Monday, March 1, 2010

An 18th b-day calls for a Southwestern Fiesta!

Well considering Mister Winter spoiled my daughters 18th birthday not only once but twice with the largest blizzards that the Washington Metropolitan Area has seen since the early 1900’s… I was determined to have a celebration with her and whoever could get over to our home to help celebrate.

Taco’s with all the fixins
Mexican Lasagna
Southwestern Corn Bread
5 layer dip
Southwestern Salad
Orzo salad
Large Garden Salad

Birthday cupcakes
Fruit Salad with homemade whip cream (yummy!)
Birthday girl’s favorite dessert: Key Lime Tartlets

As usual I made enough food for an army! But the most popular items were the Mexican Lasagna and the Key Lime Tartlet’s so I’m going to share them with you!

Rachel Ray’s Mexican Lasagna

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 pounds ground chicken breast, available in the packaged meats case (I used 1 pound ground turkey and 1 package of Morningstar Crumbles)
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1/2 red onion, chopped
• 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
• 1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup frozen corn kernels
• Salt
• 8 (8 inch) spinach flour tortillas, available on dairy aisle of market
• 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack
• 2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - twice around the pan. Add chicken and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

Coat a shallow baking dish with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil. Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve

Emeri’s Key Lime Tartlets

• 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
*I didn’t make this as a pie but rather individual servings by using premade tart shells that I got from the food store.
• 2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
• 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
• 2 whole eggs

*Emril uses a sour cream/powder sugar topping and I chose to make homemade whip cream which my daughter loves.

• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
*To make the shell which I didn’t-In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the tartlet shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

While that is chilling in the refrigerator take the heavy cream and beat it for about 5 minutes add the sugar and vanilla while beating.

Spoon a small dab onto each tartlet and garnish with a ¼ slice of lime and a raspberry.

These are so tasty you can just pop them in your mouth! Yum!! Let me know if you try either of these!
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  1. I am following from MBC

    {FMC Group}

    You can find me here~

  2. Mmm...that's my kinda party! Love mexican food. Coming over from MBC, and following you here with both of mine. Love your blog!

    Tree aka Mother of Pearl


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