South of the Border Flavor


I’m sharing a little South of the Border flavor

for Cinco de Mayo and a

Fiesta of Food and Flowers in celebration!


From the 2011 archives, this post

has a couple of recipes worth a second helping

or a segundo plato :) for a summer soirée. . .


Inspired from a trip to the Farmers Market and a Bobby Flay Cook-Along.

For a little South of the Border flavor, I added some bold color found in a serape-style pattern in placemats & napkins. . .


. . .along with some festive patterned salad plates & bowls for the table.

A trip to the farmers market yielded peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and other veggies for a colorful and edible decoration, along with an urn filled with flowers for a centerpiece.


Economical when today’s centerpiece becomes this week’s dinner.



I spied a Bobby Flay recipe in the May issue of Food Network Magazine. . .

Red Chile Short Rib Tacos

Red Chile Short Rib Tacos

This is a muy bueno recipe! I made a couple of changes when I couldn’t find the peppers called for, feel free to add or substitute peppers to turn up or down the heat for your crowd!


Also, after browning the short ribs, instead of turning up the heat in the kitchen, I put everything in the slow cooker, turning heat up in the tacos with a few jalapenos.


Red Chile Short Rib Tacos,

recipe adapted from Bobby Flay for Food Network


3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, fat trimmed

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

3 cups beef stock

6 dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 cup dry red wine

12 sprigs thyme

16 hard corn taco shells



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the short ribs dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the short ribs on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove to a plate.

Meanwhile, combine the stock and dried chiles in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep, 15 minutes.

Discard all but 3 tablespoons oil from the Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Pour in the red wine and simmer, stirring, until almost completely reduced, about 12 minutes. To a slow cooker, add the red wine/ onions, thyme and chile-stock mixture and the short ribs. Cook on low 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove the short ribs to a bowl; shred the meat from the bone. Strain the cooking liquid and pour off the excess fat. Pour the remaining liquid into a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat. Fill the taco shells with the meat; top with cilantro, pickled onions, jalapenos, queso fresco, or sour cream.


Red Pickled Onions

for the Chile Short Rib Taco recipe:

Bring 3/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup each red wine vinegar and sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and let cool, 5 minutes. Toss with 1 thinly sliced red onion in a bowl; cover and chill at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

You can find a printable recipe for the taco & onions, here.


Add a pitcher of sangria to quench

your thirst and cool down

from the heat and all those hot peppers!

Rose Sangria Spritzer,

recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Total Time: 45 min

Prep: 15 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Rosé Sangria Spritzer


2 bottles cold rose wine

1 green apple, thinly sliced

1 orange, halved and thinly sliced

1 pint fresh raspberries

Sliced peaches

Simple syrup, to taste

Ice cubes

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Club soda, cold, optional



Combine wine and fruit in a pitcher, add simple syrup, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Serve over ice, garnish with mint and top with a few splashes of club soda, if desired.

Tip: Place a peach or similar fruit on the top of the sangria pitcher to help keep flying & stinging insects away :)

You can find a printable recipe, here.





South of the BorderTable Details:

Salad Plates & Bowls/ Kohl’s-  Corsica Home/Tivoli

Placemats & Napkins/ Kohl’s

Napkin Rings & Urn/ Pottery Barn

Dinner Plates/Pier 1

Tray/ Stein Mart

Pitcher, Chargers & Flatware/ World Market

Cinco de Mayo A Fiesta of Flavor Home is Where the Boat Is

Thank you for your visit!

  39 comments for “South of the Border Flavor

  1. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    May 5, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I love those colorful little bowls that are holding the peppers Mary! That’s also a fun recipe for pickled onions, love the addition of lime juice, gonna try it! Happy Cinco de Mayo-enjoy:@)

  2. milamyk
    May 5, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Colours are stunning!

  3. May 5, 2014 at 7:25 am

    This is a beautiful, vibrant and engaging table setting! The food looks scrumptious. Thanks for sharing.

  4. May 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! Beautiful table settings! Very festive! By the way I couldn’t find the key lime cake mix. I may improvise with a white cake mix, key lime juice and green food coloring, and of course some Taquila!

  5. May 5, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, Mary! What a beautiful setting you have for a wonderful celebration. The short rib tacos and the sangria make for the perfect menu. xo

  6. May 5, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Stunning table and those short rib taco’s look amazing. I am going to be adding them to my menu to try!

  7. May 5, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful and inspiring . How festive! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  8. May 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, Mary, I won’t attempt any Spanish because that is about my limit! I have been dying to try a short rib taco recipe and I just love that you adapted it to the slow cooker~I know the meat is amazing! Perfect with the beautiful Sangria and your festive table, one of my all time favorites! Jenna

  9. Cheryl
    May 5, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Just love this gorgeous post…so beautiful and colorful! It’s like a fiesta for my eyes!

  10. Carolyn P.
    May 5, 2014 at 9:03 am

    This is a beautiful post, Mary!! Complete with recipes!! The colors and flavors just jump off the screen! Thank you!
    Yes … what Cheryl^ said. A real fiesta for the eyes!! : )

  11. tardevil
    May 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

    That centerpiece is stunning! One of your prettiest tablescapes ever!

  12. May 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Olé! What a festive post to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Loving the serape inspired textiles and the colorful bounty on the table. Beautiful, Mary!

  13. Penny Scroggins
    May 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Your blog is a veritable and pleasing ritual for me. Thank you soooo much.


  14. Suzee Williams
    May 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    You have an amazing ability to make everything you touch absolutely beautiful with every theme you choose! As if the setting wasn’t enough, the food presentation makes my mouth water! Thank you so much for sharing. You are a gift.

  15. May 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    love the vibrancy, we are clouding up and your colors just pop with the contrast of my day. its always picture perfect here, day after day, year after year :-)

  16. May 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Such a beautiful Fiesta! Love the bright sarape colors and how they all combine…the linens, dishes, veggies and flowers. I will definitely be making the picked onions!

  17. May 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    PickLed…. ;-)

  18. Jocelyn
    May 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Your tables are always so amazing. Are you a professional decorator??

  19. May 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I’m floored. First because I can’t believe that I’ve never seen your blog until today. I mean, where have you been? Where have I been? I’m just glad to have found you. :-)
    And second..this is absolutely beautiful. I’d like to be sitting at that gorgeous table…looking out at that beautiful water… and enjoying that fabulous meal. I look forward to catching up with you!

  20. May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    As I gaze upon your incredible Cinco de Mayo table I can hear the sound of a Maracchi band in the background….you outdid yourself again…magnificent table and the short rib tacos look amazing!…I have started a Cinco de Mayo board and pinning away Mary!…Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

  21. franki
    May 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Ole!!! franki

  22. May 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Wow what a gorgeous table setting and photos!!

  23. May 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    A very festive table and menu indeed. I love sangria and had it at every opportunity in Spain the last few days. I was surprised to learn that it’s not a popular drink there….who knew!!

  24. May 6, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Fantabulous, Mary!!

  25. May 6, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Stunning tablescape, oh my goodness! What a post, every detail is just beautiful, what a grand celebration~

  26. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    May 6, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Totally amazing as always. I adore the bright colors and that olive jar centerpiece is fabulous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  27. Kim
    May 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    This is my idea of decorating I with a southwest flair. I have purchased a number of items from your tablescape for our AZ home. I use your boating and lakeside themed ideas for our northern CA house. I wish you were a real neighbor, so I could join your group for your fun gatherings! Plus, you are a good shopper–my kind of gal.

  28. May 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Hi, Mary! Ancho chile peppers are in the produce bins at many stores here in the Kansas City area, in part because of our large and ever-growing Latino population. They are in all stores by the truckful in the fall when they are in the greatest abundance. They have ancho chile festivals and everything. Kind of weird…it’s just a pepper! :-)

    This is a fabulous table of the most caliente sort!!! The centerpiece is so colorful and beautiful, and I’m sure it had a wonderful fragrance from all of the different flowers and earth-grown elements. You used my favorite pottery vase again! Love it, love it, love it!

    Not only does the rose sangria spritzer sound good, you have it beautifully and artfully displayed! Who could possibly resist? Not me! Pinning!!!!!!!

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

  29. Bev
    May 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Just beautiful…love the colorful linens. Using the fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables is inspirational…lovely!

  30. juliemurkerson
    May 11, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I love your photos, Mary! What a great view you have. And great looking tacos. Pinned! Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays!

  31. Lady Nann (Nancy J.)
    July 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Mary this is an absolutely STUNNING table presentation. You always do such beautiful things!!! And I love any recipe by Bobby Flay. This is one humdinger of a post and I love it!!! Well Done!!!

  32. April 16, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    With all of your bright colors you’ve definitely captured that south of the border feel, and it looks like the weather has warmed enough for you to do outdoor staging again.

  33. April 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Beautiful! I well recognize those placemats. I bought another set in greens and blues.

  34. Pat
    April 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Absolutely beautiful! This beautiful table looks as though it could be in Texas too ~ :) LOVE all the color and the food has to be delish!


  35. May 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    This is stunning Mary! I love the vibrant colors and all of the fresh elements.

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