Monday, April 1, 2013

A Baby Shower


My dear friend Rachel is pregnant with her third child, and I was so excited to have been able to host a baby shower for her.

Rachel loves butterflies, so I decided to use a butterfly/spring theme as well as incorporating blue since she's having a boy. 

For the invitations, I printed the information onto vellum paper, and then tied it on top of some paper I got from a book of scrapbook papers from Joann Fabrics.

The cool thing about this paper is that it's double sided, so the back is as pretty as the front.

Rachel's friend Rhonda offered to take care of the games and help me set up on the day of the shower.  She also brought along some beautiful decorations.
Her daughter Isobel was also a fantastic help.  (Keeping each Taco Cup neat would have made me run screaming for my knitting cabinet.)
I knew we were going to have a house-full, so I wanted to have plenty of food.  I made hors d'oeuvres that could be nibbled on throughout the Shower so people could mingle and move about and visit with Rachel.  My house has small rooms, and I wanted Rachel to feel like she got to spend time with everyone there.

Rachel has trouble tolerating gluten, so everything was gluten free so that she could eat to her heart's content. (I have devious designs on being responsible for her having a 12 pound baby.)

I made two sets of cake pops, one with regular cake and one with gluten-free cake (I just bought a gluten-free box cake mix).  The cake was plain white cake, but I mixed a bit of vanilla frosting with some lemonade frosting to give it a bit of a fresh, "spring" taste.  (The lemonade icing is available right now as an Easter/spring special in the baking aisle.) The candy coating was just the Wilton blue candy melts I got from the cake decorating section at Wal-Mart.  I was worried I'd have to adjust the color to match the aqua color of the party decorations, but it worked perfectly without needing any changes!
I personally think Cake Pops taste best slightly frozen, so I made them a few days ahead of time and kept them in the freezer under lock and key until an hour before the Shower so they'd be cold.  Also, the regular candy melts are a bit too thick when melted, so I thinned it with a little bit of coconut oil.  Along with all the health benefits, coconut oil has the advantage of solidifying when it's below 80 degrees (which is like, ALWAYS up here).  This made it easier to coat the cake pops and the covering hardened quickly.

The plates and napkins I ordered online through Party City and picked up solid blue ones from the Dollar Tree to save a few pennies. (I'm Dutch.  We do things like that).

I picked up a set of plastic "bathroom cups" from Wal-Mart and filled them with Coconut Rice Custard.  Miss Boo sprinkled a bit of Saigon Cinnamon on top, which really added a wonderful flavor.  Oh my goodness, if you like coconut, this tastes amazing. So good. Mmmmmmmm . . . .

These were little quinoa quiche cups that I mixed with broccoli.  The recipe calls for zucchini (which I didn't have) and ham (Rachel doesn't eat pork) so I modified it by sautéing the broccoli with red onions in butter before mixing with the quinoa, egg, and cheese mix.

I also made a few trays of deviled eggs with a little bit of parsley garnish.  The white bowl held a Quinoa Cilantro Lime Salad.  I just love this recipe.  It's so fresh tasting and packed with flavor!  I would definitely recommend making it a day ahead of time because the taste improves a ton the next day when the lime-cumin dressing has had time to work it's magic. 

Finally, as the official "cake", I made a flourless orange chocolate torte with whipped cream/cream cheese frosting.  I basically followed the recipe, but didn't add any coconut milk to the ganache (I did a regular ganache recipe which uses heavy whipping cream), and added enough orange syrup (a coffee flavoring syrup) till the taste was just right. Subtle and not overpowering.  If I could do it again I think I'd use a slightly better chocolate.  As a note in case you ever decide to do this, the cake is rather gooey (like fudge) when warm, so keep it in the freezer and cut it when frozen (it doesn't ever freeze solidly; more like an ice cream consistency).  I knew it would be hard to serve once it warmed up, so after I cut the cake into slices I put them individually on flattened cupcake wrappers.

Everyone brought such beautiful gifts!


 I moved things around and lined up folding chairs along the walls, and somehow we managed to squeeze nearly 30 people in my house!  Cozy, but fun.

I put my most comfy recliner in the center room so that Rachel could see what was happening in both the other rooms where people were sitting.

Okay, now Rachel can have that baby!


Angie Tuttle said...

The custard is divine...