Before jumping into party preparation…Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. That happens on September 16th. Mexico already had its independence when France became unhappy that Mexico couldn’t pay its debts. So, France invaded Mexico. At the Battle of Puebla, the Mexicans were outnumbered 4500 to 6040. Even though the French were considered the best army the in world at that time, the Mexican army killed about four French soldiers to every Mexican soldier killed. The French did eventually take over the Mexican government; however, with the help of the U.S., the French were run-out of Mexico and the Mexican government was reinstated. The Battle of Puebla became a battle cry for the Mexican army and people…similar to “Remember the Alamo” for Texans.
Enough history…let’s talk PARTY!!!
FOOD: Cinco de Mayo is all about delicious Mexican food and intoxicating drinks
Quick and easy to prepare Menu:
Chips and Salsa – if your grocery store makes fresh salsa, this is what you want to buy. You can always make your own with a good processor, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lemon juice. Add a few jalapenos for spice.
Guacamole – packaged Guac is readily available at your favorite grocery store. Unless you favor the Martha Stewart approach where you do everything from scratch, pre-packaged Guac saves time and money. Cut up a few tomatoes and onions, add them to the Guac and you’re ready to party. Avocados like to turn brown. If you’ll squeeze some lemon juice on the Guac, it will keep it look fresh and green.
Chicken and Corn Chilaquiles Casserole – Casseroles can be prepared ahead of time which eliminates much of the stress from you. This casserole takes only 30 minutes to prepare and can be slipped into the oven for 30 minutes prior to guests arriving.
½ cup chopped cilantro
1-14 oz. jar of Verde Sauce with tomatillos and jalapeno chiles
3 cups tortilla chips
8 oz. cooked/roasted chicken breast
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, mix cilantro and verde sauce
3. In a ceramic baking dish, spread out ½ the tortilla chips.
4. Pour ½ the sauce, chicken and cheese on top of the chips.
5. Repeat this process.
Cover the baking dish and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to back for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. You’re ready to serve!
Beans (Frijoles) – This is super easy! Buy canned frijoles in a can. Mix in a few finely chopped onions. Sprinkle some cheese on top, warm in the oven until the cheese melts and the beans are warm. Perfect!
Additional food ideas:
Pina Colada Cake (easy to make)
1. 2 quarts ice cubes
2. 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
3. 12 fluid ounces tequila
4. 1/4 cup Cointreau
Add lime slices for decoration
Preparing the drinks
- Working in 2 batches, place 1 quart ice cubes in a blender. Add 1/2 can limeade, 6 ounces tequila and 2 tablespoons Cointreau. Blend at highest speed until drink is almost smooth. Pour into a pitcher and repeat with remaining ingredients. Store in the freezer.
- To salt the margarita glasses, pour a single layer of salt on a salad plate. Moisten each glass rim with lime; dip each rim in the salt. Pour margaritas into each glass; garnish with lime.
Inexpensive Party Decorations:
Your Dollar Store® or Party City® are your new best friends. Select paper plates in a combination of green, red and white, the colors of the Mexican flag. Red or green plastic ware and napkins add to the theme. Find an inexpensive piñata to use as a centerpiece. Dig around in your linen draw to find a red or green Christmas tablecloth for the table.
While shopping for paper products, pick up some inexpensive Maracas to add to the atmosphere. Add color everywhere such as paper streamers.
Pick up some inexpensive Margarita glasses at one of the discount stores. If one gets broken, it’s no disaster.
Now, you’re ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Stay Thirsty, My Friends…