Cinco de Mayo Feed

Monday Night Dinner

I recently made this delicious soup from Food Network that I just had to share with you.  It's sure to spice up these cold nights.  And of course it's super easy!  Definitely a new staple around our house.

I call it Chicken Tortilla Soup

NY0313_Tortilla-Soup_lg

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced Mexican style tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 (12-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Monterey Jack, shredded, for topping
  • 2 limes, wedged

Directions

In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Saute the onions. Add bell pepper, jalapenos, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions become translucent. Add the cumin and stir until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, corn, and 1/4 cup of the cilantro. Add the diced chicken and cook through for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and divide the crushed tortilla chips between the bowls. Top with sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, and lime wedges.
 


Shimmering Dessert

There will be a lot of champagne flowing over the next few days!  Whether you are toasting on New Year's Eve or sipping Mimosas at your New Year's Day brunch, it's always fun to serve and drink.  

Here is a tasty twist on the traditional Mimosa. 

Mimosa Granita

Granita-ck-226607-l

Yield: 8 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  water
  • 3  cups  fresh orange juice (about 10 oranges)
  • 2  cups  Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Add orange juice, Champagne, and lime juice; pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Remove mixture from freezer; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape the entire mixture with a fork until fluffy, and garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's!  Welcome 2010!  

I am taking a short break for vacation but will be back very soon!  See ya next year!


(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)
 


Aruba, Jamaica...

My mouth actually watered a little when I read this cocktail recipe.  It combines two of my favorite summer, beachy drinks into one!  Enjoy!

Coconut Margarita

0703_msl_cococolada_xl 

Serves 2

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 2 tablespoons for glasses (about 5 limes)
  • 3/4 cup Coco Lopez or cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss coconut with the salt. Spread on sheet; toast in oven, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then crush with your hands until crumbly.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice into a shallow dish. Place coconut mixture in another dish. Dip rims of two cocktail glasses in lime juice, then in coconut mixture, coating well.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients with 1 cup ice in a blender; puree until smooth. Divide evenly between prepared glasses, and serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from marthastewart.com)


Cool and Spicy Salad

There's nothing better to have on a hot summer evening than a cool salad.  This salad looks delicious with its spicy seasonings and its cool sour cream dressing.  YUM.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

Taco-salad-ck-1215905-x 

Yield

4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3  cup  light sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 4  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

  • Salad:
  • 4  cups  shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 1  cup  cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2  cup  diced peeled avocado
  • 1/3  cup  thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained

Preparation

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here is a last minute easy tabletop idea for your fiesta tonight! 

Cinco-de-mayo-party-l 

I know you've got some colored vases lying around.  Place them on a brightly colored tablecloth with a festive flower in each and voila!  Grab some brightnapkins and glassware and you're all set.  That's the beauty of a fiesta-it doesn't have to be all matchy matchy and anything bright goes.

Check out our other Cinco de Mayo ideas here !

(photo from southernliving.com)


Frozen Sangria

Calling all fellow Sangria lovers!  Here is a great way to serve a crowd Sangria for Cinco de Mayo or any other occasion because to me it goes with all occasions.  YUM!

Frozen-sangria-sl-1865398-l  

Prep: 10 min., Freeze: 24 hr. This makes about 24 servings without breaking the bank. Total cost is about $13.

Makes about 1 1/2 gal.

Ingredients

  • 1  gal. sangría
  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen limeade, thawed
  • 1  (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soft drink
  • 2  cups  sliced oranges, lemons, and limes

1. Place 1 (2-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bag inside another 2-gal. zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place bags in a large bowl. Combine sangría, limeade, and lemon-lime soft drink in the inside bag. Seal both bags, and freeze 24 hours. (Double bagging is a precaution to avoid spills.)

2. Remove mixture from freezer 1 hour before serving, squeezing occasionally until slushy. Transfer mixture to a 2-gal. container. Stir in fruit.

Kid-Friendly Frozen Sangría: Substitute cranberry juice for sangría. Proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


Southern Style Salsas

I .love. dips. and. chips. of. all. kinds.  There, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I have never met a dip or chip I did not like, and this includes salsa too.  It's really an addiction, my husband makes fun of me.  So you can understand my excitement when I found new salsa recipes with a Southern twist.  Hello Cinco de Mayo!

Bacon and Greens Salsa

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Prep: 15 min., Cook: 22 min.

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 8  bacon slices
  • 1  (16-oz.) package frozen mixed greens, thawed and drained
  • 1/2  medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen corn, thawed
  • 1  serrano chili pepper, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • Pork rinds
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Hot sauce

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

2. Sauté greens, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in corn and next 3 ingredients, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve warm with pork rinds, sweet potato chips, and hot sauce

Red Pepper-Black-eyed-Pea Salsa

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Prep: 20 min.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1  (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3  green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  hot sauce
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper

1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(images from southernliving.com)


Margaritas Three Ways

With Summer and Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I have margaritas on the brain!  I'm a "on the rocks" gal but these are irresistible.  Serve these unique versions at your next fiesta.

Beer 'Garitas

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I keep saying I'm going to try these and haven't yet...have you?

Prep: 5 min. For a bolder flavor, use a dark beer. Serve in 16-oz. mason jars for fun.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1  cup  frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1  cup  tequila
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • 1/2  to 1 cup cold beer

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate for Limeade, José Cuervo Especial tequila, and Triple Sec for orange liqueur

Scarlet Margaritas

Scarlet-margaritas-sl-1731428-l 

This is the prettiest color!

Prep: 10 min. If pomegranates are not available, no problem. This drink is just as delicious without the fresh seeds.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

  • 4  cups  crushed ice
  • 1  cup  pomegranate juice
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • 1/2  cup  tequila
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 4  tablespoons  pomegranate seeds (1/2 fresh pomegranate) (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Garnish: lime slices

1. Process first 5 ingredients, and, if desired, pomegranate seeds in a blender 30 seconds or until frothy.

2. Rub rims of 6 glasses with lime wedges; dip in salt to coat. Pour margarita evenly into prepared glasses. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Blue Margaritas

Blue-margaritas-l 

Look at that frosty pitcher-ice cold!

For an even coating around the rim of each glass, dip first in lime juice and then salt.

Makes 5 cups     

1  (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix

  • 3/4  cup  tequila
  • 1/4  cup  blue curaçao liqueur
  • 2  tablespoons  lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to 5-cup level, and process until smooth. Serve immediately

    Come back soon for our Cinco de Mayo/Fiesta menu ideas!  I guess it can't be all about the cocktails ;)

    (images from southernliving.com)


    Surprising Mojitos

    Here is another treat to serve at your Cinco de Mayo or fiesta celebrations!  It sounds so refreshing. I can't wait to try it!

    Jello Mojito Granita

    JELL-O_Mojito_Granita 

    Prep Time:
    20 min
    Total Time:
    3 hr 20 min
    Makes:
    6 servings
     
    Ingredients:
     
    1 cup boiling water
    1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
    3/4 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage
    1/4 cup  rum or water
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
    2 Tbsp.  lime juice
     
    STIR boiling water into gelatin mix in medium bowl 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.

    POUR into 9-inch square pan. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

    SPOON frozen gelatin mixture into large bowl. Beat with mixer on high speed until smooth. Store leftovers in airtight container in freezer.

    (photo from kraftfoods.com)