A Few Ways to Spice Up Cinco de Mayo!

cincodemayomoustachecathyrivaThe wonderful thing about Cinco de Mayo is that it is the perfect time for an impromptu party! Throw together some your favorite Mexican dishes and invite the neighbors… it is fiesta-time!

Quick Change to South of the Border Décor:
Now is the approved time to use a moustache; peel and stick them on solo cups or straws for an extra “stash” of fun.

Keep it simple, grab a sombrero from a party store and use it as a chip holder.

Maracas can double as name cards for a sit-down bash.

Lemons and limes work wonders in bright bowls or clear cylinder vases.

Who says kids get all the fun? Grown-ups can enjoy Piñatas too. Oriental Trading has a ton of fiesta finds; my favorite is the colorful donkey.

D-I-Y Paper Mexican Flags look great as a table skirt!

Fiesta Food:
Fire up the grill and make your own quesadillas.
Tortilla chips are a must and mix it up a little by making your own corn salsa – the children can help with this too!

Recipe Corn Salsa

-2 ears fresh super sweet corn, husked

-1 can or fresh (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

-1 mango, cubed (about 1 cup)

-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1 thinly sliced green onion (scallion)

1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper

-1 teaspoon salt

-Cook corn as you prefer. Remove kernels from cob I use the Kuhn Rikon corn twister.

(Makes about 1 1/2cups corn). In a medium-sized bowl, combine corn kernels with black beans, mango, lime juice, olive oil, green onion, jalapeno and salt.

YIELD: about 3 cups

Add a little SPICE and SPARKLE to the lovely Margarita:

Spicy Mango Margarita Spritzer
Drink compliments of Elayne Duff www.duffontherocks.com
Serves 1 (but you will want more!)

-2 ounces LOOZA Mango Juice (or use 2 mangoes, chopped and blended)

-1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco Tequila

-3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

-2 jalapeño slices –muddle in simple syrup  (remove seeds, unless you can handle it muy caliente!)

-1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or triple sec

-3/4 ounce simple syrup  (sugar water)

-Orange flavored seltzer water

Combine simple syrup and jalapeño slices, muddle together in a cocktail shaker. Then add ice, mango juice, Don Julio, lime juice, Grand Marnier, shake. Strain into a tall glass with ice, top with 1/2 ounce orange flavored sparkling water. (my not-so-secret ice cube tip)
I like to use fun shaped ice cube trays and add the margarita mix, mango juice, or lemonade to them. Garnish your saucy Margarita with mango cubes for festive color.

Shake your Maracas:
Music connects us to our souls; both the young and old, so choose a little Latin flavor with an old stand by-the Gypsy Kings. Or shake it to something upbeat like Ozomatli. They are a fun Latin fusion band that is super high energy and inspires a dancing crowd.

Ay Churro’s Dessert:
Desert on a stick! Dunk your little Mexican doughnuts “churros” in a delicious Mexican chocolate fondue. You can add pineapple and bananas too! This is fun for all ages! Family approved!

Cilio by Frieling Chocolate Fondue Sets (in various colors)

For more party tips and tricks or if you want to learn to celebrate every day, check out Cathy Riva at www.rivaevents.com or her Celebrate Everyday blog http://cathyriva.blogspot.com/!

By: Cathy Riva

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