Mexican Dinner


We hosted a Mexican Dinner at our home on Saturday night. A group bought the dinner at Mater Dei High School Auction. Jan, my friend and I prepared the food. I thought I would share the photos from the evening and the recipes.

All set up and ready for the dinner to begin.

The Menu.


Roasted Tomato Salsa (Yolanda's) and Watermelon Salsa

I used canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes  and 3 jalapenos. Yolanda\’s Mothers Easy Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

  • 2 cups seedless Watermelon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T.  minced onion
  • 2 T. water chestnut, diced
  • 2 to 4 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Mix all together and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers.

Here is the recipe for the peppers – Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Chorizo with a Sweet pepper dipping sauce, Tequila Spiked Queso Fundido and Bacon Wrapped dates stuffed with Chorizo.

The chorizo was Johnsonville brand. I grilled the sausage then sliced it. I served it with Captain Rodney’s sauce.

Tequila Spiked Queso Fundido

  • 1/3 cup chopped , seeded fresh poblano pepper ( we roasted the poblano)
  • 1/3 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/4  cup of tequila
  • 1½ cups shredded Chihuahua, Queso Oaxaca, Monterey Jack cheese-mix of three is great.
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • ½ cups finely chopped tomato
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
  • Chorizo sausage,cooked,well-drained, and crumbled ½ cup , cooked, optional.

Preheat oven to 350’F. In a skillet, cook the poblano and onion in hot oil until tender. Remove pan from heat. Carefully add tequila. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 seconds or until most of the tequila has disapated.

Spoon mixture into the bottom of a 7 inch cast iron skillet or a 2 cup dish. In a medium bowl, toss cheese with flour; sprinkle cheese over vegetables.

Bake uncovered for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is just melted. Sprinkle with chorizo and cook some more, until heated through. Sprinkle with tomato and cilantro. Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.

This next recipe came from a cooking class that was at the Design Studio. Chef Sheila taught the class.

Chorizo Filled Dates wrapped in Bacon

  • 1 chorizo sausage cured and fully cooked
  • pitted dates
  • bacon, cut into half

Cut off ends of the chorizo, slice then slice in half. Make a slit in the date and fit a piece of chorizo inside. Wrap with bacon. Place on parchment lined sheet. Place bacon seamside down. bake in 375 degree oven until bacon is done and crisp.

This is also good stuffing the dates with parmesan cheese and….

Dishing up the soup.

So pretty!

This soup was very tasty and pretty! It did take some time to make… It came from Gourmet Magazine

Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup and Roasted Tomato Soup with Jalapeno Cream

For the pepper soup:
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 yellow bell peppers, roasted (procedure follows) and chopped coarse (about 6 cups)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth plus additional to thin the soup1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh lemon juice to tasteFor the tomato soup:
3 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
3 unpeeled large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth plus additional to thin the soup1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh lemon juice to tasteFor the serrano cream:
3 fresh serrano chilies or jalapeños, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream


To roast peppers:
Using a long-handled fork char the peppers over an open flame, turning them, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the skins are blackened. (Or broil the peppers on the rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat, turning them every 5 minutes, for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the skins are blistered and charred.) Transfer the peppers to a bowl and let them steam, covered, until they are cool enough to handle. Keeping the peppers whole, peel them starting at the blossom end, cut off the tops, and discard the seeds and ribs. (Wear rubber gloves when handling chilies.)
Make the pepper soup:
In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft, add the bell peppers and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the peppers are very soft. In a blender purée the soup in batches until it is very smooth, forcing it as it is puréed through a fine sieve set over the pan, cleaned, and whisk in the cream, enough of the additional broth to reach the desired consistency, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.
Make the tomato soup:
Spread the tomatoes, skin side down, in one layer in 2 foil-lined jelly-roll pans, add the garlic to 1 of the pans, and bake the tomatoes and the garlic in a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are very soft and their skin is dark brown. Let the tomatoes and the garlic cool in the pans on racks. In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the orégano, salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft, add the tomatoes, the garlic (skins discarded), and 1 1/2 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 minutes. In a blender purée the soup in batches until it is very smooth, forcing it as it is puréed through a fine sieve set over the pan, cleaned, and whisk in the cream, the additional broth if necessary (both soups should have the same consistency), the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.
Make the serrano cream:
In a blender blend together the chilies, the garlic paste, and the créme fraîche until the mixture is combined well. (Be careful not to overblend the mixture or the cream may curdle.) Force the mixture through a fine sieve set over a small bowl. The serrano cream may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and brought to room temperature before serving.
To serve the soup:
For each serving ladle 1/2 cup of each soup into 2 glass measuring cups, pour the soups simultaneously into a shallow soup bowl from opposite sides of the bowl, and drizzle some of the serrano cream over each serving.

Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing

This next recipe I clipped out of Bon Appetit

Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing


3 tomatillos, husked, quartered
1/3 cup (lightly packed) cilantro
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño chili
1 garlic clove, peeled
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped green cabbage
3/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Corn tortilla chips (optional)


Puree first 5 ingredients in blender. Pour into medium bowl. Whisk in oil, then green onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix all remaining ingredients except chips in bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve with chips, if desired.

Crepes Con Queso with filled with Chicken, Black Beans with Cumin and Garlic and Yellow Rice.
I clipped this recipe from Southern Living.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vegetable Cooking Spray
  • Crepe Filling
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro sprig


Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add flour and next 5 ingredients. Process until smooth. Cover batter, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Coat an 8-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot.

Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan; quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers bottom of pan. Cook 1 minute or until crêpe can be shaken loose from pan. Turn crêpe over, and cook about 30 seconds. Place crêpe on a towel to cool. Repeat procedure with remaining batter.

Spoon about 1/2 cup Crêpe Filling on half of each crêpe; roll up, and place seam side down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle crêpes evenly with Cheddar cheese.

 Crepe Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese  Monterey Jack
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun poultry seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add large chopped onion and next 4 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in chiles and whipping cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes.

Black Beans with Cumin and Garlic

    • 2 (16 ounce) cans black beans
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. Drain and rinse black beans.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and cumin until fragrant.
  3. Add black beans, broth and salt.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring frequently until beans are heated through.
  5. OR, after sauteeing the garlic and cumin, you can place everything in a crockpot on low heat for a couple of hours.
  6. If desired, stir in the cilantro just prior to serving.

I found this recipe for the beans on

Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce. Served with Tequila Cream

Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Blueberry Corn Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Custard Sauce
  • Confectioners sugar in a sieve

Preheat the over to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the corn bread cubes, stir once, just to coat the cubes. Transfer to the baking pan making sure that the cubes and custard are evenly distributed. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pudding is puffed, the edges are lightly brown and the pudding is evenly, but not firmly set. Let it stand until you serve it.

The pudding can be served warm or cool. Cut into squares and place each square on a plate. Spoon the sauce around each square, dust lightly with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.

Blueberry Corn Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk, at room temp.
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drain

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the buttermilk, egg and melted butter and stir until partially combined. Add the berries and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and spread it to the edges. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the corn bread is firm, the edges are golden and the tester inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on a rack before cutting. Serve hot or warm or use in corn bread pudding.

Custard Sauce

  • 4 egg yolds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup Triple sec or other orange liqueur
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In med. bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. In a heavy saucepan bring the half and half just to a simmer. Slowly whisk the hot half and half into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and set it over low hear. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a heavy track when a finger is drawn across it, about 4 minutes.

Transfer immediately to a bowl and stir in the triple sec and vanilla extract. Cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the film onto the surface of the sauce and refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours. This can be prepared 3 days ahead.

The weather was great.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  Jan and I always have a good time cooking together. A big THANK YOU to Reagan,  Kate, Grace and Tina for helping!  It was a great night….until I could not find Jingles, our dog. We did eventually find him. He was hit by a car and died.  The police found him on the side of the road.

Jingles was with us for 14 1/2 years. He was a crazy wonderful dog. He loved us unconditionally. He loved to snuggle,  run around the house crazy fast (which was pretty comical when we got wood floors), and no matter how aggravated I would get at him…he still loved me.  He would drive me crazy at times, but I sure am missing him and wish he was still here. It has been a sad 2 days…

RIP Jingles Bellies..I love you!

~Relish Food & Life


14 responses »

  1. Awwww, tear…poor Jingles. I can only image. He is in a better place now and most likely running around all over the place again.
    On the brighter side, these dishes looks amazing Jill!

  2. So sorry Jill about Jingles…it’s so hard when those little guys aren’t around anymore. But, I also just wanted to say that it looks like you and Jan were really busy and you guys threw a fantastic party with great food. We all know how much preparation and work actually goes into those parties but still they are a lot of fun!

  3. Dear Jill,
    You out did yourself on the dinner.
    But, I want you to know how bad I feel for all of you on your loss of Jingles. It’s so hard to lose a member of your family, and that’s what Jingles seemed like. My thoughts are with you all. Jeanie

  4. Hi Jill-this is Jan Kampwerth. I was a Breiner & then married John Wheelan & he died 15 yrs ago. I married Art Kampwerth 2 1/2 yrs ago. Carla Litteken is my neighbor & told me about your blog. I love it. I love to bake but hate to cook. I truly enjoy your blog-they are dishes I can really use. I love the company chicken.
    I wanted to send my sympathy on the loss of Jingles-I lost my dog, Gunner, a English springer spaniel 10 years ago after we had him 14 yrs. I could start crying for months when I would try to tell people about him. It’s like any loss, time helps & the good memories never leave you. Sincerely, Jan

  5. Jill,

    We are so sorry to hear about Jingles. It’s hard to lose a important member of the family. Your Mexican dinner looked great. Regina

  6. Your Mexican dinner looks fabulous! I’m so sorry to hear about Jingles. I lost a dog after 14 years as well. It’s not easy. Just remember he had a wonderful home and doggie life.

  7. Hello Jill, I am very impressed with your blog! So many beautiful pictures! We just hosted our dinner club this weekend to a Texas BBQ. I will have to send you pics! Look forward to looking through your menus and recipes! Susan Leatherman from API

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