Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Fall Baby Shower

I had the extreme pleasure of getting to plan a baby shower for one of my best friends this past month.  When she told me she was pregnant I think my first words were, "no way", and then I said, " I am planning your shower".  Her, her hubby, and incoming baby Duke deserved to have a day that celebrated what a beautiful family they all made.  They are well loved people, so this was a shower for 40!

Since this is a long post, I have posted the menu and recipes separately.  Click here to go to them.
I used 10 yards of muslin for table covers and burlap for runners.  The silverware and napkins are the orange and white chevron bags that I found at Sweet Lulu's

Fresh flowers and assorted fall decorations finished off the table tops.
We served cold spiced apple cider in the mason jars with lids and straws
that I found at Sweet LuLu's

Duke Bryant!

The adorable cake, cupcakes, and cake pops were made by a
friend of a friend were delicious!  


Since it is Fall and I am known for my caramel I decided to give each guest a fresh apple and a jar of my homemade caramel.  My helper, Linda, and I wrapped them up in a cellophane bag, tied it up with raffia, and included a "Thank you" sticker. We had 36 of them to put together, but it wasn't too bad.  The jars I used were the 4oz ball jelly jars, I bought the apples at Costco (used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith), and it was great that I could make them in steps ahead of time.  

This is after it had been
carried home :)
I didn't take a pic after
I made them :(

The other take home favor was a "Baked Goods Bar", a twist on the usual "Candy Bars".  I would love to take credit for all of these amazing treats, but I have some fantastic friends who pitched in and helped a Kate out!  Thanks to them this was a wonderful addition to the baby shower and a nice surprise for our guests.  I will have the recipes for these treats on another post! 
We had pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spiced snickerdoodles, truffled brownies, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, and Magic Bars.  
Magically Delicious!

Burlap as the table clothe, pumpkins as decor, and some garland from Michael's.
 I had paper bags and goodie bags for people to take the treats home in.

Fall Themed Baby Shower Menu



The pinwheels are on the white tray in the middle.

Gruyere and Prosciutto Pinwheels (recipe follows)
Gruyere Pinwheels 
Veggie cups with low fat ranch dip 
Bruschetta Cheeseball "Pumpkin" with assorted crackers 

Gruyere and Prosciutto Pinwheels
1 box puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves 
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
6 thin slices of prosciutto (3 per sheet of puff pastry)
salt and pepper

Lay out sheet of puff pastry, spread 1/4 of mustard over the puff pastry (or less, if desired), sprinkle salt and pepper over the mustard, sprinkle 1/2 of the grated cheese and thyme, top with 3 slices of prosciutto.  Roll up and wrap in plastic wrap.  Keep in freezer (can be frozen 3 months in advance).  When  you are ready to bake them: remove rolls 30 minutes before baking (keep wrapped), preheat oven to 375 degrees, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, slice each roll into 1/4 inch slices.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Leave the prosciutto out for a vegetarian option. 

Main Course - all of these recipes are based off of one of Rachael Ray's "Five in a Day" meal plans.  The Chutney is her exact recipe that can be found here.

Fall Spiced Roasted Shoulder of Pork (recipe follows)
Citrus Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe follows)
Spicy Apple Chutney (recipe on the link above)
Fall Spinach Salad 
Balsamic glazed, Fall roasted vegetables

Fall Spiced Roasted Shoulder of Pork - this roast must be prepped the night before and will need room to sit unwrapped in your fridge. It takes 6 hours to cook, so plan ahead. 

1 pork shoulder roast (1/2 lb. per person being served)
1 cup sea or kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. dried fennel seed
2 tbsp. dried thyme
1 bunch fresh thyme (optional)
1 cup white wine or water

Night before:  remove roast form the package, dry, and set on a baking sheet with a lip.  With a sharp knife, cut shallow lines across the top, fatty part of the roast, do again in the other direction.  Mix together the salt and brown sugar.  Place the roast, uncovered in the fridge overnight.  

The morning of:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Remove the roast from the fridge, wipe off any excess sugar and salt.  Place the roast in a large roasting pan, on a rack if possible.  Rub on the fennel seed and thyme.  Pour wine or water in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Roast for 6 hours at 325.  Check the roast after 3 hrs, if it is too brown, cover with foil.  After 3 hours, baste the roast every 30-45 minutes, if possible.  

To serve:  Remove the roast, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  Slice and serve with pan drippings.  

Citrus Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes

6 large sweet potatoes (yams)
1/2 stick butter 
1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth 
1/2 tbsp. orange zest
juice from 1 orange
salt and pepper

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.  Place in a large pan with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until a fork can pierce the cubes.  Drain and place back into the pan.  Put butter, broth, S&P, zest from orange, and juice from orange in the potatoes.  Mash with a potato masher until they are creamy and lump free.