Friday, June 3, 2011

South of the Border BBQ

p.s. still time to enter my giveaway!!

There’s always been a Memorial Day weekend BBQ at my place. It started…I’m thinking 5 years ago when I was living in Somerville with my bff Jocelyn! Brian’s birthday usually falls around then so we had a bbq/party and the tradition stuck.

Last year, it was our first big BBQ at our new House with our new patio furniture…and a little more tame than years past ;)


Recap of last years BBQ

This year was different. The Half Marathon was that weekend and the last thing I needed was to be overly stressed by hosting a party…but I still wanted a party!!

Solution = SMALL party :)

I find, at least for myself, I get the most stressed about having people over when I have multiple “groups” of friends coming. They all might know each other, but I constantly feel like I need to spend time and chat with everyone while still trying to get all the last minute food details ready.

I’m much more relaxed once everyone has eaten haha.

So in order to have a stress-free gathering I stuck to a small group of people…9, including Brian and myself.

Although, I still managed too make enough for 20…oh well! Leftovers!!

The Menu was entirely inspired by the June issue of Cooking Light!

There were SO many awesome sounding Mexican-ish dishes in there, that I decided to have a Mexican themed BBQ!

The Menu:


Minted Lemon-Lime Watermelon Aqua Fresca (non-alcoholic, I had two lovely pregnant ladies that day)
Skinny Girl Margaritas!
Brian’s beer
(he has 2 varieties on tap in the basement)


Homemade Guac – I special requested my friend to make it since she uses our FAVORITE recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.
Mango Salsa – homemade by another guest!


Main Dishes

Flank Steak Tacos – made the recipe for the steak and had the options out for people to make tacos: tortillas, cheese, salsa, sour cream, avocado
Ancho Chili Chicken – a favorite family recipe! Already on the blog!!



Cilantro Lime Rice – made by a guest
Baked Black Beans with Chorizo – LOVED this recipe, the chorizo gives it so much flavor.
Grilled Corn on the Cob – never got around to making the jalapeño butter, but I bet it’s delicious.
Pasta salad – made by a guest, minus the chicken
Fruit Salad – made by a guest



Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches – I wasn’t in love with the sound of these at first, but they looked so cute and went perfectly with the theme!
SOOO happy I made them, they are delicious!!
Dessert Nachos! – totally came up with this one in my head and I am obsessed with how they came out! Definitely going to do a full post on these :)


The plan:


  • Shop for all ingredients and drinks. Also assess if you need any paper plates, or other disposable items. I already had enough at home.

  • Clean!!

  • Make cookie dough for ice cream sandwiches (it has to chill before baking)


  • bake off cookies for ice cream sandwiches

  • make marinade for chicken, rub for steak, and get all meats into large Ziploc bags to marinate overnight

  • make Ancho chili sauce

  • Make/Prepare beans to be baked the next day. Don't add cheese, tomatoes, or green onion yet.

  • Make simple syrup, and prep lime juice for watermelon aqua fresca

  • chop up watermelon

  • Prepare tortilla chips for dessert nachos


  • Run half marathon (if that’s what you’re doing that morning)

  • come home, shower, and get ready

  • final clean up/pick up

  • husk corn

  • Guests Arrive!!

  • Fire up the grill and start grilling the meats, then corn

  • Place toppings on beans then bake

  • Make your friends a batch of Watermelon Aqua Fresca

  • After everyone eats, sneak back to the kitchen to make the chocolate sauce and whip the cream for the desserts :)

  • ENJOY!




IMG_9206 IMG_9213

It was a fun low-key, relaxing day. No one stayed too late, we did a quick clean up, and were able to crash at a reasonable hour considering we had got up around 6 that morning!

How do you handle the stress of being the hostess?? No matter how stressed I get, I still LOVE having people over! Usually my problem is a bite off more than I can chew…we probably didn’t need as much food, especially 2 desserts…oh well! I’ve been enjoying mini ice cream sandwiches all week!

Happy Friday!! I have my first dance performance tonight for the company I am in up in NH. This is sort of a practice performance for just one of the pieces, but still…a little nervous :) Our big show isn’t until September.


  1. I am the SAME way! I always get stressed- and I totally bite off more than I can chew! The party looks amazing. I love homemade guac and the dessert tacos? drooool! Good luck at the performance

  2. Thanks to your comment I just realized I had "tacos" in should be dessert NACHOS! I just edited it :) Thanks Erica!

  3. I am so impressed that you ran the half and then hosted a party! Great job. Those steaks are making me hungry...

  4. We're aiming for a BBQ this weekend and I'm planning to give you Ancho Chili Chicken a try. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Dessert Nachos?! are you kidding me, YUM! I can't believe you threw together this party after running a marathon. also - you have a gorgeous patio!! jealous.

  6. yum, I'm going to try that watermelon drink this weekend. Looks delicious.
    I get stressed too but it's all worth it.

  7. Margarita ice cream sandwiches?? yes!! Also, I didn't know you used to live in Somerville. Wish you still did!

  8. We are looking to move to Andover by the fall and we are definitely looking for places with a patio so we can grill! SO jealous!