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Sunshine Punch and Grape Salad – Recipes from a Bridal Shower

A few days ago, I wrote about a bridal shower here and promised I would share a couple of the recipes from it.  If you aren’t already “acquainted” with this grape salad, it is very easy to assemble and a yummy one to make for a ladies’ luncheon or even a lunch for your family.  Please note that it makes a lot!

You will need:

2 lbs. red grapes

2 lbs. green grapes

8 oz. sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:  1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup nut topping (usually found on the ice cream aisle of the grocery store.)


Rinse and dry grapes.  Pull all the grapes from the stems, and place them in a large serving bowl. 

Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar, and the vanilla.  I normally “cheat” and mix them with the hand mixer so that there are no lumps in it.  Then pour this over the grapes and mix it through thoroughly.

Then mix together the brown sugar and the nut topping.

Live and learn…use real nut topping – not the topping I mistakingly bought  (Parlor Perfect Praline Crunch), and sprinkle it liberally all over the top of the grape salad. 

And another Live and Learn…I thought the topping looked waaaay too thick on top, so I stirred it all in.  Don’t do that.  It tends to lose its crunch.  Leave it all on top so you will have that crunchy texture in every serving.

Now for the punch recipe….

Growing up, I remember going to weddings and parties where the punch was often a green slushy type drink made with lime sherbet and gingerale.  Do you remember that?  I loved it as a child, but as an adult it just doesn’t seem to mix well with finger foods – too heavy I think.  I found this recipe for Sunshine Punch many years ago.  It is a good punch to use when you are serving a crowd, and you don’t want to use alcohol.  It also works very well for a brunch.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I have made up the base and transported it to the place of the event where I added the final amount of water and ginger ale.

I suppose it is called Sunshine due to all the citrus drinks in the recipe (from the Sunshine state, maybe?) or perhaps just due to the color of the punch.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.

1 cup sugar                                                       3 oz. frozen orange juice
1 cup hot water                                                 1 liter ginger ale
2 cans frozen lemonade (6 oz. each)                1 orange
6 oz. frozen limeade                                         1 lemon and 2 limes
(* Wally-world did not have the juices in the sizes I needed for this.  Follow the measurements in the recipe – not the photograph.)


Mix the sugar and the hot water in a pan over low heat.  Stir until dissolved.  (This will make a simple syrup.)  Allow to cool.  Then add the undiluted cans of lemonade, limeade, and orange juice.   (This is the base and can be made ahead and refrigerated.)

Slice the orange, lemon, and limes.  Add the sliced fruit, 64 ounces of cold water, 1 liter of ginger ale, and ice when ready to serve.


Do you have a “go-to” punch that you have found works well for many occasions?

Please share!

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Lindy James - January 5, 2013 - 12:12 am

Please forgive me for writing a comment to this post now in the new year, Kelly, but I only discovered your blog about a month ago and am now just finding the time to go back and read them from the beginning. Your question concerning having a “go-to” punch reminded me of the apple cider punch that I served at my daughters baby shower and again a year later at Lily’s 1st. birthday party. Here’s what you need to enjoy this wonderful punch: 6 cups of apple cider, 2 cups of orange juice, cranberry-raspberry juice, or orange-mango juice (I’ve only ever used the orange juice), 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and 1 750 milliliter bottle of sparkling white grape juice or sparkling wine. In punch bowl or large pitcher, combine first three ingredients. Slowly add white grape juice or wine. Serve immediately. For an adult punch, use chilled champagne in place of the grape juice. Enjoy!
Don’t apologize Lindy! Thank you so much for sharing your apple cider punch. It sounds positively delicious. 🙂

A Spring Bridal Shower

A couple of months ago, we held a bridal shower here for one of my nieces.  I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures from the occasion.  Beginner blogger + newbie photographer= very few photographs, and when you have 50 women running around your house, you get kind of crazy busy! So some of these photos were taken of the “leftovers” after the shower, but they still give you a good feel for the occasion.

T H E    M O O D

The wedding was set for early spring, but it was late winter.  We wanted the party to appear spring like.  You know that feeling at the end of one season when you are just dying for the next season to arrive?  Well that was my state of mind at the time of planning the decor.  Bright yellow tulips (with a few white ones) seemed to be the perfect flowers to use for arrrangements.  I do not like “arranged” arrangements so I usually just throw a mass of flowers in a container (in this case – a cookie jar) and voila!  an un-arranged arrangement appears..casual and pretty.

The rolled up kraft paper in the photo actually served a purpose (besides diverting your attention from the well used countertop in the photo).  The paper was used as a runner down the middle of the table. We placed several markers about, and the guests were instructed to write words of “marriage wisdom” for the engaged couple.  I think they did a good job…advising them to remember to laugh, be patient, hold hands, and other such sweet things.  When the party was over, I rolled up the paper, tied it with a yellow ribbon, attached the invitation, and wrote the date of the occasion on it.  This was my niece’s first bridal shower, so I think it will be a nice way to remember the event.


T H E   M E N U

The menu was full of delicious goodies – ALL of it homemade – not by me though.  I did “the house” and the drinks, and the other hostesses did the food prep.  This was the menu.

 Here’s my Sunshine Punch (It is sadly in need of ice in it though.)

and the coffee.

Ignore the jars of cereal.  They stayed out for the party.  Since all my cabinets and closets are quite full I had nowhere to hide them. 

I drink my coffee straight up black, but here’s the set up for those people who like to muddy up theirs with cream and sugar. 🙂

Here are a few of the leftover pecan tarts.  For some reason, they did not rise in the middle, so we just disguised those little holes with a dollop of whipped cream. They tasted delicious.  (I think whipped cream makes everything taste better, so I was glad for the reason to use it!)

The grape salad was a winner, but somehow I did not manage to get ONE SINGLE BITE of it (too busy talking to everyone I guess.)  Anyway, I made a batch later so that I could have some (recipe coming soon.)

T H E   M U S I C

I always think about a play-list when planning any event.  The company is the essential factor; the food is important, and the setting is significant, but I think all of the senses should be considered…even down to which scent of candle will be burning during the party, if any – Henri Bendel’s lemon verbena for this one. (I know I go overboard in planning.)  Anyway, in thinking about a bridal shower I like to do love-songs, and then I consider the age of the group attending.  Our guests ranged in age from 17 to 87, so I decided it would have to be classic love-songs – some with a contemporary edge.  Here is part of my music pairings for this bridal shower:

At Last by Etta James

Come Away with Me by Norah Jones

It Had to be You by Frank Sinatra

I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You by Ingrid Michaelson

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

When I Fall in Love by Natalie and Nat King Cole

The Look of Love by Diana Krall

Everything by Michael Buble

Stardust by Harry Connick Jr.

I have an old cd – Forever Yours  (sold by Hallmark and available here) that has most of these standards performed nicely by Julie Crochetiere.  Another choice, and somewhat more upbeat, is the soundtrack to You’ve Got Mail (available here.)  And finally, nothing beats Pandora to me.  The Michael Buble station works well for a bridal shower, especially when you have such a variety of ages in attendance.

 T H E   M E N

What did men have to do with this party, you ask?  Well, we were all having a wonderful time – sitting everywhere all over the house … eating all the party food, laughing and talking.  It was supposed to be a “drop in” shower, but no one left after they got here.  They just found themselves a place to sit, and they stayed.  (I take that as a sign of a good party and a compliment to the hostesses that no one wanted to leave. 🙂 ) 

Late in the afternoon, while we were enjoying ourselves talking and eating, the phones started ringing.  It was the men.…husbands, and grandfathers, and fathers, all calling to tell us about a severe storm headed our way.  I went to check the radar,and it did look very bad.  Many of the guests had driven a couple of hours from out of town so they had to hurry to get back home.  You have never seen a bunch of women move so fast! (well maybe at an After-Thanksgiving sale at Target, but that’s a different story..)  Everyone started packing up the gifts in boxes and bags as fast as we could and then running them out to my niece’s car.  All the food was hurriedly cleaned up and furniture put back where it belonged.  All the guests made it out before the storm hit, but some of the hostesses were drenched.  One even had water up to her calf just to get in her car.  For the next hour my husband, daughter, and I watched the news of hail, flooding, and tornadoes in the area.  We were quite blessed to have been able to enjoy the party, get everyone out safely,and have no damage to our home from the weather.

Oh, and one last thing..this niece’s older sister got married a few years ago, and ironically one of the heaviest rainstorms we have ever seen came up 20 minutes before her wedding started.  Most of us got soaking wet just trying to get in the church!

So… have you ever had any weather emergencies interrupt one of your big events? 

We’d love to hear!

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Katie - April 14, 2012 - 8:23 pm

Welcome to blogland! You’re off to such a great start! Love the idea you had about the runner – I’m going to use that next time we have a shower! Can’t wait to see more posts from you – I’m sure we’re all in for a treat!
Thank you for your sweet words Katie! I love using the paper runner at parties. It works great for wedding showers AND for baby showers too (writing parenting advice). So glad you stopped in for a visit today!

Elizabeth {lovely little parties} - April 14, 2012 - 11:15 am

Kelly! When did this happen?! I didn’t realize your blog was up and running. My mom actually told me about it….she told me to check out a blog that she found on Tessa’s through the comments, low and behold it was you. anyway, welcome! I’m off to look through your other post now.
Elizabeth, SO glad you found me! I just took the blog out of “construction mode” last Wed., so please tell your mom thanks for sending you over. I emailed a few people to tell them it was up and going, but I have a hard time with “self-promotion.” (A blog in itself IS self promoting, but telling others about it just has not gotten into my nature yet…haven’t even told my friends and family around here yet. 🙂 ) I ended up doing all the customization myself on a Prophotoblogs template. I love Prophoto, but don’t love that you can’t have threaded comments…so my comment to you is below my comment to Tessa. Maybe prophoto will add that one day. Anyway, thanks for reading and jumping in the conversation!
p.s. Thanks also for the follow on Pinterest. I have been pinning your stuff for awhile now…so you will see some of the same stuff! (Great minds think alike!)

tessa - April 14, 2012 - 9:07 am

happy saturday, kelly! i was so excited to open this post today. i knew about your shower from your emails and i was hoping you would do a post. it looked so beautiful and fun. ok, how about a little DIY on your handwriting!!!! special pen? did you take a class? God given gift? haha. i wish i could write like that, it looks so pretty. love all the details and couldn’t agree more about music. your niece must have been thrilled! xo, tessa

ps. now that you are blogging, you should think about changing your settings so i can reply directly to your comments through email and vise versa. i never go back to check on blogs when i leave a comment. others might. since my comments come right to email i usually reply directly to the person who left the comment through email. i’m still not able to reply to you this way. sometimes i’ll reply on the blog when i can’t do it through email but i’m not so good at this. though i just left you a couple replies to your last comments. whew. sorry to be so long winded. another blogger told me about this when i first started blogging and i was so grateful b/c it makes blogging so much easier. this is my pay it forward to you. 🙂
Happy Saturday back at cha, Tessa! We just got home from the first of daughter’s college orientation visits. Whew! Glad you liked the shower stuff. To answer your handwriting question, I have never taken a class, but have taught lettering classes. I do hand lettered invitations and all the paper stuff that goes with weddings. The pen for the shower was simply a chalk pen. I guess I just like to doodle!
I read your p.s. about the settings and looked all over my dashboard but couldn’t find a way to do what you were saying. I did all the customization of the blog myself (all the fun “pretty” stuff) but have very little technical knowledge when it comes to the other stuff. Then I jumped over to your blog and saw where Elizabeth said you can’t do it in WordPress…so I guess I can’t do it. Do wonder why our avatars are not showing up on each other’s blogs, but they show up elsewhere…could be another wordpress vs. blogspot issue. Maybe Elizabeth knows…
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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