Thursday, May 3, 2012


I can't believe May is already here.  One of my favorite ways to kick off the summer season is to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  The fact that this year, it falls on a Saturday calls for an extra big party!  Anyone could put out some salsa & chips with a side of Corona and call it a day, but not me!  I went looking for party ideas that would celebrate the occasion while being both fun and modern. Here's what I found...

Not your mother's fiesta banner ::
This bright and modern banner from Paper Fox Design would set the tone to make sure the mariachi band played long into the night!
found here on Etsy

Food is key to the success of any party and you can't celebrate Cinco de Mayo without a delicious guacamole recipe.  I'm partial to authentic Mexican guacamole which is just avocados, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and a little lime juice.  Some folks like it spicy... Whichever your preference, this recipe will fit the bill.

Perfect Guacamole
Perfect Guacamole Recipe ::
Prep time: 10 minutes
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
2 Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more.
If adding the chili peppers – start slow. Chili peppers  vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.
Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.
Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
3 Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
4 Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.
Yield: Serves 2-4.

MMM, Beer (as Homer Simpson would say) ::

I think I've mentioned before, I love beer. And nothing beats a yummy south of the boarder beverage on a hot day (or a cold one for that matter, I live in Chicago so I'll take what I can get!J).

Frozen Margaritas with a twist ::
I'm a big fan of the Hostess with the Mostess.  I'm inspired by all the fun and fresh ideas they share and this one is no exception.  So fabulous!  

Margarita Ice PopsMargarita Popsicles
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Kosher salt, for garnish
Special Equipment: 
4 small cups (recommended: Dixie), 4 popsicle sticks
Combine sugar, lime juice, water, lemon juice and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool transfer to a blender with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime wedge and process until smooth. Pour into the cups and cover the top of each cup with foil. Place the popsicle stick in center of cup (down through foil, which will hold it in place). Freeze until hard, preferably overnight. Remove from freezer and run cup under warm water to loosen popsicle. Garnish with kosher salt and serve. 

A great way to say THANKS! ::

I adore this letterpress card and it would be a perfect way to send a heartfelt thanks to all your guests.

You can find this one on Smock.  

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

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