A Dairy-Free Baby Shower Menu

Yesterday I hosted (and had lots of help!) a baby shower for a friend that is severely allergic to dairy.  So in her honor, we all pitched in and came up with a dairy-free menu to serve for her.  It was fun trying to come up with good options.  And I think we found some good stuff!  Here is what we served:  (any time “butter” is called for, I used Blue Bonnet Light, which is dairy-free)
Baklava Cups
1 pkg frozen mini fillo shells (15 shells in a pkg)
2/3 C chopped mixed nuts (preferably Pistachio or Pecan Lover’s Mix)
¼ C honey
1 tsp water
Fill frozen shells with nuts.  Place on a baking sheet (with sides) and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Mix the honey and water.  Pour evenly into shells.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
Crispix Sticky Snack Mix
6 C Crispix cereal (you can use Rice Chex for gluten-free)
½ C slivered or sliced almonds
½ C butter
½ C brown sugar
2 T light corn syrup
Bring butter, brown sugar & corn syrup to a boil in a large pot.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; add cereal & nuts until well coated.  Spread mixture onto wax paper to cool. 
Lemon Tartlets
Tart Shells:
½ C butter, softened
1/3 C sugar
1 egg white
1 ¼ C flour
2 eggs
1/3 C sugar
1 T butter, melted & cooled
3 ½ T lemon juice
Powdered sugar
For shells, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy.  Add egg white; blend well.  Add flour & mix just until well blended.  (May need more flour with dairy-free butter.)  Drop level scoops of dough into greased mini-muffin pan, using a small cookie scoop.  Press dough into cups with well-floured mini tart shaper.  For filling, lightly whisk eggs; whisk in sugar & butter.  Add lemon juice & mix well.  Pour filling evenly into tart shells.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove tartlets & cool completely on a wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.  (Makes 24 tartlets.)
Crunchy Macaroons
1 ½ C rice krispies cereal
1 ¼ C flaked coconut
2 egg whites
3 T sugar
1/8 tsp almond extract
Combine all ingredients.  With damp fingers, shape into small rounds on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. 
Skinny Taste Southwestern Black Bean Salad
1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
9 oz frozen corn, thawed
1 tomato, chopped
1 small hass avocado, diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 lime, juice of
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro (gross, never use it!)
salt and fresh pepper
Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix with lime juice and olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Add avocado before serving.  Serve with baked tortilla chips or eat with a spoon!  (I actually think the tortilla chips mask some of the flavors, so I prefer without.)
2 cans whole water chestnuts, drained
1 lb bacon, cut in half (I used turkey bacon, which was perfect; if using regular, you will have to cook it some first before using)
14 oz ketchup
2 small plastic containers baby food peaches
3 T brown sugar
Splash of soy sauce
Wrap bacon around water chestnuts and secure with a toothpick (use uncolored).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Pour over water chestnuts and bake for 30 more minutes.
We also served hummus with pita chips, a black bean dip (made by my friend Jenny) with veggies, fresh fruit and cupcakes that the guest of honor brought (silly thing felt she needed to bring something – too nice!).  And another friend brought the fixins for Shirley Temples, complete with cherries on top!  It was a great time and we introduced the guest of honor to some new foods that (she said) she loved. 

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