Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mexican Rice, Fancy Dessert and a Party, 4 of 4

Mexican Rice
By the day of the dinner party everything was made in advance except the Mexican Rice. I also had to finish up the tablescape and pick up the fancy desert. I got my Mexican rice recipe from my good friend and Maid of Honor at our wedding (43 years ago on June 15th.) Judi is German but she married Joel who is Mexican and her mother-in-law lived with them for many years. So she definitely knows how to cook authentic Mexican Food. Since they were just at our house last week for dinner, I had a chance to review with her how to do the rice just so.

The ingredient you will need to make the rice, oil, 2 cups of rice, 2 cans of diced stewed tomatoes, minced garlic, one large or two medium onions chopped, and any form of chicken broth, liquid, cubes or powder to flavor the water.

Begin by browning...Jim came home just in time to brown rice,
onions and garlic in a little oil for me.
We like a lot of garlic so you just have
to judge on your own what you like best.

Preparing the liquid...

Open the cans of tomatoes and drain the liquid into your measuring cup. You will need four cups of liquid for the rice and maybe a little more will need to be added as it simmers. Then fill the measuring cup to four cups adding warm water and bullion to the tomato juice and water (two cubes or two teaspoons.) It you are using liquid chicken broth just eliminate the water and use that instead.

I like to chop the tomatoes a little finer
before adding to the rice and liquid.

Cooking the rice...

Stir and cover bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. It takes 20 minute or so to cook but towards the end I check to see if a little extra warm water needs to be added. This rice is our favorite with Mexican Food. Hope you enjoy it!

So now for the fancy dessert...
We had a little vanilla ice cream with cinnamon twists
from the drive-up window of Taco Bell!

They cost 89 cents per bag and one bag will serve about two people. I use to make fried flour tortillas chips and sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar when the kids were little. Can you say, messy hassle? Since then I have found my time more valuable, so I go for the less hassle way. However, if you insist on making them yourself, or don't have Taco Bell in your country, you can find the recipe here.

We had seven guests so with nine at the table there was little room for serving dinner family style so we decided on serving it buffet style since the dishes are not easily passed either. I wanted to take photos of the buffet set up but it was nothing fancy and at that moment I just didn't have time to snap photos. I love dinners like this because if you really plan ahead and do the work ahead, by the time the your guests arrive, you can just relax and enjoy them with no worries. Because as much as we enjoy getting ready....

I agree with this card's sentiments except if what is on the table is good it makes the whole experience for your guests just that...a memorable experience, not just a meal. A big part of that is creating the ambiance in your dining room.

Setting the Table

A few days before the dinner I went shopping to get some pretty flowers for the front porch. Well, I got side tracked and landed up buying some new tableware! I never did get the flowers! I have been wanting and saving up for some new white dishes for quite awhile but just hadn't found what I wanted. I found these at Cost Plus World Market and love them. I landed up buying placemats and napkins to go with them and the most awesome glasses were conveniently located just a few doors away at Pier One Imports. Although I purchase tons of dishes over the past several years for the business, I cannot remember the last time I picked out new dishes for us. It was fun. I gave most of the ones from the business away because they were only sets of four.

The placemats match these napkins.
I decided to use my chocolate brown tablecloth.

The swirled flutes came from Pier One years ago, the new ones are the red and orange striped water glasses. They are mouth blown and each of the stripes are different shapes and widths, etc. These glasses flat out make me happy. I even love emptying the dishwasher now! I know I am weird, what can I say?

Wish each and everyone of you
could have come over to join us.
Someday, OK?
You come to CA we'll cook for you!



Julie Harward said...

I love Spanish rice and your pretty table! You must be in a homemaking mood..look at you go! ;D

Bonnie said...

When it happens I have to jump on it, Julie! Haha!

LA Adams said...


Sister Susie said...

Thank you for your recipe blogs! I am very excited to try these once I retire this summer and have more time to have fun with your recipes!

Thanks for your info about saving your blog to a file!!

Love you and yours!!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Morning Bonnie,
That spanish rice sounds and looks delish.
and your table looks so beautiful.
Do you know that I saw those plates at our world market and loved them too, so they were one of my considerations as well. It is just uncanny how much our taste is alike.
Very pretty glasses too, I love pier one they have so many neat things, but they can be a bit pricey at times.

That is a really cute plaque and saying......

I just realized you had 4 of these recipe posts, so have to go check the others out as well. Bet your
guests loved loved loved the menu.
We adore mexican food, but I don't like it hot spice wise, spicy is fine!! My Jim likes hot sauce but pays for it later!! lol

Yea, we are sure hoping this is the job, only time will tell, but we both seem to have a good feeling about it, we really feel like celebrating but we are trying not to count our eggs before they hatch. Hard to do sometimes....

Megan called last night and wanted to know what we were doing this weekend, cause I haven't called them, don't want to interrupt that honeymoon mode!! lol
So told her we were having company Sunday, so anyway, they are coming over tonight and we are gonna just
have salad and get pizza, so that will give us a lil celebration!! lol

She was so cute!! She called and said it's your daughter-in-law in
such a cute peppy way! Made my heart sing!! That was the first time she has said anything like that. We have a welcome to the family card for her that we haven't been able to give her yet. Think she will like it!

Glad you were having such a nice time in San Francisco, can't wait to hear all about it.

Blessings my friend,
Love ya, Nellie