I took the day off this past Sunday from blogging our dinner menu in order to spend a wonderful Mother's day with my family, but I didn't take the day off from cooking. It was a delicious dinner that ended with this dessert that conjured up memories of my childhood and my own mother.
One of mom's desserts that was always well received consisted of a bowl of fresh summer strawberries, a bowl of sour cream, and a third bowl of light brown sugar. Pulling back the foliage and holding the stem end of the berries, we would dip the whole berry into the sour cream, then roll it into the brown sugar. Mmmm... I'm sure many of you know just what I'm talking about.
Now take that idea and put a little elbow grease into the concept and you have this dinner finale (or afternoon hand held snack☺).
The original recipe hits the mark on flavor, but the form of stabilizer was lacking (trust me, I have tried it without out it; a.k.a cue the dogs to clean up the kitchen fail). I used cream of tartar along with the lemon juice to ensure a tall and fluffy cake.
A hearty, delicious, one pan dinner is a gift from on high. OK, maybe this skillet lasagna wasn't sent directly from the heavens, but on a busy weeknight, it kind of feels like it was. Sorry. I've just heard "Mom...where are my (fill in the blank) and don't forget to get (fill in the blank again)" one too many times already this week. You have lots of food groups and a ton of flavor in an easily prepared delivery system. And, yeah, everybody is gonna like it--even if there is spinach in it.
Serve it with a simple salad dressed with a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette and if you have time a loaf of garlic bread. But wait... speaking of time and the heavens, if you plan your weeknight meals ahead, a batch of homemade ricotta in this dish will really make the angels sing☺.
The original recipe only called for a few tablespoons of booze, but I didn't think the flavor of the cocktail came through as nicely with that amount. Knowing that the mixture would not freeze with too much alcohol, I decided to reduce the amount amount of alcohol by simmering it on the stove until I was left with just a couple of tablespoons. That left me with a concentrated flavor that would freeze to a soft-serve instead of a milkshake (ok, that's another idea). A little goes a long way with this puckery treat, so I like to serve it in mini glasses that are rimmed with lime juice and salt for a cocktail-like experience.
After sharing with you a meal fit for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, I thought I would share a few more recipes from the archives to round out your fiesta. From appetizers and snacks like guacamoles and salsas to main events like chicken tortilla soup (a hearty warm bowl for those of you who experienced a snow storm yesterday!?!) and chilaques, I think there is a little something for everyone. The one thing that you may notice missing from the line-up is something sweet to end the meal. I'll save that one for tomorrow☺.
El Cinco de Mayo has undeniably become a part of the American cycle of holiday celebrations. What is probably the second most important patriotic holiday in Mexico (Sept. 16 claims top billing I'm told) has claimed a spot at the table. This is thanks in no small part to Corona beer ads, but there are other reasons. May 5th falls right around Kentucky Derby day every year. It is also around the start of full-blown grilling season for many and happens to be my niece Catherine's birthday☺.
Grilled steak fajitas are perhaps the perfect choice for your weekend gathering. The smells emanating from the steak and the veggies will perk up the olfactory senses of everyone in the neighborhood. The colors of the poblanos, red peppers, and onions capture the colors of the Mexican flag perfectly for your eyes before they compliment the steak perfectly for your palate. Pile the veggies and steak on a platter with all the accompaniments and let your guests dig in. A bag of quality tortilla chips are optional, but they do help with the clean up of guacamole and salsa. A few cold cervezas will also help wash it all down☺.