A couple of months ago, I had the honor of throwing a baby shower on behalf of a family friend with the last name Beaver (you might remember the beaver invitations from a little while ago). So obviously, I had no choice but to go with a very beaver-heavy woodland theme.
Once the theme was decided and the invitations sent, I narrowed my focus on the most important part of any party: the food. Since the shower was to be in the middle of the afternoon, we decided on heavy hors d’oeuvres. With any kind of party, it always seems to be easy to find a bunch of junk food items, but difficult to find healthier options. Since my mom was co-hosting and is gluten-free and sugar-free, I knew I wouldn’t get around meeting some of her dietary needs. Luckily, I think I was able to strike a good balance.
For the healthier folks, I created a vegetable platter in the shape of an owl. I used yellow bell peppers, baby carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes to form the body. My family has a dill weed dip recipe that everyone always seems to love, so we used that for the eyes instead of a more traditional ranch or blue cheese dip.
After a vegetable tray, the next addition is obviously fruit. Mostly out of fear, I assigned my mom the task of carving a watermelon to look like a hedgehog and boy, did she do a great job! She hallowed out the back of the hedgehog and made a fruit salad of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries.
Getting more into the less nutritious realm, we wanted some heavier items with protein to help fill people up. For this, we served Costco sandwich rolls and pigs-in-a-blanket. As with anything pre-packaged, the Costco rolls were a breeze to set up and gave me more time to attempt to make the pigs-in-a-blanket look like babies wrapped in blankets. I’d give them a solid “C.”
Next, came the junk food. The yummy, yummy junk food. My sisters and I spent half a day prepping all of the junk food. We made “birch branches” by dipping pretzel rods in white chocolate and then drizzling melted chocolate chips on them. Then we made “acorns” by attaching a Hershey’s kiss to a mini nutter-butter with a mini chocolate chip on the bottom. And just for good measure, we put out a tray of Teddy Grahams because no woodland theme is complete without bears.
For the grand finale, my husband made a rich and decadent chocolate raspberry cake decorated to look like a tree stump. The cake served as our centerpiece and deserved every bit of attention it got. My husband even made a light-up, 3D printed, hand painted, cake topper to match the beaver decorations.