Have a Fiesta with a Spanish Baby Shower

Tenemos que festejar! And we will party with a hot Spanish baby shower. It's a terrific way to show a mamita-to-be everyone's love and support.

Spain is a country of mixed cultures, from Moorish, to Roman, to Jewish. It's that interesting mix that keeps the Spanish theme continually fresh. Set the scene with your invitations. A wonderful choice would be a flamenco dancer or anything in a red and yellow colorway, since red and yellow are the colors of the Spanish flag.

Decorate the party area in red and yellow with touches of black. Have red and yellow balloons hanging in bunches at the corners of the party room and wide streamers in red and yellow connecting them. Make big tissue or crepe paper flowers in different shades of red and yellow and display them prominently around the room. Have spiral topiary trees or palm trees dotted around the room and string them with battery-operated fairy lights. Large tubs of red and yellow flowers are also spread around the room, and posters of bullfights hang all around.

Set your tables in a mix of red and yellow. Throw a red tablecloth over the table and use red and yellow tableware for each place setting. Fold red and yellow napkins to look like flowers and set it on the plates. For the centerpiece, use a large pottery or earthenware jug filled with colorful flowers like poppies, gerberas, and carnations and accent it with a wooden Spanish-style fan opened up halfway and leaning on the vase.

The buffet table will be set up like a tapas bar, so keep it very simple. Make several heights for the little plates to sit on using clean, ordinary red bricks. A beautifully weathered wooden table would be perfect for this setting but you could also use a striped red and yellow tablecloth. Insert little red and yellow votives among the earthenware plates.

A very easy yet typical Spanish meal is tapas, set up like an appetizer bar, with small servings of food put onto individual plates Tapas are served in several “waves” from cold food going to hot every twenty to thirty minutes. Accompany the tapas with a good Spanish sherry or a selection of white and red Spanish wines.

Start off with a selection of cold tapas – ensalada tropical (a salad of mango, kiwi, avocado and apple with smoked salmon and fresh white cheese in a light vinaigrette), gazpacho shooters, and endive boats with pear, blue cheese, and candied walnut filling. Moving on, room temperature tapas are cubes of tortilla Espanola (a thick potato and onion frittata) and jamon, quezo y chorizo con pan (ham, cheese, and chorizo with bread). Finally, the hot tapas are gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimps), tigres-mejillones rellenos (stuffed mussels), and Bravas Patatas (potatoes in Tabasco sauce). The hot dishes can be prepared earlier and kept on hold in a low oven. A very simple but traditional dessert is quezo con higos (Manchego cheese with fresh figs and pine nuts) arranged on a plate. You can provide a small bowl of heavy honey for drizzling, if you desire.

Cakes are a common ending to any fiesta and the Spanish baby shower should be no exception. A beautifully put-together cake is a simple one named Pastel de Chocolate y Almendras which is a concoction of ground almonds and shaved chocolate layered with liqueur or coffee soaked ladyfingers and then baked. Garnished with more shaved chocolate and cocoa powder, it's a spectacular, yet light, cake.