Fiesta en Mi Casa!
We love any reason for a party! But have you ever wondered why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army claimed victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Apparently it was a hard task to do, so each May 5th we keep that victory going with our favorite Mexican feast, signature drinks and perhaps some festive music and dancing. Here is a sure way for your guests to do the Mexican hat dance all the way to your home.
Send guests a traditional paper invite, but in each envelope include a toothpick that has a Mexican flag attached to it. This will give your guests a hint of the fun to come.
Bright colors and casual are the way to do it for a fiesta! Use a traditional Mexican blanket as a tablecloth for a buffet table. Create large tissue flowers to hang above the food station. Or go for the traditional Mexican papel picado, banners made of laser-cut tissue paper. You could hang these across the room or outdoors along with strings of globe bulb lights. If you want to invest a little more, hang bold-colored piñatas too.
On the food table, use sombrero hat brims as a container for chips and lay maracas on the table. You could even make ruffles out of fabric to wrap around glass candleholders to represent the costumes from Mexican women folk dancers. Scatter around some whole lemons and limes for added color.
As awesome as it would be to have a real mariachi band at your fiestas, sometimes they’re just not available at the drop of a sombrero. So fill up the iPod with Santana, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin and dance the night away!
Chips, fresh salsa and guacamole are a must. Also create a station for make-your-own tacos. To be authentic, you can offer soft corn tortillas as well as crunchy taco shells. For fillings, I suggest chicken, beef, fish and grilled vegetables. And don’t skimp on all the fixin’s, because they’re the most fun part: chopped tomatoes, grated Colby jack cheese, sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, black olives and sliced jalapeño peppers. Make a pot of rice to go on the side.
And of course a hearty meal likes this deserves to be washed down with a good drink. My favorite is beer margaritas, or, as I prefer to call them, Beergaritas. You might say you’re not a beer drinker (I said the same thing)—but this recipe will make a liar out of you.
Here’s the magic recipe—drink up and say Viva México! (Just remember: May 5th is a weekday, and you have work in the morning.)