Party Pico de Gallo

Price and I recently had a party at our place for my birthday. It was centered around a Mexican theme so I’ll be posting a few recipes from that that works well for a fiesta or just a great gathering. Enjoy!

Pico de Gallo is one of my favorite things to have on hand for topping on our dinners because it’s a great addition to chicken, steak, pork, or even a salad. But I really love to share at a party. Chips and dip are classic party foods and there is a great reason for it. They are filling, great finger foods, and can be centrally located on a coffee table while people are gathered around.

I much prefer poco de gallo over a jarred salsa. There is no comparison really. Pico de gallo has such a fresh, vibrant taste from all the fresh vegetables in the mix. The lime juice really helps all the flavors intensify as well. I feel that little home made touches like this really make a meal so much people. Also when you serve this to guests they notice the homemade touch.

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend this would be great to throw together for the big game, but really making a big batch works well for any sporting event or gathering, especially Cinco De Mayo. I suggest serving it with some tortilla chips, corn chips, pita chips, or celery at your next party.

Party Sized Pico de Gallo

Serves 20-25 people

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of Roma tomatoes
  • 2 large red onions
  • 4-6 cloves minced garlic
  • 5-6 jalapeños
  • large handful (approximately half a bunch) of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Dice both onions and put into a large bowl.
  2. Remove the tops of the tomatoes. Halve the tomatoes length wise, halve again. Remove the seeds by sliding you knife along the inner membrane. Cut the flesh into long strips and the run your knife through the strips for a small dice. Add tomatoes to the onions.
  3. Add the garlic.
  4. Mince the jalapeños by cutting off their tops, halving them, removing the seeds (optional), and running your knife along the pieces until they are uniformly small. Add to the mixture in the bowl.
  5. Take your fresh cilantro and evenly chop the pieces, stems included. Add to the mixture.
  6. Squeeze 2 limes over the mixture. Gently mix the pico de gallo.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Give another quick toss to incorporate.
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1.27-29: weekend recap

Drive to Greenwich with Em | Stopped at Rein’s New York Style Deli on the way | corned beef reuben | crashed at home | set alarm for Studio Calico release but slept through it! | slept in | food network morning marathon | shopping on Mill St in Byram | on sale Christmas finds | handmade knit, felted bag | Mexican brunch at Mary Ann’s | saw Contraband with Mom | relaxing while watching NY Ink | Indian food | pinteresting | up early | picked up goodies at The Kneaded Bread to bring over to Kris’ | hanging out with everyone over breakfast | pick up Emily to head back to MA | Sonic stop | drop Em off then head back to Newton | 2 second nap | food shopping | Tilapia for dinner | we watched DVR’d shows and the Pro Bowl while Pricer ironed | shower

 

 

 

Project Life 2012- Weeks 1-3

I had been hearing about Project Life all over the internet. I was not sure if I should do try to take that on this year. What does a 20-something who works on average 45 hours a week document? What does one who spends most of her time at work do? No kids to snap photos of. Don’t often travel.

But I had to stop thinking of the things I didn’t do and to think about all the things that I had the opportunity to snap pictures of and document. This is my 3rd year doing Project 365 so clearly I can take a photo every day (well, almost every day), so I decided to stretch myself a bit and dive into Project Life for 2012. I see plenty of Boston, I have interesting things going on at work, I go to fun events, I eat out at too many places… so many possibilities

I didn’t go with the typical Project Life path in that I didn’t buy a kit. While the Project Life kits are fantastic, I decided to just buy Photo Pocket Pages – Design FPhoto Pocket Pages – Design B, and Photo Pocket Pages – Design E. I was inspired by Kelly Purkey’s Project Life post she did for her first 2 weeks. It didn’t scream kit to me. I love how things match when they are all from the same release or from a kit but life it not all that matchy matchy so I skipped the cards that typically go in the page protectors. And so I dived right in!

Project Life Cover:

Week One:

Week Two:

Week Three:

It’s not too late to join! Or you can even hold off until your birthday and do a Project Life from birthday to birthday. Or you can start at the birth of a child. Or when you get married to document your first year of married life. Oh the possibilities!

The Boys LO- Studio Calico 12.25 Sunday Sketch

12.25.11 Sunday Sketch

I know that for most cases you should use the rule of 3 in photography and in design. In this case my only 3 were the boys in the picture! The page is divided in half but I think the fact that the photo is not centered helps this layout be so attractive and visually appealing.

I don’t typically stamp, which is strange since I have 150+ stamp sets from Stampin’ Up! and so many from Studio Calico. Plus my massive collection of inks. I am really going to try to make a point of stamping in my layouts this year. I am doing Project Life and I think it will start off being manageable in that and them creep into bigger layouts.

I took this photo after my niece’s first birthday. We celebrated right before Halloween, which is her birthday, which is why one of my nephews is wearing part of his costume. He was showing it off. Sure, I can have them stop and pose for me but whats the fun in always doing that? I want to capture these silly moments. In truth this was the best photo out of a dozen+ I took. The others were dotted with tongues sticking out, wide mouth yells, and rolled eyes. At least they are very lively!

Spinach Salad with Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit with Citrus Vinaigrette

I love salads so much. I really hate that we have the tendency to skip over salads in the winter or automatically go for ones that have cranberries in them or whatever to make them ‘wintery’. They are perfectly fine salads but I wanted to make one that was not something that you would expect to see in winter, but that is in season now.

 

 

Citrus is in season in the winter. As much as we enjoy our lemonades and margaritas in the summer the best season for domestic citrus is the winter. The citrus vinaigrette is light since it is mixed with a light vinegar and some water. I felt that the lime and vinegar combination could result with a tart dressing so I cut it will some water to dilute it. If you prefer a more intense vinegar then don’t add water, but you may like to add a pinch of sugar to balance it out.

 

 

According to Produce Pete Florida avocados are in season now. They are in season from late June to February. Why use a Florida avocado? The texture us much different from a Hass-variety so it can stand up well to being mixed into a salad. They are much firmer compared to Hass avocados, which are great for guacamole.

 

Spinach Salad with Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit with Citrus Vinaigrette 

*serves 2 as a main, serves 4 as a starter*

Spinach Salad with Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of baby spinach
  • 1/2 a Florida avocado
  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp, 36-40’s
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Wash and pat dry the spinach, plate.
  2. Halve the avocado. Remove the peel and then slice thin wedges from the avocado. Layer on the salad evenly.
  3. Peel the grapefruit and then carefully peel the membranes away from the segments. Evenly distribute the segments on the salad.
  4. Rinse and remove the tails from the shrimp. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the shrimp.
  5. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a large skillet. Cook the shrimp, flipping after 2 minutes, cook until evenly pink.
  6. Add the warm shrimp to the salad and then top with some of the citrus vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette 

Ingredients

  • 2 limes
  • 1 orange
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 oz rice vinegar
  • 2 oz water
  • 2 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Squeeze the limes and orange.
  2. Add the garlic, vinegar, water, oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.