Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taco Bar for the Teachers

Once a month, 3 other PTO moms and I prepare lunch for the staff at my girls' school.  Three Fridays ago was Taco Bar Day (I've been meaning to get this posted, just didn't get around to it!).  It was the Friday before Spring Break, and the staff greatly emjoyed being loved by our gift of food and fellowship.  We provided all the fixings for tacos including seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken, seasoned pinto and black beans, homemade salsa and pico de gallo, homemade guacamole, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, soft tortillas, and tortilla chips.  We also had a large tray of fresh fruit and a dessert buffet.

Joanne made all our desserts this time!  They were a hit!  We usually have a little left over at the end of lunch. . . . Not this time.  The serving dishes were scraped clean.  I asked Joanne if I could share the recipes, because they were all easy to fix, relatively inexpensive, and definitely pleased our crowd.  I hope they please yours too! 

It's hard for me to declare which of the following 4 desserts was my favorite, as I liked the taste I had of each one for different reasons.  We didn't get any photos as we were scrambling to just get everything set up in the library after the kids left and before the teachers came up to lunch.  I will try to add photos as I make the desserts in the weeks to come, as I will definitely be making all 4 before too long.

The strawberry margarita pie was actually one of my recipes I shared with Joanne.  It's cool, light, and very refreshing, especially on a hot summer night or after a spicy meal.  I got the recipe on the back of a Strawberry Cool Whip carton several years ago.  The pretzel crust gives it a salty, crunchy twist. 

The sopapilla cheescake squares were addictive.  It was hard to stop at just one little taste of these ones.  The creamy cheesecake filling with the cinnamon sugar topping would pair nicely with a cup of coffee any time of day or night. 

The apple enchiladas will actually be on our family menu next week.  I am perplexed how they can come out with a little crispness to them even though you pour liquid over the top before you bake them.  They will taste even better with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side! 

The dessert nachos were light and just the right amount of dessert if you want a little something sweet without eating too much.  Joanne offered chopped strawberries, melted chocolate, honey, and whipped cream.  I tried one each way; not sure which was the best.

Here are the recipes:

Strawberry Margarita Pie
1 ¼ cup crushed pretzels
¼ cup sugar
10 T. melted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup strawberries, crushed or pureed
½ cup lime juice (fresh squeezed is best)
1 tub Strawberry Cool Whip (or regular if you can't find flavored)
1. Mix pretzels, sugar and butter in pie plate
2. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of pie plate
3. Refrigerate
4. Mix milk, strawberries, and lime juice until well blended
5. Gently stir in cool whip
6. Pour into crust
7. Freeze overnight
8. Let thaw 15 minutes before serving.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
2 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 – 8 ounce cans crescent rolls
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter at room temperature
¼ cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spray 9x13 pan
3. Beat cream cheese with 1 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth
4. Unroll crescents and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into rectangles
5. Press one piece into 9x13 pan
6. Evenly spread cream cheese on top then cover with 2nd package of crescent rolls (also rolled out into rectangle)
7. Stir together ¾ cup sugar, cinnamon, and butter and dot mixture over cheese cake
8. Bake until crescent dough has puffed and is golden brown (about 30 minutes)
9. Remove and drizzle with honey
10. Cool
11. Cut into squares
Apple Enchiladas
1 can apple pie filling
5 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1/3 cup margarine
½ cup white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas
3. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon
4. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in lightly greased 8x8 pan
5. Bring margarine, sugars, and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring for 3 minutes
6. Pour over tortillas
7. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon
8. Bake for about 20 minutes
9. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar
What's your favorite mexican themed dessert?

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