Who here is ready for a vacation?! I know, I was in Miami last weekend…but I’m talking about a full week of sun, sand, and cervezas! Who’s with me?!
I know I tell you all the time how handy Ryan is…but I have to tell you again. That guy is NON-STOP. Last month he spent 2 full weekends painting our dining room and foyer. And…not just painting them…but painting stripes…on an 18ft ladder…twice…once in “tavern beige” and again with metallic silver. Fortunately or unfortunately, Bella and I were both sick, so I didn’t assist with my mad painting skills (haha). He did it by himself. Thank you, Ryan!!
Knowing that he was pretty worn out and sick of painting, I stepped in at his most vulnerable moment and said, “Buddy, I found a great deal on an all-inclusive trip to Riviera Maya. I think we should book it. You know, fly to Mexico, re-celebrate my 30th birthday since I was pregnant last year and just take.a.break.” For the first time in his life, he looked at me and said, “Yeah. Book it.” I’m not sure I have ever hustled back to my computer so quickly and clicked “Book Now”. I knew dang well I needed to get it done before he changed his mind…or felt the need to “do some more research”. I’m awful, right?! Nah…I’m just helpful.
Just a short time later, our friends Sean and Tiffany invited us over for dinner. We purchased a mini-keg of Oberon (one of Tiffany’s favorite beers) while she was pregnant with the intention that we’d share it after Ben’s birth. Now that Ben is nearly 5 months, we decided it was time. The menu for the night, Taco Bar! Perfect, I thought…I have been anticipating the flavors of Mexico and now I can whip up some “Mexican” appetizers to share! On the docket for that night, Smoked-Gouda-Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers & Chicken Taco Cups.
Smoked Gouda-Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers
Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson
- Serves: 24 jalapeno poppers
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1/2 pound smoked gouda, shredded
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 large jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and halved
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Brown chorizo in a skillet over medium-high heat, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, red onion, egg, cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Press into jalapeno halves and assemble on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Chicken Tacos Cups
Yield: 36 Taco Bites
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa, divided
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
- 36 wonton wrappers
- Sour cream, chopped green onions and chopped ripe olives, optional.
Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes or until juices run clear. Transfer chicken to a food processor; cover and process until chopped. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, half of the salsa and 1 cup cheese. (As an alternative to frying the chicken in cubes, bake full chicken breasts and shred. I prefer shredded chicken to “pureed”)
Press wonton wrappers into miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture into cups; top with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve warm. Garnish with sour cream, green onions and olives if desired. Yield: 3 dozen.
**Tips/Tricks – When placing the wonton wrappers into the minitature muffin cups, ensure that the “tops” of the wrappers stand firm upright so that they do not fold over onto the tin and blacken**
Sean described these treats as, “A Fiesta In My Mouth!” So, for your next fiesta, give them a try. They were easy to make and easy to eat!
Thank you, Tiffany & Sean, for a relaxing night!
Indulge. In Life. In Love. In Food.