Wildflowers, Wine Bottles, and the Monster Cookie Recipe


6/4/2011 Update: The Celebration Barn is now closed. For more information, click here.

(To understand this post better, if you haven’t already read From Trevi Fountain to The Celebration Barn, it would be helpful if you did before you read the following post.)

IMG_5515 W bot and fl on white 1000

(Click photo to enlarge.)

After Katie’s (our younger daughter) and Joe’s July 19th, 2008, wedding, a family friend said that the wedding and reception were simple yet elegant, and that, “That’s Katie.”  Katie and Joe have very similar tastes and therefore came up with the idea of having our own wildflowers as reception centerpieces.  They also chose to have a box of monster cookies as a small gift for each guest at the reception.

Where Katie was raised outside of Perry, Iowa, Bill (my husband) planted wildflowers so he could avoid the difficult-to-mow hills.  The kind of wildflower typically plentiful in July where we live is the Purple Coneflower.  They are gorgeous.  And…free.  A nice combination when planning a wedding reception.

Bill and his Purple Coneflowers, July 2008.

Bill and his Purple Coneflowers, July 2008. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Because Joe proposed to Katie in Italy, for reception centerpieces, Katie and Joe used wildflowers and empty wine bottles for centerpieces.  As it turned out, we were able to round up not only one hundred empty wine bottles, but all of them had Italian wine labels.  (No, we did not drink all of that wine.  But, it helped that a lot of our friends did!)

Bill and his brother Tom the day before the July 19th, 2009, wedding.

Bill and his brother Tom the day before the July 19th, 2008, wedding. (Click photo to enlarge.)

The simplicity of the wine bottles and Purple Coneflowers combined with the ambience of The Celebration Barn (indicative of our agricultural background) was…simply elegant.

As far as the monster cookies go, Katie and Joe had cardstock “table tents” on each table telling a little bit about the cookies.  I was flattered when they asked me to make monster cookies for the reception.  I’ve had several people ask me over the years for my Monster Cookies recipe, so here it is.

The origination of this recipe was a late ’70s or early ’80s Iowa State University Extension newsletter written by Pocahontas County (Iowa) Extension’s Nancy Jenson.  Nancy was my maid of honor, and I was her matron of honor. Relationships, weddings, cookies…yum!

L to R:  Katie's Aunt Peggy, Bill, and me the day before the wedding.  Peggy (and Marti and Clara) was my right hand gal.

L to R: Katie's Aunt Peggy, Bill, and me the day before the wedding. (Click photo to enlarge.)

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2 Responses to “Wildflowers, Wine Bottles, and the Monster Cookie Recipe”

  1. Peg Says:

    Yes! As far as centerpieces and favors, you just couldn’t get more simply elegant and meaningful! They were beautiful. And a stroke of genius! 🙂

    And, hey, I got my picture on the blog! (A second time! :-)) I like being katie’s Aunt Peggy. 🙂

    Btw, HAPPY belated anniversary, Katie and Joe!!! XOXOX

  2. Peg Says:

    Maybe you should warn people that no one but you, Louise, no matter how many tips you openly and generously give them, seems to be able to quite replicate the Monster Cookies! Not even with the help of the famed Marigold Mixer!

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