Food & Wine

Danielle Rollins: Fiesta


Danielle Rollins is a dedicated doyenne of domesticity who can flawlessly guide viewers, readers, and listeners on entertaining, cooking, interior design, tabletop, gardening, flower arranging, and holiday decorating. She has a limitless supply of solutions for fluffing up interiors, gardening - with or without a green thumb - adding panache to any scenario for at-home entertaining. Atlanta based, she is a contributing editor at Veranda and Veranda.com. Here she shares her tips for stress free parties plus exclusive recipes! Lucky us!

I believe in using shortcuts to save time. I know that my guests will enjoy themselves if I do. No one benefits from an exhausted and grumpy hostess! It’s about making it easy on yourself when you entertain and about spreading a little joy in life. Keep it simple and use seasonal fresh ingredients whenever possible. I don’t like to overly complicate menus or dishes. When you’re the famous chef of the night, do as much prep ahead of time as possible. And, let others help you do things you don’t have time to do yourself. Simplify your life!

Be inspired by a fiesta theme and add personal touches along the way. Mexican food is always a crowd pleaser and easy to make for groups. No one says “no” to guacamole. And this corn is heaven. But, if you can’t boil water, don’t worry about it! Get take out from your favorite restaurant and pop it into brightly colored serving wear. That’s something everyone can do. Add a signature drink, and have fun! OLÉ!

Grilled Havana Corn

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4-5 ounces)
  • Paprika
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Grill ears of corn on medium-high heat, turning frequently, until browned in spots, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. When corn is done on the grill, attach corn holders to each ear, and working quickly, smear each ear with the sour cream and then sprinkle with grated cheese, paprika, and cilantro to taste.
  3. Serve immediately, with lime wedges alongside. Squeeze lime over the corn before eating.

Triple Berry Elderberry Flower Mojito

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Lime Simple Syrup
  • 16 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice (8-10 limes) – many grocery stores will squeeze upon request, which makes it much easier!
  • 16 ounces of Rum
  • 6 ounces of St. Germain Elderberry Flower liquor
  • Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries to your taste
  • Fresh mint
  • 8 glasses filled with crushed ice

Instructions:

  1. To prepare for serving for a group, put the fresh lime juice, lime simple syrup, and rum in a large pitcher.
  2. To serve individual drinks, muddle a few fresh mint sprigs in the bottom of a tall highboy glass, then fill with crushed ice. Add a little bit of fruit to taste and ½ of a lime. Fill a glass with the rum mixture and garnish with a sprig of mint or other garnish. Serve with a straw.

Lime Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2-3 freshly squeezed limes
  • 3-6 sprigs of fresh mint

Instructions:

  1. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes clear. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continually 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add lime zest, lime juice, and fresh mint. Let cool to room temperature, then strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a container. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Love this? Danielle’s book Soiree: Entertaining with Style, was published by Rizzoli to rave reviews. For more, find her website here, and her instagram here. Here here!

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