An upcoming special event always calls for a party, and that always includes food! Our friends, Lauren Dumey and David Muscat are going to be married in a few weeks, and that calls for a bridal shower to celebrate the happy couple.
In planning the shower with friends, we tried to think of a few foods that would give a nod to Lauren’s most recent residence in St. Louis and David’s life lived on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, as well as a couple of personal favorite flavor combinations. I’ve included a few recipes here today that were included in the festivities. In addition, the large charcuterie board was the beautiful focal point on the food buffet table.
We are so happy and excited for Lauren and David and extend best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness together.
Ham or Turkey, Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissant Sandwiches
A pretty little strawberry cream cheese picnic or tea sandwich using either turkey or ham and served on a croissant. For smaller and more petite sandwiches, we used cocktail size croissants.
* 4-5 large croissants
* 1 pint strawberries
* 1 pound shaved or sliced ham or turkey
* 8 ounces cream cheese
* 1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener
* Baby spinach washed with stems removed
Set out the cream cheese to soften.
Use a bread knife to cut open the croissants.
When the cream cheese is soft, mix it thoroughly with the sugar to create a creamy spread.
Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on both halves of the croissant.
Layer on the strawberries, ham, and then some leaves of spinach. Place the top on the sandwich.
Strawberry Colada Kabobs
* 1 quart fresh strawberries
* 1 fresh pineapple
* 8 ounces white chocolate
* 1/2 cup toasted coconut or more to taste
Wash strawberries and remove stems. Cut pineapple into chunks the size of the strawberries.
Alternate strawberries and pineapple on long wooden skewers.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate and top with toasted coconut.
*Use additional melted chocolate as desired for dipping.
Southern Cheese Straws
Homemade Southern Cheese Straws are an addictive snack that are so easy to make! This simple recipe is loaded with cheddar and zesty herbs and spices with a little kick of cayenne for maximum snacking!
* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika (for color)
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
* 1 stick butter, chilled
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats and set aside.
Use a food processor to pulse the dry ingredients together. Add cheese and pulse until well mixed. Cut chilled butter into pats and add a few pats at a time, pulsing after each addition until well mixed. Dough is ready when all butter has been added and it resembles wet sand.
Turn crumbly dough out onto a piece of wax paper. Use your hands to press dough together to form a dough ball. Section the dough into three pieces.
Use a floured rolling pin to roll out one section of the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut away all the rough sides so that your dough forms a rectangle with straight edges. Add cut away dough to one of the remaining dough balls. Use the pizza cutter to cut 1/2-by-3-inch strips of dough from the rectangle. Use a spatula to gently lift strips and place them on your baking sheets. They can be close together, but don’t need to touch. Repeat until all dough has been cut into strips and placed on baking sheets.
Bake cheese straws in preheated oven for 15 minutes or just until they begin to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with extra parsley and salt while still warm. Let cool before serving.
* 2 cups boiled shrimp, cut into pieces but not chopped
* 2 cups hard boiled eggs
* 1/4 cup chopped celery
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
Combine all adding just enough mayonnaise to mix together and cover all of the ingredients. Add Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning to season to taste or garlic salt and pepper and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few drops of Tabasco.
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Source: Elaine Stone family recipe.
Gooey Butter Cake
Gooey Butter Cake is almost an American classic! Since the ’50s, moms and grandmas have been making this St. Louis original for their family and friends to enjoy.
* 1 box yellow cake mix
* 1 eggs, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* Pinch of Kosher salt
* 2-3 cups confectioners sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees (convection oven to 325 degrees).
In a bowl, combine dry cake mix, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the melted butter. Mash together with a fork until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Spray a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan with baking spray or use a piece of parchment in the bottom of the pan.
Press cake mixture into bottom of prepared pan and get it as flat as possible.
Place cream cheese, remaining eggs, vanilla and melted butter in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy.
Add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time (and on low speed) until all sugar has been added.
Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mixture.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the edges are brown, but the center was still a bit jiggly. You do not want to over cook.
Allow to cool before serving. Dust heavily with additional powdered sugar before serving.
Louisiana Shrimp and Crab Deviled Eggs
* 12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
* 1/4 cup jumbo lump crab meat, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup salad shrimp, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
* 1/2 generous teaspoon all purpose Creole seasoning
* 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon brown mustard
Slice boiled eggs in half. Separate yolks from whites. Place whites on a serving platter and the yolks in a medium bowl. Mash yolks.
Toss together crab, shrimp, celery, green onion, Creole seasoning and dill. Add to yolks and mix. Stir in mayo, mustard and lemon juice until well combined.
Pipe or spoon yolk mixture into the hollow of the egg whites. Garnish with extra dill and serve.
Banana Split Kabobs
* 12 strawberries
* 12 pineapple pieces similar size to strawberries
* 12 brownie pieces similar size to strawberries
* 2 bananas cut into pieces (similar size to strawberries)
* Fresh sweetened whipped cream
* Chopped peanuts or mixed nuts
* 6 wooden skewers
Assemble each skewer using two strawberries, two pineapple pieces, two banana pieces and two brownie pieces. Alternate ingredients as you go.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional) and dip in whipped cream when served.
Raspberry Coconut Magic Bars
Raspberry Coconut Magic Bars are easy to prepare and are sure to delight the coconut lover in your life!
* 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, melted
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 3 cups coconut sweetened, flaked
* 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 can
* 1 cup seedless raspberry preserves or the flavor of your choice
* 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
* 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/3 cup white baking chips
* 1 teaspoon shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a small bowl. Press into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
Sprinkle the coconut over the crust and drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned. Let cool completely.
Spread the preserves over the cooled coconut crust and sprinkle with pecans.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and stir until nice and smooth. Drizzle over pecans.
Melt the white chips in the microwave and add shortening. Stir until nice and smooth. Drizzle over the top.
Let chocolate firm up in the refrigerator or on the counter and cut into bars.
Makes 36 bars.
French 75 Cocktail
The French 75 is a classic cocktail made with gin, lemon and champagne. It’s sophisticated and perfect for celebrations of all kinds.
* 1 1/2 ounces* gin
* 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice (plus lemon twist garnish, optional)
* 1/2 ounce simple syrup
* 3 ounces champagne (about 1/2 glass)**
Make the lemon twist garnish, if using.
Place the gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a champagne flute. (You can also pour these ingredients right into the flute, but the classic method is to use a cocktail shaker. If desired, shake up to 4 drinks at one time.)
Top off the glass with champagne. Garnish and serve.
Party variation for 8 servings: In a pitcher, stir together 1 1/2 cups gin, 3/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/2 cup simple syrup and refrigerate until serving (or stir with 1 handful of ice, then discard the ice). When serving, add 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) gin mixture to each glass with 3 ounces champagne.
Can you make a non-alcoholic French 75? Yes, you can make a French 75 without alcohol! Just substitute non-alcoholic sparkling cider, grape juice, or wine for the champagne, and tonic water with a few dashes of cocktail bitters for the gin.
New Orleans Orange Buttermilk Cake (1967)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 eggs
* 2 cups flour
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup nut meats (pecan pieces)
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 orange rind, grated
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* Orange icing (see below)
Cream butter and add sugar gradually until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat thoroughly with electric mixer. Add vanilla, grated orange rind, nuts and raisins.
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate dish. Now add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, hand-stirring only enough after each addition to blend thoroughly. Do not beat.
Pour into greased 8 or 9-inch pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until done.
Orange Icing: Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1/3 cup of orange juice, and spread on cake while cake is still hot. It melts to make a thin glaze. For added richness, use part melted butter with the juice.
Have a great week and until next time, happy cooking.