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something very new

May 11 2011 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Drink,Recipe » 11 comments

emily's baby shower

When we moved back to Chicago from DC in 2005, one of the biggest draws of this town was that it was where many of our friends were living.  Kevin had grown up here, we’d both gone to college here, and it wasn’t so far from Minneapolis, where I’d grown up.  Unlike Washington, where everything was new and where we were wrapped up in anonymity much of the time, this was a place where you could run into someone you knew at a Cubs game, where you could go to a place that you’d been five (or, in Kevin’s case, ten or fifteen) years ago.

emily's baby shower

There were a lot of great things about being back in Chicago—but returning to a tight group of college friends was certainly one of the best.  There were BBQs and nights of unending Taboo and weddings and chili cook-offs and fantasy football drafts and Fourth of July fireworks and book clubs and girls dinners and street festivals and concerts.

emily's baby shower

We’d all settled in—and I loved it.

emily's baby showeremily's baby shower

Just when we’d hit our stride, a lot of change hit our group all at once—new jobs, back-to-school, new homes, a new decade (our 30s).  And then, almost all at once, three couples moved away: one to Denver, one to Manhattan, one to Minneapolis.

emily's baby shower

Back in Chicago, there was change too.  Last fall, Jon and Emily announced that they were expecting a baby!

emily's baby shower

That happy news—a definite exclamation point in a year full of punctuation—brought us all back to Chicago last weekend, the first time we’d all been back here in a long time.  We spent nearly the entire weekend together, from dinner on Friday night through brunch on Sunday.  In the middle of it all, we threw a shower for Emily.  A party just like the old days—but to celebrate something very new.

(More shower photos here.)

Peach & Strawberry Bellinis
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, via Brynn and executed by Andy & Cari

These cocktails were a hit with both drinking and non-drinking guests at the shower.  Plus, they matched our color scheme.

1 1/3 cups water
2/3 cups sugar
1 16-ounce bag frozen peaches, thawed
1 16-ounce bag frozen strawberries, thawed
4 bottles sparkling wine (or sparkling water)

Stir the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Puree the peaches in a blender with half of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer and into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

In a clean blender puree the strawberries with remaining simple syrup until smooth. Strain through a clean fine-meshed strainer and into another bowl. Discard the seeds. Cover and refrigerate.

Pour both of the purees into small pitchers.

For each serving, pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of the desired fruit puree into a champagne flute. Slowly pour enough sparkling wine (or sparkling water) into the flute to fill the glass.  Gently stir to blend.

Do-Ahead: The fruit purees can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.

11 comments so far. »
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  1. Rosa says on May 11 2011 at 10:28 pm:

    Great news! Congrats to them.

    Mmmhhh, Bellinis!



  2. Elizabeth says on May 12 2011 at 6:48 am:

    Sigh…you’re making me miss my home (KC). Not that I don’t love my new home (NYC). Maybe a Bellini will cheer me up?

  3. diane says on May 12 2011 at 7:14 am:

    The party looked beautiful,the food delicious and we are glad you are closer! Love, MOM

  4. Emily says on May 12 2011 at 4:18 pm:

    SUCH a special weekend. xox, Emily

  5. Andy says on May 12 2011 at 5:43 pm:

    Fun seeing you and Kevin! See you guys again soon!

  6. Neil Butterfield says on May 13 2011 at 10:45 pm:

    It sounds like these drinks taste absolutely fab! My first time to your site and it looks great, I will be back.

  7. Maggie says on May 14 2011 at 8:48 am:

    This post made me want to cry! What a fun weekend…hope to do it again soon!

  8. Jane says on May 15 2011 at 2:17 pm:

    You just made me experience nostalgia! I so miss my old friends, and whenever we do get together (which is like once in a blue moon), it gives us all incomparable joy.
    Lovely post, great photos and a yummy recipe. All in all, a very heart-warmingly complete post. Thank you

  9. Karen says on May 16 2011 at 2:11 am:

    Ok, now you have to tell us what all that fabulous food was at the shower! Watermelon-feta-mint skewers? What kind of sandwiches? Looks like a beautiful party! Just wait till the baby arrives – that’s when the fun really starts :) And I find that friends get together even more often because everyone wants to see the baby!

  10. Barbara says on May 16 2011 at 8:05 am:

    What fun, Kristin! This was a lovely post.
    The food at the shower looks so spring-like and delicious.
    And you can’t beat a bellini! Ever.

  11. Liz says on May 18 2011 at 7:22 pm:

    Amazing how things change isn’t it? Glad that through it all you were able to keep tight ties with your friends and enjoy celebrating with each other!

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