October 18th, 2012

Baby Shower Buffet


Life has been full and moving apace; and I’ve been a bit remiss here on Good Food Matters. But, exciting things are in the works—including a cookbook! I’ll share more details on that project soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d give you a look at our beautiful spread, an hors d’oeuvres buffet from last weekend. We held a shower honoring my daughter, son-in-law, and (grand!) baby to come.

No funny games or balloons, just a gathering of family and friends in the late afternoon for appetizers and sweets. We had a colorful array of foods, with a meat dish, a fish dish, and a bounty to please vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Plus, The Pie Board! My daughter Madeleine wanted not just pie, but Pies. A table filled with these assorted treats, great and petite, fruit or nut filled, chocolate cream or baked vanilla custard is a fun alternative to, say, a single cake. Easy as pies…..


While our party was a baby shower, it doesn’t matter: our menu would work for any kind of event, like a cocktail supper.
For your inspiration, with tips:

An Hors D’oeuvres Buffet
Marinated Grilled Beef Tenderloin, horseradish cream sauce, sundried tomato rolls
Orange-rubbed Smoked Alaskan Salmon Fillet
Blanched Chilled Asparagus with Greek Yogurt-Dill Dip
Roasted Butternut Squash-Yellow Bell Pepper-Honeycrisp Apple Quinoa
Black Eyed Pea “Cowboy Caviar”
Hot Baby Spoon Spinach-Artichoke Dip both served with blue and white corn chips

The Pie Board
Rustic Honeycrisp Apple Galette
Maple Pecan Pie
Plum Cheesecake Pie with gingersnap crust
Petite Chess Tarts
Double Chocolate Cream Pie


An overnight marinade of olive oil, red wine, balsamic vinegar, fresh thyme, and lots of fresh garlic help insure a succulent and flavorful piece of meat. Liberally salt and pepper the beef before grilling.


I rub the salmon fillet with orange zest and good olive oil before placing on my Big Green Egg to gently smoke. The fish stays moist, and is fragrant with citrus.


Simply roast diced butternut squash that you’ve first brushed with olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Do the same with diced yellow bell pepper. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Fold in roasted vegetables and diced fresh apple once the quinoa is cooked. The heat of the quinoa lightly cooks the apple, while retaining its crunch. Served warm or cool, this makes a delicious fall-inspired side or salad.


Blanched Chilled Asparagus with Greek Yogurt-Dill Sauce: Easy to make, easy to pick up and eat! It doesn’t take long to plunge the spears into boiling water, let them cook less than 2 minutes, and plunge them into an icy bath. Season plain Greek yogurt with plenty of fresh dill, scallions, fresh lemon juice and sea salt.


Like the quinoa dish, this vegan “Cowboy Caviar” is healthy, full-flavored, and universally enjoyed. I was lucky to find fresh black eyed peas at the market, which I cooked with garlic, sea salt, bay leaf and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Once the peas became tender and cooled, I added diced avocados, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


This is an updated classic, made with fresh baby spoon spinach and artichoke hearts stirred into a green onion studded bechamel sauce. Always a favorite! Top the casserole with shredded pecorino romano cheese and bake until bubbly.


THE PIES: Rustic Honeycrisp Apple Galette, Chess Tarts, Plum Cream Cheese Pie, Maple Pecan Pie, Double Chocolate Cream Pie


Double Chocolate Cream Pie (the first to go!)
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups lowfat milk
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoon creme de cassis (optional)
pinch of salt

Whisk cocoa, cornstarch, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Pour milk into a 2 qt. saucepan set on medium heat and stir in cocoa mixture. Continue stirring until dissolved. Then add chopped chocolate. Flavor with vanilla, creme de cassis, and a pinch of salt. Stir ( a wooden spoon is good for this.) steadily, as the mixture begins to simmer and thicken. It will become smooth and puddinglike. Remove from heat and pour into pre-baked pie shell. Cool before refrigerating.

Whip a cup of heavy cream with 2 (or so, depending on how sweet you want your whipped cream) tablespoons confectioners sugar and a teaspoon vanilla. Top chilled pie, and garnish with shaved chocolate.

Individual Chess Tarts: these were made by good friend Wendy. A true Southern dessert: Eggs-Butter-Sugar-Buttermilk-Vinegar. Deceptively simple, and somewhat addictive, Chess Pie deserves a post all its own. I promise, I will deliver that soon!


The Line-Up
Guests really have a great time making up pie sampler dessert plates for themselves!


Blissful Parents to Be
Due Date is December First

Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Chocolate, Desserts, Recipes

30 Responses to “Baby Shower Buffet”
  1. A Couple in the Kitchen Says:

    What a spread! Congratulations to all!

  2. Stacy G. Says:

    This looks like a wonderful spread. I LOVE the idea of a pie board!

  3. Rach Says:

    It all looks completely, utterly delicious (that beef, that salmon, that bubbly bake – I mean really). But more importantly what a beautiful daughter you have and look at that lovely bump. I have goosebumps, really. A cookbook, excellent news and it’s about time, I have been waiting, lucky us. Rx

  4. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Congratulations on your grand baby to be! Is it your first? The first one is sooooo sooo soo special! I’m amazed at your skills and want to be adopted into your family just so that I can reap the delicious benefits! This baby is going to so lucky! will try your quinoa salad!

  5. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Oh I forgot to mention, congrats on the cookbook! I can’t wait to hear more details!

  6. Kath Says:

    Congratulations to the beautiful and blooming Madeleine and to you. What a perfect bump!. My second was born on December 4th. But in the October I looked like I was about to give birth to a herd of elephants.
    Also I am very excited about the cookbook news! I will be amongst the first to display it proudly on my shelf. I like the look of the pie table very much and I look forward to the Chess Pie post.

  7. Teresa, foodonfifth Says:

    What exciting times! A Baby, a Book and a Pie Board. Such things dreams are made of. My love to you and yours.

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Christine–yes, it will be my first grandchild. Very Very special. Thank you on both counts—baby and book—for your good wishes.

    Kath—thank you so much! Herd of elephants? you make me laugh! I’ll post soon about the pies and cookbook details.

    Terese-we missed you. have a great Mexican vacay—you deserve it.

  9. heather Says:

    Wow Nancy, you really do amaze me. I love the ease with which you do such things and the beautiful results. Great pictures! You truly inspire me to do the same.

  10. ernestine lawson Says:

    First congratulations on your first grandbaby “how wonderful.” I remember well this joy.
    Your daughter is beautiful and your soninlaw so handsome.
    Your spread is unbelieveable and so many ideas you
    have given me when my children and grandchildren
    visit the country.
    Your cookbook
    I want the first copy.
    So pleased I found you
    after I move from Nashville :)

  11. Beth Says:

    For someone who loves pie, that post is exceptional! They all sound good, but I was wishing you’d posted the apple galette recipe. (Maybe another time?)

  12. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Heather and Ernestine–thank you for your kind words!

    Beth–the apple galette recipe is posted—just click on the name right under The Pie Board listing, or go to my post on Luisa Weiss’s Berlin Kitchen—it is her recipe that I call “A Perfect Apple Tart.”

  13. Barbara Says:

    Oh what a special day it was ! My niece looks so precious! And what a spread! I especially loved the quinoa. I thought it was couscous-either way it was wonderful & I want to prepare it for my family. Where can I buy it Nance?

  14. goodfoodmatters Says:

    I have found quinoa at our local grocery (harris teeter) Whole Foods would have it too. I think you’d enjoy working with it.Versatile, and
    it is easy to cook. Healthy too: a complete protein.

  15. Julie Greenberg Says:

    Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering & I am sending my most sincere “mazel tov!” to you and your daughter. :-) And a cookbook, to boot?! – splendid news all around. I can’t wait to purchase my copy.

  16. Jayne Says:

    What a fabulous spread
    Congratulations all around!

  17. Cathy Says:

    Savories: lovely.
    Pies: lovelier.
    Parents-to-be: loveliest.
    I’m so happy for you all!

  18. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    What a beautiful party for a beautiful couple and such a happy occasion. Congratulations and best wishes to all.
    Excited to hear about the cookbook! Can’t wait.

  19. Barbara Says:

    That was some beautiful spread, Nancy! Congratulations on your becoming a first time grandmother!

  20. Angie@Angie's Recipes Says:

    wow Look at the wide spread of mouthwatering dishes!

  21. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    oh yeah! So soon? December will be here before you know. To think I had connor last december and he is almost one! Yikes. This spread is just out of this world. so much to say and so little time to say it. love the meat (got to have that recipe) love the pie selections (especially the chocolate one) and the butternut squash and quinoa. -well that is just brilliant

  22. rebecca Says:

    wow love this spread and congrats on the cookbook

  23. Tammy Says:

    What fun! I can sure tell that’s your daughter.

  24. Juliana Says:

    Everything looks fabulous Nancy, very amazing! I so wish I could try them all!
    And congratulations on your grand baby…what an exciting event :)

  25. Tracy Says:

    Congratulations on everything! Everything is making my mouth water…what a great spread!

  26. Jill Says:

    Congrats! The dessert table looks divine.

  27. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    The food sounds terrific…I’m sure everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

  28. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    It looks wonderful, Nancy! I’d never heard of “Cowboy Caviar”. Thanks for teaching me something new.

  29. FOODESSA Says:

    It seems like I came just on time to congratulate you on wonderful announcements Nancy.

    Wow…what a spread…you always shine…especially when you cater to loved ones ;o)

    Have a great week and flavourful wishes,

  30. Relish Blogs – Week 2.11 Says:

    [...] Food Matters Okay, it’s probably not smart to have a baby just so you can have this Baby Shower Buffet from Good Food Matters, but we suspect babies have been had for worse reasons than a wonderful meal [...]

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