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Unless you are a professional caterer, you probably don't have a wealth of appliances to keep food warm in your buffet. Opt for a little sanity by serving cold dishes that require minimal day-of prep time.

Sure, deviled eggs are a shower staple.  They are as expected as a silly game.  But have you ever had jalapeno popper deviled eggs? We didn't think so. These spicy bites of goodness (above) will be gone in a flash, so double the recipe for a larger crowd.  Below, all you have to do is toast the bread for your goat cheese and pepper brushetta. Let guests serve themselves, or top right before they get there.

the-amateur-gourmet

Dips and spreads are a great way to serve a tasty buffet, while still being able to make everything ahead of time. Cut up some pita bread and veggies and provide a variety of hummus. We think this bold beet hummus (below) looks pretty impressive.  But maybe skip it if you have wall-to-wall white carpet. That's pretty much just asking for a disaster to happen.

the-year-in-food

Mexican-inspired flavors make for a yummy shower lunch. Prepare cold shrimp taco filling (below, left) and then set up a make-your-own taco bar. Serve a bean guacamole (below, right) for a healthy dip on the side.

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love-and-lemons

If you have plenty of time the night before, make a selection of salads for the gathering. Use fresh, seasonal ingredients. For a summer shower, nothing beats a grilled corn and zucchini salad (above) for a healthy and beautiful dish!

hortus-cuisine

You can also make chilled salads with beans and grains (above and below) if you want your dishes to be more filling.

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Dinner-a-love-story

Of course, there is nothing wrong with deli shopping-simple. Buy some of your favorite cheeses, fig spreads, fruit, and crusty bread. Cut and serve.

We also love side dishes that are really easy, but bound to be very popular with guests. I still remember the time a friend served strawberries with balsamic vinegar at a shower.  It sounded odd and was my first time with the combo, and it was pretty much a revelation. This cayenne peppered and salted pineapple (below) will have your guests headed to the produce market on their way home from the party!

broad-appetite

Credits: I am a Food Blog   |   The Amateur Gourmet   |   The Year in Food   |   The Kitchn   |   What's Cooking Good Looking   |   Love and Lemons   |   Hortus Cuisine   |   Two Red Bowls   |   Dinner: A Love Story   |   Broad Appetite