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Five Days in Croatia (Part I): Lots of Firsts

15 Feb

[sorry to email subscribers who received a draft version of this post last week. speaking of which–you should subscribe via email by typing your email address in the box to the right so you never miss the kefi… or any of my snafus!]IMG_4468

After a crazy weekend of wedding events (go to: the beginning, the ceremony, the tearful roastings, the dancing, the prancing, and the details), it was time for the Ndjatou World Tour.  My beloved MrKef and I had taken lots of mini trips together but never a full-fledged vacation, so we were both ready.to.go. after a weekend high on fun and low on sleep.

We chose Dubrovnik, Croatia for a few reasons: 1) it had ample opportunity for both beach and non-beach things, which is key for this Greek-Cameroonian couple 2) neither of us had been there before 3) Game of Thrones is filmed there, so I knew MrKef would be in rare form, and 4) we could make a stop in England on the way back, where both of us have family members who weren’t able to make the wedding but that we very much wanted to see. It turned out to be the perfect choice–we had so much fun together that just picking pictures for this post gave me a joy spurt that should last til next week (or at least through this wintery week–boo). Hope y’all like pictures and captions–’cause that’s what we’re going with today.

Inspired by Monica and Chandler, we told anyone who would listen to us that it was our honeymoon. Sadly, we didn’t get any first class upgrades (the danger of taking budget airlines on your honeymoon, I guess!), but people were excited for us and did what they could.

A very lovely flight attendant gifted us wine and chocolate:

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And an absurdly helpful man at Gatwick racked his brain trying to think of a way to help us celebrate and came up with this, um, Premium Security Pass:

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After a couple of flights and a long layover, we were finally in Croatia! We landed at night but were lucky to find our sweet little AirBnB without problem. We dropped our stuff, showered, and headed right out to explore Dubrovnik! Here’s out first look of this magnificently-preserved Old City:

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MrKef wasted no time getting down to business, and is pictured here with his first-ever miniglass of cordial.

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It was the middle of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and the Croatian Symphony was kind enough to have orchestrated a dress rehearsal  to coincide with our first night:

 

Once I found out that food in Dubrovnik is heavily influenced by the city’s age-old ties with Venice (read: tons of pizza and gelato), I decided that if I wanted some  ice cream while on my honeymoon, I would have it–evils of refined sugar be damned.

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In other news, we both got a good giggle out of this flavor, because well… these are the things that give us the giggles (just ask JetSet about that time he played Cards Against Humanity with MrKef).

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After a stroll and an ice cream, we headed back home. This would be a good time to discuss what it meant to get to and from the Old City from where we were staying. We chose this specific AirBnB because it was cheap ($68/night!), boasted beautiful views (we’ll get there) and was, by far, the closest to the Old City for that kind of price (only 700 meters from the Old City gate!). What the AirBnB description failed to mention is that it is 700m straight up 379 stairs! Somehow I never got a good shot of allllll the stairs, but here’s a little peek into what quickly became the bane of MrKef’s Croatian existence.

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Anyway, after a 24 hours of traveling and a trek up those stairs, we slept like babies. When we woke up, we got our first real look at Dubrovnik. It did not disappoint:

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This would be the first an only time that MrKef would rush down those stairs– he just couldn’t wait to explore.

We spent most of our first full day just poking about, planning out the next few days, and taking a billion selfies:

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And then it was time for another first: some random people came up to MrKef and gesticulated something about a picture. Because MrKef is a lovely human, he assumed that they wanted him to take a family photo. Turns out that they wanted to take their picture with him because he’s black.

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It’s possible that they are just huge Extra Black Gelato fans… but probably they are just from an insular part of the world. Diversity is an asset, people.

Anyway, after a yummy pizza lunch we took the Dubrovnik Wall tour. This is a good time for a quick history break: Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century and was an important port for the next 1,000 years. It was settled and conquered a few times, was a de facto outpost of Venice for much of its history, and still is comprised largely of building that was completed in the 16th century. Despite some high profile damage in the 90s, the  city remains nearly perfectly preserved/restored. The wall tour takes you around the city from the perch of 10-meter-thick fortified walls, and was definitely a highlight for us–not to be missed!

This was so beautiful that I could not choose only a few shots, so I will just post a whole bunch:

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Please notice all the trek up the wall stairs!

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Not exactly regulation, but major points for commitment to the game!

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After that tour, MrKef fulfilled a fantasy: sitting on the Iron Chair!

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Later that night, we had a romantic drink at the Troubador, Dubrovnik’s live jazz spot.

 

And because he’s a romantic at heart, we slow danced in the street when the band played “What a Wonderful World,” which got all those children you can see jumping around in the video pointing and laughing.

To end our first full day, another first:

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Yep, that’s right: mojitos to go!

IMG_4565That seems like a note as good as any to end on… and it’s past my bedtime, so come back next time for some day trips, manspreading, and funiculars!

Wedding Wednesday Finale, Straight Outta Wedding Central

27 Jan

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If it had been up to me, MrKef and I would have rented a rec center and had an awesome wedding and party without a single centerpiece or place setting. But it turns out that 99.9% of the world is more formal than I am, and I was flatly overruled pretty much every time I asked, “But do we really NEED that?” Luckily, I have a mother who is the reigning queen of Pinterest’s Budget Weddings for Stubborn and Cheap Daughters scene, and she came to the rescue in a big way.

For about a year, MamaKef referred to her dining room as “Wedding Central” (and sometimes even answered the phone, “Wedding Central, how can I help you?” which gave me particular joy). Let’s review some of her amazing work!

My favorite detail: my bouquet. When I mentioned I really didn’t care to carry a bouquet, MamaKef actually recoiled in horror. But she knows the way to my heart: sentimentality. She doctored up the silk flower arrangement that she carried at her wedding to make this beautiful bouquet that I was thrilled to carry down the aisle with me.

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And she also made sure my beloved Grandma Ann was represented, and included this handkerchief in the 2016 version of her bouquet:

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Welcome bags were a MUST-have for MamaKef and the out of town guests, so she did up these super cute little inserts and added them to a basket of black & white cookies, a map of DC, and water bottles

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She also designed and printed the entirety of our ceremony’s program:

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All those amazing photos taken in foam board frames? 100% the work of the parentals, who spent a weekend perfecting these awesome props.

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Plus she commissioned this amazing, surprise step-and-repeat for us, which KMBGSKef tells me was quite a feat of engineering to assemble…

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But the fun didn’t stop there! She fashioned some beautiful decorations for cocktail hour:

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Which included pictures of both our families, because MamaKef is the official family historian:0674

And even made my ultimate cheap-as-anything-bride move look super cute with the help of ChampagneOnlyKef’s perfect penmanship:

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MrKef is a proud alumnus of Posse, and they have a tradition of “Warm and Fuzzies” that MrKef wanted to try and recreate for our guest book. So, we made these little note papers on VistaPrint and MamaKef found a creative way to display them

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Our seating chart was also a MamaKef original (with a little help from KMBGSKef’s fine hand)–this was a repurposed foam board of my grandmother’s with little tags designed by (who else!) MamaKef:

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… and that was all before you entered the reception room! As mentioned above, centerpieces were very low on my priority list, but MamaKef came to the rescue.

 

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The pictures don’t actually do them justice–the venue gave us the cylinders and mirrors (for free!) and MamaKef came up with this brilliant glitter-sticks-fake-tea-light arrangement. They gave off this beautiful sparkling low light that looked so pretty as the sun set over the Potomac.

… but low-cost don’t mean low-stress… this was the scene until about 1130am the day of the wedding (not pictured but should be: KMBGSKef, ChampagneOnlyKef, CafeKef, BabyKef and TresParisienneKef as WeddingCentralMinions).

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One of my other favorite details: the table numbers! We decided to do pictures of each of us at ages that corresponded to the table number. MamaKef and HomeBrewKef tag-teamed to make these amazing placards:

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Finally, MamaKef bequeathed us what was 100% the most appreciated detail of the wedding– flipflops! 0808

And that, good people, is the work of the world’s Best Mom, with only minimal input from the world’s Worst Bride.0693

And now, I leave with with just a few moments from the Kef Wedding After Dark:

THE BIGGEST THANK YOU TO EVERYONE AT THE KEY BRIDGE MARRIOTT, who were awesome. Especially our Captain, Cristina– obrigada!

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So many favorites in one spot:

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MrKef’s mom served beignets during the after party, village style:IMG_4422

while DoJobKef entertained my side of the family with her discovery that my dad’s best friend bears an uncanny resemblance to her OB:

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There is a video of my parents, my dad’s best friend, and KMBGSKef belting out some Irish Drinking Songs… but I will spare you that and give you a blurry picture, instead:FullSizeRender (1)

At about 2:00 am, we piled into two huge Ubers and headed–where else?–to Korean BBQ:

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…and THAT, my friends, is how I woke up looking like this:

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How better for the anti bride to end this seemingly-endless blog series?

(Almost The Last) Wedding Wednesday: Reception Kings and Prancing Dads

20 Jan

Today we’re gonna finish up the party pics I couldn’t get posted last week, next week it’s all about the amazing work MamaKef put into this life event, and then its honeymoon in Croatia time. Sharing all these fun wedding moments has been great, but I’m ready to move on. (Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part IV)

First things first, I have to crown a King of the Reception. I’d like to think everyone had a great time at our little fiesta, but there was one guest who stood out in a sea of really fun people as the person having the MOST fun: RussianBearKef himself! There was not one single scene the photographer caught without him in, having a blast. A smattering of the many snapshots of one of my dearest friends getting down with pretty much every woman I know:

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Impossibly, we have known each other for TEN years– so because I can, I think we need a before-and-after comparison:

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I rather think we’re getting better with age (and less Russian Bear!).

It was an extremely tough decision. The runner up goes to SummitKef, for cheering us on SO wholeheartedly as we fed each other beignets and baklava. The whole photo series is priceless, but here’s just one to wet your whistle:

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Back to the party:  the FamiliaKef really knows how it’s done:1503

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FINALLY, JetSet learns how to Wobble.

While my family was dancing, MrKef and co were up to some very-usual antics

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#posselove #brandeis

Naturally, FlailKef, SpeakToSomeoneAboutThatKef and I were picking some apples and putting them in our pocket:

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It was just a room full of dancing fools!

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The most beautiful couple on the planet, clearly.

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I think this is me “dancing” to Makossa

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Countless cool points were won and lost that night.

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Partying like we should have in 1999.

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Things reached a fever pitch when MamaKef’s cocktail hour props made their way to the dancefloor:

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Not in a frame, but they’re two of my most beloved, so I’m going Blogzilla and throwing it in there, anyway.

In case there was ANY wonder whether this whole night had been worth it, a miracle happened. Our last song of the night was “New York, NY.” Everyone was swaying in a circle, minding their own business and belting it out along with the original Bl’italian when…

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… SUDDENLY MRKEF’S DAD AND MY DAD ENTERED THE CENTER OF THE CIRLCE HOLDING HANDS AND PRANCING:

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It cannot be understated how happy this made me– my father does NOT dance, does not like attention, and does not touch other humans. My reaction was pretty much the same as KPopKef’s, captured wonderfully in the background to the right.

Once we got over the shock, everyone piled through the dads to form a bridge.

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1589 I honestly think this is the happiest moment of my whole life. I bemoaned the process of putting together a wedding for a price below the Federal Poverty Line for an entire year, but  I would happily pay twice the cost of the wedding just for this amazing memory!

Beautiful MakeUp and Emergency Hair Touchups: Colleen the Stylist
Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Alterations that kept the bride IN said dress: G2G Couture
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

‘That Boy Good’ Cardamom Cream Cake

8 Jan

Whew lawdy, it has been a WEEK here in Kefville-  a post every day this week! (Monday: The Extravaganza Recap; Tuesday: Fried Eggplant with Chickpeas and Mint Chutney; Wednesday: Iranian Jeweled Rice; Thursday: Sparkling Pomegranate Punch)

But wait- there’s more! Today we’re talking about this Cardamom Cream Cake also published by the NYT in their Best-of-2015 rundown. This cake got rave reviews, which I at first thought were from people just being nice… but then when the second (!) two-layer cake was decimated, I decided this pretty little thing must be the real deal.

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This recipe requires three components + the cake, so it’s neither a one-bowl job nor particularly quick. The frosting comes out thick and beige, so you should surely have some plan for beautifying it (might I suggest edible glitter?). Next time around, I may get really wild and an some pistachio to the ricotta cream for some added color… but that’s a story for another day.

Before we get to the recipe–can we just all agree that this woman next to MrKef is a total MILF? Actually, we might as well go one step further and introduce PILFKef, DO (she is a hotly-sought-after Pediatrician, after all).

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Finally, I must send my most heart-felt thanks to the creators of Coming to America for 1) entertaining our guests while I made this 10,000-hour dinner and 2) providing the highest-compliment-namesake for this creation (if you don’t know about ‘that boy good,’ click here and then, for eff’s sake, go watch the movie!)

‘That Boy Good’ Cardamom Cream Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE RICOTTA FILLING:

  • 1.5 lbs fresh whole-milk ricotta (this was about 24 oz)
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • ¾ c confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1 tsp rose water (I used orange blossom water because that’s what I had, you could also use a flavored extract of your choice or brandy–same goes for all the other rose water additions below)

FOR THE MILK SYRUP:

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 6 TBS sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons rose water, or to taste

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 12 TBS (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (+more for greasing pan)
  • 3 c cake flour + more for flouring pan
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 c whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • 1.5 c granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

FOR THE MASCARPONE FROSTING:

  • 12 TBS (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 c COLD mascarpone
  • ¼ c COLD Greek yogurt (just buy the damn full fat FAGE)
  • pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • Candied rose petals, for garnish (optional) (Ed note: I don’t even know what this means, but if the NYT includes it, so do I.)

Assembly

1. Drain the ricotta in a fine mesh sieve placed in a large bowl for 1 to 2 hours until very thick. If you’ve bought very thick, very freshly made ricotta from a specialty shop (not the kind from the supermarket), you can skip this step.

2. Meanwhile, make the milk syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the milk and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the milk until it reduces by half, 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then continue to simmer until the mixture thickens to the texture of half and half, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool, strain the mixture to get rid of the cardamom and any coagulated milk, then stir in the rose water. (Syrup can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.)

3. Make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. Flour the entire pan and parchment, tapping out any excess.

4. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and rose water.

5. Using an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt, and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and about a third of the milk-egg white mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for a minute or so until everything is very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

6. Add the remaining milk mixture in 3 batches, beating well between additions. Scrape down the sides.

7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center, 25 to 35 minutes. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 20 minutes, then unmold and cool completely.

8. Make the ricotta filling: Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the ricotta, cream and confectioners’ sugar until quite smooth, about 30 seconds. Beat in rose water to taste. Beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The mixture will thicken.

9. Make the mascarpone frosting: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, rose water and cardamom until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in mascarpone and yogurt until the mixture is just combined and looks smooth. Do not overbeat or the mixture may curdle.

10. When the cakes have cooled, use a long serrated knife to trim the tops of the cakes, so the tops are flat and even. Then cut each cake in half into 2 layers, to make a 4-layer cake. Brush cake layers on all sides with milk syrup. Place one cake round on a cake stand or serving platter, then top with one third of the ricotta filling, leaving a small border around the edge of the cake. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and ricotta filling.

11. Frost top and sides of the cake with the mascarpone frosting. Top with chopped pistachios and candied rose petals, if using; chill until ready to serve.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

7 Jan

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, NYE 2015 was not all about the subtleties of orange blossom water and cardamom– we all had some dranking to do, too.

I will consume just about any champagne cocktail put in front of me, so I was bound and determined to make a bubbly punch. Again- there wasn’t a whole lot of time for trial and error, so I thank the interwebs for providing once again–this time, a Sparkling Pomegranate Punch from Food & Wine. Per usual, there was a bit of a styling gap:

My version:

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Their version:

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But here’s the great part– what my take on the punch lacked in style was SURELY made up for in taste and potency. So, there’s that.

In more stylish news, we had our very own Hipster Bartender, #1KnicksFanKef, who served up some strong cocktails with all the flair of a man dressed head to toe in Bonobos.

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And then, suddenly, it was the New Year and all recipes went by the wayside:

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Tomorrow: we’ll finally get to the cardamom cake that will change your life!

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 c pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 c late-harvest white wine, such as late-harvest Riesling, chilled
  • Ice cubes, for serving
  • Two 750-milliliter bottles sparkling wine, chilled
  • 3 TBS sugar (I did not include this and the punch was plenty sweet- you choose your own glycemic adventure)
  • 1 c diced fresh pineapple (1/2 inch)
  • 1 c pomegranate juice

Assembly

  1. Dump all the ingredients together in whatever vessel you have available (alternatively: stylish place each little pomegranate seed and orange slice just where you’d like it before taking a beautiful picture and sharing it with the world). Let sit for about 30 minutes, then serve over ice.
  2. For refills: keep mixing whatever combination of wine and gin you’d like over the fermenting fruit– it’s great as a brunch drink!

 

Oh My F*&! Eggplant

5 Jan

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Before I tell you anything else, I need you to know that one of our most discerning friends gave this fried eggplant with chickpeas dish the only review you need to know: “That’s oh my F*&! eggplant!”

The backstory: New Year’s Eve is pretty much the best… unless it’s the worst. The past few years we’ve teetered on the side of the latter (hotel parties filled with twenty year old women and fifty year old men… woof), and so this year MrKef came up with the brilliant idea to get an AirBnB outside the city and just hang with our awesome friends. I was all in for a NYE that didn’t require me to ask the question, “Why is that man dancing so close to a woman who could be his child?” PLUS it would give me the opportunity to hold our friends captive and cook until my little arms refused to chop anymore. Done and done.

I didn’t have time to test any recipes, so I went straight to the source: the New York Times Best Recipes of 2015. As soon as I saw this, I knew it was on the menu. The recipe is flawless (original here), so I am reprinting it verbatim below with only a few notes, but the one addition I did make is worth putting in huge letters here: MAKE THE YOGURT GARLIC SAUCE IN HUGE QUANTITIES AND SLATHER IT ON EVERYTHING YOU EAT FOR THE NEXT WEEK.

Billions of thanks to SpeaktoSomeoneAboutThatKef for frying up all those eggplant slices and MsBumbleBee’sArchEnemyKef for the food pics this week!

Later this week: a dangerous punch and a delicious cake, plus some scenes from NYE 2016.

Fried Eggplant with Chickpeas, Mint Chutney, and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

FOR THE EGGPLANT:

  • 2 lbs baby or small Italian eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Fine sea salt, as needed
  • 3 to 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed (and you will almost definitely need lots and lots more)
  • 1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala (I used red curry powder)
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp  black pepper
  • tsp cayenne
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped (I used 2 or 3 tomatoes on the vine and half a can of fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 can (15 oz) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

FOR THE MINT CHUTNEY:

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 scallion, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE:

  • ~ 1 cup of yogurt (do yourself a favor and just go for the full-fat Fage)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, grated (or more if you really love garlic)
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice, or more to taste
  • half a bunch of scallions, chopped to about 1/4-inch pieces

Assembly

  1. Season eggplant slices all over with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until it thins out in the pan. Add enough eggplant slices to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook until the bottoms are browned, then flip and continue to cook until well browned and soft, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more oil if needed. (Editor’s Note: we ended up pretty much dry-frying about half of them for fear of heart disease.) Transfer cooked eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels, and repeat with more oil and eggplant until all the eggplant is cooked.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until softened and golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add spices and cook for 1 minute, then add tomatoes, chickpeas and 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Partly cover the pan and let the mixture simmer until tomatoes start to break down, 10 to 15 minutes. Add eggplant to the pan and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until sauce thickens.
  4. While the eggplant cooks, combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a blender. Blend until puréed, about 1 minute. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt, or both, if needed.
  5. Combine yogurt, lemon juice and grated garlic in a bowl. Play around until you get the consistency you’d like, and know that the garlic flavor will become a bit more pronounced after only a few minutes of sitting–so before you add a ton more, let it rest a minute. Once you’ve attained your preferred consistency and garlic level, toss in the scallions.
  6. Serve the eggplant with the chutney and yogurt.

 

Wedding Wednesday: A Hodge Podge of Pre-Ceremony Stuff

25 Nov

While most of y’all are brining your turkey or drinking with your friends from high school in your hometown, I’m just trying to avoid the wrath of MamaKef, who is dying for CuK Wedding Edition Post. So, it’s not the most curated or well-thought-out, but here’s the first of a few wedding posts I’ll make:

It’s a West African tradition that close family/friends wear different outfits of the same fabric to weddings (and, it turns out, other ceremonies–just ask MrKef’s dad who told CafeKef “you should see how many of these shirts I have from funerals!”). In an adventure of epic proportions, MrKef and I gathered both our families at Monsieur Diallo’s little tailor shop on Flatbush Ave one afternoon and we commissioned QUITE the line of red dashiki, if I do say so myself:

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We held the dinner at Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria. They were reasonable, flexible, and gave us the whole upstairs to ourselves–perfect for a no-muss, no-fuss night before the wedding!FullSizeRender

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And of course, there was a little hoodwinking:

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That night, I intended to go straight to bed… but instead ended up drinking (more) champagne and trying to smoke a cigar with one of MrKef’s best friends… whoopsies. #thebrideisdrunk

Our ceremony and reception were both at the Key Bridge Marriott, which was the perfect venue for a billion reasons, not the least of which being the huge suite with this amazing view that was ours the night before and night of the wedding–perfect for getting ready!

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Before I inundate you with photos of our families and friends, let me pay special homage to what was REALLY going down on August 21, 2015: CafeKef got her some lashes:

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Okay, now you’re pretty much caught up on what isn’t run-of-the-mill wedding stuff, so I’ll give you what you came for: lots of pictures.

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#abovethelaw

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I wore earrings my dad had CUSTOM MADE (his emphasis) for my 18th birthday.

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There was A LOT OF ANXIETY OVER THIS DRESS, so I was relieved when it fit, didn’t show my spanx, and didn’t make me feel like a cookie-cutter bride.

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ChampagneOnlyKef, helping me put on a beautiful bracelet that was GrandmaB’s.

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The only safe way to greet HomeBrewKef these days… he’s really into licking.

 

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Our poor photographer wasn’t quite sure what to do with 5 groomsmen and 1 maid of honor, but luckily KPopKef came up with some photographic gold: the FLYING V.0211

Which devolved rather quickly:

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These pictures were taken at that little pocket park in Rosslyn where the Jazz Festival is every year… KMBGSKef and I found the perfect spot for our portraits, of course:

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Finally, we got together for 4,328.503 different iterations of family portraits:

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Is that not the most beautiful Greek-Cameroonian family you have ever seen?

Next time, on Cooking Up Kefi: Wedding Edition: the ceremony, the party, the speeches, the… Irish Drinking Songs? Stay tuned… it could be awhile.

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Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

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