Busy Spring Weekend Special

forsythiaIt’s going to be a busy weekend! First, there is The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, otherwise known as The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports. And Sunday is Cinco de Mayo. Sounds like a great excuse for a party or two!

If you need a little help, here are a few suggestions for the weekend:

Celebrate the Derby with fun and festive cocktails! Think spring and whip up some crostini with two of my favorite spring veggies … Artichoke and/or Asparagus. Add a few Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli. Don’t forget to put out a few fabulous cheeses, some Tapenade with a few fresh veggies and some Roasted Almonds. And it’s not a Derby without Mint Juleps.

Kentucky Mint Julep
Serves 1

1-2 tablespoons minted simple syrup
Crushed ice
2 ounces bourbon
Garnish: sprig of fresh mint

Put the syrup in a tall glass or silver Julep cup, add about 1 cup crushed ice and the bourbon. Add more ice and a splash of water to almost fill the glass. Stir well and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Minted Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch mint

Put the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Stirring frequently, heat over medium until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mint and steep for 15 minutes. Strain the syrup, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until cold.

Can be prepared ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Unless, you’d prefer a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta: Start your dinner margaritas and a tasty appetizer. Try my Corn, Black Bean & Avocado Salsa or maybe my Avocado, Black Bean and Tomato Tostaditas . And if your day is crazy, keep it simple with some chips, Salsa and Guacamole. Don’t forget the Margaritas!

Frozen Mango Margaritas
Serves 6

1/2 lime
Kosher salt
1 cup golden tequila
Juice of 2-3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 2 orange (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup Triple Sec
2-3 cups frozen chopped mango
Lime wedges

Rub the outside rims of six glasses with lime and dip each glass lightly into a plate of kosher salt.

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, Triple Sec in a blender. Add the mango,1 cup at a time, and puree until smooth.

Pour the margaritas into the prepared glasses, garnish each with a lime wedge and serve.

Onto the main course: How about a delicious Pork Mole. It’s great for a crowd. Serve the pork with steamed rice and Roasted Beans. Then again, Tequila Shrimp sounds pretty good. Or get out the grill for Spicy Chicken. Either will be delicious with Jicama Slaw.

Top off your feast with something sweet: I think something lemony would be nice. How about lemon Tart, Cheesecake or Mousse?

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

Will you be watching the Derby? Celebrating Cinco de Mayo? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2013

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