Guacamole atop tortilla chips

South of the Border Cuisine for Cinco de Mayo

Delicious Mexican cuisine helps make any meal feel like a fiesta. This week, however, we are focusing on a specific cause to celebrate --- the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, 1862, Mexican soldiers won a pivotal battle and they’ve been honoring the day ever since. Bring flavors from south of the border into your own home with this week’s three recipes. Tyler’s Guacamole is a perfect example of a healthy food that tastes decadent. Tyler has spent years perfecting his cooking skills and enjoyed countless trips to Mexico to taste authentic cuisine. This now benefits you since he’s generously sharing his avocado secrets. You may double-check your kitchen for a gourmet chef after making my Fiesta Enchiladas. The recipe is inspired by traditional Mexican enchiladas, but with a bit of American convenience. You can make six large or 12 small enchiladas, but keep in mind that this dish is so delicious you might want to accommodate guests wanting second servings. Balance out the tangy and spicy flavors of the previous two dishes with the rich sweetness of Mexican Hot Cocoa. The Aztec and Mayan chocolate included spicy peppers to balance the flavors. Traditionally, the cocoa and other ingredients are used to create a paste, but my recipe has everything warming up on the stovetop with the milk included. It smells so good and offers instant gratification! I lost count of the number of tortilla chips I ate in the process of developing and testing these recipes, but my hips have not. Celebrate Mexican cuisine every day with these sweet, spicy south of the border treats.
Strawberry Salad | EvinOK

So Berry Good! Strawberry Adventures in Your Kitchen

Today marks the start of the 64th Annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival. So, when you are not having strawberry adventures on “Strawberry Lane” you can have them in your very own kitchen. After all, the festival only lasts for five sweet days, but the berries can be enjoyed for much longer. Conor (my fiancé) and I grow strawberries in our garden, which makes us choosy about how we use our berries. Provided, we grow two different kinds so some are small and others are like those in the grocery market. The smaller ones don’t lend as much visual punch to recipes, but work well if you use enough of them. The three recipes for this week have larger berries in mind. Each of these recipes is a good addition to any dinner, but they also transport well so spoil yourself and include them in your brown bag lunch next time you need something fun in the middle of the work day. Maureen’s Strawberry Green Salad has the unique distinction of being as quick to prepare as it is to devour. It brings new simplicity to making your own fresh salad dressing. You can almost picture high tea when you taste the Creamy Strawberry Pecan Spread on a warm biscuit. This recipe also works with frozen strawberries in a pinch. I couldn’t be happier with the Mascarpone & Strawberry Tart. This recipe is the result of my desire to combine the delicate texture of a tart with the comforting nature of pie. The result is perfection – or so Conor exclaimed after tasting a bite. I hope that you agree when you try these recipes when you have your own strawberry adventure.
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(Friends + Food) – Furniture = Picnic!

Picnic season is upon us! In my mind it is always a good time for a picnic. You can spread out in front of your hearth on a snow day or dine on an enclosed porch on a rainy day, but I know we all love when the weather cooperates to make a picnic outing possible. I adore picnicking! To me, it is all about setting aside distractions (TV, phone, daily life) and enjoying the company of good friends, while eating delicious food and appreciating being outside. I look for excuses to turn a normal outing into a picnic feast, whether it be an afternoon fishing or a morning at the beach. Though, there are still traditional picnic moments. For the past seven years, I gather with a group of friends for at least one evening of al fresco dining. It is amazing how so many things can change in our lives over the years, but every picnic dinner has the same memories of relaxation and fun.
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Super Bowl Dips That Make Everyone a Winner

This weekend marks the 39th Superbowl game. The groundhog may have been able to predict the weather, but no one can predict who will win the match on Sunday. To pay homage to the New England Patriots and to the Philadelphia Eagles, I thought it would be fitting for this column’s premiere to focus on Superbowl food! These recipes are easy to prepare and ideal for eating while you and your friends are watching the football game. There are two slightly spicy dishes and one dessert, for a sweet finish no matter who wins the game. The Jalapeño Poppers are green and white for the Eagles. The Cheese and Salsa Dip is served with red and blue tortilla chips for the Patriots. The Chocolate Icebox Pie is a delicious blend of flavors that cheers for both teams. All three dishes can be prepared partially in advance, with minimal work on game day.