic wrap flush into the top of the guacamole, refrigerate, and serve preferably within 24 hours.

Reposted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/bacon-guacamole

 

Campbell Wedding

Check out this beautiful wedding in the California Redwoods Wedding:

http://ruffledblog.com/california-redwoods-wedding/

If you haven’t yet seen the Redwood forest of California in person, you absolutely must add it to your bucket list. For any of you who dream of marrying amongst the California Redwoods, it doesn’t get much better thanNestldownSun and Life Photography captured the wedding day of Kim and David, who blew us away with their incredible handmade reception.

california-redwoods-wedding

San Jose Wedding Catering

San Jose Wedding:  Catering edition

San Jose is a bustling and popular California city, the third largest in the state.  Its eclectic mix of modern and historical make it a beautiful destination for a wedding.

San Jose is a very affluent city being located in the heart of the booming technology.  Many wealthy couples choose the city for their weddings specifically for its five-star venues, decorators, caterers, and wedding planners.  The possibilities are truly endless here.

When it comes to San Jose weddings, there truly is something for everyone.  You can go for a historical feel or a modern city feel.  You can get married indoors or out.  You can get married on a vineyard, a museum, or in a classy hotel.

One of the most important aspects of the wedding day is the food and drinks.  People will remember the food!  When it comes to San Jose catering companies, you can have any taste you desire.  There are traditional and nontraditional dishes, even gluten free and vegetarian menus.  And what if you want a good old fashioned Bar-B-Que?  You can even have that at your classy San Jose wedding.

When booking your wedding venue, verify that you can have outside catering.  Some venues include a caterer or have a list to choose from.  Of course, do not book a caterer based on the venue’s reviews.  Do your own research to come up with the absolute best for your needs.

Perhaps the most important part of choosing a caterer for your San Jose wedding is the customer service the company provides.  You want someone who has your best interests in mind; a company that will cause you no worries on the most important day of your life.  You want a company that will cater to your unique needs and requests.  You want a caterer that will listen.  You want a caterer that will make your vision come to life, whether simple or complex.

The next decision to be made is whether to have a sit-down or buffet service at your San Jose wedding reception.  Generally, the buffet is more casual, thus less expensive.  A sit-down meal will be more expensive and is usually reserved for the more elegant affairs.  You can even do a mixture of the two.  Your San Jose catering service can aid you in making this decision.

One final tip when looking for a caterer in the San Jose area is to ask around.  Get reviews from friends and family.  They will have your best interest at heart and will recommend caterers that will mesh well with your style.  Even online reviews can help, but do not drive yourself crazy reading all of those.

All in all, choosing a San Jose caterer might just be tougher than choosing your wedding dress!  It is important to do your research and go with your gut feeling.  Your San Jose wedding will be just perfect when you choose to go with high quality food and service.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

bacon wrapped asparagus

 

  1. Place asparagus on a sheet of waxed paper; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper; turn to coat. Wrap a bacon piece around each spear; secure ends with toothpicks.
  2. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp. Discard toothpicks. Yield: 2-3 servings.

reposted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-wrapped-asparagus

Buffet or Sit Down for your Bay Area Wedding Reception

Here are some important points to consider when deciding on whether to have a buffet or sit down dinner for your wedding reception:

 

Buffet-style is a more casual way to serve a large group of guests. A sit-down meal is considered more elegant and may be more expensive.

The first decision with a reception meal is whether it will be buffet-style, sit-down or a combination of the two. However, nothing says you can’t mix and match your service styles. For example, feel free to have waiters plate your first course in the kitchen and then serve your second course family-style at the table followed by a dessert buffet.

How about setting a beautiful buffet with guests casually seated at smaller tables or even on lounge-style furniture instead of the more typical round tables? Your reception should reflect who you are and how you live. After all, your guests are there to celebrate you.

If you decide to serve a buffet, serving the first course at the table can help minimize lines for the main course at the buffet.  As plates for the first course are cleared table by table, it creates a natural staggering of times for guests to visit the buffet.

Try to avoid the look of a hotel Sunday brunch. Those “groaning board” buffets with dozens of dishes may look lavish, but you’re not doing your guests any favors. It’s better to select one main course and just a few side dishes to make a delicious meal.

If you do want to serve several entrée choices, such as chicken, beef and fish, be sure to place them at different buffet tables with the appropriate accompaniments. This will ensure guests dine on a well-thought-out menu.

Using smaller plates encourages guests to visit each station individually and means they will enjoy the dishes in appropriate combinations, as they were planned. Smaller buffets also allow guests to pass more quickly through the buffet line.

While buffets should not feature dozens of dishes, they should be filled with plenty of food. There’s nothing more forlorn than a long buffet with three dishes on it. Keep your buffets smaller and be sure the food is arranged and presented abundantly (a feast for your eyes and belly!).

Reposted from: http://www.colincowieweddings.com/articles/ceremony-reception/buffet-or-sit-down-how-to-choose

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

 

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce or your favourite tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan) grated
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, diced
  • basil leaves to taste
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta as directed and when it is done mix in the marinara sauce, cream, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
  2. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve topped with julienned basil.
Option: Add sliced grilled chicken.
Option: Omit the heavy cream or replace it with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Reposted from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/09/creamy-pesto-caprese-pasta-casserole.html

 

 

Pricing To Expect for Flowers for your Bay Area Wedding

Ready to find a florist for your Bay Area wedding? Talk to Ingela Ruschin  at ingela floral for truly unique designs. I actually came across this article thanks to Ingela. I’m sure you’ll find it very helpful.

 

This post was created to help brides everywhere get a realistic expectation of what magazine/blog worthy wedding flowers cost. Brides spend countless hours studying wedding flowers online or in magazines. Those images are pinned and pulled from magazines and brought to wedding florists. When this happens the floral designer is often in the uncomfortable position of letting a bride know that the designs she is dreaming of don’t match her flower budget. Brides, who pull their inspiration from magazines and the internet, should know that studying pictures in magazines can be helpful and also disheartening. Studying is helpful because you can begin to determine the types of flowers you like, it’s harmful because most of the designs you will see don’t have a price tag by them. Brides should remember that only the best of the best in design is published, and it probably had a nice price tag to match it.

 

To help brides with the planning of their floral budget I am offering a list of what I believe is realistic pricing for magazine-worthy wedding flowers. The prices were also checked and discussed by a group of wedding and event designers called the Chapel Designers. This group is a network of wedding and event floral designers from all across the country. Realize that the flowers you choose and the skill level of your designer will affect the final costs of your flowers. New designers typically charge less for their services because they are trying to build a portfolio, this can be good for a bride, but it is also a bit risky. Seasoned designers know how to design, secure product, detect quality issues, care for the flowers, trouble shoot and how to fully service an event. The region you live in will also effect the below listed pricing.

Once again the below prices are based on nice-sized, lush full designs–the kind you see in magazines.  The prices are also entirely below industry standards if you are pricing luxury designs. Those kind of designs are dripping with orchids or feature tables full of flowers. Are there cheaper options then the below listed prices? Yes, there are cheaper options and many of those are wonderful options. However the goal of this post is to help brides price middle of the road full rich elegant designs.

*Bridal Bouquets should range from $250-400. Yes, they really cost this much. Certainly if you were to choose all carnations, babies breath, or mums the design would be considerably less. However most brides are choosing lush bouquets full of hydrangea, Cabbage roses (also known as garden roses), orchids, regular roses, callas, ranunculus, stock, tulips, and many others. Note that Cabbage roses are really expensive – about three to five times the price of a regular rose. You will see cabbage roses in everything as you look for inspiration in magazines and blogs. Cabbage roses are more costly then peonies and many types of hydrangea. If you choose the cabbage roses or orchids, or callas, you can expect to be on the higher end of this range or higher. Lily of the valley and gardenias would also increase the price of the bridal bouquet. Cascading bouquets are also on the higher end of this range.

*Maids Bouquets typically range from $95-165, the higher price point will come into effect if you want peony, cabbage roses, and other super costly flowers. Carnations, daises or mums can be used to create a cheaper design.

*Boutonnieres $13 -16, if you don’t want to see the floral tape on the stem and you like ribbon or twine the price will be on the higher end.

*Corsages These pieces are typically given to moms, grands, and other ladies participating in the wedding. They come in several different styles. Pin on range from $22-25, wrist style are $26-30 and mini bouquets are $30 and up.

Flower Girls These young ladies can have mini baskets or bouquets for $45 and up. Kissing balls or pomanders start at $95 and up. Flower crowns or halos should also begin at the $90 and up price point.

Altar Flowers These large pieces typically start at $250 and up. The scale of the design has to be large and anything smaller than this looks out of proportion. It’s easy to spend $400-500 for really big designs.

Aisle FlowersThese designs are created to mark family reserved seating or to decorate the aisle. Plain bows should start around $15 for true satin ribbon and not acetate.  Bows and greens will be $20-25 and then bouquets of flowers will go up from there. Kissing balls or pomanders begin at $110 for this area.

Place Card Designs are usually big entrance or arrival pieces. If budget allows set this piece at $400 and up.

Centerpieces These designs come in many shapes and sizes. Weddings typically feature low designs and elevated designs. Designing a low piece that is full and similar to those famous designs you see in a magazine is hard to do for under $150.  It’s easy for a full design to be in the $250 and up range if you feature hydrangea, cabbage roses, peonies and such.  A huge misconception is that gatherings of little designs or water designs with submerged flowers is less expensive. This is simply not the case. Lugging water at a venue and filling multiple vases with submerged flowers and candles is costly and a very labor intensive task. The same holds true for bud vases, multiple bud vases requires lots of organization and planning. Simple bud vases should start at $25 each.

Elevated designs are awesome and bring lots of drama into the room, but they typically can’t be created for under $250. These big designs require hundreds of stems. The elevated designs you are seeing featured in magazines are probably $400 and up. If the designs feature cascading orchids they should be priced even higher. This price often includes the elevated stand but is many shops you will pay an additional rental fee on any of the hard goods.

Also be aware that if you choose to do farm tables or oblong tables, also known as king tables or feasting tables this style of seating requires even more flowers. Instead of one centerpiece in the middle of the round table you will now need to create multiple pieces to extend the length of the table.

* Cake flowers are typically sold at $75 and up.

* Throw bouquets are typically $45 and up. Some designers offer these at no charge but that is less and less common.

* Labor and delivery, brides should expect to pay around 20 percent of the subtotal before tax for the delivery of their flowers. This will ensure that a team is fully committed to your event with tools, supplies and emergency flowers.

* Breakdown is an additional fee that is charged to clean up after the event and to remove all rental items from the venue. This is often in the price range of 5% or a minimum fee of $250.00

Photos by Timmester Photography

Nothing is more painful for a floral designer than telling a bride her flower requests are out of her budget. We truly hope this post helps!

Reposted from: http://www.weddingaces.com/2013/02/magazine-worthy-wedding-flowers-the-pricing-you-should-expect/

5 Common Mistakes Brides-To-Be Make

The big moment finally came and you’re in a newly-engaged bliss bubble, admiring the look and feel of your sparkly engagement ring and bouncing off the walls with excitement. It’s time to celebrate, but not too fast — avoid these common (and costly) mistakes from acting in the moment.

1. Don’t start inviting everyone to your wedding.

Once you do, you can’t un-invite them, and you have no idea what your wedding plans are yet, and how much they will cost. You also don’t know how many people will be on your groom’s side of the guest list. Hold off until your wedding picture and budget start to take shape and it’s time for your save-the-dates. You’ll thank us then!

2. Don’t tell your bridal party you’ll pay for all of their expenses.

This is a huge mistake made by brides and grooms who have the best intentions but no real way to know how their wedding expenses are going to add up. If, say, a bridesmaid agrees to be in your bridal party because you told her you’d pay for her dress, shoes, hair, makeup, travel and lodging, but then you later say you can’t swing those things, she’s going to be really upset and angry. (Plus, find out how to include loved ones who aren’t in the bridal party here.)

3. Don’t tell parents they can help plan whatever they want.

Your engagement euphoria may blind you to the fact that parents can turn into steamrollers (e.g. inviting all of their friends, pressuring you to marry in the church where they married). It’s far wiser to hold off on promises and talk with your groom about what your top priorities are as a couple. Then, you can both decide which tasks can be delegated to the ‘rents.

4. Don’t promise everything to your people.

Imagine how sad your groom and his relatives would be if you assigned “the good stuff” to all of your family members and friends, leaving his side to pick through whichever tasks are left. This doesn’t necessarily imply that you are trying to shun his family — it’s just easy to get caught up in the excitement of wedding plans.

Instead, be sure to ask your groom what his mom, dad and siblings would like to join in on, and you’ll set the stage for a close, loving relationship with the in-laws because you valued them enough to invite them into your planning circle.

5. Don’t fall in love with the first dress you see.

Yes, we all know brides who bought the first dress they tried on, but this isn’t a task to rush through. Give yourself the opportunity to have magical dress-shopping experiences with your mom or MOH. You can certainly keep that first dress you saw in the running, but there’s no need to mark this task “complete” on your checklist before you’ve even had a chance to announce your engagement to loved ones.

Reposted from:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/mistakes-after-engagement_n_4549950.html?ref=topbar