Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mexican Fiesta

Thanks, Susan, for providing this opportunity to share ideas with each other. Be sure to visit Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch, for a beautiful treat! And many thanks to Gollum for Foodie Fridays. To both of you, I had problems this week with adding your links. Just know that I appreciate what you do for all of us bloggers.

"Mexican" Fiesta...

During our many years in Texas, the whole family developed a love for Tex-Mex foods... the spicier, the better!!! Our boys, in fact, loved the spicy flavor of Tobasco sauce so much that when we tried using it as punishment for nasty words, (thanks Dr. Dobson) they kept begging for more! We loved experimenting with salsas, marinades, and searching for the BEST enchilada recipe. We discovered some great recipes...
from native Texans, from transplanted Mexicans, and even from some of the New Yorkers brought to Plano by JCP.

Today we love to treat our friends to these wonderful flavors and foods and of course, we set the table to match the mood.

This weekend, we're having a "Mexican Fiesta" feast with friends. This fabulous dish for a crowd combines both classic and unusual toppings. You will find the recipe at the end of this post. We'll be serving up cold beer, Margaritas, and sweet tea (we're Southerners, after all!) as our beverages of choice. Come on over.... the more the merrier!

Remember when you were in elementary school and your class made tissue paper flowers for May Day or Mother's Day? That's what these flowers are. Just stack several sheets of tissue paper and begin folding, back and forth, like an accordion. Secure a pipe cleaner (chenille strips) to the center and begin unfolding, shaping as you go. VERY SIMPLE! These flowers are resting in blue bottles...part of my meager collection of bottles waiting for their final resting place as a "BLUE BOTTLE TREE". (Blue bottles are hard to find...especially if you are not a fan of Reilsing!)

Antique Cheese Box: gift from a TX friend
Serape and Sombrero: costume box (who knows where they're from)
Blue bottles: saving these for a bottle tree
Tissue Flowers: made from tissue paper (;-)
Peppers: Publix
Terra Cotta pots: garden shed (some natural, some painted with acrylic enamel paints)
Woven Plate Charger: Wal Mart
Green Glasses: hand-blown from Mexico - bought in Dallas
Red Plate: Ross
Patterned Plate: Home Goods
Flatware: who knows...had this for years
Chickens: The duo at the top of the page were carved by a Native American I met in the old market in Santa Fe, NM. The others are from Home Goods

It's time for a Mexican Feast! I hope you are hungry!!!
This taste extravaganza was first shared with me at a couples' Bible study. It's the ultimate "pot luck"! As the host, you provide the meat and rice... and a dessert. Ask each guest to bring 2-3 ingredients.

Mexican Fiesta

serves 12

3 cups raw White Rice (1 cup raw rice = 4 servings)
4-5 lbs. Ground Beef: browned, drained
2 jars thick, chunky salsa (for ground beef)
(I use Pace medium heat, and add extra crushed red pepper to taste; or 2 pkgs. taco seasoning)
3 cans Refried Beans
3 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
1-2 Onions, chopped
7-9 Tomatoes, chopped
1 head Iceberg Lettuce, shredded
2 cans Black Olives, chopped or sliced
I jar dry roasted Peanuts, chopped
1 bag Coconut, shredded
1 bag Fritos, crushed
1 1/2 pints Sour Cream
2 jars Salsa
(I either make my own or use Pace Picante or Thick and Chunky, Medium heat)
Lime wedges, 1-2 per person

Lay all the ingredients out, buffet style. Beginning with the rice, serve a little of each ingredient onto each plate. Be sure you add the foods in order. And encourage your guests to try a little of each ingredient (unless there is a food allergy). It's amazing how these tastes combine!!! Also warn your guests that the food really piles up...start small and come back if they want more.

A delicious and SIMPLE dessert with this meal is just a scoop of plain ol' Lime Sherbet over an assortment of melons. Serve with a praline or Pirolene cookie. Or perhaps you might like this oldie, but goodie...

Freezer Lime Pie

1 premade Graham Cracker Crust
1 large container Cool Whip, thawed
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 small can frozen Limeaid
Lime Juice (optional)
Limes, sliced (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the Cool Whip with the Sweetened Condensed Milk and the Limeaid. Add additional lime juiced to taste (if desired). Pour all ingredients into the graham cracker crust. Cover the pie and place in freezer for several hours. Before serving, let the pie sit for a couple of minutes. Garnish with sliced lime and a sprig of mint, if desired.
¡Tenga un fin de semana maravilloso!
(Have a wondeful weekend!)


Beansieleigh said...

"Hola" Jane!! LOVE your tablescape today! It is particularly inspiring to me, because I have a daughter who is a Spanish teacher, and I can think of a good number of occasions where a set up like this would be fabulous!.. So thank you! ~tina

Debbie Pearson said...

Love your sombrero for the centerpiece along with the tissue paper flowers. So festive!

Tricia said...

What a fun fiesta- great job. Neat idea with the candles on the little pots.

Fifi Flowers said...

Sounds like a YUMMY fiesta!!!

Maryrose said...

Ole - very fun and colorful. Food sounds delicious and the table looks just as delicious.
Thanks for sharing.

Eileen said...

This is so festive! You did a wonderful job! Everything looks great!
All the best,

Kathleen said...

Fun table! And yes, I remember those paper flowers! I made entirely too many of them in college to cover the floats!
Just read your bio..hope your St Aug dream comes true! I am very near the beach, but we get cold weather in the winter!

Tammy518 said...

I love your festive, colorful table, and the recipe sounds yummy too. Have fun at your party this weekend!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Love all the bright colors! The coconut in the recipe grabbed my eye, and interest! I'm trying to imagine it included in the recipe! Maybe I'll try it!

Great job!


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Fun tablescape! Love all your color - and these recipes sound wonderful! YUM!

Bill said...

Hi Jane,
It looks totally delighful! The colors are fantastic, and the menu sounds great!
That frozen lime pie would be the perfect cooling sweet/tart refresher after a hot 'n spicy meal!

Shellbelle said...

Looks like a fabulous festive fiesta! I love these kinds of gatherings and in today's economy, everyone pitching in is a great idea!

Thanks for visiting and following my blog, it led me to yours and I love finding fellow Floridian bloggers.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Jane, your table is an absolute delight. Your recipes sound terrific and are perfect for this type of gathering. I'm sure my invitation was lost in the mail. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Sharlotte said...

I love this table! I love the serape and sombrero...I had forgotten about tissue flowers, they are perfect for this theme! Everything is so colorful and warm. I'm sure you had a wonderful time at your fiesta! I

SouthernGal said...

Your table is so festive! That is a great idea for the food. Add what you like!

Christi @ A Southern Life

Connie said...

My husband will love the pie! Everything looks so pretty and festive!!

honeysuckle said...

This is certainly my kind of menu--I love Mexican food! I will have to try the buffet-style now. Sounds so good and the Lime pie afterward. My, I am hungry! Thanks for sharing.

Dana and Daisy said...

Ole! I was just thinking about those tissue flowers the other day and thought, ha, I should do that for a tablescape. Great minds I guess!

Your fiesta is lively and fun! I will try that freezer lime pie recipe for sure, it sounds easy peasy!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

It looks like such a charming and fun fiesta!! The food sounds amazing.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a fun and festive table. I love all the bright colors. Thanks for sharing the recipes.. definetly going on the list of recipes to try..
Hope you're having a great w/k.. hugs ~lynne~ said...

How I love Mexican food, you have made me crave it right now.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Good morning Jane, I loved your description of how it rains in your area. I've heard it does that. I know at times I can drive through driving rain and Boom out of it and in the dry and then Boom once again more rain. Mother Nature sure is a fickle kind of person isn't she? I hope you're having a beautiful day today..
hugs ~lynne~

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I love the Mexican table and the food looks delicious~ Great recipes and decor. Cindy

Lynn said...

Festive table! I can almost taste the mexican meal...and ready for a margarita! Believe I'll try the recipes too...frozen key lime pie...mmmmmmm!