For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo means enjoying Mexican food and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays.
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day. Mexican independence is celebrated Sept.16.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.
Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.
Today, Cinco de Mayo has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. But most non-Mexican Americans have “no idea” about the day’s history. If you went to any bar tonight and said ‘What’s this day about?’, they would be clueless, and you can’t blame the alcohol consumption either. Cinco de Mayo is a reminder of how many times Mexico has been invaded by other countries.
Mexican Street Corn Salad with Avocado
- 4 ears fresh corn (about 3c.) husked and kernels cut from the cob
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 c. cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/3 c. diced red onion
- 2.5 oz. cotija cheese crumbled
- 1 avocado peeled, cored and diced
- 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and let it cook, stirring occasionally until charred about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, garlic, lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl add diced avocado, 1/2 tbsp. of lime juice. Mix with a spoon so juice is soaked onto avocado to keep it from browning. Then add charred corn and the remaining of the salad ingredients. Pour dressing and gently toss to combine. Top with extra Cotija cheese and serve either warm or cold.
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 c. water
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 Tsp. + 1/8 Tsp. salt
- 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- vegetable oil, for frying
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat to about 360 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine milk, water, butter, 2 tsp. sugar and salt and bring mixture to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from heat and immediately stir in vanilla and flour. Mix it well so that the dough is nice and smooth. Transfer the dough to a piping fitted with a large open star tip unless you don’t have one. Carefully pipe about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of dough out over oil. Using clean scissors or the edge of the pan cut the dough into small pieces and let drop into the hot oil. Only add a few in the pan at a time so they don’t stick together. Allow churros to fry until golden brown. You may need to stir them occasionally to prevent them from sticking together. When golden brown, remove them from the oil and place them on some paper towels to drain any excess oil. In a plastic bag mix the sugar and cinnamon. Toss the warm, drained churros into sugar mixture to evenly coat. For best taste, serve warm.
Mexican Fruit Cups
- 3 mangos
- 1 cantaloupe
- 1 small seedless watermelon
- 1 pineapple
- 4 limes, divided
- Chili powder
- 8 plastic cups
Cut mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple into thick strips. Arrange an even mixture of various fruits strips into each cup. Cut the limes into quarters and squeeze 1 lime wedge over each cup of fruit. Use the remaining 8 lime wedges for garnish and sprinkle chili powder over each cup to taste.
Sombrero Pinata Cookies
- 1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- Gel food color (red, blue, yellow, & green)
- Cookie icing white
- Decorating Decors nonpareils
- Decors pearl cupcake gems
- 1/2c. small candies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a whoopie pie pan and a brownie pop mold pan with baking spray. Then mix cookie mix with flour, butter, and egg. Divide dough into four equal parts. Color one part red, one yellow, one blue and one green. Divide each colored dough into 8 equal pieces, about a tablespoon each. Roll into balls. Press half of the dough balls into the cavities in the whoopie pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool. Increase temperature to 350 degrees. Press remaining dough balls into individual cavities in brownie pop silicone molds, making 4 hat crowns of each color. Use your finger to create a well in the center of each dough ball. Press the dough up the sides of the mold, up to the fill line, about 1/4 inch from the top of the mold. Freeze molds for 10 minutes, then bake for 14 minutes.
Remove from oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to reshape the well in the cookies. Return to the oven for 4-8 minutes until cookies are baked through. Reshape if needed. Allow to cool completely and then remove from the mold. Pipe a line of cookie icing around the base of each cookie crown. Sprinkle on some nonpareils. Allow to dry. Turn cookie crowns upside down, fill with candies, pipe some icing around the top edge, and press a round cookie brim onto the cookie crown to create the sombrero. Turn cookies right side up to decorate. Use icing and sugar pearls to decorate the edges of the hat brims.
Wood Accent Wall
- Barn wood pieces (enough for the length/width of your wall)
- Hammer and nails
Address Plate for your Home
- A piece of wood cut to size (about 2 ft.x 10in.)
- 20-30 paint sticks
- Hammer and small Nails
- Key Hole Saw
- Water Seal Spray
- 5-inch address numbers
- Clear Silicon (picture)
- Compact Drill/Driver (picture)
- Heavy Duty Picture Hangers
Layout paint sticks out and begin cutting them to size with the keyhole saw. It’s best to lay them out randomly on the block of wood so that none of the seams line up. Leave some space between each stick to create some depth. Stain the individual pieces and the block of wood before nailing the pieces in place. Wipe the excess stain off and let dry overnight. The next day seal it with two coats and let dry again overnight. Next, attach the paint sticks with the nails and then drill the picture hanger at the exact location you plan to have the anchors on your outside wall. Lastly, attach the numbers to the front of the wood and hang it out on your home.
Kid Friendly Cinco De Mayo Craft
- One punching balloon
- box cutter
- A variety of colored tissue paper
- Two bowls
- Candy or toys for filler
- Masking tape
Inflate the punching balloon and tie a knot to close. Make an “X” with masking tape over the top of the balloon to flatten the pointed end. Cut a bunch of two-inch strips of newspaper. Lay down newspaper on your work surface to keep things from getting messy. Fill one bowl with flour, add water then stir to create a paste. Keep adding more water until you get the consistency of pancake batter. Use the second bowl to hold the balloon while you paper mache it. Dip on paper strip into the bowl of flour paste and use your fingers to spread along the back of the newspaper. Start by making an “X” with the paste-covered newspaper strips over the top of the balloon. Continue covering the balloon pulling the strips tight. You can also add the balloon paste mix on top of the newspaper to secure it even further. Cover the entire balloon three times over to make a sturdy pinata. Let the balloon dry overnight, flipping it every few hours to make sure it doesn’t adhere to the bowl.
Use the box cutter to cut a small hole on the top right side of the dried pinata. Make a second small hole on the top left side. (See finished photo at top of this section for string placement) Cut a softball-sized hole in the top part of the pinata. Don’t throw the cut-out section away. You still need it for later! Pop the balloon inside and pull it out. Stick the rope into the small hole on the top right side. Using the large hole in the middle, guide the rope out the small upper-left hole and use this rope to hang it. Reinforce the small holes with masking tape. These holes will bear a lot of weight when the pinata is hanging, so you want it to be sturdy. Fill the pinata with all the goodies. Tape the softball-sized cut-out section back onto the pinata.
Now you can start decorating. Cut three-inch strips of tissue paper and accordion fold the paper strips to create a square. Start 1/2 inch down, cut a half-circle shape ending the same distance you started to cut. This leaves you with strips of petal-shaped scallops. Glue the tissue paper on the pinata by making a small spiral of glue on the top. Tear off a few of the petals from the strip and place four petals in a circle on the glue to start your spiral. Add some more petals towards the top, pinching the bottom to make them stand up. Add more glue to each layer. Make sure they are firmly attached. For the next strip of tissue paper, fold the top down 1/4 inch. Add small dots of glue along this folded line. Lifting up the bottom layer of tissue petals, wrap the scalloped strip of tissue paper along the base of the existing petals. Place a single tissue petal in any gaps that need to be filled. Workaround the holes where the rope is located. Repeat these steps with the new color. Again, add glue to the back of scalloped tissue paper strip. Glue the top of this strip below the base of the last row glued down. Continue adding strips until you’re ready to change colors again. Repeat until you’ve completely covered the pinata in tissue paper.
Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!
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