Five Go-To Wedding Shower Recipes

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Springtime in the South. ‘Tis the season for lots of ladies in lovely sundresses to get together and shower brides-to-be with serving spoons, guest towels, and good dishes to use when the future in-laws come to visit. At such occasions, guests greet the bride en route to a table laid with flowers, monogrammed and color-coordinated napkins, and most importantly: platters of every shape and size filled with all sorts of ladylike finger foods. If you’re a hostess at one of these happy shindigs this shower season, below are five recipes that pair well with the “oohs,” “ahhs,” and the “oh, you can’t have too many of those!’s” the bride will hear as she opens her gifts.

Benedictine Salad

A classic cucumber salad sandwich, this is the quintessential shower food. It’s especially tasty between two slices of white bread cut into thirds (sans crust, of course).

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber

1 small onion, quartered

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash hot pepper sauce

1 drop green food coloring

Thinly sliced white bread

Mayonnaise

Parsley or watercress, for garnish

Directions:

Peel cucumber and slice in half lengthwise; remove seeds with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a food processor and pulse about 5 times, until cucumber is minced. Place cucumber into a small glass mixing bowl. Place onion in the food processor, pulsing until it is finely chopped. Add onion to cucumber. Add cream cheese and stir well with a spatula. Add salt, hot sauce, and food coloring. With a round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds out of bread slices. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on bread rounds. Spread cheese mixture on half the rounds and top with another round.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed in any of its forms (mini muffin, regular-sized muffin, slices of bread, etc.) is a welcome treat at any shower, morning, noon, or night.

Ingredients

For the muffins:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. poppy seeds

1¼ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)

For the glaze (optional):

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir briefly to combine.  In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full.  Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Governor’s Mansion Tea Punch 

This delicious concoction will give those hostesses on punch-ladling duty something to be proud of.

Ingredients:

3 family-size tea bags

2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar

1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup Simple Sugar Syrup

1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled


Directions:

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired

Chop Chop Salad

A fresh salad that can be served alongside pita chips or crackers, but is tasty enough to be eaten on its own.

Ingredients:

3 ripe Hass avocados, about 2 pounds, cut in half, pit removed, meat scooped out and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 1/3 cups drained, rinsed and sliced hearts of palm, about 14 ounces

1 cup cooked corn kernels, sliced from 2 large freshly cooked ears of corn or thawed from frozen and cooked

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, may be left whole, about 6 ounces

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

3 tablespoons raw and hulled pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted


For the Vinaigrette:

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

To make the vinaigrette, pour the vinegar and lime juice in a small bowl. Add oregano, salt sugar and black pepper. Pour the oils in a slow stream, whisking with a whisk or fork to emulsify. The vinaigrette can be made a day ahead of time, just emulsify before using.

To toast the pumpkin seeds, place them in an already hot small saute pan, set over medium heat.  Stir often, being careful not to burn them, until you start to hear popping sounds (similar to pop corn), and they begin to acquire a nice tanned color, about 4 to 5 minutes later. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, gently mix the avocado chunks, hearts of palm slices, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes and red onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

This salad can be served as a main salad with a side of toast or pita bread, or it can be served as a side salad to grilled chicken, fish or meat.

 

Minnie Pearl Sandwiches

Named for a Southern icon known for her friendly humor, these sandwiches are a sure sign of pre-nuptial hospitality.

Chop and combine 1 ½ lbs. of thickly sliced ham, ¾ lb. thickly sliced Swiss cheese, and 1 small yellow onion. Add two sticks of softened butter, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons yellow mustard, and an optional ½ tablespoon of poppy seeds, and stir completely into the ham and cheese mixture. Spread the mixture inside three-dozen dinner rolls, wrap filled rolls with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until gooey, golden, and delicious.

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