Callie’s Birthday

 Saturday night I had a bunch of Callie’s best friends over for fajitas and margaritas to celebrate her birthday. The gathering was particularly timely because Saturday also marked the end of her first week as an official resident of Dallas. So with lots to celebrate, I wanted to make it really special. I ordered fajitas from her favorite spot, picked up a special-order Italian cream cake with no nuts, and dropped by her new favorite store to grab a couple things off her wish list. Michael even chimed in and spent Saturday afternoon making queso and helping me preen our nest for visitors. Having it at our house over a long table at a restaurant also gave everyone a good chance to catch up and hear all about the big move. Hopefully it also reminded Callie how good Mexican food is in Houston so she comes to visit lots!!

I vowed to myself I was not going to cook anything, but like a moth to the flame I went to Central Market for flowers and ended up with a dozen avocados and a basket full of ingredients. Couldn’t resist the urge to at least throw together some homemade pico and guacamole.

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Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

3 cups diced tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 bunch minced cilantro (2 tablespoons reserved)
2 jalapenos, diced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and season to taste.  For the guacamole, mix 6 or 7 large Hass avocados, with the two tablespoons of reserved cilantro and about a cup of the pico de gallo.  Mix in a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and season with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of extra lime juice.

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For the bar, we mixed up a few batches of frozen margaritas (1 can frozen limeade, 1 can tequila, 1/4 can triple sec, and a splash of fresh lime juice, blended with lots of ice) and then set up a little make-your-own margarita on the rocks station with a couple different kinds of tequila; Cointreau, triple sec, and Grand Marnier; fresh lime juice, limeade, and Topo Chico; and fresh limes and agave syrup.  I also had a few little plates out to salt the rims of our glasses: one with a lime-juice soaked napkin, one with regular salt, and one with salt and little Tajin mixed in for some spice.  Everyone had fun making their own and deciding whose concoction was the best.  Personally, it’s a shot of Don Julio, a 1/2 shot of Cointreau, a squeeze of agave nectar and fresh lime juice–with salt and Tajin on the rim of course.  Yum!   

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  It was a fun party, and hopefully the birthday girl had a great time!

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