Bizarre cravings aside — like a few months ago when my intense thirst for something salty led me to slurp down pickle juice straight from the jar — this, my second pregnancy, has been marked mostly by cravings for the foods I grew up with and the wonderful and diverse sabores from all across Latin America: Tex-Mex enchiladas and chalupas covered in yellow cheese; chorizo con huevo breakfast tacos with salsa; tacos de pastor drizzled with chopped onion and cilantro and finished with a squirt of lime; media noches; ceviche peruano; fried Nicaraguan cheese and gallo pinto; dulces de leche quemada; and, of course, Frito Pie—the best Texican culinary invention ever. And this is for starters.
So when my sister-in-law accidently told me that my husband’s family was throwing me a baby shower a few weeks before I visited Miami last month, I just knew what would make my ever-growing and apparently very hungry fetus and this ever-expanding mama super happy would be a shower theme built around Latino comfort foods, drinks and desserts. After all, I think if you get the chance to have a baby shower for baby #2 or #3 or so on, you can get away from pastel colors, storks, pacifiers and delicate finger foods and pick a theme that’s going to surprise and delight everyone (yes, even the men in the room) and send them home panza llena, corazón content.
And I know, I know, for most baby showers the mom should be hands-off. I mean, if there was ever a time to let others do the work of planning and setting up, it’s when you’re pregnant. But I did that for the four awesome baby showers I was given my first go-round, and this time I had so many ideas and an apparent streak of high energy (maybe I can blame the cortaditos I drank in Miami?) that I just had to help with pulling this fete together. I figured it would also be fun to gather the girls for a comadre crafts night to make paper flowers and paper pom poms for decorations. Plus, since we already have a 3-year-old daughter, we’re pretty much set with everything we need for baby #2, so it takes the pressure off everyone in the gifts department.
We stuck with the bright beautiful trio of colors of turquoise, magenta and yellow which automatically brought in a bold and festive feel. But to make sure the “baby shower” wasn’t lost, we integrated a pink gingham ribbon throughout as a reminder of our new baby girl. The food was mostly Mexican, but we did have a smattering of Peruvian and Nicaraguan foods mixed in there, too.
Here’s how we pulled of this Latino-inspired baby shower:
- Tacos al pastor, carnitas y alambre
- salsa, lime wedges, chopped onion & cilantro
- Mexican tamales of pork, beef and cream cheese & jalapeño
- Layered bean dip (refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo and shredded cheese) served with corn tortilla chips
- Jarritos, assorted flavors
- Aguas Frescas de melón y sandía
- Basket filled with Assortment of Mexican candies, including obleas, leche quemada and Canel’s chicle
- Nicaraguan cake
- Arroz con leche
- Pink Cupcakes
- Paper Flowers and Paper Pom Poms for hanging
- Lavender sachets in calaveras print bag
- Mexican matchbox favors filled with baby rattle candy
- Pink maracas
- Custom food labels and invitations
- Custom-made Papel Picado-inspired cupcake toppers that read Nena, Niña, Bebita, Chavala, Escuincla, etc.
- Floral napkins and pink and turquoise colored plates
We played a few traditional baby shower games, including bilingual baby shower bingo, meaning the announcer had to translate for the non-English guests playing along. We had music, Shakira radio on Pandora, and I also pulled together a slideshow that played on repeat showing photos of my daughter, me, my husband and our parents as babies. It was fun for guests to try to figure out who was who, and my 3-year-old got a huge kick out of seeing her abuelos and parents as babies, especially the photo of her dad as a 3-month-old lying on his tummy in the buff.