Monday, October 1, 2012

Baby Shower - theme, party favor, and recipes

A very dear friend of mine had a baby girl this past June, and in her honor, I hosted a baby shower the first weekend of June. The mother to be was very relaxed about the shower and only had two requests: 1) she did not want things to be over the top girly, and 2) she did not want to make any decisions about themes, details of the shower, etc., as she had enough to think about and plan with her first baby on the way.

I decided to host a champagne brunch baby shower with an elegant pink theme.  I found beautiful lanterns, along with party food picks, by Martha Stewart, which added the perfect amount of decoration to make the room festive without being over the top. Continuing with the theme, I chose different shades of pink for the little the details like the tablecloth, plates, and napkins. I ordered plastic champagne flutes for the guests.

Along the walls, I hung twine and used clothespins to hang baby girl outfits, and I created a another twine line for guests to hang their own baby pictures with clothespins.

The brunch menu consisted of the following:

Mixed berries with lemon curd
Orange-scented french toast bread pudding
Snap pea, radish, and mint with lemon balsamic vinaigrette

Note: all recipes without a link are at the end of the post. 

I designed the cake with a block and booties, keeping with the shades of pink theme, and ordered it from the incredible Cake Coquette in San Francisco. It was a classic chocolate cake glazed in coffee Kahlua syrup and filled with layers of mocha buttercream. HEAVENLY. 

For party favors, I made these beautiful jars of cookie mix, inspired by Bakerella, for each guest to take home. Each jar was labeled announcing the shower (printed by the amazing Paper Source). I ordered several bags of Valentine's Day M&Ms to keep with the pink theme, but you could use any color M&Ms. I used wide mouth mason jars because the wide mouth makes it much, much easier to pour things into the jar.

Layer the following ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar, making sure to tightly pack in each layer so that everything fits in the jar:
  • 1 1/3 cup flour, leveled
  • 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup M&M
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, packed
Inside the lid, tape the following recipe for the cookie mix:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Add 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup butter at room temperature, 1 tsp vanilla
  3. Mix well to combine
  4. Roll cookie dough into 1.5" balls
  5. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes at 350
To decorate, place a 6" square of pink tulle on top of the jar and screw on the lid. Cut the brown suede string into 25" long pieces and tie into a bow around the lid. Fix label on the side of the jar.

For her gift, I filled the classiest diaper bag I could find with my favorite aden + anais nibble nsap bibs, SwaddleDesigns baby burpies, a SwaddleDesigns receiving blanket, two SwaddleDesigns swaddling blankets, and a Dr. Brown's BPA free natural flow newborn bottle feeding set. 

Momma-to-be and grandma-to-be were very happy with the shower. And her beautiful baby girl came just a few weeks later, on June 28, 2012, and is absolutely perfect! Happy three month birthday! We love you so much!

Mixed berries with lemon curd

1 16 oz basket strawberries, hulled, halved (or quartered if large)
2 6 oz basket fresh blueberries
2 6 oz basket fresh raspberries
2  6 oz basket fresh blackberries

1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large egg yolks
11/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 cups chilled whipping cream
for garnish: 8 whole strawberries
Fresh mint sprigs

for 12 servings

Combine 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, 6 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs and grated lemon peel in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture thickens and thermometer inserted into mixture registers 160°F. Transfer lemon curd to another large bowl. Chill until cool, whisking occasionally.

Toss halved strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another large bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat 11/2 cups cream in medium bowl until medium-firm peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into lemon curd to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream.

Divide berry mixture among 8 martini or wine glasses. Spoon lemon mousse over berries. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream atop desserts. Garnish with whole strawberries and mint sprigs.

French Toast Bread pudding

1 challah loaf
8 extra-large eggs
5 cups half-and-half or whole milk
3 tbsp honey or 1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp grated orange zest, or zest of one orange
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt

for serving: Confectioners’ sugar and pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Tear the bread into 3/4" pieces and arrange in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Whisk eggs, half-and-half in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, honey, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and press the bread down to moisten completely. Cover with foil and chill overnight.

Place foil-covered dish in cold oven. Set oven at 350°F and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes longer. Spoon pudding onto plates, dust lightly with confectioners' sugar and, and serve hot with warm maple syrup.

Snap pea, radish, and mint with lemon balsamic vinaigrette
1 1/4 cup snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
6 radishes, thinly sliced using a mandoline or sharp knife, about 3/4 cup
1/2 bunch mint, torn
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 fat garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together the radishes, peas, and mint. Using the flat side of a knife or a mortar and pestle, make a paste of the garlic and salt. Place in a small bowl and add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring constantly, and add pepper to taste. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.


  1. Incredibly elegant and cute, you should get into event organization business :)

  2. Wow!! This is something wonderful. Have not seen such an elegant baby shower before. Truly in love with your work. It looks so classic and best. Have to arrange my younger sister’s baby shower at one of New York venues. Want to throw an unforgettable shower.

  3. Good blog! You have described in a nice way.
    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Birthday themes


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