My friends! I’m sorry I missed the mark for posting early this week. I’m getting over being sick and hard as I tried I couldn’t get it together to post. I have some good ideas lined up to make it up to you though. Before I jump into B and I’s recent new dinner adventure, it’s worth visiting a couple tips to avoid getting sick (or sicker as was the case for me.) Eat well, sleep lots, and exercise are the basics. Simple enough, but have an honest check in with yourself sometimes and assess if you are actually doing that. If you feel like you’re developing something, don’t stack your schedule chock full of activities especially lots of walking or hiking ( I went hiking Monday for 2 1/2 hours.) Rather, get some freaking rest. Being honest with myself, I had been a little negligent on the sleeping. Further, I assumed allergies when I started feeling off early last week. Then, I was in denial about being sick until I was in the thick of it feeling like total crap the past few days. Cherry on top: I got Bryan sick too. I’m a rotten human. Yup. So my message is this: Take care of yourselves! Who wants to be sick in the summer months when there is so much opportunity to do fun things?!
Back on track here…B and I just passed the 6 year mark of dating. Good food is absolutely a must when there is anything to celebrate in our relationship. We decided to try out a new restaurant and follow with dessert at Cold Stone Creamery. Cold Stone makes Bryan insanely happy. Look how genuine this smile is:
We had dinner at Panache located in DC across from the famous Mayflower hotel. The ambiance is fairly casual but you get that upscale dining type of experience. It is known for Mediterranean, French, and Spanish tapas. We were in the mood for fish though so we decided to order the crab cakes and pan-seared mahi mahi special and share them. I ordered a mixed salad and Bryan asked for French onion soup per some starters. The presentation was very nice and the food came out quickly. We were impressed that we ended up in and out in 50 minutes yet we did not feel rushed. The mahi mahi came with a fresh, flavorful mango salsa on top and cilantro rice and steamed vegetables on the side. The crab cakes were served with the steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. We both enjoyed the restaurant overall, but agreed we may not necessarily crave it on a regular basis. I could, however, see us going back to try out the tapas selection! Here are pics from dinner and keep on reading for Cold Stone deets.
Curious what we got at Cold Stone? We’re both in LOVE with the All Lovin’ No Oven Signature Creation. This includes the Cake Batter ice cream, fudge, cookie dough, and whipped cream. We take this already awesome combo to another level though. I add caramel to mine. Bryan adds caramel AND brownie. My topping addition almost warrants the next cup size up as not to overflow. Bryan’s brownie, on the other hand, REQUIRES the cup size up because of the sheer mass it adds. It’s pretty hilarious how the Cold Stone employees look at us when we order and funnier still that we get warned of the imminent cost increase associated with our addition of fatty goodness. YES, we are fine with the extra $0.79! Anyone craving Cold Stone now? Sorry about it…
I feel like we often hear that wedding food for lack of a better word sucks. I actually have not had this experience much myself , but I certainly hear horror stories of the meat entree being frozen in the middle or the food being extremely bland. As we approach the biggest wedding season of the year, I’d thought we should chat about it. Of course, I’d love your comments- the good, the bad, and the ugly!
On the issue of cocktail hour, I would say I’ve never been unhappy. This could have to do with the fact that I’m ready for a drink and some yummy sustenance depending on the length of the ceremony or that I’m hoping that crab cakes are going to happen. Who knows?! Either way little finger foods and dips work for me. My friend, Adrienne, who got married in New Orleans in early March of this year had very tasty softball-sized crab cakes at her cocktail hour. Seriously they were massive. Bless you, Adrienne, bless you. Shrimp, mini tart, or stuffed mushroom apps are crowd pleasers too in my mind. Sometimes I feel bad for the cocktail hour servers because depending on the crowd pleasing level of the app, they either get swarmed or have to continuously offer their app selection to people. The guy/girl with the crab cakes or shrimp are always stalked out hard.
I have been to weddings with plated dinners and buffet-style dinners and I’d say there are pro’s and con’s to both. Plated dinners are nice because you are getting served and can look forward to multiple courses. On the downside, the food can come out cold and the dishes may be served very sporadically. It’s no fun when everyone is doing the polite thing waiting for everyone at the table to be served and just oneeeee person does not have their food yet. Also, the portion sizes leave much to be desired. Buffets, on the other hand, offer a bunch of choices and you can choose your portion-sizes. However, sometimes the good stuff runs out before you get to it. I’ve heard of people ending up with just veggies for dinner and not because they are vegetarians. ROUGH! I do not envy the caterer’s job to please a big group with varying expectations and palettes. I completely appreciate the challenge of serving so many. I just wanted to share my general perspective on wedding cuisine.
I’ll close with my most recent wedding experience which was last weekend. I applaud that caterer as I thoroughly enjoyed the appetizers and the dinner. Cocktail hour featured beef wellington, shrimp cocktail, mini BLT croissants, and hot crab as well as spinach dip. The dinner menu is pictured below as well as some other photos for your viewing pleasure. The crab cake first course was a win of course. The groom is from Baltimore so you were not going to have a nasty crab cake served to you at this wedding. The filet was cooked to my liking (medium), was still warm, and was accompanied by a few steamed asparagus spears and mashed potatoes. No complaints! The colors at the wedding were JMU-inspired purple and gold so everything including the cake was absolutely gorgeous. The cake had a white cake with berry filling option and a moist (and higher quality) rich chocolate cake option. True to form Bryan and I grabbed opposite flavors and shared. Congratulations on your marriage, Craig and Elizabeth…and on your great food choices for your guests :)