Saturday, January 29, 2011

Food - Different Tastes

Molecular gastronomy is a branch of food science in which the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking are studied by both scientists and food professionals.

Different Tastes is a company that embraces molecular gastronomy. Just take a look for yourself.

Crab cakes with romesco sauce “caviar”. The "caviar" started out as a liquid sauce before under going spherification.
Toast cups with whipped goat cheese and walnuts – served warm

Chicken, mango and jalapeno quesadilla with chipotle mayo

Corn and lime edible Asian spoon with roasted salmon and cilantro salsa

Mixed young greens, goat cheese, walnuts, orange supremes and roasted shallot vinaigrette

Caesar salad with shaved parmesan, herbed croutons and frizzled leeks

Deconstructed, recontructed Lasagana rustic with fresh pasta, local
vegetables, thyme and madiera reduction and tomato “orb” 

Pan roasted duck breast with juniper gastrique with julienne vegetables (left) Breast of duck with fig and madiera reduction and pear chutney (right)

Tenderloin of beef with mushroom ragu and rosemary red wine demi glace
with mushroom, leek and thyme risotto with lemon gremolata (left)
Tenderloin of beef wrapped with sun dried tomato tapenade and puff pastry
with saute of haricot vert with local tomatoes and fresh basil (right)

Cheesecake bite and Creme Brulee on edible chocolate spoon

Clockwise from the top:
Dark chocolate cake with caramel buttercream frosting
Vanilla cake with cream cheese buttercream and raspberry drizzle
Carrot cake with brown sugar buttercream

All photos taken by Celia.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Save our Date!

Hello Family and Friends -

We are getting married! Our celebration will take place on August 20th, 2011 in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

This will be a great way to visit Boston if you have not had the chance yet. And for those of you that grew up in the area, you can hit two birds with one stone and visit family, too.

We would love for you to be present for the festivities, but we understand if you cannot make it for whatever reason. Please, do not feel obligated by any means.

In the mean time, please click on the link below to help us fill in our address book, otherwise we won't know where to send your invitation!

We look forward to celebrating with you,
-Celia and Jake

Designed by yours truly. Photo credits from left to right: Hung Family, Perkowski Family, and Jason Angelini (last 3).

Click here to see the first round of STDs we sent out to our friends living west of the Mississippi. (STDs is wedding speak for save-the-dates, not venereal disease.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coming to a newsstand near you

I've taken wedding crafting to a whole new level of insanity. I sought out to create a wedding party newsletter about a year ago. But, I've been dragging my feet on it. I didn't want to just use a boring template from MS Publisher. Of course, my idea isn't completely original, I stole the magazine style idea from Mrs. Piglet via Weddingbee. Even though I had the idea, I knew it was going to take hours to put together. As I previously mentioned, I can layout a publication no problem, it just takes time. Having to write all the copy (articles) that go in it, is another ballgame and not my strong suite.

I bet you want to see how all the blood, sweat, tears, and hours upon hours I poured into this project ended up. Just click on the link below.

The Adventures of Celia and Jake - a wedding magazine - volume 1, issue 1
Best viewed in Reading Mode with Page Display set to "Two-Up" and "Show Cover During Two-Up")

Not too shabby. Yea, I wished this was actually going to be on display at a newsstand near you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

7 months

Today's post has been brought to you by the number seven.

*sigh* I've been feeling a bit stressed out lately, but that's because of pressures that I've put on myself. I hear you laughing at me. You knew I was going to do that to myself. I always do that. I blame my super type-A personality.

I gave myself the 1/20/11 as a deadline to send out the save-the-dates and a newsletter (magazine style) to our wedding party. The website has been up for about a year, BUUUUUUUUUT I had left of bunch of stuff as TBD. Now I can't really send out save-the-dates with a URL to an unfinished website. I could, but how unprofessional would that be? Unfortunately for me work continues to be next to impossible. Meaning that I have zero time during the day to work on wedding stuff, not that I should be. And by the time I get home from work, I'm too tired to want to work on project. Come the weekend, I'm a lazy heap on the couch and the only thing I can do is watch HGTV and stuff my face with food.

Anyways, enough complaining from me. Here's to hoping that everything get's done either tonight or tomorrow. If not, I'm sure that no one will care that the STDs went out a few days late.

8 - 10 Months before the wedding
Select your bridal party and request their participation in your special day - Done. See the Wedding Crew page. 
Interview and hire the following:
     Wedding officiant - Done. See the Wedding Crew page.
     Reception Caterer - In the works. We've tested out 2 caterers and we have a third one to taste next weekend.
     Photographer - Done. Didn't you see our awesome engagement sesh?
     Videographer - NEED! 
     Band or DJ - DJ interviewed, chosen, just need to sign the contract. 
Decide on bridesmaids dresses - One bridesmaid is done, now we just need the MOH and the groomswoman.  
Start compiling names & addresses for the guest list - We started compiling a list of email address. Mailing address will be obtained via Google documents when we send out our save-the-dates.
Sign up for a gift registry - Done, modest, but done. 
Engagement party - Not going to happen, who are we, rich people? 

5 - 7 Months before the wedding
Finalize the guest list - Done 
Shop for your wedding stationery - Not neccessary. What is neccessary is for me to finish doing print tests on my printer, purchase the paper, print, and assemble them. 
Arrange accommodations - In the works. We had picked a place, but it turns out a) they aren't big enough to host either our welcome dinner or day-after brunch, and b) they can host outside, but we'd have to shell out for a tent and pay their gigantic fee.
Select your wedding cake - We're not having cake. OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!!!! 
Begin preparations for your honeymoon - We're going to wait on the honeymoon.  

8 months
9 months
11 months

Friday, January 14, 2011

We go live in.... less than a week!

What does that mean? It means we will be sending out save-the-dates soon! It means that people will start crawling all over this website!

No pressure, none at all.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas 2010 - stop motion video

Sometime in December, I saw this awesome home video posted on Weddingbee. It's a stop motion video that a couple put together as their Christmas card. Seriously, the cutest thing ever.

I immediately thought about Jake's Mom's annual Christmas party. For the past couple of years, we've all gathered up towards the end of the night for a group photo. It's always entertaining to watch everyone figure out where to sit or stand. And of course, it's very entertaining to watch the photographers set up their cameras and run into the photo in hopes of beating the timer. It's the perfect moment to capture in my first stop motion video.

First, I had to figure out how to do it. I thought it was going to need a laptop and some fancy software, but lucky for me, my fancy camera has an "interval timer" which allows me to set the number of photos it takes and how often. Yay for spending extra for bells and whistles that I didn't even know I had.

I set the interval timer, put the tripod in the corner of the room and let it do it's thing. I didn't get the group shot sequence, but getting everyone gathered for presents was just s great.

To get string all the still images together and set it to music, I just used the movie function in Picasa. I tried the fancy-shmancy Adobe Premiere software, but it was too complicated for my feable brain to wrap around.

On a side note: it kills me how adorable the babies are!

Christmas 2010 - holiday card

I started paper crafting a year ago as a way to prepare for the real deal (aka our wedding stationary). I must say, last year's cards were a bit more involved than I had planned. This year I wanted something super simple, especially if I was going to have to make a lot of them.

As it turned out, I didn't have too make too many because we didn't recieve that many of them. I know, I know, it's not a one for one exchange, but we decided to do tit-for-tat in order to save money (and my sanity). Big apologies to the couple of cards we got either on Christmas Eve or the day after. By that time it didn't seem kosher to send more out.

Don't you just love the faux fireplace? Photo by Hungce (that's me!).

To keep things simple (or so I thought), we went with flat cards. I probably spent most of the time dealing with print alignment more than anything. To give each card a personalized touch, the names of the recipients were written on each stocking! For folks with more than 4 letters, we just put their first initial.

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 becomes 11

And just like that, it's a new year. We kicked off 2010 by welcoming two new members to the family. Jake's cousin KP had a beautiful little girl and cousin KM had a handsome baby boy. The year came to a close with my parents purchasing a GIANT house in a suburb of Portland.

Last year kept us busy, especially the second half of the year. I had hoped that 2010 would be spent enjoying being engaged and getting the big ticket wedding items out of the way. Life had other plans for us.

Going into 2010, we knew we had a full dance card. We were officially invited to 10 weddings, but were only able to attend 8 of them. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed every wedding and every moment of the weddings. But traveling so much takes a toll on one. And after the first couple of weddings, you start to tire. Multiple times we were told "you don't have to go to all of them you know?" Well, yes and no. How do you tell friends A that you aren't going to go to their wedding, but yet tell friends B that you will attend theirs when friends A and friends B run in the same circle? It's not possible. So we went to all of them. Well almost. We had to split up for 2 of them since they were on the same day on opposite coasts! We cancelled on wedding #9. The madness known as wedding season started at the end of May, and by October we were plain exhausted. Wedding #10, oh how I wished we could have gone to #10. It was held in Indonesia! We would have been able to not only visit Indonesia, but a side trip to Bali as well! But alas, we had already received 5 save-the-dates by the time we received #10's and they gave a full year's notice.

Luckily for us #11 never materialized. There were tentative plans, but the couple needed a break from planning their overseas nuptials. And then there was #12. We weren't invited since it was just an intimate backyard shindig, but we did get an announcment in the mail. I actually thanked the newlyweds for not inviting us since I wouldnt' have been able to say "no'.

As for our own wedding plans. We found a planner. Picked a date. Decided on the perfect venue. Choose our wedding party. Sent out round one of  our save-the-dates. Designed our wedding invitations. Signed a photographer and had a photoshoot with him. I not only found my dress, but have it [under our bed]! I also found a dressmaker to create a one-of-a-kind Chinese dress. And lastly, we started our hunt for a caterer to tackle our taste buds. Not too shabby right?

While we were learning to be engaged, we also learning how to live together. And not just together, but with another person period. I haven't visited this topic since I made mention of it over a year ago. Neither Jake nor I have lived with roommates since college. It's been one heck of a learning experience and we continue to learn each day. It's not easy. We have different tolerance levels when it comes to clutter and dirt. We have different ideas on chores. And while we have similar tastes in overall decor, we have differing tastes when it comes to decor. Maybe it'd be a moot point if Jake didn't come with bachelor furniture (black leather sofa and black furniture) and I came with nothing (yes, even after living here for 3 years I didn't buy anything; I was planning to move back to OR after a year or two). Like I said, we continue to learn and I'm sure we will be learning for years to come.
2010 flew by. It threw everything including the kitchen sink at us. I'm happy to see it go. But I'm also scared of 2011. I'm afraid that it'll go by just as fast if not quicker; August will be here before we know it. Writing 2011 on paper also makes everything seem so much more real. It's surreal to be plan a wedding (especially when I'm not the type that has dreamed about it since I was young), but it's been in this semi-dreamy state. Now make believe time is over, it's time for the real thing.

Here's to 2011. May it be peaceful and slower paced than the last, so that we can enjoy it.