Charm of honey; fine glasses toast great party

Honeycomb on a wooden surface/Pinterest

Two event-related items from Sabrina Cadini’s La Dolce Idea – The Charm of Honey, followed by fine glasses toast the perfect party.

Honey always has been a pantry item in our house. My mom, an avid tea drinker, religiously brews a cup of Earl Grey after 4 p.m. every afternoon, enhancing the aroma with a spoonful of honey.

I am attracted to all those different varieties on display at grocery stores and the colors and textures that characterize them: acacia, chestnut, clover, eucalyptus, lavender, orange blossom and wildflower just to mention some.

Even the jars have their own distinctive personality: vintage, handmade-style, or with fun shapes. (Ever noticed, or purchased, those bear-shaped bottles?) If you collect them, honey glass jars are ideal as rustic, or old-fashioned, containers for wildflower arrangements, candy, or votive candles.

As with grapes for wine or beans for coffee, the flavor of honey is affected by a combination of geographic location, climate and microclimate, soil and temperature. That gives the flower nectar a complex composition and the honey made from it an individual personality.

Besides being an interesting food item, and irresistibly sweet, honey also is an effective natural remedy. it inhibits bacteria growth, contains disease-fighting antioxidants, aids digestion, can be used as a dressing for wounds and burns or as an ointment for some skin conditions.

Honey is a perfect addition to anybody’s diet. However, make sure not to give it to infants until after their first year since it contains spores that young children can’t tolerate.

Honey Recipe

I would like to share a recipe with honey that is perfect for Rosh Hashanah (falling on Sept. 8 this year). The tradition of eating honey cake and honey-dipped fruit represents hope for a sweet year ahead.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk together 1 ¾ cups flour, ¾ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Mix 2 large eggs with ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup packed light brown sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and thick, about 3 minutes.

Whisk together ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey, ½ cup milk, ½ cup vegetable oil, and ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest. With mixer on low, add honey mixture to egg mixture, mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add half the flour mixture; mix until smooth. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into pan.

Bake until dark golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of cake; carefully remove sides of pan. Transfer cake to a platter. Top with caramelized pears (recipe follows). Serve with whipped cream or topping, if desired.

Makes one 10-inch cake

Caramelized Pears

Heat 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup sugar; cook, stirring, until almost dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 ¾ pounds red Anjou pears cut into wedges; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just golden, 12 to 20 minutes. Pour in ¼ cup honey; cook, stirring, until pears are coated and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Males about 2 cups

If you keep kosher and would like to make dairy-free versions of the recipes above, substitute margarine for the butter and soy milk for the regular milk. You can also prepare the cake (without the pears) one day ahead and stored in plastic wrap at room temperature.


Wine glasses for every occasion/Webstaurant

Cha-Ching: Glasses for the perfect party

I always enjoy looking for items that my brides can add to their gift registry. This month let’s talk about glassware, such an important part of entertaining. You will welcome your guests with a cocktail or a signature drink, you will serve your best wine selection at dinner, and you will offer them an after-dinner or a sweet wine to accompany a delicious dessert.

Here are some new arrivals that will please every taste and budget. From top left:

* Ibisco Collection – Entirely hand-painted by Italian artisans, this set features beautiful white floral design enhanced with touches of (

* Kate Spade Belle Boulevard – An elegant wine glass with the designer’s signature bow motif (

* Rainbow Margarita glass – Mouth-blown in Mexico from 100% recycled glass, each piece is surrounded by a rainbow-colored swirl (

* Times Square Stemware – Sophisticated, square-shaped handcrafted stemware for a different look on your table. You can choose gold- or plain-rimmed stemware (

* O-Riedel Martini Glasses – What a fabulous and stylish glass! Perfect for a Martini or any fashionable cocktail (

* Limoncello glass that really stand out with its lime green stem and is ideal for any shot liqueur. Made in Italy (


Sabrina Cadini, of La Dolce Idea at La Jolla began her career in event and wedding planning in Italy, where she was born.

She had the opportunity to meet amazing designers while modeling and working as a TV announcer. “They could turn a bare studio into an incredible, and colorful, setting for a TV show, or photo shoot, with different materials, lighting, decor, and fabrics,” she says.

At that time, Sabrina started helping friends with their parties, then social and corporate clients, creating the perfect setting for their events.

After moving to the United States, Sabrina volunteered on several boards and coordinated some fundraising events. She began managing events on a larger scale for medical conventions across North America as a tour operator and meeting planner.

Weddings and special events were her greatest passion. By fusing creativity, Italian style, and fashion into impeccably planned occasions, La Dolce Idea created singular and personal celebrations for many clients.

Sabrina was designated as a Professional Bridal Consultant by the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), the oldest, and largest, training organization for wedding professional in the world. She is co-director of  ABC, San Diego Region.

Sabrina has a collection of ideas, news, information, pictures, and trends from the event and wedding world at her blog, Something Dolce at

And, of course, La Dolce Idea’s website at

Follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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