When I think of ‘April Showers,’ rain is the last thing on my mind. We do get a little drizzle here and there in sunny Southern California, but as far as showers go April tends to be the beginning of wedding and baby shower season. I love spring showers because the weather is just warm enough to throw a backyard brunch or afternoon shindig—full of super yummy hors d’oeuvres! If you’ve read my book CelebraTORI, then you know that I’m all about making everything a mini. Taking a classic recipe and shrinking it down into appetizer-size is an uber chic way to serve food for any occasion. Appetizers are especially important for showers, as they’ll most likely be sitting out for a long period of time while people rotate between the food table, cocktails and fussing over the expecting mama or bride-to-be. For this reason, it’s important to serve food that can sit out at room temperature yet still maintain its almost-too-cute-to-eat presentation. I also suggest serving foods you know people will like. A fancy shmancy salmon steak atop a bed of spinach may be classy, but who doesn’t love a couple good, old-fashioned cocktail weenies (which also happen to be much kinder on your wallet)?
Now, if you’re still stuck on what to make, I thought I’d give you a little #foodspiration and share some of my personal favorites. Here are nine spring shower appetizers I always keep in my back pocket…
I’ve been serving the frozen quiches you buy and bake from Costco since the very beginning of my hosting days. They are always a hit, and they’re perfect for any time of day.
Bite-Sized Buttermilk Chicken & Waffles
Alright, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned country dish? Well, this appetizer is sure to have your guests hootin’ and a-hollerin’ for more. Chicken and waffles are always a crowd pleaser, and when you turn it into a mini, there’s no doubt they’ll adore it …Yeehaw!
How adorable are these mini BLT cups? I’m obsessed! Made with a grape tomato, a small piece of crispy bacon, lettuce and some chipotle aioli… I can totally see these being the first snack to go at any occasion.
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
My mantra: If a kid likes it, it will be a hit at a party. That’s why mini sandwiches, from the classic PB & J to the more grown-up olive-caper butter and smoked salmon, always tend to do well. To kick things up a notch, use cookie cutters to cut into stars, moons, or other cute shapes. Voila!—a boring, lunch-sack classic becomes an adorably chic appetizer.
Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches + Tomato Soup Shots
Who doesn’t remember their mom cooking them grilled cheese and tomato soup? It’s another kid-inspired, comfort-food classic that will bring a smile to your guests’ faces. When presented right, a mini grilled cheese sandwich complemented by tomato soup served in a shot glass immediately becomes a mini sensation.
Hamburger and fries are always a winning combo, and these little spuds and sliders put an adorably chic twist on the fast food favorite. From kids to adults, who wouldn’t love these mini “fun bun” burgers with a shot of french fries and ketchup on the side? They’re the perfect way to serve a traditional favorite at a shower (or any occasion really).
Biscuit Wrapped Cocktail Weenies
Aka Pigs ‘n a Blanket. I don’t care what you say about them, these little delights are always the first to go at any of my parties. People love mini cocktail weenies, and you can class them up a bit by sprinkling some sesame or poppy seeds on top and serving them with a toothpick. Simple as that!
Spaghetti and Meatball Bites
Spaghetti and meatballs are already a dinner favorite in the McDermott household, so I absolutely love the idea of turning them into bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. Top each mini meatball with a twirl of spaghetti and a dollop of sauce, and get ready to impress your guests.
Dean’s Strawberry Cream Cheese Towers
Now these can be served as dessert, but I also think they’re an adorable addition to a brunch spread, too. They end up looking like flowers on grass if you present them over shredded, green coconut. Check out the recipe on Dean’s website, The Gourmet Dad.
Well, that’s that. Nine new appetizer ideas that I hope inspire you the next time you throw a shower (or a party).
What are your favorite party-appropriate apps?