These recipes originally appear in the May 2022 issue of HomeLife Magazine.
Instead of longing for a food truck treat, make your own.
My niece, Ava, graduates from high school this month. When her mom, Kim, asked her what she wanted on the menu for her graduation dinner, Ava excitedly said, “Tacos!” True to form and always ready to take things up a notch, Kim jumped in with a new twist on an overused theme to make the event more celebratory and special.
The first I heard of this fresh idea was during a phone call when Kim threw out some possible dates for the party. From a busy calendar perspective, I’d pair the month of May right up there with December. Between Mother’s Day, Memorial Day weekend, and family birthdays, to Cinco de Mayo festivities, a graduation or two, and the typical end-of-school-year parties, suddenly your month is slammed.
Eventually landing on a date, Kim and I shifted our conversation back to talking about the new twist. Kim exclaimed, “As a huge help, and to add a fun and festive flair, I’ve contacted a local food truck vendor who will arrive at the party time with the tacos ready to go.”
Kim’s home is perfect for an event like this with a long driveway, a lush green space in her backyard with a fire pit, and a pool area with enough seating to hold a pretty sizable gathering. After a little thought, it occurred to me that any home is food-truck-ready — as the arrival of the truck provides an excitement and ambiance to any gathering, no matter the setting.
I can’t wait to attend and watch the rest unfold, but for now I’ll share some of her menu ideas, just in case you’re planning an event this spring or summer and need a little inspiration.
In my experience, graduation season adds a little more pressure as everyone attempts to come up with original themes as many celebrations happen within friend circles. Along with the shut-downs in recent years and the effect it’s had on the food truck industry as the vendors endured and adapted to stay afloat, it occurred to me that this is a great way to help out and boost their industry as well.
There’s a plethora of meals on wheels out there to choose from that would enhance any party theme — from main course to dessert and everything in between. For your next party think cupcake or donut truck — perfect for Mother’s Day, wedding or bridal shower — or ice cream or snow cone truck for an end-of-school-year party. Try a taco or Korean BBQ truck for graduation celebrations, or a gourmet hot dog truck poolside at your Memorial Day festivity.
The possibilities are endless and resources for food trucks are way too easy to find online. Keep your creativity rolling this spring and take a food truck for a spin.
Tres Leches | Makes 24 servings
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. granulated sugar
2 c. whole milk
1 – 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 – 12 oz. evaporated milk
1-1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Combine butter and sugar together until consistency is creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, then beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture several tablespoons at a time, combining well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and pierce the cake in rows with the round end of a chopstick. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the next three milks (whole, condensed, evaporated) and pour over the top of the cooled cake using all the milk mixture. In a clean mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over the entire top of the cake and smooth out with a butter knife. Refrigerate the cake until set, then garnish with lightly sprinkled cinnamon all over the top of the cake just before serving.
Tip from Laura: For a splash of color, add sliced strawberries to the top.
Mexican Street Corn | Makes 8 servings
8 ears of corn
1/2 c. crema Mexicana or sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. Tajin Clasico® seasoning
2 tsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 c. cotija cheese (crumbled)
Heat a grill to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together crema, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, Tajin, zest, and juice. Husk corn and then place on the grill for three minutes per side, rotating until each side begins to look charred. Remove from grill to a plate and immediately brush each ear of corn with the crema mixture. Sprinkle with cotija cheese, then top with additional Tajin as desired. Serve immediately.
Tip from Laura: For ease, you can cut the corn off the cob and then add the ingredients to the cut corn.
Cheddar & Jalapeño Potato Cakes | Makes 8 servings
1 c. instant potato flakes
1 c. Bisquick® baking mix
4 oz. white cheddar cheese (grated)
1 Tbsp. Tajin Clasico seasoning
2 oz. pickled Jalapeño pepper (sliced)
1-1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine potato flakes, biscuit mix, cheese, Tajin, sliced peppers, and water. Mix gently and allow to rest. Brush griddle with oil and turn to medium high. Scoop the batter and form into eight equal-sized balls. Place them equidistant apart on hot griddle, without letting them touch. Flatten with a spatula until rounds are three-to-five inches in diameter. Cook five minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm.