Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco De Mayo

I was surprised to discover that Cinco De Mayo is not widely celebrated in Mexico. I assumed that it was their independence day, but it is not. It is a regional celebration to celebrate a Mexican victory against amazingly superior French forces. Anyway, it is a great opportunity to learn about a culture we rub elbows with regularly.

My greatest success with this dinner was involving the children. By enlisting them to help with the food and the decorations, their excitement lasted days longer than the actual dinner. Luckily Stefani at Blue Yonder just produced another Book of Days with just the right ideas for children and our dinner party.

With brightly colored tissue paper from the dollar store, we snipped "papel picado" banner like cut paper designs that traditionally hang in rows along Mexican streets.

With packages of disposable cooking trays, also from the dollar store, each child designed and poked a tin luminary.

Mexican Wedding Cookies made a simple cooking lesson for the week.

My friends all shared in the food preparation, and brought delicious enchiladas, pork tacos, salsa, chips, lime cilantro rice, and black beans. We truly had a Mexican feast. Have you ever tried Cheesecake Chimichangas? I don't know how authentic they are, but they are to die for. Truly. Heaven. Abigale Vincent from Texas shared the recipe with me from a favorite taco joint in her town. How lucky we are!!!

No Mexican celebration is complete without a pinata. To keep costs low, I purchased the lips pinata on Valentine's clearance at Walmart. I had the girls decorate it to turn it into something else. Though not elegant... they had fun and I didn't break the bank. I love to watch the different personalities as they take a wack at a pinata.
Some are timid, others aggressive enough to break the stick, and others just plain enamored with the brightly colored hangy thing.

After all ten children had dented the strange face, the women had a go.

Every kid and adult secretly wants to be the one that breaks the pinata. I had the satisfying experience of hearing the crunch of the cardboard as the candy went flying.

The children favored us with a lovely rendition of the Mexican Hat Dance, then ran crazily around the back yard. Ole!

Cheesecake Chimichangas Recipe
1 package phyllo sheets
1 box Jello no-bake cheesecake
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cube melted butter

Make cheesecake filling according to directions then blend in the cream cheese. Cut phyllo sheets in half. Keep phyllo under a damp towel to keep moist and workable. Layer 2 phyllo sheets, and scoop in cream cheese filling. Roll like a burrito. Using a pastry brush, paint the phyllo wrap closed with melted butter. Deep fry until light brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve plain or with fruit. I served it with cherry pie filling and it was great but Abbigale served it with a raspberry sauce and it was heaven. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!!!


  1. lo hare. y felicidades! eres un mexicana verdadera.

  2. THanks so much for letting us be a part of this celebration. It was so much fun!!