I never imagined I’d utter these words, but I’ve become a seasoned veteran in baby showers. Catering for these types of events is always fulfilling and extremely entertaining, but this one was a lot more special. Partially because of the keg, the tailgating games, a slip and slide (yes, for adults), and even more so because of the co-ed invite list. But mainly because, this baby party was for my brother, his wife, and my very first niece!
When Steve and Nat asked me if I’d help out with the party I knew that making a menu fit for both an outdoor grill fest and a cocktail party, would be the perfect combination. Despite the abundance of friends and the showering of gifts, this event was more party than baby shower. And that’s exactly how they wanted it. I’m so pumped for them, and their soon to be new addition to their family. I can’t wait to be an Uncle!
But that’s enough gushing for now…what about the food?
The group may not have been able to finish the keg, but the food, that was a different story. Everything was great but there were a few stand outs in my mind. The grilled chicken skewers (shown above) were flat-out amazing. I cubed chicken thighs into pretty tiny pieces and marinated them in citrus and mediterranean spices. Cutting the pieces smaller than your typical chicken skewers worked wonders to infuse the flavor of the marinade and keep the chicken extremely moist, as they only took a few minutes to cook. Additionally, grilled mushroom, pineapple, and zucchini skewers basted in a ginger sauce were a huge hit.
The grill was also featured in the potato salad. These par-boiled baby potatoes (purple, red, and yukon) were tossed in roasted garlic and thrown on the grill to char. Mashing them up with a yogurt and lemon juice dressing added just enough tang to make this side an interesting twist on the typical.
But the dessert is where the meal really took off. Sticking with my ice cream sandwich trend, I made peanut butter shortbread cookies that sandwiched strawberry ice cream. Think a frozen version of a peanut butter and jelly. I love this idea as there is nothing more comforting than an ice cream sandwich. Even more delicious (at least in my mind) was the fresh blueberry mousse and basil whipped cream cups. I’ve always loved making chocolate mousse in the past but it is a bit rich and decadent. Using fresh blueberries and mint to make a thick syrup (same as the syrup I used for the blueberry lemonade cocktails), and then folding in the remaining mousse essentials gave this tangy dessert serious body with a ton of freshness. And with a dollop of basil whipped cream, the best words I heard describing it were “summer in a cup”.
I really admire Steve and Nat’s willingness to break down some of the “rules” and welcome in some of their closest friends to share in their happiness! Events like these are meant to be celebrated in every way and I’m just thrilled I could help make their day a special one.
Baby Part Menu:
Chips w/ Salsa, Homemade Guacamole, Hummus
Philly Soft Pretzels
Vegetable Crudite w/ Edamame Dip
Main Dishes –
Mexican Corn Salad
Grilled Vegetable Panzanella
Grilled Potato Salad
Mediterranean Chicken Skewers
Pineapple, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skewers
Peanut Butter Shortbread and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Blueberry Mousse and Basil Whipped Cream