Cha Cha Chipotle Fiesta!!!

These are a few of my favorite things ...

To celebrate summer, the end of school, vacations on the horizon, and anything else you have to celebrate, here is one of our favorite meals of all time!

Wednesday, May 30th:
Cha Cha Cha Chipotle Pork Tostadas
Fixins - sour cream, cheese, refried beans
Homesick Texan Cilantro Jalapeno Slaw & Living Lettuce
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Vegetarian Option: Cha Cha Cha Peppers & Zucchini Tostadas
Kids' Option:  Plain Shredded Pork with soft flour tacos ($6)
Dessert:  Camino Vanilla & Red Velvet Mini-Cupcakes with DIY Frosting (8 for $6)
Optional Add-on:  Mimi's Famous Chile con Queso with chips (8 oz container, $5)
GYTTW:  King Ranch Casserole (Chicken or SW Veggie, regular $25, large $30)

Y'all know that I love this meal - we've made it before and we'll make it again, because it's delicious, it's fun, it can be customized to suit everyone in the family, and it's a little taste of things I love from home.  Plus, we're about to take a little vacation to Hawaii, so I wanted you to have something good before I go!*

Okay, but before Hawaii, dinner next Wednesday!  I have written in great detail about all of these good things on previous blogs, so to save myself a little effort, I'll just do a little cut and paste job with links to those other posts for you here:

Pork Tostadas:  Our Cha Cha Cha Pork Tostadas have been a DOTP favorite since they made their first appearance over a year ago.  The slow-cooked pork roasted in our smoky chipotle marinade is so good it's hard to get it to the table without stealing a few bites.  Your family will have fun piling up tostadas with beans, meat, cheese, salsa & shredded lettuce, or you can switch it up and start with shredded lettuce for a healthy & delicious salad dinner!  You may want to throw some rice on too, or just enjoy it as a side.  Any dinner leftovers can be turned into burritos for an easy & tasty lunch the next day - bonus!

Homesick Slaw:  You would never find a BBQ joint in Texas without a great buttermilk slaw, so I didn't want you to miss out on that.  Our version - the Homesick Jalapeno - is a variation of a recipe created by Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan.  I've become an avid follower her The Homesick Texan blog, so much so that I had to rush out and buy her cookbook to get ahold of this recipe as it was not featured on her blog.  We've of course modified it a little bit, but I feel confidant that you'll love it as much as I do!

Mimi's Queso:  And I know there are some of you who will be ordering dinner this week just so you can your hands on some Chile con Queso.  Some people might think that makes you a little bit crazy, but we just think that makes you family.  And speaking of family, we have heard that there are some people who will not share their queso with their own children, and we're just not sure what to say about those folks, but we know we admire their passion for queso!  (Mimi was my grandmother, and she apparently made up this amazing recipe.  All I know is that it has been in my family for as long as I remember, I've never had anything like it, and it's majorly addictive.  Consider yourself warned.)

King Ranch Casserole:  The King Ranch is the biggest cattle ranch in Texas, and they don't raise chickens (and actually most of their money is from oil), so I'm not sure why anyone named a chicken casserole after the ranch, but that's people for you.  The casserole is full of good things like shredded chicken breast, tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese, green olives and onions, and layered with corn tortillas.  It's our version of comfort food. (We are happy to do this with no olives if you prefer!)

There, now that also gives you an excuse to scroll around on the blog for a while, killing time while you wait for Memorial Day Weekend to start.  If you have even more time to kill, may I suggest spending some time at CakeWrecks.com.  It has not replaced Hyperboleandahalf.com as the funniest way to spend an hour online, but there are some very funny cakes gone terribly wrong out there.

For dessert this week, we love anything that gets the kids in the kitchen - frosting their own cupcakes is fun and can certainly be used as a reward for eating a good dinner!  Camino's Mini-Cupcakes can't be beat - vanilla & red velvet with chocolate & cream cheese frosting on the side for your young chefs to apply.  You might even find some sprinkles hiding the back of your pantry that would add to the fun!

Also, we've got many new things over at the Mini Grocery Store - fancy stratas that you will want to show off for weekend guests or trips to the beach, delicious hummus to enjoy with a glass of wine on a warm evening, and some of our famous Israeli Couscous (I know, I'm sure that many of you used the recipe from the newspaper to make it yourself, but just in case you don't feel like doing all the work ... ;)). Also, if you've got birthday parties or hostess gifts to buy, consider the amazing unbreakable dishware we have available from locally owned Be Kind Kids.  We love it in our house!

If you are new to DOTP and want to get on the email list, just send us an email to dinnersontheporchorders@gmail.com saying you'd like to be added to the list.  You can find out more info about ordering, who we are & all that good stuff at the Welcome, 411 and FAQ pages linked above.  

Finally, I hope you all have a lovely Memorial Day Weekend!  Enjoy the pool, your back yard, or just a long afternoon nap!

See you on the porch,

Claire & Alex

*Y'all know that I normally make several pilgrimages to Texas, and I almost always drive down there with the kids for a few weeks in June.  This summer, however, my parents are fulfilling a long-standing wish to take a family vacation to Hawaii!  So, next Saturday, we're all heading West for a family vacation in Hawaii, rather than Texas.  None of us have ever been to Hawaii, so of course we're very excited, but I will admit to you that I'm a little nervous as well.  So, it's my mom (prone to anxiety) and dad (has had Parkinson's Disease for 30+ years and is the most stubborn person I've ever met - not a great combination), my brother and sister-in-law and their two very young kids (introducing an element of chaos), my three kids (in order from oldest to youngest:  dramatic, lazy, and destructive/devious), Matt (mostly patient with my family circus), and me (a model of patience, kindness and good humor, never bossy, never controlling).
Previous family vacation highlights have included a trip to Ireland where my mother did not speak to the rest of us for two full days of the trip, a trip to Italy where my mom got out of the car by the side of a the highway and refused to get back in, a trip to San Antonio where we lost one child in a hotel and another at Sea World (both were eventually recovered), a ski vacation - the first and last - where my dad accused me and my mother of trying to kill him and collect his life insurance when we took him up to the top of a green diamond mountain, and many, many trips where at least one person spent part of the vacation in the hospital for things ranging from horrible sunburn (me) to vomiting (usually my brother, but once three of us) to injury from falling (my dad, refusing to not to something just because he has Parkinson's).  Once Matt even had to have emergency surgery on a trip we took with my mom and her sister to San Francisco.  He was in the hospital for a week, and on the way back home (driving, to Portland), we had to check into another hospital where I was admitted for a few hours to rule out pre-term labor (turned out to be nothing, but still).   And that's just scraping the surface of the fun times we have when we spend time together.  So, while I say that I am so excited to go to Hawaii for the first time, you, my friends, may understand why I fear that one of us will be eaten by a shark or push another family member into a volcano or suffer some fate I can't even imagine yet.  I'll send updates from the road!