Traditionally Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. In my world, it’s just another reason to throw a party…and a themed one at that. So throw on your sombreros, bring out those blenders, and follow these easy tips for a fun and foolproof fiesta.

As I always say, every party starts with a cocktail. This year I’ve decided to serve my favorite margaritas. I’d like to call it “The Poor Girl version of the Skinny Girl Margarita”. It’s simple and delicious!

  • 1 Pitcher of Water (filled ¾ of the way full)
  • 8 -10 shots Tequila (depending on size of pitcher)
  • 1 packet of Crystal Light Lemonade
  • Stir together all ingredients in pitcher. Serve in salted glasses, garnish with lime, over ice. Add a splash of triple sec to each glass to finish.

Make sure to stock your fridge with a variety of Mexican beers as well for all those non-margarita drinkers. The rest of the menu should be fun, easy, and something everyone can enjoy.

garlicshrimpAfter the drinks come the appetizers…Zesty Garlic Shrimp, served on a skewer, as well as chips with salsa and guacamole is what I plan start the fiesta with (after the drinks of course). And for the main course a taco station is my favorite Mexican themed dish. This way guests can customize the tacos to their liking. Keep it simple though: chicken, steak, and beans for your protein, and a couple of toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Then reuse your salsa and guacamole in the taco station and you’re set!

Remember, throwing a party is all about a theme, planning, and having fun. Keeping your menu (both food and drinks) simple makes it easier for you, and giving your guests options means everyone is pleased and hopefully full. Happy Cinco de Mayo, cheers!

Zesty Garlic Shrimp

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 servings

I created this recipe for my family one day when I needed something fast to make for dinner. In the way home from work, I stopped by the market and purchased peeled and deveined shrimp. When I reached home, I mixed the simple marinade from pantry ingredients, and marinated the shrimp. By the time the table was set and the grill was ready, it took no more than six minutes to frill the shrimp. With a salad and a log of bread, this makes a meal. It can also be one dish in a barbecue.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Instructions

Preheat the grill. In medium-size bowl, whisk cilantro, oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, and pepper flakes together to make a marinade.

Add the shrimp, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate to marinate about 20 minutes before grilling. Drain the shrimp before grilling and, in a small saucepan, heat the marinade to boiling; keep warm until ready to use with grilled shrimp.

Grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat, and toss in the heated marinade before serving with other barbecue fare.

http://www.theberghoff.com/2012/05/04/fun-fool-proof-fiesta/