January 25, 2009

Garden Themed Baby Shower

I recently helped plan a baby shower with a spring garden theme (the baby is due . . . you guessed it . . . this spring).

The Breakdown

We knew we wanted to have gerbera daisies placed in wheat grass for the centerpieces, and it was just a matter of figuring out the colors and details from there. Since the momma-to-be was not into "girly-girl" things, we stayed clear of pink. The group decided on red flowers (as the momma-to-be used red flowers for her wedding). I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of how the red and green would look together, but I think the florist did a great job, and it was not Christmasy looking at all.

We also decided to order red butterflies to go with the flowers to add to the "spring" theme.

The Menu:

We set up a brunch buffet. To make things more personal, each of the hostesses made something from scratch to contribute to the brunch. The final menu included:

  • Bagels with four types of cream cheese

  • Croissants with butter and jam

  • Spinach quiche

  • Potato frittata

  • Cabbage salad

  • Blueberry muffins

  • Chocolate citrus muffins

  • Fruit salad

We also had a beverage station with coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate, orange juice, water, and Pelligrino.

Although I am not a fan of all things paper and plastic when it comes to dishes and silverware, we thought it would be the most practical route. One of the girls found these plastic forks, knives, and spoons at Costco that look like silverware. She wrapped the silverware in napkins, and placed them in a square glass vase.


Although the group consensus was no games, we set up a place for the guests to suggest baby names for the soon-to-be parents to consider.

January 2, 2009

Blueberry Bakeoff

I am currently on a search for the best blueberry muffin recipe - ever. Although I love to cook, and I enjoy baking, I do not have a lot of experience in the muffin arena (OK, so I've never actually made a muffin before that didn't originate from a box). So, when I was tasked with bringing muffins, of all things, to a baby shower for a colleague at work, I wasn't sure where to start.

I have been searching the Internet for longer than I care to admit trying to hunt down the best muffin recipe. When I came across a recipe entitled Lawsuit Buttermilk Muffins, I thought I might not have to look much further. I figured if these muffins were worth fighting over in the legal arena, they must be worthy enough to bring to the shower.

While the recipe did result in a pretty great muffin, I have to say, I am not sure I would pay lawyer's billable rates to fight for them. They were light and fluffy, and the streusel topping is a keeper! The first time I made them, I don't think they were sweet enough. The second time I made them, I used half orange zest and half lemon zest, and they came out much better.
The best part, though, is the streusel topping...which must have been the source of the legal battle. Definitely worth litigating over! I may have to borrow this aspect, and place it on top of the winning muffin.
PS: If you have a recipe for a winning muffin that you want to share, please do!