SOURCE: Tastefully Simple

July 18, 2011 05:00 ET

Host a Sizzling Summer Fiesta

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jul 18, 2011) - (Family Features) Spice up your next backyard party or add a splash of fresh flavors and colors to a family meal. It's easy to host a fiesta that will make everyone say "Ole!"

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Chill your platters to help keep veggies and shrimp cocktails cold.
  • Look around the house for items to create a colorful tablescape -- brightly colored candles, beads or scarves, south-of-the-border travel or cookbooks, and pretty flowers from the garden help set the tone for fun.
  • Keep a basket of colorful hand-held mini fans nearby so guests can cool off whenever they need to.

For the big event, make these delicious, fiesta-themed dishes ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the fun along with your guests. And the best part -- most of these recipes don't require cooking, which lets you keep your cool in the kitchen.

For more information about Tastefully Simple products or to find a consultant in your area, please visit www.tastefullysimple.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tastefullysimple.

Tempting Taco Grilled Pizzas
Makes 8 servings

Tastefully Simple Tempting Taco Cheese Ball Mix
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 pound ground beef
2 - 3 teaspoons Tastefully Simple Simply Southwest Seasoning & Rub, or to taste
8 6-inch pita breads
Olive oil
1 cup finely diced tomato
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Combine first 2 ingredients; chill for 2 hours. Heat grill to medium.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef with seasoning and rub; drain and set aside. Let cheese ball mixture soften at room temperature until spreadable.

Lightly brush 1 side of each pita with oil. Grill, oiled side down, until bottom is just crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to work surface, grilled side up. Spread each pita with cheese ball mixture; top with ground beef mixture, tomato and cheese. Return pita pizzas to grill. Grill, covered, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Sweet Pepper Tequila Shrimp Cocktail
Makes 1 1/4 cups

1 jar Tastefully Simple Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam
2 - 3 teaspoons Sauza Tequila
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cleaned, cooked, deveined shrimp

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Chill; serve with shrimp.

Giddyup Guacamole with Blue Aztec Chips
Makes about 1 1/2 cups guacamole

1 cup prepared Tastefully Simple Giddyup Guacamole Mix
3 tablespoons water
2 - 3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 bag Blue Aztec Chips

Combine first four ingredients, stir to blend. Serve with chips.

Twist of Lime Margaritas
Makes about 4 (8 ounce) servings

1 container Tastefully Simple Twist of Lime Margarita Mix
2 ounces (1/4 cup) Sauza Tequila
2 12-ounce cans beer

Add ingredients, stir to blend and chill. When cooled, pour over ice and garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Hoppin' Jalapeño Veggie Shooters
Makes 12 servings

1 packet Tastefully Simple Hoppin' Jalapeño & Bacon Dip Mix
1/4 cup mayonnaise (real mayonnaise only)
3/4 cup sour cream
3 - 4 tablespoons milk
Carrots, celery, green and red bell peppers - sliced julienne/matchstick-style

Combine first 4 ingredients; stir to blend. Chill 2 hours and spoon mixture into an empty squirt bottle. Using squirt bottle (or a small plastic bag with a small hole in one corner), fill 12 shooter or shot glasses with about 1 inch of dip mixture. Place a variety of julienne vegetables, upright, into each glass. Refill dip and vegetables as needed.

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