Or How to Turn Menu Ideas into Actual Party Food
Among other things, our post-shower mortem revolved around what we did right and what we could have improved in the food department. We were pleased with the item choices on the Royal Baby Shower Benefit Menu.
Our guests offered many compliments and did not leave too many leftovers. As pretenders to the throne of Martha Stewart, we offer you this summer tea menu to replicate as you wish for your own Royal Baby Shower Benefit or other afternoon event, along with our tweaks toward MS-worthy perfection.
The main lesson that we confirmed in throwing this benefit is the importance of testing new recipes well in advance of your event. It makes planning your pre-party timing so much more accurate. Thanks to the practice runs, we were pulling the Crab Puffs out of the oven right before our 3:30 start time.
We shared our prosciutto and phyllo wrapped recipe in Wrapped Asparagus ~ Two Ways, and it was a shower favorite.
Having tested in advance, I knew that the most-timing consuming piece of Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto and Phyllo was cutting the prosciutto. While it still wasn’t easy, using Ellen’s new and very sharp CUTCO knife definitely helped keep this Italian delicacy from shredding.
I created this savory recipe a couple of weeks ago by combining two different ones that I had seen on-line. I was intrigued by the lager-based roux called for in Peggy Trowbridge Filippone’s recipe but am not a fan of dill. The cumin and mustard additions in Taste of Home’s Crab Puff recipe sounded more suited to the beer batter, so why not combine the two? In reviewing the test batch, my family wanted more crab and cheese to keep the puffs from being so doughy.
The practice run proved that neither recipe had the perfect way to measure out the crab puffs onto the baking sheets. My cookie scoop provided uniform rounds that looked pretty on the tray come Shower day. The result of my pre-game testing is Posse Crab Puffs, and the recipe is now included in our Roundup of Our Favorite Recipes. These would be perfect for a cocktail or Super Bowl party, too.
After proposing our menu in Royal Baby Shower Menu Fit for a Duchess, we received requests for the oh-so-traditional cucumber sandwiches. In England, these sandwiches normally involve butter being spread on white bread with a layer of thinly sliced cucumbers and perhaps a bit of dill. Not wanting to serve something quite so bland,
instead onto Pepperidge Farm crustless white bread slices, we spread a mixture of equal parts cream cheese and Boursin cheese. Slicing the cucumbers (use seedless or English hothouse cucumbers) was swift and easy using Ellen’s CUTCO Traditional Cheese Knife. These little tea sandwiches turned out to be one of my favorite items on the menu.
Realizing that creating eye-candy on mini-cupcakes is not our forte, we turned to one of the local experts, Pearl’s on Grove Avenue. Never disappointed by this little store’s creations, being able to pick up the phone and place an order for two different lovelies was a treat in itself.
We were particularly fond of our “Strawberry Limeade” seasonal choice with the pretty pink frosting and the lime curd surprise inside.
Ever since seeing this simple recipe on Pinterest, Ellen has been keen to serve these Petit Fours to the posse. In her early days in Atlanta hosting bridal and baby showers, it was customary to serve petit fours from Rhodes Bakery on Cheshire Bridge Road. Wistfully recalling those decadent morsels sent Ellen on a mission to try the pinned recipe. Although we couldn’t do a side-by-side taste test, these were simple and delicious.
Blueberry Scones with Clotted Cream
I turned to my favorite scone recipe, Christmas Morning Scones, which surprised our guests with their moistness. Most people expect scones to be a bit dry, so the clotted cream becomes necessary. This recipe, however, calls for a sour cream and heavy cream blend as its wet binding agent.
For the Shower, I wanted the scones to be round, so I used my 3″ biscuit cutter. That was a mistake. Using something smaller or the triangles described in the recipe then cut into three more triangles makes for better party food plus fewer batches to bake as the recipe only yields about twelve 3″ rounds.
Despite our best-laid plans, we never did get around to the white chocolate drizzle on our strawberries, but we really didn’t care.
We were so thrilled with our new chocolate dipping find in the grocery store aisle. As we researched the best chocolate for dipping, we thought that we might have to take the long trek out to Baker’s Kitchen for the good chocolate discs, which regular grocery stores don’t carry. Now Baker’s is packaging their discs in a microwavable and resealable styrofoam bowl that you can find right above the chocolate chips.
It was so easy, and one bowl covered about 3 dozen strawberries.
The hardest part is unwrapping the caramels. Next hardest is chopping the peanuts finely enough. Turns out a mini-food processor, which one of our posse recommended in the Comments for 11 Favorite Kitchen Tools That Will Save Time and Stress in Your Gracious Home, came to Ellen’s rescue.
Fruited Champagne Salad
Ever since the Royal Wedding luncheon that we celebrated at aLe‘s home, Ellen has been looking for an opportunity to serve what (much to her dismay) I like to call a “Champagne Shooter”. She even started collecting the fabulous Candlewick glasses just for such an occasion.
Choosing the best instructions from a few different recipes, Ellen created a raspberry version of Fruited Champagne Salad for the Shower. Her advice for future versions: Pour all of the gelatin into the glasses and refrigerate. Watch carefully so that it doesn’t set. When the liquid becomes gooey, gently place each raspberry into the gelatin, suspending them at random intervals.
Delta Mint Tea
If you have been reading The Gracious Posse for any period of time, you know that one of our favorite beverages is Delta Mint Tea. Introduced to us by kMg long ago, it is de rigueur at any posse gathering. Embarrassingly enough, we even ran out of it for our Launch Party back in January.
For our Royal Baby Shower, it was the star beverage. Hot tea would have been too much for our guests on a muggy June day. For those who chose not to indulge in champagne, Delta Mint Tea was the beverage of choice.
Crown Shortbread Cookies
As we mentioned in Now It’s Your Turn to Throw a Royal Baby Shower Benefit, these Crown Shortbread Cookies were the party favors. Ina Garten’s Shortbread cookie recipe made thirteen 5″ crowns in each batch.
With this size cookie, you can’t avoid folds in the dough, so they weren’t necessarily pretty unfrosted but that didn’t affect the comforting taste. kMg did the frosting decorations using a simple royal icing of powdered sugar, warm water, vanilla and Wilton Icing Color, then added flourishes with melted white chocolate.
Now It Really Is Your Turn . . .
to throw the party. I guess the only way that we could make it easier for you is to do the cooking ourselves. Maybe if you invite us, we will.