Oh! Baby, it’s cold outside!
It’s been a super busy month for me working on Thao and Chris Harris’s baby shower. As a weird habit of mine, I like to have full control of organizing and decorating for a party. I rarely want input from the host or hostess. That is why I can never go into the party planning business unless it is for my own party.
For this baby shower, I let Thao select the theme. She had two requests – Winter theme party and chocolate cake. She also requested the shower to be co-ed so that her husband and his friends can join the festivities. So I began my task to organize a beautiful Winter Wonderland Baby Shower Brunch.
The decors are all easy and DIY capable. Let’s start with the tree branch. I discovered these branches from my neighbor’s yard while walking my dog one afternoon. I wasn’t sure if he was OK with me taking his branches so I did it quickly. They say it is easier asking for forgiveness than permission. I would only ask for forgiveness if I got caught. So I grabbed the branches and ran home as fast as I could.
I spray painted the branches with a white satin finish. I displayed it in a white vase that I also spray painted months ago from another project. The white really played a “winter” role in this look. I added hanging crystals to the branches to resemble frozen icicle . The blue snow flakes add a nice accent to the white and gray palette. The over-sized pine cones were purchased from Joann’s Fabric and spray painted to give it the blanketed snow covered look. I added off-white burlap as table cloth and over-layed kraft paper so I can utilize the chalk markers as food tags.
The menu was a sensational brunch style buffet. I served the brunch favorites like Belgian and blueberry waffles with all the generous toppings like fresh raspberries, blueberries, chopped walnuts, and mini chocolate chips drizzled over 100% maple syrup. There were also crispy chicken tenders from Publix, creamy mac and cheese from Costco, and pre-made hearty breakfast potatoes with a side of turkey sausage, maple pork sausage and extra crispy bacon. The 50 plus guests loved it. After all, we love our chicken and waffles.
The drink station was another eye-opener. The variety of choices that complement the winter theme were also a hit. Here are the recipes for the drinks.
Bellini – Peach and Mango juice with peach Verdi champagne.
Mimosa – Fresh orange juice with Verdi champagne.
White Chocolate Cocoa – One gallon of milk and 8 oz bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Warm milk and add white chocolate. Add Bailey’s liquor for an extra kick.
Warm Apple Cider – Heat up pre-made apple cider. Add lemon and orange peel. Serve with dried cinnamon sticks and enjoy.
Don’t forget the non-alcoholic drinks for the pregger.
My favorite station to put together would be the sweet station. After all, I am all about the sweetness. This time, I did not bake my goodies. I kept it simple and only prepped the desserts I thought were relevant to the winter theme. I placed white fudge covered Oreo cookies, white chocolate peppermint pretzels and an amazing kettle popcorn concoction to the sweet station. The highlight of this station is not really the sweets but the chocolate cake that was Thao’s second request. If you thought the decors were amazing, you need to check out the cake.
Our friend at Freida’s Cakes made this amazing butter cream chocolate cake for the shower. ASH is the name of the baby which is short for Alexander Steven Harris. She topped it with sleeping baby ASH and surrounded the cake with winter props. If you know Thao and Chris then you know they are die hard Michigan fans. The little boy in the Michigan shirt is big brother Noah. The chocolate cake and icing was delicious. It was moist and hits all the right spots. Thao and Chris loved it. Thank you, Freida. You are incredibly talented and a seasoned pastry chef and cake decorator.
Guests were asked to leave their mark…a snow flake for ASH that is. This canvas hand-painted by yours truly is a wonderful and memorable gift for ASH’s nursery. The guests had a choice of snow flakes to stamp. The stamps were purchased on Etsy from Etchythings.
All guests were sent home with homemade hot chocolate on a stick. The Ghirardelli chocolate squares and jumbo marshmallow were wrapped on a stick with a cut-out onsie instruction on how to make this delicious hot chocolate at home. View the recipe from Kingarthurflour.com.
That’s all folks. This was a team effort. I could not have done it alone. My biggest appreciation is to my teammates for helping me put this together. Kieu, Tram, Galang, Sealling, John D., Chia and Kinh. We accomplished our task and that was to stun Thao and Chris and execute a successful baby shower. Thank you all so much.