Sunday, October 16, 2011

Princeton Magazine's October Issue "Healthy Living" - Emily's Braised Organic Lamb Shank

Emily's featured recipe in Princeton Magazine's October Issue "Healthy Living"

Autumn Wedding Charm

The Raritan Inn Barn
 The arrival of beautiful Autumn in New Jersey was felt throughout every moment of this charming wedding last weekend at The Raritan Inn. The bride and groom rented The Inn Friday - Sunday, and so enjoyed a rehearsal dinner on the grounds, a full day and night of an amazing wedding celebration, and Sunday breakfast with close friends and family.

The picturesque B&B on The South Branch of the Raritan River includes a restored barn, with a warm wood interior. It is the perfect setting for a unique barn wedding experience that is rich in character. The landscape and property, including the river path to a riverside, perfectly private ceremony spot, leave guests feeling as though they have escaped to the country for the day.

Guests were greeted last Saturday and invited to enjoy Hot Mulled Local Apple Cider and Brewed Iced Tea as they wandered the river path. Then cocktail hour was enjoyed on a lawn behind the barn, with the working full bar set in the quaint "Fisherman's Shed".

Following a plated salad, buffet fare included Golden Roasted Chicken Breast with a Chestnut and Cornbread Stuffing, Pumpkin Ravioli with a Sage Brown Butter, a Spud Bar, Roasted Veggies and Artisan Breads.

A Java Bar was featured with the wedding cupcakes, and guests took away Terhunes Orchard Cider Donuts in personalized brown bags.

This October wedding was "spot on" in its delicious flavor of fall!!

"As Guests Arrive" Refreshment Station

Handled Mason Jar Drinking Glasses

The Raritan Inn Barn View from the Back

A Charming Sign Made by the B + G

Seating for 70 Guests Inside the Barn

Tree Cross Section Centerpieces + a Mahogany Shevari Chair

Autumn Pre Ceremony Refreshment Station

Tiered Wedding Cupcake Display

Artisan Cheese Board

The Raritan Inn Bed and Breakfast

Wedding Favors - Terhunes Orchard Apple Cider Donuts

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Welcome Fall Wedding Season!

There is something so rejuvenating about the aroma of roasted butternut squash, sage, browning butter, and apple cider in September. And what better back drop than a historic red barn and field stone Mill on the Delaware River?

This couple's ceremony in front of the Saw Mill on the property was followed by a cocktail hour that featured a St. Germaine Cocktail and NJ Artisan Cheese Table. Butlered fare included Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets, Bite Size Crab Cakes, Focaccia Pizza Bites, and Ahi Tuna on Wonton Crisps with Avocado Cream.

Dinner on the main level of The Mill included a festive pairing of seasonal features and crowd pleasing comfort food. Chef's carved a Whole Roasted Pig served with a Coffee BBQ Sauce, while guests made their own Soft Shell Fish Tacos. Dinner was rounded off by items including French Fries in Parchment Cones with Chipotle Aioli, Jersey Corn Fritters with an Apple Compote, Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Grilled Vegetables with a Basil Pesto Drizzle. From a menu planners perspective, I have to say that September is one of the most plentiful times in NJ. On the cusp of the seasons, we are able to still highlight summer bounty, while also incorporating the early autumn harvest ingredients.

Dessert, instead of traditional wedding cake, was a sweets station with Espresso Cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bites, and Coconut Macaroons. And though a gelato station may not be a typical Fall offering, it was a total winner with the Bent Spoon flavors featured: Blood Orange, Dark Chocolate, Apple, and Sea Salt Vanilla Caramel. Guests paired the refreshing treat with Java Bar beverages.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An End of Summer Tented Wedding

This wedding, on the grounds of a Princeton private school, was a dream! The lush grounds were the perfect setting for the two very special ceremonies - one Hindu and one Christian. While the B+G took photos and changed (as traditional Indian attire was worn during the first ceremony), guests enjoyed tea and cookies. Then, cocktail hour on the lawn of the manor house was followed by a seated dinner under the elegant tent. Our menu featured Local Greens and an Eggplant Napoleon, Pistachio Crusted Salmon, Filet Mignon, and House Made Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Squash and Sage Brown Butter sauce.

Guests danced the night away and enjoyed the delish lemon wedding cake and chocolate covered strawberries until the B+G were sent off in a Rolls Royce while guests waved sparklers in farewell.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Garden Chic Sayen House Wedding

This Sunday wedding at Sayen House and Gardens was charming from start to finish! The blue skies and gorgeous landscape of Sayen Gardens were a perfect backdrop for our B+G's ceremony, and cocktail hour on the lawn was festive and quaint. Guests enjoyed Gazpacho and Crab Claw Shooters, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets, Fig Marscapone with Candied Bacon atop Tuscan Toasts, and Skewered Blue Cheese Stuffed Mission Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto, while sipping on Belini, Freshly Brewed Iced Tea and Lemonade, Izzy Sodas, and full bar cocktails. Upon finding their escort cards clothes-pinned to an antique window strung with twine, guests took seats at their tables, which were overlayed with Jute fabric (which is a burlap like material that is soft and does not shed). They dined on a buffet including rack of lamb, a summer seafood grill (of scallops, shrimp and mahi mahi), cous cous, grilled vegetables drizzled with basil pesto, and panzanella salad. Dessert was a perfect pairing of wedding cupcakes and seasonal pies.

Our bride's choice of details for her wedding, including fresh seasonal ingredients and classic summer fare, along with perfectly adorable blue glass mason jar centerpieces, farm flowers (Dahlia Floral Concepts) and jam jar favors covered with brown butcher paper came together beautifully! The inherent charm of Sayen House, which has classic craftsman style woodworking and pretty rooms overlooking an exquisite garden, set the stage perfectly for her whimsical touches.