A Pink or Blue ‘Guess Who?’

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By Paula Deen

Y’all know that I love any excuse for a party, and surprise parties are my favorite to throw because the excitement is just contagious! Everyone is in on the secret leading up the to the day, and the big reveal—if you don’t spill the beans—is never a disappointment. So when I got wind of something called a “gender reveal party,” where parents-to-be gather their friends and family to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl, I was just chompin’ at the bit for another pregnancy to grace my family.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. As soon as my niece Corrie announced that she was pregnant with her first child, I asked if I could throw her such a party at my house. Being a girl after my own heart, she was more than willing to let me.

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A Menu to Die for

It was so much fun to plan, y’all. Corrie and I have a lot in common—we’re as close as any aunt and niece could be. And we both know what we want. Corrie wanted a very formal, sit-down dinner party with about 20 of her closest friends and family members. She wanted the table set with good silver and fine China. And I wanted to give her the moon, so I was happy to make her wishes come true.

It was important for us both to be able to enjoy the evening and savor the moment, so I hired Susan Mason, a special friend and talented caterer here in Savannah, to handle the upscale menu that included incredible beef tenderloin, creamed spinach and loaded potato gratin. Sometimes even a control freak like me knows when to hand over the reigns, y’all.

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It’s All the Details

But I definitely had a hay-day with the rest of the details. Just short of repainting the house, the pink-and-blue theme was reflected in every favor, decoration and delectable bite. It was super easy. I bought rock candy, M&Ms and macarons, added food coloring to lemonade and made a batch of melt-in-your-mouth homemade marshmallows. We even had cutouts of mustaches and lips glued to wooden rods I bought at a craft store to hold up to our faces. We had a blast posing for pictures with them!

To bring everyone in on the fun, I asked the guests to show up in the color representin’ whether they thought the baby was a boy or a girl. Against all odds, I wore pink. The men couldn’t commit; Bubba wore a pink and plaid shirt, while my assistant, Brandon, opted for seersucker pants and a pink shirt.

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The Secret’s in the Cake

“You can’t have it both ways!” I teased. (Truth is, they just hate being wrong.)
For the reveal, we thought about stuffing pink or blue helium balloons into a big, wrapped box and when it was opened, they’d come flying out. Or we considered having a piñata filled with pink or blue candy that we’d have beat the secret out of. But Corrie and I decided that the baby’s gender would be hidden in the cake. When she cut into it, it would either be pink or blue.

Even though I really wanted to make my niece a special cake, doing so would’ve meant that I’d know the secret before anyone else. That couldn’t happen. I would’ve just died trying to keep that secret to myself! So instead we asked our friend Cheryl Day, who owns and operates Back in the Day Bakery along with her sweet husband Griff, to handle the cake—and the secret keeping.

The day of the ultrasound, Corrie and her husband Brian had the nurse seal the result in an envelope and have it delivered to Cheryl.

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Mum’s the Word

I was like a little kid on Christmas morning when the party finally arrived. We were supposed to sit down and enjoy the meal, but I just couldn’t take it. I must’ve been drivin’ everyone crazy, because Corrie finally gave up and said, “Okay, let’s cut the cake!” before dinner even started.

When Corrie and Brian cut through the cake’s white butter cream icing, my teeth nearly fell out of my head—the cake was as blue as blue could be! Everyone squealed in surprise, but no one more than me because I would’ve bet every penny I had that my niece was carrying a girl!

We welcomed Sullivan Rooks into the world on December 15, 2012, but the celebration really started when we discovered that our family was going to be blessed with yet another little boy. But I’m not hanging up my pink shirt just yet.

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Reader Comments:

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You look beautiful in these pictures! Love you....keep the faith!

By Diane Milliken on September 13, 2013

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Howdy, Boy this is great shower idea!Too bade none of the 5 babies loved ones are having are have had this year waited to find out haha.Just a note to say we all love ya here in utah.

By judy more on July 24, 2013

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what a great idea and u r so creative and u look great ..keep up the great job and have a Blessed Memorial Day and weekend..Thanks for sharing just Beautiful..Norma I Maldonado..New Brunswick, New Jersey

By Norma I Maldonado on May 25, 2013

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Oh my gosh!!! what a fun idea. Love this site.

By Kimberly McKinney on May 19, 2013

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My daughter's friends recently threw a gender reveal shower for her. They also decided to have the cake reveal the baby's gender. What a surprise to us all when my daughter cut into the first of three layers to reveal a layer of both pink & blue. Automatically, we thought it must be twins, but this was only a tease. The second layer was pink, but this was not yet the reveal. When she cut into the third and final blue layer, in came her best friends with gifts that revealed the true gender of the baby. The party was such fun and my first grandson, Marcus Thomas Mladenoff, was welcomed into this world on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

By Maureen M. Johnson on April 28, 2013

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Always enjoy getting emails from you , you have such great tips and great recipes.Thank you,also love watching Bobby on Not mt mama's meals. You have raised two great and very handsome sons, thank you for that to.I am a disabled widow and most of the time I can't afford to get the recipes done but I love seeing you guys making them anyway.Love you all.Have a nice looking husband too, didn't want to leave Michael out.

By Virginia Bumgardner on April 28, 2013

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Paula, u look so good & I'm proud of u, I love seeing u & your family, Thanks for the great tips!!

By Joyce Melton on April 27, 2013

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Hey Paula, The reveal party was delightful, and so you.........fun, classy, with a touch of hot sauce. I love your articles, and the pictures! Don't give up on that girl............after my 3 great grandsons, I finally got that little ball of pink preciousness.....CeeCee. So keep your fingers crossed. You know, good things come to those who wait. XOXO

By Dotti Overstreet on April 27, 2013

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Hey Paula, I loved this post. It was classic, fun and so you! Just keep your fingers crossed, one day that little girl will come. After 3 grand boys, we finally have our darling CeeCee grin

By Dotti Overstreet on April 27, 2013

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Oh Paula, my daughter just found out today she is expecting. We were talking about a gender revealing party, I didn't know what to do. I loved the idea though. Then I checked my email and there was your story on your niece. I was so thrilled. Thanks so much for sharing and what timing. It was like you were talking to me. I love you emails, articles, newsletter and show. I came to Georgia in hopes of meeting you in January 2013 but my car broke down before I got to Savannah. I was heart broken but my son picked me up and brought me home. I dream of the day I can meet you. God Bless. Michelle King

By Michelle King on April 27, 2013

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Her husband's name is Michael Gruber.

By Wendy on April 27, 2013

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hey there paula...i just wanted to say that i saw where you are gonna be on masterchef again...i looked at your schedule and didnt see it....can you please tell me when you are gonna be on? that and i wanted to say that i will never forget and i hold it dear til this day you sent me a thank you for sending you in a recipe and it was signed by you...my husband and i just love you and you look so good but you always have...you are one pretty lady...love ya paula...lisa smile

By lisa campbell on April 26, 2013

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Paula you look amazing you should be so proud of yourself. I need to get your well power. Keep up your good work. xoxo

By Noreen Koss on April 26, 2013

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Paula, you look amazing:)

By Anonymous on April 26, 2013

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Congratulations to Corrie and her husband and to everyone in your family, Paula. I wish you all lots of happiness. I met you and Michael, Paula, in Nashville, TN at a book signing a couple of years ago. It has been the highlight of my light so far. I told Michael how you had helped me so with my depression after my mother passed when she was only 57. My daddy passed away when he was just 49, I was 15. So, I can related to you in so many ways, Paula. I love to cook and all of my family loves for me to cook. Well, anyway I would love to meet you again and just talk with you. Of course, I know you get this all the time. GOD Bless you and all your family. Keep your pink blouse, maybe Bobby and his bride-to-be will be the first with a girl! Sincerely, Tammy Williams

By Tammy Williams on April 26, 2013

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ABSOUTELY LOVED THE IDEAS AND CONCEPT OF THE "REVEAL" SHOWER!! SUCH A DARLING IDEA!! LOVE THOSE LITTLE BOYS!!!!

By BARBARA BRINKLOW on April 26, 2013

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We recently had a reveal party for my nephew. It was so fun! And also the first time I made colored deviled eggs, which were a huge hit. Their cake was also blue, and my grand nephew is coming in September!

By Denise on April 26, 2013

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what is Paula DEEN'S HUSBAND NAME?

By Anonymous on April 26, 2013

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What was that cute saying Bobby said today? I forgot the first part. Something about our family says........ not higher than you, but had my fill of you? It was funny but I didn't write it down so of course, now I've forgotten it.

By Dee Fisher on April 25, 2013

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Love the article! Gender reveals are so much fun. I wish I would've had one for my last pregnancy! Here's another fun idea that I've come up with to help the older child find out if they are getting a brother or a sister. Gender reveal natural play dough! Love your show, Paula! Melissa http://www.etsy.com/listing/127480280/gender-reveal-sibling-reveal-baby-shower?

By Melissa Kandah on April 24, 2013

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm