Wedding Caterers: Taking the stress out of preparing bridal shower food

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(ARA) - If you're planning a bridal shower, you want to make it a relaxing, fun time for everyone - and right at the center of the fun is good food. If you're feeling anxious about what to serve and how to get it prepared - especially with everyone nowadays paying so much attention to what they eat - relax. You can serve delicious and healthy food without hiring a professional chef or spending a week in the kitchen.

Here are some time-saving tips and recipes from the Simply Organic test kitchen to help you get the food under control and host a simple but sensational shower for the bride.

* Share the work. When guests ask if they can bring anything, say "yes." And don't be afraid to ask them to bring something if they don't contact you first - most guests are eager to help.
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Get others to prepare dishes you either don't really enjoy making yourself or you know they do especially well. You can even have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer and share the recipes with the new bride. Doing the food as a group is fun, and it helps build the joyful spirit of the occasion.

* Keep it healthy. There's a good chance a lot of your guests are trying to eat healthier. Why not go that route and make it delicious too? You can provide great-tasting, nutritious snacks that also go easy on artificial additives, salt, fat, sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients. For guests with special diet restrictions, gluten-free baking mixes are now readily available for easy, worry-free baked treats.

* Take some shortcuts. For enticing, freshly made dips without fuss, use high quality organic dip mixes. Just add a creamy dill, French onion, guacamole or ranch dip mix to equal parts low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat plain yogurt and mix in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies you can buy already cleaned and cut up at the store, and you get a lot of healthy snacking with very little prep time. Or use pre-blended mulling spice to create flavorful cider, punch or other beverages without a lot of work.

* Remake everyday favorites. One way to combine simple and special is to take easy-to-prepare favorites and dress them up with special festive seasonings. Try distinctive seasoning blends like curry or Italian seasoning. A seasoned sugar combination like lemon sugar or cinnamon sugar will add a gourmet touch to your tea. Or add a touch of a spice like tarragon or a chili powder seasoning blend to your usual deviled eggs, and you'll instantly have something out of the ordinary.

* Shop smart. Make your shopping list well in advance. That way you can pick up everything in one trip - and eliminate any last-minute sprints to the grocery store. You can even order some ingredients online. For example, Simply Organic offers a wide range of all-organic products online to enhance your shower food - everything from spices, seasoning blends and baking extracts to easy-to-make mixes for dips, dressings and other snacks - and they'll ship them to your house within a few days.

Check out the many easy-to-prepare, healthy bridal shower dishes from the recipe collection at

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