Monday, July 26, 2010

Shower: Check!

On Saturday, I threw my first-ever bridal shower and it was really fun to plan!

Molly's pretty laid back, so we kept things simple. I picked easy, nibble-y food and many recipes that could be prepared ahead of time.

The cake is the Pink Lady Cake I shared last week, except I went back to white frosting and added a fourth layer. I made it Friday night, wrapped it in Saran Wrap and refrigerated over night. I iced Saturday morning.

The breakfast casserole was also made Friday night. It didn't take long to prepare. Saturday morning, I baked for 50 minutes and it was done. So easy. I was a little nervous because I'd never tried the recipe before, but I was really happy with it. It was gone by the end of the shower.

The punch I was less than pleased with. It was supposed to be "Pom-ade" - lemonade, club soda, and pomegranate juice. It ended up too sweet, too flat, and kind of bland. Won't be trying that one again.

Then, I just hit up Central Market for bread, fruit, and cheese. Ta-da!

Cute picnic decorations are from Target. Yay, summer clearance!

We had a pretty good turn out and Molly got many lovely gifts that I know she and Tom are looking forward to using.

And I promise, the bridal party in no way coordinated these outfits. We're just *that* good.

Pink Lady Cake from Smitten Kitchen

For the cake
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries*
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye, if using (to make the pink color pop more)

For the cream cheese frosting
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350»F. Butter three 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point. (Deb note: I must warn you not to try the batter at this point. Not even a smear of it. How unbearably good it is will shock you, and lead to more dipping. Only you can stop this from coming to pass.)
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye, if using, to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.
4. Bake the cakes for 30 to 34 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.

Make the cream cheese frosting
5. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Breakfast Casserole from Epicurious
(I subbed Jimmy Dean turkey sausage and used Sharp Cheddar. I also subbed thick cut french bread and used 2 percent milk).
  • 8 white bread slices, cut into cubes
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (do not use lowfat or nonfat)
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
Grease 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Place bread in prepared dish. Top with sausage and cheese. Beat together eggs and next three ingredients. Season with pepper. Pour over sausage mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Chill.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake casserole until puffed and center is set, about 50 minutes. Cut into squares.

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