It’s Cinco De Mayo again and to me that’s the best excuse for a celebration featuring Mexican food and drinks! Not that I need a reason to enjoy Mexican food, I’m just crazy about it! No one ever has to twist my arm into making a pitcher of Margaritas or a tray of tacos and burritos.
But Cinco De Mayo is still a great excuse to throw a party! You don’t have to be Mexican in my opinion to celebrate. But if you really must know the reason Cinco De Mayo is celebrated it’s a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Just in case you were thinking it’s the Mexican Independence day, it’s clearly not. I believe the largest Cinco De Mayo celebration is in Puebla.
History aside Cinco De Mayo has become somewhat a part of American culture simple because it involves great food and drinks I think. What ever the reason it’s a great time to throw a party or at the very least have a “Mexican” night with the family.
It doesn’t have to be an invite the whole neighborhood block party, you can keep it simple and have a pot luck with friends and family or simpler still enjoy some Mexican dishes with just the family. Here’s a few fun ideas you can use to make your celebration fun for all!
Set up a Margarita Bar
Guests can help themselves to margaritas, you can serve the classic margarita or add a flavored one or two like mango and strawberry.
If you’ve got kids or for any one wanting something non-alcoholic (like the designated driver) put bottles of Jarrito in a tub of ice, don’t forget the bottle opener!
Or set up a Horchata bar with several flavors of this refreshing Mexican drink.
Put up a Pinata
Pinatas are always fun. They’re colorful and full of candy, what’s not to like? You can use your pinata as just decoration or you can actually have the kids break it.
If you consider breaking the pinata with a stick too violent, I’m a bit iffy on it too, you can cut a flap on the bottom of your pinata and attach ribbons or string to it. The kids just have to tug on it to let the candy and other treats out. This is a safer option specially when there are toddlers involved!
Set a colorful table!
Use colorful dinnerware at the table and as serving plates.
They don’t have to be ceramic, you can mix and match colorful paper or plastic plates.
Decorate with bright colors and props
Dust off the maracas and sombreros and haul out the serapes. Use colorful balloons, fabrics, banners, paper lanterns and flowers to spruce up the party area.
Don’t forget colorful baskets they can hold everything from flatware to favors!
Serve lots and lots of Mexican Food!
Tacos, burritos, nachos, chimichangas, enchaladas, you name it! Serve up lots of your favorites. If you’re just wanting to keep it simple then focus on an entree like fajitas, and serve up sides of rice and beans. But don’t forget the salsa and guacamole!
If you don’t a lot of time to cook then whip up a pot of my Beef Barbacoa, you can use it in tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, or whatever you want. Best of all it’s made in an Instant Pot and can be made in less than 2 hours. Your friends and family will think you slaved over a hot stove all day!
Here’s the recipe!
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3-4 Lbs. Chuck Roast cut into large chunks
2 Tbs Minced Garlic
3-4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (you can buy a can in the Mexican section of the grocery store) – chopped
1 (4oz) can of diced green chiles
1 Onion finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Bay Leaves
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Oregano
1 Tbs Sea Salt
1 Tbs Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Ground cloves
3/4 Cup Beef Broth
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Turn on pot to Saute and heat olive oil
Sear meat chunks in the oil
Add the remaining ingredients on top of the beef
Cover and make sure valve is set to “Sealing”
Change pot setting to Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
Once it’s done let it sit in the pot for 15 minutes then carefully turn the valve to “venting” to depressurize the pot
Remove cover and shred beef – it shouldn’t take much to shred it by now the meat should be falling apart.
Leave in juices until ready to use
Use to fill tacos and burritos or to top nachos. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
You can store leftovers in its juices in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.