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Cinco de Mayo, Baby!

Posted by in Holidays, The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012!

When I set out to gather recipes for this post, I had no idea what I was getting into. Not a clue. Not even the thinnest sliver of an inkling. Nada.

Nevertheless, I approached the task with a great deal of trepidation, primarily because I’m by no means an authority on Mexican food. So when I discovered that Cinco de Mayo is really more an American celebration than Mexican (save for the state of Puebla), I heaved a sigh of relief. Which was short-lived, because then I remembered I’m no authority on Tex-Mex food either.

You know what? It was all for naught. Because once I started browsing the rich TK recipe archives and struggled to keep up with one great Mexican-inspired dish after the other (I was saving links left and right, my mouse practically developed writer’s cramp), I was too distracted by the food to remember what I was worrying about in the first place.

So let’s get this roundup off to a start, shall we? We’ve got almost 100 recipes to show you (I told you I didn’t know what I was getting into!), and what better way to start than with the first meal of the day: chocolate.

Just kidding! You know I meant breakfast.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Breakfast)

Best Breakfast Burrito by Bev Weidner Huevos Rancheros Tortilla Cup with Salsa Verde by Meredith {In Sock Monkey Slippers} Breakfast Burritos by kelly @ livelovepasta Spicy Breakfast Quesadilla by Laurie {Simply Scratch} Huevos Rancheros by aslolife

For most, though, Cinco de Mayo is more about the party. Even the great Rick Bayless acknowledges that drinking has become a big part of it. And when I think Mexico and party, I think of two things: beer and margaritas. If you’ve got some non-drinkers or kids in the party, check out the horchata below!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Drinks)

Chocolate Margarita by Tina (My Life as a Mrs) Papaya Margarita by claireg12 Perfect Margaritas by HowSweetEats Skinny Beer-garitas by Kelly Horchata by A Cozy Kitchen Watermelon Margarita by Mike (Verses from my Kitchen) Fresh Mint Margaritas by The Culinary Chronicles Strawberry Margaritas by HowSweetEats

Of course, any Mexican-themed party needs great snacks and appetizers. Especially with all those drinks going around. I don’t know about you, but give me some chips and salsa or guacamole, and I’m good to go. Show me to a corner, give me some extra napkins, and if you want me to love you even more, tell me I don’t have to share with anyone.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Salsa and Guacamole)

Homemade Chipotle Salsa by whatsgabycooking White Bean Guacamole by Not A Leaf Sweet and Spicy Salsa by Lauren's Latest Grilled Guacamole by Lauren's Latest Homemade Salsa by Laurie {Simply Scratch} Tomatillo Avocado Salsa by Laura@SweetSavoryPlanet Tomatillo Salsa Verde by missamy Peach Salsa by missamy Better Than Restaurant Guacamole by Laurie {Simply Scratch}

Lots of folks already have a favorite salsa or guacamole recipe, so I started looking for other kinds of appetizers. Like ceviches, hot dips, nachos, or (get ready for this) fried avocado strips. (You heard me.) Speaking of dips, if you have a little bit of extra time, why not go the extra mile and bake your own tortilla chips? Fresh hot out of the oven, home baked tastes so good you can enjoy them plain. Which helps, especially when someone is in a corner hogging all the salsa and guacamole.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Appetizers)

Hot Chorizo Dip by lifesambrosia Chorizo Con Queso by azestybite Baked Lime Tortilla Chips by Laurie {Simply Scratch} Pear, Brie, and Honey Quesadilla by twopeasandtheirpod Tortilla Chips with Shrimp Ceviche Dip by ThreeManyCooks Barbecue Pulled Pork Nachos by Lisa L .Bynum Fried Avocado with Salsa Ranch Dip by Mariel Emory Baked Tortilla Chips by Lindsey Spicy Corn Salsa by whatsgabycooking

When I saw the homemade chips, it got me thinking. Sometimes, we just don’t have time to make everything from scratch. Sometimes, we just have to pick our battles. So if you’re pressed for time or don’t have the inclination to (because the laundry is piling up and where is my right shoe? and good grief, the mailbox just fell), remember that it often takes just one or two really good homemade components to put your own stamp on the entire menu. It can be something as simple as your own blend of taco seasoning (there are two below, including one that doesn’t call for chili powder), a special hot sauce blend, or your own enchilada sauce (goodbye, canned sauce!). You’ll be amazed at what a batch of homemade flour tortillas (if you want to make them with bacon fat, more power to you), or crispy baked taco shells can do to elevate your party’s street cred.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Homemade Ingredients)

Jalapeño Tequila Lime Hot Sauce by paxye Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix by asweetpeachef Homemade Mexican Style Chorizo by Rebecca Red Enchilada Sauce by emily {onelovelylife} Homemade Refried Beans by Dax Phillips Funky Refried Beans by patiodaddio Perrys’ Plate Taco Seasoning by Natalie (Perry's Plate) Tomato-Jalapeño Enchilada Sauce by The Fauxmartha

You know what else homemade tortilla chips are good for? Chicken tortilla soup. Actually, any other soup for that matter. But most especially Mexican-inspired soups. (Want to know what else tortilla chips are good for? I like to crunch them up and use them as croutons in my salad, too. But that’s another story for another roundup.)

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Soup)

Easy One Pot Tortilla Soup by HowSweetEats Black Bean Soup With Chorizo, Ham, and Bacon by Terri @ that's some good cookin' Chicken Taco Soup by serenabakes Nearly Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup by aspicyperspective Spicy Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup by patiodaddio Spicy Sausage Posole by Lindsay Posole: Pork and Hominy Soup by The Noshery

Now we’re coming to the meat of the party. (Look, I made a pun!) I may not know much about Tex-Mex food, but I do know tacos are a big part of it. And boy, do you guys know tacos. I found so many, I had to separate them into two categories. First up, meat tacos. Beef, chicken, venison—I name it, you’ve made it.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Tacos with Meat)

Shredded Beef Tacos with Avocado and Lime by Jennifer | Crispy Margarita Tacos with Strawberry Avocado Salsa by HowSweetEats Simple Beef Tacos by Bev Weidner Tacos al Pastor (Healthier Version) by Cooking Ventures Shredded Tri-Tip Tacos by asweetpeachef Southwestern Chipotle Brisket Tacos by whatsgabycooking Easy Crispy Shell Tacos by Nancy @ Coupon Clipping Cook BBQ Carnitas Tacos by aspicyperspective Venison Carne Guisada Tacos by Meredith {In Sock Monkey Slippers}

But what surprised me is that, as classic as beef (or chicken) tacos are, you, my friends, have submitted more taco recipes featuring seafood instead of meat. Who knew! Not that I’m complaining, mind you. There are few things I love more than a good spicy fish taco. Though the beer-battered shrimp taco below just might make me change my mind.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Tacos with Seafood)

Crispy Shrimp Tacos by HowSweetEats Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos by patiodaddio Shrimp and Cabbage Tacos with a Cilantro Yogurt Sauce by Bev Weidner Sweet ‘n Spicy Grilled Salmon Fish Tacos by Jennifer | Grilled Shrimp Tacos by The Culinary Chronicles Shrimp Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa by LittleYellowKitchen Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Corn, Grapes, and Creamy Ranchero Sauce by aspicyperspective Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Dressing by Shelbi Keith Fish Tacos by missamy

Tacos are, of course, not the only choice for your Cinco de Mayo main course offering. There are chile rellenos, carnitas, tamale pies, and even pasta done up Mexican style. Chicken enchilada spaghetti? Oh, most definitely yes, please. Most definitely.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Others)

Pork Carnitas by patiodaddio Chile Rellenos by foodvangelist Cheese Crisps by whatsgabycooking Taco Pasta Bake by Carrie Burrill Tortilla Chicken with Salsa Verde by Lindsay Mexican Rice by emily {onelovelylife} Chicken Tamale Pie by Lindsay Alyssa’s Chicken Enchiladas by CCmillercooks Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti by HowSweetEats

Now I know most of these dishes are served with flour tortillas, but all you gluten-free folks need not worry. You can try making gluten-free flour tortillas, or get hold of masa harina (masa harina is typically gluten-free, but may be processed in a plant that also processes wheat, so make sure you check first!) and make your own corn tortillas. Or skip the tortillas altogether and make them in foil packets! Dairy-free? Check out the Mexican chocolate ice cream below. Vegatarian? Not to worry. You’re well-covered, too.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Special Dietary Needs)

Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash by myrecessionkitchen Vegetarian Quesadilla With Chipotle Cream by smithbites Enfrijoladas by Pink Basil Vegetarian Mexican Salad Boats by Bev Weidner Black Bean and Mango Tostadas by twopeasandtheirpod Yam & Black Bean Burritos by Eat 80/20 Dietitian Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos by Natalie (Perry's Plate) Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream by elanaspantry Spicy Bean and Rice Burritos by maggieandanniegill

And of course, no party would be complete without something sweet. Take your pick below. You can also just take your favorite chocolate recipe and add some chili pepper or cinnamon to add a Mexican flair to it. Or whip up some dessert tacos! You can also make a large batch of Mexican hot chocolate roasted pecans for people to snack on, or package them up as great little party favors. How cute would that be?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo 2012! (Sweets)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies by Heather Torta De Cielo (Mexican Almond Cake) by Anita at Hungry Couple Frozen Margarita Frozen Yogurt by Em (Wine and Butter) Mini Mexican Porra Churros by Dr. Grace Kam Mexican Brownies by eatdrinkandbemerry Coconut Tres Leches Cake by Melanie - Mel's Kitchen Cafe Green Mango Margarita Sorbet by ivoryhut Creamy Flan by ThreeManyCooks Mexican Wedding Cookies by daydreamerdesserts

Whew. I almost thought we wouldn’t make it all the way through! Believe me, as large as this roundup is, the list I started with was much larger. Which shows just how much you all love this kind of food. And who can blame you? Peppers, corn, beans, cheese, tomatoes, chili, sour cream, spicy chocolate … all good. All goooood.

So tell us what you have on tap for this weekend! Here’s a hot tip: You might want to plan to have tortillas, refried beans, and cheese left over. Then head back here on Monday for a new step-by-step guest post that’ll put all that leftover goodness to use. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

Party on, friends!



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Florence on 5.7.2012

I’m a Cinco de Mayo baby! and I think this is one of the most tantalizingly beautiful food-posts ever. I have taken screeshots of these pictures and can’t wait to use them as my screen savers…though I’m very worried I will be constantly hungry.

You did a fantastic job compiling all these. THANK YOU!

wifemothereventplanner on 5.6.2012

so…my cinco of mayo was very different. No guac for me :-( But we did feast on a ton of Indian food. I’m responding to say that I tried – sadly tried – to do a “food” prep post on my blog. Oh it’s hard. I bow down to you. It looks easy, ingredients + photos = method. Nope. So kudos on this amazing, jazzy, downright sexy post!!! So you know one of those bizillion squares that unfold into a perfect recipe? I dream of doing that. Pray for me.

Dodie on 5.6.2012

I always say THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD MEXICAN FOOD!!!! Thank you for all these recipes!!!

Laurie {Simply Scratch} on 5.6.2012

All of these look so darn delicious! I’m thinking that I’ll need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at least once a week so I can sample all of these! Great round-up Erika!

Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on 5.5.2012

Yayyy! I spy my spicy bean and rice burritos up there! They’re one of my favorite things on my blog – thanks for including them :)

I love Mexican food year round, not just on Cinco de Mayo, so I will surely be consulting this post a LOT!

Linda J Loendorf on 5.5.2012

I always try to figure out why we celebrate cinco de mayo??? I doubt seriously that anyone in Mexico celebrates the 4th of July. . . .

Marcee on 5.5.2012

Just …. WOW!

Talk about food groups. Amazed here.

I will eat any of the above meat-free. Maybe a tiny bit of chicken. Fish tacos are great for me + lots of veggies.

As for sweets …. everything looks so gorgeous! Those brownies, and hot chocolate cookies are my style! Then that almond cake w/coffee would be sensational.

Just fab lookin grub. Everyone wants some bites!! HA.

DaisyG on 5.5.2012

What a great post! Thanks for all the great recipes… can’t wait to try some of them!

Flavors of the Sun on 5.5.2012

What an amazing selections of Mexican-inspired goodness! Thank you so much for posting!

Tracy A. on 5.5.2012

Wow – what a collection! I’m going to need to schedule myself a time to sit down and really look at this!

Jessica N. on 5.5.2012

I want to make shredded beef tacos, but want to cook the beef in a crock pot. Do you have a great recipe for that?

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    Erika (TK) on 5.5.2012

    Hi Jessica! There are lots of shredded beef recipes in TK that use the slow cooker, like this one: You can also just search for “shredded beef” in the “Slow Cooker” category and find one you like.

    You can also convert a Dutch oven recipe for use in the slow cooker, something I learned from a newspaper article some years ago. Just remember a few pointers: use about half any amount of dried spices, and add fresh herbs and salt when there is about 1 hour left in the cooking time. You may also want to decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe, using about 1/2 cup up to 1 cup less. As for cook time, check your crockpot manual to see at what temperature its Low and High (and Medium, if you have it) settings are. I’d start with doubling the Dutch oven recipe cook time and then checking after to see if you need to cook it more.

    Hope that helps!

Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama on 5.5.2012

Holy guacamole! Quite the round up of Mexican dishes! That’s for featuring my Taco Pasta Bake!!

Amy Shelden on 5.4.2012

Two recipes I am constantly looking for an actual authentic taco-shop version of. Carne Asada, and taco sauce that tastes straight out of a little plastic solo cup that they throw in the bag with your burrito.

Kaye on 5.4.2012

I don’t have a taco shell holder, but I think I once saw someond turn a muffin pan over and then place the taco shells in the spaces between the cups.

If that was you, Ree, sorry…my memory isn’t as good as it was before the scuba classes. ;-)

Ginger on 5.4.2012

I love all the photos and the different recipes, so many to choose. As a kid growing up in San Diego, my Mom would take us across the border to Tijuana and get the best tortillas. We would watch the ladies pat them into shape and cook them on a giant griddle. So fresh and warm and they would tie them up in white paper with string. Looking forward to trying some of these new recipes. Happy Cinco de Mayo.

MrsSkoDak on 5.4.2012

Fantastic collection. Can’t wait to try a few. Thought you’d be interested to know that I popped into my local Mexican market and they carry only corn tortillas. They told me only Americans eat the flour ones! I picked up a big pack of them, but guess your flour tortilla recipe will be first on my list to try. Thanks so much!

Sandi ~ Love From Cape Cod ~etsy on 5.4.2012

Oh… My GOODness!!! Look at ALL this Deliciousness!!

This is amazing…. really. Thank you SO much!! with Love From Cape Cod…. ~Sandi

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serenabakessimplyfromscratch on 5.4.2012

oh my goodness! Pure deliciousness!

Amanda on 5.4.2012

I’m probably going to make the Mexican wedding cookies for my boys b/c they absolutely love cookies, but the Vegetarian Mexican Salad Boats look amazing too. Great round up!

Jessica @ How Sweet on 5.4.2012

i can hardly take all the deliciousness in this post!

Jann Dunham on 5.4.2012

Well, the 5th of May is my birthday, so I get to pick the menu. I love Mexican/Tex-Mex food, grilled flautas from Manuels in Austin, TX being my absolute favorite!! Totally amazing!! Unfortunately, it is a bit far to drive for dinner :( as I now live in IN. My daughter has a new recipie for baked flautas so I might try that or my hubby & I will try the new Mexican restaurant in town. No matter what it will be good!

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funsizesarge on 5.4.2012

These all sound/look sooo amazing! I’m opting for Brown Eyed Baker’s Margarita Cupcakes for dessert this year – what could be better than tequila and lime in cupcake form?!

Melody on 5.4.2012

Oh, my … EVERY DAY should be Cinco de Mayo! That collection is drool-worthy. Thank you!

cindi on 5.4.2012

O my goodness, now I’m really hungry!!!!! everything looks so yummy!

Miss A on 5.4.2012

Awesome amazing! Now here’s an idea for you Erika how bout a cookbook? Gosh I would buy one. Even do what Ree did and make and on-line version too. All you hard work needs to be shared some more I think! Thanks everyone for doing this for all of us amazing food lovers!!!!! YUM!

CerealByDesign on 5.4.2012

Great ideas! Here’s another suggestion for a fun breakfast.

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions on 5.4.2012

I seriously want to stuff my face with each. and. everyone. of these!

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 5.4.2012

WOW, what a round-up! I love Mexican food so much it hurts. (Literally sometimes…) Great round-up Erika! Thanks for including a couple of my recipes as well :)

Mary S. on 5.4.2012

All of this looks so good! I have Tex Mex Won Tons on the menu for lunch, but may have to try some of these tacos and dips!

Oh, and in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo falling on Derby Day – trying my hand at some mint julep margaritas!

Sandy on 5.4.2012

I’m in heaven! My birthday is also on May 5th so what a wonderful birthday present, all these wonderful recipes- thank you!!

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patiodaddio on 5.4.2012

Erika – Thanks so much for the inclusions. I really appreciate it. You are too good to me.

pvfrompv on 5.4.2012

Oh wow – what a way to start off my morning – Tex Mex is definitely my idea of food erotica! I’m in a swoon. Last night I thought I’d check out TK’s offerings for Cinco de Drinko but this is above and beyond! Muchas Gracias!

Chilli and mint on 5.4.2012

Heading off to my first Cinca de Mayo party tomorrow afternoon and after looking at all those wonderful food photos I cannot wait for the party/food feast to begin. Count down begins.

Marcia on 5.4.2012

Ree, This article is great.. Thank you so much for pulling all of this wonderful info together in one place. I always learn something with you and have a good laugh in the bargain. I love that thing you do! Gobs, Marcia

Katrina on 5.4.2012

I am in love with everything!! Ole!

GoGayleGo on 5.4.2012

Kind of off-topic, but what templates do you use for your collages? Or are you doing them all by hand?

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    Erika (TK) on 5.4.2012

    Hey Gayle! Thanks for asking. Like just about everything in TK, our collages are homemade. :)

Travis Cotton on 5.4.2012

Yeah I better not cook all of that or Im going to need new pants. Probably 2 pair sewed together.

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meme32 on 5.4.2012

Oh, my! How can you pick what to fix with all these choices. I see only one way – fix ALL of them.

Allyn on 5.4.2012

I will be making so many of these things over the next few days. YUM!
My favorite addition is this Mexican salad dressing:
It’s based on the dressing from a mexican restaurant in my hometown that’s crazy good.
Now to pick which recipes!

Laurie {Simply Scratch} on 5.4.2012

I love Cinco de Mayo! All this food looks phenomenal!