I don’t even know where to start. Over the last few weeks of my untimely disappearance, I wish I could tell you I was kidnapped by a bunch of extremely handsome hunks, (much like my favorite in the Ralph Lauren ad) and taken to a desert island with white sand beaches where I was waited on hand and foot, given countless back and foot massages, and entertained quite lavishly. Alas, that was not the case. Instead I have been a caterer, mother, hostess, wife, driver,baker, dishwasher, cook, grocery shopper, photographer, gift buyer, gardener, flower arranger, maid and poop picker upper. No; not in any particular order. My mind is too discombobulated to try that!
In the last several weeks that no one has missed me (SOBS!!!!), my faithful daughter flew home to help me give a bridal shower for her best friend. This best friend is the one that lived across the street, in the cute yellow house, that was almost Zoe’s second home. Many good memories were created in the last 25 years between our two families, so it was with pleasure that we were able to honor Whitney, as the guest of honor.
This quickly went from a California Dreamin’ shower to became a Mexican themed shower, but the wedding is being held in Costa Rica in January, which is close to Mexico and California, right? (Needless to say I am now on the Costa Rican beach diet that began with me throwing out all unhealthy food from my refrigerator. But back to the shower.) Thanks to Pinterest and such, Zoe had a particular way that she wanted this shower to be.
Let me just say this. It was a fun shower, but I was the one in the kitchen. I was the caterer and only a hostess for a few moments, until I was also told to take photos. They had margaritas. I had a hot pad. I wanted a taco BAR. She wanted passed taco baskets already made up;”like in a restaurant, Mom.” And she wanted two types of tacos which meant making 24 individual tacos and 12 Corn in a Cups. She wanted chips in little baskets with individual cups of guacamole. And Queso! AND this was all for happy hour. Well. They were happy. Especially when it got to be pinata time and they found it was filled with more cute little bottles of alcohol, lace panties and socks, and even candy!
I haven’t even mentioned dessert. Nor have I told you that to achieve this feat of showerdom, we needed to find little cardboard tubs to hold the chips in. This was the hardest feat of all until I ran into my blogger friend Karen, who said just go to 5 Guys and get the peanut baskets that are by the front door. Thanks 5 Guys and thanks Karen. We only spent 2 days looking at numerous places to figure that out. And I didn’t even tell you about special ordering the tiny corn and flour tortillas to make the tiny tacos, because the tortillas in the grocery store were too big. Well; the princess thought so. So Raquelitas, located downtown with no name on the door, was willing to provide. Yes; I did have to buy 5 dozen tortillas each. I think I need to open a retail establishment that specializes in tiny tortillas like they serve in restaurants. I would sell them in cardboard tubs.
Behold the menu. (My mind is still fuzzy, but I think this was it.)
I wish I had photos of the tacos in their cute little baskets with the shot glass of corn in the cup. I wish I had a photo of me sipping a margarita. I wish I had a photo of me watching Whitney open her presents. (It was a bar shower.) But I did get photos of the beautiful girls. The happy, young girls. The possibly tipsy girls…
And before you know it Zoe headed back to Philly. We were both sufficiently exhausted and Zoe had plenty of time to fall in love with Geordie.
I must say we made a pretty good team, but next time I hope she reminds me to hire someone to help out. What was I thinking? In my downtime I’m getting ready for the annual RV arrival and trying to find the true meaning of summer. The folly is coming along and Geordie is growing. My last post was number 300 and I never ever thought I would be doing anything for this long. Well. I guess This is How I Cook!
Tacos or Nachos Al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa
Adapted from: Whitney Bond (Hers is a slow cooker recipe)
Serves: About 25 tacos or more
Time To make: About 20 minutes to prepare/About 4 hours to cook
5.5 lbs of boneless pork tenderloin
3 t kosher salt
2 t oregano
3 t cumin
2 t coarsely ground black pepper
6 t chili powder or I used 3 t ancho chile powder and 3 t chipotle chile powder
1 7 oz can chipotles in adobo
4 c of fresh pineapple, diced
1 c chopped red onion
8 cloves of garlic
4 T fresh lime juice
2 T apple cider vinegar
1-2 12 oz bottles of Mexican beer
Combine salt, oregano, cumin, pepper and chili powders in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into the tenderloins and place in a Dutch oven.
In a food processor place 1 can of chipotles, diced pineapple, red onion, garlic, lime juice and vinegar. Process until smooth. Pour this mixture over tenderloin. Now pour the beer over the top. As long as the tenderloin is covered, you have enough beer. Drink the other one.
Over medium heat, bring mixture to a low boil. Turn temperature down to low and simmer for about 4 hours or until pork can be easily shredded. I let it cool in its juices and then use two forks to shred it. For tacos and nachos you want the mixture dry, so I drain it very well. For other purposes you may want to save some of the liquid and reheat it together.
Makes enough for about 12 tacos and 1 batch of nachos.
Time to make: About 15 minutes
1/2 of a pineapple, chopped into fairly small pieces
1/2 of a small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 pinch of salt or to taste
1 tomato chopped
Mix together and put a spoonful on each taco or sprinkle over nachos.
Chipotle Drizzle Sauce (Perfect for tacos and nachos and even sandwiches!)
Time to Make: About 5 minutes
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/3 c sour cream or Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 of lime
1/2-1 t of chipotle or ancho chile powder
I mix this up in a bowl and then put it in a squeeze jar. If you need it thinner add more lime juice or some milk or heavy cream to thin it. Feel free to drizzle to your heart’s content!
To assemble tacos:
Take one corn or flour tortilla and top with a few spoonfuls of drained pork. Top with some shredded cabbage and then some salsa and cheese if you like. Drizzle some sauce on top. Keep the portions dainty as it is much easier to eat tacos this way!
I kept this simple. Arrange 1 bag of tortilla chips in a cast iron pan. I stand them up like rose petals and then place the meat and about 2 c of jalapeno jack cheese between the “petals” and on top. Bake at 425 until cheese is melted and chips are crisp. Top with pineapple salsa, extra chopped cilantro and drizzle some sauce. I use a spatula to get these out of the skillet and serve them on plates with forks!