Do you love gifts? Would you rather give or receive?  Gift giving and receiving has changed for me over the years.  I remember being so excited about opening a box, unwrapping the gift paper, shaking a package to find out what is inside.  But lately, the gifts that I appreciate the most have been the moments spent with those that I love, usually over food.  (But I still do love the boxes, bows, gift paper, and what’s inside the package).

Similar with gift giving.  I cook.  I feed.  I gift the food.  And so, as my mom’s birthday rolled around this year, I cooked a family dinner – Mexican Fiesta.  I will skip the deliberation, discussion, compromising, contemplation and back-and-forth that went into making this dinner.  At the end, we came together, enjoyed the meal and the company.  And now I finish up washing the dishes and putting back my kitchen together, while thinking about what I will be cooking for Father’s Day this weekend.

Mother’s Birthday Mexican Fiesta Menu (I thank my brother and his girlfriend Anja for helping me with putting together this meal)

Guacamole – avocados, tomatoes, garlic, white onion, lime juice, jalapeno, salt & pepper.
Salsa #1 – tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, salt & pepper, seasoning blend.
Salsa #2 – Salsa #1 plus mango and cilantro.
Spanish Rice – poblano peppers, onion, garlic, tomato paste, rice, lime juice, salt & pepper.

Chipotle braised chicken – chicken, onions, garlic, chicken broth, seasoning blend, lime juice.
Ground beef  – onions, garlic, beef, seasoning blend, lime juice.
Chopped cilantro (apparently my Dad still doesn’t appreciate cilantro, so it needs to be on its own, not to contaminate anything else).
Sauteed bell peppers.
Black beans – beans, onion, lime juice, seasoning blend.
Crema – sour cream, lime juice, seasoning blend, salt & pepper.
Flour tortillas warmed on cast iron skillet.
Juanita’s tortilla chips.

Chilled Moscato D’asti (ok, there might have been a bit of Diet Coke with Lime as well)

It’s quite possible that I’ve used every single bowl, plate, glass, pot and pan I have in my kitchen.  But it was definitely, all well worth it!

When’s the last time you cooked for someone?  What was the occasion?  What did you prepare?

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