My baby turned two last week. A few days before the big day, Dara asked me “So, how does it feel to be the mother of a two year old?”. At first, I was confused by the question, and quickly replied with “Why, should I feel something?”.
It’s only been a week or so, but now I get it.
I’m no longer a mother to a baby, but a little girl. A toddler! She’s not almost-two, she IS two. And sure, age is just a number blah blah blah, but now that it’s here, I have to admit it was a psychological milestone I wasn’t prepared for.
While I’m totally happy and grateful to have a healthy and exuberant not-baby, I also feel a little sad. And wistful. And wanting to adopt all the babies.
All of them.
Her birthday party was a smallish affair with just immediate family; ten adults and five kiddos. And while she is indeed growing up, she has no damn clue it’s her birthday, so the party remains an adult affair.
There were margaritas. Lots of them.
Serving fajitas for a birthday party is one of the best ideas I’ve had in a while. These days, customizable options are the way to go. The make-your-own meal takes the pressure off of kids and adults who have dislikes or dietary restrictions from having to politely force down a few bites of some they really don’t like or want. A stress-free food environment is always a happy one.
Also, the margarita thing. That helps.
This recipe for Blackened Tilapia Fajitas was inspired by my Mexican birthday feast and works as well for a party as it does for a quickie weeknight meal. An easy homemade spice rub creates mega flavour for tilapia, a mild white fish.
Grilling fish is so easy and so fast. Now the we’ve hit peak summer heat, I try to minimize oven heat, and bonus, it cooks even faster on the grill. The key to cooking it well and not having the fish fall apart is in the technique. Super high heat, well oiled grill, and NO TOUCHING other than to flip just once. Patience is truly a virtue with grilling. The more fussing about you do with whatever is on the grill, the less desirable your results will be.
Tilapia holds up well on the grill and not only that, it’s an affordable, healthful and sustainable choice!
For this recipe I’ve suggested using pre-packaged slaw for a work-free crunch factor, a simple three-ingredient fresh ‘salsa’ using beautiful seasonal tomatoes, a touch of spicy red onion and squeeze of lime juice for a punch of bright, fresh flavour. Obviously, you’re your own damn boss and can create the fajitas to your liking.
Mexican(ish) Party Planning!
For those of you looking to throw a proper Mexican(ish) fiesta, here are the recipes I used for my daughter’s birthday. Do I need to emphasize the margaritas again? I also served a big green salad with a variety of dressings to round out the meal.
Seven Layer Nacho Dip – yes, like from 1976. It is still awesome. Note: I used 250mL sour cream and a container of Whipped cream cheese and omitted the olives (wait…does that make it 6 layer?!)
Chicken and Steak Fajitas – I used the marinade for both flank steak and chicken breasts. It was AMAZING.
Mexican Corn Salad – It’s corn season, peeps. Use the fresh stuff would ya?
Margaritas for a Crowd – Fresh lime juice ONLY!
What’s your favourite technique to please a crowd? Do you have go-to party favourites?
Do you want to adopt all the babies?