Before you drink too many margaritas while wearing a large sombrero, take a look at some fun, festive, and authentic ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo–artistically!
1. Make Large Tissue Paper Flowers
It wouldn’t be a Mexican celebration without bold, eye-catching colors. And the cheapest, easiest way to add some Viva! to your Cinco de Mayo celebrations is by making tissue paper flowers. The bigger, the better.
6-10 sheets of tissue paper – bold, bright colors are best
Stack the different-colored sheets of tissue paper, and then fold accordion style (like you’re making a fan). Once folded, tie the center with the pipe cleaner to secure the paper. Then cut the ends of the paper with scissors to create a rounded shape. Finally, open the flower one sheet of tissue paper at a time to create a full, floral effect. Depending on the size, you can hang your paper flowers, decorate a table or even wear them in your hair!
(Thanks to Family Fun for this easy DIY project!)
2. Cook Chilaquiles
If you have too much tequila on Saturday, this delicious, authentic Mexican dish could be your new best friend come Sunday morning. Chilaquiles is a very simple casserole of tortilla chips, eggs and salsa. A traditionalist may add mole sauce and chicken, but here is a simple recipe to get you started on your new chilaquiles love affair.
2 cups oil (for frying)
¼ chopped onion
1 can Mexican style hot tomato sauce
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Carefully stir in the onion and tortilla strips. Fry until golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels. Once drained, add tortillas to skillet and stir in the eggs. Scramble. Mix in tomato sauce. Reduce to simmer and stir until thickened (roughly 10 minutes). Add cheese. Season with salt. Cook until cheese has melted. Add dollop of sour cream.
(Thanks to All Recipes for this great recipe!)
3. Spice up Your iPod Collection
Authentic Mexican music is more than just a mariachi band. Look up some Tejano (think Selena), Mexican cumbia (a musical style originally from Colombia) or even Banda music (which is like Mexican polka) to shake up your party.
4. Mix up La Paloma
Paloma isn’t just the name of Picasso’s daughter, it is also an awesome, traditional Mexican cocktail. And remember this is a Mexican drink, so its whole point is to beat the heat, and quench your thirst.
2 oz. tequila (a high quality blanco or reposado is recommended)
½ ounce lime juice
pinch of salt
Mix the tequila and lime juice in a tall glass. Add ice, and top off with grapefruit soda. Stir. (If you can’t find grapefruit soda, try lemon-lime soda with a splash of grapefruit juice.) Add the salt, but if you prefer to salt the rim, do so. You won’t regret it.
5. Find True Mexican Culture in your city
Across America you’ll find a bevy of Cinco de Mayo festivals, parades, art exhibits, music and, don’t forget, food trucks. From LA’s festival on Olvera Street to New York’s festival outside Grand Central Terminal – most major cities will have a place for you to explore, eat, drink and celebrate all things Mexico!
Claudia Maittlen-Harris is a writer and comedian based in Los Angeles. She is the co-creator of the how-not-to dating/relationship blog, The Zeros Before the One.
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