Showered with Love(and Good Food)

I threw a baby shower for my daughter-in-law Courtney last Saturday, for their baby (Liam Jack) who’s due November 23rd. Of course it had to be a small gathering, given the circumstances, but I wanted it to be special and personal to Courtney. Courtney had gotten a framed dinosaur picture for the nursery, so the theme was dinosaurs and pastel colors. Since Courtney is Southern, from a town near Tallahassee named Perry, I wanted to honor her Southern roots and incorporate some of her favorite foods into the party as well.

Baby Mama Courtney.

There were games, of course, but not too many because we mostly wanted to just hang out and enjoy time together. Guess how many almonds in the baby bottle (my mom won) and guess the measurement of Courtney’s belly (Allison won), as well as notecards to write Words of Wisdom to the new parents. My favorite shower station was the “Make a Bib” station in the family room, where everyone got to personalize a bib for little Liam. Allison made a baby turnover chain for him and also a turnover chain bib, which was adorable.

For the menu, I relied on tried and true recipes (mostly), since a small, special party isn’t the time to be experimenting. I had an Iced Tea and Lemonade station, with all the fixin’s so guests could tailor their tea to their liking, or make an Arnold Palmer. I made “Hot and Sassy Pickles” for Courtney, who loves pickles and my Mom brought her very delicious Deviled Eggs.

Courtney LOVES soup, so a made some Carrot and Ginger soup, from a recipe I’ve had for ages. I served the soup in little cups, with a dollop of creme fraiche and some chopped chives from my garden. The main course was Chicken Salad, a green salad, watermelon slices and croissants. The chicken salad was Fanny Farmer, the salad was a Spring Mix with an easy, yummy dressing and the watermelon was from a roadside stand in Melbourne, that was delicious. The croissants I bought frozen at Trader Joe’s and then baked them in the oven, making the house smell heavenly.

After lunch, we sat down in the living room and opened cards and gifts. A lot of the gifts had already been delivered to their home in Tallahassee, but there were some cute little outfits and booties to ooh and aah over. I gave Courtney a bag filled with a couple things from her registry, a little blue and white outfit with bears on it from when Chris was a baby, some of his old books (Peter Rabbit), his first stuffed animal (an elephant) and the sweet blue blanket I brought him home from the hospital in.

The decor was traditional and classic, with a lace tablecloth, blue napkins, baby’s breath and blue and white hydrangeas. I polished my kids old silver baby cups to display and put out framed photos of Christopher and Courtney from when they were toddlers. I’d ordered an adorable blue dinosaur cake from Nellysweetcreations and beautiful pastel dinosaur cookies for dessert, along with a homemade banana pudding ice cream I created especially for Courtney. The cookies also served as shower favors. The dessert table was framed by a beautiful banner saying “Liam Jack” that Kelley cricketed. My daughter A.J. (who’s a party planner) came over early to help decorate and the dessert table turned into a place to take photos.

It really was a sweet and beautiful shower; we all were thankful just to be able to gather together in celebration. We ate at two separate tables and I opened the sliding glass doors to circulate the air. Mother-to-be Courtney glowed and really appreciated all the special touches- we showered her with gifts and love. She came into the Family Room after the shower to check out the bibs and make one herself. Christopher reappeared (he’d cleared out for the shower) and they read the Words of Wisdom written for them.

I love these little people and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.

Charles Dickens
New Parents-to-be Courtney and Christopher Schild.

Here are the recipes:

From the Miami Herald

Note: For the pickles, I would’ve liked them with a little more vinegar, a little less salt, but that’s just me. I got the pickle cucumbers in the produce section of Trader Joes.

Homemade Pickles.

Deviled Eggs Lyla Lee Rice

  • 12 hardboiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayo (Hellman’s preferred)
  • 1/4 cup salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hot dog mustard
  • 1 tsp grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish

Peel eggs. Slice eggs in half and remove yolks. Mash and add other ingredients. Use a pastry bag to fill for nicer presentation. Decorate with paprika, parsley or pimento. Makes 24.

My Mom’s famous Deviled Eggs.
Carrot Ginger Soup.

Everybody loved this soup by Sheila Lukins of Silver Palate fame. The recipe came from Parade magazine years ago. I gave a big container for Courtney to take back to Tallahassee and Emma took some to eat for lunch at work. The orange juice and zest give it a refreshing citrus taste. I used fresh ginger, as well as powdered, for an extra kick.

Sweet and Savory Salad Dressing

  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 TBL Dijon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBL lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 TBL maple syrup
  • 1/3 extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake. Will keep a week in the fridge.

I spied this recipe on a green post-it among my recipes. It sounded good and I had all the ingredients, so made it. I served it over a spring mix; it was delicious and there was enough leftover for future salads. If you don’t have shallots, use green onions (white part) or sweet onions instead.

I asked my sister Kelley, who is a Chicken Salad fanatic, what recipe she recommended and she said Fannie Farmer’s. It was very good, although I would chop the chicken into smaller chunks next time. I added tarragon, since I had an abundance in my garden, chopped apple and toasted almonds to this, as well. I poached the chicken breast and made a broth, that I used in the Carrot Ginger Soup.

Chicken Salad is the Ultimate Chick Food!

I’m not going to put the recipe for the Banana Pudding Ice Cream here now, as it was a little complicated and not everyone has an Ice Cream maker. I may list it in a future post.

In the meantime, stay healthy and hopeful and keep on cooking!

Up Next: Our boat arrives!

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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