Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I was trying to think of creative ideas that would not only benefit my stomach, but hopefully benefit/be useful to my readers. A lot of times my go to for dinner parties is a taco night so I was trying to expand on that and decided upon a Salsa Spectacular themed party- and what better time to do it, Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.

I was thrilled when I got the acceptance email from Foodbuzz for their 24x24. 24x24 is a program in which Foodbuzz sponsors 24 people to throw dinner parties with in a 24 hour period. 

I just have to say I would not have been able to get everything ready in time if it weren't for these two awesome people, Rommie and Lili (ok I would have, had I not started at 4 instead of 1). Either way a big shout out to them :)
The whole idea was to showcase a whole bunch of different salsas using fresh spring/summer produce (besides celebrating my birthday...Happy Big 2-5 *sigh* to me!). I have never made my own salsa before this and I was surprised at how easy it all was, and how easy it could be to create your own salsa.
For a vessel for the salsas, I used Tostitos scoops and Frito Scoops, perfect for their namesake...scooping up the dips. I also made slow cooker chicken tacos...wow, just wow, this needs to be made again ASAP. 
One of the favorites of the night was the Texas Caviar, recipe given to me by the wonderful Lili. 
Next up was the Mango Salsa, a wonderful fruity salsa that can be eaten with chips or be great on some grilled chicken or fish.
Salsa Verde. I used Serrano peppers in the original, but I adapted it to Jalapenos...recipe at the bottom
Fire-Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa. I really liked this salsa, I was impressed out how well it turned out and that I could make something this complex. I guess I have always been intimidated a little by salsas. One of my friends actually recommended that you could put this salsa over pasta, and I could see her reasoning, its thick enough to be a sauce-Mexican themed pasta?? Recipe at the bottom. 
Pico de Gallo. I think this is one of the easiest salsa to effectively use your fresh summer produce. Delicious, light and fresh.
Pineapple Avocado Salsa. Recipe found here. This would have been a perfect spring/summer dish, but I followed the recipe exactly and used canned pineapple...fresh is the only way to go and you have a winner- charring the fresh pineapple on the grill would be a nice touch as well.
Strawberry Salsa. This wasn't bad but probably my least favorite of the night. If you take away the idea that it is salsa, and just scoop it on your plate with some whipped cream it would make a lovely dessert. Recipe at the bottom. 
AND what fiesta is complete without GUACAMOLE. 
Margaritas. I just made bulk margaritas and put in this adorable container I got from Target and left it in the fridge. That way people could serve themselves and no one had to worry about making them in the middle of the party. My combo was 1 cup tequila + 1 cup marg mix + 1/4 cup triple sec and times that by 4. This tasted great but it was a dangerous mixture because it was strong. I would may recommend using 3/4 cup tequila for the ratio if you want them less strong.
Mango Margaritas. This is what I was most excited about but they didn't turn out good. I will be working on making a delicious recipe for these and share it once I nail it. 
Afterwards we went to a Korean Karaoke bar, a wonderful yet very different experience. It was very exciting to have your own room (click photo below to enlarge and see how intense karaoke gets).
Check out this creepy hallway, doesn't in remind you of some scary horror movie?
Anyways I hope y'all enjoyed my Salsa Spectacular! Have a wonderful start to your week and thank you once again Foodbuzz for sponsoring this wonderful party!!

Recipes not posted below will be posted throughout the next week!

Salsa Verde adapted from The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller
- 1 lb tomatillos...about 12-15 husked, rinsed and chopped
- 3 jalapeno peppers
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse together until blended. Let chill in refrigerator for an hour or so to let all of the flavors combine.

Strawberry Salsa  from The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller
-1 pint chopped strawberries
-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
-1 Tablespoon red wine
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Serve with whip cream or cinnamon pita chips.

Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa adapted from The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller
-2 lb Roma tomatoes blackened...I believe I used about 6-7
-1/2 onion chopped
-4 roasted garlic cloves
-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
-4 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar ( I actually forgot about this ingredient, prob why my salsa could have been used as a pasta sauce)
-Tablespoon salt (left this ingredient out as well)
-1/4 cup olive oil

1. To blacken tomatoes, select the broil oven on your oven. When the skins blacken, rotate them. Make sure you don't burn them, leaving them with a bitter taste.
2. Saute chopped onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
3. Pulse everything except the vinegar, oil and salt together until mixed. The stir in the vinegar, oil and salt. Chill in fridge for about an hour.


  1. Kels @ K and K Test Kitchen April 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Yum! I love the idea of a salsa tasting, and these all sound awesome. I will have to make one of these for the Cinco de Mayo party I'm going to next week!

  2. Sandra M. April 29, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    wow, what a great party! Congrats on 24x24! Salsa idea sound perfect for any event! Thanks for sharing!!!