Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Citrus Theme Bridal Shower

Welcome summer and my obsession with all things lemon! Like clockwork, the onset of warm weather and sunny afternoons makes me crave the sharp zing of citrus. This time of year I'll take my lemons as lemonade with a sprig of mint, squeezed over grilled fish or chicken, or baked into something sweet. I was fortunate enough to kick off my sweet and sour summer with a citrus themed bridal shower. Being the fanatical party food enthusiast that I am, I jumped at the challenge of figuring out a menu with citrus in every dish.

Immediately, my brain began to churn out citrus dessert ideas. However, out of respect to those who believe cupcakes and chocolate do not a meal make, I added some savory components. I even went as far as adding a salad to the menu.

Citrus Bridal Shower Menu
  (bottom left) I served these in little plastic cups I bought at a restaurant supply store. Scoop a tablespoon of the dipping sauce into the bottom of the cup and stand the fries up in the sauce. This presentation turns fries and dipping sauce into finger food!  

Strawberry Citrus Spinach Salad
spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, candied almonds, poppy seed dressing. Simple!

Mixed Fruit with Citrus Yogurt Sauce 

a bright Paula Deen chicken salad sandwiched into mini croissants

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
i added orange extract and zest to my favorite chocolate cupcake and cream cheese frosting recipes. Just make sure you add them little by little until you've achieved your desired citrus flavor level. 
the best lemon bar recipe EVER

Izze Sparkling Juice
we used the cans of clementine, lime, and grapefruit flavors. So cute!

True to form, I took too few pictures of the table. Also true to form, I took 2 closeups of my favorite part of every bridal shower....DESSERTS!

Don't those just scream summer? The best part of this menu was how much could be made in advance. The honey lime dipping sauce, chicken salad, and citrus yogurt sauce was made the night before so the flavors had plenty of time to blend and intensify. I baked the lemon bars and the cupcakes the night before, but saved the frosting for the day of the party. Remember, when planning a shower or dinner party, do as much in advance as possible. Your guests want to see YOU at the party as well as enjoy your culinary truimphs!

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