Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby Shower , Party Planning

Parties, I love them! Big, small, anywhere in between. Over the years we have only had 1 or 2 bombs, I don't credit success to myself but to the fact that I have great friends and fabulous family.

 The only thing I feel qualified to do here is give you some tips to ease the stress and keep details in some semblance of order. The first thing is to detail, on paper, what exactly you want for the event. My younger daughter was in charge of this special event but enlisted me to do all the food. In turn, I asked my friend, Heather, to help because Heather has a special flare for presentation, and Linda and her daughter Sylvia to help assemble and serve because they are the very special kind of people who can deal with flaky women like me even when we don't know what we are doing.
After Heather and I met for lunch to decide on the menu, it was our excuse to go out and have lunch somewhere quiet, I started my lists. I pulled out recipes for everything we had planned and multiplied how many of each I would need according to the number of guests, I love sticky notes.
From here I was able to make the grocery list. This is an excellent way to stay organized especially if you need to pick up ingredients in a couple trips, staples first then the last minute items. Just check off the items as you purchase them and set them aside properly labeled so no one mistakenly uses them. 
The menu for the baby shower:
Cucumber sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches
Greek salad with citrus vinaigrette
Assorted tea breads (blueberry, lemon, zucchini)
Iced tea, Lemonade
Cream puffs
After making the menu, list all the components to each recipe, like this:
Cucumber sandwiches-Bridge rolls, cucumbers, mayo
So for this sandwich I needed to make the rolls the day before and slice the cucumbers the night before. I had a separate list detailing what to do day before, night before and that morning. A list of kitchen items to take is necessary if you are not using your own home, this should include the serving dishes and table ware needed for every item served. If you are having more than a couple helpers they should have a list of the things for which they will be responsible. 
Do all the prep work possible the day before, especially the baking.

I have found that there should be more quick, easy components than complicated. If you are plating the main  food items in the kitchen then serving each person after seating then you should have any breads or toppings/condiments on the table so you are not running all over. I placed a plate of the assorted breads on each table so the guests could help themselves.
I have to mention that Leah had decorated the tables with great care and made lovely centerpieces from little buckets and homemade sugar cookies on sticks. She made beautiful invitations, planned the guest list, made all the decorations (except the balloons) and rented a room. She was amazing!
Drinks were place on the table just as people began to arrive so the ice would still be fresh.

In the kitchen the sandwiches were assembled as someone else arranged the rest of the food on the plates. Heather had the salad arranged so perfectly on the plate, truly artistic, you think I'm kidding, no, every detail, even how the cheese was sprinkled on top. Incredible.

We had help with the tables and chairs too. Dave spent quite awhile untangling the balloons, I would have lost patience and cut them apart. 
So, here it is in an organized list, just for fun.
1. Stay organized, preferably on paper. 
2. Have help if you are going to do anything large.
3. Divide your lists into time segments.
4. Have all your ingredients gathered before you begin baking.
5. Have a transportation plan if you are not working at home.
6. Get a good nights sleep the night before. 
7. Have fun with it, that's what it's about!
I hope this gives encouragement.
If you have a question , ask, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. This was so much fun! I love working in the kitchen with you. And actually I was just thinking about your cream puffs this morning. I hope the recipe is here!

  2. It isn't yet, I have so many photos for recipes I have yet to add. If you want it call, I'll get it up soon since you asked.