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“Spring Weddings” Do’s and Don’ts

 

Springtime is synonymous with new beginnings. Flowers blossom, animals emerge from their winter hideaways (often with babies in tow), and people everywhere celebrate the dawning of a new, warmer season. It makes perfect sense that many couples want to use this time to celebrate their own new beginning, too: the beginning of their life as husband and wife.

But when you’re planning a spring wedding there are still a few things you need to keep in mind. From decorating tips to finding the perfect wedding date, here are a few do’s and don’ts for your special springtime day:

Do: Check The Weather

You know what they say: April showers bring May Flowers. Just because winter is behind you doesn’t mean there are only sunny days ahead! If you’re getting married in the spring, be sure to check your local weather forecasts for rainy days. This is especially important if you’re wedding is outdoors. Also, make accommodations for inclement weather, like a covered awning or tents in your outdoor area. This will give you a little bit of insurance should you meet with an April shower.

 

Don’t: Stick to Daylight Hours 

When you think “spring wedding,” the image that likely comes to mind is a beautiful, dreamy ceremony on a sunny, green day. But a spring wedding can be so much more than that. In fact, many couples are moving their nuptials after dark this year, creating a different sort of dreamy setting. String up some fairy lights and take advantage of the warmer nights. With an evening wedding, your wedding will be unique and memorable, not to mention tons of fun! 

 

Do: Get Creative with Confectionery

Weddings in 2017 are becoming much more individualized. Rather than settling for the good old traditions, many couples are creating their own wedding moments, from specialized entertainment to unique dessert options. Don’t like cake? Don’t worry! Some pretty macarons or an elegant croquembouche can really make a stunning statement on your dessert table. Just like a gorgeous wedding cake, other dessert options can be tasty and beautiful – exactly what every couple wants on their wedding day!

Don’t: Settle For Spring Pastels

Ever since you got your first Easter Sunday outfit, you’ve been told that spring equals pastel colors. But here’s a little secret: it doesn’t have to be! In fact, wedding trends this year are leaning more towards bright and colorful decor, from flashy wedding accessories to tropical floral accents. This bold look is both romantic and energizing, a great combination when you want the party to last well into the night! Play around with oranges, pinks, turquoises, and greens – or, if you want to soften some of those bold colors, use grey or brown as an accent. You’ll find that your final look is one that will be breathtaking! 

Of course, the most important do and don’t of a spring wedding is this: do what will make you and your future partner happy, and don’t do something that won’t. If you want to buck tradition, go for it! You want to decorate your venue like a Jackson Pollock painting? Get out the paint (but get permission first). Above all, make sure this day is one that you will remember fondly forever. 



West Indies Chicken with Mango Salsa

This dish is a fresh rendition of Jamaican jerk chicken. Traditionally ‘jerk’ means to dry rub, marinate and grill meat with a combination of scotch bonnet chilli and fragrant spices. The quick curry powder marinade stains the chicken a vibrant gold. Serve it with the mango salsa for a fresh summer meal, but it’s so good any time of the year.

prep time 10 mins / marinating time 1 hour / cooking time 10 mins / serves 6

12 skinless chicken thigh fillets, vegetable oil for brushing, coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish. Tabasco or hot pepper sauce, to serve.

Jerk Marinade
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 French shallots, chopped
1 long green chilli, seeds removed and chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime 
80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
 

Fresh Mango Salsa
2 firm ripe mangoes, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
juice of 1 lime 

Jerk Marinade: Place the ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Place the chicken in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, pour over the marinade and coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Fresh Mango Salsa: Place the ingredients in a non metallic bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat a barbecue to high and lightly brush with oil. Place the chicken over direct heat and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Scatter over coriander leaves and serve with mango salsa and Tabasco Sauce.

 



Mini Meatloaves with Roasted Tomato Thyme Sauce

This stylish meatloaf had a little makeover by baking it in individual ramekins. A topping of sweet tomato and thyme keeps the meat moist. Make this for a casual winter get-together or when ever your craving comfort food.

prep time 20 min / cooking time 1 hour / makes 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
300 g (10 1/2oz) minced beef
300 g (10 1/2oz) minced pork
60 g (2 1/4 oz / 3/4cup) fresh breadcrumbs  
170 ml ( 5 1/2 fl oz / 2/3 cup) tomato passata (pureed tomato)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
200 g (7 oz) mini roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
3 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 170 c (325 f). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Remove and transfer to a large bowl. Add the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, half of the passata, Worcestershire sauce, egg and half the thyme to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and gently mix with your hands until well combined. Divide among six 10 x 5 cm (4 x 2 inch), 300 ml (10 1/2 fl oz) capacity ramekins and spoon over the remaining passata. They’ll seem very full but will shrink during baking. Top each with a handful of (plum) tomato, 1/2  teaspoon sugar and season with salt, pepper and remaining thyme. Bake for 50 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Top with thyme springs to serve.

Pairs great with chive mash potatoes and a side salad. You can also serve the meatloaves in the ramekins on a plate with a small napkin folded underneath.



Valentine’s Chocolate Fondue

Enjoy a delicious flirty and fun Chocolate fondue. It’s hip to dip so share with a group of friends or surprise your sweet heart this Valentine’s.

Ingredients:
12oz bag of your favourite good quality chocolate chips (You can use milk chocolate or semisweet)
1/2 cup up to 2/3 cup half and half cream
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dipping ideas:  Fruit (strawberries are a must), other fruits work too like pineapple…yummy or graham crackers, red velvet cake pieces…

Directions:

 Over a double boiler melt the chocolate and half and half together.  Once the chocolate melts, stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.  Place in a fondue pot to keep warm.  Serve with dipping ingredients. 

Enjoy. 



Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House

Congratulations on your engagement, now on to the planning! The wedding planning experience is an exciting time in your life and before you start thinking about important things like budget, it might be easier to start thinking about where you want to hold your wedding venue first. Would you select your wedding gown without trying it on, chances are the answer is no, so, why should you reserve your wedding venue without experiencing it first? The Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House is your chance to have an intimate view of our beautiful venue, meet our preferred vendors, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages and take home a swag bag full of goodies.

The Old Mill Toronto will open its doors for couples to explore and enjoy all your wedding planning needs, much like a bridal show, but on a more intimate level where you can spend some one-on-one time with our wedding executives and vendors. It is a great opportunity for you to see  how we could setup for a wedding in any particular room, which can some times be difficult to visualize when doing a site visit.

Tour the venue on your own or if you prefer one of our wedding executives will show you around the property while answering any questions you may have about accommodations, packages, and availability. Make sure you have an opportunity to meet with our preferred venders, they will have lots of unique ideas and lots of experience working with our venue in particular, but of course you can bring in anyone you prefer to work with for your special day.  Enjoy the DJ, indulge in hors d’oeuvres, have some fun in the photo-booth, look through the photographer’s sample albums, the bakers cake displays, check out our cozy 16th century candlelit wedding chapel, in general experience our venue from your own perspective.

It is a good idea to bring a list of questions to ask us so you don’t get off track and forget an important question you may have. It is also, a good idea to have your contact information ready to give to vendors. Think about what email address and phone number you’ll want to use. Setting up an email address for your wedding is also a good idea, and it will definitely come in handy closer to the date.  Bring your camera so you are ready to snap pictures of things you love or want to remember about the venue. Your smartphone with a Pinterest app would probably come in handy!

Wednesday February 22, 2017  4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

* View our beautiful venue  * Meet our preferred venders
* Enter to win an Overnight Getaway  * Enter to win a Couples Massage
* Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments  * Tour our Hotel Suites

RSVP to humbach@oldmilltoronto.com or by calling 416-207-2008 

No problem if the date doesn’t work for you, simply Contact us and we will happily set you up with a personal tour on a day that is more convenient for you and your vision! 



Grilled Vegetables

Feel free to use what ever vegetables are available. Grilled vegetables not only look great and taste great but are also a healthy choice. You can serve them at any temperature and can prepare them ahead of time to be used as your side dish, on top of sandwiches or in salads. 

(serves 6)

3 red bell peppers seeded and quartered
3 yellow squash (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 zucchini (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 Japanese eggplants (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
12 cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed
 12 green onions trimmed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil 
1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium high heat, or preheat a ridged grill pan over a medium flame. Brush all of the vegetables with a 1/4 cup of oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill all the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 12 minutes for the bell peppers, 7 minutes for the squash, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil and rosemary, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to blend. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and serve warm or at room temperature. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

If you want to try something different, sprinkle some goat cheese over the grilled vegetables…yummy!

 

Enjoy!