If/when I ever get married, I want it to be just like this. Cheap, fun, with emphasis on the party.
Mind if I ask where you're getting married and why you chose RI? (I'm from and live in Providence and get excited when I find ties to this little state out in the world (wide web))
I was born and raised in RI, as was my husband, and most of our family is still there. We're having the wedding at Blissful Meadows in Uxbridge, MA (a country club, NOT a retirement home, although it sounds like one!). I liked it because besides being beautiful, the food is amazing, the wedding planner is a sweetheart, and it has a sort of elegant, but still rustic charm. Plus my husband loved that you can rent a bunch of classic cars there for photos.
Ahh, very cool. Rhode Island and I wish you the best!
I definitely agree with CraftyCat above about finding out how your guy likes his steak. I will say, though, that Blue Rare is kinda sorta a made up term. Just put into effect by restaurants like Outback to say "Oh man, our rare is RARE. Can YOU handle OUR RARE?" Rare is red and pretty much raw, medium rare is red but warmer, medium is bright pink throughout, medium well is when the pink is seriously fading and well done is when the meat is an ever-so-slightly pink-tinged grey color and, yeah, it's ruined.
I'll also note that porterhouse is not boneless. Porterhouse is similar to a T-Bone, but without the "tail" at the bottom. The beauty of a great porterhouse is that you have both sirloin and tenderloin. The sirloin is more flavorful but a little tougher, while the tenderloin doesn't taste like much but is incredibly tender. It can usually be found on sale for about $6 per pound around here (Rhode Island), which is, you know, kind of reasonable. If he likes a beautiful steak cooked right (rare-medium rare), then I would recommend a thick cut (2-3") porterhouse steak, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper and grilled in screaming hot grill pan or a moderate-high grill for about 6 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second. Take it off, let it rest for 10 minutes, carve the meat off the bones in two pieces and slice. Of course, you can cook it to his liking. I would recommend a thermometer for this. For rare, you want it to register 120 degrees. Medium rare, 125 degrees. Medium, 130-135 degrees. And so on. Keep in mind that the meat continues to cook a little bit after it's taken off the heat (about 5 degrees or so). Also, don't cook any steak with a bone in it in a foreman grill, it prevents the grill plates from coming into contact with the meat so it doesn't brown well.
Another tasty steak is a flank steak. It's a big, thin flap of meat with a grain running from one end to the other (the long way). It's also pretty reasonably priced at about $5-6 per pound around here (Rhode Island). It's great marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. You have to score the meat in a diamond pattern to prevent it from curling up when it hits the heat. Throw it on a hot grill and grill it for 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second for rare-medium rare meat (you don't want to cook flank steak more than that, believe me). Then slice it thinly on the bias and against the grain (with the meat running the lonway, parallel to the countertop or cutting board, slice it while holding a knife a 45 degree angle to your cutting surface)
There are lots of things you can do with red beans that don't require meat. You can treat red beans the same as any other bean, really. Experiment with the spices and aromatics that you like and you're sure to find something delicious. I agree with the previous poster about the bay leaf. Bay leaves add a great flavor to beans, soups, sauces, lots of things. You can cook up the beans and toss them with chickpeas and green beans (or any combination) for a three bean salad and dress it with some olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. They also make delicious refried beans. Just cook them up and then add them to a skillet in which you've sauteed some onions and garlic, add cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and pepper. Mash them up to your desired consistency and when they're done, stir in a handful of chopped cilantro. Rustic and delicious and a real crowd-pleaser. Beans are so delicious. Experiment and enjoy.
Those are so awesome. I'm actually making my best friend coasters for Christmas. She just got back from Japan and is in love with the culture. Maybe I can try to replicate these for her. Also, where did you get the base for those coasters?