Today is the first day of #HotSummerEats, a blogging event headed up by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. To kick off the week I went in a Mexican direction – it is Mexican Monday after all!
My favorite thing about summer produce is the fresh corn on the cob. I pretty much only make it one way but have always been intrigued by the Mexican Corn on the Cob you see from street vendors. But I imagine it to be super messy. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of plays on this favorite snack by taking the corn off the cob and turning it into a side dish. I jumped on the bandwagon and I’m so glad I did! We loved this corn salad and used in on tostadas and in tacos.
To add a little punch of flavor to the salad I used the spice blend Island Thyme from Caribeque. To say we like this blend would be a big understatement. Twice now I have sprinkled it on pork chops for a quick weeknight dinner, even serving it to guests who enjoyed it as much as we did. I’ve even used it compensate for taco seasoning when I’d used up the last of my supply and needed a couple tablespoons more. My little man liked the corn salad (he picked out the corn and wouldn’t touch the Feta) and he’s gobbled up the pork seasoned with Island Thyme, too!
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more summertime recipes today:
Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds, Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Chef for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation. All opinions are my own.
I know it’s a little “late” to be sharing a slew of Mexican recipes but rarely does anyone ever eat Mexican food ONLY on Cinco de Mayo! Besides, it’s Mexican Monday!
On May 5th my friends and I had a Cinco de Mayo potluck. As can be expected, our fiesta theme brought everyone out of the wood-works and we had a great turnout and more importantly amazing food!
The day before the party my friend came over to help me make these Papel Picado Banners to put on the bar below the food. I think it really added some holiday flair to the place. And it was fun to be crafting something. Thankfully both of our babies napped at the same time and we were able to tackle this project quickly.
Taco Fiesta Dip: 16 oz cream cheese, 1/2 C mayo, 4 tbsp taco seasoning, 2 bell peppers (diced), 14.5 oz can corn (drained), 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed), 3/4 C salsa, 1 bunch scallions (diced)
Avocado and Black Bean Salsa: 4 avocados (diced), 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed), 6 oz can black olives (drained), 2 C corn, 1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped), 1/3 C EVOO, 1/4 C lemon juice, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 clove garlic (minced), S+P
Spicy Black Bean and Corn Salsa: 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 C corn, 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1/4 C chopped scallions, 1/4 C diced red onion, 1/3 C lime juice, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp cumin, S+P – chill. Add 1/2 C chopped tomatoes before serving.
Mango Guacamole: 3 avocados (mashed), juice of 2-3 limes, 1/4 C minced cilantro, 2 tbsp minced red onion, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1 mango (diced), 1 habanero pepper (seeds removed and diced), 1/4 bell pepper (diced)
I brought my baby baked beef burritos to the party, which ended up being a perfect potluck food. I doubled the recipe, accidentally quadrupling the amount of black beans, to yield 33 burritos. (I left 3 of them for Stuart) I was able to make the beef mixture while the little man was taking a nap and while he was playing happily at my feet with the tupperware cabinet I rolled up the burritos. I then baked them in two batches (because my oven is small) right before leaving the house. I put foil between each layer of burritos to keep them warm. (I felt like a caterer!) Stuart had to stay at work late that night so I brought my son to the party until he could be picked up. I let him try all of the food off my plate and he ended up eating the filling of three burritos! (I took 8 of them home with me when the party was over and we both enjoyed them for lunch the next day, too.)
Next month we’ll celebrate summer with a BBQ themed potluck!
When we moved to Ohio my neighbor told me about a group of gals who get together once a month for a potluck. As soon as we were settled in I knew I had to go with her to one of these events. And I’m so glad I did – I’ve made many friends through this group and there’s always someone new to meet.
The person who organized this club moved at the end of March and I have since taken over the organization. We always host the event at one of the neighborhood clubhouses so all I have to do is bring the collection of plates, cups, and bowls and make sure the clubhouse is cleaned up when we’re done. But the fun part is getting to be the one to pick the theme for the month’s potluck!
For April we did Spring. We had such a vibrant and colorful display of food. Here are just some of the recipes from the night:
Mango Black Bean Salad: 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 mangoes (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1 bunch scallions (sliced), 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1 jalapeno (minced), 1/2 C red wine vinegar, zest and juice 1 orange, zest and juice 1 lime.
Creamy Cucumber Salad: 1 cucumber (thinly sliced), 1 tsp salt – laid flat and then patted dry after an hour. 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tsp chopped dill, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar – combine and refrigerate for an hour before tossing with prepared cucumber slices.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad: 4 C baby spinach, 1 pint strawberries (sliced), 1/2 oz sliced almonds – for the salad. 1/4 C sugar, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 C red wine vinegar, 1/2 C EVOO – for the dressing.
Fruit Salsa: 32 oz strawberries (diced), 8 oz raspberries, 3 kiwis (chopped), 1 golden apple (diced), 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fruit jelly.
Lemon Squares: 2 C flour, 1 C butter, 1/2 C powdered sugar – whisked and pressed in 9×13″ pan, 20 minutes @ 325deg. 4 eggs, 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 C sugar – place on crust, 20 minutes @ 325deg.
I was caught up in making sure I had everything needed for hosting my first potluck that I forgot my camera! A big thank you to my friend Emily for remembering to take some pictures. So, I’d like to give her a little shout out – Emily is a very talented crafter and has started her own blog, Emmy’s Crafty Corner! Please go check it out, I promise you you’ll find something unique!
Next week we’re throwing a Cinco de Mayo party – and I couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned next time for a round up of Mexican favorites, even if it’ll be after the holiday.
After we found out we’d be moving to Ohio I started to do some Facebook research on the spouse group connected to my husband’s organization here. I was excited to discover that there were multiple clubs and plenty of opportunities to get to know people.
One of the groups is the Recipe Club. You can imagine that I was excited for this one! It took five months before I could fit this extracurricular activity into my new mom schedule. I could have gone in December and was prepared to bring Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad but I came down with a winter fever the night before.
Last week I was not only able to attend, but the theme of the night of “New Recipes” (something you’ve never tried before) fit in perfectly with a food blogger’s normal kitchen routine. The meatballs I was even planning to make could easily be adjusted to feed more and bring to the potluck-style event. Don’t worry, I did hold a few back for Stuart.
If you bring these to a party you can make them a but smaller than I did (or not!) and provide marinara for dipping. If you have these for dinner just whip up a quick batch of pasta! The leftovers can easily be made into an epic sandwich, too.
Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
20 cubes mozzarella, from approximately 4 oz
3 tbsp olive oil
In a large bowl, use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine the ground turkey with garlic, eggs, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and S+P.
Form balls from 1 tbsp of the meat mixture. Place a cube of cheese into the ball, grab a little more of the meat mixture and seal it up. Repeat until all the meat is used up – I got 20 golfball sized meatballs.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs 2 minutes on each side. (I had to do this in two batches of 10.)
Bake meatballs in a lightly greased casserole dish for 10-13 minutes, or until cooked through.
I love the Secret Recipe Club so much that when the opportunity presented itself to help someone out in Group B’s reveal day I jumped on it! There are four groups in the Secret Recipe Club. We each post on a different Monday. As I am a member of group D, my reveal day is the fourth Monday of every month. As you can tell, group B posts on the second Monday of the month. Today!
My assigned blog for this “bonus” posting is Flavors by Four, a mother daughter blogging team. I started searching through their blog and found over ten things that piqued my interest. They have a wonderful selection of appetizers which is perfect now that the holiday party season is fast approaching. If you like stuffed mushrooms I encourage you to head on over to their blog, they have a multitude of recipes to choose from including French Onion Soup and Spinach Artichoke. With American Thanksgiving on the horizon I was tempted to pick their Orange Cranberry Bread and Mini Gobbler Pies are a fantastic idea for leftovers! I’m actually making their Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes tomorrow night.
I ultimately settled on Nicole’s Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad. Frozen grapes are my favorite healthy dessert and we are on a grape kick right now. I also really like broccoli but never seem to buy it. I knew that this pasta salad would be great for me to have in the fridge as a quick lunch during the week. With a four month old I never know when I’ll be able to eat and this pasta salad sounded like a great alternative to my bagel. Of course, this would be a perfect dish to take to a potluck!
Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad
6 strips cooked center cut bacon, chopped
1/2 lb pasta, cooked and drained
2 heaping cups halved grapes
4 C broccoli florets
2 heaping tbsp finely diced red onion
1 C mayonnaise
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1/8 C sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
In a large bowl toss together cooked bacon, cooked pasta, grapes, broccoli, and red onion.
In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Toss pasta salad in dressing and chill in the refrigerator over night.
*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://flavorsbyfour.blogspot.com/2013/09/broccoli-grape-pasta-salad.html *
To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:
Every Sunday after July 4th weekend my Dad’s family has a reunion picnic. Today is the 15th Annual Dominican Picnic in Chicago. Even after we moved to Florida we did our best to make it back up there to see all of our family. It would always be a two week vacation, split between Busia’s summer home in Lake Geneva, WI. As we got older and our schedules became more hectic, our Illinois-Wisconsin vacations got shorter and skipped a few years. Unfortunately, this year I am not up there – instead I’m battling this never-ending rain in the FL panhandle.
Last year I was very excited to bring my husband to Lake Geneva and Chicago. Lake Geneva is my favorite place to be and I was glad I could share a piece of my childhood with him – and better yet, he enjoyed it too! I also immersed him into my gigantic family at our reunion. Luckily he’s very outgoing! He spent about 45 minutes helping my uncle set up the volleyball net (why it took them that long I still don’t know!) and he taught cousins how to play Ultimate Frisbee. Give him a sport to play, and he’s happy!
We assign potluck dishes by letter of your last name – Mom (S) was a salad and I (E) was a fruit/vegetable. I bent the rules slightly and combined our assignments into a tailgating favorite of Corn and Black-Eyed Peas Dip. I can’t remember where I first got the recipe, but it’s become one of my go-to party dips over the past couple years. It’s super simple and nice and light for a hot day.
Corn and Black-Eyed Peas Dip
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 cans sweet corn, drained
1-2 pts cherry tomatoes, quartered
2-3 avocados, diced
1/4-1/2 red onion, diced
2 bottles zesty Italian dressing
In a large bowl combine all veggies. Squeeze lime over top to keep avocado from browning. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add in dressing and mix to combine.
Tostitos Whole Grain Scoops are the best complimentary chip for this dip.
You can adjust the amount of avocado and tomato so suit your preferences, but they do make the dip beautiful! I’ve also tried the recipe using thawed frozen corn because I always have it in on hand, but I’ve found the canned corn works better.