Margarita Madness


I had three couples coming to my house for a dinner party, but no idea what I was going to serve. It’s 2014, meaning this was not going to be your mother’s dinner party. It had to be a kosher meal that accommodated a vegetarian, a gluten-free person, and some meat lovers. What a challenge to please everyones’ palate. I pored through cookbooks, recipes I’ve torn out of newspapers and magazines, and the internet. I was determined to make everyone happy and try some new recipes.

Then, as if by magic, something caught my eye on a high shelf in my kitchen – those margarita glasses from my wedding registry. We thought we would have many festive parties and use them all the time. I have never used them in the twenty years I’ve been married. So much for that idea. Shockingly, life has not been one big party.

I had found the idea to build my dinner party around – margaritas! Who cared that it was cold outside? Festivities are called for year-round.

Slowly, it all came together. Here’s what I served:

  • Guacamole and Chips
  • Carrot, Chile and Cilantro Soup
  • Sliced Skirt Steak on a bed of Spanish Rice
  • Chopped Romaine Salad with corn, black beans and tomatoes
  • Spicy, Smoky Lentils
  • Corn and Flour Tortillas
  • Sides of Salsa Verde, Chipolte Salsa, Cabbage, Avocado and Green Onions
  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Brittle
  • Sweet-Potato Cake
  • Sliced Oranges

It was a labor of love to cook for my friends and create a meal that everyone could enjoy. I’ve put two of the recipes from this meal that my guests enjoyed on my blog if you’d like to try them too. The margaritas were a delicious and fun addition to the usual wine, beer and scotch. Apparently I gave my friend an idea, as she wrote me the next day:

“You inspired me: on our way home, I conducted a mental inventory of our unused kitchen items, and came up with: a vintage 1970’s punch bowl, a waffle iron…and my mother-in-law’s circa 1955 jello molds.  I’m thinking the punch bowl is the way to go for our next dinner party (it’s really groovy, with green blown glass and matching cups), though I’m a little curious to break out the jello molds.  Maybe the ticket is to add some vodka to the jello before I chill it??”

Did someone say Jello? I totally want to be invited to that dinner party!

Sure my mother, in her Martha Stewart way, taught me that things don’t always have to be used for their intended purpose – I may have used the margarita glasses once to serve a dessert in. I am a big cleaner-outer but somehow have not been able to give the glasses away. I knew there was a party waiting to happen, and those glasses were going to be waiting for me saying “hola, what took you so long?”

I can now scratch that off my list. As my husband and I were cleaning up, enjoying the afterglow and buzz of the party, we were deciding whether to wash the glasses by hand or put them in the dishwasher.

“Why not put them in the dishwasher? If they break, I don’t think we’d miss them,” he said.

Nope, I couldn’t risk it so I hand-washed them. It was a delightful evening – God willing, there will definitely be more parties in my future. Who knows what other inspiring treasures I’ll find in my house? Maybe next we’ll have a slumber party and I can finally use those breakfast-in-bed trays.