Night before the wedding

Let me set the scene. It’s Friday February 18th. It’s raining, a lot; an uncommon occurrence in Los Angeles. It’s the weekend of the NBA all star game and the city is packed with visitors and traffic. It’s also the day before our wedding.

I’ve been in the kitchen all day putting final, albeit rushed, touches on our wedding cakes and Shawn has been running around taking care of last minute preparations. We find ourselves exhausted just a short time before the rehearsal, but pull everything together and make the trek to the Natural History Museum.

While we’ve visited the museum numerous times in preparation for the wedding, this was the first time going after hours, when it was empty except for a few staff. Walking into the museum on this night, with all of our wedding party and family, I realized what a crazy wedding we were about to have. It was about this time that most of the stress and frantic feelings I’d been having for months began to subside.

We walked through what would happen on the following evening and you could feel the excitement from everyone there. Then, in the rain, we all piled into a bus and headed across town to my mom’s house for a little party.

bunnies & flowersEarly on, we decided we didn’t want to have a formal rehearsal dinner. Instead we were able to host all of our out of town guests and spend time with everyone.

IMG_3598The coolest part was that we hired Seabirds Truck to cater the party. They pulled into our driveway and everyone had their choice of vegan tacos and sandwiches.

stephanieEverything was so yummy and fresh. Stephanie from Seabirds picked out some seasonal fruits and vegetables for salads and was great to work with. Everyone loved it and gobbled up tacos till they were stuffed. We got so many compliments on how good everything was, especially the beer battered avocado tacos.
IMG_3596Check out the menu!

IMG_3602Here is the part where you can get mad at me for not taking any photos of the food. Everything was just too overwhelming. I totally had exactly this plate again though.

the guys

It was awesome to just get to hang out with people in a more relaxed way and eat and chat. Not to mention, our friend Alicia decorated my mom’s house beautifully. I was so surprised when we arrived to see such pretty centerpieces, lights and banners.

She strung up felt streamers with bunnies and foxes and our names as well as hand making each little mushroom and moss centerpiece. It was amazing to see the house transformed in the few hours between when I left from my cake making extravaganza to when we all arrived at the party.

Shawn’s sister and brother-in-law, Missy & Mark, came early and helped out arranging flowers and setting up candles.

table decor We borrowed hurricanes from Jannatha & Kyle who used them in their own wedding. Wedding recycling!

bottles & jars Many of the glass bottles were from Alicia & Baxter’s personal collection. They were so pretty.

IMG_3608 Everyone was so happy and you could really feel everything building for the next day. Big smiles from my parents and Shawn (which is serious, Shawn rarely smiles in photos).

IMG_3621After the party we headed to the Standard Hotel downtown for some craziness. There was a giant foot in our room!

IMG_3635 There was dancing in the bathtub.
IMG_3654 There was a huge orange couch, with room for everyone. I want this couch for my own.

IMG_3703 And best of all, late at night, I got to stuff my face with Bella sandwich that I’d saved from Seabirds. Most satisfying sandwich ever I think.

Gosh that turned into an epic post, and I left so much out! More importantly, so much more to come.

Wedding cakes

Hello dear friends! We’re back from our honeymoon which means back to blogging for me. I hope you all enjoyed the guest posts while I was away.

With everything that happened in the past few weeks, I’ve got lots to share. There were many adventures on our honeymoon. There were many fun times with our visiting family and friends. And of course, there was the wedding. So I’ll have lots of details and treats in the next few weeks for us all to nibble on while we wait for the official photos from the wonderful Liesl at Photo Pink (I’ve seen just one photo so far, and it’s stunning and I can’t wait for the rest).

I want to tell you all about everything, the food, the music, the rain, the craziness and all the fun, but it just won’t be the same without photos I think, so I’m going to string you along a little bit longer. Not to worry though, the road to the finish will be highly entertaining and delicious.

Let’s start with cake, shall we?

i am a messy baker sometimes Perhaps you recall, I chose to make our wedding cakes. Yes cakes, plural. There were eight of them.  I took over my mom’s kitchen for 2 days and made a huge mess. We spent one day baking and one frosting more or less.

lots of chocolate cake When I say that I made eight cakes, I really mean I made about 24 (or 30, I lost count), since each cake was several layers. We made 10 chocolate cakes, in 3 different sizes alone.

cake crew Luckily, I had lots of help in the kitchen to get everything done. Robin, Agatha & Shiri, some of my oldest friends, came in from out of town for the wedding and spent their extra time preparing frosting and measuring ingredients for me. I would not have been able to do it without them. I put Robin to work as soon as she got off the plane. Shiri and Agatha were also kind enough to actually drive all the cakes across town to the wedding.

frostingMany cakes were made, and even more frosting. Vanilla frosting, chocolate frosting, espresso frosting, peanut butter frosting. More than I needed it turned out.

raspberry sauceI made a raspberry sauce for one of the cakes. It’s one of my favorites, as it’s sweet and tart, with only a few ingredients. I also made a chocolate ganache to top a few of the cakes, but something went terribly wrong along the way. This is the sort of thing that happens when you are making a ton of cakes at once, and also trying to organize the final details of a wedding. So there was no chocolate covered cake, though I wish there had been.

layer cakeHere are the beginnings of a little coconut cake. With these cakes being a bit taller than usual, I reinforced them with some wooden dowels. A few were still a little wiggly though.

the ugly cakeDespite everything being rushed, I was happy with all the cakes except for one. If only that chocolate ganache hadn’t turned to chocolate fudge, it would have been lovely. Instead this cake was a chocolate raspberry mess. I couldn’t leave it alone even with the reassurances of my friends. Alas, despite my best efforts, it remained a mess. It tasted awesome though.

wedding cakes

So for the record, I have no regrets making the cakes. Even with all the time it took, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Nearly everyone told me that they tried a few flavors and loved all of them. Every single cake was completely eaten by the end of the night. I would say that’s a wedding cake success.

vegan pizza day

I’m not sure if you were aware, but this past Saturday was vegan pizza day. Shawn celebrated with pizza for every meal, including a breakfast pizza.

deep dish pizza

For dinner, we attended the Vegan Drinks get together at Masa of Echo Park. They make an amazing deep dish pizza and use probably my favorite vegan cheese, Teese, from Chicago Soy Dairy.

garlic bread

The pizza takes about 40 minutes to make since it is piled so thick with toppings, so we started out with some garlic bread.

vegan deep dish pizza

There she is in all her glory. Lots of tomato goodness and stuffed in the center with some tasty, melty mozzarella Teese. We added some spinach and mushrooms for good measure.

bike ride

And then we rode off into the night.

Bridal tea party

This weekend my mom and her dear friends threw me a bridal tea. They brought together everyone’s china and tea sets and borrowed from friends as well, to make a spectacular spread. It was really inspiring for me to see all these traditional serving sets put to use. I loved it.

So I’ll keep the words to a minimum, and just share some of the lovely photos.
beautiful silver tea set

cream and sugar

One of the most special parts was being able to use Shawn’s mom’s china.

scones from c'est la v bakeshop

We had a selection of scones and rugelach from C’est la V Bakeshop. So yummy.

strawberries and roses

aether gram

My mom picked out some great invitations from Royal Steamline.

michelle makes sandwiches

Tons of delicious finger sandwiches were made, including watercress, cucumber and seitan curry. My sister-in-law, Michelle, even helped (and here’s photo proof).

vegan cupcakes

I also made some lemon cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling.

silver sugar set


My grandmother dyed a pink streak in her hair in my honor.

owl waters

There were even personalized water bottles, with some cute owls.

banana bread

Some super addictive banana bread also from C’est la V.

vegan finger sandwiches

There are those sandwiches. I ate countless numbers of them. The watercress had a fantastic radish poppy seed spread in them.
And you can’t forget the tea. We had lots of tea. I was really excited to use the creamer.


It was really special, every detail was thought out from the food to the napkins. Major credit goes to Carolyn and my mom for pulling it off seamlessly.

DIY wedding cake

Onto a rather controversial topic…wedding cake.

From the start, I’ve said that I’m going to make it myself. At some point I made a concession that we’d order a small wedding cake from someone and then I’d make a few additional cakes. Let’s be honest though, I really just want to do it myself. Generally speaking, don’t people hate wedding cakes anyway? If we’re gonna serve cake, it better be a good cake, and I make a damn good cake.

My plan is to make a handful of cakes rather than one giant one. Then we’ll have a bunch of different flavors and I don’t have to worry about tiers. Here is  some of the inspiration I’ve found.

I totally fell for these art deco cakes courtesy of Martha Stewart (of course!).  Simple but varied designs with limited color palate. I love that all the cakes are different sizes.

Seriously, who doesn’t like a choice in cake? Check out this pound cake table from Once Wed. Gorgeous!

I was also thinking something like these rustic cakes. The idea of not having to pipe anything seems pretty appealing. I’m also into the fact that they’re kind of tall. Kind of into the idea of tall cakes.

I’m really excited about the whole project. I am looking forward to spending a day baking without having to worry about all the other wedding stuff (although I’m sure I will anyway).

Now we just need to decide what flavors…and how many…