23. October 2012 · 31 comments · Categories: life · Tags:

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. And after everything, the sleeves on the dress worked out fine, although I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone.

We’re on our honeymoon now. Thought I would leave you with this pic our photographer already posted:

by Jodi Miller Photography

**Update- For more wedding photos check out:
Our photographer’s blog post about the wedding.
Our wedding feature on Green Wedding Shoes!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

My wedding is in 10 days. I seriously can’t believe it’s happening next weekend…and that my dress isn’t done!

To say I’m stressed would be an understatement. I’m sure it’ll all come together but I’m not the kind of person who likes to wait until the last minute to get things done.

Nate and I both knew from the beginning that if we got married it would be in the autumn. So I subtly mentioned to Nate sometime last year that if he was going to propose, he better give me at least a year to plan the wedding. Luckily, he picked up on my demands hints.

Mexican Stuffed Shells2 | ElephantEats.com

I’m the type of person to arrive 10-15 minutes before I need to be somewhere. I like to allow myself way more time than necessary to do simple tasks. I know that I’ll probably end up finishing tasks with time to spare, but I’d rather have too much time than not enough. I do not like to wait until the last minute to do things!!! Oh wait, did I say that already?

So when I went to the dressmaker to ask about the sleeves that she knew (for months) that I wanted put on my dress and she told me that she’d have to order extra lace for them, I calmly told her ok, but freaked out on the inside because she should have ordered it MONTHS ago.

Mexican Stuffed Shells3 | ElephantEats.com

When she then told me 2 weeks later (and 3 weeks before my wedding) that they had shipped the lace, I felt much better…until a week after that when it still hadn’t appeared and I called her for the 20th time to ask about it. She finally told me yesterday (a week after it had supposedly shipped) that they “promised” they’d ship it that day…as in they hadn’t actually shipped it when they said they would!!!  This was on yesterday. Oh, and the dressmaker who will be making the sleeves only works on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I asked her if they had expedited it and she said that it was going from Manhattan to Manhattan, so it should get there next-day anyway. I don’t understand why, if it was less than 5 miles away this ENTIRE TIME, why she didn’t just go and pick it up?!?!?!? or ask me to, as I would have been more than happy to.

Yesterday afternoon I checked in to make sure they had received the lace, and the woman told me that she called the lace place and that despite the fact that they PROMISED it was going to ship the night before, it didn’t go out until yesterday morning (or so they claimed). And, she told me, she couldn’t even pick it up now because it was already shipped.

Mexican Stuffed Shells4 | ElephantEats.com

So all day today I’ve been anxious, waiting for UPS to come to her store so that she could tell me she has the lace. Well I called at 2pm and UPS hadn’t come yet. I called again at 4pm and they still hadn’t had a delivery. I sent an email and said that if the lace didn’t get there they better move to plan B.

I checked my email at 6pm today and there was an email from the dress lady saying “I’m going to pick up the lace tomorrow.”

WTF!?!?!?!? Didn’t she say she couldn’t pick it up because they had shipped it?? Did they not really ship it even though they said they did?? Did she lie to me?? I don’t even know who to believe anymore That lace better freaking get to the store tomorrow one way or another!!!!

 Mexican Stuffed Shells5 | ElephantEats.com

Can you tell I’m really angry?

So now here it is, 10 days before my wedding and the material to make the final parts of my dress is missing.  AND I’M FREAKING OUT.

I wish i could say that eating this recipe that I made last week, which incidentally was absolutely delicious, would help, but I seem to have lost my appetite. Hopefully it’ll come back before the honeymoon…

Mexican Stuffed Shells6 | ElephantEats.com

I do feel a little better by venting to the world wide web :)

***UPDATE as of 12:00pm on 10/12, the dress store has the lace! They went to pick it up…and told me that someone was lying because when they got it, it wasn’t even in a UPS box. So they apparently had no intention of ever shipping it! But again, I don’t know why the dress store didn’t just go and pick it up a month ago. I told them that I have to come in this weekend because I have my brow appt on Tuesday, but they told me the dress maker is on his honeymoon and won’t be back til Monday so I have to leave work early on Tuesday so they can finish it and I can try it on. So my dress isn’t going to be done until TWO days before I leave for the wedding. Oy. I’m just praying that nothing goes wrong between now and Tuesday to prevent my dress from getting finished.

***UPDATE #2: As of TWO days before my wedding, in which I spent 5 straight hours in the store and the dressmaker made me cry, I have my dress. By the way, the dress store is called Adrienne’s and is in downtown nyc. I’m telling you this so that if you’re thinking of buying a dress, you can avoid it at all costs. I’m going to write a scathing review on every website I can find. I’ll give you updates after the wedding after I have time to calm down about this and how I was treated.

P.S. I do realize that people in this world have far worse problems that they’re dealing with right now, and I am by no means comparing my “little” problem to theirs. I’m thankful that this is the worst thing going on in my life right now (knock on wood), and if my dress doesn’t have sleeves my wedding will still be beautiful. But right now, I’m frustrated…

To see our wedding photos, click here!

To see Nate’s AMAZING wedding video/ story-of-us, click here!


Mexican Stuffed Shells

Slightly adapted from The Way to His Heart

Print this recipe!

Serves 8-10

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning
2- 8 oz containers of sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn kernels, thawed
4 oz. cream cheese
20 jumbo pasta shells
1.5 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce (This is a smooth, tomato based sauce found in the Mexican section)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a frying pan cook turkey; add taco seasoning and mushrooms and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese and corn, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.

While turkey is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed. Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.


Spanikopita Pasta Bake

We’re coming down the home stretch with wedding preparations, and let’s just say I’m getting super stressed.

Among other things, I feel like there are so many incompetent people that I’m dealing with, or maybe I just see them that way, but it’s making me seriously worried that things aren’t going to get done on time…and to my liking.

Do I just have high expectations? or maybe I’m asking for things that normal people don’t ask for? But whatever it is, I feel like no one “gets” what I want! I just really hope that in the end it all turns out ok.

Spanikopita Pasta Bake

Nate and I have been watching Bridezilla on the WE channel. I hope that’s not how I come across to the people I come in contact with.

I made an appointment over a month ahead of time for the only person I trust to do my eyebrows. The salon called me on Sunday to tell me that they had to cancel my appointment because the woman (with whom I had already made an appointment) decided she’s going on vacation FOR A MONTH. Seriously?!

They told me she’d be back on October 16th, which is exactly one day before I leave to head down to PA for the wedding. I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I like to do NOT like to leave things til the last minute because I always expect the worst to happen.

She’s foreign so I have a feeling she’s going home to visit her family in Europe, but the vacation seems so sudden that now I’m paranoid she won’t be back on the 16th and I’ll be stuck with no one to do my eyebrows. I was so worried that I dragged Nate with me to the salon to talk with them in-person to assure me that she was in fact only going on vacation and that she’d be back on the 16th.

After 5 minutes of listening to me voice my every concern, the guy at the front desk told me there was no reason to think she wouldn’t be back in time for my appointment…and then he turned to Nate and said “Are you sure you still want to marry her?”


 Spanikopita Pasta Bake

The only benefit of being stressed is losing my appetite. At least I hopefully won’t have to worry about not being able to fit into my dress that has now officially been taken in. They still have some adjusting to do with other parts, so I suppose they could change the size a bit if they had to.

Although depending on how stressed I am, sometimes I eat more. Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

Spanikopita Pasta Bake

A dinner like this won’t hurt too much in your weight loss goals. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds like me, you could easily serve it with a nice green (or Greek!) salad and take a smaller portion.

I got inspired by a recent orzo pasta bake on saw on Smitten Kitchen’s site. I thought if I subbed the mozzarella for feta, it seemed kind of Greek-inspired. I tried to figure out what else I could add to feta and when I thought of spinach, I knew I had to try to create the flavor of Spanakopita.

Spanikopita Pasta Bake

I looked up a few spanakopita recipes to get the ratio correctly and then just kind of winged it. This recipe uses several tablespoons of butter but it’s spread over the entire pan. This was so good I kept going back for more…perhaps the only negative thing about making it :)

“Spanakopita” Pasta Bake

Recipe by Me

Print this recipe!

Serves 8-10

3- 10 oz. packages chopped frozen spinach
16 oz. Orzo shaped pasta
2 large onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp salt + pepper to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
12 oz. feta cheese
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil water and cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, thaw spinach in microwave and drain THOROUGHLY. You will need to squeeze as much water as possible out of the spinach. Set aside.

Melt 4 Tbsp butter in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook 5 min. Add garlic and cook til onions are soft. Stir in spinach and warm through. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and dill. Cool slightly.

In a very large bowl, combine feta, ricotta and 2 eggs together. Stir spinach mixture into egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir in drained pasta.

Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking pan. Bake 30 min or until top is crispy and mixture is bubbling at bottom. Let rest for a few minutes before digging in.

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

As I believe I’ve told you before, Nate likes to send me links to recipes he would like me to make, usually from the NYTimes, since he reads that with breakfast every morning.

Speaking of the NYTimes, we just sent in our submission to be in their wedding announcements and/or their Vows section, so cross your fingers!!! That would be totally cool if we got in, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

The Atlantic did some analytics to see what type of people get into the NYTimes announcements most and they came up with:

  • Growing up in Greenwich, Conn. (or a similar moneyed neighborhood) makes you 21 times more likely than the average American to get in
  • Ivy league educations are 100 times more likely
  • Congressional staffers are 75 times more likely
  • Same-sex couples are 74 times more likely
  • Investment banker are 87 times more likely
  • Lawyers at snazzy firms are 974 times more likely (what?! why??)
Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

If you’re wondering what that neon object on the bottom of the photo is, I was totally wearing the tie-dye shirt I made in high school that I now wear as pajamas.

We have one Ivy League education going for us (go Quakers!), but that’s about as far as our qualifications go. I work in finance, but I’m not an investment banker, so I doubt that would work in our favor.

But what I do think we have going for us is two winning smiles and one really big beard! 

Am i right??

It’s too bad I can’t bribe the NY Times with breakfast foods, because if I could, this recipe would surely be a winner. They should know, after all, since they published it.

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

I made this yummy breakfast for Nate while we were visiting his mom last weekend (hence the nice lighting and granite counter in the photos). Make it now while fresh corn is still in the grocery store!

Puffy Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

From The New York Times

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
5 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears)
2 cups fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the butter in the bottom of a 2-quart gratin dish. Place in the oven and cook until butter begins to bubble, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and cornmeal. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk in honey, salt and pepper. Stir in the corn. Remove dish from the oven and pour in the batter evenly. Return to the oven and bake until the pancake rises and is dark brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. The center of the pancake should also be golden brown.

While the pancake cooks, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blackberries and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until berries are soft and syrupy. Remove from heat and serve warm, spooned over pancake in the gratin dish.

Citrus Swordfish

Nate and I were down in PA last weekend, where I was working on more wedding-day crafts. I made the signs for the back of our chairs and they turned out exactly how I wanted! I used some more of the old fence I had found that I used for the signs. I’m going to post a whole bunch of pics with tutorials after the wedding.

Speaking of which, I can’t believe I’m getting married in 9 weeks. It’s totally crazy. I think maybe it’s starting to feel more real. I still have a bunch more stuff to do.

Citrus Swordfish

Nate and I are writing our own vows and I’m not sure I love what I have so far. I know Nate’s going to totally steal the show on this…he’s much funnier than I am. He claims that his vows are going to make our guests both laugh and cry. My goal is just to make Nate get a little teary-eyed since he claims he isn’t going to.

Obviously with the wedding fast approaching, I’ve been trying to cook pretty healthy. In fact, I had my first dress fitting on Tuesday!!! Anyway, I think that Nate and I don’t eat enough fish so when I saw some frozen swordfish filets at Trader Joes, I decided to get them. I’ve never cooked with Swordfish before. I think that I thought it was dry and that I didn’t like it.

I learned that I actually don’t mind Swordfish, although parts of it were a bit too fishy tasting. I also discovered that L.C. likes it…or at least she thinks she does judging by the way she photobombed my pics!

Citrus Swordfish

Citrus Swordfish

I tried to stop her but when she reaches out her little arm to try to grab things, it’s just so cute that I can’t yell at her. Nate says I’m not strict enough with her. But look at that little face!!!

Citrus Swordfish

Citrus Swordfish over Arugula

Adapted from Emeril 

Print this recipe!

serves 6-8

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 oranges
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
4 (6-ounce) swordfish fillets
6 cups arugula

Segment (supreme) the two oranges, squeezing out and saving all the juice that remains after removing the segments. Set the segments aside and put the juice in a medium bowl.

To the bowl of juice, add the rice wine vinegar and Dijon, season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Drizzle in the 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a slow and steady stream to properly emulsify the vinaigrette. Add the chopped basil and set aside as you prepare the rest of the dish.

Turn on broiler and set oven rack about 6 inches from flame.

Season each swordfish fillet with salt and pepper. Brush with the remaining olive oil and place on the broiler pan. Cook for 6 minutes minutes, turn over, salt, pepper and oil, and cook another 6 minutes or until cooked thru. Remove the swordfish.

In a large bowl, combine the baby greens, and 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Toss to combine and divide the salad among the 4 plates with the swordfish. Top each fillet with a few orange segments. Drizzle a bit of the remaining vinaigrette over each swordfish fillet and serve immediately.