Creative Entertaining

To most of us, the summer is our favorite time of year for family gatherings, cook-outs, and overall entertaining.  For me, it’s all about great food, great friends, and great laughs.  I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks. 

Spinach & Strawberry Salad
Being an event planner, naturally, I love to entertain, but many people don’t know that I also love to cook.  I wanted to be a chef when I was in high school so I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen, especially when it comes to seafood and chocolate.  Besides, with my daughter only eating seafood and my son eating only seafood and chicken breast as their only source of meat protein, I have to be creative when it comes to feeding them as to not get bored at the dinner table!

Chocolate Whoopie Pie
You don’t have to be at someone else’s wedding or cocktail party to have great food.  Here are some recipes that you can do yourself and impress your guests.  Whether you decide to have to have a quaint dinner party with friends or a big celebration, enjoy some of my favorite recipes.

Tangerine Tequila Shrimp                                          

2 lbs raw shrimp cleaned & deveined                          
½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves                             
1 large dried red chili cut in half                                             
½ red onion cut into 4 pieces                                      
2 fresh green chilies cut in half –stems removed                    
4 tangerines, peeled and cut in half – seeds removed 
1 teaspoon grated lime peel                                        
½ cup fresh lime juice – about 2 limes                                   
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur – optional                   
¼ cup tequila
1 tablespoon olive oil                                                 
3 cloves garlic                                     
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoon raw cane sugar                                       

Place shrimp on bamboo skewers. Lay skewered shrimp in flat container with tight-fitting lid.              
Place remaining ingredients in order listed and blend.  Pour marinade all over shrimp, cover container an marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. 
Preheat grill.  Remove skewered shrimp from marinade and grill 2 minutes on each side.                
Note: May be served with guacamole or salsa for dipping.  

Tangerine Tequila Shrimp

Mango Banana Foster

2 medium mangoes peeled, seeded & chopped
2 ripe, firm bananas, cut into ¾ inch slices
8 maraschino cherries, halved
4 sheets (18x12 inch each) heavy duty foil
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon dark rum
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

Prepare grill for direct cooking.
Place mango, banana, and cherries in center of each piece of foil.  Stir together brown sugar mixture over fruit mixture.
Double-fold sides and ends of foil to seal packets, leaving head space for heat circulation.  Place on baking sheet.
Slide packets off baking sheet onto grid over medium-high heat.  Grill, covered, 3-5 minutes or until hot.  Carefully open one end of each packet to allow steam to escape.
Meanwhile, spoon ice cream into serving bowls.  Open packets; pour fruit over ice cream.

Mango Banana Foster

Frozen Mojito

½ cup lime juice
1-2 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light rum
2 cups ice
1 cup water
Lime slices and fresh mint leaves for garnish

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth.  Pour immediately into chilled glasses. Garnish
with lime slices and whole mint leave as desired.                
Frozen Mojito