A Bridal Shower Recap – From Kvetchin Kitchen

G’morning guys! So here we are 50 days until moi gets married and my MOH, other soulmate, and better half (thank goodness for understanding fiances!) threw me one hell of a bridal shower and bachelorette party. And now that she has her head above ground and not buried in her Master’s degree program any more – thank goodness – she wanted to fill you in on all the gory glorious details of that fateful day. Dang do I heart this girl. Since she is officially done with her degree program you can catch her over at Kvetchin Kitchen! Take it away my (other) love – Beka!

Oh my gosh, guys. Megan is getting married in 50 DAYS!!

Stepping in today is oft spoken of, but rarely seen BFF Beka of Kvetchin’ Kitchen. I just recently finished graduate school, during which my own food blog has been gathering a bit of dust… However – in lieu of her blogging about her own bridal shower (I know, I know… I think she was few steps away from actually offering to cook for her own shower… but that’s another issue), she has let me make my grand post-graduate-blogging-re-opening by sharing a little bit about her very special shower.

For those that don’t know – the whole “Cleaver” name started during a photo shoot that Megan offered to model for during our Senior year of college. Below are some very raw, real images, shot be a very amateur photog (that’s me).

And the name kind of stuck. She made a GREAT June Cleaver (for those that want to know, I was trying to poke fun at feminists by ironically portraying the housewife as a trapped slave. A little dark, lots of fun, and poorly communicated in the shots. But we had a blast!). But I digress.

A little nostalgia: I have been blessed to know Megan for upwards of 8 years. We bonded over a little boy drama (the perfect bond!) and we’ve been stuck ever since. We have one of those rare friendships where we never (not once) aggressively went after the same guy. There may have been a certain Australian and something something rum… but we didn’t technically fight over him. And maybe one of us passed out before we could flirt with him (*raises hand* That was me…). Again… I digress.

Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

We lived together for most of college. We would check out kitchen space in the dorm in order to cook, and then once we moved in the apartment, we were always cooking – me dinner, her desserts. And in the time in the apartment, she went from crunch macaroni ‘n cheese from a box (“The box said 7 minutes. The box said it was done!!”) to knocking me on my @$$ with her Czech schnitzel, to outpacing me in her cooking knowledge and prowess (not that I had a very extensive knowledge to start with…). And it’s not that she was ever bad – you can’t be a bad cook and do what she does now. But she didn’t start out by being… intuitive about it. Can I say that? Don’t judge her!! She’s better now. Cured even. If you’re reading this, it means she didn’t edit it out but I may be paying for it later – send help!

And now… 8 years later, she’s about to GET MARRIED. Whoa.

It was an obvious choice to throw a 1950’s Housewife-themed bridal shower. Neato!

The menu included several classic mid-century appetizers and miniature cakes. One recipe is posted here below (Megan’s favorite from the shower!) and the rest will be posted on my own blog over the course of the next week. I really hope you enjoy the posts, along with the stories, and be sure it send lots of love Megan’s way as she rocks her wedding countdown. And my personal thanks to Megan for her support as I find my way through the blogging word, and into her heart (Aaaawwwwww!!).

Isn’t she pretty in her Country Cleaver outfit!!

The menu:

Appetizers:

Deviled eggs

Stuffed celery

Cucumber coins with radish rounds and flavored cream cheese

Crostini with prosciutto, fig, and ricotta

Roast beef tea sandwiches

Mushroom canapés

Cocktails:

Matrimony Martini (Something blue… with a cherry. Giggity)

Dirty Martini

Dessert:

Mini Rum Bundt Cakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (recipe below!)

After a few noshies, there was a single game of guessing spices… (Which I (Megan here!) did dreadfully at…how the hell did that happen?)

Following by a little light-hearted embarrassment!

Dubious Bride is Dubious

Dress-up for a night out! Bringing in her Country and her Cleaver roots to attract a hot young fling go out and have a sensible, well-behaved time, and be home before curfew.

 Now, I didn’t do this alone. Our other college friend Kandace helped co-host as I was in school and working, and the other three gals were at least 300 miles away (and in one case, in a whole other hemisphere), but we all came together to throw a wonderful shower to honor a beautiful and classy woman. I would have thrown this the same day as my thesis presentation, if I had to… but I am forever grateful that she let me wait a month!!

Yield: 24

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This was adapted from The Unofficial MadMen Cookbook
The original recipe is for a single, large cake, but I have made a few changes for individual cheesecake pan (with removeable bottoms). Quick note: You Can. Not. Skip. Greasing the pan. Seriously. Don’t skip it. You will regret it. Also, it won’t be pretty.

Ingredients:

For the Topping:
5 Tbls butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 16 oz can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
~6 maraschino cherries, drained, chopped
For the cake:
10 Tbls butter
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup juice from pineapple can
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make the topping. Melt 5 Tbls butter over medium heat. When fully melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over and stir to combine. Cook until just barely starts to bubble. Add in the crushed pineapple and diced cherries. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool as you prepare the cake.
3. Grease. Your. Pan. No, that is not what she said. No, you may not skip this. Take some time, get messy, grease (with shortening, fatty) and flour. Do it.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together remaining butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing them to fully incorporate between additions. In a small bowl, sift** together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, juice, and vanilla. Alternate the flour and liquid mixtures to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just to combine.
5. In the bottom of each mini pan cubby, spoon a small amount of topping, just to cover the bottom. You will have just enough. Tap the tray to level the mixture. On top, add batter to fill the cubbies about halfway. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (check just the cake, not the topping).
6. Let the cakes cool slightly in the pan, then invert and let cool the rest of the way on wire rack. If you let it cool completely in the mini pan (or big pan, for that matter), the topping will stick and then be ugly. And the mid-century housewives were Never. Ugly.
7. ENJOY!!

*Sifting is for chumps. Just put it in a bowl and whisk it together. Just as good.

Adapted from the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook