Is your calendar filled with bridal and baby showers to say nothing of weddings and graduation celebrations? I know mine is.
While at a baby shower over the weekend, one friend, whose son and daughter-in-law are going to be first-time parents, said that she knew eight friends who were expecting babies or grandbabies. Perhaps we are in the midst of another baby boom.
That weekend shower was on the heels of a bridal shower the previous weekend, to say nothing of the wedding in less than a month.
Several weeks ago one reader asked for help with shower foods, and the recipes keep coming in. Linda Hendrix, Bonnie Lingel and Catherine Nelson of Driftwood, Texas, sent in recipes and favor ideas for these shower hostesses.
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"I have made candy pacifiers for lots of baby showers," said Nelson, who is formerly from Mississippi. "They are really cute displayed by hanging them on an Easter egg-type display tree you can buy at craft stores, or they can be put in a bowl or basket. It's hard to describe this without a picture, but I'll try."
Nelson uses melted white candy coating, which is often called almond bark coating, for the glue. Cake or cookie icing will not work because it will not dry hard. Items needed include pink jellybeans, pastel colored round flat dinner mints, white peppermint or spearmint Lifesavers and pastel or white narrow cloth ribbon.
The peppermint Lifesavers are bigger than the regular fruit ones, Nelson said.
Glue jellybeans to the center of the flat candy mint with a dab of melted candy coating and let it dry. This is the "nipple." Nelson uses Lammes' Candies dinner mints that are about 1- 1/2 inches in diameter. Lammes' is located in Austin, Texas.
Next, glue a white Lifesaver on the edge to the center of the opposite side of the dinner mint and let it dry. This is the pacifier handle.
Finally, tie a length of narrow cloth ribbon to the handle of each pacifier for hanging.
This recipe is from the Hattiesburg Daylily Society cookbook.
3 cups watermelon balls
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 large package strawberry gelatin
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups hot water
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping
Place watermelon in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle pineapple and pecans on top. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and pour over watermelon mixture. Place in refrigerator until set.
Next, mix cream cheese and sugar, add milk and whipped topping. Place on top of congealed salad. Keep refrigerated until served.
-- Submitted by Bonnie Lingel
From Hendrix comes a savory appetizer that would even be good for a snack/supper.
MINI MEXICAN QUICHES
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a small mixing bowl, (combine) cream butter and cream cheese. Add flour; beat until well blended. Shape into 24 balls; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Press balls onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Sprinkle a rounded teaspoonful of cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of chilies into each shell.
In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Spoon into shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
-- Submitted by Linda Hendrix
Andrea Yeager, a freelance writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.