Saturday, May 7, 2011

Semi-Homemade Baby Shower Luncheon

I found out a few months ago my dear friends were expecting their first child. I was so excited to hear the wonderful news because I knew how much they've been praying to add this blessing into their family. Since I did not hear of a baby shower being planned, an idea popped in my head to throw them a surprise baby shower.

I contacted a few close friends and one of them who lives out of State already planned a visit to CA so we decided to have it the weekend she's in town...which also meant that we had less than 2 weeks to plan it.

They will be welcoming a baby boy in July so I decided to go with yellow, teal, and grey/white color palette and Bird theme. I ordered the graphics from Etsy to design the Menu Card, Place Card, and Banner.

We originally decided to order from a restaurant for the food since we're pressed for time. But then I took a trip to Sam's Club and discovered something new that I wanted to experiment with. There was a display stand, The Pantry Club, featuring samples of gourmet dip mixes. I had to try each one and they were very flavorful. There are 6 different mixes: Cucumber Dill, Sesame Garlic, Chipotle Chile, Bacon Cheddar, Onion Chive, and Tomato Pesto. They can be used as a dip and mixed with sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese or other plain creamy base. They can also be used to season veggies, beef, pork, chicken, and seafood.

I brought the idea to the group if I can prepare the food instead of buying. I knew I didn't have time to make everything from scratch or anything too time-consuming so I thought these mixes would be a great way to help me cook for the baby shower. This is the menu I came up with.

  • Crudités served with Cucumber Dill Dip (with Low-Fat Sour Cream base)
  • Blue Corn Tortilla Chips served with Mango Salsa (Italian Rose Brand purchased at Sam's Club)
  • Crab Cake Sliders (seasoned with Chipotle Chile Mix) and Sesame Garlic Mayo
  • Italian Meatballs (seasoned with Tomato Pesto Mix) with Marinara Sauce over Linguini
  • Chocolate Cake and Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting (Sam's Club)
  • Wild Blueberry Tarte (Trader Joe's)
  • Lemon Cheesecake (using Lemon Bar Mix)
  • Mango-Blueberry Parfait Shooter
The parents-t0-be were very surprised and we had a wonderful time celebrating their upcoming bundle of joy. I can't wait to meet this baby in a couple of months!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


My hubby is not a dessert person but the one dessert he never says "no" to is Tiramisu. Our particular favorite is the family style tiramisu from Buca di Beppo restaurant. I've been wanting to try making it at home but never got around to it. Well..the time has finally come! I was happy with how it turned out but the happiest person of all is....hubby, of course! :)


9 oz. Marscapone cheese
3 oz. Zabaione custard
1/2 C. espresso rum mix
3 Ladyfingers
1/4 C. Cocoa powder
1 Biscotti, crumbled

Cooking instruction:

1. Whip the mascarpone cheese until light and airy.

2. Dip ladyfingers in rum espresso mixture and place in a deep bowl dish.

3. Top with 1 oz. of zabaione.

4. Using a 3 oz. scoop, layer one-third of the whipped mascarpone over ladyfingers.

5. Repeat process two more times with remaining ladyfingers.

6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

7. Prior to serving, dust with cocoa powder and crumbled biscotti.


When I hear chefs on Food Network shows say "zabaione," it sounds so fancy and sophisticated...and intimidating. What is zabaione anyway? I searched on google and found out zabaione is an Italian dessert made of egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine...then whipped to make a light and airy custard. It is traditionally served with figs. Surprisingly, zabaione is actually quite simple to make. You can even make it using the microwave, which was what I did. I didn't have figs on hand so I served it over mixed berries.


5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. Marsala
Mixed berries

Cooking instruction:

1. In a microwavable bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the egg with the sugar until the eggs are thick and lemon colored.

2. Whisk in the Marsala.

3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

4. Whisk.

5. Repeat this timing for about 4-6 times, or until the pudding gets thick and airy.

6. Spoon over mixed berries.

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