Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Sweet Shower

While I now live in what many consider to be the North (though I am not convinced), I was raised (at least for the most part) in the South... so after hearing that my friend, Andrea, was engaged, my first inclination was to throw a wedding shower, of course!

*This is certainly up for discussion but in my experience, I find showers and wedding-related parties much more rare among my "Northern" friends.

After much internal debate and consultation from numerous sources, I decided that the party would undoubtedly be "dessert and drinks" (that was easy... Andrea's fiance, Chris, loves my desserts and I love making them!)... but somewhat more hesitantly, I came up with the theme of an "Entertainment Shower". Sure - you've heard of this kind of shower before... but this was to be a little different. I wanted the guests to bring things to help Andrea and Chris entertain their guests with (such as grill tools, serving pieces, DVDs, etc.) or things they could do together (restaurant gift certificates, board games, etc.)... you get the idea.

Basically this boiled down to me getting to make fun desserts for a bunch of people who wanted to celebrate one of my best friends' upcoming marriage... not too shabby.

The first item on the menu was a no-brainer... Chris loves chocolate-covered pretzels; in fact, I made the happy couple a big goodie bag of these very treats upon their arrival back from Alaska where they were engaged. This time, though, I decided to use white chocolate and added a touch of sparkle with purple sprinkles. These were just perfect because I was able to make them in advance - essential to party-planning. To kill two birds with one stone, I also made these into my favors and centerpiece by bagging up a few pretzels, tying a festive, curly silver bow on the bag and placing them on my favorite three-tiered serving piece.

Early in the planning stages, I toyed with the idea of a small chocolate fountain but after hearing the horror stories of chocolate spewing everywhere, I decided on the more tame but equally tasty chocolate fondue. This was a great make-ahead treat as I prepared the chocolate mixture early in the day Saturday and then quickly reheated it on low just before pouring it into the fondue pot as the guests started to arrive. To dip in the delicious fondue, I set out some fresh strawberries and bananas, pretzels, chunks of pound cake, and fun Nutter Butters - who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate together!?

To round out the rest of the menu, I found a great Italian Cream Cake recipe, recommended by my mentor (my mom!) - which I must "re-recommend". This recipe was moist and delicious - and held its shape, perfect for a party where food that can be made ahead of time with little touch-up is key. *Leave a comment if you're interested in the recipe!

I decided on a "signature" drink for the ladies; admittedly, I got some help on this one and bought one of the frozen bucket drinks, this one was Sangria-flavored and was delicious! *Note - thankfully we had no mishaps this time but a deep, dark red drink is not a great choice for a party I garnished the drink with some sliced fresh limes, set out my pseudo-punch bowl and arranged it with some cute plastic wine glasses. I also set out a pitcher of water with minted-ice cubes and a tub of iced-down beers on the patio.

On one of my other tables, in an effort to spread out the sugar, I had a small tray of fudgy brownies (in a moment of emotional weakness, I sifted confectioners' sugar in a heart shape on top of them) and some of Martha's tangy lemon cheesecake bars.

I also had a few little bowls of nut mix scattered around; I think everyone appreciated having something to to cut the sugar-high.

To send everyone off, after all of the presents had been unwrapped, I passed around individual cups of my homemade peppermint ice cream (Missy's recipe - thanks!!) out of the freezer, complete with a mint leaf garnish and Cold Stone donated mini-spoons!

I was secretly hoping this would cleanse everyone's palate so they'd come around for round two of dessert but they all seemed to be stuffed.

We had a great evening meeting new friends and catching up with old; we were so excited to have Andrea's parents in from Virginia Beach for the weekend, as well as Chris' mom. I think it was one of the last times the soon-to-be-wed couple would have to really relax and have a carefree evening since their big day is only 2 weeks away!


  1. How cute! Esp. the powder-sugared brownies ... you really went all out! What a great friend you are.

  2. you are a party planning extraordinaire!


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