How to Host a Make-Your-Own Taco Bar Party

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Even if your heritage isn't Hispanic, you can throw a make-your-own-taco party with all the trimmings without fussing about authentic recipes. Here's a shortcut method to hosting a fun Mexican-themed party where guests can assemble their own main dish and dessert.

Things You'll Need

  • For 8 to 10 persons:
  • Crockpot
  • Coffee maker
  • Ice tea pitcher
  • Casserole dish for rice
  • Four serving bowls for cheese, salsa and guacamole
  • 3 serving baskets for chips, hard taco shells and soft taco shells
  • Paper plates, paper cups and plastic utensils
  • Purchase from supermarket:
  • taco filling ingredients:
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 c. chopped onion
  • 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 pkg. taco seasoning mix
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 doz hard taco shells
  • Ingredients for other dishes:
  • 1 - 2 dozen flour tortillas
  • 2 jars or 2 containers salsa, any kind
  • 2 containers guacamole (in deli case)
  • 2 pkg. RiceARoni Spanish rice
  • 2 bags My Nana's brand tortilla chips
  • 2 packages Rice a Roni Spanish rice
  • 1 lb. bag shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 16-oz container sour cream
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 3 half gallons ice cream: mint chocolate chip, strawberry and vanilla
  • 2 cans Hershey's original chocolate sauce
  • Have on hand:
  • coffee and tea bags (to prepare coffee and ice tea)
  • Optional:
  • 2 bottles Sangria wine
  • Clear enough space on kitchen counter or use a table to set up, buffet style the night before the party. Prepare the ice tead (place three family size or 6 regular size teabags in large glass container. Set outside to brew as "sun tea" for five hours, or put in refrigerator the night before to make "refrigerator tea."

  • Set up the coffeemaker four to five hours before guests arrive. Prepare the taco filling: saute ground beef and onion in olive oil in large heavy skillet. Add tomato sauce and taco seasoning and stir. Pour into the crockpot, cover and turn heat on low. Set aside. Wash and chop green onions into 1/2" pieces. Put into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  • Prepare the Spanish rice an hour before guests arrive. Turn into a greased casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Place in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.

  • Arrange bowls of salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, guacamole and sour cream on counter 30 minutes before guests arrive. Place flour tortillas and taco shells in a basket lined with a colorful dishtowel or napkin, next to the crockpot. Put out serving spoons, and use colorful paper plates, napkins and silverware.

  • Set out the Spanish rice next to crockpot on counter with serving spoon when guests arrive. Pour chips into basket and place next to salsa. Hand out plates for self-serve.

  • Remove containers of ice cream from freezer after guests finish main course. Set out on the counter with serving spoon in each. Use a can opener to open both cans of Hershey's chocolate sauce and set out next to ice cream, along with enough bowls and spoons for guests to create their own "Mexican flag" ice cream treats.

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