Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bridal Shower Catering

Yesterday my good friend, Jen's, Bridal Shower!! Her wedding is only 3 weeks away now!

There are 8 of us bridesmaids, and two live in California so they weren't able to fly out for this. However, the rest of us put on a lovely brunch for friends and family at her father's GORGEOUS house on the coast. (this is the same house I raved about at New Years). I kind of put my self in charge of the food for two reasons...#1 no one else stepped up haha, and #2 I LOVE doing it!!

7 trips to 5 different grocery stores later, and a late night Friday + early morning yesterday and we had a beautiful spread of food (too much obviously).

Being a brunch I wanted to have a good selection of breakfast foods with a little lunch mixed in!

The Menu consisted

  • Champagne
  • OJ
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Coffee

Baked Goods
  • Mini Blueberry Corn Muffins (used Jiffy mix...Jiffy is pretty much the only box mix I'll use for any baked good. It's a classic and the corn muffins are just SO good!!) I used this recipe from their website with a bag of frozen wild Maine blueberries I picked up. I didn't have apple juice so I used water with a squeeze of honey!
  • Mini and regular size Chocolate Coconut Muffins - I used my recipe, but with a few tweaks. I used all coconut oil, and added a tad more sweetener (an extra tbsp of brown sugar, and maybe a little extra squeeze of honey, plus I used regular sweetened coconut) I figure not everyone loves a good healthy not-so-sweet muffin like I do, so I just wanted to make them a tad more crowd pleasing...and they were!
  • Cranberry-Orange Scones - I used this recipe I found online, just subbing out the lemon for orange and I did not make a glaze.
For both scones I cut the butter into the dry ingredients the night before, kept it in the fridge, then added the wet ingredients, shaped, cut, and baked in the morning of the shower.
  • Plain Cream Scones - Using this recipe, and not adding the currants.
For both scones I cut the butter into the dry ingredients the night before, kept it in the fridge, then added the wet ingredients, shaped, cut, and baked in the morning of the shower.The cranberry orange scones waiting to be baked. It's been a long time since I've made scones and the very dry crumbly dough was tough for me to work with so even thought it's supposed to be like that I may have added extra cream, but in the end they were awesome.
  • note: For both scone recipes I used light cream wherever it called for heavy cream because I used all the heavy cream making Clotted Cream for the scones! I've only ever bought clotted cream, but since I saw a recipe in my tea time cookbook I decide to use that! It was pretty good, more like whipped cream and I like other store bought ones more but it worked.
Presentation - All the baked goods arranged on a tray:
There was also a Sour Cream Coffee Cake with chocolate chips and walnuts (this was a special request I put in to my mom...she makes the best and I asked if she'd make one for this!)
(there are also mini chicken salad pitas on the table, but we'll get to those in a minute)Clotted Cream with two different Jams: Strawberry-Rhubarb and Raspberry

Fruit and Yogurt
  • My first idea I had was to have a Yogurt Parfait Station!! We got strawberry and vanilla yogurt and served it along side lots of toppings:
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Two types of Granola
  • dried cranberries
  • walnuts
We have a lot of this as leftovers (actually lots of everything) but it will not go to waste obviously!

  • We also had a lovely LARGE fruit tray with Cantaloupe, Honey Dew, and Pineapple!

Protein and Veggies (and dairy and more carbs too hehe)

  • The other breakfast items included two large frittatas!
  • The first was a version of my aunts Asparagus and Gruyere Fritatta from last Sunday. Although when I learned she made it was 3 cups of heavy cream I decided to "Bridge-fy" it haha.
Above: pan of asparagus topped with shredded gruyere prior to being covered in egg mixture

For the frittata:
  • I cooked 2 bunches of asparagus in boiling salted water for a few minutes until limp, then into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. This was done Thursday night, along with grating the cheese!
  • For the egg mixture I used 9 eggs, 3/4 Non-fat Evaporated Milk, 3/4 cup light cream, 1.5 cups whole milk, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.
  • Sprayed the large 18"x13" jelly roll pan with cooking spray, placed asparagus, topped with cheese, poured egg mix on top, baked for 25-30min at 350 until set!
I also made another large fritatta the same way but with:
  • Chicken Apple breakfast sausage
  • balsamic caramelized onions
  • goat cheese
  • I have yet to try this one but I heard it was amazing!
    Baked at home, but re-heated at the shower!
  • Another crowd pleaser was the salad. I used one of my aunts salads she makes a lot but added goat cheese...of course.
  • 2 packages baby spinach
  • sliced strawberries (about 1 quart worth)
  • candied walnuts (almost 1 bag from TJ's)
  • goat cheese!! (about 1/3 of a large log)
  • Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard
  • Delicious!!!

Next was Chicken Salad Mini Pitas!
  • Made a classic chicken salad with
  • Cooked Chicken (5 breasts, steamed/boiled)
  • chopped celery
  • halved grapes
  • chopped walnuts
  • Lite Mayo mixed with a little sour cream and honey!
  • Placed in Mini Party Pitas I saw at the grocery store ( I know Trader Joe's has them too)
    These were a hit! They are the perfect size to pop in your mouth :)
Final Savor food item was: Slice Baguette with Honey Mustard, ham, green apple, brie...heated in the oven at 350 for 8 min (or until cheese melts).
I left some without ham for the veggies!!
The one thing I didn't have to worry about was dessert. The bride's mom offered to pick up some things from a local french bakery...perfectly fine by me!! :) She got cute little mini pastriesWe also had Penuche Cake! This is a family recipe of my roomates and she was dying for a good opportunity to try out this famous cake her grandmother always made. It's SO SO SO GOOD!!! It's like a cinnamon cake with this brown sugary icing (it was like caramel when it was hot). You just need a small bite as it's SUGARY, but oh so good.

Shower Go-ers enjoying the day:
Shower Fun: A gift, bridal bingo, and the obligatory ribbon "bouquet" she'll use for the rehearsal
It was a loooong night for roomie and I. We didn't get to bed until 1:00AM Friday night and had to get up at 5:30AM Saturday to get back to the food, but it was worth it.

BEST PART: A few people asked me if this (i.e. catering) is what I do for a living, and that was probably one of the best compliments I've ever received!! It felt great after all that hard work to hear things like that. Especially when someday I would love to do something like this for a living.

Sorry I wasn't able to post until now, we had a few friends over allllll weekend and the spa day bachelorette was today so I have not had a free moment until now!! Can't wait for bed :)


  1. FAAAABULOUS menu and eats!! And hey, you SHOULD do it for a living!! :-D

  2. I cannot believe you did all of that cooking! Everything looks absolutely amazing and the presentation for each thing is wonderful. I think you should consider doing this if you get sick of your engineering job!

  3. WOW! I randomly saw your link on another site and I am thoroughly impressed! I love your blog description! I am going to add you to my blogroll so I keep up with you , if you don't mind!

  4. OH MY GOSH- good job! Everything looks incredible! I bet you worked so incredibly hard to put this all together. I think you get the award for best bridesmaid ever!

  5. HOLY COW!! You were quite the busy cook!! Everything looks SO healthy and SO good :) I agree with everyone else - you should consider doing this is you get tired of your job!

  6. WOW!!! You are so talented and creative! Thanks for the dieas! I almost wnat to throw a fancy brunch party just so I can creat a beauitful spread as you have!! :)

  7. Wow, Bridget, I am beyond impressed! So many delicious looking foods and I loved how most of them were mini sized so you could try a bunch of stuff without feeling like a piggie :) Awesome awesome job! Thanks for taking all the pictures and sharing this with us :D

  8. WOW it all looks so amazing!! It was so thoughtful and kind of you to prepare all the food for her, and you did a great job! Glad you enjoyed it, I'm sure everyone else did too :)


  9. What a great spread of food. That must have involved so much prep. I've never put on any sort of party with that much food before. Good job. It all looks so tasty, but especially those little ham/cheese/apple baguettes. Yum! :D

  10. Holy cow. You made a TON and everything looks incredible. Will definitely have to try that scone recipe!

  11. oh my goodness - that is QUITE the spread! everything looks fantastic (i'm especially craving those scones!)

    what a fabulous time!

  12. what amazing food!!! you really cooked up a storm. what a great friend!!! i can see why everyone enjoyed it :)

  13. WOAH!!! Thats why you get married :)

  14. Yowza! That is a lot of yummy looking food :) I picked up a few ideas from that delectable spread!

  15. OH. MY. GOD.

    everything looked AMAZING seriously!!!! Could you do a post on how you managed the time for it all? Did you prep mostly everything the day before? Was the frittata easily sliced?

    you SHOULD be a caterer! And those muffins! MMMMMMMmmm!

    Also, did I ever send you the email about italy or did i completely forget? I know I started writing the email but i couldn't remember and now it is bugging me and i can't find anything in my gmail archives!

  16. I think I want to make a copy of this post for future reference if I do a shower/brunch. Lovely! You did a magnificent job!

  17. wow that is a spread. that is like a professional catering job. im so hungry now...

  18. wow, incredible amount of delicious food!!! great job, i'm sure everyone LOVED it :)