Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Poetry Store: 5 Questions for Silvi Alcivar

We absolutely love Silvi Alcivar's Poetry Store. What an amazing idea! So we asked our favorite poet to answer 5 questions and tell us a bit more about who she is and what she does. 

 How did you get your start?

I was a writer who wasn’t writing so I set myself to a manageable task: write just three minutes a day. To save myself from distractions, I used my typewriter.  For inspiration I would literally open up the dictionary, pick a word, and write.  I soon realized that in three minutes or less I was able to create a complete little poem. Someone said I should try selling them. So I took my writing desk, some upcycled paper, and my typewriter and wrote and sold poems at an event. People loved it and I loved doing it! It’s been almost 4 years now and what I do and how I do it has just continued to grow. 

What do you love about working with brides?

I’m always honored when brides choose to have the poetry store wedding booth as part of the celebration, especially because of the intimate way I get to be part—listening to stories from the bride’s friends and family and then creating the gift of a poem. What a joy it is to help add a personal touch to an already special day! Plus, brides and I have a lot in common—we’re excited, attentive to details, and wanting to give guests something truly memorable and one of a kind.  

Why green?

Because there are so many things to reuse! And upcycling is fun and rewarding! It feels so good to reuse frames and turn birthday wrapping paper, old greeting cards, or calendars into the paper I use to write poems on. Not only is reusing a great way to reduce waste, the aesthetic result is often quite charming. DIY, shopping local, going green is where it’s at!

Do you only write poems at weddings?

The poetry store loves loves loves weddings and does events of all kinds—bridal and baby showers, birthdays, retirements, memorials, art openings, corporate parties, you name it! Also, I remind brides it’s possible to have poetry at the wedding  via custom gifts and décor, like poem in a bottle favors, poetry art center pieces, poetry necklaces, poetry thank you’s, and more. 

How do you work with the team of Locally Grown Weddings?

We share a passion for weddings that create a personalized experience that’s low on environmental impact and high on fun and memorability.  It’s an ethos of loving what you do, being mindful of the earth, and knowing that little things can give great gifts to those around you. 

Photo credits from the top:

1. Poet at Work by Misti Layne 
2. The Poetry Store's Desk by Meg Perotti
3. Paper by Silvi Alcivar
4. For Sam and Alicia by Silvi Alcivar

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Green Business Award

Last night our Locally Grown Weddings team was recognized by the City of San Francisco as a Green Business! As a sponsor of the celebration we served two season treats featuring Beets! It was super meeting so many green business owners in one location!  We hope you enjoy the recipes for our Chipotle Pickled Beets and Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake:

Chipotle Pickled Beets by Chef Stephanie 
Makes 2 cups

3 medium red or golden beets
2c Vinegar
1c water
1T Sugar
1T Salt
1t chipotle powder


1. Peel beets, cut into thin wedges
2. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and chipotle powder and bring to a boil in a medium sauce pan
3. Add beets to liquid mixture
4. Bring liquid back up to a boil and then cook for 10 minutes
5. Cool beets in liquid
6. Store in refrigerator (in liquid) for up to a month

Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake by Pei-YeeAdapted from Tender by Nigel Slater by David Lebovitz


8 ounces (240 g) beets, unpeeled, rinsed and scrubbed free of dirt
7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (70% cacao solids), chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) hot espresso (or water)
7 ounces (200 g) butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 cup (135 g) flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (the darkest you can find, natural or Dutch-process)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 cup (200 g) superfine sugar


1. Butter an 8- or 8 1/2 inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Boil the beets in salted water until they are very tender when you stick a knife in them, about 45 minutes. Drain, then rinse the beets with cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels, cut the beets into chunks, and grind them in a food processor until you get a coarse, yet cohesive, puree. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor, use a the finest holes on your cheese grater.)

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible.

4. Once it’s nearly all melted, turn off the heat (but leave the bowl over the warm water), pour in the hot espresso and stir it once. Then add the chunks of butter into the chocolate and allow them to soften without stirring.

5. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.

6. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then whisk the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets.

7. In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix.

8. Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder mixture.

9. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF (160ºC), and bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not overbake.

Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.

Serving and storage: This cake tastes better the second day. Serve as is, or spread with crème fraîche and sprinkle with poppy seeds shortly before serving.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Locally Grown Weddings will be at the Green Awards Tonight!

We are so proud of receiving our San Francisco Green Certification!

Tonight we will be attending the 6th Annual Green Business Awards Reception, and we will have great seasonal treats to greet all the members of this incredible program.

Next week, we will be at Elixir, for our first ever Meet and Greet. Come by if you are in town!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Locally Grown Weddings: Best of 2011

What a year! We were busy until the very end, but we couldn't skip a blog post to celebrate 2011.

 The biggest changes were in our personal lives, as 2011 saw the birth of two locally grown babies! Sadie and Pei-Yee gave birth a week from each other and we all were so excited to meet little Thomas and Leona. Then Aurora and Madeline moved in with their boyfriends and Chef Stephanie celebrated the end of the year by going on vacation for a month. WOW.
The best thing about all this is that Locally Grown Weddings kept going, and maternity leaves, moves and time off didn't stop the growth and success of the group. We are building our community from the inside out, taking care of each other and sharing the tasks and excitement of running a business.

2011 was full of weddings! We loved working with couples who decided to put their values in their wedding and to start their life together by taking care of each other and the earth.

If you haven't yet, read our posts from 2011 for more photos and details. This year we are planning on more great posts on green and beautiful weddings.

We also had lots of fun at Bat Mitzvahs! Here are a few images from those events.

And last, but definitely not least, we received our San Francisco Green certification this year! For the past 2 years, we have been working hard to support the local and green economy and it's great to be officially recognized and join this wonderful community of like minded businesses.

We are also happy to announce we are going to have a booth at the SF Green Business Awards Ceremony on January 18th. Maybe we will see you there?

Thank you you so much for all your support and your commitment to making our planet a little bit better every day. We wish you all the best in 2012!

Locally Grown Weddings Members:

Event Planning: Sadie Waddington
Catering: Chef Stephanie
Photography: Aurora Meneghello
Flowers and Design: Madeline Trait
Wedding Desserts: Pei-Yee Woo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Julie and Michael's Wedding Part Three

And here's the last installment of our blog series!

Sadie and her team worked their magic and Julie and Michael's home and studio were transformed for a day.

One Dahlia seed for every year Julie and Michael lived together made a unique and sustainable gift for all the guests.

Julie and Michael wanted to share a unique vegan dinner menu with their wedding guests. They were looking to combine the abundance of the summer season with bold flavors and the highest quality ingredients. Chef Stephanie started the cocktail hour with Golden Beet Skewers with  dill cashew cream, Roasted Peach Crostini with tofu “cheese”, fresh Spring Rolls and Mediterranean Platterswith white bean hummous, seasonal crudités, olives and pita bread. The dinner included 2 entrees: Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Red Bell Peppers with French lentils, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions and a spiced carrot sauce and Polenta Napolean with spiced black beans, zucchini,  tofu “cheese”, tomatillo salsa and fresh cilantro. Right in the heart of heirloom season, another dish was Heirloom Tomato Salad with English cucumbers, basil and white balsamic. The Farmer’s Market Salad included strawberries, plums, pecans and an orange basil vinaigrette. Julie and Michael knew to expect hot weather so we also served some signature cooling beverages at the bar including Lavender Lemonade,Iced Herbal Mint Tisane and Watermelon Agua Fresca.

Typically the main ingredients in a wedding cake are butter and eggs, but in keeping with their values, Julie and Michael wanted their wedding dessert to be free from dairy and eggs.
So Pei-Yee created a trio of yummy cakes to share with their guests, designed to satisfy any sweet tooth! Their cake flavors were:
- toasted coconut cake with mango buttercream
- moist vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries
- rich chocolate cake with a peppermint buttercream

Julie wanted something classic and elegant that would showcase her favorite flowers, dahlias, so we prepared a lovely three tier cake, trimmed with gray satin ribbon and accented with gorgeous and vibrant dahlias. And check out the cake topping!

 Oh oh, guess what happens next...

Let's end with a romantic note: sunset photos to close a beautiful day.

Wait...one more! A big hug for Chef Stephanie: her vegan menu dazzled all the guests who didn't expect vegan food to taste...well...so incredibly yummy!

Thank you, Julie and Michael for making our team a big part of the most important day of your life.
Happy Holidays!

Locally Grown Weddings Members:

Event Planning: Sadie Waddington
Catering: Chef Stephanie
Photography: Aurora Meneghello
Flowers and Design: Madeline Trait
Wedding Desserts: Pei-Yee Woo

Venue: Private Residence

Locally Grown Weddings Partners:

Jewelry: D&H Sustainable Jewelers
Rentals: Hartmann Studios