Jamie says: So truth be told, I love the number 23. It’s my favorite number. I thought this was interesting because I really didn’t have a reason to love the number 23 (it’s not my birthday number or anything), but I liked it regardless. I get excited when it’s the 23rd of any month, too. Then, recently, I discovered my Baptism date- November 23rd. Answer delivered. I can now say I have a connection with the number 23 because it’s my birthday with the Catholic church. Done.
This year was the first year that I celebrated my Catholic birthday (since my actual Baptism in 1986). Hey, it’s a birthday and it’s a big deal. So why not celebrate it and everything worth celebrating. Makes me think of those Carvel commercials (you know, “I lost my tooth today, started my school play”… so catchy. Carvel cake to celebrate everything.) So to celebrate my Catholic birthday, I had a Taco Bar Party with Mole Pork Tacos, Saffron Rice and Beans, and Sangria and invited my friends over.
Let’s start with the sangria. I used a bottle of The Spanish Quarter wine my parents got me for my birthday. (We went to Spain this summer so it was totally reminiscent of a great trip.)
Then I added all the types of frozen fruit from my freezer. (For this dietitian, that would be 6 different types in case you were wondering. I know you were.)
Then came the mixing of the fruit and the wine- plus some (might I add, very good) bourbon. Then off to the refrigerator it went until party time.
Right before the company came, I added a the club soda and tossed in a wooden spoon to scoop out the fruit with. And there you have it, Berry Punch Sangria. Ok, so what’s next you ask?
I had cocoa-dusted almonds, popcorn, black bean chips (salsa came later from a friend), and maple bacon chocolate. I had fun setting up the appetizer table and using some cool hostess accessories from friends for my birthday.
And then then, the main course- a taco bar with mole pork, whole grain tortillas, and about 16 toppings.
I served the bell peppers and onions fajita style in an electric wok.
And what do you get when you put it all together! A tasty, stuffed taco with a side of saffron rice and beans. Oh, and a happy tummy and good times with friends.
There were definitely leftovers to be had. I packaged a jar up for work to heat in the microwave- a layer of beans, followed by fajita peppers and onions, and topped with mole pork. Yum!
Taco Bar Party with Mole Pork Tacos, Saffron Rice and Beans, and Sangria
Mole Pulled Pork
- 4 lbs Boston butt (pork)
- 1/4 bottle mole sauce (Sky Valley)
- Place Boston but in a slow cooker (Crock Pot) on low heat for 3 hours. Increase heat to high and heat an additional 2 hours.
- Shred pork using a fork. Add mole sauce and mix in. Enjoy (on tacos)!
Saffron Brown Rice
- 2 1/4 cup brown rice (organic)
- 5 1/2 cup water
- 0.25 g saffron (from Spain!)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Pour rice and water in a large baking dish. Add saffron. Stir. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Enjoy (with black beans)!
Fajita Peppers and Onions
- 1 yellow onion
- 5 small bell peppers (red, orange, green)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- dash salt
- dash freshly ground pepper
- Slice onions and peppers. Place in an electric wok on medium-low heat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally and place lid on in between. Cook for about 15 minutes or until soft. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
- 4 cups of frozen fruit (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple)
- 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon (The Spanish Quarter)
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 L club soda (Seagram’s)
- Place frozen fruit in a large pitcher. Pour wine and bourbon on top. Mix with a spoon. Refrigerate. Before serving add club soda and stir. Those 21 and over, enjoy!
- Soft whole grain wraps, medium-sized (La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious White Whole Wheat Mini and Tam-x-icos Wrap-Itz Lo-Carb Wheat tortillas)
- Limes, sliced
- Fresh avocado slices with lime juice and freshly ground pepper
- Romaine lettuce, cut into shreds
- Fresh cilantro, snipped
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Scallions, chopped
- Bell peppers (red, orange, and green) with onions sauteed in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Steam-in-a-bag corn
- Canned low sodium black beans, drained and microwaved
- Black olives
- Matchstick carrots
- Fat free Greek plain yogurt
- Shredded cheese
- Hot sauces
- Nutrition note: A taco bar party can be great for a group where there may be different food preferences/intolerances. Everyone can make their own meal according to what they desire to or can have.