July 26, 2011

Wedding Blessings....Deep in the Heart of Texas!

The Maine House is preparing for a Texas Spring Wedding! Ideas abound as we search venues, designs for the reception and the bride and groom's color selections! So, to set the mood, we are turning up the volume on the radio for some "Boot-Scootin'" sounds, as we envision the ranch style wedding of Nick and Catherine!

They don’t refer to this state as the big and best “Texas-sized” for nothing! Texas is a big state that doesn’t do anything half-hearted; it’s big on fun and carefree days, big on style and gentility. Texas is the gorgeous western locale with rolling hills, picturesque deserts, and dazzling cities that lets you be whatever you want to be. It’s the perfect place to host a wedding that you’ve been dreaming of!

One of the venues we are looking at is Old Glory Ranch in Wimberley, Texas, about 40 miles outside of Austin. If you dream of having a good old fashioned Texas wedding with style, Old Glory Ranch is the perfect place to make that dream a reality. The beautifully landscaped grounds make an ideal setting for an outdoor wedding or reception beneath the big Texas sky, while the covered patio and Chapel Hall can accommodate weddings big or small, carefree or country chic. The wedding couple may be presented to their guests by arriving in a horse-drawn carriage right up to the entrance of the event venue of Chapel Hall, which is an approximately 4,000 sq. ft. chapel-style building with a classic Victorian Texas atmosphere, appointed with longleaf pine, antique light fixtures & decorative appointments, and turn-of-the century stained glass. Architecturally designed with flexibility in mind. It includes a 12'x24' raised stage. 

The Stone Landing is a stone and masonry deck on a tranquil stretch of the Blanco River, which is a perfect setting to exchange wedding vows. The Blanco River is the jewel of the Texas Hill Country. The Blanco River’s crystal clear waters flow through miles of unspoiled nature where wildlife such as wood ducks, hawks, kingfishers and osprey abound. Numerous springs throughout the river help keep the water clarity exceptional.

Adjacent to Chapel Hall, is their Covered Patio,  a perfect venue for the wedding reception and the wedding rehearsal dinner. Measuring 36' x 41', it includes a smooth floor finish, ideal for dances as well as a free-standing circular fireplace. The Covered Patio venue also has clear vinyl side panels that can be used if necessary, making it a year-round option for weddings. Yes, I think this just may be a the ranch style setting that they are searching for!

These are perfect rehearsal snacks to welcome the wedding party as they have fun performing their roles for the actual wedding ceremony!

Texas Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Blue Cheese Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, blue cheese, celery, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut oil, for frying
3 eggs
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts tenders, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 cups self-rising flour
12 slider buns
12 slices tomato, optional
12 lettuce leaves, optional

In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough peanut oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F. In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs with the hot sauce. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then coat in flour. Fry the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes. Toss the chicken into the blue cheese sauce. Put 1 piece of chicken on the bottom half of each bun. Top with tomato and lettuce, if desired. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately.

Texas Pork Ribs
2 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 racks St. Louis-cut ribs

To make the rib rub, combine all the ingredients. Rub over the surface of the ribs to coat. Preheat a BBQ pit or an oven to 250 degrees F. Rub both sides of the rack of ribs evenly with the rib rub. Place on the pit or in the oven, bone side sown, and roast for about 3 hours. About 15 minutes before the ribs are done, turn the rack over and let the other side get some color. (In the oven, turn the ribs occasionally, then broil to brown.) When the ribs are done, the rack relaxes and droops when you lift it at the center. Cut the ribs parallel to the bones and serve with lots of napkins.

Estelle's White Sangria
1 (750 ml) bottle Pinot Grigio
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
3/4 cup brandy
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 lb (about 2 cups) white peaches, unpeeled, pitted and cubed
1 liter ginger ale, chilled

Combine first 4 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add peaches; cover and chill 1 hour. Spoon peaches into bottom of wine glasses. Pour chilled wine mixture over peaches; top each serving with 1/4 cup ginger ale.

"May your joys be as bright as the morning, your years of happiness as numerous as the stars in the heavens,
and your troubles but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love."
~ Old English Blessing

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