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2 | ISSUE 04

Cover Photo courtesy of Jackie from JACQART •

I am so excited to present the June {4th edition} of The Best Wedding Sites Magazine. This issue focuses on the fun palette of periwinkle blue with a citrus infusion or mango orange and lemon yellow. And, a few weeks ago on my daily blog, Brenda's Wedding Blog, I featured the fourth round of the Wedding Vendor Challenge with three vendor teams from across the US putting together amazing designs. This month’s challenge required the teams to create a bridal shower tablescape with a dessert display {and of course the ideas showcased can easily be used for weddings and/or any type of party}. Like the previous challenges, I have great DIY downloads for you from each photo shoot - both as downloads and at home creations with a simple list of supplies. And, if you happen to be nearby when the photos start coming into my inbox for the challenges - you can hear me oooooh and ahhhhh outloud. I am honored and blessed to be given the opportunity to work with each of these amazing vendors showcase your work to my readers. In this issue, I’m featuring the top 5 Handmade "citrus inspired " gift picks from fellow wedding pros and bloggers plus Real Weddings {and we have now gone international with a wedding from London}. Plus, there’s a shopping by color guide, delicious recipes with mangos and lemons, and another AMAZING Giveaway for my readers, you will love the prizes being awarded. I also have to give a special thank you to the contributors that have helped make this issue super special. We’re joined by Your Dream Dress with Summer Wedding Dress Trends, Rená Puebla of Coast Concierge Services with Tips to Celebrate Like a Celebrity and Cowabunga Ice Cream discussing designer ice cream. And, lastly, this issue is a special one in that it will be the second issue available for purchase in print and NOW you can view the entire issue on your iphone and/or ipad with ease. Simply go to for all the details with the link. And, then you can save it to your home screen for viewing at anytime. Enjoy . . . xoxo


PS: I’d like to give a special thank you to Samantha of Papermints {} who has helped me behind the scenes in designing the layout for the Real Weddings and Wedding Vendor Challenge spreads. And, to Kimberly Smith Company for the layout design of the articles {wedding dress trends, celebrity tips, and ice cream}.

A Special Note For Vendors: If you are interested in participating in a future wedding vendor challenge, please let me know. And, if you would like information on advertising in either the magazine, blog or wedding directory, please email me at bestweddingsites{at}gmail{dot}com


in this issue . . .

above: an evening bridal shower photo shoot by Kristen Rogers Photography


~Summer Wedding Gowns Trend Aler t~

ecklines N are Major Bridal Expert, Kimberly Hoffman, shares her insights of uprising neckline trends taken from the runway straight to the bridal salons for all hot summer weddings The summer is fast approaching and wedding season is underway. Wedding dresses are hard enough to choose from, so why not try narrowing down the search by starting with the dĂŠcolletage of the gown? Whether you prefer more skin or a more conservative top, online bridal salon Your Dream Dress, has a gown for your sizzling wedding. Founder and owner of Your Dream Dress, Kimberly Hoffman is here to help guide brides to choosing the right look for them.

The "One Shoulder": This is a sizzling number that says dramatic, sophisticated, modern yet timeless. This neckline lengthens a bride's torso, which gives the bride a more statuesque appearance. A special brooch or accent can bring the eye upward and finish this elegant look. Try this Amsale A567 "Kenna" Couture Bridal Gown with silk taffeta one-shoulder, ruched bodice and a three-tiered skirt.

6 | ISSUE 04

The "V-neckline": With the warmth of a summer wedding, V-neckline gowns appear airy and light. This neckline can make any bride look slimmer and taller by bringing the eye upwards to the face. This style can work with either a smaller or larger bust. Brides should be aware, a more voluptuous bust line should not have too much of a deep v-neckline. A V-neckline is perfect for a bride who is unable to wear a strapless gown, yet doesn't want to be fully covered with either short or long sleeves. To get this look, try this Anne Barge 491 Couture Bridal Gown with aChantilly lace gown and V-neckline complemented with a sleeveless, asymmetrical, and pleated lace bodice and mermaid skirt.

The "Strapless" Gown: This trend is always popular for summer weddings. Strapless gowns accentuate the beauty of the bride's neck, shoulders, and arms. A strapless neckline is best suited for a bride that has an hourglass figure or a long waist and also for a bride that is tall and proportionally balanced. Depending on the fabrics used and the skirt design, the gown can look traditional and classic or lean toward modern and sexy. For a sexy, strapless styled gown, try this Badgley Mischka Clara Couture Bridal Gown. The gown is composed of delicate Chantilly lace and soft silk voile organza. The strapless, contour neckline and the top edge of the mermaid skirt are accented with intricate, sparkling crystals and pearls. The gown also features a chapel length train.

This summer, brides can have the sunshine, the perfect man, and thanks to Your Dream Dress...the perfect gown. About Your Dream Dress Founded in 2004 by bridal expert Kimberly Hoffman, Your Dream Dress is an online bridal store with the mission to bring the finest quality, top designer, couture bridal gowns to brides without breaking the bank on wedding budgets. All bridal gowns are new, 100 percent authentic and listed at exceptional savings of up to 90 percent off the retail price. With nearly 15 years of bridal industry experience Kimberly's business savvy, coupled with over a decade of experience helping brides have their perfect wedding, has made Your Dream Dress a tremendous success. More information on Your Dream Dress can be found at:


Tips on how to

Celebrate Like a Celebrity [ by Rená Puebla of Coast Concierge Service ] A Summer Wedding… Although we’ve recently seen elephants at entryways and Rolex’s as groomsmen gifts, a celebrity wedding doesn’t necessarily mean opulent and ostentatious. There are many ways to incorporate tasteful and meaningful touches that will have you and your guests remembering your special day for a lifetime!

Here are my FAVE-FIVE tips on how to throw a FABULOUS Celeb-Worthy Wedding!! 1. Make sure that once you select a theme, you find creative ways to incorporate it throughout your celebration. Not only should your color-scheme run throughout your big day, but if your theme is bird & tree, make sure your imagery is incorporated into everything from the programs to the stir sticks in your specialty cocktails. Ambient lighting in your color palette does wonders and then there are the obvious touches such as linens and flowers (but not all at once-see number 4). These small touches really up the ante!

or celebratory beverage. Favors are a great way to thank your guests for sharing the special day with you, so make sure it’s memorable. Dark Truffles dipped in shimmery peach dust packaged in a beautiful box, adorned with French peach ribbons will keep with your theme and are oh so elegant!! 3. Location, Location, Location!!! I can’t say enough that your choice of venue is the most important part of the day. For your reception, there are amazing (and cost-efficient) ways to look like you spent a million bucks and the biggest one is selecting a venue that is beautiful” as-is”. Think beach front beside a crystal blue ocean, or atop a vineyard overlooking rolling hills. These types of venues provide a platform to create stunning weddings because there is simply nothing more beautiful than what nature has already provided!! Add gorgeous flowers, hundreds of beautiful candles and a delicious custom menu that will make your guests feel like a celebrity. 4. DON’T OVER DO IT!! If you’ve selected Mango Orange as your key color, know when enough is enough. You must not have EVERYTHING in this color. If your floral arrangements are orange sherbet Peonies keep your linens a neutral color and add one more accent color to make your table settings POP! If your bridesmaids’ dresses are Nectarine, have the groomsmen wear a matching tie. Subtly says class like nothing else.

2. Your guests should feel like they are a part of your day whether you’ve chosen to have a 300+ person wedding or a more intimate celebration. There are TONS of ways to make them feel special. Start with valet and make sure there is someone to greet your guests with a cocktail 8 | ISSUE 04

5. Lastly, and I can’t stress this one enough. Hire a Professional Wedding planner!!! Behind every amazing celebrity wedding is a celebritywedding planner with enough experience to ease you through your day like you’ve never even lifted a finger!!!

A LondonWedding


[ Rumana & Tom ]

Photographer: Fiona Kelly Wedding Photography Venue: Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch

Rumana and Tom’s wedding took place at

Fiona of Fiona Kelly Wedding Photography, writes

the beautiful St Mary of the Angels Church

about the ceremony music . . . “Both of them

in Bayswater, which is where Rumanas family

worked in a school and they had some of the very

had been going for years, and her parents were

talented pupils providing the music while in the

married there. The couple’s daughter, Bella, was a

church. A lovely solo piece written and sung

flower girl and a huge part of their day. After the

beautifully by a young girl while the guests entered

ceremony, the couple and their guests headed to

the church and then the mood flipped totally as the

Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch. There were even blue

couple exited the church to a brilliant rap that two

lights in the room where the wedding breakfast was

of the young lads had written and performed.”

held which matched their color theme.

10 | ISSUE 04

Vendors: Photographer: Fiona Kelly Wedding Photography • | Ceremony: St. Mary of the Angels Church in Bayswater | Reception: Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch {catering and drinks all supplied by the hotel} | Wedding dress & bridesmaid dresses: Losner’s Bridal Wear • | Flower girl dresses: Debenhams Department Store | Bride’s shoes: Dune • | Men’s kilts: Moss Bros • | Flowers: Mrs Paula Boyne Williams {a close friend of the bride created all the bouquets, centre pieces, Pew ends, button holes and church flowers. Flowers were from Covent Garden Flower Market | Cars: Mech Gem Luxury Wedding Cars LTD | DJ: YES Entertainment | Caricaturist: | Rings: Lance James | Cake: English Cheesecake Company • | Ladbroke Grove coach company to escort guests: Mint Coaches | Hair stylist: Lisia Elliot | Make-up artist: Natasha Wright

12 | ISSUE 04

Wedding Reception & Bridal Shower Party Planners and Brides Say

"I Do”

ToDesigner Ice Cream

[ by ]

Serving your guests Premium Ice Cream is a “cool” way to elevate a wedding or bridal shower event from ordinary to extraordinary. Brides, grooms, wedding and bridal shower planners that are searching for ways to make their event memorable, might want to integrate super premium ice cream into the experience, which can be done in a multitude of inventive ways, according to Ellen Schack, CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream ‚ a super premium designer ice cream and healthful frozen yogurt brand. Debra Kulovitz, vice president of sales for the Great Bridal Expo Group, Inc., writes . . . “From elegant ice cream bars at spring and summer soirées, to decadent build-your-own banana split or ice cream sundae stations, to wedding or shower cake a la mode, integrating sumptuous ice cream into the experience is one tasty way to create a distinctive event and sweet memories for all.” “Our inspired ice cream blends offer an exquisite epicure experience that's perfectly suited for special occasions and celebrations like weddings and bridal showers,” notes Schack. “This is why we offer our fabulous frozen confections for full-scale catering nationwide.” 14 | ISSUE 04

Those who’ve experienced Cowabunga Ice Cream rave not only about its bold, creative flavors, but also the fresh and creamy taste said to make other “premium” ice creams taste “day old.” New York Times bestselling author Omar Tyree has proclaimed Cowabunga as “the Louis Vuitton of ice cream,” while ActionCOACH business consultant Steve Vorrius declared, “Once you taste this ice cream you will never look at ice cream the same again.” Cowabunga Ice Cream offers a wide variety of perennial and seasonal flavors, with many that are exclusive to the brand. Offerings in its current designer ice cream line include:

Rodeo Drive Designer Flavors: • Cookie Dough - Cookie dough flavored ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough chunks and dark chocolate chips mixed in

• Mint Chocolate Chip - Cool mint flavored ice cream with dark chocolate chunks • Cake Batter - Cake batter flavored ice cream that tastes just like out of the mixing bowl • Almond Joy - Coconut flavored ice cream with almonds and dark chocolate chips mixed throughout • Coffee Espresso - Rich coffee flavored ice cream with chocolate covered espresso beans scattered throughout • New York Cheesecake - Luxurious creamy cheesecake flavored ice cream including real cheesecake chunks and graham cracker swirled throughout

Off 5th Avenue Chocolate Flavors: • Classic Chocolate - A rich and decadent chocolate ice cream • Death by Chocolate - Chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks, chocolate cake “crunchies” and fudge swirled throughout • Chocolate Peanut Butter - Chocolate ice cream swirled with creamy peanut butter

Lux Vanilla Flavors: • Very Vanilla - A smooth and velvety vanilla ice cream unlike any other • Take 5 - Vanilla ice cream with peanuts, caramel, and chocolate covered pretzels mixed in • Rice Krispy-Treat - Vanilla ice cream with marshmallow swirled throughout and Rice Krispies mixed in

Beverly Hills R.E.A.L. Yogurt: All flavors are low fat and contain probiotics to naturally promote healthy digestion: • Red Velvet Cake • Peanut Butter • Chocolate Cable Car • Strawberry

"I Do”

Say “I Do” to Designer Ice Cream | continued

About Cowabunga Ice Cream Cowabunga Ice Cream was originally founded to give the Jersey Shore community a friendly place to gather and enjoy high-caliber classic and healthy frozen desserts. As word spread about the taste and quality of Cowabunga ice cream, the company inspired to offer its unique approach to ice cream on a national level. Today, Cowabunga Ice Cream is known as the world’s first designer ice cream offering a luxe epicure experience that leaves consumers longing for more. In addition to its bevy of beloved ice cream flavors, Cowabunga also offers healthy frozen yogurts containing probiotics - the natural way to promote healthy digestion. The company’s ice cream and ice cream cakes are also available in bulk orders for special events. Those wishing to order Cowabunga Ice Cream or inquire about event or catering services may do so online at

16 | ISSUE 04

Cuban C hic Wedding

[ New York City ]

Planner: SWANK Productions Photographer: Sharon Schuster & Sean T Smith

At SWANK Productions, every client purchasing the full service package receives a sketch from an in-house designer that portrays Maya’s concepts as part of the design process. It helps both Maya and the client better imagine the vision of inspiration that will then translate into a tangible room design. After the sketch, a sample table is designed to see it spatially, which also allows for further tweaks and fine tuning of the design before the actual wedding day. 18 | ISSUE 04

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Planner: SWANK Productions • Photographer: Sharon Schuster & Sean T Smith • &

20 | ISSUE 04

Vendors: Planning, Design & Production: Maya of SWANK Productions • | Venue: Calle Ocho Restaurant • | Flowers: Belle Fleur • | Photographers: Sharon Schuster & Sean T Smith • & | Cake: Cheryl Kleinman • Invitations & Stationery: Ceci New York • | DJ: Generation Events •

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Shopping by color color palette: periwinkle blue, mango orange and lemon yellow

Bead Flora and Jewels creates beaded bridal bouquets, hair accessories, jewelry, and more for weddings and special occasions. The Tie Bar designs colorful and stylish neckties (now available in silk, wool and cotton) and sells them for only $15 each.

Shown: yellow flower hair pins

Shown: cotton seersucker tie in new blue Beazuness creates handcrafted fashion jewelry Shown: Mango Tango - Silk Ribbon and White Pearls Necklace

Hippie Bride is the creator of one of a kind art to wear including dress, headpieces, veils, jewelry and more. Shown: silver velvet flower comb 22 | ISSUE 04

Keep Calm Shop makes vintage inspired prints and posters.

From the Bridesmaid Dress Collection at Dessy Alfred Sung Style D449, a cocktail length halter pleated keyhole neckline dupioni dress. Wide matching waistband and pleated skirt with pockets at side seams. Shown in Daisy After Six Bridesmaid Style 6525, a full-length Nu-Georgette empire waist dress with shirred bodice and skirt Shown in Periwinkle After Six Bridesmaid Style 6556, a full-length strapless dress in nu-georgette has shirred empire bodice and column skirt. Optional spaghetti straps included. Shown in Clementine

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Shopping by color

continued . . .

color palette: periwinkle blue, mango orange and lemon yellow

Loose Threds creates fun purses, bags, memo boards, custom monogrammed items, and more. Shown: Personalized Mango Orange Towel Set Shine Wedding Invitations offers luxury wedding invitations and accessories printed on amazingly thick pearl shimmer paper in your choice of ink color. Shown: Medallion Monogram Wedding Invitations in Golden Yellow on Pearl Shimmer Luxury Cardstock

Sweet Lydia's Marshmallows puts an original gourmet spin on this camp fire favorite. These individual treats make perfect wedding or party favors, gifts or sweets to keep and enjoy. Shown: Caramel S'mores

24 | ISSUE 04

it’s a Giveaway! So exciting - it’s your chance to enter to win amazing prizes from great vendors. There will be 14 total winners. Contests runs thru 11:59 pm Thursday June 28th, 2011. Winners announced on Brenda’s Wedding Blog the morning of Wednesday June 29th, 2011. Enter Here:

You could be the lucky winner of one of the following . . . A vintage inspired Good Luck Elephant leather wrap bracelet from The Lucky Elephant • | A Clutch in Lemon Meringue from Tamra’s Bag • | Lemon Meringue Earrings : yellow faceted shell beads, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, sterling silver, total length (including ear wires) is 2 5/8"} from Tilley Jewels • & | A Lily Hair Flower Clip in Lemonade from Thread Rare | 1 of 10 Miss Now Mrs Gift Cards for the name change service •

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Top 5 handmade “citrus” gift picks

“Citrus” Gifts

from wedding bloggers and vendors








26 | ISSUE 04





Each item links to the shop for easy buying.

“Citrus” Gifts

Thank you to all who submitted their picks.











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Meyer Lemon Tartlets from Jana Marie Erwin of Cherry Tea Cakes •

Cherry Tea Cakes is a blog devoted to food and life and Jana’s little adventures. She’s an Arizonan currently living & baking in Washington, D.C. Cherry Tea Cakes is an amazing concept as there is no profit, only benefit. When Jana’s schedule allows, she takes catering orders and the "profits" of the order, go to benefit a charity. The only money kept is to cover the cost of the ingredients. The labor is all volunteer and in the end she feeds you, and the impoverished. Unless asked otherwise Jana donates the profits to a local food bank.

Sugar Cookie Tartlet Crust

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Filling Adapted from Baking Bites

1 cup sugar 2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (freshly squeezed and strained) 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3 large eggs 2 egg yolks 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened and cut into half inch pieces)

Adapted from Baking Bites

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.

1/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together zest, eggs and egg yolks. When sugar mixture comes to a boil, pour very small amounts down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to temper the mixture. Continue to add only a few tablespoons at a time until all has been incorporated.

Preheat oven to 400F. In a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, kosher salt, cream and vanilla, until mixture is moist and crumbly. Press dough into four 4-inch tart pans (or one 9 or 10 inch tart pan) and press it up the sides, making sure the layer on the bottom is even. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is set and firm at the edges. Cool, then fill with desired filling and bake as that recipe directs.

28 | ISSUE 04

Transfer egg mixture back to sauce pan and return to stove. Cook on medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove custard from stove and whisk in butter, adding in one piece at a time. When all butter has been added, cool curd for 15 minutes before pouring into prepared tart crusts. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours before serving. For powdered sugar stripes: Immediately before serving cut strips of paper out, and gently lay over top of tart, touching curd as minimally as possible. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Carefully remove strips of paper, tilting so that excess sugar slides onto the sugar stripes, keeping clean lines. If curd sticks to paper forming small peeks, wet the tips of your finger and gently press back down.

Simply ZOV Rustic classics with a Mediterranean twist Zov Karamardian has created the perfect cookbook:

Preserved Lemons from Simply Zov

Simply Zov, a collection of her favorite Mediterranean recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients and fairly simple to create. With over 150 recipes, each includes a mouthwatering full-color photo and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

Preserved lemons are a staple of Moroccan cuisine, adding bright, delicious flavor to a wide range of dishes, from sauces and stews to salad dressings and marinades. It is a great condiment to have in your arsenal, and so easy to make. Simply marinate fresh lemons in additive-free coarse kosher salt for three weeks. Preserved lemons keep in the refrigerator for up to one year. For more information, see Pantry and Produce. Makes 1 quart 5 to 6 whole medium-small lemons, scrubbed clean 1 1/2 cups (about) kosher salt, divided 2 bushy thyme sprigs 1 bay leaf 4 whole black peppercorns 1/2 cup (about) fresh lemon juice One 1-quart glass jar Holding the lemon with the stem end on the cutting board, cut three-fourths of the way through the lemons, forming an X and making sure the lemons are still attached at the stem end. Do not cut all the way through the lemons. Open each lemon slightly and pack the inside of the lemons with about 1/2 cup of salt.

Sprinkle half of the remaining salt into a sterilized 1-quart glass jar. With the cut ends facing downward, pack half of the lemons tightly in the jar. Scatter most of the remaining salt over the lemons and arrange the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and peppercorns in the jar. Pack the remaining lemons in the jar, pushing them down firmly to release their juices. Sprinkle with any remaining salt. Add enough lemon juice to nearly cover the lemons. Close the jar tightly. Set the jar aside at room temperature until the lemon rinds soften, at least 3 weeks. After the first 3 days, the lemons should be completely immersed in lemon juice. If not, add more juice to cover the lemons (they must be completely submerged at all times). After 1 week, turn the jar upside down to redistribute the juices. Keep the jar upside down for a day or so, and then turn it over again. Refrigerate the preserved lemons for up to 1 year. To use, remove a lemon from the jar, discard the seeds, and rinse it thoroughly in water to remove the salt.

Zov’s Kitchen Note: If you want to increase the amount of preserved lemons, just use a larger container, packing in as many lemons as the jar allows. Add enough salt to completely coat the slices. Lemons must be covered with lemon juice at all times or they will turn moldy. Just refrigerate and use whenever a recipe calls for preserved lemons. Try using it in your own recipes. This delicious condiment is so versatile; the possibilities are endless.

| 29

Book + Recipe Feature • Simply ZOV | continued . . .

Grilled Halibut with Mango Salsa, Cilantro and Mint from Simply Zov In this popular recipe, vibrant mango salsa jazzes up halibut. Serves 4 Salsa 1 pink or red grapefruit 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced 1 firm but ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced 1/2 red bell pepper, diced 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion 1 tablespoon green onion, sliced paper-thin 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning Halibut 2/3 cup shelled raw unsalted pistachios, finely ground 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided Cilantro sprigs, for garnish 4 lime wedges 30 | ISSUE 04

Make the Salsa: Using a sharp paring knife, cut the peel and all of the white pith from the grapefruit, then cut the segments away from the membranes. Cut each grapefruit segment into 3 pieces. Combine the grapefruit pieces, mangoes, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, red onion and green onion in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Toss gently to combine. Do-Ahead Tip: This salsa is best eaten immediately, but it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving.

Prepare the Halibut: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the pistachios in a shallow dish. Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper and brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Dredge the halibut in the pistachios to coat lightly on both sides, then shake off the excess. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over a ridged grill pan set over mediumhigh heat. Grill the halibut until it is brown and crisp and grill marks form on both sides but it is still raw in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Place the fish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until it is just cooked through and flakes when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes longer. Place each halibut fillet in the center of 4 plates and spoon the mango salsa over the fish. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges.

Zov’s Kitchen Note: A good substitute for halibut is sea bass.

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake from Simply Zov Not your typical pound cake, the secret to this extra moist and delicate version is instant lemon pudding. I love it with my morning coffee or whenever I’m in the mood for a treat. For dessert, serve warm with vanilla ice cream, blueberry compote and dollops of whipped cream. Serves 10 to 12 Cake 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 3.4-ounce package instant lemon pudding 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (do not use kosher salt) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups granulated sugar 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons) 4 large eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons lemon extract 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature Glaze 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Toppings: Assorted fresh berries | Whipped cream Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan, then dust the pan with flour and tap out any excess flour. Sift the flour, instant pudding, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, cream cheese and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon extract. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, beating until smooth after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer insert near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the cooling rack and remove the pan. Turn the cake so that the domed risen side is facing upward. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Set the cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.

Glaze the Cake: Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer, about 3 minutes. While the cake is still warm, brush the syrup over the cake with a pastry brush, covering the entire cake and allowing the syrup to completely penetrate the cake. Do-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 2 months. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with fresh berries and dollops of whipped cream.

Zov’s Kitchen Note: If you serve the cake with vanilla ice cream and blueberry compote, a sprig of mint makes a lovely & delicious garnish. If you love orange flavor, just add 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of orange zest.

| 31

Vendor Challenge | Mango + Lemon Infused Spring Issue

bridal shower

Pamela created this dessert table with 6-8 guests in mind. She says, “A simple variety of goodies which included iced sugar cookies, mini cheesecakes and Passion Fruit French macarons is really all that is needed for a small gathering.

Beverages included sparkling water, orange juice and fruit punch which could all be mixed together if desired. Fun flag straws in each glass make drinks a bit more festive. Flags also adorned flower arrangements giving them a whimsical feel.”

Pamela explains her idea behind this shoot . . .

“After guests are finished with their goodies they can fill out “advice for the bride” note cards and place them on a custom message board as a gift for the bride to be. Before your guests leave, have them take a cake slice box from the Ruffled Cake Favor set and fill them with wrapped chocolates or other goodies. Not only is this favor set a great conversation piece but also a useful decoration.” Vendors: Styling: Pamela Smerker of Party Starters • | Photography: Studio Sister • Venue: Creek Side Gardens • | Custom Flags {straws, floral picks and pie picks}: Go Against the Grain • | Custom Decorated cookies: My Pink Little Cake • Passion Fruit French Macarons: Green Eyed Susan • | Custom Message Board: Rae Design Studio • | Ruffled Paper Cake Favor Set & “It’s Almost Time” note cards: Party Starters • 32 | ISSUE 04



“Advice For the Bride” note cards | 33 | 33

Vendor Challenge | Mango + Lemon Infused Spring Issue



Nearly all the decor the decor for this photo shoot was bought at a thrift store or garage sale and was photographed in the photographers {Kristin Rogers Photography} very own backyard, making it quite affordable. Many vintage accents were incorporated as was a salvaged door for the tabletop.

Kristin explains the team’s idea behind this shoot’s design . . . “We were like minded on the use of color palette right off the bat. Those colors are bright and bold, but we wanted them aged and subtle‚ but there. We wanted our shoot to have an old theme with charm and warmth, so we did it at night (which was a lot of work using a tripod for ALL the shots). I just love what we got and I would just love to attend a bridal shower with this feel and atmosphere.” Vendors: Photographer: Kristin Rogers Photography • | Tablescape Design: Bre {Style} • | Flowers: Floral Design By Jacquline Ahne • | Cupcakes: Suite 106 Cupcakery • | Vintage Engraved Silverware: Wooden Hive • Personalized Tea Bags: Idea Chic • | Invitations and Thank You Cards: Lemon and Lavender • 34 | ISSUE 04

DIY: Hanging Mason Jar Candles

| 35

Vendor Challenge | Mango + Lemon Infused Spring Issue

Flowers and faux butterflies were used on the top two tiers of the ivory, antique-look, threetier stand while mango favor boxes tied with periwinkle satin ribbon rested on large, light yellow chrysanthemums on the bottom tier. Flowers consisted of Spray roses (Babe and Mambo varieties), Hydrangea, Tulips, Parrot tulips, Godetia, Yarrow, Chrysanthemums, and Pittosporum foliage.

Bridal Tea Shower

The lemons with attached name tags added an unexpected burst of lemon scent to the air. The florals for the dessert table were placed in a white china teapot and included Iris’, Tulips, Parrot Tulips and Tulip foliage. To save on cost and go a little green, Lisa, of Gabbi Grace Events, went to the fruit market and purchased four small lemons and had the names pinned into the lemons with sterilized pins and used the lemons afterwards to make lemonade. Instead of going out and purchasing a pre-made fruit salad (saving almost ten dollars), Lisa purchased one cantaloupe, one Kiwi, two mangoes, one pineapple and chopped them up. A small pack of blueberries was mixed with the fruit and then added to a decorative bowl and stacked onto a cake plate. To add a burst of color, three oranges were sliced and arranged on the small cake plate underneath. Lisa writes, “It saved money, its easy to do and looks and tastes delicious!”

Vendors: Photography: Jackie of Jacqart • | Florals: Something Floral • Styling: Gabbi Grace Events • | Paper Goodies: Brenda of Wedding Girl • Venue: Longacre House • Mango Textured Favor Boxes: Notable Notions • Notions | Cupcake Stands: Wedding Things • | Fresh Lemon Italian Biscotti Cookies: Biscotti Queen • | French Lemon Macarons: J’adore les Macarons • | Lemon Sugar Roses: Le Chic Bakery Boutique • | Sweets: Sweetheart Bakery | Chair Covers & Linens: Linen Hero • Lemon Supreme Cake: Sweet Dreams Bakery • | Cupcakes: Just Baked • 36 | ISSUE 04


Download “It’s time for tea” cupcake toppers and “Drink Tea and Keep Calm” decorative flags.

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The End Vendors interested in advertising in the next magazine or participating in a vendor challenge, please email me for more information at bestweddingsites{at}gmail{dot}com | |

Best Wedding Sites Magazine - June 2011  

Welcome to the June issue of The Best Wedding Sites Magazine - this issue is all about the infusion of of mango orange and lemon yellow with...

Best Wedding Sites Magazine - June 2011  

Welcome to the June issue of The Best Wedding Sites Magazine - this issue is all about the infusion of of mango orange and lemon yellow with...