5 Great Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here are my 5 tops ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

1. Indulge in a Last Minute Getaway to Mexico: What better way to celebrate the Mexican Army defeating the French forces than by traveling to Mexico to party in person.  Thanks to Last Minute Travel, you can book a flight and hotel right this minute.

2. Prepare a Mexican Fiesta: Don’t have your passport handy? Then bring a bit of Mexico to you. Create some authentic mexican cuisine to enjoy with friends while enjoying some cervasa (Taco Bell does not count as authentic).  Here are two great recipes that are easy to make and will impress your party guests:

Guisado de Puerco con Tomatillos (Pork Stew in Green Salsa)
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (3 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatillos
  • 1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, divided
  • 6 sprigs cilantro

Directions:

  1. Stir together the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and cumin in a large bowl. Place the cubed pork into the mixture, and stir well to coat the meat with the seasonings.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Working in batches if necessary, place the meat into the hot pan in a single layer. Pan-fry the pork until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the pork to a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  3. Cook and stir the onion in the hot pan over medium heat, adding more olive oil if necessary, until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the garlic, tomatillos, chiles, marjoram, chopped cilantro, and water. Check seasoning and add 1 pinch of salt to taste, if needed. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Skim excess fat off the stew before serving in bowls, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a cilantro sprig on each bowl.

Nutty Buenlos
Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

    1. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl. Combine the cake flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt; gradually stir into the eggs to make a stiff dough.
    2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough, and roll them out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface.
    3. Fry in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once to brown evenly on both sides. Drain on paper towels, and cool. Drizzle honey over the tops, and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

3. Host a Tequila Tasting: Don’t feel like cooking ? Host a tequila tasting instead (although, make sure you at least have some chips on hand – it is equally as important to be a responsible host as it is to be a fun host). According to Wikipedia:

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco. There are two basic categories of tequila: mixtos and 100% agave. Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:

  • Blanco (“white”) or plata (“silver”): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
  • Joven (“young”) or oro (“gold”): a mixture of blanco tequila and reposado tequila (Ex. José Cuervo Oro).
  • Reposado (“rested”): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size;
  • Añejo (“aged” or “vintage”): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels;
  • Extra Añejo (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.

If your guests can’t handle tequila on its own – perhaps they would prefer a tequila sunrise?

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail
Ingredients:

1.75 Parts Tequila,
0.5 Parts Grenadine,
2 Ice Cubes,
Crushed ice,
fresh Orange Juice

Directions:

Place the Tequila and orange juice in a cocktail mixer with all the crushed ice and shake thoroughly. Pour mixture into a glass with the ice cubes already in it. Slowly add the grenadine, allowing for it to rise. Stir well before drinking for best taste.

Don’t forget to toast Mexican General Zaragosa and Colonel Diaz for a hard-won victory!

4. Make a Pinata: Looking for ideas the whole family will love? Create (or buy!) a pinata for a family-friendly celebration. Thanks to Chevron Cars, there is now a great step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect pinata:

Pinatas are found at almost every Mexican celebration. Pinatas were traditionally in the shape of a six-pointed star and were filled with fruit, candy, and small toys. Today they are designed in all types of shapes, including animals, plants, and flowers. At fiestas, the pinatas are hung in the air and children are blindfolded and take turns swinging at the pinatas. Eventually, the pinata is hit hard enough and it breaks releasing the candy and toys that it contained.

What you will need:

•2 cups flour
•3 cups water
•1 balloon
•Newspaper
•Paint, crayons, or markers
•Colored crepe paper
•String

Directions:

1.Blow up a large balloon and tie the end
2.Mix the flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste
3.Cut the newspaper into long 1 inch thick strips and dip into the flour/water mixture
4.Carefully place the strips on the balloon until it is covered, leaving a hole at the top
5.Set aside and let the balloon dry
6.Place another layer of newspaper dipped in the mixture over the balloon and let dry
7.Repeat with one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top
8.When dry, pop and remove the balloon
9.Paint your pinata with different designs and colors
10.If desired, hang colored crepe paper from the sides and bottom
11.Punch 2 small holes in the top near the opening and string a large piece of string through the two holes
12.Fill your pinata (through the hole you left at the top) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises. You should also fill with strips of newspaper so the surprises are not all in one location
13.Tie your pinata in the air with the string and have fun!

You can be very creative with this project. You can design your pinata into any shape (animal, flower, etc,) with your imagination. Use thick colored paper filled with scrunched up newspaper and glue or tape to add any details to your basic pinata structure.

5. Dance the night away. The night isn’t complete without some Mexican folk dancing, or grupos folkoloricos.

How did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

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May 5, 2011. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Style Art Life replied:

    So many great recipes! Though I missed the Cinco celebration, I’m definitely pulling these out as weather keeps getting warmer! It’ll be a Mexican Summer!

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