Tuesday’s Table – Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn has been one of those trends the past few summers that I just adore. So many of my favorites: fresh, sweet summer corn, Mexican flavors, creamy cheesy goodness. Yum. I have said that I wanted to make it time and time again. Finally over the weekend we were going to a cookout and I knew this could be my side dish! Instead of preparing straight off of the grill I wanted to achieve the same tastes but have my dish ready once we went over to our friend’s home so I simply turned your typical Mexican Street Corn into a salad. 

At the cook out we had a simple and festive Memorial Day Menu of hamburgers, cole slaw, this corn salad with bomb pops for dessert. When was the last time you had a bomb pop?! Our menu was the perfect combination of summery and satisfying dishes. 

  
Mexican Street Corn Salad 

*The amount of all  ingredients can be adjusted according to number of people*

6-10 Ears of Corn

Canola Oil (to wipe down corn before grilling)

Juice of 2 Limes (or more to taste)

1-2 Tbs. Mayonnaise

1-2 Tbs. F Free Greek Yogurt

1 Diced Vidalia onion

Large handful of washed, chopped cilantro (divided)

1 c. Feta (divided)

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne

Shuck corn, wipe down with a bit of canola oil, grill for approximately 8 minutes, turning at least once. 

Once corn has several noticeable charred bits, remove from grill.

In small bowl combine remaining ingredients to make dressing.

Cut corn off of the cob into a large bowl, also scrape the back of your knife and scrape the remaining bits and juice of the cob into the bowl.

  

Add dressing to corn, stirring gently.

  

Top with feta, cilantro and any remaining spices.

Enjoy!

Summery Date Night In with a Sweet Tea Smash

My fiance and I will be married in less than a week, and we are more than a little excited! But with all of the friends, family, and festivities coming up, what we really need right now is some time to ourselves to get ready for this next big step together.  So last night we threw together a simple date night in to give us a little time to get to hang out before all of the hubbub commences!

The last thing either of us needed was to add anything else to our crazy to-do lists, so a simple meal on my teeny balcony with lots of sunshine, happy summer music, and a Southern cocktail really hit the spot!

027

The Menu:

-fish tacos with creamy jalapeno slaw

-chips and salsa

-ice cold watermelon

The Cocktails:

-Sweet Tea Smash:  sweet tea and bourbon with lots of lemon and ice–this is so refreshing and cool on a hot summer afternoon

The Soundtrack:

-Railroad Earth–check out some of their hits while you sip a summery cocktail!

013

022

025

026-Julia

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro, Avocado Dressing

This salad was dreamt up last night based on the things that I had in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Living in Nashville fresh seafood is tough so I am a firm believer in buying the best Gulf caught frozen shrimp to keep on hand.

This is one of the easiest salads ever! Presentation is key, but even if everything were tossed together it would still look and taste amazing. Most importantly you only need to make two of the components: the shrimp and the dressing

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro Dressing:

Shrimp –

    

I used apprx. 3/4 of a pound for two of us 

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Thaw and Pat Dry then toss with spices and oil

Heat, non-stick pan; add shrimp; cook about two minutes per side

Remeber, shrimp cook SO very quickly and the worst thing you can do is over cook them. My shrimp needed just less than two minutes on each side, flipping once. Watch them fairly closely and once they start to turn white/opaque on the first side flip them over.

These would also be great on a grill pan or on the grill.

Truly these guys can be marinated and cooked in 5 minutes!

Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dressing – 

   

Plain, Non Fat Greek Yogurt – one cup/little carton

2 Tbs. Canola Oil

1 tsp. White Wine Vinegar

Two handfuls of Cilantro (1/2 of a bunch)

Juice of one lime

1 clove of garlic (or 1 tsp of minced garlic)

1/4 of avocado (not pictured bc I used the only bit of a very ugly avocado that was still green — make use of what you can, folks!)

1 tsp. salt

2 little pinches of sugar

Throw everything in a mini food processor and then you’re done! 

Dressing will make enough for 6+ salads.. I have put mine in a small Tupperware container in my fridge and it will keep until the expiration of the yogurt you used… Be sure to check that before discarding.

Salad –  

  
 
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

One can of black beans, drained and rinsed

One can of shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed

Chopped tomatoes

Feta Cheese

For a chopped salad layer your romaine first then add your rows of corn and black beans, tomatoes, dressing, feta and shrimp!

This salad is one that any guy is happy to eat because there is enough to it i.e. it’s satisfying and the flavors are great! Guys don’t have to know the base of the creamy dressing is Greek yogurt.

Side note, I have left over corn, beans and dressing since I only made two salads last night so I’m already looking forward to putting them to use somehow this weekend.

Enjoy this salad AND the LONG weekend my friends!!! 

Mini Hot Chicken and Waffles plus Tips for Hosting Baby Shower

Last weekend I helped host a couples baby shower at my house in Nashville. It was the first time entertaining a big group at our home and I loved it! 

Getting ready parts were a little stressful but all in all it was a fun day, the couple received great gifts and I learned a LOT (about our house, flower arranging and well – babies). It was also fun to get to use all of the wedding gifts I have had waiting for occasions like this — silver trays, Annieglass, all of our champagne flutes, ice buckets, etc.

We set up corn hole for the guys as not many boys want to watch anyone open baby presents, a few played but most congregated between bar and the golf tournament on deck television.

Here is a quick recap from the 3 o’clock shower on Saturday afternoon…

Menu:

– Hummus Spread with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and green onions with Pita Chips

– Fruit Salad

– Creamy Corn Dip

– Mini Hot Chicken and Waffles – this was the crowd pleaser! Steps for putting together below.

– Petit Fours, ordered from local bakery

– Milk and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds (thank you Trader Joe’s), placed in small bowls throughout party

– Pimemto Cheese and Crackers, placed outside near bar 

     

Bar Options:

Terre des Olivers Rose

Poema Cava, with choices of orange or grapefruit juice and garnishes

Brooklyn Summer Ale

Yuengling Light

Strawberry, Lemon, Basil Water

    

The hostesses gave the couple their car seat and one trick I have picked up is that instead of wrapping a big gift like that, get or make a big bow that they can put on their mailbox once baby arrives. 

 

My friend loaned her little wire baby carriage to us for flowers and I have decided to get one of these. You can find them on Etsy for $10 and as the only baby-ish thing we used, it really made it looks like a baby shower.

We used flowers from Import Flowers and Trader Joe’s to do our centerpiece arrangements. In the two glass vases we used light pink spray roses, bright pink Maria Theresa roses and white snap dragons for height. We saved a couple of the spray roses and snap dragon to use in the wire carriage for continuity then added white roses and French tulips. The flowers were a hit and we were very proud that we had done them ourselves.

    

Mini Hot Chicken and Waffles:

– Hattie B’s Hot Chicken Tenders (Medium) – one tender could make 6 waffles, their tenders are huge! If you’re not in Nashville, any of your favorite chicken tenders will do the trick. Or even Chick-Fil-A.

– Mini Eggo Waffles, baked according to box

– Drizzle of syrup after plated

That’s it! So simple but everyone loved them.

For two baby-less hostesses we feel like we pulled it off and like I said we learned a lot. If you have tips and ideas for baby showers please let us know! We’re officially in the baby shower stage.

Happy hosting!

Tuesday’s Table – Slow Roasted Mexican Pork Tacos with Salsa Verde

I definitely have a penchant for Tex-Mex flavors, (that’s clearly been shown here already!) but I’m also always trying to find a way to make my Mexican food more authentic.  This recipe is adapted from carntias recipe by Javier Plascencia, one of the hottest chef’s in Mexico these days.  It’s ridiculously easy to throw together although does take a while to cook down once it’s in the oven.  I’ve never had much experience with a slow cooker, but I bet this would be the perfect recipe for one! By ways of salsa, both making your own and buying a good store-bought type are great options, but I like combining the best of both worlds to maximize ease and deliciousness.

006

Slow Roasted Mexican Pork

2 lb pork butt, fat trimmed

3 tsp salt

3 tsp cumin

3 tsp coriander

3 c. apple juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

Season the pork butt with salt, cumin, and coriander and put it in a large heavyweight pot.  Cover with apple juice and add minced garlic.  Put it in a 425 oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes to start to caramelize.  (If using crock pot add after this step on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8). Then cover the pot, drop the temp to 200 and let cook for 3 hours.  At this point you will want to check the tenderness with a fork.  If it’s not quite tender enough yet, cook for up to an hour more.  Whether using oven or crock pot you should always have some liquid in the pan, so feel free to add a little more apple juice, water, or stock if you’re increasing the cooking time.  Then remove from oven or crock pot, let rest for 15 minutes, and shred with forks.

001

Salsa Verde

1 c. jarred green salsa

1 handful cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, minced

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/2 avocado, chopped

juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve on top of tacos or with tortilla chips!

002

003

004

008

005