This week I am helping my sister and her sorority plan a charity soccer tournament and barbeque. My little sister volunteered to host the barbeque knowing that her personal party planner (moi) would fly down to San Diego for the weekend of the event. It's this Saturday and to be honest, I'm pretty nervous. Over 300 college kids have been invited and I'm in charge of feeding them all! I've been taking a lot of deep breaths and making thousands of lists. Yesterday I forwarded the flyer invitation to Trish and today I've turned my attention to the most important part of the BBQ: the food! It's Cinco de Mayo this weekend so naturally the menu will be inspired by simple, classic Mexican dishes. The recipes also have to be easy to mass produce which could prove to be nerve racking. Luckily my sister has informed me that a gang of girls will be at my beck and call to aid in the cooking. To see how I'll be getting the party started,

Nothing says Mexican food as perfectly as

. I'm making my mean green version, without any tomatoes because a fresh tomato

will be served alongside the guacamole. Bags of good quality, super crispy authentic Mexican style tortilla chips will be purchased at Costco.

Modified from Avocado Central

4 Hass Avocados, peeled and pitted
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ Cup cilantro, chopped
¼ Cup green onion, diced
¼ tsp ground cumin
1-2 Jalapeño, seeded and all of them minced
Salt and chile powder to taste

  1. Place avocados in a large bowl and mash them.
  2. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 12.

From Simply Recipes

2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
1 serrano chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: oregano and or cumin to taste

  1. Start with chopping up 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes.
  2. Prepare the chilies. Be very careful while handling these hot peppers. If you can, avoid touching them with your hands. Use a fork to cut up the chilies over a small plate, or use a paper towel to protect your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn't hot enough, you can add a few for heat.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add some ground cumin.
  4. Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.

Makes approximately 3-4 cups.

What's your favorite Mexican starter? Surf on back later to look at the rest of the menu that will be prepared on the grill.