Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

There something I need to tell you before sharing what I'm making this Sunday. In a few short weeks eleven of my girlfriends and I will be heading to Cancun for 5 days and 4 nights of frivolous fun! We are celebrating 2 40s, 3 50s, and 1 60; that is this year 2 people are turning 40, 3 will be 50, and 1 will become 60 years young! We can hardly wait for the fun to begin.

So, in order to be ready for the sun a little closer to the equator (at least a lot closer than the St Louis area), we feel the need to get a little pre-sunning in. Now, I'm not one to lay in the sun - I personally don't like my life to pass me by in that way. However, Cindy and Dave (my sister and brother-in-law) have opened their pool. Yep - you guessed it, we're heading over to Cindy's & Dave's house this Sunday for a little r&r and fun in the sun.

Cindy is preparing a taco bar: she'll have chicken and beef and all the fixin's for make your own tacos. I don't know what other folks are bringing. Michael and I are bringing a couple of dishes we made last week for bunco - Michael's fresh guacamole and my Mexican Orzo Salad. I feel I can call it mine now because of the adaptations I've made to the original recipe. It's one of the easiest dishes to prepare.

Here's how I made the Mexican Orzo Salad this week:
3/4 cup Orzo, cooked according to package directions, then rinsed with cold water and drained
1 can gold & white corn, opened, rinsed, and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, opened, rinsed, and drained
1 can black beans, opened, rinsed, and drained
1 can light red kidney beans, opened, rinsed, and drained
1 small jar pimentos
About 8 slices pickled jalapeños, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
About 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, zested & juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon Penzeys medium hot chili powder
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) fresh ground black pepper

Toss all of the ingredients through the spinach in a serving bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients together until emulsified. Top the pasta, beans, and corn mix with the dressing; carefully toss to coat. Allow flavors to meld by keeping the dish in the refrigerator for at least one hour and preferably overnight.

You'll notice I use a LOT less orzo than in the original recipe. And, because I didn't have any fresh red bell pepper or fresh jalapeño on hand I used jarred. I added the lime zest, the chili powder, and the minced garlic. Oh - and the original recipe called for cilantro; I really don't like cilantro so I used spinach instead.

The Mexican Orzo Salad is ready to go. Michael will make the guacamole just before we leave to go over there. When we get there we'll slather on the sunscreen and enjoy what is supposed to be a beautiful day at the pool with some friends. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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