Sunday, February 3, 2013

My sister's baby shower and one of my most requested recipes for orange brownies!






















Today was an amazing day!! This was the day set aside to bless my sister and baby Lucy with a shower in my home. I think that my sister is one of the most loved people around! She has more friends than anyone I've ever known. This is because she's so genuinely kind, loyal, funny, and the girl you want at your party cuz she's just so fun! It's no secret how much I adore her and I've been waiting for years to throw her a baby shower. Baby Lucy surprised us all by arriving a month early, so she's already been held, cuddled, and kissed many times over by the time we had this event.

I couldn't have done this without the help of our 2 sister in laws. What a great team we make! Ashlie, the designer, was in charge of the pom poms and cookie sandwiches. Eli, the amazing baker, was in charge of the cake and party favors, I did the rest. Party planning is not my gift! I have stressed and planned and ran many, many errands. By the time we hung the pom poms last night I couldn't wait for Stefie to arrive! I was so excited with how everything turned out! My girls even got involved, staying up late with me the other evening while we twirled piece after piece of tissue paper making the wreath for the entry.

I'm a detail person so I tried to think of everything, adding color to my porch with primroses and rubber boots. I planted fresh herbs outside the kitchen window, made a wreath for the front door, and had the yard cleaned up. Lucy's room is butter yellow, cream, and light grey so that became the color theme for our shower. This made me think of sunshine and fresh ingredients so I baked orange brownies and lemon pound cake which I "labeled" with slices of the appropriate fruit. (I felt so clever). I also burned grapefruit scented candles along with orange grove scented ones to go with our theme.

My mom gave a beautiful devotion and then my grandma made everyone cry as she blessed the food and prayed that God would not only nourish our bodies but nourish our hearts as well as we were together. We're blessed with an amazing heritage of godly women. I'm so glad that we could do this for my sister and I think I had just as much fun throwing it as she had attending!

These two recipes were HUGE hits so I thought I'd share them here. Hope you enjoy!!!





Orange Brownies

These are always a hit!

1 1/2 c cup4cup flour
2 c sugar
1 t salt
2 sticks butter- softened
4 eggs
2 t pure orange extract
1 t orange zest

Glaze:

1 c confectioner's sugar
2 T freshly squeezed orange juice*
1 t orange zest

Preheat oven to 350*

Grease a 9x13 pan, set aside. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and zest. Beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepare pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Remove from oven and pierce entire cake with a fork.

Prepare the Glaze:

Combine the confectioner's sugar, orange juice, and zest in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Pour glaze over brownies.

Let brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.

*zest the orange before juicing for best results.



Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

This cake doesn't rise very much so don't be surprised if it's shorter than you might expect.

5 T unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3/4 c plus 3 T sugar plus more for dusting
1 c cup4cup flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
3 T fresh lemon juice plus finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish, optional
1/4 c milk
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Dust with sugar, and tap out excess; set aside. Whist together flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir together 1 T lemon juice and the milk.

2. Put butter and 3/4 c sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs and zest. Working in two batches, atlernate mixing in flour mixture and milk mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, stir together remaining 3 T sugar and 2 T lemon juice. Upon removing cake from oven, immediately brush with lemon glaze. let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Unmold cake. Brush remaining glaze on top. Garnish with zest.
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44 comments:

  1. These recipes look so lovely as did the whole baby shower. I am in Ausralia and can't get the cup4cup flour over here, have you tried the recipes using just gluten free flour?

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    1. I have tried both recipes using thai rice flour. If you use it for the orange brownies you need 2 cups instead of 1 1/2. The lemon cake won't rise as much but both work with rice flour. enjoy!

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  2. Oh my goodness lissa! You did not leave out any details! The wreath was perfect as a sunny welcome. The tissue flowers, the marshmallows, the colorful straws in the galvanized cup, the olives and cheeses, the adorable cookies. You could do a knockout rustic wedding! Glad you had such a lovely day...looks like fun was had by all....lots of smiles and laughter.

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  3. how precious!!!! stefie is a stunning new mommy! my goodness!
    love all the yellow and grey ~
    the recipes sound divine.
    and all the details are just perfect...especially about your heritage. i love it!

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  4. Love all the photos and congrats to Stephie!! Everything looks fabulous and sweet. Can't wait to use the cup4cup!! :)

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  5. What lucky sisters and how special was that to have your grandma there giving her blessings, not to mention the all the prettiness.

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  6. What a precious baby shower! I adore all the touches of yellow you had. Where did you get the yellow wreath on the door? Such a welcoming entry.

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    1. thank you. :) The girls and I made it with a foam wreath and tissue paper.

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    2. Well that's even better! Is it the little squares of tissue glued to the wreath?

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  7. you and your sister in laws did an amazing job! everything looks beautiful! so happy that a healthy baby Lucy is here! Congrats auntie!

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  8. what a beautiful party - if you are a detail person then you get a gold star for details, it all looks AMAZING

    I love the idea of your orange brownies, Im wondering if I could make them with normal plain flour instead of gluten free - what do you think? - otherwise I guess I can just go with rice flour as suggested above ( pretty excited to see its an Australian girl too!!)

    xx

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    1. Hi Melinda! The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup flour. I converted it to rice flour. Everything else is exactly the same!

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  9. What a gorgeous shower in your beautiful home! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  10. What a beautiful party you guys threw to celebrate your sister and her little lucy!

    Can't wait to see more pictures of her!

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  11. Everything looks beautiful Lissa ~ what a blessing to have everyone together to celebrate Lucy! I am a lover of anything lemon so you can be sure I will be checking out that recipe. xo

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  12. Everything looks absolutely beautiful! Especially your family.

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  13. EVERYTHING looks beautiful and I was particularly touched by the "praying" pictures. Thank God for faith and family! Congratulations.

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  14. Everything looked beautiful. I love the colors - that first pic of the baby feet makes me melt - just could kiss them right up! What a blessing. Great job auntie :)

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  15. What a lovely shower! It is perfect and your sister looks so happy. I can't wait to try that brownie recipe. I am insanely jealous that you have actual live plants outside right now - so not an option in the Midwest.

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  16. Best baby shower photos i have ever seen! You give Martha a run for her money! Thanks so much for sharing:)

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  17. oh, and i have to know...where did you get the darling scalloped tray that the lemon bread in on?

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    Replies
    1. it's very old. it was a gift from my mom. i think she found it at ross or something.

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    2. bummer...i mean for me as i wont be able to get one:) hooray for you because it is adorable!

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  18. Hi Lissa! WOW.. you did an amazing job! I love reading your prep frets..I am not a natural entertainer and I always stress over all the details! You can feel the love of family and friends through your post! Was all the food gluten free?? I make your lemon pound cake weekly... it is always a hit! Were the cookie sandwiches gluten free? If so, would you mind sharing the recipe. My kids would love those!! Can't wait to try the orange brownies...maybe today :)) Thank you for opening your heart!

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  19. Lissa, everything looks beautiful and you and your sister are GORGEOUS!! Thanks for sharing this special day with all of us....such a joy! I threw a shower for my sister just a couple months ago, and just like your sister's new baby, our new nephew also decided to arrive 5 1/2 weeks early! :) Such a blessing, those little peanuts are!

    Also, I just have to say that I loved seeing all of that gorgeous food set out for your guests, knowing that a lot of it was likely gluten free! Makes my gluten intolerant heart happy. Haha!

    Have a great day, Dearie!
    xo,
    Dawn

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  20. What a wonderful baby shower. Big congrats to your sister and thank you for your excellent photos so we could all "join in"!!!

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  21. Everything looks so beautiful! Great job! I'm sure your sister was so overwhelmed by the beauty you created!

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  22. i'm seriously teary eyed looking at these pics. your grandma made me lose it! tell stefie that she is drop dead gorgeous! seriously i am jealous at how amazing she looks. for crying out loud she JUST had that baby and she's radiant...not even pudgy in the least bit. i didn't look normal for at least 6 months after.

    OH and your pics are absolute perfection Lissa. this really showed off your talent. i'm so proud of you. i know you've always wanted to take pretty pictures and now you know exactly what to do. job well done!!!

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  23. The shower looks beautiful. What a great day to have everyone together and celebrating. You thought of everything. The details are incredible.
    Is that Sangria in the pitcher on the counter? If so, can you share your recipe?

    Congratulations Auntie. :) Enjoy spoiling baby Lucy.

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    1. it's not sangria. it's just punch with sparkling cranberry juice, pom juice, and sparkling water.

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  24. so absolutely FUN! I think baby showers are my alltime fave, and I would have loved to be a part of this sunshiney shower :) Your grandma....adorbs. Im teary eyed just looking at that pic you snagged XOX

    who knew GF could be so yummy....and PRETTY!!

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  25. I love your attention to detail. You provided a beautiful setting for the shower! It looks like an excellent gathering. My favorite is the photo of your grandmother praying.

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  26. The recipes sound wonderful, and yay for the blessing of this sweet new life!! :) You guys are beautiful!

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  27. So So So beautiful!!!! I love the yellow and gray together! I have a question. Would the flour measurements be the same on both recipes using regular flour? I plan on making both, I love citrus deserts!!! XOXO

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    1. it should be exactly the same! :) enjoy!

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  28. Touching, joyful, beautiful and delicious all in one post! Amazing! Mmmm 'gotta try those orange bars

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  29. Hi again Lissa! I totally forgot to ask you in the last post about the coffee maker that you have sitting out for you're guests. I am looking for one for parties and stuff. Does it actually make the coffee, or does it just keep it warm? Also can you tell me the make and model of the one you have. Thanks again!!!!!!! Marty :)

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    1. the one I used I borrowed from a friend. It's a delonghi and it actually makes the coffee.

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    2. Thanks so much Lissa! Again, everything turned out so pretty!!!! :)

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  30. eeek! this is my kinda party!
    i'm a detail girl, too...you did SUCH a great job!
    the decor...the food! i'm going to have to try those bars and cake. :)
    xoxo

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  31. My goodness Lissa, I am always back here using your amazing recipes!

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