Cinco de Mayo has come and gone and quite a feast was had. I ended up, surprisingly enough, sticking to the menu I had planned. I gave myself a $30 challenge to see if I could serve up a feast for 6 adults and 2 kids. I can’t remember the last time I mentally added up my shopping cart at the grocery store, but was really working the numbers this time. It took two different grocery stores to find a large enough chicken and ripe avocados, but I squeaked in at $29.94 (and I have the receipts to prove it!). I had been adding up the totals in my head, and knew I was close, but didn’t realize quite how close I was. Phew! Better still, there were enough leftovers for our dinner tonight too. So this little challenge could mean several things … 1) Cooking Mexican food is very budget-friendly (even with having to buy a bunch of produce, 2) Careful menu planning helps and lastly 3) It demonstrates the importance of having a well-stocked pantry.
Quite a few of the recipes I did were never-before-tried, and we definitely are adding a few more tried-and-trues to our cache. Of the new recipes:
Kahlua Flan. This is an Emeril recipe. I’ve never made flan before, but was surprised by how easy it was. The hardest part was watching to make sure the caramel didn’t cook too long or burn, since that goes quickly, but now that I know how easy it is to make, I’ll definitely be making this one again.
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. The Neighbors brought this one, and we changed up the recipe a bit, not ingredients but more so how it was served. Loved this one.
Mexican Roast Chicken. I had been debating between Chicken Chilaquiles or Chicken Enchiladas for the main course, when an e-mail from Lindsay Olives, of all places, arrived Friday morning. It had this recipe in it, and it is a winner, producing a moist, juicy and flavorful chicken that could not have been simpler to make.
Mexican Rice. Another winner. After having it, I asked The Husband what he thought and I got, “You made this?” He makes fun of me when I make rice, because he thinks he’s got me beat there, but this one was another keeper. Tender rice and subtle flavor, super simple to make.
Juicy Margaritas. The Neighbors made this one, and we went with a frozen version. A perfect accompaniment to the feast.
Nachos. The Newlywed Neighbors took care of this one. A huge platter that with ground beef, scallions, tomatoes, olives, sour cream and more, it could definitely make a meal by itself. A Rachael Ray recipe, it presented beautifully.
Green Chile Bites. A little too much heat for me, this was the only recipe that was an “eh,” in my opinion.
I think that takes care of the new recipes. We also had homemade guacamole with chips, salsa and Mexican Wedding Cookies. A nice, leisurely dinner that was great munchie food while watching movies. We watched The Guardian with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. Save your money.
All recipes will be posted tomorrow.
Now, Weekend Dog Blogging. This is #84, and I’m going to make it our final WDB roundup. I think we’ve had a fabulous run, and I’ve loved seeing all the pups over the past year and a half — thanks to everyone who has joined in throughout!
A year ago today… a fete for a Princess and meeting Ted Allen.
Two years ago today… another great menu; time to revist these brownies. It’s been ages since I made them.
The Sugar Mountain Farm pup enjoys gorgeous springtime weather:
Perfect Pup and Big Galoot stop by from Shrike and Whozat:
The foursome from Dispensing Happiness are already seeking the cool comfort of indoors. In order, Doolin, Wicklow, Donegal and Duke. Say THAT three times fast!
A slightly untraditional contribution from Up a Creek Without a PatL – so gorgeous!
Sophie from You Gonna Eat All That?” enjoys some surf and sun on a Florida vacay:
The pair, Max and Multy, from Peanut Butter Etouffee take a load off:
Morgan and Ginger from Mele Cotte join us for the first time (just in the nick of time!). Check out her site for even more cute pics.