Familiar bridal shower ideas.

I'm planning on hosting a bridal shower for a friend. Those attending have palates that are quite picky. They won't touch food that they're not familiar with. It's very frustrating!
Does anyone have some relatively inexpensive ideas for items I can do?
I don't mind putting the time in to cook or bake-but since I'm providing the majority of the food, I'd like something that's familiar to most and won't break the bank.
Thanks in advance!



SKK June 8, 2011
Another possibility is to ask the bride what her favorites might be and go from there. The party is about her.
ChefJune June 8, 2011
One of the biggest hits I've ever served is my Thai Pasta Salad. Always serve the chicken poached in lemongrass and soy on the side, so the vegans can enjoy it too.
skittle June 8, 2011
These are all great ideas! It's going to be held the second week of August...pool side.
A lunch affair. And yes...it's meant to be a fun thing. :)
I would think grab and go or buffet style. You know, something that can be placed inside a screened in porch away from the bugs to enjoy while lounging.
Unfortunately, my co-workers won't touch anything they've not heard of! I made a key lime pie and brought it in and had to beg them to try it as they couldn't imagine putting lime in a dessert! When they finally got past the idea of lime in a dessert they loved it.

I guess as far as ideas I might have, that's why I'm stumped. I mean, who's not heard of a key lime pie?! I'll definitely run a few of these suggestions by everyone and you know what? If that's all that's there..that's what they'll get. And I'm sure it'll be a hit.
Sadassa_Ulna June 8, 2011
If you are doing all or most of the cooking you might want to consider recipes that do not require a lot of assembly. Quiche, salads, bar cookies (brownies, classic lemon squares?), maybe sliced roast beef or a ham served with rolls? Depending on the amount of time and/or help you have you might want to avoid individualized items?
sfwork June 8, 2011
I think the person who suggested tea sandwiches was onto a great idea -- allows you to offer a selection of familiar items (deviled egg, cucumber, ham and cheese, roast beef) while also maybe coming up with some more adventurous combinations (chutney, smoked salmon, radish and butter, curry chicken salad). and if you go with this theme, don't forget the scones!
SKK June 7, 2011
Onion dip http://www.food52.com/recipes/8971_french_onion_dip, Pizza with no-knead crust http://www.food52.com/recipes/12305_pizza_with_no_knead_crust a tomato sandwich cut into small pieces http://www.food52.com/recipes/6734_my_best_tomato_sandwich beer and cheddar dip http://www.food52.com/recipes/8968_wisconsin_beer_cheddar_dip_two_ways
lorigoldsby June 7, 2011
A nice chicken salad with red grapes and pecans and croissants served on the side (so those carb avoiding dieters can have a cupcake) is usually a safe choice... really agree with chefjune-how picky is picky? Sometimes I find people like this are just not comfortable with new concepts (curry! exotic ingredients! etc) and so your best best is to go with a classic and put your own spin on it--that way it has a familiar basis but maybe you elevate the flavor profile...

so give us an idea on what you are thinking about/stuck on...and with more info, you should get some dynamite feedback from this group.

PS Boulangere's caprese bites...a huge hit with my book club.
LucyS June 7, 2011
Maybe not familiar, but I like to make gougeres, French cheese puffs, for these kinds of things. They're delicious and even if people don't exactly recognize them, they're so inoffensive and simple (little cheese puffs! who doesn't eat those?) that they'll work with the pickiest. I have a good recipe from Susan Loomis's French Farmhouse Cookbook - let me know if you're interested and I'll type it up. Otherwise, cheese and crackers, crudite, maybe a sandwich station with shower-y fillings like the salads suggested above? And a little more guidance would be so helpful! What sort of thing are you looking for?

Good luck and have fun!
inpatskitchen June 7, 2011
I once attended a shower luncheon where a variety of salads were served..taco, chicken,pasta and greens. All can be made in advance and guests can pick and choose what they like. Serve with some nice rolls and enjoy the shower!
drbabs June 7, 2011
This is really retro and unsophisticated, but here's an easy friendly non-alcoholic drink idea: Put your favorite flavor of sherbet (or, even tackier but fun, sherbet in the bride's favorite color-- haha) in a large punch bowl. Pour ginger ale over it. Serve it in small cups with a punch ladle if you can find one. (I actually have a sterling one from the dark ages when I got married!) Seriously, people love this. It's familiar, it's fun, and it won't stress anyone's palate.

I hope you have fun! This is supposed to be fun, isn't it?
RebeccaCooks June 7, 2011
Dates and dried apricots stuffed with cheese and nuts are excellent finger foods - I like to use walnuts and blue cheese for the dates, and almonds and manchego for the the apricots.
boulangere June 7, 2011
I've suggested these for situations like yours before, so forgive the broken record: caprese skewers. Short skewers, a cube of fresh mozzarella, folded basil leaf, a grape tomato. Drizzle with olive oil, dust wish sea or kosher salt. Easy, inexpensive, colorful, not frightening.
Ophelia June 7, 2011
A pasta salad with pesto and tomatoes is always nice. Puff pastry baked with various fillings (cream cheese and broccoli, cheddar and bacon, etc) would be cute and delicious warm. Deviled eggs. Tea sandwiches. Sushi. Quiche. Pie of any sort. Cupcakes. Waffles (waffle parties are awesome. Plain, gingerbread and cheese flavoured waffles with lots of toppings).
It really just depends on the time of day, amount of time you want to be making food the day of the party, the theme (is there a theme?) and the weather.
ChefJune June 7, 2011
What's "familiar" to my friends might not be the same as what's familiar to yours. You could help us out more by giving us some ideas of what you've been bouncing around in YOUR head. The time of day and year also figure into what you might choose to serve. Do you want the food to be hot or cold? Is it to be a sit-down meal, or a buffet? Finger food or something more substantial?

Your choices are manifold.
heatmatt June 7, 2011

Personally, I would make easy things like humus, maybe do a roasted red pepper hummus and pair it with homemade pita chips (you can make that in advance). Chicken Satay skewers are always great, although you might want to find out about nut allergies if you make a dipping sauce with peanut or label it clearly to be on the safe side. You could also try mild thai chicken wings. Stuffed mushroom caps, with bacon, creamcheese, grilled shallots, panko, garlic, chives are always a hit at my party. Crudités is easy and cheap, but make your dip. Herbed breadsticks or cheese straws. A small cheese platter and crackers go a long way.

Dessert, cupcakes are usually the easiest with these types of parties, not sure if you’re a baker or not. Some people don’t like cake so maybe put out some fresh fruit with dip, make an easy yogurt and whip cream dip or stuff strawberries with no bake cheese cake filling and dip the exposed cheesecake ends in graham cracker crumbs.

I know it might sound boring but for a group of people who don’t like to extend their food boundaries I would keep it simple.

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