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Baby Shower Food

School has once again eaten my brain. How is it that I’m actually taking less classes this semester, but they’re way more time consuming? 64 pages of auditing procedures and consolidation of financial statements is quite possibly the longest slog ever. When I finally get to my tax procedure textbook and it’s totally smooth sailing. I can read that text book ALL day.

I’m weird. And slightly neurotic.

But this isn’t a post about any sort of accounting nonsense; I think I’d lose everyone on that post. Eyes would glaze over, brains would go numb, people will wonder how accounting students stay awake in their classes (lots and lots of coffee).

This is a post about a friend’s baby shower from the beginning of the month with a fun medical twist! (For me, not for Erin pictured in purple).

Photo curtsey of Suzy Hall Jurgensen.

I helped my friend Alaina make a whole mess of food for the party of about 25 people. We had things like croissant sandwiches, pasta and fruit salads, spanakopita (probably the best thing EVER – and from Costco) and lots and lots of baked goods.

Grab a cup of coffee/tea/water cause this is gonna be a long post.

I, oh so awesomely, decided to start with the hardest thing first: brioche. That ended up not being the hardest thing – go figure. Tuesdays with Dorie did a brioche recipe about a month ago so I actually used the tagging system in Google Reader and tagged it for the shower. Planning ahead? Will wonders ever cease?

I saw that Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles made them in a mini muffin pan and thought that would be perfect for a baby shower. Unfortunately Alaina didn’t have a mini muffin pan so I improvised; I just rolled the dough into smallish balls and cooked them like that. It worked out great – not as great as if I had the mini muffin pan but well enough :). Then some I left plain – and they were like heaven in a roll. Then, I decided to get fancy: I dipped about half of them into melted butter and then dipped them into a cinnamon sugar mixture. I actually forgot to eat one of the fancy dancey ones :(.

The dough takes some prep since it’s yest dough, but really it was hands off. Now that these turned out well, I have a lot more confidence to try making croissants. If you have a favorite recipe, or any tips! Let me know in the comments! Or just send me an email :).

The second thing I made were homemade Ding Dongs. Why? Because I’m crazy. The original recipe from Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen looked easy enough and pretty freaking fantastic, so I had to give it a try even though I’m more of a Ho-Ho kinda kid than a Ding Dong kinda kid. Adrianna made a full cake and then used a round biscuit cutter to cut out the final Ding Dong shape, but I decided that I would first make cupcakes then peel off the wrapper so I could make the most of the batter. Now I realize why she cut them from a cake round – you need the the sides to be perfectly flush so the glaze will run down the sides nicely.They still worked out nicely, I’m going to make them again and either make sure the cupcakes don’t rise above the wrapper or cut off the edges of the cupcakes.

These went very very quickly, and from what I heard the filling was awesome too! Yay! I didn’t get one, I was too busy pigging out on pasta salad and croissant sandwiches. Whoops.

I also made these yellow cupcakes from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, which I’ve blogged about before here. I made a whipped cream frosting that was tinted green and had peppermint extract in it  and then I whipped the chocolate ganache (from the Ding Dongs) but it didn’t quite work out like I had planned. I had had to make the ganache without a scale so I don’t think it had quite the right ratio. The underlying cake, however, is ALWAYS a huge hit when I make it. The recipe is essentially a from scratch version of Duncan-Hines’ yellow cake mix and it is part of my normal baking list for events.

Here is some of the other food, that I didn’t help make so I don’t really remember what was in them but here’s a quick rundown: fruit salad, spanakopita (from Costco), lemonade – Erin is obsessed with lemons, and iced tea, and finally a really good pasta salad with pesto from Costco. We also had some croissant sandwiches which I didn’t get a picture of because I totally spaced, because I found out the next day I’m terribly allergic to a family of antibiotics which made my entire face swell up.

Friends, I HAD NO EYES. Or bridge in my nose for that matter. I looked like something out of Star Trek or Battle Star Galatica. Yes, I’m an epic epic nerd. So all of the pictures for the day were taken with very stingy eyes. Here I thought I’d somehow burnt my eyes from the oven from opening and closing the oven so often the day before. Silly, silly kid. Luckily it wasn’t life threatening but it did put me out of mind with benadryl and zytrec for about 36 hours. So. Much. Fun. I do have a picture of it, which when I showed my dad all he had to say was “you look terrible in that picture!” My response you ask? “Yeah! I was having an allergic reaction!” We had a good laugh about it.

**The recipes are available by clicking on the links in the post. I feel like this post is long enough without three rather long recipes in it as well. It also gives you a chance to check out three awesome bloggers! (And an older post from me!)**

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