Stepping Out

Spring into a colorful Cinco de Mayo party

Bring some fiesta time into your home


Now that we’ve all emerged from those winter doldrums, it’s time to shake off those blahs and embrace the season ahead. You can start by inviting familia and amigos to share in a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Cinco de Mayo is, officially, a holiday celebrating Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In the U.S., where it is actually celebrated with more gusto than in its native country, the holiday has become a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. Although many Americans might be unaware of the history surrounding Cinco de Mayo, it remains a popular day of festivities, not unlike our celebrations of Saint Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year.
Cinco de Mayo is one flavorful fiesta and while it may land on a Monday this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun prior to May 5 by embracing the culture and traditions of our neighbors to the south.
Inspired by delicious Mexican cuisine, this holiday is all about flavorful recipes and great times spent with friends. Get the party started with some simple, stress-free ideas that will have everyone in a fiesta mood.
* Create a focal point for all of your party décor. Set the stage with tissue paper flowers in bright springtime colors and a fiesta or party banner. Shop around for inexpensive pinatas, strings of cactus or chile pepper lights, maracas, serapes and sombreros to give any room or patio a fiesta flair.
* Try a taco bar. It is an appealing, tasty way to serve your guests, especially for the younger set who will enjoy building their own tacos.
n Make your own tortilla chips. They are an easy, delicious snack that most everyone likes. Just cut soft tortillas into triangles, fry until crispy and sprinkle with salt, or even a squeeze of lime.
* Focus on fun. Get the kids involved. Add some pizzazz with a pinata, streamers, confetti and balloons and have them help decoarate. Teach your young guests to do the Macarena or the Mexican Hat Dance and have a contest to see who is the best dancer, with prizes, of course.
And, naturally, the food is a big part of the fun. Get inspired with these recipe ideas.

Fiesta Guacamole
3 medium avocados, halved and pitted
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 (2-ounce) bottle green jalapeño pepper sauce (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 medium plum tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste

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