THE VILULA TEA GARDEN was a little tea room in my memories...ladies wearing white gloves and pretty hats; soft and mended old linens on the tables; and heirloom roses in crystal vases....lovely.

May 1, 2011

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the Fifth of May with friends!

Every Monday, some of my friends and I meet at a local Mexican restaurant for Fajita Monday...we always get the same thing...either steak or chicken or mixed fajitas! Anita and I always pig-out on a huge Guacamole we good! Since most of you can't join us, have a Cinco de Mayo party and invite some friends...what would we do without our Sistas and some good food, right? There's just something about breaking bread together...wouldn't miss it. By the way, I have an herb garden in my backyard and for those of you that love Mexican food like I do, plant some's as easy to grow as Parsley and it adds SO much to the dishes you make.

To start out your party, try this recipe from Rachel Ray...Super Nachos...


  • 2 bags corn tortilla chips in 2 colors or different flavors, such as blue corn, red corn, yellow corn, lime flavored, chili flavored or black bean chips -- pick 2 favorites

Pico de Gallo Salsa:

  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, for medium to hot heat level
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup, 2 handfuls, cilantro leaves, finely chopped -- substitute parsley if cilantro is not to your liking
  • Salt

Beef and Beans Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 ground cumin, half a palmful
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce, giving you medium to hot heat level
  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, drained

Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded, about 2 1/2 cups

Additional toppings to choose from, optional:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped black olives
  • Diced pimento
  • Sliced avocado, dressed with lemon juice
  • Hot pepper sauces


Arrange a mixture of 2 varieties of corn chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.

Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and saute 2 minutes, then add meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.

In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.

Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. UBER NACHOS! Serve immediately as is or, garnish with your choice of extra toppings from the toppings list.


  1. Tango...can't wait to try it myself! I have had a similar Nacho recipe Paula





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