Mel's Bridal Shower!

I hosted my second bridal shower on Sunday, for my dear, dear friend Melanie. She's joining the ranks of the officially taken on 8/23, and apparently thought I was up to the challenge of impressing the various women in her life with my hostessing skills. I'm not sure who she thinks she's been hanging out with all these years...but I did my bestest (with much help from my bestest lady, Krysta and the amazingly patient Mr. David) and I think we actually pulled it off!

Lovely flowers from the Flower Mart, arranged by Krysta

A bit of the spread: hummus with whole grain pita bread; heart-shaped lemon sandwich cookies; heart shaped chocolate cups (I loved Surfas so very much this weekend) filled with caramel mousse; one of the TWO vanilla and strawberry marshmallow trees, with caramel and fudge dipping sauces (I cheated and bought them at Whole Foods. I was in crisis, people.)

Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese Crisps, though they really ended up being more like Cheese Chews; Turkey, for those protein crazies out there

White bean and Shiitake Mushroom crostinis. I didn't cut the bread thinly enough. Again, crisis. It was 2:50 and guests were due to arrive at 3. A Note: the Shiitake Ragout makes pretty much nothing. It's delicious but best served at a small dinner party unless you want to buy about 10 pounds of mushrooms...

The Perfect Chocolate Cake. In theory, anyway. I'm so thankful this isn't a detailed shot. This cake gave me more of a headache than anything else I made all weekend. I broke two of the first layers I made clear in half and had to start over. Then the frosting was a failure, but I'd run out of butter and couldn't start over. Disaster. However, Melanie made a point of leaving me a message just yesterday telling me that they were just talking about how delicious it was, so I guess it worked out. Again, I need to work on aesthetics big time. Maybe my baby sister will give me some lessons. Thank God for those flowers...

A closer look at one of the Marshmallows Trees! I have to admit that the idea was not mine--the brilliant Sherry Yard mentions it in her fabulous cookbook, and I pilfered it. It took a lot more doing than I expected, in terms of gathering the supplies. D found the branches online after searching for some time...the vases and stones are from Michael's, as was the foam in which the branches were 'planted.' Next time there will be more rocks, but otherwise I was really pleased with them.

Favors from Paulette's-Madagascar Vanilla and Violet Cassis flavored macarons
(delicious AND their wedding colors-kismet!)

The blushing bride-to-be flanked by friends

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