Wedding shower supper - really need menu easy ideas, please.
My friend is hosting a wedding shower supper for forty guests.
She needs suggestions for an easy menu as she will be doing everything herself.
Will be sit-down, buffet-style, casually elegant. Champagne and other wines in abundance.
Would love some great ideas. I really don't want my friend to work herself to death!
Since it's summer, a lot of cold foods should be appropriate and easy. Some ideas to mix and match:
-cheese plate with assorted bread and crackers.
-interesting dips. I'm not very good at making dips, but perhaps others have creative recipes. Something other than Lipton's french onion, you know?
-Bowls of olives, nuts, and/or dried fruit
-a large array of fresh fruit, she can slice them up the night before and store in tupperware. Never underestimate how much everyone loves watermelon.
-cold pasta salads, like a big pesto salad with sliced cherry tomatoes
-fresh green salad with 2 dressing choices
-she should pick one or two hot items for protein. This should be dictated more by what she's comfortable making than anything else. It could be a few trays of lasagna, several roast chickens, a roast, a prime rib, a few racks of ribs, anything goes as long as it will be easy for her. People tend to want at least one hot thing at dinner, but like you said there's no reason for her to kill herself.
-dessert can be made ahead, or she can ask for volunteers to bring a few cakes or pies.
Two years ago, we hosted a 50 person shower luncheon at the end of May, and we served:
- Very simple crudite bouquets with roasted red pepper dip
- Fig and olive tapenade with crostini
- Grapes and strawberries
- A giant salad with delicate baby field greens, dried cherries, herb chevre my mom made, toasted walnuts, and a champagne vinaigrette
- Rosemary popovers
- A baked asparagus-Meyer Lemon pasta dish my aunt whipped up: she boiled linguine and partially steamed some asparagus, and then chilled it down again in an ice bath. She added in just the asparagus spears to the pasta in large baking dishes, and tossed it with the lemon juice, sour cream and I think some creme fraiche, garlic, butter, Parmesean, and probably something else I'm forgetting... anyway, she assembled it the night before and baked it the next day, and the house smelled heavenly.
- Mesquite grilled skin-on chicken breasts that had also been marinated the night before in white wine, olive oil, a little crushed red pepper, and thyme. My dad came over and grilled it all for us like the sweetheart he is.
My mom ordered Hershey kisses "roses" (two Hershey kisses on a green stem and wrapped in hot pink cellophane to look like a rosebud) and displayed them in crystal vases around the sheet cake we ordered, along with coffee and tea in my grandmother's sterling tea service.
We also had pitchers of pink lemonade, peach iced tea, and water with fresh lemon and mint because it was ridiculously hot. Along with the champagne and white wine we offered, everyone was VERY satisfied. Practically every single thing we made was cooked or at least assembled/arranged the night before. The popovers were the only thing we really had to tend to, but my mom's done them so many times it was a cinch.
I definitely suggest getting creative with things you can marinate all night long and simply bake or grill before the guests arrive, as well as dips that can be prepared a day in advance. Make sure you offer fresh, simple produce and everyone will be impressed, because it's HOT and nothing is as good as farmstand quality fruits and veggies.
Cold poached salmon with a lemon dill mayo on the side, cold grilled chicken, cold cuts, cheese plate, bruchetta (just because everyone love it), baby potato salad with sundried tomato and asiago cheese, spinach salad with strawberries, glazed pecans, goat cheese and raspberry vinegrette, veggies and dip and put the dip in a whole red pepper to look pretty, maybe a greek pasta salad, chocolate dipped strawberries cause they are easy and everyone loves them.