At most baby showers, it's customary to open the gifts during the celebration - providing the perfect reason to host an elegant sit down luncheon. Girlfriends can enjoy wine and a light meal, while the mommy-to-be opens her gifts. I'm supplying you with all of my best baby shower party planning ideas this week. The invitations can be pretty and polka dotted and the menu can be healthy, vegetarian, and delicious. Curried vegetable dip with homemade potato chips is just the start of a meal that is sure to have your female friends begging you for the recipes. To check out the classic soup, salad, and sandwich lunch menu, read more
Guests can choose from (or have some of all three!) a trio of make ahead dishes:
Creamy Celery Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Pounds (12 to 15 large stalks) celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise (about 6 cups), leaves reserved for garnish
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 baking potato, (8 to 10 ounces),peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Heat butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, onion, and potato; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add 6 cups water to saucepan; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Working in batches, purée soup until smooth. (To prevent splattering, fill blender only halfway, and allow the heat to escape: Remove cap from hole in lid; cover lid with a dish towel, holding down firmly while blending.) Return soup to pan; stir in lemon juice, and season with salt.
- Serve, garnished with celery leaves.
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/2 red onion, cut into slivers
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce shaved Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until beans are slightly tender. Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 3 minutes. Drain the green beans.
- In a large bowl, combine the green beans with the lettuce, cannellini beans, olives, and red onion. Toss to combine.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Top with shaved Parmesan and serve.
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
8 (1 1/2-ounce) slices whole-grain bread
8 romaine lettuce leaves
- Spread cucumber and bell peppers onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; let stand 5 minutes to drain excess moisture. Scrape into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula.
- Add the cheeses, onion, salt, and garlic; stir with a fork until well blended.
- Spread about 1/2 cup cheese mixture over 4 bread slices; top each serving with 2 lettuce leaves and 1 bread slice.
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich).
NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 356(30% from fat); FAT 11.9g (sat 6.4g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 14.9g; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 173mg; SODIUM 875mg; FIBER 4.1g; IRON 2.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.6g
What were you craving on the afternoon of your baby shower? Share it with us below!