Good evening and happy Sunday! How was your weekend? I just got back from Westbrook, Connecticut, where The Upwelling’s former tour manager got married. The boys were part of the wedding party so they came back from tour and we all went together.
While this is going to be more of a “greatest hits” post, I want to share a new dressing with you: coconut mint.
Coconut Mint Dressing
- 1/2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 small handful fresh mint, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
“Muddle” the mint, coconut and lemon together before adding the rest of the juices. This releases the flavors and lets them really pop! I drizzled the dressing over a tempeh/sweet potato/apple/feta salad…
… but it would make a great marinade for fish, shrimp, or tofu as well. I’m getting so much mileage out of this bunch of mint!
In the car, I had the healthiest and most delicious “candy bar” imaginable: dried fruit stuffed with roasted almonds and bittersweet chocolate chips. These are so good.
Ari bought me a slightly more processed version, but still a favorite nonetheless. There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.
When we got to the hotel, I took advantage of the time the groomsmen spent rehearsing to go to the gym. I ran 3.1 miles (5K), walked another .4, and stretched. As the Gina always says, no one wants to miss out on the fun, so I try to plan timely activities (like workouts and… ahem… the time I spend getting ready to go out) while everyone else is either sleeping or doing something else.
The bride and groom are both Jewish, and because the rehearsal dinner fell on Friday, we had a traditional Shabbat dinner. The challah abounded! Somehow I ended up with three pieces of bread on my plate, but Josh and Ari picked at most of it.
The entrée choices were Vegetable Risotto with Arugula Pesto or Cappelini Rustica; I wasn’t sure which (if any) option was vegetarian, but figured the risotto was a safer bet. They both turned out to be meat free, and I loved the risotto! It was very rich, though, so I only ate about half of it. And the flower. Which I’m pretty sure wasn’t of the edible variety. Whoops!
Strawberry sorbet for dessert…
… and a fun-size Cookies ‘n Cream Hershey’s bar. This is one of those weird LVP-isms; I really don’t like white chocolate, but a couple times a year I get cravings that can only be quenched by this particular bar. The bride and groom must have known this when they stuffed it in our goodie bag!
Also in the bag were these personalized M&Ms; they had the wedding date, photo, names and words printed on them. Very creative!
We may or may not have gone to a casino late that night (this girl’s first time) to further my blackjack education and lose $5 on the slots. It was a strange, strange place, I tell ya! It was HUGE, and the lights are pretty dim and there aren’t any windows so there’s really no way to tell if it’s 4PM or 4AM. Drinks are free, and you can walk everywhere with them! People also smoked inside; it’s strange that a few years ago that was the norm everywhere. The stores were opened past midnight, so Ari and I split a Godiva pumpkin truffle.
We got to the hotel really late, and with the exception of Stew, all slept in past noon. We woke up famished, so we set out in search of brunch. Where did our journey take us, you ask? To the Grand Slam at Denny’s. Yes, you read that correctly.
The Grand Slam is a magical deal that lets you pick four breakfast items for only $5.99. For an extra $.49 per item, you can choose from three “premium selections” like yogurt, granola or fruit. We were all very excited.
We placed our orders, then set to work. When was the last time you colored at an eatery?
Ari ordered a festive pot of peppermint tea (which came with an unsolicited squirt of peppermint syrup):
I drank my coffee black.
The food arrived: I ordered (dry) whole wheat pancakes, egg whites, oatmeal and a cup of fruit.
I ate all the fruit and eggs (which were buttery but delicious), half of the pancakes and left all of the oatmeal. Even had I not been an oatmeal snob, I don’t think anything else would have fit in my stomach.
Brunch understandably held me right up through the wedding, and left me with more than enough time to shower, dress (Hollywood Tape did not come through for me as I’d hoped)…
… and watch three hours worth of Married With Children episodes.
The ceremony was beautiful, and while it was traditional in some respects, there were some nice personal touches: the groomsmen walked down the aisle to Semi-Charmed Life, the bridesmaids to Bittersweet Symphony, the bride to Do You Realize?, all performed by a string quartet. There may have been some tears in my corner.
At the dinner reception, the guest seated to my right taught me a helpful trick to remembering where your bread and drinks go in relation to your place setting.
Make the “OK” signal with both of your hands. Your left forms a lower-case “B” (for bread), and the right forms a “D” (for drink). How handy!
Speaking of bread, this roll was particularly tasty…
… and where drinks are concerned, I stuck to vodka- sodas.
While we were eating our smoked mozzarella and pesto ravioli appetizer, Josh and Ari played an acoustic version of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” for the bride and groom’s first dance. This was really good, but I let it get cold and only had a few bites.
I didn’t leave a scrap of arugula salad with toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan, and mandarin oranges, however. The couple next to me thought it was too big, but I would have gladly alleviated them of their portion! This was my favorite part of the meal.
The entree was grilled salmon with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. It was good, but I was pretty full by the time this came around and only ate about half of the fish (but all of the veggies!) and gave my taters to Ari.
We danced around on the floor for a bit, but really just enjoyed being with friends and each other. The band is booked through February with a short break in December, so it was nice to be able to spend the weekend together.
The cake was sliced and brought around: chocolate with strawberry and vanilla buttercream. I ate about half, then went back out to tear up the rug.
Our eyelids started drooping around midnight, and we were asleep by 1. We had to hustle in the morning to get back to the city, but we had enough time to have a nice brunch with the wedding party. I had half of a sesame bagel with cream cheese, eggs, fruit (plus some unpictured grapes), and half a slice of French toast. Coffee abounded, as usual.
It was such a nice weekend. I really cannot express how grateful I am to have been able to spend a weekend- more like a mini-vacation, actually- with people I love. The next few days will be pretty busy… The Upwelling goes back on tour tomorrow, and I have a couple interviews for potential jobs. My healthy habits have been slacking a bit, but one month from this morning (Sunday, December 13) is my 15K race. I’ve updated my training plan, and will stick to it… I went on a 4.5 mile run late this afternoon.
Regular posting will resume tomorrow. I hope you had a fabulous weekend, and congratulations to the newlyweds!