July 15, 2011

Summer Party

by Marjan

Summer is here! Time to bask in the warm sun, looking up at the crisp blue sky, and dip in and out of my pool at our San Diego home.

Lazy summer days are best enjoyed with friends while lavishing our palate with all the flavorful fruits and vegetables from our summer garden. I don’t like to spend much time cooking over a hot stove. Therefore, to entertain guests at my house, I take advantage of easy recipes and supply most of my ingredients from our garden.

Nothing expresses a fiesta better than a Taco Party! Can you taste tangy tomatoes and lime, crisp tortillas, grilled juicy steak, and of course, tequila?

Appetizers: In advance to your party, make some of our recipes we previously posted in our snacks and appetizers section; which include tomatillo salsa and guacamole recipes. The flavors of freshly prepared vegetables cannot be matched by any jar or canned salsa or guacamole. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!





Meat: The smell of charcoal and grilled meats completes all summer senses. The night before your party, marinade your favorite slab of meat (steak, chicken, pork) in some lime juice and zest, chopped fresh cilantro, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. You can also grill shrimp using my recipe for drunken skewered shrimp. Or try Shirl's skirt steak recipe.

Condiments: The day of your party wash, rinse and chop tangy tomatoes, crispy lettuce, purple onion, jalapenos, and cilantro. Arrange these ingredients in individual dishes making it easy for your guests to help themselves create their own unique tacos. Mexican crème (or sour cream if your grocer does not carry it), shredded Mexican cheese (or shredded cheddar cheese), and your favorite hot sauce (such as Chipotle or Tabasco) are excellent condiments to accompany the freshly chopped ingredients.

Side Dishes: Spanish rice and refried beans. Confession time: my dear friends, I know you would assume that all the meals I would love to serve you come entirely from my garden or that I prepare from scratch. But here is the hard truth: I serve my refried beans from a can! Yes, I know…I am ashamed! There is always room for improvement! Spanish rice can be made with regular rice grains. Follow packaging instructions and add tomato sauce, ground cumin and coriander, salt, onion and garlic powder to taste.

Once the meat is grilled, conveniently chop meat into bite size portions for your guests to place on warm taco shells or soft tortilla bread before serving.

Can you already picture in your mind: bright warm summer day, in the yard the smell of grilled meat stirs your appetite; colorful plates and napkins; beautifully decorative chopped vegetables such as red tomatoes, purple onions, and spicy green jalapenos; vibrant and flavorful salsas; soothing Mexican crème and cheese; crispy taco shells and tortilla chips; the comfort of rice and beans to bring everything together? Frosty cool pitchers of Anja’s recipes for coconut-lime drink and driver’s mojito are sure to tantalize your palate. Warm summer breeze, good friends, and easy to prepare meals: That’s a savorychick’s party! When is your next party?

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