His wife and four children were wonderful and warm and inviting. We felt like family from the moment we walked in the door. And holy cow! can they make amazing authentic Mexican food!!! Mexican food is my favorite anyway, but I have honestly NEVER in my life had Mexican food that good.
There was about a gallon sized bowl of guacamole right in the center of the table and smaller bowls of salsa and tomatillo sauce right next to it! Both flour AND corn tortillas, marinated chicken AND beef, rice and refried beans with chorizo...all of it HOMEMADE and seriously AMAZING! (My new theory is that holidays and authentic homemade Mexican food are perfect occasions to forget you're a vegetarian. There was no way I was missing any part of that food!) The fourteen of us ate for almost the entire two hours between sessions and then crawled over to the very large and comfortable sectional sofas to watch Conference. I'm surprised I stayed awake. But on their 50-something inch TV screen, it was like they were in the same room with us, so it made it a little more difficult to take a nap! It was a great way to spend a Sunday and I'm crossing my fingers that we get invited back very SOON!
My husband volunteered me to bring dessert, which was perfect because I couldn't have contributed anything more to that dinner. I knew there were going to be a LOT of people, so I needed something crowd-friendly. I found two beautiful glass bowls from my parents' collection, and spent the weekend Googling TRIFLES...the perfect, large group and buffet-friendly dessert. I made two...one chocolate and one non-chocolate.
I found the chocolate recipe on a great website that might rapidly become one of my favorites...www.kevinandamanda.com
I used Amanda's recipe for THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE TRIFLE including THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE...which IS actually the best chocolate cake. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but it's actually really good. It's super moist and really easy to make. And I noticed that even the leftover cake scraps disappeared pretty quickly. I layered everything just the way Amanda did in her blog and even finished with the little crunched-up pieces of chocolate Oreos. It was a big hit with the chocolate lovers both in my family and in the Rodriguez family.
The non-chocolate one I improvised on a little. I found this recipe for STRAWBERRY SUGAR BISCUIT TRIFLE on www.southernliving.com. But I didn't have frozen buttermilk biscuits so I made my own...Bisquick, heavy cream, roll, cut, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake. Except since I was just going to cut them up and layer them in the bowl, I didn't bother cutting out the circles. I just rolled out one giant biscuit and baked that instead. Then I layered the biscuit pieces, drizzled a little orange juice on them, layered strawberries and then custard on top, and repeated until the bowl was full. (And let me just insert here that the homemade CUSTARD was totally deserving of it's own post...it was THAT GOOD.) I put a layer of whipped cream on top and garnished with a few strawberry pieces. Super YUM! It was like a GIANT STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE.
I liked this one way better than the chocolate, but if given the chance, I'm always going to go for the non-chocolate thing. Did I already say this was SUPER YUMMY!!??
Successful desserts are way up there on the top of my list of favorite things!