Who says you have to host a baby shower at a restaurant in order to avoid serving boring, bland food? You can easily make a spread fit for any foodie mom-to-be that will tantalize her taste buds and nourish her growing baby. After all, she is eating for two, so why not make it enjoyable for her? Here are some baby shower ideas that put the focus on the food:
Puff pastry bites with smoked oysters and goat cheese
Let the puff pastry dough defrost overnight in the fridge so it's easy to roll out. Take one sheet of puff pastry and form it into a rectangle. Open a can of smoked oysters (fully cooked oysters are fine for pregnant moms to eat, and they're full of iron and zinc, too!) and place the oysters on half of the pastry, spacing them 1 inch apart. Crumble goat cheese on top of the oysters. Fold the pastry over so all the edges touch, and pinch them together. Cut into squares and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes and serve hot.
Chicken salad in endive boats
For some crunch, fill endive leaves with either store-bought or homemade chicken salad. Select the largest endive leaves and wash them. Fill each leaf with chicken salad. Sprinkle curry powder or paprika on top.
Homemade guacamole with baby carrots, radishes, and cucumbers
Smash at least four avocados in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 cup chopped tomatoes, and a pinch of salt to taste. If you don't feel like going the healthy route with carrots, radishes, and cucumbers, slap the guacamole on some nachos or cut some pita bread into triangles and use them as chips.
Miniature bacon, egg, and cheese quiche
To start, fry four slices of bacon and crumble them into a mini-muffin pan. Scramble six eggs with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and pour the mixture into the muffin cups. Sprinkle green onions on top and place them in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture is set. Yield: 24 miniature quiches.
Here are heartier foods to fill up mama-to-be, two of which can be made in advance. The grilled cheese will need to be prepared right before it is served.
Spicy shrimp satay
Note: Soak the wooden skewers in water beforehand; you don't want the sticks to burn! Thread four large shrimp on each skewer, then roll them in a combination of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Let the shrimp marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before grilling them or placing them under the broiler. Cook until shrimp are light pink (make sure they are fully cooked for safety). Sprinkle with hot sauce right before serving, or let your guests add their own—especially your guest of honor, who may or may not be able to eat spicy food.
Cold roast beef sliders with arugula and cherry tomatoes
To make these simple cold roast beef sliders, mix 1 tablespoon horseradish with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and spread the mixture on both sides of the buns. Add thinly sliced roast beef and fresh arugula, then top the sandwiches with cherry tomatoes. Thread colorful toothpicks through the tomatoes and the sliders to hold them together.
Gooey grilled cheese triangles with cornichons
Yes, grilled cheese can be made fancy enough to include on your foodie table. Use at least two different kinds of cheese, such as thinly sliced cheddar or Monterey Jack, and either rye or wheat bread. Spread a smidgen of butter on each slice of bread before assembling the sandwiches, then quickly fry them in a pan with a bit of melted butter. After the sandwiches are grilled, cut them into triangles and place them on a plate surrounded by cornichons or other pickles.