Monday, March 12, 2007

Challenge -- a Foodie's Baby Shower

I realize that there is already an answer to this challenge, and it is: Catering. But that won't do, so I throw out my challenge to this universe of creative foodies. Last June, I hosted a wedding shower for my foodie friend Molly. Molly didn't really want a shower -- she thinks they are cheesie by nature, but knowing her family and his, it was in the cards. I did my best to make it as non-shower-like as I could, specifically focusing on the menu. It was simple, but good. A few of the particulars included shrimp & cilantro summer wraps, dumplings, and curried chicken salad. Molly loved her wedding shower, finding great pride in it being the only wedding shower she's ever been to where people raved about the food.

Nine months later (I do love the timing), I find myself hosting a baby shower for Molly and the one thing she has requested is that people rave about the food. I could do a repeat performance, given that the items worked well in quantity, but Molly, being a foodie, would notice (no one else of the crew would, but Molly would and that's all there is too it).

A few ideas I'm toying with are: mini-crab souffles (shockingly simple to prepare and cook), shrimp salad in wonton 'bowls,' Asian eggplant spread, and cupcakes (cocunut, cardomon-orange, and cinnomen devil's food). As you can tell... none of these items stick together in a 'menu' form. Any suggestions?


mashenka@dc said...

So ... I'm thinking that there's no need for your menu to be thematically consistent (e.g., Pan Asian), but that you might want to substitute a veg dish for either the crab cake souffle or the shrimp salad. You've also got finger food going here, so a couple of suggestions as a veg menu addition or substitution. You can actually have a finger salad, if you take a Belgian endive and deconstruct it. The bigger outside leaves serve as serving bowls; you can make a sald that incorporates the smaller inner leaves chopped up, toss it, and then divide it among the endive leaves.

Another veg option is roasted cauliflower (all the rage now, check out Kalyn's Kitchen for a nice roasted cauliflower dish with Turkish red pepper) or roasted broccoli. If you do the latter, try to keep the florets as "tall" as possible, baste with a basic vinaigrette, and roast either on a grill or in the oven.

Otherwise I think the menu sounds deeelicious, and my only request is that you post the recipe of the most raved about dish.

Happy showering!

Elizabeth said...

I ended up going with 2 very simple quiches -- three layers of filo dough, centered with a mix of spring veggies,goat cheese, 2 eggs, and a up of sour cream; wrapped the edges around the filling (like a gallette) and baked at 400 for 25 minutes. I coupled this this with a chicken salad (marinated in balsamic, with sliced almonds, dried mango, and scallions), a wild rice salad (mint, scallions, dried cranberries, and sliced grapes), and a spinach salad with strawberries and goat cheese. The perfect amount of food for 25 people. Oh -- and of course, the coconut cupcakes.