Here are some of my catering tips for a successful at home shower party:
Choose a simple color scheme and stick with it for table cloths, napkins and flowers. This garden party in pinks and peaches reflects the bright summer day. Masses of flowers in a single color will add elegance. Fancy, expensive arrangements are not necessary. The charm of a humble flower such as a daisy or in this case, a cosmos, will rise to the occasion.
Green Goddess dip recipe is a cinch to make and can be prepared two days in advance.
Use fresh herbs to decorate the platters. Just tucking a few sprigs here and there will do the trick.
This lunch was put together with a spread of salads, perfect for a hot day.
A simple green salad will make a dramatic presentation with the addition of edible flowers. If you don't grow your own, look for them at farmers markets; even some supermarkets will have them. A surprising number of flowers can be edible. Let your inspiration and the season guide you. These nasturtiums, plucked directly from the garden add a little spicy bite and lots of color drama to a simple collection of greens.
2 cucumbers thinly sliced
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped dill
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients and let it marinate in a fridge for at least two hours before serving.
Nothing could be easier than a caprese salad. Sliced tomatoes, lightly salted, fanned out on a plate, dressed with chopped basil, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. For the cheese, go with the classic mozzarella or consider a crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese for variation.
seafood salad is not vegetarian, I know. I want to include it here because it was so tasty and so pretty and really not difficult to make. For this occasion, we chose it to take advantage of the wonderful local fresh seafood available.
pesto and peas is ridiculously easy and always popular. This dish can be made a few hours in advance and served room temp. The pesto can be prepared the day before and then mixed in to the cooked pasta just before serving. I throw frozen peas into the boiling pasta just before the pasta is cooked, to add a little color and texture to the dish.
garden gratin made with fennel and Swiss chard. It disappeared quickly and adds a little substance to all the salads.
Are we exhausted yet? Even if you choose to only make one or two dishes, it will give a home cooked feel to the lunch. For dessert, order a cake and put out some sorbets. Simple, but Delicious!
Have fun with an at home party. Adding your own touches makes the event memorable. It does not have to be "perfect" when it is filled with love!