Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hosting summer parties

I have a bunch of recipes that I love, some I love more than others but during the summer when I am asked to bring a side, there is a good chance that I will bring one of these sides.  If I am hosting, there will be at least one of these dishes.  Easy, fun and always a huge hit.  Some are recipes that I have tweaked from others and some are recipes given to me.

In my family, we have appetizers.  It can be a huge Thanksgiving meal and we will still have appetizers.  A family bar-b-que is definitely no exception.


2-3 ripe avocados, smashed to the smoothest consistency you can get/want
2 diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion-diced
1/4 - 1/2 fresh cilantro bunch, cut or torn up
Juice or 1 lime
A tablespoon scoop of salsa (helps with consistency)
I use 1 Tbsp Penzey's Southwest Seasoning or you can use salt and pepper to taste

Tomato/mozzarella/basil salad:

Here's the side:

I apologize for this recipe, I don't really measure any of it.
1-2 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup bite sized mozzarella cubes.  I go to the deli counter and ask for 2-3 slices of cheese cut in 1/2" slices then I cut it up from there.
7-8 basil leaves torn up
a few Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a few Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste.
Diced onion (opt) I don't use this though.

Mix it all up and refrigerate overnight.  If it is still dry, add more oil and vinegar.


And of course the drink.

1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1 1/2 cups rum

1/2 cup white sugar
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1 cup orange juice

1.  Have the fruit, rum, wine, and orange juice well chilled. Slice the lemon, lime and orange into thin rounds and place in a large glass pitcher. Pour in the rum and sugar. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours to develop the flavors.
2.  When ready to serve, crush the fruit lightly with a wooden spoon and stir in the wine and orange juice. Adjust sweetness to taste.


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