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Archive for March, 2008

Yankees’ Matsui gets

married, pulls fast one

on Jeter and Abreu at

same time

Matsui made the wager at the start of spring training about who would wed first, then flew to New York on his off day Wednesday to get married.Matsui said Jeter, who claimed not to have a girlfriend, has one year to get married to win the bet. Yankees outfielder Bobby Abreu, who said he has a girlfriend, has six months to win the bet.Since Matsui said he knew six months ago he was going to get married, he was able to pull a fast one on his teammates, who both said Thursday they would play off their losses immediately.“He won,” Jeter said. “I’m going to give him the money today.”

The amount of wager was not disclosed.

“I’m happy for him,” Abreu said. “I’ll have to send him a check.”

Jeter didn’t believe reporters at first when told about the marriage. He went to Matsui’s locker to confirm it.

“Yeah, I’m surprised,” Jeter said. “Good for him.”

Even Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was informed about Matsui’s wedding this week, got a good laugh out of it.

“Sometimes you should get all the information before you make a bet,” Girardi said.

When asked if he got married just to win the bet, Matsui laughed and said “Maybe.”’

I found this article on Yahoo! Sports today.  Story source is from the Associated Press.  I thought this would be fun for you sports fans out there!  Enjoy!

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These great spring dishes are from an article I found on BizBash Florida:

THE SCOUT   03.17.08 11:15 AM PRINT | SEND TO A FRIEND
Afternoon Delights
These lunchtime dishes celebrate the fresh flavors of spring.
CONTINUED >
Photo Gallery                           Pan-roasted Maine diver scallops with sautéed pea shoots and sunchokes  and a ramp-and-lemon vinaigrette from New York-based Williamson Calvert
                          Pan-roasted Maine diver scallops with sautéed pea shoots and sunchokes  and a ramp-and-lemon vinaigrette from New York-based Williamson Calvert                                                        Thai-inspired salad wraps with steamed lobster, green beans, mango,  avocado, and a chili-lime dipping sauce from DeLish in Toronto
                      Sweet corn, red pepper, and green pea soufflés served in mini terrines  from Design Cuisine in Washington                                                        Locally sourced porcini-crusted rack of lamb with spinach, oyster  mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and tomato concassé from Chicago's Greg Christian Catering
                          Black rice salad with seared tuna, salmon poke, and papaya, topped with  citrus vinaigrette and passion fruit from Los Angeles-based Food Perfected                             
Locally sourced porcini-crusted rack of lamb with spinach, oyster mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and tomato concassé from Chicago’s Greg Christian Catering
Photo: Kristina Carter Photography
   —Lisa Cericola

Enjoy!!

Photo and article credits: (http://www.bizbash.com/florida/content/editorial/e10161.php)

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La Boda - The Wedding - An Inspiration Board

My husband and I visited Mexico a few years back, before my daughter was born.  It is a gorgeous country!  We stayed in Puerto Vallarta, on the Banderas Bay.  The weather was hot, humid and sultry.  It was August, after all.  But the water was cool, the people warm and friendly, and the food excellent.  We enjoyed our stay very much, and look forward to returning some day.

Hispanic culture is very much a part of everyday American life.  Spanish is unofficially our second language in the United States.  Many of the words have become interspersed with english words to form our everyday dialogue.  You will find Hispanic influences in many aspects of our lives, from fashion and food, to music and dance.  These influences also carry over into the bridal industry.  I have tried to capture the feel of a Hispanic celebration with this board.  Enjoy!

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The Luck O’ the Irish - An Inspiration Board

In honor of the favorite day of Irish People everywhere……my Irish themed inspiration board is for you!  I have only a little trickle of Irish blood running through my veins, but it’s enough!  I just like to celebrate the holiday!!  Enjoy!!

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Did you think I was going to post about The Ohio State University?  No, not I!!  Today’s post is about the decadent candy called “Buckeyes”. The candy closely resembles the native fruit of the Buckeye tree, which is also Ohio’s State Tree.  The candy is mass produced and marketed by several companies in Ohio, but I enjoy the homemade ones the best.

If you are looking for a unique treat to serve to your wedding guests, as a flavorful addition to your wedding cake, or as a special gift to take home at the end of the evening, Buckeyes are a great choice.

I found some great recipes to share with you.  Enjoy!!

From www.allrecipes.com:

Buckeyes I

SUBMITTED BY: Tammy Winters      PHOTO BY: LROSE55

“This recipe is so good that I double it whenever I make it. Since it is peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate it is almost like candy. Real buckeyes are nuts that grow on trees and are related to the horse chestnut.”

PREP TIME  15 Min
COOK TIME  5 Min
READY IN  50 Min
SERVINGS & SCALING
Original recipe yield: 5 dozen
    

About  scaling  and  conversions

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
  2. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
  4. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.
Buckeye Balls Buckeye Balls Description
A recipe for Buckeye Balls

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups Smucker’s® Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Coating:
  • 1 pound chocolate flavor candy coating
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco® Shortening

Preparation
1. Combine Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, butter or margarine, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Add 2 cups sugar. Beat until blended.

2. Continue adding 1/2 cup sugar at a time until mixture shaped into ball will hold onto toothpick. Shape into 3/4 inch balls. Place on tray. Chill.

3. For coating, combine candy coating and Crisco Shortening in microwave-safe bowl.

4. Microwave at 50% (medium) for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Insert toothpick in candy ball. Dip three-fourths of ball into melted coating. Scrape off excess.

5. Place on waxed paper lined tray. Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Refrigerate until coating is firm; then remove from paper. Store at room temperature in covered container.

Nutrition
no information available

Serves
Makes 8 dozen

Variations
no information available

Source Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter

Buckeye Candy Buckeye Candy Description
A recipe for Buckeye Candy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups (16-ounce box) powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Preparation
LINE baking sheets with wax paper.

BEAT peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze 1 hour.

MELT morsels and shortening in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute; stir. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

DIP peanut butter centers into melted chocolate using toothpick, leaving small portion of center uncovered. Shake off excess chocolate and scrape bottom of candy on side of bowl. Return to baking sheets; refrigerate until chocolate sets. Store refrigerated in covered container.

Nutrition
Nutrition Information per Serving: 100 calories; 50 calories from fat; 6g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 40mg sodium; 11g carbohydrate; <1g fiber; 9g sugars; 2g protein

Serves
Makes about 6 dozen candies

Variations
no information available

Source Nestlé USA, Inc.

From www.andreasrecipes.com:

Buckeyes

Buckeyes

This is a Midwest Christmas tradition that both our families enjoy. Buckeye candy is designed to look like the seeds of the Ohio buckeye tree and is quite popular during the holidays or during the Ohio State University football season. I have made the traditional recipe for years, then this year I decided to darken things up a bit by adding some good bittersweet chocolate, and the new recipe was a hit.

I usually make two batches of this, but I do the batches separately. I’ve had trouble fitting a double batch of the peanut butter mixture ingredients in my 4-1/2 quart mixer bowl without making a huge mess, but if you have a large mixer bowl it might not be a problem.

[Recipe updated November 11, 2007]

Equipment

stand mixer with paddle attachment
half cookie sheets line with wax paper
toothpicks
4-cup glass bowl
tins or plastic containers, for storing

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Stir until blended, mixture will be slightly dry.

2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on prepared cookie sheets.

3. Stick a toothpick in the top of each peanut butter ball. You’ll use this “handle” later for dipping. Freeze the balls for about 30 minutes, until hard.

4. Pour semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips into glass bowl. Add the butter. Microwave 60 seconds at 70% then gently stir. Microwave for 30 seconds at 70% and stir, repeating until the chocolate is almost but not completely melted. Do not overheat. You don’t want the chocolate to be completely melted in the microwave. If you’ve done it right, the last few stirs will mix in the remaining firm chips.

5. Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate, leaving a circle of peanut butter showing on top. They should look like buckeyes (see photo below). Place the dipped balls back on the cookie sheets.

6. Refrigerate finished buckeyes for at least 2 hours. Remove the toothpicks and store in tins between layers of wax paper.

Aesculus glabra seeds (Ohio buckeye tree)

References

Wikipedia -Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye tree)

Wikimedia – Image: Aesculus glabra seeds

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Have you been looking for a great place to pamper yourself and your bridal party before the wedding?  Or perhaps you want to treat your mom to a relaxing facial for Mother’s Day?  I have the best tool for you!  I came across this search engine in an email from www.successfulmeetings.com

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Take A Break—Anytime, Anywhere

Sometimes you just need a manicure. Based on time, budget, or personal preference, some people would rather pop in for a quick, practical treatment than spend the afternoon getting a mud wrap, massage, and water therapy session. PrettyCity.com allows visitors to search for day spas and salons in 33 destinations ranging from New York to Hilton Head Island, with a write-up of each facility. Although PrettyCity.com can find you a masseuse, the site has a heavier focus on salon treatments than others of its kind. The site also provides information on spa trends such as Japanese hair straightening and eyelash extensions and details on where to buy products in major cities—if you need M.A.C. in Chicago, Bath & Body Works in Detroit, or Bliss in San Francisco

 

Since I am located in Ohio, the only city listed close to me is Columbus, the state capital.  However, I am sure they will add more cities as time goes by.  But this is a great resource, and I can’t wait to check out all of the local listings!  Enjoy!

 

Photo credits: (www.prettycity.com)

 

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Viva Las Vegas!! - An Inspiration Board

Ok, it’s time to have some fun!!  Since I am snowed in this weekend in Ohio, with a snowfall expected of 15 inches total, I thought I would put together an inspiration board for a Las Vegas or casino themed affair.  My husband and I are planning to go to Las Vegas next year to renew our wedding vows.  I want an Elvis impersonator to do the ceremony, and he keeps threatening to run off with a showgirl if that happens!!  I will win in the end, though!!  Let the good times roll, and remember, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”  Enjoy!!

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Crystal Couture - An Inspiration Board

 I love Crystals!!  Timeless, elegant, and very hot right now in the world of weddings and special events.  They are everywhere, hanging on trees, dripping from tall candleabra, and wrapped around everything in sight.  Whether you are looking to implement all-out bling, or to infuse just a touch of sparkle into your event, these ideas should inspire you.  Enjoy!!

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I am starting a new series of interviews with vendors for this blog, titled “Great People to Know”.  The first installment is my interview with Donna Berns, the Executive Chef and Director of Banquet Sales of Chenoweth Golf Club, located in Akron, Ohio. 

Chenoweth Golf Club, located in Akron, Ohio.

Donna, thank you so much for speaking with us about your work, and Chenoweth Club.  I appreciate that you are taking the time out of your busy schedule to accommodate our request.  Our readers certainly will want to learn more about your services.

Our interview follows below:

What makes Chenoweth unique?

Quality of food & service with attention to details such as menu selections set up and so on.

How did you get started in your field, and at Chenoweth?

Food and cooking has always been my passion since I was a young child about 11 years of age. I continued on to follow my passion through a restaurant management program in High School worked at a few restaurants then started a family. About 22 years after catering for family, friends and acquaintances free of charge I was so encouraged by one event that I did. There comment to me was “You need to do this” “If you don’t do this for a living you are missing your calling.” That gave me the encouragement to start my own catering business about that same time Chenoweth was just starting to build the banquet facility and as I was golfing there and inquired as  who was to handle the catering for them it lead to an interview and we took a chance on each other. A chance that has turned into a wonderful growing adventure and a dream come true. Thank you Larry and Karen!

What do you enjoy best about your job?

Well, there are two things in particular. I am a people pleaser. So  first I would have to say, I get to please people through food! And Second I enjoy working with the clients to be sure that their day is everything they could dream of. I have met some wonderful people and made great friends.

Please tell us about your favorite wedding or event that you have done.

This is a tough question because I enjoy them all! I would have to say that the annual Valentine Wine Dinner Dance, the last one in particular because it is my baby so to speak, I come up with the theme, food selections decorations the hole nine yards. What made the last one so special was I got to  work for a young man that used this occasion to “Pop The Question”. That was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed the evening so much that they plan to attend next year.

What are the questions a bride should ask when choosing a caterer and a venue like Chenoweth?  

Well, cost would be one of the top things. Is it within their budget. Food is so important. I always say “No matter how beautiful the facility if the food is mediocre or less all that beauty fades away as your guests will be disappointed and talk of nothing else.”

What’s the most difficult aspect of your job?

Besides the obvious physical demands of cooking for large crowds with a small kitchen staff it would have to be quality control. I work with so many food companies and am loyal to not just one of them because I am so picky with the quality of what I serve. I hand pick all of the fruit that goes onto the fruit trays, I just can’t let go and have it sent in on a truck for fear of letting go of quality.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, or your field of expertise, or the hospitality industry?

Don’t pick a place on appearance alone. You must be comfortable with the people that are working with you, and they must be willing to do just that, work with you. Also if food is tops on the list ask for a tasting before you sign.

What else would you like people to know about Chenoweth?

We are like family, we care about our customers and their needs & desires we all are willing to go that extra mile to make dreams come true.

Again, thanks so much Donna!  You can find more information about Donna Burns, and Chenoweth Golf Club at www.chenowethgolf.com.  Also check out their upcoming events, like this one:

Chenoweth Beer Tasting Celebration

Menu includes five courses of food complimented by Great Lakes Beers. (Of course a cash bar will be available for all those non beer drinkers)

Menu:

First Course: Irish potato  Soup complimented by: Conway’s Irish Ale

Second Course: Mahi- Mahi with a sesame and caper sauce and sugar snap peas complimented by Dortmunder Gold

Third Course: Spicy Garlic Buffalo Style Chicken with a side of creamy blue cheese smashed red skin potatoes complimented by: Eliot Ness

Fourth Course: BBQ Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Asparagus Complimented by:  Edmond Fitzgerald

Fifth Course: Yes, Beer and Chocolate! Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie drizzled with a dark chocolate sauce Complimented by: Blackout Stout

Click Here> http://chenowethgolf.com/beertasting031508.html

Well, everything sounds great to me!  Here are a few more pictures from Chenoweth Club.  Enjoy!!

Banquet Display at Chenoweth Golf Club in Akron, Ohio.
Ceremony Setup at Chenoweth Golf Club in Akron, Ohio.

Reception Setup at Chenoweth Golf Club in Akron, Ohio.
Pictures source: (www.chenowethgolf.com)

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