Baby shower

I did the food for my friend Celia’s baby shower today.  Everything turned out well (if I do say so myself.)  I met with Celia and her daughter a few weeks ago and we planned a menu that we thought had something for everyone.  Here is what was served:

  • Chicken Salad
  • Crab salad in cucumber cups
  • Blanched asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise
  • Bloody Mary tomato salad
  • Pasta salad

Here are the recipes:

Chicken Salad

  • 1 whole bone in chicken breast with skin on (I prefer organic chicken)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (or as needed) Hellmann’s mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350.  Rub chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a ceramic dish.  Roast until chicken is at 150.  Combine chicken with celery and grapes and season with thyme, garlic pwoder, Worcestershire and celery salt.  Add mayonnaise and stir well to combine.  If salad is dry, add more mayonnaise.  Chill and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crab salad in cucumber cups
  • 2 cucumbers, cut into slices about 3/4 inch
  • 1 pound of crabmeat
  • 2 TB mayonnaise
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp celery salt (or 1 celery stalk minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Scoop center out of cucumber slices with a spoon.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Gently combine crabmeat with mayo, lemon juice, celery salt and Worcestershire.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, mound about 2 tsp of crab salad in cucumber cup and eat.  (For the baby shower I used 2 pounds of crabmeat and 5 cucumbers.  We could have used at least one more cucumber but the crab salad is good by itself.)

Asparagus with Wasabi Mayonnaise

  • Asparagus spears, tough ends broken off
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp wasabi paste
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes per batch.  Rinse under cold water and refrigerate.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and refrigerate.  Serve asparagus with mayonnaise dipping sauce.  (Mayonnaise keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks and is also good on turkey sandwiches.)  Everyone loved this – I made 3 pounds of asparagus.)

Bloody Mary tomato salad

  • good tomatoes (I used a mix of red and yellow)
  • 1 TB horseradish
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 olive oil

Chop tomatoes.  Combine horseradish, lemon juice, celery seed, Worcestershire and pepper.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Toss with tomatoes.  Beautiful in the trifle bowl and I found one perfect leafy stalk of celery to garnish the bowl.

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound tri-color fusilli pasta
  • 1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing (made according to package instructions.)  You can either use the Italian or Zesty Italian – I doubled the recipe and used one of each today.
  • 1 – 2 TB capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cool water to stop cooking.  Toss with dressing, capers and Parmesan and cover.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  You could add vegetables (blanched broccoli, sliced cherry tomatoes but I figured with everything else, we would just serve it straight.

Doesn’t the table look pretty!

Baby shower

Baby shower


Family friendly party

Tonight we had a family from my daughter’s school over for dinner.  Their daughter is going into Kindergarten so we’re hoping Samantha will take Megan under her wing.  Apparently Megan’s favorite food is cheeseburgers.  I thought it would be fun to do sliders and for variety I made burger sliders and crab cake sliders.  To keep it casual, we had deviled eggs, the skillet corn (one of our new favorite things) and a new salad – Bloody Mary tomato salad.   The burger sliders are pretty straight forward – just small hamburgers.  I had American cheese for the kids, Gruyere and arugula for the grownups and I caramelized onions.  The crab cakes I made using my usual recipe – I just made 11 little ones from 1 pound of crabmeat.  I followed up with brownies and the lemon iced gingersnap cookie sandwiches.

Deviled eggs
Everyone loves these so plan on each person eating at least two.
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to just simmering and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Skillet Corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Bloody Mary tomato salad

  • good tomatoes (I bought a few heirlooms and some pretty ones from the produce stand)
  • 1 TB horseradish
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 olive oil

Chop tomatoes.  Combine horseradish, lemon juice, celery seed, Worcestershire and pepper.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Toss with tomatoes.  I served this in a trifle bowl and it looked pretty in addition to being tasty.  A definite do-over!

It all looked so pretty but I got busy and forgot to take a picture!