As I mentioned earlier, I recently hosted a wedding shower for a good friend of mine. She and I work together at one of my jobs, and another friend and I co-hosted the shower for all our coworkers at that job. We work at a local, independently-owned giftstore (a really wonderful little shop) and I had my friend C, the bride-to-be, register there for her gifts for the shower. Then I made the invitations:
The little hearts were placed loosely in the envelope, so that they would 'shower' out as the invitation was opened.
J was the woman I was co-hosting with, and she and I provided drinks and desserts, as well as an appetizer each. Then we had each guest bring an appetizer to share. There was some good food there, I tell you! The appetizer that I made was from Nigella Express (are you starting to get the feeling that this is maybe my favorite cookbook ever?) It's called 'Mozzarella With Crazy Gremolata.' Easy and tasty, so it doesn't get much better than that...
Recipe for Mozzarella With Crazy Gremolata:
* 2 balls buffalo mozzarella
* 1 long red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
* 6 black olives, finely chopped
* zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
* 1/2 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1. Slice the mozzarella into 1/4-inch rounds and arrange them on a plate.
2. In a bowl, mix the chopped chile with the chopped olives, lemon zest, and minced garlic.
3. Tip in the salt, oil, and parsley and stir together to make your c-c-c-c-razy gremolata. [Nigella's way of putting it, not mine!]
4. Spoon the gremolata down the center of your sliced mozzarella.
Serves 6 as part of a starter.
I skipped the lemon zest, I guess mostly to save a little time, and I think that I used smaller (and a few more) balls of mozzarella than she did, but otherwise that's basically what I did. All the ingredients (other than the parsley, which came from my garden) are from an organic coop in the Twin Cities, and I served it on a fresh baguette from the same coop.
This is the second time I have made this appetizer, and everyone has loved it. At the shower I had several people ask me for the recipe. And it is so easy. So try it, already!
For the dessert that I brought, I made cupcakes. If you read this post, then you know how busy I was at the time. So unfortunately, they are not from scratch, which I would have preferred.
But I did decorate them with wedding bands, including a 'diamond,' so maybe that makes up for it!
I also made little goody bags for each of the guests. They were really easy to put together, and it was fun for everyone to leave with a little treat. I stamped the tags (I don't know if it shows up in this picture, but they say 'for you') and I attached them with heart-shaped brads. As for the goodies, they include: champagne-shaped blowing bubbles from the store where we all work, milk chocolate and almond kisses, and handmade soap from Etsy. [Oooh, Etsy! That's going to be a whole post in and of itself. Stay tuned!]
The soap was supposed to be strawberry scented, but unfortunately it didn't smell as good as I'd hoped (kind of more like playdoh). That's ok, though, because they were cute, organic, and I was supporting someone's handmade, independent business. [If you like organic, handmade bath products that smell so good you could eat them, Lush is the place to go - don't you agree?]
Ok, now for the decorating. J's girls picked some flowers from the yard for the party. I thought they looked beautiful, especially the way the light was hitting them.
J was really fun to plan a party with. A lot of people I know like to throw some chips in a bowl, put out some paper plates, and call it a party. But not me and J (and from what I can tell, you all are with us on this one!) We used glass plates and real glasses and serving ware. And we had a color scheme going on (silver, white, and a pretty green). Here's J's buffet in her dining room:
And what party would be complete without balloons?!