I love to eat. It’s why I can’t ever seem to lose weight and keep it off. The holidays just give me an excuse to do what I love to do.
The 4th of July is no exception to this. The normal routine for most of us, is to get together with family, maybe swim, do a little boating, some skiing, but there is always food!
This year, we decided to mix it up a little. We’re still doing the family get together, but instead at my brother in law’s house around the pool. And we’re doing it Spanish Style. The food, the decorations, the music…everything. My son has even offered to wear the sombrero he brought back from his Mexico City Mission Trip and play the guitar while we eat.
Not that James knows how to play the guitar, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right?
From start to finish, our menu is Mexican, or food with a Spanish touch. We start off with the appetizers. We’re giving our guests a choice. You can choose your favorite, or make both~!
Easy Bean Dip
2 cans refried beans
8 oz. jar Picante sauce
8 oz. cream cheese
1 package Taco Bell Taco Seasoning
1 small container sour cream
3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Mix all ingredients well; top with shredded cheddar cheese
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes
5 quarts tomatoes
2 jalepeno peppers
2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
2 medium onions
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1&1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. oregano
Chop tomatoes, peppers and onion up fine and put into large saucepan. Add rest of ingredients and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Be careful not to scorch.
Serve both of these with plenty of tortilla chips. But save some of the Salsa to go on top of your fajitas!
Years ago, when we were in college, our neighbors in the duplex where we lived were from deep in the heart of Mexico. Dinah gave me this recipe for meatball soup, and it has become a house favorite. It’s perfect to start off your Mexican Meal. I serve it with some nice Jalepeno cornbread!
Mexican Meatball Soup
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tbsp. chopped mint
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp salt
8 cups beef stock
1 cup tomato puree
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
chili powder to taste
Mix beef, pork, egg, mint, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and then form into small balls. Combine beef stock,tomato puree, onions, garlic and chili powder in large pot and bring to a boil. Add meatballs. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is, just typing these out. I can’t wait another two weeks to start cooking and tasting…and eating.
Your main course is where you’re going to wow them! This recipe makes only 8 fajitas, so you might want to double it…or triple it, depending on how many you invite, and how much food they can put away.
Monterey Chicken Fajitas
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup salsa
8-(8 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Heat Oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often. Add pepper and onion, cook until tender/crisp. Add soup and salsa and heat throughly. Spoon about one half cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Top with cheese and additional salsa if desired. Fold tortilla around filling.
My mother always told me to eat my veggies…but she never served me vegetables like this. I wouldn’t have had any trouble whatsoever minding her, if she had!
This is the perfect compliment for the fajitas. Touch of sweetness from the corn, touch of creamy goodness from the chees, and then a bit of spice from the jalepenos.
Hot Corn Casserole
4 cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 oz. cream cheese
3 small jalepeno peppers, chopped
Place all ingredients into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove and stir, then heat again for 3 minutes.
And what’s a meal without dessert? Certainly not my 4th of July Picnic! Because we’re having:
1 cup milk
1 tsp soda
4 tbsp. White Corn Syrup
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pecans
Mix all ingredients together in saucepan except vanilla. Cook until soft ball stage. Cool slightly, then add vanilla and beat until creamy. Pour onto buttered platter. Cool and cut into squares.