It has to be so awful to hear those words, “It’s cancer.” I hope to never have to hear them but more than that I hope to never be sitting with someone I love when they hear those words. My friend, Amy, has done that. Sat there. Had to hear that. Had to say the words, “My husband has colon cancer.” Torture. She is the bravest person I know.
And so was my friend Barbara, and my friend Leslie, and my friend Samantha and all my friends and their children who have sat around the dinner table trying to choke down dinner, while they choke back tears and choke on the cancer that is ravaging someone they love. So I cook. Not to say I feel sad for you, not to say you need help, not to say cancer sucks. I cook so that maybe one meal, one dinner, one moment can feel like a celebration. Maybe something I cook for you reminds you of a vacation, or a special evening, or maybe it just tastes good even to taste buds worn away by the damn chemo. You know, the damn chemo that is saving them.
So I’m sending a package of love to a family, a fiesta in a box! The menu is Margarita Chicken Salad, Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Homemade Jalapeno Honey Mustard, Tortillas, and Churro Cupcakes. See what I mean! How can that not be fun?!
It is a super easy meal to make to deliver to someone. My friend has a Mealtrain. If you know any families dealing with a loss or traumatic illness this is a great way to organize meal delivery. Please check it out!
Here is how the components of this meal break down. I will not have a final dish picture because I am packaging it all to place in coolers on her front porch.
Margarita Chicken- I marinate chicken breasts in lemon or lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, and add some tequila. I grill the breasts ahead and slice into thin strips.
Salad/Tortillas- In this case I am sending bagged lettuces, a bag of shredded sharp cheddar and a package of tortillas. My kids like to make this meal into soft tacos instead of eating it as a salad.
Black Bean & Corn Salsa- I chop up about a cup of whatever tomatoes look the ripest. I add a can of rinsed and drained black beans, and a cup of frozen (thawed) sweet or baby corn. I add 2 T of vegetable or olive oil, 1 T of lemon juice, 2 T of white balsamic vinegar. I mix in salt, pepper, 1 small chopped jalapeno (I took out the seeds since I am not sure if they like heat), some fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, garlic, and onion powder. This is better if the ingredients get a chance to hang out and party together.
Jalapeno Honey Mustard- I make this in my favorite kitchen tool, my Magic Bullet. Blend together ¼ c honey, ¼ cup stone ground mustard, 1 T lemon juice 1/3 c vegetable or olive oil, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper,1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, fresh cilantro, garlic, 1 seeded chopped jalapeno or several spoonfuls of pickled jalapeno rings or diced jalapenos. This warms up more as it hangs out in the fridge.
Churros Cupcakes- (pictured without topping) I used this recipe for the cupcakes and made a simple glaze of lemon juice, vanilla and powdered sugar. I dipped the cupcakes in the glaze and then into a cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
I am hoping this meal is devoured and with it all the karma and positive energy I mixed in.