Monday, March 2, 2009

Cibus Corner: Shower Food

($15/set of 10 fill-in-the-blank invitations)

To make up for the belated posting of the weekly Cibus Corner (last week/weekend was rather hectic for me), Chef Babs and I have made it extra helpful. If you're like my sister and I, you're smack in the middle of planning the umpteenth baby shower or wedding shower for a friend or family member and you've had it up to here with shower games and finger foods. Well, we feel your pain and we're here to help with some fresh (and easy)food ideas along with some sophisticated (no storks or hokey rhymes in sight!) invitations from our favorite Etsy sellers.

Bella Donna Shower Invitation by MewPaperArts ($70/set of 20 personalized cards)

Chicken Salad
I have found that more often than not (and especially in the South), chicken salad is the cornerstone at any wedding or baby shower. My family has a recipe for chicken salad that we have used for years and no shower would be complete without it. Serve it chilled on a bed of lettuce with strawberries as a garnish and I promise, your guests will love it! The almonds and the grapes elevate the flavor of the chicken, and the sour cream provides a nice depth of flavor and enhances the mayonnaise. The result is a chicken salad that is elegant enough to serve at a wedding or baby shower!

6-8 Chicken breasts washed, cooked, skinned and de-boned (cook with salt and white pepper)
3/4-1 c. seedless green or purple grapes cut into small pieces
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
2 small packages slivered almonds
1-2 tbsp. butter

Mix sour cream and mayonnaise together and pour over chopped up chicken, celery, and grapes. Mix well. Saute slivered almonds in the butter until golden brown and add to mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yellow Poppies Baby Shower Invites by Michelle Brusegaard

($43.75/set of 25 personalized invites)

Lemon Bars
Lemon bars are an excellent dessert to serve at a shower, especially a baby shower. Lemon bars are easy to eat and they are more unexpected than a traditional brownie and more adult than a chocolate chip cookie. Here is my favorite lemon bar recipe, courtesy of Mrs. B.

3/4 c. (1.5 sticks) softened butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Mix above together and press into 13x9” pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until light brown in color. Cool.

1 1/2 c. sugar 3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. juice of lemon 1 tbsp. lemon pulp
3 eggs 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together ingredients for filling by hand and pour into cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cut warm and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Shower the Bride Invitation by armatodesign
($14/pack of 6 fill-in-the-blank invitations)

Lime Melt-A-Ways
Cookies are an excellent choice for shower food: they can be eaten in a few bites and, while simple, are still elegant. Thank you Aunt Joe Ann (yet again) for this recipe!

3/4c. butter at room temperature 1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar, divided 1 3/4c flour
grated zest of two limes, plus 2 tbsp. lime juice 2tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream butter and 1/3 c. sugar until fluffy, then add lime zest, juice and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture; beat on low-speed until fluffy. Place half of the dough on waxed paper and form into log (about 12” long and about 1” in diameter ). Repeat with other half of dough. Refrigerate both logs for at least one hour, or until firm. Once chilled, slice dough into slices about 1/4” thick and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Heat oven to 350. Bake 12-15 minutes until barely brown. Transfer to pan that you have sifted the other half of the remaining powdered sugar into and carefully coat the cookies with the sugar while they are still warm. The cookies are fragile so use a light touch. Let cool completely before storing.

"Baby Makes 3" Shower Invitation by InvitaPaperStudio
($39/set of 20 customized invitations -- see decor8 for a special 20% discount offer)

Tea Time Tarts
These tarts are worth making and keeping around even if you're not hosting a shower anytime soon. But if you do, guests will not be able to stop eating them! They are light, delicious and look fancy on any dessert tray.

3 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese Package
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 c. sifted flour

Let cheese and butter soften to room temperature. Blend flour into cream cheese and butter and chill for one hour. Once chilled, press dough into bottom and sides of small, un-greased muffin tin (1 tsp. each).

1 egg 1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. brown sugar dash of salt
1 tsp. soft butter 2/3 c. finely broken pecans

Beat egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Divide half of the pecans among the pastry lined tins, then add egg mixture and top with remaining pecans. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until done. Remove from pans when cooled.


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