Whether you have friends coming over to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or you’d just like to have some fun with it as a family, we’ve got you covered! Our easy, great tasting recipes and fun, simple game ideas will add some divertido (that means fun!) to your fiesta!
Lots of us celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and don’t really know about it’s historical significance. That’s OK, but it never hurts to be informed, right?
The Historical Significance of Cinco de Mayo
So…did you think, like I used to, that Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican Independence? If you answered “Yes,” you’re wrong! Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)actually commemorates the Mexican Militia winning The Battle of Puebla against the French in 1862 (Mexico’s Independence from the Spanish is celebrated on Sept. 16th). It is not a national holiday, but rather one that is celebrated in the regions in and around Puebla, and also in many U.S. cities with sizable Mexican populations. For the rest of us, it is an excuse to eat some great Mexican food, and have some fun. Won’t it be cool, though, to be the one at the party who’s got the knowledge? 🙂
I thought I would share some of our favorite Mexican food recipes. I’ve chosen ones that are easy to prepare and kid-friendly.
Beth’s Homemade Guacamole
4 ripe avocados, peeled and coarsely chopped *keep one of the avocado pits*
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lime (or lemon)
salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp. to start)
handful of grape tomatoes, chopped
- Add the first four ingredients to a medium bowl, and mash with the back of a fork. I like my guacamole a little chunky, so I don’t over mash. If you like a more consistent texture, mash on!
- Taste the guacamole to see if it has enough salt–add more if necessary.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and mash a bit more with the fork.
- Stir to mix well.
- Place the reserved avocado pit in the middle of the guacamole, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. The pit helps to keep the guacamole from browning.
- Remove the pit before serving.
These can be made with chicken, beef, or both! 4-5 servings
- Your choice of chicken or beef (like flank steak), sliced into strips–about 1 pound total of meat
- 2/3 c. Italian salad dressing
- 1/2 tsp. Worcester sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 red or green peppers (or one of each), sliced
- juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
- 1 pkg 8″ flour tortillas
- shredded cheddar cheese
- shredded lettuce
- sour cream
- chopped fresh cilantro
- diced tomatoes
- black beans
- Slice the chicken and/or beef into thin strips. To make beef easier to slice, freeze it for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Put the sliced meat in a zipper-top gallon bag or glass baking dish. Add the Italian dressing, Worcester sauce, and garlic, and turn meat to coat. Add some water if necessary to coat all meat.
- Refrigerate meat and allow to marinate about 2 hours (less for all chicken).
- About 1/2 hour prior to meal, remove the meat from the refrigerator.
- Preheat a large fry pan or grill pan on medium high.
- Spray non-stick cooking spray in pan. Add meat.
- Stir often to evenly brown meat. Saute until cooked through, about 7 minutes or so.
- Remove meat from the pan, leaving any brown bits.
- Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to pan. Add in chopped veggies. Saute until cooked.
- Add meat back into pan.
- Gently add 2 squeezes of lime or lemon juice to the pan. Stir to mix well.
- Turn pan to medium low until ready to serve.
- Remove flour tortillas from bag, and cover them with a thin, cotton kitchen towel.
- Warm in the microwave on med. power until tortillas are warmed through.
- Serve meat and veggies and tortillas with your choice of toppings.
- Have fun creating custom fajitas!
My Quick Version of Abuela’s Black Beans
- 1 can of black beans–do not drain or rinse
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano (rub it in your hand before adding to ingredients to release more flavor)
- squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
- Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil on the stove
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or so.
Mexican Flag Colored Gelatin Poke Cake
A plain old box white cake gets a Mexican makeover with green lime gelatin striped through out, and sliced, fresh red strawberries on top…Andale! Let’s Eat!
- 1 boxed white cake (2 layer size)
- 1 C boiling water
- 1 pkg. (3 oz.) lime flavored gelatin
- 1/2 C. cold water
- 1 tub (8 oz.) light Cool whip, thawed
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
- Follow boxed cake directions for a 9 x 13 pan.
- Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes.
- Pierce the cake with a large fork at 1/2″ intervals.
- Add boiling water the the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
- Stir in the cold water, and pour mixture over the cake.
- Refrigerate 3 hours.
- Frost the cake with the Cool Whip topping. Refrigerate up to 1 hour.
- Before serving, Add the sliced strawberries to complete the green, red, and white colors represented in the Mexican flag.
- 1 small can frozen limeade
- 1 can water
- 2/3 can Tequila (or Rum)
- 1/3 can Triple Sec
- Fill blender with ice.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Blend and serve. Add salt to the rims of the glasses if desired.
No-fuss Children’s Games
- In advance, cue up some Mexican Hat Dance or Mariachi music from Youtube, Itunes, whereever.
- Have your famiy or a group of kids stand in circle.
- Start the music
- Call out one person’s name–it’s their turn to enter the circle, and do their “hat dance.”
- Let each person take a turn being in the dance spotlight.
Pass the Hot Chili Pepper
This game is just like hot potato, only it subs in a chili pepper!
- Have some fun Mexican music cued up from the internet, or check local radio stations for latin playlists
- Make a “chili pepper” out of crunched up red or green tissue paper, a red or green washcloth, whatever!
- Have players sit in a circle.
- When the music starts, the players must pass the chili to the next person as quickly as possible so they don’t get “burned.”
- When the music stops, the person holding the chili is out. Start over again.
- Create a sombrero shape out of paper–small enough to fit on players’ backs. Make one sombrero for each player
- Tape the paper sombrero to each player’s back
- Once the “referee” says the game has started, players are to try to remove eachother’s sombreros without their own being removed by someone else.
- The last 2 players with their sombreros still attached to their backs are the winners.