Location, Location

I do intend to review each of these and probably more locations in detail, exciting, no?

As our wedding is slowly becoming a sporting event, I've realized we need to reserve the reception hall as soon as possible. We're estimating 200-250, so we're narrowed down by that, as well as the fact that we aren't independently wealthy. It's going to be on Long Island, preferably eastern Nassau/western Suffolk County. I'd like a venue that isn't too stuffy or closed in. We want August in the afternoon so I'd rather not have chandeliers be the only source of light. Also only one event at a time. Of course the places I like are over $100 a plate. I think I almost threw up again. So I'm on the hunt. I have ideal and realistic choices. The money estimates are from a few sites. Here are a few:

Oheka Castle
135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY
Gorgeous. Holy expensive. The only way would be if I learned how to manufacture money.

Woodbury Country Club
884 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY
They can have 2 events at a time, but the place is huge. $75-$150 a plate.

Carlyle on the Green
Bethpage State Park, Bethpage, NY
My favorite so far. Unfortunately $100-250 a plate.

North Ritz Club
7150 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY

The Cottage at Milleridge
585 N Broadway, Jericho, NY

The Pavilion at Sunken Meadow
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park, NY
$75-85. This one might be a sleeper, owned by the Lessing family.


A few more days...

I've become completely obsessed with the weather for Sunday. We have a tent for the backyard, but I really don't want rain. Please? Can't it be partly cloudy in the mid 70's so I can blow my hair straight and not have it morph into Roseanne Rosannadanna?

I'm getting more and more into adding "personal touches" lately. Now that the decorations and favors are bought/made, the future sister in law and I decided to make a few side dishes to add to what's being catered. Lauren makes a great taco dip and cookies, and I'm going to make buffalo wing dip and icebox cake, or what I've always called "fat cake". I hadn't had it in years, so I was jazzed to find the recipe, if you can call it that.
I enjoy cooking, but I don't want to go overboard when I know I'll already be anxious, so this is a great dessert to satisfy my need to make something.
photo courtesy Smitten Kitchen
3 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings)

These proportions are for 6 servings apparently, but here is the breakdown for making it bigger or smaller:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon sugar for every cup of cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract for every cup of cream
Just under 1 (9-ounce) package chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers are awesome)
Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings) for garnish

In a cold, large bowl (preferably metal), beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. The cream should whip to about twice its original volume.
On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center. (I'll make it bigger than that to serve more people.) I'm also thinking of using a trifle bowl instead of a serving plate.

Spread with 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a circle covering the first wafer layer. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies (or however many you feel like making) and ending with a layer of cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. This is where the magic happens. The wafers will absorb the cream while it sits, resulting in a cake-like dish with layers of chocolate and cream.
To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

Of course there are other ways to make icebox cake. I know a popular shape is a log, but I like this way, I find it easier to assemble.

After reading a few experiences with the cake, I started worry I wouldn't find the Nabisco wafers since they aren't even on the Nabisco website. Happily my local Stop & Shop was very well stocked, so crisis averted. I need to stop worrying about cookies, it isn't healthy.


Getting Ready for the E-Party

I'm a reluctant diy-er. I enjoy the intimacy of hand crafted items and I get a kick out of seeing the fruits of my labor, but it's also a pain in the ass, and I have little to no personal time most days. I did decide to make favors for the engagement party, and I think they turned out very well.
I bought blue and brown m&m's from their website. I also bought small plastic bags, personalized stickers, and card stock from a favor website. After putting everything together, I found a basket in the basement, and voila. We expect to have around 100 people so I made @ 70 favors. Let's be honest, most people don't care about the favors. We aren't going crazy on decorating, so I wanted to add a few details here and there.

I'm not thrilled with the last picture. I'll take a better one this week to show what each favor looks like. Most pics here are taken with my cell phone, btw. That's my excuse.
Cingular 8525
M&M's 22 Colors
wedding FAVORites