Baby Shower Buffet Sample Menu and Set-up Ideas

Planning any celebration requires a lot of thought when it comes to food. While cocktails require a lot of preparation and fiddling to get those perfect little bites and sit-down dinners are quite stilted in the least. The perfect compromise for your baby shower may be a buffet. Let's take a look at some ideas for the menu:

Before any menu planning can take place, you'll need to decide when the baby shower will be to choose the right types of food for the buffet. Would you be holding a breakfast or brunch, a lunch, tea, or dinner? That will dictate the kind of food you will serve.

Once the time is settled on, choose your food. A breakfast menu of eggs, bread, a breakfast meat, and fruit or fruit juice will be great. Lunch can be a light meal of salad, a (cold) soup, and a simple one-dish meal like a frittata. Tea would be more of finger food like sandwiches, dense cakes, and cookies with a couple of beverages. Dinner can be as elaborate as you wish or a heavier version of lunch plus appetizers and desserts. Just remember that the food should already be in individual portions to make getting it easier.

For the more popular time, tea, menu planning is more of a balance of savory and sweet. The usual menu consists of three sweets and two savories. The sweets are usually one chocolate, one citrus, and one a personal choice. Cookies, buttery biscuits, and slices of dense cakes fill the bill, as do small tarts filled with jam or custard and fresh fruit. Savories are usually sandwiches made with potted meats, potted shrimp being a favorite. Savory biscuits could do as well, Parmesan cheese and white pepper being an unexpected but delicious combination, sun-dried tomatoes and dried basil another one.

A good point to remember is not to choose any food that is too strongly flavored. So while anchovy paste on buttered toast may be good, a pulled pork sandwich is not. The tea itself should complement the food choices. Lighter, more delicate food can be paired with a green tea or a chamomile tisane, stronger flavored food needs a brisk black Chinese or Indian tea, usually an Assam.

Setting up the buffet takes practice. It's best to have a table in the middle of the room so that the main food can be arranged along one side and the beverages and their accompaniments along the other. The tableware should be on one end, the food in the middle, and the cutlery and napkins at the other. This is done so that the flow of guests getting food and drinks goes smoothly.

If desserts are served, they should be placed on the beverage side. People usually take desserts with coffee or tea, so this is a logical placement.

Centerpieces are key on a buffet table. It's best to place it at the center of the table, out of the way of anybody getting food. Why not make a change and arrange fresh fruits or several tiers of petit fours at the center instead of the usual flowers? It's a simple way to add another course to your meal.