June will be here before we know it, and since June is a popular month to get married, that means that these six or so weeks leading up to it will see a lot of bridal showers or wedding planning luncheons being held. So today, we’ll take a look at just some of the many excellent bridal shower menu choices that Tasty Kitchen members have shared. Wonderful dishes like the spread that Ree showed us from a Sip ‘n See that featured Patsy’s Recipes seen above (follow the link to the post for the recipes).
Bridal showers are sometimes seen as obligatory social functions, unless you’re close to the bride and actually share in the planning. But in the old days, bridal showers were particularly helpful when a family didn’t have the resources to provide a proper dowry for their daughter, or if a woman’s father refused to offer a dowry because he disapproved of the marriage. The woman’s friends would gather and bring gifts to compensate for the dowry, which allowed her to marry the man of her choice.
So bridal showers were, at times, an expression of the power of women and the fight to be able to choose your husband. Go ladies!
This, of course, doesn’t change the fact that one of my favorite reasons for attending bridal showers is the food. Oh, the glorious, dainty, yummy ladies food. Because let’s face it, not many men are around during these showers, and it’s our time to plan menus around ourselves and enjoy food that our menfolk might not touch with a ten-foot pole.
Let’s start with some finger foods and little bites. (The guys are already groaning. Finger foods? Little bites? Are you trying to starve us? Thank goodness we’re not invited!) It’s best to choose those that aren’t too messy to eat, but filling and delicious enough to keep the guests happy and satisfied. From classic cucumber sandwiches to crostinis and dumplings, we’ve got everything from simple and elegant to adventurously exotic.
Top row, from left to right: Cucumber Sandwices from Angie Arthur, Ricotta Stuffed Mushrooms from italianfoodforever, and Ree’s Mushroom Phyllo Bundles. Middle row, from left to right: Prosciutto, Manchego and Strawberry Crostini from Dandy, Calla Lily Sandwiches by tesslynne, and Mini Caprese Appetizers from LanaAnn. Bottom row, from left to right: Southwest Chicken Eggrolls with Avocado Creme Dip from The Noshery, Ahi Tuna Potstickers with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce from Food for My Family, and Curry Chicken Salad Crisps from wynk52.
Bridal showers typically feature light fare and dishes that are easy to eat and not too complicated. After all, there are games going on, gifts being opened, maybe speeches being made, anecdotes and sage advice being shared … so whether the shower you’re organizing is a brunch, luncheon, or dinner, these light dishes will definitely fit the bill.
Top row, from left to right: Pasta Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives from theparsleythief, Ratatouille from walnutsandwine, and Oriental Chicken Slaw from Kelsey Barnard. Middle row, from left to right: Crustless Spinach Quiche from Ali @ gimmesomeoven, Mini Crab Cakes from theparsleythief, and Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tallegio Cheese and Prosciutto from italianfoodforever. Bottom row, from left to right: Shrimp Scampi from A Cozy Kitchen, Healthy Lemon Chicken On the Grill from Jacki (you can use this to top a salad, make a wrap, as healthy chicken tenders … so many options!), and a wicked-looking Garlic Cream Cheese Fettuccine with Salmon from Anna G.
Another fixture in bridal showers is the traditional punch bowl. Champagne. A lovely assortment of ladies’ drinks. Most bridal showers are held during the day, so the choices usually feature light and refreshing cocktails and of course, non-alcoholic options. Here are some of the pretty choices that I found. I don’t know about you, but I’m almost tempted to throw a shower just for these! (Anyone here getting married soon? Anyone?)
Clockwise from top left: Sunshine Nectar from goodlifeeats, Peach, Passionfruit and Prosecco from steamykitchen, Citrus Water Punch from Melanie (gotta hydrate!), The Ward 2010 from foodwoolf, simple and refreshing Iced Green Tea from mangiodasola, and the perfect, decadent end to reward everyone for that light meal that they just had: Ree’s Dulce de Leche Coffee.
Then there’s dessert. There’s always dessert. Sometimes, entire meals are simply an excuse to have dessert after. In keeping with the “light” theme of the shower, I looked for some recipes that either featured berries or citrus, or delivered chocolate in single portions. (Because chocolate is always, always a good choice.) These are just a handful of the possibilities I found.
Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Indulgence In A Cup from Bindi, Chocolate Mousse Tartlets from hautelikesouth, Light and Springy Chocolate Souffles by sprinklebakes, Lemon Triangles from barefootbelle, and Individual Raspberry Cobblers from Ree.
Now, someone said there has to be cake at a shower. That it’s a requirement. I don’t know who made that rule, but I’m not fighting it. So whether your plans are to serve actual cake, or to comply with the “rule” by serving a cheesecake or some cupcakes, here are a few suggestions that are hoping to make it to your dessert menu.
Left column, from top to bottom: Lime and Ginger Cheesecake from lhewitt and Birthday Carrot Cake from The Noshery. Middle column, from top to bottom: Grapefruit and Lime Cake with a Citrus Glaze from missamy, Mini Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes from Miss Jen, and the incredibly cute Tiramisushi from sprinklebakes. Right column, from top to bottom: Fresh Blackberry Cake from Amy Locurto, Tiramisu Cheesecake with Espresso Glaze from islandvittles, and so those with special dietary needs don’t feel left out, a dairy-free, wheat-free Raw Vegan Cheesecake from maebird.
And now, I think I just managed to convince myself to throw a bridal shower for someone. What a wonderful way to celebrate a lovely gal’s special journey, surrounded by her friends and family, all wholeheartedly showing her that they’ll always be with her, every step of the way. I always enjoyed it when the women who have been married the longest are asked to share with the young bride their secret to a happy and lasting marriage. It gives me an opportunity to learn more about these lovely ladies, and the wisdom that they impart is always priceless.
How about you? Do you have a bridal shower to plan, or one that you’re attending? What do you enjoy most about them? Ooh, do you have any favorite bridal shower games or activities? Do tell!