Recap of Katie’s Baby Shower

The baby shower that I threw recently was a success and¬†such a fun time! ūüôā

Here’s a glimpse of my schedule leading up to the shower and a recap of the day as well some tips on preparation.¬† Thankfully I was able to take¬†the previous day off¬†from work, so with that full day off, a few evening before that, and the morning of the shower,¬† I was able to get a lot done.¬† My Mom also helped out a ton.¬† She came to my house beforehand and I could not have done half of what was accomplished without her!

Schedule:

  • Weeks in advance I made the diaper cake.¬† It looks a little lumpy and bumpy in the pictures, but in real life it was smooth!

  • The weekend prior and several nights before I cleaned my house.¬†¬† We also started stocking up on ice from our ice maker.
  • 3 nights before the shower I made the cream cheese mints.¬† I combined one softened block of cream cheese with 3 tablespoons butter, about 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract {or to taste} and approximately¬†7 cups or more of powdered sugar in my mixer.¬† Then rolled it into small balls, dredged them in white sugar and pressed into candy molds.¬† Then unmolded and refrigerated until needed.¬† {After the fact, I read that you are supposed to let the mints dry sitting on the counter for about 2 hours after you unmold them. Oops.}

  • Two nights before the shower I made the ice ring {just frozen pineapple juice in a mold} and the Oreo cupcake truffles.¬† Thanks to my friend Melissa’s recommendation, I put a spin on Bakerella’s “cake balls” and used oreo truffle filling.¬† I used one package of Oreos and one package of cream cheese, crushed and combined in the food processor.¬† I rolled them into balls and set them aside.¬† Next, I prepared the candy melts for the coating.¬† I used one package of chocolate for the majority of the bottom shells, and when that ran out, I used 1/2 package of white candy melts.¬† {Candy melts can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or other places where Wilton baking supplies are sold.¬† While you are buying the candy melts, grab the candy molds as well.}¬† I used 2 molds to make things go quicker.¬† So, fill the molds about 3/4 full with chocolate and drop in a truffle ball.¬† Let set until firm.¬† Make the top coating by melting together 1/2 a package of dark green candy melts and 1/2 package of white to achieve the medium green color I was going for.¬† Dip tops of truffles.¬† Immediately sprinkle with nonpareils of your choice.¬† {I like to shake on the sprinkles over an open coffee filter because it is easy to funnel the strays back into the jar.¬† Me = cheap}¬† Add a colored m&m to the top and set aside again until firm.¬† Store in the fridge.
  • The day before the shower is kind of a blur.¬† I know I made the following with mom’s help:
  • lemonade

I also set up tables and chairs, hung the baby clothesline decorations, washed serving dishes, and cleaned the kitchen and floors again.

  • The night before I made and decorated the cake and cupcakes.¬† I made an 8″ round¬†white layered cake, covered it with white butter cream, added basket weave to the sides {white buttercream¬†colored with enough Wilton Ivory color gel to reach desired color} and decorated the top with a green pea pod design.¬† Cupcakes were chocolate with white buttercream swirled on top.

  • The morning of the shower we made:¬† the layered taco dip, coffee and ice tea, and put the cocktail hot dogs with sauce in the crock pot.

Other food that my mom provided:

cheese spread and crackers

veggie tray

spinach dip and Hawaiian bread

fruit salad

All that was left to do at the beginning of the shower was heat up the pizza dip and plate all the food.¬† It was a hectic 15 minutes or so as finishing touches were being added and guests were arriving.¬† But, it all worked out¬† ūüôā

So, we ate lunch first.¬† After that we played 3 games {guess the baby food flavor, guess the size of Katie’s belly with pieces of yarn, and baby bingo.}¬† Then Katie opened the gifts.¬† And last, we served the cake and punch.

Lime Punch recipe:

1 carton lime sherbet

1 2-liter bottle ginger ale

1-2 cups pineapple juice or a pineapple juice ice ring.

Place the ice ring in the bottom of a punch bowl.  Scoop rounded spoonfuls of sherbet into the bowl, using all of the sherbet.  Then pour in the 2 liter of ginger ale.  Stir to combine.  Sherbet will melt into frothy slush.  You may need additional ginger ale and sherbet depending on the number of guests.

Cookie Dough Dip

Of all the food served at the recent baby shower I hosted, this dip was probably talked about the most.  I think everyone liked it and several people asked how to make it.  It is a nice sweet alternative to the typical savory dips/appetizers served at parties.  Its also totally addictive!

The only change I make is adding more powdered sugar than what is called for.  I like a thicker dip, so I would guess I added closer to 1 cup but I just eyeballed it.

Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 {8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar {I used maybe 1 cup?}

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup chopped nuts – optional {I always omit}

Nilla wafers or graham crackers for dipping

Directions

Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and fluffy.  Slowly add the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Place in serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. 

Add additional mini chocolate chips before serving for garnish if you choose.

Chicken Enchilada Roll-ups

I love spicy chicken enchiladas so I knew I would love this recipe.   One great thing about it is that it can be served as a chip dip instead of rolls too.  It is great to have that option.  It is also ideal that it can be made ahead of time which I always look for when searching for party recipes.

Chicken Enchilada Roll-ups

{source:¬† adapted from Sing for you Supper originally from Gooseberry Patch “Come on Over”}

Ingredients

one 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used 2 cloves)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
salt to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded {about 1 cup}
1 bunch cilantro, chopped – I omitted
3 green onions, chopped  
10-oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained well

approximately 6 tortilla shells

Directions

Cook chicken and allow it to cool, then shred and set aside. {Or buy chicken already cooked from the store ūüôā¬† }

Mix remaining ingredients together until well blended; add the chicken and combine.

Spread a layer of filling over tortilla shells and roll.¬† Place on cutting board and cut into 1″ pieces.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Serve cold or at room temp.

For the shower, I also made a different kind of roll-up.  I spread the tortilla shells with store-bought veggie cream cheese or chive and onion cream cheese, added a layer of deli meat {I used smoked ham, but turkey or anything else you like would be fine.}  Roll and slice.  The addition of sliced olives between the cream cheese and meat is also good, but I left them out this time.

Hot Pizza Dip

Update 9-9-10:¬† added pictures ūüôā

This was a new recipe that I made for the first time at my sister’s baby shower and I thought it was wonderful.¬† In the future it will definitely be a party staple just like the famous buffalo chicken dip.¬† Tim quickly gobbled up the leftover dip after the party!

The recipe says that you can heat it in the microwave for 5 minutes.  But I made it in advance and kept it in fridge overnight.  Then before serving, I baked it at 375 degrees {uncovered} for 20-25 minutes.

Hot Pizza Dip

{source:  allrecipes.com}

Ingredients

1 {8 ounce} package cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried basil

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese {I used 1/2 monterey jack and 1/2 mozzarella}

1 cup grated parm cheese

1 cup pizza sauce or tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers – I have omitted before and have also substituted sliced jalapeno

2 ounces turkey pepperoni, chopped

2 tablespoons sliced black olives

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and dried spices.

Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate that is microwave/oven safe.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozz and 1/2 cup parm on top of cream cheese.  Spread pizza sauce over all.  Sprinkle with pepperoni, olives, and peppers.  Then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Cover and microwave for 5 minutes.  Serve HOT with crackers, Italian bread, crusty french bread, or tortilla chips.

Diaper Cake #2

I have decided to put this diaper cake in a post of its own.¬† It is for my sister’s shower that’s coming up.¬† I’ll post all about the entire shower after it takes place, but I wanted to devote a separate post to how to make this diaper cake.

As I said in my other Baby Shower post last year, I did not invent the concept of diaper cakes.¬† However, I have come up with these original¬†designs on my own.¬† And below, I’m going to tell you the steps involved in making this diaper cake.

This particular cake consists of 16 white cloth diapers, 10 baby wash cloths, 3 receiving blankets, and a fleece blanket.  Other materials include:  4 diaper pins, ribbon, decorative glass cake pedestal, and a small teddy bear.

I started planning the design for this cake by determining the overall theme for the baby shower.¬† I gave the guest of honor {my sister} a few choices for gender neutral themes {they’re not finding out the sex until the baby is born} and she picked “sweet pea in a pod” as the theme.¬† From there, I pretty much only knew that I would be working with shades of green.

The next important step was to consider that she plans on cloth diapering their baby.¬† So, I knew I wouldn’t be working with 60+ disposable diapers like my previous diaper cake.¬† Since cloth diapers are washable and reusable,¬†I figured¬†that she would only need somewhere¬†in the ballpark of 20 diapers {I’m just guessing here}. ¬†So, I bought a package of 12 white cloth diapers.¬† And my mom also bought an identical¬†package of cloth diapers for me to use.

Then, I needed to determine how to incorporate textures and other colors into the cake to make it interesting.¬† I knew I wanted to supplement the diapers with blankets, or towels, or other items¬†to add color and bulk.¬† I also wanted the components of the cake to be useful to my sister.¬† We decided to go shopping together so she could pick out some blankets that she liked and that I would be able to incorporate into the design.¬† I was keeping an¬†open mind as we shopped and had no real plan in mind for the finished product.¬† After all, it was only my second diaper cake ever and my first cloth diaper cake.¬† I¬†felt the best thing to do was buy several¬†items that would possibly work and then bring them home to try them.¬† I knew that any items I didn’t use in the cake could just be gift wrapped and given to my sister since¬†she picked them out and knew they would be useful.¬† I¬†ended up buying a package of 10 white and green baby wash cloths, 6 or 7 color coordinating receiving¬†blankets, and the fleece blanket which I knew would be the focal point because it has a pea pod on it.

Once I brought everything home, I just started experimenting by rolling up diapers and blankets and trying to determine the quantities and sizes necessary to create tiers.  I knew the little wash cloths would be the top tier because they were the smallest items.  I ended up wrapping them in a solid off-white receiving blanket.  I also knew that the focal point pea pod fleece blanket wrapped around diapers would be the middle tier so it would be easy to see.  The bottom/largest tier is made up of about 10 rolled cloth diapers surrounding a receiving blanket with another receiving blanket on the outside.

Top Layer:

Middle Layer:

Bottom Layer:

The final step was to add the decorative ribbon to secure the top and bottom tiers.  I chose to layer a simple green ribbon over a wider textured woven ribbon.  Then I held them together with cloth diaper pins that are cute and functional.  The pea pod fleece blanket is held together by 2 diaper pins since ribbon would cover up the design.  Lastly, I added a small teddy bear as the topper because I think it looks like the bear in the pea pod.

That’s all!¬† I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful if you plan to make a diaper cake in the future.¬† Please let me know if you have any questions.

Beer & Cheese Dip

I decided to make a snack for us to nibble on during a lazy Sunday and decided on this dip that I have seen on a few other blogs.¬† It was great!¬† We both like beer a lot so we definitely like finding ways to incorporate it into our food. ūüôā

The ranch flavor is quite strong, so I’ll probably reduce the amount used next time.¬† Overall, this was a nice alternative to my usual cheese dip recipe.

Beer & Cheese Dip

{source: adapted from Vintage Victuals and Milk & Honey}

I cut the recipe below in half.

INGREDIENTS:

  • two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • two 5-ounce jars of Kraft Old English Cheese (or 10 ounces Cheese Whiz)
  • one 1-ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup beer or as much as needed to reach desired consistency
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped – I omitted
  • Pretzels, crackers, chips, carrots, or crusty bread for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the cream cheese and Old English Cheese together in a large bowl for about 40 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Stir in ranch mix. Add beer gradually as you stir, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle your toasted pecans evenly over the surface of the dip. Chill for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Serve with dippers of your choice.

Citrus Pound Cake

This sweet cake is a delicious treat for any time of day!  For breakfast, an afternoon snack, or dessert Рa small slice is perfect! If you like pound cake you will love this recipe.  It is super moist and buttery.

The glaze is optional but does make it extra special.¬† I mainly used it because the cake stuck to the pan a little and I wanted to hide the spots. ūüėȬ† So whatever you do, grease that pan like you mean business!

As an alternative to the glaze, a raspberry or strawberry syrup or sliced fresh fruit would also be great.

Citrus Pound Cake

{Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman}

Ingredients
  • 3 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 whole eggs at room temp.
  • zest from 1 or 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 teaspoons lemon flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sprite, 7-UP, Or Sierra Mist
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter with electric mixer.

Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add the zest, vanilla, butter, and lemon extracts and mix well.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add soft drink, then mix together until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into a well greased Bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cake is golden brown and no longer jiggly.

Remove cake from oven, allow to cool in pan briefly and then invert pan on a plate until cake drops out.  Slice and chow down!

Glaze

1/2 to 1 cup of powdered sugar

juice of 1/2 a lemon {about 3 tablespoons}

Stir together until you achieve the right consistency.  Drizzle over the cooled cake.  You can substitute water or milk in place of lemon juice.

Enjoy!

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