Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hosting the Sip-and-See

This past weekend I co-hosted a baby shower for my good friend Kim. It was what we call in the south a Sip-and-See Shower. That is when you have the shower after the baby is born. You come by to sip some lovely beverages, see the baby and shower the family with love. The added bonus (in my book anyway) is that since the baby is present you usually get out of having to play and sort of shower game.

Now to host a successful baby shower you need four basic elements: food, pastel-colored punch (beak out the sherbet and the ginger-ale), a few cute baby decorations and adequate seating. As the owner of my own recipe development company, guess which element I usually get assigned – the food. And that is ok. I love to cook (obviously) and I love the chance to try out new and different little appetizers on my friends. However, this shower was a little different from the many showers I hosted in the past, because I recently became a new mom myself. And as it turns out, my 5-month-old doesn’t find the same fascination I do in spending hours in the kitchen. No, my recipes these days need to be more of the 20-minutes-and-done variety. So then the question became how do I come up with a Martha Stewart buffet on a Rachel Ray time schedule. The answer? First, divide and conquer (i.e. divide up the buffet responsibilities among all 3 hostesses). Second, come up with some new quick-time apps.

One of the really great little nibbles I come up with was Southwestern Crab Quiche Bites. These little nearly-homemade quiches are awesome. Quiches by nature transport easily and reheat beautifully. Making them crab quiches just makes them more upscale. The nearly-homemade part comes in when I started with crab cakes, which have seasonings in them meaning you need to add fewer other seasonings to complete the dish.

Southwestern Crab Quiches Bites
Hand one time: 12 minutes - Start to finish time: 25 minutes - Makes: 45 appetizer servings

45 phyllo cups
2 frozen crab cakes (about 3.5 oz each), thawed
4 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons mild chopped green chilies (canned)
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 oz gruyere cheese

• Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
• Line baking sheet with tin foil. Place phyllo cups on the baking sheet.
• Crumble thawed crab cakes into phyllo cups.
• In a bowl whisk together eggs, cream, chilies, nutmeg and chipotle chili powder. Spoon mixture over the crumbled crab in phyllo cups.
• Top each mini quiche with gruyere cheese.
• Bake 13 minutes.