On Sunday, I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for a good friend. We were not only celebrating her pregnancy and impending motherhood but also having a last hurrah as she and her husband are moving to Louisiana. It was a bittersweet event but mostly sweet, I think!
Our foundational (sounds important, right?) Book Club, helped me host. AM brought some stellar and super cute decorations – she rocks at this stuff, obviously, which is why I asked for her help. Crafty, I am not so much. And EM was super awesome and not only brought food but came early and helped me put mine together – we were the official taste tasters, especially of the beverages. She had perfect timing, arriving almost 2 hours early. I was buzzing with lists in my head at that point, forgetting to read instructions for recipes, and having dogs picked up. She basically saved the day, stirring things, watching things I left on the stove when people arrived, etc. #LifeSaver #ShowerSaver And she brought yummy chicken salad (sans mayo!) and the cheese. Had to have cheese and crackers.
I tried out some new recipes for the day. One was one inspired by a Pioneer Woman recipe for cheesecake cups. She put graham cracker crumbs in mini wine glasses, topped with a cheesecake type filling and then with pie filling (homemade and store bought). I didn’t follow her recipe exactly and actually ended up using pudding filling – one cheesecake flavored and the other lemon. I saw them while looking for graham cracker crumbs and they just seemed so simple. I then added some cream cheese to the pudding after following their super simple directions but I forgot to let it soften and I also do not have a mixer so we never quite got the cream cheese to mix fully in. It kept some clumps but once topped with the topping you could not tell. And it tasted pretty good, not quote like I imagined but fine. I will definitely continue to play with that recipe. For the topping I used frozen blueberries and orange juice with some vanilla. Easy, delicious. The problem came when all the recipes for “pie fillings” I researched said to use cornstarch to thicken the sauce, none of them said: “Read the cornstarch box directions before using.” Therefore, I did not. And I did not dissolve it in cold water before putting into the mix which created more clumps. We were able to pick some of it out but…. yea. So I had a tasty (but not awesome) and kind of clumpy dessert. But it looked cute. We topped half of them with nuts. I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with these – they had potential but fell flat. I also made a little cocktail/sangria which involved splashing a bunch of stuff into a pitcher hoping it tasted good. It’s kind of hard to go wrong with these ingredients: 750mL Citrus Vodka, magnum bottle of Chenin Blanc, champagne, lemonade. Brands don’t really matter and you could probably use any semi-sweet/citrusy white wine, Moscato if you want really sweet, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio if lighter. I also cut up 2 limes and a Granny Smith apple and put them in it. I made 2 batches at the same time: half the wine in each, a quarter of the vodka and champagne in each and splashes of lemonade. I also served just lemonade and sparkling grape juice for non-alcoholic options (plus water). I made a 3rd batch after the first two were gone with the rest of the vodka, champagne and lemonade – post party relaxation. This concoction was awesome, no disappointments here. (Next time I would add a little sign card that tells what it is because some people thought it was water with lime… oops.) We served grapes, EM’s chicken salad with mini croissants, mini taquitos, cheese, crackers, hummus, and little petite fours with blue booties from BI-LO’s bakery. I got several compliments on the petite fours from BI-LO. I also know that Publix has them but in a smaller size and more $$.
Some other items to note, I placed children’s books on the table for more decor and also my gift to the mother-to-be and we used one of the larger books as the sign-in book. I saw this idea at a shower I attended and loved it. We also made sure to pass around a notebook to get peoples’ addresses for “Mom” so that she would have them for thank you notes. I think we had about 10 women all-in-all and my friend received some great gifts. It’s always good when several of the guests are mothers (or pharmacists, in this case) because the gifts are practical and come with advice. I have been attending several baby showers and keeping little mental notes for the future. I always learn very interesting things. I think P would freak out if he heard some of this stuff but I find it fascinating.
Definitely a successful day: 1 recipe win and 1 recipe with potential, and a happy mother-to-be even with a whole lot of sad friends wishing her good-bye and good luck. And a huge shout-out to my fellow hosts and rescuers. Have you ever had any recipe fails when you try it the day you have to serve it?
Any good baby shower stories to share??