Monday, August 20, 2012

Backyard Baby-Q

Wow! This summer has flown by. I say that a lot, but really it has flown by. I can't believe school is about to start back up. It is crazy! It has been a whirlwind the past much to catch up on! First things first! I threw a "Backyard Baby-Q" for a good friend of mine, a couple weeks ago. We could not be more excited about this precious pink bundle she has on the way...this baby is a true miracle. When I found out she was prego, I knew that I had to host her shower and immediately the wheels were spinning in my head and I came up with the "Backyard Baby-Q" theme. I LOVE how it turned out. In true, Ashley fashion, I put a lot into the minor details, but those details are one of my favorite parts of this party. 

I started out with the theme of making everything mini. This was so much fun and really adorable. I used a lot of mason jars. Everything tastes better in a mason jar. Really. It's true! Try it!

There are a ton of details and pictures in this post! Enjoy!

These mini mac and cheese jars were a HUGE hit. I always use this recipe when I make homemade mac and cheese and it is always a favorite! I always add breadcrumbs on can add whatever kind you want, I add plain, Italian style, really whatever I first see when I open the cabinet! I typically use gluten free pasta and you can't tell a difference between that and regular pasta! All of the guests raved about this part of the meal. Love that!

Mini pulled pork sliders. These were to die for! They were so good! I used this recipe. As my hubs always says "You can't go wrong with a recipe from Uncle Bill!" A lot of our favorite recipes are Williams Sonoma recipes. I served the pork on King's Hawaiian Rolls. These rolls are always delish!

Don't you wish you could reach into the computer and grab one of these babies? I do! 

Here is my plate. The coleslaw was served in mini masons too. I loved how cute and "mini" it all looked. We served kettle chips too. Everything was so yummy. My mouth is watering going through pictures to write this post! Ha! 

Quite possibly my favorite thing about the shower! Pies in mason jars! These were seriously amazing. They are my new go to dessert for new moms, new neighbors, you name it! These might be a part of my Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors too (added to the cinnamon rolls that we give out). I am keeping batches in the freezer too for unexpected dinner company! These are AWESOME! After googling, I realized I was not such a genius and lots of others have made pies in mason jars which is great because I found some useful tips and advice! :) I used this recipe for the crust (their butter only recipe. Crisco grosses me out.) but used taller jars. They have a great explanation about the freezing method too. This saved oodles of time the weekend of the shower! A couple friends and I made these pies a week prior to the shower. They were then frozen and we baked them the morning of. It worked great! We used a random mixture of apples and blueberries, sugar and a bit of flour for the filling(it did not come from the above site). The crumb topping was made of brown sugar, gluten free oats, flour and butter. 

We topped them with vanilla ice cream and OMG they were even better. The pies were still warm from the oven and the ice cream melted into them. Heaven in a jar!

They looked so adorable on the tray as we delivered them to each guest! Seriously loved these cute pies! Did I mention that yet?! 

This is the drink table. I loved how it turned out. I kept it simple with Mojitos, Fauxjitos (for the prego) and water with oranges, lemons and mint. Mojitos are our signature drink at our house. We make them a lot and they are always a crowd fav! My hubs is the real "Mojito Master,"so I learned how to make them from him.

We usually make the mojitos ahead of time and put them in mason jars when we have a party or take them to a party. My poor hubs has spent too many parties slaving away making these delicious concoctions, so this is a great step to alleviate any stress mid party. All the guests have to do is shake up the drink, take off the lid, add a straw and tada, they are set!

I put a vintage golf ball basket on the ground near the drink table for guests to throw their lids. It worked fabulously! 

 Here is I am with the mommy-to-be! 

 I had a cute little message on my pantry doors. I am loving having the chalkboard on them. More to come on how I did that project and all the great uses I have for these doors now!

Next up are the tables. I loved how they turned out too! The black chargers underneath the plates are painted with chalkboard paint. Such a fun idea! I know I will use these again and again! Basic white table cloths are covered with a burlap topper. I just bought yardage of burlap and this worked great!

Each place setting had silverware wrapped with twine and an "eat" tag, along with some flower seeds to grow your own. I thought these were a fun and easy favor! The checkered napkins I used are these amazing things! Have you seen these? Napkins on a roll! They are awesome and reusable! Woohoo!

One more close up of the place settings. I didn't give myself a favor. :)

Here is a close up of the favors before I put them on the place settings, they each had a sweet hang tag that said "grow."

The tables.

Sunflowers in huge mason jars were the perfect centerpieces! Sunflowers are such pretty and happy flowers! I love them and they are so perfect for a "Backyard Baby-Q!"

 And last but not least, we had a sweet book that my friend made for everyone to sign and give messages to the mommy and her precious baby girl. We also went together and gave her a gift certificate towards her newborn photo session. :) 

I so enjoyed this shower! It turned out to be a beautiful day and it was so much fun to prepare such a special day for such a special friend. Happy Monday friends!