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co-ed baby shower menu -- am I missing anything?

I'm planning a co-ed baby shower for my sister and her husband with 20 guests (plus 5 babies!). The shower is being held at my sister's friend's house about 40 min away, and the hostess has hinted that it would be better if I didn't have to turn on the oven as their apartment gets too hot quickly, so some of my original ideas (bacon-wrapped dates, pigs in a blanket) are out the window... The shower is from 2-5 pm on a Sunday so I don't think anybody is expecting a meal. Here's the menu I'm considering... Does this seem like enough food/variety? Any suggestions or critiques would be welcome!

coffee/tea/wine/juice (hostess is providing)
olives
tamari almonds
hummus
baba ghanouj
pita chips
carrots and red peppers
hard cheeses and crackers
baked brie with fig jam and walnuts
pate and little toasts
roast beef crostini with arugula/parsley and horseradish mayo
cucumber-mint tea sandwiches
cupcakes
almond cake (Amanda Hesser's recipe)

other people are bringing:
storebought quiches
storebought cheesecake
lemon bars or sugar cookies

I have some other ideas (shrimp cocktail, brownies) but am not sure whether that's too much!
Thanks for any input!

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  1. Sounds like plenty. Not sure why the host-house-person is concerned about overheating in the winter though.

    1. I am not criticizing, I'm just asking -- how are you planning to transport crostini and cucumber tea sandwiches driving almost an hour away without them sogging up? please do not plan to assemble anything last minute at someone else's house -- you will be more than busy hauling all of the other stuff from the car and setting it up. Anything and everything you bring should be plated so at the most you are removing the plastic wrap. Note: Part of my concern is the description that it is a baby shower for your sister at YOUR sister's, not primarily your, friend's house.

      And if this is truly co-ed (and why is a baby shower co-ed?) what dishes are focused on the men? Do not be surprised or offended if one of them orders out for a couple of pizzas.

      6 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        Good questions! I'll be getting a ride in a car... I had been planning to make the tea sandwiches that morning, stack them up and wrap them in a slighly moistened paper towel, and then wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge until the party. (Martha Stewart said this was OK!) For the crostini, I was planning to toast the crostini at home the night before and store them in a tupperware, and carry sliced roast beef and washed arugula in ziplocks to the party location to assemble there on a platter... Set the horseradish mayo on the side in a bowl so people can add it if they choose... I thought it wouldn't take too long to slap some meat/greens on each crostino, and she said I could do some assembling there... Bad idea, huh? Maybe I need to rethink...

        The shower is co-ed b/c that's what my sister wanted... My brother-in-law is very excited about the baby too and we thought he should have an equal opportunity to celebrate. Unfortunately all my meat-oriented ideas (except the crostini) have been nixed b/c of no oven... I wouldn't be offended if someone ordered pizza, but do you have any suggestions for cold apps that would please men? (I had also originally thought about a salumi plate but because my sister isn't eating cured meats while pregnant I decided against it... Again, maybe I need to rethink...)

        1. re: hungry_united

          Men eat the same damn thing that women do. Please stop that kind of thinking. And there's no reason that you have to have food that everyone eats. You will have a big enough selection that people will have plenty to choose from.

          1. re: c oliver

            You're right! I think I'm just nervous -- I threw a fabulous birthday brunch with 30 guests for myself last weekend and it came off without a hitch, but somehow since the baby shower guests aren't my own friends I'm more anxious and susceptible to believing that I've planned it all wrong! Thank you for the reassurance!

            1. re: hungry_united

              Oh well, you're a pro then. Your experience and instincts are going to carry you through just fine. I'd probably be freaking over trying to transport everything. But I think your plan is a good one. Just get there early enough. But, hey, aren't all the guests human? If everythings not all pulled together, the first guests can help out. I've done that before --- actually our own party after we re-married :)

        2. re: nosh

          Wow- my baby shower some 16 years ago now was co-ed. And though I don't remember the whole menu, melon wrapped in prosciutto was on it. And I ate it! The good old days.

          1. re: nosh

            A lot of baby showers are co-ed now. It's kind of nice b/c then you avoid any of the really lame games and focus on the couple and their pending arrival.

          2. I think that sounds like more than enough for a between-meals gathering. Co-ed showers are all the rage among my friends - and if your male friends are anything like mine, they'll be pleased as punch with your menu. And you've even got plenty for finger food-eatng babies, if any of your bay-guests are old enough for that kind of thing.

            Have fun!

            1. Dear hungry_united,

              I apologize if I caused you to doubt yourself; it appears that you have thought things through. It also is apparent that you are in good communication with the host who is providing the house -- from your original post, I thought that the extent of the spread you are planning to bring for a midafternoon party might come as a shock (see the "Not About Food" threads about people bringing unrequested dishes to a dinner/Christmas party and the legendary bringing ribs to a bbq thread). I like that the horseradish sauce will be on the side -- will not only help prevent sogging but horseradish is strong and some just don't like it. Unless you have a specific person to assign the assembly, make sure things are done in advance -- you WILL be busy just unpacking and placing items on the tables.

              I am far from sexist, so I'm sorry that c oliver had her head explode. But c'mon, look at the list of items and give a quick impression of who would be more likely to serve/order/eat them. The OP said the host is providing wine (along with other beverages) but omitted mentioning beer. She said there will be about twenty adults, split between men and women, and five babies. So almost everyone will be relatively young adult -- the men will have appetites. I'm sorry, men order roast beef subs (with cheese and everything) not usually crostini with horseradish sauce and cucumber and herb tea sandwiches. So be sure you have enough quiche, and make sure there is bacon in it!

              2 Replies
              1. re: nosh

                Well, nosh, maybe you just hang out with a different kind of male than I do. And it's from 2-5 so even "yourr" kinda man should be fine. I re-read and it still sounds, if not sexist, than at least gender stereotyping which I hate also. But my head didn't explode so no hard feelings :)

                1. re: nosh

                  No worries, nosh! I am glad to have other people's perspectives -- that's why I posted in the first place! -- and as far as prep work goes, you certainly thought of a few things I didn't!
                  The quiche will have bacon, and I've decided to add some sliced dried sausage to the spread, though not a full-on salumi plate because my sister loves that too and I think it would be torture to put one out that she couldn't eat... Also will add more veggie dippers and some fruit to the cheese plate...
                  And it's definitely not a case of me bringing unwanted food to someone else's house (I love that BBQ post -- hilarious!) -- she is providing drinks (maybe including beer -- I'm not sure) and paper products, and I am responsible for the food.
                  Thank you to everyone for your input and advice!!

                2. Your menu sounds great. And the men can eat what the women eat- I can say my husband eats all of these foods and enjoys them.

                  I would add-
                  -- more dippers for the hummus and baba ghanouj (broccoli florets, diff color peppers, zucchini sticks, celery sticks). You'd be surprised how much dip and dippers people will eat.. and all the different colors look so pretty stacked up on a platter.
                  -- fruit platter. buy whatever is on sale at the market that week and serve it sliced on a huge platter or each fruit in chunks in a pedestal bowl. It's healthy, sweet, and goes with the rest of your menu. If you don't want to start putting out plates and forks, you can make mini fruit salads in dessert cups.