Aside from design and papergoods, my other passion is cooking. More specifically — cooking pasta! I've taken it upon my self to learn how to make all of the dishes that Lupa and Pepi made when I was growing up. The latest dish that I've been perfecting is carbonara. As my husband says "fat equals flavor" and boy oh boy does this dish deliver!
I've been working with is Mario Batali's Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe and there are a few things that I've learned thus far. First of all — since there are only a few ingredients, it's imperative that each is high quality. This is what will bring the dish to the next level. Also, timing is everything with carbonara so have all of the ingredients grated, chopped and ready to go!
INGREDIENTS clockwise from top left
– Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano: Grab a chunk of Parmigiano, a grater and get grating! While it's not as easy as opening a package and dumping it in the bowl, it will be so worth it!
– Pancetta: Skip the pre-packaged, already chopped up pancetta and hit up the deli counter. Ask the butcher to cut it as thick as possible.
– Pasta: I usually would use something twirlable (e.g. bucatini) but in this instance, I'm using this bag of spaccatelli from Sfoglini. My husband recently surprised me with their pasta of the month (he knows the way to my heart!). Their pasta is fresh, super tasty and two bags arrive every month — perfetto!
– Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Key here is "fresh" — whether you have a spice grinder or a pepper mill, make sure that pepper is freshly ground!
– Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I know I've been touting "quality, quality" but here is one ingredient in this recipe that doesn't need to be the best. Since it's getting heated up in the pan, it can be average joe olive oil. If you end up using any as a finishing, make that the good stuff!
– Eggs: This ingredient is the finishing touch on carbonara so if you're game, spring for the organic crazy expensive eggs and enjoy how delectable they make this dish!
One thing that feels missing to me in this recipe is garlic! My family usually adds it to the pan by the handful! Thus far I have not missed it because this recipe is so damn flavorful. That being said, don't be surprised if a couple Sundays from now garlic finds its way into my carbonara! Buon appetito!
I snapped this photo during the final walkthrough of our wedding venue just a few weeks before Jason and I tied the knot. I'm so thrilled that I had the opportunity to work on my wedding with this talented group — a.k.a. my dream team! For the record, when I say "dream team" I mean that literally and figuratively — each of these people not only does phenomenal work that I love and respect, each was also just an absolute dream to work with! As Jason and I pieced together our vision for the Big Day, they lent their expertise and guidance, assembled the ingredients and then made it happen with grace, style and conviviality!
Now that you know the players and you've seen some pictures from the resulting wedding in the current issue of The Knot (still swooning about that!!!), I'm taking things wayyyyyyyyyyy back to the very beginning. In the coming months, I'm going to blog about all of the oooh's and ahhhh's of the planning and design process for our wedding — from engagement to "I do" and everything in between! Andiamo!
Pictured above, left to right: Megan Grey - Honey & Poppies, Amber Cowell - The Love Riot, Jesi Haack - Jesi Haack Design, Daniel November - Heirloom LA, Nicole - Classic Party Rentals, Talmadge Lowe - Pharmacie, AnnaMarie Kostura - Villa at Sunstone Winery. Not pictured but still very much a part of the Dream Team: Annie McElwain - Annie McElwain Photography, Max Cutrone & Molly Jenson - Max & Molly Films, Erica Buekelman & Katie Mueller - 10.11 Makeup, Keith Brunsmann & Jonathan Wolper - The Lighter Side
After months of biting my lip and resisting the urge to Instagram, blog, post and tweet, I'm beyond excited and so incredibly thrilled to announce that my wedding has been published in The Knot magazine!!! If you can't wait to get to the newsstand, there are a few photos from our nuptials on The Knot's website too! Phew — so glad to get that out!!!
As I settle back into the studio after a whirlwind holiday season that started with traveling back east to visit family and ended with a few quiet days with mio marito wine tasting and relaxing in Paso Robles (see photo above!), I’m excited with the possibilities that 2014 brings! With last year being such a grande anno, it’s going to be difficult to top… but I have a few things up my sleeve!!
Miami International Airport during our layover en route to Managua
Remember when my husband (still not used to saying that!!) and I went on our “minimoon” a few weeks ago? Well, now we are off to the real deal… our honeymoon! I’m still reeling from our big day and looking forward to my brother’s impending nuptials but can not wait to unplug, unwind and kick back in Nicaragua. We’re starting our trip on the beach on the Pacific coast and ending it at Lake Nicaragua. Arrivederci!