Saturday, May 9, 2009

Girls' Night In

Girls' nights out are always a good time, but sometimes it is even more fun to have a girls' night in. The pace is more relaxed, and the waiter doesn't give you dirty looks when you have been sitting, laughing loudly of course, at his table for more than four hours. Last night, some friends came over for dinner and drinks. It was a beautiful, albeit breezy night, and I served up chips, salsa and guacamole along with margaritas out on the deck. We also had some Margarita Grilled Chicken (a Barefoot Contessa recipe) and a festive confetti rice salad.

We gathered in honor of Ocho de Mayo. Haven't heard of it? Well, we hadn't either, until we decided to make it a holiday...any excuse to get together and have a party. There was much eating, drinking and making merry, and we learned (some of us the hard way) that there is truth to that saying, one margarita, two margarita, three margarita, floor. The food was great and the company was even better. I hope we can do it again sometime very soon, perhaps with a little more to eat and a little less to drink.

Confetti Rice Salad
serves 4-6

1 C dried basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1 C cooked corn (either frozen or fresh off the cob)
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
juice from 2 large limes
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

While rice is still hot, stir lime juice, oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add hot rice to the mixture, tossing gently to combine. Add rest of the ingredients and toss again. Taste for seasoning, adding more if necessary. Serve at room temperature, in a halved bell pepper for fun, if desired.

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