Easy Bridal Shower Recipes
Elderflower Sparklers (Hyldeblomst Cocktails)
The elder tree's white blossoms first appear in spring in Denmark, so these refreshing cocktails make an elegant homage to the season. The delicate, lightly floral flavors are perfect with Champagne or a dry, light white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc. Have all the ingredients ice-cold before serving.
Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad
A great make-ahead entree, this lightened-up pasta salad is loaded with broccoli and peppers. Smoky ham and sweet raisins give it plenty of punch. Enjoy the leftovers for a fuss-free lunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup
Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb are whirled together in this chilled soup. Serve it as a starter for an early-summer supper.
Couscous & Fruit Salad
Try this fruit-and-nut-studded couscous salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for supper or on its own for a fresh lunchbox treat.
Salmon Salad Sandwich
Salmon salad served on tangy pumpernickel bread makes for an easy dinner--a double batch will give you lunch the next day.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Claire's Mixed Green Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
This salad was inspired by one served during the peak of summer at Claire's Restaurant & Bar in Hardwick. Chef Steven Obranovich of Claire's likes the soft crumbly sheep's-milk feta for this recipe. He cautions that the subtle briny notes of feta can sometimes be overpowered by too much lemon or an olive oil that's too fruity. Saltiness varies from feta to feta too. Add the ingredients a little at a time and taste as you go.
Tart raspberry filling is swirled into a low-fat cream filling in these beautiful bars. They're a festive treat for a summer picnic or party.
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn't be simpler to make. And the secret to this saucy sesame chicken and noodle salad is in its beautiful raw veggies--it's got great crunch. It's a simple, healthy, affordable dish to serve on a hot summer's night or to bring to a potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you're ready to serve. (Recipe adapted from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm; Kyle Books, 2010.)
To keep calories in check, we like to use seltzer along with juice in drinks like vodka and cranberry. This version gets a raspberry twist with cranberry-raspberry juice and raspberries for garnish. For the prettiest garnish, start with big, plump fresh raspberries and freeze them yourself.
Radish, Celery & Snap Pea Salad
This stunning spring salad, full of peppery radishes, sliced celery, celery leaves and crunchy snap peas, is perfect for entertaining. If you grow your own celery, you'll have plenty of leaves to work with. But we found that most store-bought celery yielded enough leaves for this recipe if you combine the dark outer leaves with the pale yellow inner leaves at the heart. If you can't collect enough celery leaves, make up the difference with extra parsley. The results will still be delicious.
These raspberry-lemon cupcakes are topped with an easy cream cheese frosting tinted pink with a little raspberry puree. For those unaccustomed to the mildly nutty flavor of whole-wheat flour (used in these cupcakes), the flavor of the raspberry puree swirled into the lemony cake makes the wheat flavor undetectable.
Lemon Pudding Cakes
These magical little desserts start out as one batter and separate during baking into fluffy cake hiding a creamy layer of lemon pudding.
Ham & Red Pepper Spread
Spread this creamy ham and roasted red pepper dip on Belgian endive, crackers or toasted baguette or use it as a dip for vegetables.
Asparagus & Salmon Spring Rolls
These spring rolls are filled with smoked salmon, tender-crisp asparagus and plenty of fresh herbs. Spring rolls look impressive when you put them out for a party, but they are actually easy to make. To simplify the process, lay out all the ingredients you need to make the rolls near your work surface before you begin.
Creamy Watercress Soup
Classic steakhouse flavors--horseradish, watercress and blue cheese--are combined in this pureed soup. The spicy, bold flavor of watercress pairs well with the rich flavor of beef, so we use beef broth as the base for the soup. Vegetable broth works, too, if you want to make a vegetarian version.
Inspired by the old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike chocolate cake that usually called for a whole pound of chocolate, half a dozen eggs and lots of butter, this enlightened rendition has deep bittersweet chocolate flavor and dense melt-in-your-mouth texture. No one will guess it's healthier. The secret is excellent natural cocoa powder and good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably with 70% cacao. Although the cake can be eaten once it's completely cool, it comes out of the pan much easier and even tastes better if it has been chilled at least overnight.
Mini Brie & Apple Quiches
We love the way Brie and apples taste together in these mini quiches. Mini phyllo cups make it swift and simple to create an elegant appetizer.
Strained, pureed red grapes are the base for this sweet and tangy grape cocktail. If you have very sweet grapes, you might not need the full amount of honey. Taste as you go. For a special treat, freeze extra whole grapes ahead of time and float them in the drink along with the ice cubes.
This wrap is stuffed with chicken tenders and couscous with a hit of lemon and a healthy dose of fresh herbs. Save any leftovers to wrap up for an easy lunch. Serve with: Mixed green salad and a glass of crisp white wine.