Happy Summer! After all, it is Memorial Day Weekend…so, in my mind, it’s summer. Finally…
….which brings me a to a menu that I am so incredibly excited to share with you…finally…
Now, you are most likely wondering why I am being a bit repetitive with “finally”…
…that’s because suddenly one morning in late April, my website disappeared…literally…from the Internet. Entertaining is Easy was nowhere to be found. I emailed Angel, my website guru, who has gotten me out of every website disaster I created…&, I promise you, I have made every mistake possible…who replied, “You need to call the web hosting company. I bet their server is down.” Which I did. Their phones had been disconnected. Uh-oh.
By now, I think you have a good idea that things in the blogging world had gone awry for me.
Angel, as usual, came to the rescue. By that afternoon, he found & did the research on a great deal from GoDaddy for WordPress bloggers, of which I’m one, so one problem was solved. Unfortunately, the entire website would have to be moved via VaultPress as the old web hosting company was still MIA. The timing could not have been more awful as this was all happening when I had my entire Cinco de Mayo menu done & ready to write. Then, miraculously, a week later, the website reappeared…for about a day. All I had time to do was publish my table settings for Cinco de Mayo, as well as a few of the recipes I created. Since Angel said it was a matter of time before the website went down…AGAIN…we needed to move to GoDaddy while we could…which meant, I couldn’t work on the website while it was being moved…which meant…no Cinco de Mayo menu…
One of the things that I have learned with this whole blogging thing is this…if you’re a control freak, you will lose your mind. I am so not in control…at all. The only thing(s) in control are clouds & servers. It’s easier to just focus on the next menu. Thank goodness for GoDaddy…reputable business, good servers…even if I’m not in control, at least my website is present & working well.
So, over the last couple of weeks, I decided that I eventually would publish this menu…it would become a Summer Mexican Fiesta Menu! Seriously, who doesn’t love Mexican flavors during the hot Summer months with a cold beer or margarita? I could live off chips & salsa during the summer, couldn’t you?
Speaking of chips & salsa, let’s get started with the menu…for starters, I created 3 fun & easy appetizers for you…
…as is the Spring Pea Guacamole, also served in Calaisio…I was originally inspired by a blog on Food 52, & I decided to try fresh peas with avocado…the combination was YUMMY! Nutritious, light, a little sweet & very fresh.
Lastly, I decided a shrimp ceviche would be in order. Shrimp is in season, especially in North Carolina, & if you need some seafood this weekend, be sure to swing by The Shrimp Connection if you live in Mooresville, NC or in the Piedmont Triad. Landon has some of the BEST seafood I have ever tasted…his shrimp would be perfect in my Blood Orange Shrimp Ceviche recipe…yep, I cooked the shrimp in blood orange, lemon & lime juices…then, we tossed the shrimp with cucumber, radishes, peppadew peppers, scallions & cilantro. Serve the ceviche in margarita glasses with multicolored corn tortilla chips and you have a colorful presentation that no one can resist!
While we love to grill during the summer, sometimes it’s fun to just hang out & have dinner already already made. That’s where a slow cooker comes in handy. I can pop all my ingredients together, turn on “low” & hours later…after we’ve been at the pool all day…dinner is ready & I am not at all stressed about what time I am serving dinner to my guests. Skinny Slow Cooker Citrus Pork Tacos are the perfect summer recipe for stress-free entertaining. Use the Spring Pea Guacamole as a spread with the tacos…mix the Roasted Pineapple Avocado Salsa with the pork…the combination of the pork, guac & salsa are fantastic! If you’re looking for a good slow cooker, I highly recommend the All-Clad Slow Cooker. It has a cast-aluminum insert which allows you to sear your meat, then simply add the other ingredients & begin cooking…no extra mess…I love mine!
It’s great to have as much of a menu done ahead of time, especially in the summer when everyone wants to be outside, whether you’re at the pool, lake, beach, mountains, wherever! This pork taco recipe slow cooks while you’re having fun…this entire menu can be made ahead of time…the ceviche, though, should be prepared the day you plan to serve…& here’s your easy pearl for the ceviche…
Be sure to make a batch of Pickled Jalapeños to serve with the tacos…slice the jalapeños, place in a jar with sugar & apple cider vinegar…done. I like eating them right out of the jar!
Last summer, Émilie & I had dinner at The Port Hunter in Edgartown, MA…we tried their Elote as an appetizer…grilled corn slathered in a chive aioli & topped with cojita & smoked paprika. OMG. Émilie ate the entire appetizer…she loved it. If you have never had Elote, or Mexican Street Corn, you are in for a treat! In my recipe, I combine queso fresco with mascarpone, lime juice, chili powder, cumin & cilantro, then slather (I love that word!) grilled or roasted corn in this cheesy wonderfulness, & pop the corn in the oven for the cheese mixture to bake onto the corn & brown slightly. It doesn’t matter whether you grill or roast the corn…the Elote is delicious both ways. Serve the Mexican Street Corn with the Skinny Slow Cooker Pork Tacos for a great main course! Be sure to purchase the rustic turquiose melamine plates from Williams-Sonoma & the round placemats through a vendor who carries Calaisio…check-out Carolyn Todd’s…they will ship Calaisio directly to you!
For cocktails, I had to do something with rhubarb, since it’s my favorite Spring vegetable. I made Rhubarb Simple Syrup for Rhubarbaritas, which are really tasty! To cut down on calories in this cocktail, combine the Rhubarb Simple Syrup with Williams-Sonoma’s Skinny Key Lime Margarita Mix…yum.
Now…for dessert. Because it’s a Summer Mexican Fiesta Menu & I’m lazy when it comes to dessert, something frozen & store-bought has to be served…don’t you agree? However, we can take this “up a notch” & still keep entertaining easy…buy lemon or lime ice cream, sorbet, gelato or sherbet, then top it with fresh strawberries mixed with agave, lime, Cointreau & a splash of tequila…OLÉ! This is the perfect summer dessert…the Strawberry Margarita Dessert Topping is a little boozy, fresh & just enough for those needing a “sweet fix”! How great is that? It also would be delicious served over Key Lime Pound Cake if you’re feeling industrious!
Have a great holiday weekend! I hope you will try this entire Summer Mexican Fiesta Menu this weekend, or at least some of the recipes. I really think you will enjoy them…so, grab a pen…write your grocery list, & let me know what you think of the menu…cheers!
A Summer Mexican Fiesta Menu
Strawberry Margarita Dessert Topping
served over Lemon or Lime Ice Cream, Gelato or Sorbet
September 6, 2015
August 29, 2015
August 21, 2015
August 7, 2015