Baby Shower Menu

e9ad9fee9d0bc73e0b2c055eb0b268ce.jpg

My neighbors Jessica and Danielle recently threw a surprise baby shower for our friend Elizabeth, the guest of honor. The food and the activities were thoughtful and elegant, yet not too fussy. Elizabeth seemed touched, and we had a nice time visiting and celebrating the newest addition to her family.

I’m always on the lookout for great content for InDependent, so I’m now that obnoxious guest that says, “Hey, I really love your party! Can I share your ideas?” The ladies were great and sent me all of their recipes. What I really love is that everything was so healthy that guests didn’t mind reaching for a pink cupcake after lunch to finish off the meal. If you’re hosting a shower for a boy, depending on your color scheme, you could substitute blueberries for the strawberries in the cupcakes. If you put blueberries in the frosting it will be purple, which may or may not be okay depending on your color scheme. You could simply opt for white cream cheese frosting with no berries. For the punch, mix regular lemonade and club soda, picking a ratio to suit your taste.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom. I’ve also included the activities that we did after the recipes. No games…just really thoughtful ideas, including a way to make a shower extra special for a military spouse.

Menu:

Water, Tea, Coffee, and Pretty in Pink Punch

via Chic Impression

The beautiful pink color in this punch comes from pink lemonade and cranberry juice. It’s diluted with club soda to cut down on the sweetness and give it some sparkle. If you wanted to reduce the sugar even more, you could choose unsweetened cranberry juice.

baby-shower-6.jpg

Chicken Salad

via Jessica Holm

While I didn’t get to sample this salad because I’m a vegetarian, the bowl quickly emptied so that’s a good sign that it was delicious. It’s a great party recipe because it needs to refrigerate for at least two hours, so it works really well to make ahead the night before so you can focus on getting everything else ready the day of the shower.

  • 1 package bone-in split chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • small bunch fresh thyme (6-8 sprigs)

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet or in a baking dish lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil over each and rub it over each breast. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until thermometer reads 165 degrees. Remove from oven. Let rest covered with foil for 10 minutes. Remove foil. Allow to cool until warm enough to handle. Pull off skin and discard. Using your hands, remove the breast meat from the bone. Dice chicken into fairly large pieces.

In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl with a whisk.

Place the cubed chicken in a large bowl and add the diced celery, cranberries, and walnuts. Add about half of the mayonnaise dressing and stir to combine everything. Continue to add the dressing, little by little, until the salad is dressed to your preference. Rinse the sprigs of thyme and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the leaves from the stems by pinching your index finger and thumb around the stem, and running those fingers down to strip the leaves off. Run your knife through the stripped leaves to give it a rough chop. Add the thyme leaves to the chicken salad. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Chill at least two hours before serving--overnight is best!

baby-shower-1

Green Salad and Fruit Salad

The green salad was nicely arranged with the greens on the bottom, and groups of veggies sitting over the top. That’s a nice touch so people can choose the veggies they want. This salad included:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Feta cheese (on the side)
  • Italian dressing (on the side)

Including fresh fruit on a party menu is a nice touch because it’s fresh and delicious, and it also provides a dessert option for people who don’t care to eat cupcakes. This fruit platter included:

  • Kiwi
  • Honeydew
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries

Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes

via Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart recipes are always safe bets when choosing desserts for a special occasion. This recipe uses fresh strawberries so you get a pretty pink color without food coloring. Jessica made her own cream cheese frosting.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

via Jessica Holm

This frosting also uses fresh strawberries so it was nice and pink with red flecks. So pretty!

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry purée
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine butter, vanilla, and cream cheese together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Slowly add the strawberry purée until desired consistency is achieved.

Activities:

baby-shower-3

ABC Book for Baby

Fill a photo album with ABCs and a note from each guest. Provide paper sized to fit the album, crayons, markers, and any other embellishments you’d like. Guests pick a letter and draw a picture representing the letter (i.e. L is for Love) on one piece of paper. They can write a message for the family on the other piece of paper. The hostesses stalked the mama-to-be’s friends on Facebook and had her friends from previous duty stations send in completed drawings and messages. It was really touching that those friends could be included even though they weren’t able to be at the shower.

baby-shower-4

Diaper Decorating

Caring for a newborn is exhausting. For this activity, guests use permanent markers to write encouraging messages for the parents on newborn diapers.

baby-shower-5

Feed the Pig

Guests contribute their spare change to start a piggy bank for baby.

Address an Envelope

Have guests self-address envelopes so all the hostess has to do is write a thank you card.

baby-shower-8

Fresh Flowers = Decorations and Party Favors

Put fresh flowers in a canning jar with a ribbon and place on tables to decorate for the shower. Then send each guest home with one jar for a really pretty party favor.

What are your go-to recipes and activities for hosting a baby shower?