As I find myself once again thrust into coordinating Weddings at work, I get nostalgic thinking about all the Wedding related events these brides will take part in. My own Bridal shower was a pinterest worthy event. It was an intimate affair at my mother’s house and the personal touches the girls and my mom added were perfect.
Finding myself living in Lake Placid with new friends but with my core family (blood & otherwise) in NYC, I knew that no matter what I was going to miss out on some people attending my Bridal Shower. I decided on NYC as it was easier for the majority. Plus, I knew that I wanted the mom's that I adopted as my "Ciocia's" to be there, and asking them to make a 10 hour round trip sounded unreasonable. So, initial plans had us holding the event in a restaurant but with the guest list including only a handful of my closest, we decided to move it to my mom's home. Perfect since her kitchen and huge island was just itching to be put on display.
The day of the party I was kicked out while the girls setup. I headed over to Greenpoint to kill some time with my Dad ( a small blessing now that I look back at it) and get a haircut. I finished up getting ready downstairs at my moms, wearing the dress she made for me a year earlier and claimed I should have worn for when Andrew proposed (kind of hard to plan your attire for a surprise proposal). When I got the green light that I was allowed to enter through the front door, a cute (and very Etsy) sign awaited me at the entrance, followed by the sweetest decorations. The girls had hung pom-pom's from the ceiling, personalized mason jars and dedicated not one, not two, but three beverages in my honor. My mother in turn made a color appropriate runner, a chair cover for the opening of gifts, purchased some fun napkins from Crate & Barrel and gifted everyone a lemon soap (an ode to our engagement in Capri, where all things lemonchello). I am not big on stuffy affairs or an awkward display, so in the comfort of my mother’s house I got to enjoy the company of my favorite girlfriends and moms. SIDE BAR: Do not trust your girlfriend that has been enjoying the bubbly throughout the event to write down who got you what gift as eventually neither she nor you will know what was written. Thankfully with some process of elimination we figured it out. Even she signed her own gift off as gifts from her cats.
The afternoon's entertainment included Mad Libs inspired vows.and then we played a game to see how well I knew Andrew. The game was slightly rigged in order to get as many shots in my system. SIDE BAR: Most girls eat gum when they get a wrong answer, but my best friend and maid of honor, who follows YOLO to the "T", had me taking shots of champagne. Towards the end I was saying X-Box instead of Play Station to an answer I clearing knew, but I was too tipsy to even realize that what I was thinking was not what I was saying. In another case Andrew was asked his favorite feature of mine. I knew it was my ass. He responded with eyes. He also mentioned in his answer he said eyes because he knew my mom would be in attendance . In the end I got credit for half, when really it was closer to ¾ right. RIGGED I TELL YOU!
A buffet luncheon interrupted the festivities with a slew of options from "The Garden Food Market", a health food joint in Greenpoint. In addition one of my bridesmaids made her delicious Orzo Salad. SIDE BAR: Nicole made this Orzo Salad a handful of times earlier that year and would gift Andrew some for lunch. He loved it. I loved it. We fought over who got to eat it when she gave it to both of us. Due to my love for the Orzo Salad, I had requested it to be made for the party as I knew it would be a big hit. After the festivities the girls gathered around the food picking at the goods for round two. At this point the Orzo Salad was packed up in a to go container in the fridge. When they were removed, my maid of honor housed a half full container, equivelent to about 2 cups. As I watched her eat each bite I was getting sadder by the moment, but I guess I couldn’t complain too much with a plate of macaroons calling my name.
As my gift to you I share with you this delicious easy pasta. This way I don’t have to share (Nicole is a better person than me for sharing….I do not share food...unless I have made double).
ORZO with Roasted Vegetables (comes to you by Nicole who got it from Ina Garten)
- 3 cups of uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 small eggplant or ½ of a regular sized eggplant, peeled and diced (if you are not a huge fan of eggplant, like Andrew, cut them into smaller cubes)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 regular sized red onion (like tennis ball size), diced
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (the more you use, the sexier your breath)
- ½ cup olive oil (some to be used for the veggies that go in the oven, the rest to be used after everything is in a bowl
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Juice from 1-2 lemons
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Optional: scallions, basil
- Set you oven to 375
- Cook the Orzo. For each cup of orzo, use a cup of water. Let the water get to a boil and put in the orzo. Cook for 10 minutes, strain and set to the side. Make sure you pay attention to the pasta and stir often as orzo tends to stick to the bottom/sides of the pot.
- In the meantime cut your veggies (eggplant, peppers, red onion & garlic) and put them on a flat cooking pan/griddle. Drizzle oil, add a generous amount of salt and pepper (like 15-20 cranks). Put the contents in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing them every ten minutes. I have a great pan from Cuisinart that I highly recommend as it is so incredibly easy to clean.
- Once the veggies are cooked, combine them with the Orzo in a bowl.
- Add oil as you see fit, I put a little at a time until the pasta looks like it is moving around easily. Remember you and your guests can always add more on an individual basis when you serve it.
- Squeeze into the bowl the lemon juice by hand or by this awesome contraption. If by hand I recommend first squeezing into a separate bowl so you can fish out the seeds.
- Add the pine nuts to the main bowl. Salt & pepper to taste.
- Add the cut scallions and basil if you have them. I usually don’t. Or I am too impatient and just want to eat what I just made. They also recommend waiting for it to cool in the fridge. Ain't nobody got time for that.
This is such an easy dish to make and perfect for potlucks or lunches at work since no heating is required.