Tag Archives: Wedding

Wedding Food Done Right

I’m fortunate enough to be spending 10 days in Arizona and Miami attending a friend’s wedding, Thunder basketball game, lounging on the beach and of course, enjoying some fabulous food! I will not be posting any new recipes this week, but I will be posting about my vacation food adventures from coast to coast!

I don’t consider myself a “food snob” but I definitely differentiate good food, from great food, from amazing food! In general I feel that most food at weddings is good at best!

This was not the case last night when I attended my friend Krystal’s wedding in Arizona. The wedding was catered by my best friends family who owns a chain of amazing pizzerias in Arizona that I’ve mentioned before, Jimmy and Joe’s. They went all out for Krystal’s wedding as she has been a friend of the family for almost a decade and they wanted this to be their gift to her.

As a chef I realize the difficulties of making a full dinner for almost 200 guests, but every wedding caterer should take some notes from this man.

Yup, the man behind the meat is Terry Black, the founder and owner of Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria. He’s been written up in Pizza Today about being a “visible manager” which discussed his community involvement and being on the front line of all his restaurants. Jimmy and Joe’s is a family business and my best friend (Terry’s daughter) runs one of the locations and is heavily involved in the expansion of the business. Every once in a while you’ll also catch a glimpse of the other Black woman, Mary, and Saturday’s wedding was no different, check out all the Black’s in action!

Now let’s get to that delicious food they are cooking up back there!  Terry is seen above slicing the most juicy, tender prime rib I’ve ever had!  This main dish was served with a caesar salad, which I topped with the lemon chicken they had also prepared. Oh my gosh, it was so flavorful and moist!  I feel that usually chicken made in bulk is dry and flavorless but this was so far from either of those things, loaded with lemon and garlic flavors and olive oil to keep the chicken moist it was the perfect topping on my caesar!  They also served penne pasta with marinara and meatballs, because of course Italian is their bread and butter! I could have eaten 100 of those meatballs!

This was my one plate of food piled up. Yes I only had one plate.  Yes I wanted three more. No I wouldn’t have been able to fit in my dress anymore if I had eaten three more hence why I didn’t!

Meatball = Joy!

Someday when I start cooking for more than a dozen friends I’m going to call up Terry Black for pointers!

If you’re in the greater Phoenix area on Tuesday stop by Jimmy and Joe’s Mesa location and find me interviewing the manager Miss Amy Black for another fabulous LLB video post! We’ll be talking about how the pizzerias came to be, their mission and most importantly how they make that amazing pizza of theirs SO GOOD!!!

John Wayne Weddings, Sheep Herding and Mountain Town Adventures

With a boatload of homework since returning to school, living in a city that causes a lot of stress and not having any family within 1000 miles I’ve REALLY come to look forward to the “Bond Family Adventures” the clan has been partaking in lately! Our most recent adventure… a trip to the Southwest corner of Colorado for my uncle’s wedding and unbenounced to us… a morning of sheep herding! Ok so we were probably more of sheep “distractors” than “herders” per say but either way it was a delightful Saturday morning surprise! 

So lets just say you are one of those 6,852,472,913 people who didn’t grow up sheep herding let me fill you in! In Colorado once a year 1600 sheep are brought from the mountains “high ground”, to the valleys “low ground” for the winter to keep them out of the harsh climates.

Then once a year they are brought back from the valleys up to the mountains.  Now if you’re like me you might be asking “why wouldn’t you just leave the sheep in the valley?” Because sheep eat grass and if they eat all the grass in the valleys then they will starve and we can’t have that now because sheep are really cute!!! Case in point, my favorite little brown guy↓

Brown, black, whatever. The black sheep always gets the bad rep for being the “odd man out” or the inferior member of a group of people, left out for being different, but if I had the choice I would pick being a black sheep over a white sheep any day! I’ve never really been a “vanilla” type of person. I’m loud, I like to stand out, be crazy, do anything to get a rise out of people. This, to me, is what living is all about. Doing things people don’t expect you to do, thinking outside of the box and never caring about being the “black sheep” . Besides, let’s be honest, there is nothing sexier, more slimming or more versatile than wearing black 😉

After a morning of sheep herding it was off to the town of Creede, just about 15 miles from our home for the weekend at the Blue Creek Lodge.  In 2000 the population of Creede was 377 people… not 377 thousand, like three-hundred and seventy-seven total people living in the town. If that’s not a small town, I don’t know what is!  Creede was once a silver mining town but is now home to quaint shops such as the “Kentucky Belle Market”, “The Holy Moses” and the ever popular “Mines and Memories General Store”. My favorite thing about Creede… you can get a gun and one of “Mama Jeans” gourmet pie’s, get creative and make yourself a nice little Saturday!!

Oh, and the fact that this is their souvenir t-shirt for the town…

O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. As well as the fact that the shops stay open in the town until after “leaf season”, yes after the leaves turn from yellow, to orange and then fall off the trees, there is no more going to work again until spring. In the words of my BFF Erin “I’d be out there shaking the crap out of those trees”. Hahahaha. Really made me laugh, she’s a funny girl that Erin.

Anywho, after returning from Creede it was on to the original purpose of the Colorado “Bond Family Adventure”, my uncle’s wedding. Now I have never tried to deny that I definitely have some “country” in my genes… but if you had to rate “country-ness” on a scale from 1-10. 10 being a bull-riding, deer-hunting, Wrangler-wearing, NRA-card member toting, honky-tonk singin, John Wayne movie-watchin, country folk, to 1 being you like a little Carrie Underwood now and again, I would say I’m about a 3, my brother’s about a 1 and my parents are around a 4… now my extended family on my Dad’s side… about an 11!!!  You don’t believe me?? Well let me share with you my favorite part of the wedding, they replaced the little plastic bride and groom a top the cake with a buck and doe.

Yes. That. Just. Happened. But I love it, nothing like staying true to who you are!

As some of you read in my previous blog, I’ve been on the look out for moose sightings lately. I don’t know why, but read my blog about it anyway because it’s funny. Although there were unfortunately no actual moose sightings on this trip, my obsession with the animal did land us the “moose” table at the wedding reception!

And the benefit to a wedding on a ranch… you get homemade pie AND cake for dessert!

So next time you reckon’ yourself a little adventure (for those of you on the zero end of the “country-ness” scale, let me translate: Next time you would like to go on a little adventure) I would highly recommend the Blue Creek Lodge… unless you fear pickpockets and loose women…

At least they warn you 😉