Sunday was my one year wedding anniversary. There are so many thoughts, so many things I want to write here so I’m going to try and organize it best I can. This is not going to be a short post. If you’re not into this, skip the pictures of my awesome magical wedding and get to the recipe down below. I made Hot Pockets from scratch for this post, which I can expand on later. But anyone who’s close to me will need no explanation for my need to create this baked savory deliciousness.
There’s something about getting married that when you step back and look at it, especially a year later after all the crazy planning and fun stress and celebration, it’s an incredible thing. And it’s a thing I didn’t know if I’d have in my life. I have never been a serial monogamist, and while I dated through my years in NYC, I wasn’t obsessed or even really concerned about marriage. Cut to almost five years ago when I met the man who is now my husband. We knew pretty early on we were in it to win it. And marriage became a whole different thing. It really became about us, about creating the best relationship promotion you can get, and legally making ourselves a team. Neither of us are terribly religious so we wanted an epic celebration of love. And we wanted it in New York City.
So as we did everything ourselves for this crazy adventure, here are some things I learned in the process. Honestly, I’m using this whole week to brag about our love, the wedding, and the experience, and you’re still going to get recipes out of the deal.
We were so scared to ask people for help. We didn’t want to be needy or burden people with responsibilities or favors. We knew we’d need a lot of assistance in the set up process because while we rented the awesome event space, DUMBO Loft, we only had it for the day. But when we finally realized it was too much for only us, our friends were 110% on board with helping. We had friends show up at 10am at the space to start unloading the truck of decorations. After we made our official exit and walked our way to the afterparty, friends stayed behind to reload the truck and clean up the space. It was overwhelming, the love and help we received, we felt silly we did’t ask sooner. So if you’re planning a wedding on your own, you’re friends want to help you create the best day, so ask them to do so!!!!!
STAY TRUE TO WHAT YOU WANT. IF YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE, KEEP IT IN VEIN WITH YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA
We didn’t want to stay in a normal hotel. So we found a B&B in downtown Brooklyn. It had a communal bathroom for the floor, that sounded weird. But we didn’t want to go to our own apartment the night of the wedding, and we wanted to be close to the venue, and we liked the idea of something that wasn’t where all the guests were staying. So we stayed at this place (which sadly has since closed down), had some of our closest out of town friends rent the rest of the rooms on the floor and had a BALL. It wasn’t a hotel, it was cozy and personal, and US. And the communal bathroom? Really not that big of an issue. I learned about compromise right off the bat as we started looking for a venue. Wedding sticker shock is one thing, NYC wedding sticker shock takes about 5 years off your life. We were disheartened when first trying to find a venue. We only wanted about 100 guests, but with food and event space cost, it began to feel impossible. After days of disappointing visits and research, we had dinner on a cool summer night and reassessed what we wanted, and how to stay as true to our original concept as possible without going into debt. We ended up deciding on having our whole wedding be a cocktail hour, no sit down dinner, with plenty of passed hors d’ourves and booze (which we were allowed to bring in ourselves). People could mingle the whole time, and sit at the communal tables placed around the venue to eat when they wanted. It was perfect, and it created a flow of a constantly active evening. Was it what we were originally thinking? No, but it became one of our favorite things about our wedding. We definitely had to change everything we originally thought would be the outline of the night, but our wedding pow wow let us keep calm and not feel like we had to settle.
My final piece of advice for THIS post is:
DO A FIRST LOOK
I know there are some people who will fight me tooth and nail over this. But having a first look was also one of my favorite decisions we made about our day. We did not spend the evening before the wedding apart, we stayed together in the B&B, we spent the whole morning setting up with friends, and finally parted ways only hours before the ceremony. But let me tell you, the feeling of walking up behind him and seeing him in his suit is one of the best moments in life, ever. Sharing that moment, and having it privately for ourselves instead of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony was beyond special. It was emotional and beautiful and full of love. We were speechless. And because of that, and knocking out all our pictures together and with family before the wedding, our nerves were gone, we just sat back and enjoyed the night and each other. I couldn’t recommend a first look more. And when it’s at a carousel in Brooklyn, how could you not love this moment??
So as I mentioned in the beginning, I made homemade Hot Pockets. Marriage is all about compromise, right? And when my husband decided to lock it down with a ring, he knew of my love for Hot Pockets. He knew what he was getting into. How much I eat them, how I always have them in the freezer for any time I ‘m having a craving, how I could actually live off of them if he let me. We even had gourmet hot pockets served at our wedding made by our catering company. But let’s be honest, despite the catchy and painfully unoriginal jingle, Hot Pockets are the epitome of processed food. On the package they’re claiming to use real cheese, but of course the sodium level is probably off the charts, and still, anything you buy that is popped into the microwave probably has preservatives that aren’t great. And that makes me sad. I’m not a walking health nut, but I do like eating real things. So I looked online and found a solid dough recipe to make hot pockets, and now I’ve made two rounds and they are PERFECT AND TASTY. I made two kinds, they still freeze well to have to lunch throughout the week and while it’s not the healthiest meal, it’s not fake! They’re all real baby, and they’re a dream come true.
I chose to make Pepperoni Pizza and Meatball with Marinara Hot Pockets. I bought a real pepperoni sausage and sliced it up, the pizza sauce probably isn’t the best choice but that’s what my grocery store had. I did make the meatballs out of organic meat. I used 1/2 lb organic ground beef, add an egg, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. I mixed all this by hand in a medium bowl and then heated olive oil in a medium pan, pulling off small chunks and creating tiny meatballs. They cook fast, let them cool on a paper towel on a plate. 1/2 lb made more than enough. If you can find pre made meatballs, or just cut up regular sized meatballs, that’s obviously faster.
Homemade Hot Pockets
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For the dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp dry yeast (about 4 packages)
- 1 cup warm water
For the filling
- Sliced pepperoni
- mini meatballs
- Marinara Sauce
- Pizza Sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Dried Oregano
- Optional: 1 egg + splash of water for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper
- Add all dough ingredients into bowl of stand up mixer and using dough hook, knead ingredients on low speed
- One dry ingredients are just combined, up speed to medium and allow to knead thoroughly, forming a ball
- Once kneaded and formed into a ball on dough hook, dump out onto floured surface or baking mat
- Divide dough into 8 or 9 equal parts
- Roll each piece out into a thin rectangle
- In the center, leaving a border around for room to fold in, place sauce, then cheese, then meat
- Fold in two side flaps of dough, then the top and bottom flaps
- If desired, brush folds with egg wash
- Place on baking sheet, folded side down, and sprinkle liberally with parmesan on both kinds, and oregano on pizza hot pockets
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, until just golden brown
- Allow to cool slightly before enjoying
- These can be wrapped in wax paper and stored in ziplock bags in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds
- *Careful not to over fill with cheese, or it'll all come out of the folds while it bakes
- *I did one batch with egg wash and one without, truth be told there wasn't much a difference, most pockets were fine, a few who weren't folded as tightly as they should've had cheese leakage
Adapted from A Beautiful Ruckus
Adapted from A Beautiful Ruckus
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/