Sunday, August 30, 2009

Troels and Karina

For everyone who wasn't able to attend Troels and Karina's wedding, for those who were lucky enough to witness the event and want to remember the joy and celebration, and for those who are just curious, here are some shots from the big day.

This is what the guys did while the girls got ready. Obviously they were not stressing. Those Vang men rely on their natural good looks.

Speaking of good looks. I mean COME ON. Can you say movie star? Model? Danish superstar?! Karina was breathtaking, absolutely breathtaking.

And I can't mention good looking people without including my husband and Farfar. Don't they look sharp?

Farfar performed the ceremony. Having someone you love and trust marry you is priceless. And I am speaking from experience. This picture was horribly underexposed, but I love how you can still see Troels smiling as he admires his bride-to-be.

They are now Mr. and Mrs.!!!! Look at Mogens in the background. That smile stayed there for approximately the next 12 hours.

On the way out of church. All smiles. Also, can I mention AGAIN how good they both looked? My goodness.

Exiting the church. It had just stopped raining.

Standing outside the church waiting for their getaway car. They are still smiling because their dear friends have not started pelting them with rice yet.

And the rice throwing begins. They took it well.

Check out the sweet ride!

Around midnight, after dinner, after speeches, after coffee and dessert...the first dance.

Tillykke Troels and Karina. We love you and can't wait to see what your future holds.

It's All in the Details

Troels and Karina's wedding was absolutely beautiful. Weddings are always a special time to celebrate, bringing together family and friends from different places and phases in our lives. It is an amazing opportunity to see two people you love start their new life together as one.

Something I particularly enjoy at weddings is seeing how the small details reflect the personalities of the bride and groom, making things unique and adding a personal touch. Here are a few tidbits from the wedding this weekend.

Programs on the chairs at church, adorned with the same Polaroid-esque picture as the invitations.

Gorgeous small bouquets, put together by Karina, friends, and family, marked the end of each pew adding a fresh touch.

The stage was decorated with candles and flowers, totally perfect for the couple. It was elegant and classic, but not overstated. Everything looked fantastic without trying too hard.

The cake was a work of art...and a work of love because it was baked and decorated by Karina and some of her friends.

I loved loved loved all the tiny roses.

The venue for the banquet dinner was a contrast to the old church and natural decorations seen at the ceremony. It was sleek and modern and reflected a different facet of the couple's style. It's simplicity and similar flower arrangements as centerpieces seamed the two events together flawlessly.

Check out the great bar. Metal and industrial with natural stones.

And just like that it was night. Candlelight created a warm, cozy atmosphere that was a great setting for speeches, skits, and songs full of love and laughter.

We are so happy for you both. Congratulations Troels and Karina!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes

Yesterday I made homemade cupcakes for Andreas' birthday. During the week I found recipes for snickerdoodle cupcakes, lemon cupcakes with lemon cream icing, carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing, and many other delightful sounding flavor combinations. What did Andreas request? Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing. With such a boring order I was determined to find the best recipe possible. I think the icing was as close to perfection as you can expect from buttercream, but the cupcakes were nothing extraordinary.

I think the problem started with the British recipe. I was setting myself up for failure. I had to Google almost every ingredient, mostly to figure out the comprable American ingredient. Caster sugar? Vanilla essence? Icing sugar? Not to mention everything was in grams. Thanks Signe for my kitchen scale or I would have been completely lost! Why did I even choose this recipe you ask? It was accompanied by adorable photos. I'm a sucker for a pretty picture.

An hour and a dangerous amount of powdered sugar later I had the final product. They may not be the BEST cupcakes in the world, but they certainly looked the part.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

350Z Anyone?

Sooo, I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this already knows the situation, but in case there is someone who randomly happens upon this blog and is interested in purchasing a shiny new sports car I figured I had to post the following.

I am selling a 2006 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast for my Dad, who has recently moved to a new military station overseas.

It has driven about 24,660 miles, is an automatic, and has been well taken care of. If you have any questions or are interested, please leave a comment below with your email address and I will get back to you shortly.

Shameless plug end.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deep In the Heart of Texas

Kirk and Megan recently drove down to Texas for the weekend to deliver my Dad's car and of course to hang out with family. This was Megan's first time in Texas! Isn't that just darn tootin' crazy ya'll?! We promptly initiated her by eating loads of Tex-Mex, reciting the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, and listening to Willie Nelson while discussing the history of the Alamo. Not. For real, my Mom just read that sentence and got really excited. Sorry Mom. :) Don't get me wrong I LOVE TEXAS. Those were just not the plans we had on this particular weekend.

On Friday afternoon, Andreas and I left work early to go to Aunt Lynn's where we were all meeting. Throughout the weekend I forced Kirk and Megan to pose repeatedly so I could take pictures...apparently Kirk had enough of it by this point. But I kinda love this picture because I can perfectly hear him in my head, 'Ashley, really?'.

That night we had a feast - an amazing spinach salad, steak, potatoes, and garlic bread. Not to mention it was Megan's birthday so we also got to enjoy a wonderful cake in her honor. Thanks for being born Megan. Once we were all sufficiently stuffed we sat around watching HGTV and discussing who we thought would be next to get the axe on Design Star. Oh yeah, we also witnessed this fantastic sunset. Don't ever move Uncle Buck and Aunt Lynn.

The next morning was relaxed. I practiced the technique of sun flare with the most handsome model I know.

Which picture do you like better?

We headed back home, but stopped by the mall before going to the house. We had shopping to do. It was a full afternoon of shopping followed by homemade pizza on the grill, the best frozen yogurt ever at Yogurtland (plain tart with Captain Crunch, mochi, and gummy bears), watching Andreas's soccer game, and winding down on the couch just chatting before bed.

Sunday morning we went to church and headed down to the Village Burger Bar for some....paninis. Bet you thought I would say burgers. Anyway, after lunch we wanted to introduce Kirk and Megan to Top Golf. I was pretty excited because I feel like Andreas and I have made a lot of progress on our game in the last few trips to the driving range. However, we got thoroughly schooled.

Here is Megan with her perfect form. It was ridiculous how graceful she managed to look while swinging a golf club.

Doesn't he just look like a pro? Okay, Kirk is naturally athletic and I can't say I was surprised to see him hit over 250 yards repeatedly. Punk. You're still my little brother...even if you're bigger.

My boys.

And because I believe in gender equality, I have to have a picture of the girls as well.

We had so much fun, even if it was a short weekend visit. Come back Kirk and Megan!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Aaaah, Florida. Isn't the view beautiful?! There is just something about the place where the water meets the sky that is so relaxing.

On Friday morning we went down to the beach for breakfast. It was all part of the grand proposal scheme, and it was delightful. We basically had the beach to ourselves. Liselotte packed bread and spreads, coffee, and fresh fruit including these little bananas from the Vang's own backyard!

We threw a frisbee, played paddle ball, wakeboarded, and relaxed in the waves.

That night, to celebrate, we all went out to a nice dinner at J. Alexander's to celebrate Michael and Signe's engagement. The buttery croissants, roasted artichokes, steak, salad, Danish ribs, tuna steak, and Key Lime pie were all incredibly delicious and the service was fantastic.

The next day with our photographical powers combined (our body, Preben's lens), we got some seriously cute family pics to document the weekend. We had just listened to Preben preach that morning and were actually wearing nicer attire than beachwear! As a note, Andreas is not 7 feet tall. The yard is slanted.

Andreas and me!

And because he is my husband and undoubtedly the best wakeboarder of the weekend, here is one last picture of Andreas being awesome.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu

Keep reading my tofu-skeptic friends! This recipe may just change your mind about the healthy soy product.

In all honesty, this is the first and only tofu recipe I have ever made, but I've made it over and over again because it's always a winner. In fact, I think I'm afraid to try other tofu recipes for fear they cannot live up to the delicious result of this dish. I'll make it a goal in the upcoming months to get a few more tofu recipes under my belt and pass the good ones along to all of you!

The cooking method seen below is called dry-frying. It uses the natural fats, oils, and moisture in meat, fish, or tofu in our case, to form a crisp outer crust without any additional oils or grease.

I buy Extra Firm tofu which maintains more of a 'meaty' texture in my opinion. I use one 14 oz. package when preparing this for two people. Drain your tofu and cut it up into small pieces with a considerable amount of surface area - cubes, triangles, whatever suits your fancy. Spread the pieces in one layer onto a large, hot cast iron or non-stick skillet. This is important! Using a non-treated pan will cause the tofu to stick without the addition of oil. Use a spatula to occassionally press on the tofu, allowing liquid to squeeze out and evaporate. After about 10 minutes, or once you start to achieve a golden crust, flip the tofu as needed to cook the edges evenly. Remove the pan from the burner and let it rest while you prepare the sauce.

Stir together the following in a small bowl:

3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)

Take care to fully incorporate the sugar, otherwise your sauce will only partially thicken.

Return the tofu to medium-high heat and add the sauce to the pan. Allow the sauce to bubble and reduce, thickening in the process. Stir the tofu to evenly coat with the glaze.

I like to serve the tofu with couscous and poached asparagus and broccoli, but really any grain and green would do. Garnish with lime wedges, chopped cashews, sliced green onion, and crushed red pepper to taste.

It is so yummy!

As a side note, I didn't forget that I promised more pictures of Florida. They are coming...eventually!

recipe adapted from VeganYumYum

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Big Fat Danish Engagement...or Something Like That

Congratulations Signe and Michael!!! We are so happy for the two of you and cannot wait to see the plans God holds for your new life together. Skål!

This weekend Andreas and I were privledged enough to be present for the engagement of Michael and Signe in West Palm Beach, Florida. Just look at this happy couple!

I can hardly stand the cuteness.

Please bring this sense of fun and playfulness to your marriage. Gosh I love giving marriage advice from my years and years of experience. Okay so I haven't been married long enough to be an expert, but I can say that marriage is easier when you don't take yourself too seriously.

I'm working on a post with more pictures from Florida. Considering we took a collection of more than 900 photos in 3 days, it is proving to be quite a task. For now, check out these shots of the guys in action. I actually tried to do this myself...luckily no one was around with a camera!