This post is on behalf of El Monterey, but all awesomeness and cool ideas are my own
Spring is here, and May is right around the corner. That means this gal is getting excited about hosting the best Cinco de Mayo party ever. I don’t have a Mexican bone in my body, but on Cinco de Mayo I think all of us like to celebrate a little party with amazing Mexican food in front of us and a cold Mexican beverage in our hand.
This year El Monterey is helping me host an amazing Cinco de Mayo party. It’s exciting because this year we actually have friends we can invite over for our Cinco de Mayo feast. That’s why it has to be a great party, not just a throw some chips and salsa on the table and exclaim “Ole!”. That’s where you guys should be doing a Mexican happy dance because this post is all about 15 tips for the best cinco de mayo ever (mariachi band not included). Anything and everything you need to think of to host an amazing party is right here for you! (Again, I will totally accept tokens of appreciation in the form of large deposits of pesos or queso)
Easy invitations: The most critical part of a good party is making sure your guests know when it is. Facebook events invites have been a life saver. Sure not everyone is on Facebook, but it’s a great way for you to get instant RSVPs from your guests AND they get instant reminders.
Make the Neighbors Aware: Cinco de Mayo is all about the fun and laughter, which means things could get a little bit loud. To avoid getting the po po called, make sure you let your neighbors know and tell them you would be more than happy to quiet down if they say they are being bothered. Heck, earn some brownie points and invite your neighbors to the party. (The more the merrier right?!)
Decorations, Ole!: Bright, vibrant festive colors is what it’s all about. Think of bright blues, reds, yellows to decorate your house. Making a really cute banner by fringing tissue paper is an easy way to brighten up any party space.
Prep the Night Before: Anything and everything you can prep the days and night before will make your life so much easier. Slice the fruit for the agua fresca, or dice the tomatoes for the ultimate nachos. It will all save for the night, and you will have less to do the day of the party.
Festive Table Settings: Making festive place settings is a great way to get the guests in the mood. For our Cinco de Mayo party, we made these really cute names cards for each guest and included a Spanish translation of their name. If we couldn’t find a name exactly, we found one that we thought reminded us of our guest. It’s a fun keepsake for the guest, and it gives people a place to sit.
Mouth Watering Appetizers: As the guests begin to arrive, have some amazing munchies available for them. A queso bar serving different kinds of homemade queso, and El Monterey Taquitos for dipping is a perfect way to start out the fiesta. You can easily reheat them all so they are fresh and hot when the guests arrive, plus it’s the perfect finger food.Print
Homemade Queso, Queso Blanco, and Southwest Queso
Great recipes for Cinco De Mayo
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 25
- Category: Mexican
- Queso Base (per type of Queso)
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Cup of Milk
- Queso Blanco
- 4 Slices of White American Cheese
- 1 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese (Shredded)
- 2 T Canned Jalapenos and Onions (more if you like it spicier)
- 3 Cups of Mexican Cheese Blends
- 3 Tbsp Jalapenos or Jalapenos and Onions (Canned)
- Dash of Chili Powder (optional)
- Both Quesos are Prepared the Exact Same, but in separate pans
- Melt the butter and add flour whisking continuously
- Add the milk and cook until warm whisking continuously
- Once the milk is warm, add the respective cheeses and whisk continuously until melted.
- Add the jalapenos and onions. If you want it spicier, add more jalapenos.
- If your queso is clumpy, you can add more milk 1 T at a time until even blended.
- Recipe makes two restaurant servings of queso for each blend.
Baila, baila, baila: Let there be music. Any party needs a good repetoire of music. If you want to go hard core and keep it with the theme, you can find some super easy ways to have great Mexican themed music for your gathering. I love using Pandora on the Cinco de Mayo station. It keeps the music going and it changes things up for you!
Viva, Espanol: Want to dust off your Spanish from high school? Have fun with your guests and use fun translator apps to conversate with your guests in Spanish. (That is if you aren’t cool like me and can’t speak in broken Spanish on your own) Apps like SayHi Translate for iOS or ITranslate for Android are fun, instant ways to get your Spanish conversacion on.
Crafts for the Ninos: While everyone is getting the main meal ready, have a fun craft table for the kiddies to occupy themselves. We love making these large colorful flowers for the kids to take home with them. You should already have tissue paper from your kick butt fiesta decorations. Just grab some pipe cleaners and your good. The kids just need to grab four or five squares of colored tissue paper stacked. Place the pipe cleaner around the middle and twist. Crumble the tissue paper on either side and then pull it up towards the pipe cleaner to open up their “flower”.
Bring on the Main Meal: Think outside of the box this Cinco de Mayo. Having a make your own nachos bar is a great way for each guest to make their meal their own. For our bar we have tomatoes, lettuce, black beans, sour cream, assorted cheeses, cut up El Monterey Taquitos and Buritos, and of course tortilla chips. If you want the perfect combination, check out our mile high nacho recipe.Print
Mile High Nachos
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Category: Mexican
- 2 cups Tortilla Chips
- 3 El Monterey Taquitos Cut Up
- 1/4 C Black Beans
- 1/4 C Refried Beans
- 1/4 Homemade Queso
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
- 3 T Homemade Queso
- Sour Cream (optional)
- Lettuce (optional)
- Tomato (optional)
- In the oven prepare the El Monterey Taquitos per instructions. Allow to Cool a Bit
- On a plate, place tortilla chips.
- Cover the tortilla chips with taquitos, cheese, beans, corn and whatever goodies you want.
- Heat in a microwave for about 45 seconds or until melted.
- Top with lettuce, tomatoes, queso and/or sour cream.
Agua Fresca, anyone: With all the amazing food, of course you have need something tasty to wash all down. A cool, homemade agua fresca is a great way to do this. It’s like and fruity and perfect for a cinco de Mayo feast. My pal Tammilee, has an amazing watermelon agua fresca recipe that is perfect for any party!
Games, They Demand Games: Once the bellies are full before your guests slough off back to their homes, have a few games lined up for the peeps to play. Here’s some great Mexican games from across the world wide web:
Let them Have Pinatas: No Mexican party is complete without the ritual beating of the pinata (just don’t mistake your drunk Uncle Fred for the pinata). Kids and adults alike love this time honored tradition.