It’s Shower Season – Part 2!

Catch part 1 of this blog series for bridal shower party and menu planning tips.

Menu

Greek Meatballs with Yogurt Dip

Mini Croissants with Chicken Salad and Pimento Cheese

Salmon and Cream Cheese Wheels

Watermelon and Feta Salad with White Balsamic Dressing

Five-Bean Salad

Creamed Spinach Phyllo Cups

Raspberry-Lemonade Champagne Smash

Water with Lemons and Limes

White and Red Wine

Dessert: Petit-fours from bakery

 

Game Plan / Make-Ahead Strategy:

1 week ahead

Grocery shopping

Order dessert and croissants from bakery

2-5 days before (I made one to two items a night to evenly divide up my kitchen work)

Make spinach dip (just not the phylllo cups/assembly)

Make simple syrup and lemon juice for signature drink

Make pimento cheese

Make  yogurt dip

1 day before

Last grocery shopping for super fresh items (mint, raspberries, green onions, limes, etc.)

Make salmon spread

Morning-Afternoon of shower (in order)

Pick up croissants and dessert from bakery

Put out napkins, cups, plates, utensils, etc.

Make bean salad

Slice lemons and limes for water

Cut watermelon, feta, mint (assemble right before shower)

Cut cucumbers, assemble the wheels, refrigerate

Make meatballs

Heat phyllo cups and assemble very last

Plate all dishes and put out tent cards

 

With no further ado, here are the recipes.

Greek Meatballs with Yogurt Dip

Source: The Junior League of Sarasota’s Simply Sarasota cook book.

I can’t publish the recipe online but I will say this much: it’s a basic beef meatball with raisins and a greek yogurt, honey, lime sauce.

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Pimento Cheese

Note: I purchased the croissants and chicken salad from a bakery. The pimento cheese, however, was homemade and adapted by yours truly.

Serving: 12 Cups

8 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

3 blocks (8-ounces each) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

12 ounces of jarred, diced pimentos, drained

Kosher salt, about 1 tspn. (or to taste)

Directions: Mix the cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, and pimento in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt.

IMG_4635

Salmon and Cream Cheese Wheels

Servings: About 24 wheels

Inspired by a cook book recipe, I adapted this to my own version.

1 package of smoked salmon (buy this in the seafood section.) 12 ounces
1 container of whipped cream cheese
Fresh dill, chopped (approximately 2 T)
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2 T)
2 medium cucumbers cut into 1/2-inch slices
Directions: Finley chop the salmon. Combine cream cheese, salmon, dill and lemon juice in a bowl and mash together using a spatula. Put into a large ziploc bag and press down to remove air from the bag (like you are going to ice a cake). Slice the cucumbers. You can prepare the spread and cucumbers well in advance. Before you are ready to serve, lay the cucumbers on a platter. Cut the corner off the ziploc bag and pipe the salmon mix onto the cucumbers. You will need a knife to help out and push the spread onto the cucumbers.
This made enough for extra spread which you can serve on the side with crackers or maybe half of a third cucumber.

IMG_4623

Watermelon and Feta Salad with White Balsamic Dressing

I was inspired by many recipes online but ultimately settled on my own version.

1/2 C white balsamic vinegar
1/2 of a seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes or use an ice-cream scoop to make half-spheres. This is approximately 6 C
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C of mint leaves
2 T olive oilDirections: Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil until thick and reduced, about 4-5 minutes. While still warm, pour reduction in a small bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to assemble salad. Prepare watermelon and refrigerate. Chiffonade mint leaves (make little ribbons) and set aside. Right before you are ready to serve, combine the watermelon, cheese, mint and olive oil in a large bowl. Pour the balsamic vinegar reduction over it.

*I’ve also seen versions with purple onion in it, but I think it would scare people away from eating a fruit salad. Also you can sub in goat cheese for feta.
 IMG_4633
Bean Salad
1 can dark kidney beans
1 can northern beans
1 can chick peas
1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can of corn
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 chopped purple onion
Tortilla chips
Dressing:
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar or honey
Italian spices (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro (you can use more or less, I’m just guessing that’s  how much I added)Directions: Drain and rinse all canned ingredients. Combine in a large bowl with the onion. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar or bowl. Make sure the sugar or honey dissolves. You may need to microwave the honey and vinegar alone for 30 seconds to speed up that process. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss to combine. Refrigerate and store in airtight container for 1-2 hours before serving. You can use any combination of beans and do more or less beans to adjust for the serving size. Serve with tortilla chips.

IMG_4622

Creamed Spinach Phyllo Cups

Source: Cooking Light

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Raspberry-Lemonade Champagne Smash

Source: found on a blog via Pinterest, Willow Bird Baking
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1 Comment

  1. Libby Turner

     /  August 2, 2014

    Your writings make me soooo hungry!!! Great job young lady. You come by it naturally. Your great grandfather was a professional chef, as was one of his brothers. Another was a baker. Guess we Luggens just love to cook and EAT!

    Reply

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