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September 26, 2010

Baby Shower for Chloe

The date for Cathy Ballenger's baby shower for incubating Chloe finally came this weekend! I had a great time throwing the party along with Cathy's friends Jamie, Ronnell, and Marilyn. There was about a dozen guests to fete the baby. I so enjoyed meeting the special friends in Cathy's life.

(the full spread)

Background music was a channel of lullabies courtesy of Pandora. It was just loud enough to be pleasant without being overwhelming.

Hostess Ronnell made a darling diaper cake that she gifted to the mom and baby. She also made game prizes with Starbucks cards in them!

In honor of the dad's Argentinian citizenship, hostess Jamie made a banner sign reading "Bienvenido Chloe" in the party's colors of brown and dusty rose that was the focal point for the decorations. She then gifted all the onesies to the baby.

I got several copies of The Real Mother Goose off Paperback Swap to use as decorations or placemats. We ended up hanging a couple illustrations from a mirror in the room where we gathered. I also made nametags from Avery labels to coordinate with the nursery rhyme theme decor using a graphic off paperback swap, the cover of the book "The Real Mother Goose" with the black and white checked cover that you remember from childhood.

Couscous with Pineapple, Mango and Maraschino Cherries: Canned pineapple and prepared mango were time-savers for this recipe, though fresh and/or grilled fruit plated atop a bed of the couscous would step up the sophistication for a fancier event. I used half water-half orange juice for the liquid in cooking the couscous to add to the sweet fruit flavor.

Quinoa and Corn salad with Cucumber and Cashews: to cook the quinoa, I used vegetable broth for the liquid rather than water. That added a ton of flavor and turned the dish into more of a savory one.

My cousin Rachel brought this grape salad to a family reunion and is now not allowed to attend without it--it's so yummy! For the party, I simplified by using raw walnuts, not sugared, and mixed the salad rather than layering it in a baking pan.

Rachel Walker Baker's Grape Salad

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place 1 stick of butter and 1 1/2 cup chopped nuts in pan, bake for 10 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, add 1/2 cup brown sugar, and cool.

Wash 2-3 lbs red seedless grapes, pat dry and place in 9x13 inch pan.

Mix 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Recipe calls for pouring this mixture over grapes; I mix it in with the grapes.

Sprinkle nut mixture on top and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Jicama Salad with Mint & Grapefruit Segments: I used prepared grapefruit segments to save time in this dish. The jicama can be peeled pretty quickly using a carrot peeler, then cut into sticks for a different look.

The recipe from a local Salt Lake deli was an inspiration for the Italian Bread Salad pictured above. I simplified, leaving out the cucumbers, capers and olives, and used freshly picked tomatoes straight from my garden. To strech the expensive mozzarella further, I sliced each ball in half.

Caputo's Bread Salad

1 Loaf French bread, in pieces
1-1 1/2 cups Mozarella cheese, in balls or cut into chunks
3 cucumbers, cut in chunks
1 pkg Cherry tomatoes, small or halved
1 jar medium whole green olives (I omit this)
1 Tbsp. Capers
Olive Oil & Vinegar salad dressing

A last minute addition as guests were arriving was a platter of cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches garnished with cherry tomatoes.

Jamie served a lovely chocolate fondue with all kinds of fruit and pound cake as dippers, a couple different kinds of hummus, and a tray of shrimp. Jamie also made a really yummy virgin punch with sherbet in it, and a lovely champagne-cranberry juice spritzer with raspberries dotting the glasses.

Finally got to taste the Pumpkin Cheesecake bars I baked last weekend! The recipe's in this separate post.

(the hostesses, with the mom-to-be in the center
L-R Ronnell, Ellen, Cathy, Jamie, Marilyn)

Jamie and Ronnell had made colorful candy boxes as party favors. Unfortunately I couldn't wait to crack it open, so I don't have a photo.

Thanks again to the rest of the co-hosts. This party wouldn't have happened but for the team effort!

What baby shower ideas have you used in the past, or remember from parties you've attended? Please leave a comment on the blog.

1 comment:

  1. I am so greatful to all the time, energy, and love you put into making our shower so special. Thank you so much Ellen!


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