I love to bake. (Clearly. I have a blog about it.)
I love to cook, too, but I really love to bake.
So when I was asked to be a kind-of* co-host for a baby shower for a teacher at work, I totally agreed. Over a month before the shower, agreeing to make 2 dozen cupcakes, and cookies as shower favors sounds like fun. To get ideas for the cookies, I started Googling "baby shower ideas" and saw diaper cakes. So I offered to make one for the centerpiece. Easy peasy.
And in the month between agreeing to all of this and it actually happening, school starts.
Then we vote to go on strike.
And stay on strike for 10 days.
And then vote to accept our contract, so we go back to school.
And then I realize that the shower is this week, the first full week back to school after the strike.
Because I had post-strike/back-to-school-for-the-second-time-in-one-month brain, I struggled through my kind-of co-host responsibilities. For example, the night before I was going to make the red velvet cupcakes, I read the recipe far enough to realize I needed buttermilk. I went to the store after school the next day, got the buttermilk, headed home to make the cupcakes, and realized I also needed red food coloring and cupcake liners. I was at Michael's or the grocery store every day after school that week, picking up something I had forgotten the day before. Somehow, I managed to scrape together enough ingredients to make Paula Deen's red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
In all of those trips to the store, I never managed to figure out or pick up what I would need for my favorite royal icing recipe, which is the key to the 6 dozen cookies I made as favors. Using what I had at home, I made the footprints. (Yes, I know the color makes them look like radioactive Bigfoot prints.) And, I was able to get the yellow bodies on the ducks. But that was a stretch. So I Googled "royal icing recipes" and used the first one that I found that I had the ingredients for. (Royal icing has to dry for 24 hours before you can add a new color or details, I didn't have time for another trip to the store.) The new recipe I found whipped up a whole lot fluffier than my other recipe. It felt like trying to squeeze a pink marshmallow out of a piping bag. That's why the onesies look so goofy.
While waiting for the royal icing to dry, I made the diaper cake. It actually was the easiest thing I made, because everything came from Target, all in one trip. (There are more little gifties that go on the diaper cake, but I didn't take pictures of them because I wasn't sure where to put them. When I got to the party, I just kind of set them on the cake, so I'm not even sure what the finished product looked like.)
* Being a "kind-of co-host" means that I don't have to do any real hosting things: the party wasn't at my house, so I didn't have to clean before or after, I didn't help with the invitations, I didn't figure out party games. I just made stuff at home before the party, and got to the house a little early to help assemble finger sandwiches. Then I did what I do at every social event where I feel a little awkward: I drank a lot of coffee and told embarrassing stories about myself.