There are so many wonderful things available to us here in the wine country. I am constantly finding new wines, restaurants and food items worth writing about and I hope that you will enjoy my discoveries.

This blog is not just about weddings, but about what makes this part of the world such a draw; great food, excellent wine and wonderful people. I hope you enjoy reading these posts and can find yourself here, enjoying the same amazing things we do.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pick-A-Flower

Fabulous idea from my wedding this past weekend...the florist provided a tray filled with cut flowers, pins and ribbons for guests to choose their own special adornment.  This was made available to guests as they arrived for the ceremony and gave them something to do as they sipped on a glass of wine, waiting for the ceremony to begin.  I was surprised at how many men really took the time to select a flower that best coordinated with their suit or tie. This is an easy way to make your guests feel special and that you appreciate the effort it may have taken for them to come celebrate with you.
xo
Amy

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Perfect Space

After 12 years in our home, our patio is finally finished and what a fabulous spot for entertaining it has become.  We have hosted many gatherings and while it wasn't perfect, it still was always a lot of fun. However now it has truly become an extension of our house, another room and one that we are finding ourselves in morning, noon and night.  We are very lucky here in the wine country that the weather allows us to be outside almost 9 months a year.  I know not everywhere that is the case, but I still urge you to create a little oasis, a private respite from the outside world where you can simply be with your family and friends under the sun and stars.
xo
Amy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My New Favorite Pasta

As many of you know, I love to cook but I sometimes find it a challenge to come up with recipes that will appeal to my whole family...Grace in particular.  However this is a definite winner....if you like the classic combo of melon and prosciutto, you will love this recipe.  Perfect with a glass of rose bubbles!
Enjoy.
xo,
Amy

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata

4 servings
    active: 30 minutes
    total: 30 minutes
Recipe by Soa Davies
Photograph by Romulo Yanes
Bon Appetit, August 2012
           
Ingredients
    2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)
    4 ounces orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)
    Kosher salt
    3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
    2 cups 1x1x1/4" pieces peeled melon (any variety)
    1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided
    3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
    Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 ounce ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), shaved, or crumbled feta

Preparation
            ~ Heat oven to 350°. Arrange pancetta in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake    until brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. (Alternatively, place pancetta on folded layers of paper towels on a microwave-proof plate and microwave on high until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.) Let pancetta stand until cool enough to handle, then break into bite-size pieces.
            ~ Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta; run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside.
            ~ Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add half of pancetta, cooked pasta, melon, half of mint, scallion, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining pancetta and mint over. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata

Nutritional information

One serving contains:
    Calories (kcal) 320
    Fat (g) 20
    Saturated Fat (g) 5
    Cholesterol (mg) 15
    Carbohydrates (g) 29
    Dietary Fiber (g) 2
    Total Sugars (g) 7
    Protein (g) 8
    Sodium (mg) 320

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Dress

I had a phenomenal wedding the other weekend at Chalk Hill Winery. Everything was perfect....amazing clients, excellent vendors, gorgeous location, exquisite weather and then when I thought it couldn't get any better, the bride walked out.  Now, I have seen a lot of wedding dresses over the years but this is probably the most take your breath away dress I have ever seen....she was stunning.
xo,
Amy

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Alexander Valley Vineyards Wedding

I had a fabulous wedding yesterday at Alexander Valley Vineyards.  The wedding took place at the beautiful private residence of the owners as it was their only daughter's wedding. 200 guests took in the amazing (and I mean amazing) views of the surrounding vineyards as they enjoyed a gorgeous family style dinner.

Probably my favorite aspect though was the communal effort that went into the 50+ centerpieces for the  farm tables.  The family was able to grow the majority of the flowers on the property and family, friends and neighbors worked together the day before to make all of the centerpieces.  Normally I don't think it is the best idea to do one's own flowers because of the work involved but this turned out differently.  It became an opportunity for a community to come together and create something beautiful for the celebration.  In the words of the bride's brother, "We are blessed, may it continue forever."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love Sonoma County

We spent another glorious day at Redwood Hill Farm this past Sunday. They are only open to the public 4 times a year which is a good thing because we would probably be there every other weekend if we could. They let you get up close and personal with the goats....from the babies to the mommas.  As usual we had a delicious picnic with some quiche, baguette, goat cheese, salad and some vino verde...my favorite!

Just a perfect example of why Sonoma County is the most fabulous place there is!
xo
Amy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Style Me Pretty

I am thrilled to share with you Amy & Tony's amazing wedding that is being featured on Style Me Pretty:
http://www.stylemepretty.com/2012/05/25/calistoga-ranch-wedding-by-sabine-scherer-photography/

Amy & Tony were fabulous to work with and their wedding last September at Calistoga Ranch was beautiful.  She looked simply stunning.
xo
Amy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fiesta Time

This past weekend we celebrated Grace's Fourth Birthday ~ hard to believe how quickly time has flown by.  I know everyone says that about weddings and children but it really is the truth!  Being an event planner, I of course had to have a theme which was a classic fiesta.

The weather cooperated (unlike last year) and we hosted the party in our local park.  Jesus from Mi Taqueria provided an absolutely delicious taco bar (quesadillas for the kids), we had plenty of Mexican beer and of course a pinata!  The kids had a blast whacking away at the poor donkey until finally he succumbed to the inevitable and lots of toys spilled onto the ground.  I had given all of the children a small bag to scoop up the toys as quickly as they could...fabulous entertainment and favor!

I know we all can have the tendency to go overboard with our children's parties and I am no exception ~ this weekend reinforced that for kids it doesn't take much....good food, good friends and a pinata to hit with a stick!
xo
Amy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gorgeous Campovida


I went to visit a new location last week that absolutely stunned me in its natural beauty and simplicity.  Campovida is located about 30 minutes north of Healdsburg but feels worlds away.  It is a fantastic location for a true destination wedding where you take over the entire property, sleeping many of your guests (the rest stay in town 5 minutes away).

This would be my ideal wedding ~ I would start the weekend off with a welcome BBQ or casual wood fired pizza party, enjoying delicious wines from the surrounding area, while guests slowly gather from the drive up 101.  The next day, I would get up early for a rejuvenating yoga class with those motivated guests before enjoying a gorgeous, outdoor ceremony in the serene learning arbor, followed by some yummy cocktails and hors d' oeuvres in the organic gardens.  I would then meander across the property to the super cool hop barn for dinner and dancing late into the evening.  The next day, I would have a a casual farewell brunch, complete with a bocce ball tournament before everyone heads back to reality...the weekend feeling like a dream.
xo
Amy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Wurst

We had lunch yesterday at The Wurst up in Healdsburg ~ fantastic spot for a super casual bite and cold beer.  The owner, Charles Bell, was there to welcome guests and secure a sought after table outside and then usher you in to explain the menu.  Very nice guy who is obviously enthusiastic about this spot.

This is exactly the type of good, simple food environment that is welcome in Healdsburg.  The beer garden is a nice change after some serious wine tasting and the prices are beyond reasonable.  Definitely one to add to your must visit list...especially after a night of festivities.
xo
Amy

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vin Couture Lounge

I visited the most fabulous space this weekend ~ Vin Couture Lounge in Healdsburg.  Located upstairs in an art gallery right of the square, it is beautifully decorated and oozes hipness.  Perfect spot to meet friends for some wine flight tasting before dinner, after dinner or on a rainy afternoon.  It is a fantastic space for private parties...I cannot wait to share it with my clients and definitely one to add to the must visit next time in Healdsburg list.
xo
Amy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fabulous La Tavola

Had a fantastic time last night at La Tavola's Spring Open House.  So many gorgeous linens...here are two of my favorites.  I love the rich texture in the picture above (may not come across that great in the photo) but it is divine and comes in some delicious colors...I think the citrine is my favorite.
The linen below has a beautiful freshness to it...black swirls on an off-white background with vibrant pops of turquoise, green, orange and yellow ~ so chic!
As always, La Tavola throws the most divine parties....
xo
Amy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tara Firma Farms

We had an amazing Sunday last weekend at Tara Firma Farms which is a locally owned and operated CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  We went with another couple and their daughter with the hopes of finding a farm to support throughout the year.  My thought was to get to know a local farm and the people that work there and care for the animals so when our produce, eggs, cheese and meat arrived every other week, we would all have a connection and appreciation from where it came.  


Well, I was not disappointed....the day was beautiful and we were encouraged to meander around on our own, taking a look at all of the beautiful animals that call this farm home and all of our questions were answered by the knowledgeable staff on hand.  I loved holding the chicks which were only days old while Grace was obsessed with the piglets...pigs are definitely her favorite animal.


After wandering about on the farm for a while we had a leisurely picnic with our friends, drank some nice rose wine and lunched on delicious cheese, bread, salumi and fruit....we couldn't have asked for a better Sunday and we are now looking forward to our first arrival from the farm!
xo
Amy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Location

Talk about potential!  I just got back from a visit to an organic dairy farm located in the Two Rock Valley of Sonoma County.  Absolutely stunning with so many spots to create your dream wedding.  There is a vintage white victorian house, an old barn, an orchard and this amazing space for an open-sided tent.  I can see why Sundance just shot their recent catalog here...gorgeous with loads of potential!
xo
Amy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Catelli's

We had a fabulous dinner last night at the new (old) Catelli's up in Geyserville.  For those not familiar with the history, the restaurant was originally Catelli's The Rex which was forced to move to Healdsburg during a divorce in the family...a new restaurant was then opened called Santi (which has since moved and closed) and now the grandchildren have re-opened the restaurant, called Catelli's.  It was absolutely packed with families with young children (like ourselves), people re-fueling after a day of wine tasting, local vintners and farmers all enjoying three generations of family recipes.  The food was local, simple and not overly priced...just delicious.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Copain Wines


I visited Copain Wines yesterday in the beautiful Russian River Valley.  The incredible views are matched by the chic, understated hipness to the property ~ definitely my type of location!  It is perfectly situated for a fabulous wedding or welcome dinner and because they only do a handful of private events a year, there is great energy and warmth to the setting.  I absolutely loved this property and am looking forward to planning some amazing events there!
xo
Amy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Perfect Sunday


Had an absolutely fabulous day today hiking in Armstrong Woods…Grace’s first hiking adventure.  She did great for most of it and only had to be carried up the steep hills.  Then we replenished at Willowood CafĂ© in Graton…one of my favorite places in all of Sonoma County.  Grace ate an entire plate of French toast by herself…I guess she was hungry!
xo
Amy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On the Search


I spent the past few days with new clients on the search for the perfect site for their upcoming wedding.  Unfortunately the weather so did not cooperate and it poured for 3 straight days ~ definitely makes things more challenging but we were all upbeat and thrilled when we all came to the conclusion we had found the one!  While it is a lot of work venue scouting, it is also a very exciting time when you are able to start from scratch and create the event in your head…the visions come to life over the next several months.

Even though the weather was the pits, my clients were great and I know their wedding will be amazing…here we come Chalk Hill!
xo
Amy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go 49ers!


As all of my close friends and family know all too well, I am a die-hard 49er fan.  I want to take this opportunity to wish my beloved 49ers good luck this Saturday against the Saints….our first playoff game in 10 years!  What a turn-around this season has been and how lucky we are. It has been a hard decade watching the once proud team rendered totally ineffective against every other team in the league ~ even though I never stopped loving the 49ers, it sure is a lot more fun watching them now. Go Niners!
xo
Amy