Baby Shower Food
What is a party without food? Food can get people to mingle. It can be displayed prominently as decoration. In some cases, the edible treats are the best part of the party. Letï¿½s face it, food can make or break your party. But you don't need to be Martha Stewart to make your baby shower food the talk of the town. It just takes a bit of know how and a few simple tricks to get everyone "oohhhing" and "aahhhing" over your hostessing skills.
Tips on What to Serve
Before you can make your simple food look simply marvelous, you need to decide what that food will be. The more people you are inviting, the more you will want to keep the food preparations to a minimum. Since it is a baby shower, most people will probably be expecting finger foods. If the shower is taking place around a mealtime, you may want to consider either serving a proper sit down meal or more substantial finger foods.
Most baby shower menus consist of two staples: fruit salad and veggies with dip. The main reason these items consistently appear at parties is because they are so simple to prepare, yet very easy to dress up and present in a fancy way. Other items that regularly appear on a baby shower menu include finger sandwiches, cakes or sweets and drinks (non-alcoholic of course). If there is a theme to your shower, you may want tailor the menu to your theme-especially when it comes to cake designs.
Making a Melon Bowl
Baby shower foods donï¿½t have to be boring just because they sound dull. Sure, fruit salad isn't the most unique menu item, but presenting it in a melon bowl or, better yet, a carriage shaped melon certainly makes it look a lot better. To make a melon bowl, simply find a good-sized watermelon or any other melon that you think will be large enough. Cut off the top quarter or half, hollow it out (save the insides for the salad!) and then fill it with your fruit salad. You can also cut the edges to have a bit of a wave around the bowl.
If you want to really impress your guests, then aim for the baby carriage melon server. For this, youï¿½ll need a watermelon that is long in shape rather than round. Cut three-quarters (lengthwise) of the top half off so that you have a carriage hood at one end and then hollow out the melon. To put some wheels on your melon carriage, cut thick slices of oranges or grapefruit and attach it to the stroller with toothpicks. If you want to make a carriage handle, then use some of the rind you cut off. Fill it with your fruit salad and you instantly have a unique way of serving a refreshing fruit salad.
Creating Colorful Veggie Platters
Vegetables and dip are also quick and easy to prepare. Buying a variety of vegetables is always a good idea not only for the sake of pleasing everyone, but also to make the food look more enticing. Ripe vegetables always look so delicious and fresh which you can use to your advantage. Put out some bright green broccoli, and green bell peppers with beautiful red cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper beside it. Add some vibrant yellow bell peppers, clean light green celery, bold orange carrots, crisp white cauliflower and fresh green and white cucumber to finish it all off. How can your guests resist? To really emphasize the vegetables colors, you might want to consider digging out a tiered dessert tray and placing vegetables of the same color on each tray. Perhaps greens on the bottom, reds in the middle and yellow and orange on top?
Creative Tortilla Rolls
Finger sandwiches are another easy item to prepare. Plus, they can be a bit more filling than just fruit and vegetable. But you don't have to stick to the old stand-bys of egg salad sandwiches. Get a bit more adventurous and try a bit of a tex-mex flavor with tortilla rolls.
For this baby shower recipe youï¿½ll need some chopped green onions and green chilies, softened cream cheese, sour cream and cheddar cheese plus a large flour tortilla. Take all the ingredients, except the tortilla, and mix them together. When they are well blended, spread a thin layer of the mix on the tortilla. Roll the tortilla (like you would a jelly-roll), wrap it in plastic and place it in the fridge over night. Just before your baby shower, take the roll out and slice it into bite-size servings. Arrange them on a plate with some salsa for dipping. Four large tortillas should make about 48 bite-size rolls.
You could also buy some mini-pitas and stuff them with all sorts of things. Salmon, marinated chicken, maybe some hummus and vegetables; all of these are easy to prepare and taste great. If you remember to mini-size everything, pretty much any sandwich can become a finger food.
Let Them Eat Cake
Every party needs a cake or sweets. Eating cake at a party is one of the few times people can enjoy the sweet luxury without feeling guilty about it. And baby shower cakes cannot only taste wonderful, they can also look great without a lot of effort on your part.
One great baby shower cake idea is to design one to look like a pregnant belly. For this, you simply need to bake one rectangular cake and one circular cake. When the cakes have cooled, place the circular cake in front of the rectangular cake, frost and voila! A pregnant belly cake.
Toy Blocks Cake
Another popular cake choice is a children's toy blocks cake. You can either make one large block or you can make three or four smaller blocks. Regardless of which you choose, bake the cake(s) in a square form and, once the cake has cooled, place it into the freezer to firm it up. Once it is frozen, remove it from the freezer and cut the cake to make it a perfect square shape. Then ice and decorate it to look like a toy block. These cakes make a great centerpiece and you can dress them up even more by placing little toy cars or candies around them on the table.
Alternatively, you could also make and decorate some cupcakes or cookies. Cookie cutters in baby themed shapes make it really easy to whip up a batch for the shower.
A Drink to Wash it Down
Since mom canï¿½t drink any caffeine or alcohol, you'll want to make sure you have lots on hand that she can drink. It might be best to just completely avoid alcohol, not only for mom's sake but also so you know nobody drives home after one too many cocktails. Also, make sure you have lots of decaf coffee and tea on hand so the guest of honor doesnï¿½t have to feel left out.
Itï¿½s also a good idea to have a variety of juices and soda pop to serve your guests. If you don't like the idea of having the bottles standing on the table, consider using carafes or pitchers to make the drinks look a bit more elegant.
Baby Shower Punch
And of course youï¿½ll want to have a baby shower punch! There are many recipes for non-alcoholic punches. You could make a great punch with a bottle of lemon-lime soda pop or ginger ale and some sherbet (whatever flavor your like best). Just place half of the sherbet into a punch bowl (use the other half to freshen up the punch as the shower goes on) and then add the soda pop. For extra flavor, match the fruit garnish to the flavor of sherbet you're using.
For a more tropical drink, mix together some Hawaiian Punch and lemon-lime soda pop. Or try combining 2 cups of sugar, 8 cups of water, 2 packages of cherry or strawberry flavored Kool-Aid mix, 4 cups of ginger ale and 6 cups of pineapple juice. Both punches are nicely accented with some pineapple slices, cherries or strawberries as garnish.
Menu Ideas for Baby Shower Themes
The Elegant Tea Party
If you have decided to have a baby shower with a theme, you'll probably want to keep your food in-line with the theme. One popular baby shower theme is a tea party. If this is your theme, then variety is the key to making it seem sophisticated. Offer a variety of flavored teas, both cold and hot, caffeine and caffeine-free, a variety of scones (oatmeal, blueberry, cinnamon, maybe some chocolate scones), and different fruit jams.
Of course, what is a tea party without some finger sandwiches? To make your tea party a successful one, you'll need some fancy sounding sandwiches. Consider using ingredients that you wouldn't normally use, like smoked salmon, Brie cheese, and watercress. When foods like these get added into the name of the sandwich, it suddenly sounds extravagant. Also, using herbed or focaccia bread instead of the regular white bread can take your sandwiches from ordinary to high society. So, when your guests ask what you're serving, you don't have to say "Egg salad on white." Instead, you can tell them that theyï¿½ll be feasting on herbed onions with Brie cheese on focaccia bread. They'll never know that it only took you five minutes to whip up.
The Hollywood Glamour Theme
Perhaps the guest of honor is bit star struck and so you have decided to go for a Hollywood glamour theme. But you can't have Hollywood glamour without champagne, right? Then you need to make some virgin drinks! Champagne can easily be made without alcohol. Just buy a bottle of white grape juice and mix it with ginger ale, lemon-lime soda pop, or carbonated lemonade. Just be sure not to add the carbonated drink until just before you're serving the glasses you don't want your champagne to be flat! Add a bit of orange juice to make it a mimosa.
For something a bit more refreshing, buy some alcohol-free sparkling white wine or white grape juice, add some mint flavored sparkling water, a sprig of mint and you have yourself an alcohol-free champagne julep.
The Nursery Rhyme Theme
If your theme is oriented more around children's nursery rhymes and stories, then make a Three Bears cake. Many stores sell cake forms in the shape of teddy bears. If you can find them in three different sizes, then you can easily decorate them to be a Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear. However, you might want to stay away from serving your guests porridge! But some deviled eggs (Humpty Dumpty) and a pie (Little Jack Horner) should be welcomed.
The Final Word on Food
Whatever you decide to serve, make sure that it is easy for you to do (or that you have some help). You don't want to create an extravagant baby shower menu only to find that you just can't make all the food on time. Also, try to be aware of any food concerns your guests may have (allergies, dietary restrictions) and make sure there is enough variety for everyone. If you have a lot of guests coming who don't know each other, then consider placing the food around the room so that guests are forced to mingle and chat with each other. A well thought out menu will help make your baby shower a successful one.
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