Happy Friday! It’s been gorgeous sunshine all week long and summer is still going strong. While our neighbours in Alberta are shovelling their driveways after the crazy dump of early September snowfall, we can lay by the pool (which I was doing just yesterday) and soak up the sunshine.
I haven’t been baking as much this summer because it was so dang hot – and with Adam out of town so often for work it’s hard to keep an entire tray of cookies or cakes around without consuming them completely myself. I’ve been reaching for fresh fruit as a sweet treat on hot days. My favourite summer fruits are blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, and of course nectarines. When it comes to stone fruits the best way to enjoy it is cold from the fridge – I can’t stand mushy fruit – even peaches are better when they’re crisp.
When you do feel like turning on the oven, I highly suggest folding those end of summer fruits like nectarines into this lemony yogurt poppy seed pound cake – made gluten/wheat free!
Head on over to Vancity Buzz for the Recipe.
Today is the one year countdown until our wedding! As I type the words it seems surreal. Last week the save-the-dates were sent out, so there’s no turning back ;)
When we got engaged (December 23 of last year)
I thought we had forever to plan for the wedding because it would be over a year and a half in advance. A fortune of time as far as wedding planning timelines go. I started off crazily pinning away on Pinterest with colour ideas, themes, dresses, decor and anything else wedding related I could imagine. Then, I sort of dwindled into ‘we have plenty of time’ land and I went a few weeks or months without thinking about wedding things.
The first step was obviously picking the date. However, this came almost effortlessly to me because I had known for quite some time which date I had wanted to get married. I just needed to find the right guy ;)
It was simply no question, as I had always imagined having the same wedding anniversary as my parents, September 5th. The date and time of year drew me to it easily. I can’t see myself as a summer bride, nor winter or spring. Something about a late-summer affair, on the brisk of autumn, while the days are markedly shorter yet still warm and sunny made me happy. Make no mistake, it is not a ‘fall’ wedding, as my friend (who is getting married this sept 5) keeps joking, there will be no leaves, pumpkins, oranges or brown for that matter. Still light, airy colours.
We’ve booked the venue
, which we fell in love with on our first visit back in February. I think
we have found a photographer we love, and are finalizing the ceremony location. There is still lots to do int he coming year, however. The one, very
important, thing that I have yet to do is ‘say yes to the dress.’ I’m hoping to begin the search at the end of the month.
And now the official year of all things wedding begins. I’m so looking forward to the planning, memories and excitement that come with it!
What’s even more special is our friends are getting married today! so we get to celebrate with them and share our anniversaries – what better way to begin the countdown than at a wedding!
Wedding planning has commenced and is in full force the past couple of weeks after a brief pinterest hiatus. I’ve been making appointments to see photographers, organizing things into binders to keep track of paperwork and ideas, and I’ve even visited my first bridal gallery to see what type of dress style I like. I’m pretty excited to make appointments in the coming months to actually try on dresses – and ‘say yes to the dress’
The biggest decision has already been made, and that’s booking the venue. The location was something I had actually not wanted or considered from the beginning, saying I did not want to have my wedding there. However, I absolutely loved it. It has a feel like being in Whistler, but staying within the city. We had though about venturing out to a ‘destination-like’ wedding in the Okanagan but few places could hold the abundance that is Adam and I’s large family. The numbers are rolling in for the save-the-dates that I have to mail out at the end of the month and It’s definitely up there. I knew it would probably be a large wedding, but naively thought we could keep the numbers at bay. As of right now the number is up to 160… (sorry Adam) :)
I guess we’ll have to wait and see next year what the actual count will be!
The next big thing is the ceremony location. While I’m not a ‘practicing catholic’ I would love to have a church wedding, and I did attend Catholic school when I grew up. I love the idea of a church wedding and hope that we can get this happening as well. Which means I’m going to start going to church more often with my Nonna. The church also reminds me of my dad. There was a lot of memories with him at that church, midnight mass on christmas, easter egg hunts in front of the church, my first communion, where we said goodbye – and in a way I’ll feel like he’s there with us on that day.
It’s particularly hard to plan a wedding when the groom-to-be works out of town for 2/3 of the time, home only for a week out of every 3. But, we’ll make it work.
Another big thing is sticking to the budget. When we first got engaged we drafted up a budget with the approximate values we wanted to spend on things. It’s easy to see how quickly things add up that you never even thought about – and how everything with the word “wedding” in front of it makes the price double (wedding flowers, wedding photographer, wedding decor, wedding shoes, wedding makeup and hair..)
For now, I’m going to try and focus on the big things, and worry about the small decisions next year when we’re a little closer. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of wedding planning on Pinterest. One of my dilemmas right now is flowers – i have horrible allergies and will probably need some fake florals in my bouquet, however sourcing them out is difficult.
When it’s all said and done, I can sit back and relax with a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie. I actually made these for my good friends Bachelorette weekend away last month. I used pastry flour in the dough and it made them extra buttery, almost like a shortbread/pastry cookie that melts in your mouth. I threw on some pretzels to give it that sweet & salty taste.
These are definitely not healthy cookies. However, I figure a bachelorette weekend calls for a little indulgence.
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 + 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Pastry Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (natural, not artificial)
- Good quality dark chocolate, cut into chunks.
- Sea salt
- mini pretzels (optional)
- 1. Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Don’t overmix. Mix in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 12-36 hours (you can skip this part, cookies will have different consistency)
- 3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- 4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, create golf-ball sized balls and place onto baking sheet. Sprinkle raw dough lightly with salt and bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. You can also press a small mini-pretzel onto the top before baking.
- 5. Let cookies cool, then remove and cool on rack.
- Can freeze, allow to that slightly and scoop out. Increase baking time accordingly.
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
Adapted from NY Times Cookies - Jacques Torres
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/