Holly Brown
The ingredients for a Cinco de Mayo party are simple and delicious and really you can enjoy them anytime!

Host a Mexican Fiesta for Cinco de Mayo or Anytime!

By Holly Brown

Some of my fondest childhood and family dining memories have been around Mexican food. Growing up, I ate out frequently with my mom. She always ordered Chile Relleno and a Margarita.  I always filled up on chips and salsa! I can still recall the aroma of handmade tortillas at one of our favorite restaurants. The simple pleasure of a warm tortilla, spread with melted butter, along with salty warm chips and spicy salsa still makes me smile. My first job was even at a Mexican restaurant, so I honed my palette with taste treats like tamales, enchiladas, tacos, camarones, and my personal favorite, fajitas.  Of course when I turned 21, I quickly learned to love a good Top Shelf Margarita as well!

My kids love Mexican food too. So it was natural and lots of fun for me to experiment with and learn about classic Mexican dishes we could all enjoy together at home. Mexican Dishes typically feature ingredients with heat and spice like:

- Chipotle pepper, which is actually just a jalapeno that’s been dried and smoked. Chipotle has a distinctive flavor that goes well in many sauces and salsas. It’s also the primary flavor in Adobo.
- Chile powder is a spice blend, made with dried, powdered chilies, cumin, and oregano.
- Oregano, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and anise are also used to add unique flavor dimensions to Mexican dishes.
- Cocoa is used in several dishes to add a rich warm flavor. Chiles, spices, cocoa, and peanut butter are used to make Mole. Mole is a smoky, spicy, sweet concoction often served over chicken. Raisins can be used to flavor certain dishes too. You’ll find them all in our Mexican Mole Sauce!

Of course, Mexican food goes great with Tequila! The first licensed Tequila manufacturer was a gentleman by the familiar name of José Antonio Cuervo. Tequila gained national importance during the Mexican Revolution. Prohibition in the U.S. further boosted tequila’s popularity when it was smuggled across the border. Then during World War II, demand for the Mexican spirit rose again in the USA after spirits from Europe became hard to get.

So what’s with the worm??

The worm is purely urban legend. Some American-bottled brands put one in their bottle to impress the gringos and boost sales, but it’s simply a marketing ploy developed in the 1940s, not a Mexican tradition. In fact, Cinco de Mayo itself is not a Mexican tradition. It’s celebrated mostly in the U.S. to mark the Battle of Puebla, when Mexicans defeated the French and kept Napolean III from building a stronghold in Mexico to supply the confederate rebels. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a great excuse to enjoy the Mexican food, Sangria and Tequila I love!

For more Mexican Fiesta ideas and recipes check out our Cinco de Mayo Menu!

http://thebrownlounge.com/menu/cinco-de-mayo-mexican-fiesta/

Cheers! Holly Brown, Publisher TheBrownLounge.com

Top Shelf Margarita - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/the-three-ms-martini-margarita-and-manh...
Guacamole – http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/holy-guacamole/
Saucy Salsa - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/saucy-salsa/
Sangria - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/casa-dominicks-famous-sangria/
Chile Relleno - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/chile-relleno/
Blackened Taco Salad - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/blackened-taco-salad/
Chicken Verde Enchiladas - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/chicken-enchiladas-salsa-verde-style-2/... Verde
Mexican Mole Sauce - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/mexican-mole/
Tortilla Soup - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/tortilla-soup-with-chicken-cilantro-lime/
Mexican Brownies - http://thebrownlounge.com/recipe/mexican-chocolate-chipotle-brownies/

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