August 2007


Nope, I’m very much alive. Unfortunately, I’ve been very very busy and stressed for the last several weeks, so wedding planning was placed on the back burner.

Last week, D. and I went back to Amphora Catering for our second tasting. After our first tasting, we wanted to tweak the menu a bit and try different flavors. I expressed all of my concerns and ideas to Jade via email, and after a few weeks of no response, I called Amphora to speak with her. The reason why I hadn’t heard from her was because she left the company to go back to school. It’s admirable to pursue higher learning, but jeez, an email or a courtesy phone call to tell who my new event coordinator will be would have been nice.

Anyways, I was a bit leery after that snafu, but all my fears were allayed by the great service and food at the second tasting.

I brought the camera with the intention of taking pictures, but I was so focused on the food that I forgot to take pictures until halfway through the tasting.

Chicken Skewer and Grilled Vegetables

As you can see, I decimated the Pineapple Chicken Skewer once again. It wasn’t as flavorful and juicy as the Pineapple Skewers from the first tasting, but I still liked it. Also in this picture are the grilled vegetables. D. and I weren’t pleased with our vegetable option at our first tasting, so the chef at Amphora prepared three different options for this tasting: grilled vegetables with zucchini, squash, and roasted red peppers; traditional steamed vegetables with carrots, broccoli, and turnips; and something we’re calling Asian vegetable slaw (pictured below).

Asian vegetable slaw

The marinated Asian vegetable slaw, I believe, is comprised of red cabbage, carrots, and zucchini. It was delicious.

Chimichurri steak

This is Amphora’s take on a flank steak with chimichurri sauce. It tasted good, much better than the Asian flank steak from the previous tasting. Unfortunately, I despise onions, and this chimichurri sauce seems onion heavy.

Rice salad

The chef wanted to give a rice salad another go. I still wasn’t a fan. It looked really pretty with the blackberries, strawberries, and mango, but I didn’t like the texture or flavor.

Jicama Salad - Southwestern

We sent Amphora a jicama salad recipe to reproduce, and the chef came up with the above southwestern version and the fruit version below. D. and I preferred the southwestern version. The only adjustment would be to eliminate the red onion from the black bean/corn relish.

Jicama - Fruit

The fruit version wasn’t bad; it was different. I’m not a fan of the cilantro and scallions.

Balsamic pasta salad.

Not only did the chef prepare this balsamic vinaigrette version of the pasta salad, he also made a sherry vinaigrette version (not pictured). I still prefer the first version of this pasta salad from the first tasting, but I’m afraid it doesn’t go with the other food we’ve picked.

After tasting all this food, Bobby, the head of catering, came out to brainstorm menu ideas with us. He was great. We really want to figure out a way to serve duck in some form at the reception, but we don’t know how. He said he was going to toy around with some ideas and get back with me. Of course, all the brainstorming led to D. and I rethinking the entire menu. I need to discuss this with Bobby, but we’re now pondering a mini surf and turf entree with angus beef sliders and some kind of grilled fish. Craziness. Hopefully, we’ll have our menu nailed down sometime this year.

(BTW, if you’re in D.C. and desire amazing sliders, forget Silver Diner, go to Matchbox. Trust me.)

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After our somewhat disappointing cake experience with Amphora Bakery, one of our friends suggested talking with Elizabeth Vdovjak of Uppercrust Wedding Cakes about our cake needs. Last night, D. and I met with Elizabeth for a tasting and to discuss our options. She said it would be no problem to do our multi-tiered, multi-hued, “Such Great Heights” cloud cake for 40 guests. YAY! Also, the chocolate ganache Battlestar Galactica cake shouldn’t be a problem either.
We tasted a white cake with buttercream and a fresh strawberry and Grand Marnier filling, white cake with chocolate ganache filling, white cake with amaretto buttercream filling, white cake with black raspberry preserves filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling. She also cut a slice of fondant for us to taste. The cakes were so good. I was a very happy camper. Her buttercream was not cloying sweet, the cakes were not dry, the fondant was actually edible, and the strawberry/Grand Marnier combination was perfect. It was a much better cake tasting experience.
Her pricing was very reasonable. She quoted $5.50 per person for our Such Great Heights cake (including fondant, fillings, and cloud decorations), and about $75 for our single tier Battlestar Galactica grooms cake. Because she’s located in Fairfax, VA and our wedding is going to be in Laurel, MD, D. and I will need to arrange to have someone pick up the cake from Elizabeth’s location and set it up at the reception location. She is going let us borrow her cake transportation boxes and ice packs, so there shouldn’t be a problem getting the cakes to the cake. (crosses fingers).
We’re pretty darn happy with this cake experience. We may talk to another baker, just to exhaust our options, but I believe we will end up going with Elizabeth.