Una Fiesta Para Jennifer

My new friend Jennifer turned 32 today. She wanted a Mexican-themed party so my other friends and I made our menu and did the best we could. When Jennifer and her sister arrived, we took Jennifer out to get her pampering on! She got a really nice French pedicure. Then they came to my house for a little lunch. Or maybe I should say a lot of lunch. We couldn't even eat it all.

The dining room table was decorated with these Fiesta garland lanterns. We had "Happy Birthday" banners up too. A multi-colored piñata hung from between the drapes as well. On the buffet, there was a display of a sombrero, a maraca (I don't know why I didn't buy two!), and a Mexican Donald Duck that I purchased on our Epcot trip a few years ago.

The food was buffet style. All the ladies made their own salads: spinach, Iceberg lettuce mix, cucumbers, red onions, bacon bits, and croutons were the choices. Notice we didn't have any tomatoes! The Salmonella scare is enough for us to just say, "No!" After that course, our guests could choose chicken enchiladas or beef soft tacos, El Salvadorian style rice (I'll list the recipe below), and black beans. Our drink was an agua fresca - mango flavored. And for those who could stand dessert, cherry cheesecake.

I always eat extremely slowly so that makes me eat a lot less than everybody else. But I still feel like I need a do-over. I need to do my Day 1 jog plan over!!! I'm just glad this was a lunch and not a dinner. If it was dinner, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep with all that stuff in my tummy. :-) Well, we did have a really great time and that's what matters on someone's birthday!

El Salvadorian Rice (courtesy of my friend Carolina)
  • parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben's)
  • diced red onion
  • diced carrots
  • minced clove of garlic
  • diced bell pepper (I used red bell pepper; Next time I'll use red and green)
  • chopped, fresh cilantro
  • can of chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon
  • Sauté the vegetables (not the garlic) in a little margarine or olive oil then add the garlic and continue to sauté
  • Pour the rice in the vegetable mixture and continue to sauté until the rice is translucent
  • Add a can of reduced-sodium chicken broth to the rice mixture
  • Add the cilantro
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until done

I didn't put any measurements because it really depends on how much you want. This dish is not spicy. It's very much like confetti rice. However, you can make it spicy by adding some diced jalapeño peppers in it. Again, the Salmonella has attacked the peppers too so I opted to leave those out.


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