Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Three Essentials for Cinco de Mayo

Margarita, salsa, and guacamole
I always look forward to Cinco de Mayo.  I love any excuse to enjoy the flavors of Mexican food.  This year Cinco de Mayo is on a Thursday.  That means you may find yourself facing your Cinco de Mayo celebration at the end of a long day of work near the end of an even longer week of work.  With a little preparation ahead of time, you will be able to celebrate at home without a lot of fuss and trouble.  There are three essentials for any Cinco de Mayo celebration in my opinion. You can easily have the preparation work done ahead of time for each of these three easy Cinco de Mayo recipes.  That way you can enjoy Cinco de Mayo without a lot of muss or fuss.

First, you'll want to plan for your celebratory cocktail.  Of course, it must be a margarita.  For me, it will be a classic margarita, on the rocks with salt on the rim.

A margarita
A Classic Margarita
Donna's Classic Margarita
Print Recipe

Makes two cocktails

  • 4 ounces Tequila
  • 2 ounce Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1-ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

First, make your simple syrup by heating equal parts water and sugar together in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stir to combine the sugar and water and remove from the heat to cool.

Squeeze limes to get the amount of lime juice you will need to make your drinks.  Prepare your margarita glasses with salt on the rim, if desired.  I run a wedge of lime along the rim and then dip the rim in kosher salt.  If you want to be a little fancier, mix the zest of one lime with the salt and then dip the rim of your glass in the mixture.  Set aside to dry.

Add the ice to a Boston Shaker.  Then add Tequila, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, simple syrup and lime juice and shake until the shaker frosts.  Pour the margarita and ice into the prepared glass.  Serve and enjoy!

Next, you'll want some snacks to eat with your margarita.  What is more classic than salsa and guacamole?  My recipes for both salsa and guacamole are the best!  I've tried others, but I keep going back to these.  This salsa tastes more flavorful if you make it ahead of time.  Make it on the weekend and it will be perfect for Thursday.  Are you having a crowd of friends at your party?  You'll love that this recipe makes enough addictive salsa to feed a crowd.

My Favorite Salsa
Print Recipe
Makes more than 1 quart
My Favorite Salsa

  • 1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer half of the ingredients to a blender. Blend for a couple of seconds to reduce the chunks.  Add the blended salsa back to the original bowl and stir to combine.  Go ahead and taste it to be sure it has the level of spice and heat you like.  You can add more of whatever you like.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

No self-respecting Cinco de Mayo celebration can happen without some guacamole to go with your tortilla chips.  My guacamole recipe will produce a chunky, flavorful addition to your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

My Slammin' Guacamole
Printable Recipe
My Slammin' Guacamole
  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 4-1/2 oz.+ can mild chopped green chilies, undrained
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Tabasco, a couple of dashes, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits.  Scoop the avocado flesh from the shell and mash.  In a bowl, combine the mashed avocado with the lime juice to keep the avocado a lovely, bright green.    Remove the seeds from the jalapeño and chop fine.  You won't want big pieces of jalapeño in your dip.  Add the diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, and chilies to the avocado mixture.  If you don't like cilantro, you can substitute fresh parsley, but you really need one or the other.   It's all about the flavor!  Stir to combine. 

Add a couple dashes of tabasco, salt, and pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Refrigerate your guacamole for a couple of hours before serving.  The heat will intensify and the flavor only gets better as it chills in your refrigerator.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and watch your guacamole disappear.


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  1. From one Donna to another Donna...hello!!! :)

  2. I'm not a huge Margarita fan (long story...bad experience:-) ), but I adore salsa and guacamole! Thanks for sharing at the Blogger's Pit Stop

    1. Hah, Debbie! Been there, done that! You'll find the recipes for salsa and guacamole to be delicious, even if I do say so myself!


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