Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Home Depot" (DIY) Meals: The Taco Episode

On our first furlough back in the states from Peru, several friends had us over for meals to hear about our lives and ministry in South America. Many of them thought to ask, "What food would you like to have? What have you been missing?" (Great question to ask visiting missionaries, btw!)

When we said, "We love Mexican food!" more than one responded, "Don't you eat that every day??"

"Umm, no. Mexican food is from Mexico. We live in Peru."

What they eat in Peru is a topic for another day (and Peruvian cuisine is delicious!) but one thing they didn't have at all at that time (the 80s) was tortillas. I had tried making my own, but that was a tremendous amount of work and they didn't turn out well. There was a contact we had whom we could call and order corn tortillas that her maid made from scratch, but I didn't know the people, it required thinking way ahead and then driving across town to her house to bother them and pick them up, and did the maid make some of that money?

I realize that what I like is better categorized Tex-Mex or American-Mexican food. But I still like it. And I like to share it.

Taco-type food is a natural for my Home Depot (DIY) Meals. These are meals where the guests (family or friends) do part of the work of assembling their meal. I love these meals for:

  • their natural ice breaker quality--people moving around, interacting, talking about what they like, and making suggestions are soon comfortable talking to each other.
  • the ease of set up
  • the possibility of guests bringing part of the meal--less work for the hostess!
  • people enjoying their food--they get to make the food the way they like it, and can avoid anything to which they they are allergic or intolerant, too!

Taco Bar Suggestions (but not limited to):
  • warmed flour tortillas
  • warmed corn tortillas
  • ground beef (ours was actually venison!) mixed with spices for taco flavoring
  • refried beans
  • black beans
  • pinto beans
  • kidney beans
  • shredded cheeses
  • nacho cheese sauce
  • lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped (and maybe sautéed) onions
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped peppers
  • jalapeños
  • sliced black olives
  • avocado
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • limes

Since not everyone could be at the taco bar at once, I had chips and salsa on the table, for people to eat while waiting, with their meal, and to just snack on afterwards.

My family and friends (ranging from 19 to 86 years old) enjoyed the meal, helped themselves to seconds, and had a great evening, which ended with a Mark Lowry concert we had discovered on YouTube!

For more "Home Depot" (DIY) meal ideas, click here.

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  1. Ok that's a fabulous idea! I like the simple things people can bring and the idea of everyone helping themselves so they don't get stuck with food they can't eat/don't like.

    1. Simple is great with guests. It's the time together that counts, not the extravagance of the meal!

  2. Yes- DIY meals are the best, and I love Taco Bars! We had a DIY Quesadilla Bar one evening, with 2 of those little electric quesadilla makers plugged was so much fun, and SO messy! Ha! :)

    Visiting from Grand Social!

    1. I've done a quesadilla bar with my family, but I should try it with guests, too!

  3. We love taco bars also. Especially where everyone gets to pick what they want on their plate. Danny requested this for his rehearsal dinner meal, so that is what we will have. A Taco Bar.
    Great post. PS. They have tortillas in Argentina, but I didn't see any in Uruguay.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above

  4. This looks delish!! Thanks for sharing it for WholeHearted Wednesday.

  5. So much fun & yummy. Love a fiesta. Thanks for sharing at the My Favorite Things Party. Hope to see you again this week Theresa @DearCreatives

  6. Such a great idea to have a taco bar. Everyone can fix it how they like. I have featured your taco bar idea. Thanks for linking up at Mom's Library last week. Stop by to link up this week @Pounds4Pennies



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