Chocolate Souffle

First attempt at Chocolate Soufflé- success! #dessert #chocolatesouffle #baker #instagood


My first time as a Thanksgiving Hostess

This year, because we are living/housesitting in a fairly larger house than we are normally used to…we offered (or as my husband would say, I offered) up the house to have Thanksgiving.  16 people.  I can swing that.  Luckily, I had the help of my mother-in-law, my mom, my new sista, Russell’s aunts…they all contributed a lot to the day.  Liz (russells mom) and Lauren (my new sista) came over Thursday morning to pop the turkey in.  I had mimosa’s and cinnabons waiting for them as we prepped some other food items.  Always need a mimosa to start your holiday! 

A couple days before Thanksgiving I made the flower arrangements and put the table settings out.  I picked up some white hydrangeas and tall purple flowers from the local Produce Junction (5 packs of flowers for $9, can’t beat it).

We used the dining room table in the formal dining room which opens up to the foyer area where I placed our dining room table from our previous apartment.  I like to have a seat for everyone.  I used some of my burlap runners and white votive candles from our wedding for the tables.  Something else I have been doing lately…and for some reason I have a large supply of curtains…I threw a couple of my curtains on one of the tables and placed one of the burlap runners down the middle to cover the gap…no one ever knew they were curtains 🙂

The day came together and it was fab.  It was a crazy mess in the kitchen, everyone bumping into each other, music playing.  We had about 6 pies for 16 people.  My dad played air hockey against 2 teenage cousins..boys watched football in the man cave, I sipped on some warm spiced red wine in my mason jar wine glass that I didn’t get to use at my wedding because for some reason I couldn’t read the box they were labeled in..maybe I had been sipping wine when searching for them…anyways, what made this day truly special to me was that this was the first Holiday with bringing our 2 families together since being married 🙂

my little helper…Mystic

hot cake & cold homemade icing for this fashionista!

so i had a craving.  like every night after dinner.  i just need a little something for my sweet tooth.  so it just so happened that we had a chocolate cake mix in the pantry but…no icing…i did have confectioners sugar though.  i mixed up the cake mix with its partners and threw it in the oven…then whipped up the confectioners sugar with a little milk, vanilla and butter and stuck that in the fridge until the cake was finished. ding!  i pulled that cake out, cut a square for my husband and i, slabbed a chunk of cold icing on top and watched that bad boy melt….nothing like a hot slice of cake with some cold icing…and tea of course!

A Sweet Baby Shower

I was lucky enough to be able throw my best girlfriend, Annie, her first Baby Shower.  She is having a little girl this December and I couldn’t be more excited to be an “Aunt.”  She is such a special lady to me and deserves the best.  So just 4 short weeks after our wedding, I threw her shower at my home.  She is a lot like myself luckily, so it wasn’t too hard to decide what to do.

I wanted to create a simple rustic setting yet something soft and sweet.  I highlighted the gift and buffet tables with simple hot pink plastic table cloths, and a white paper one for the dessert table.  I placed cream votive candles throughout those tables as centerpieces along with two bronze apples.  I had burlap table runners left over from my wedding so I ran them along all the tables (cheap fabric, easy to cut, shape and decorate).  I cut the length down on all of them and scalloped the edges with my fabric scissors.  I filled mason jars with pink, yellow and pink/yellow mixed carnations, cut short, so that they sat tightly together and created a nice rounded shape.  So sweet and delicate.

For food-I kept it light-and made it so that the ladies had many options, so they could take smaller portions of more food choices.  I made tea sandwiches as the main dish (with the help of my husband who made all of the fillings).  We had chicken salad and egg salad on both white and wheat bread.  Annie’s mom made caesar salad, her sister-n-law brought a pasta salad and pumpkin spice cupcakes (which were a hit), and Aunt Teresa made and brought chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.  Now, I am not a huge cake fan, but my Mom taught me about the 3 layer Vanilla/Vanilla Wegmans cake, which I have fallen in love with so I bought that and turned it into my dessert table centerpiece in my brand new cake stand (wedding present).   Added to that table was a beautiful diaper cake that her sister Katie made!

I didn’t do a whole lot with decorations.  I did more with the little details everywhere so that weren’t so obvious. Here’s what I did and is easy to do and budget friendly:

  • I put on display in the hutch, baby and childhood photographs of Annie and her husband Andy so people could ooooh and awww over them and guess what baby girl would look like.
  • Have guests write messages of love or piece of advice to the Mom, Dad or Baby.  I cut different rectangular sizes of brown craft paper and had out a coupe different colored markers.
  • Cut pieces of ribbon (larger than the mom’s baby bump) and have people mark off and initial at where they think how big her bump is at that time.  Place all of the ribbon in a pretty glass bowl or vase and it looks great as part of the decor.  Of course, get the mommy’s permission first.  Annie was ok with it and she is tiny.  It was the only “game” that we did.  I gave a prize (body lotion) to the winner.
  • I made a Mocktail in a pretty drink dispenser that I had and named it after their last name.
  • I purchased these cute pink striped cocktail straws from Etsy (here) that were a cute addition for the Mock-tails!

We opened gifts as everyone finished up eating…Annie is like me and doesn’t like the whole crowd staring at you as rip each piece of tape and wrapping paper off of each tiny gift.  There didn’t need to be an announcement that gifts were being opened.

As a Party Favor, I created a small candy buffet filled with Annie’s favorite candy’s and purchased white favor bags which I then stamped on “She’s Expecting” with the due date underneath in Pink (using a date stamp, like you used to see in your old library books).

Side Note: if your mommy-to-be is looking to build a library for their baby, ask each guest to bring a book for her, one of her favorites, or one that you grew up loving.

It turned out to be a great day for Annie and her family and friends to enjoy!  I was so happy to be a part of it and to have to her Mom and family help out with some of the dishes and details.

Can’t wait to meet her in 7 weeks 🙂