We live in Dallas, where it’s always the right time for a Tex-Mex fiesta! Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or an engagement party theme, we have some of our favorite ideas to share with you for a fabulous fiesta with friends and family:
Photo by John Cain Photography
DALLAS DAUGHTER’S FAVORITE SALSA
Now, what’s a fiesta without chips and salsa?! This is a family favorite and must-have, whether for a special occasion or just as a refrigerator condiment staple:
- 2 28-oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes
- 2-3 fresh jalapeños
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Garlic powder to taste
- Lemon or lime juice to taste
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro
- 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Boil the jalapeños lightly in water until barely tender and still firm. Cut stems and deseed then throw in blender with the rest of the ingredients. Then, use the chop and grind setting (or similar) to get your desired consistency. Chill overnight in refrigerator and pull out to serve with your favorite tortilla chips as a crowd-pleasing fiesta appetizer!
You may also want to make an extra batch to seal in mini mason jars with a cute ribbon as something guests can take home!
CLASSIC “SKINNY” MARGARITAS
- 1.5 oz. Organic lime juice
- Juice of 1-2 limes, fresh squeezed
- 0.5 oz. Orange-flavored liqueur or juice of ½ an orange, depending on what you have on hand
- 1-1.5 oz. Tequila of choice
- Agave nectar to sweeten to taste
- Lime wedges for garnish
Pour all ingredients over ice in a blender and grind for a frozen margarita, or follow the KEY LIME ICE CUBES recipe below for our favorite way to serve this drink…”on the rocks!” Make one at a time, or multiply recipe by the number of guests to fill a pitcher!
+ For more pizazz in the presentation, rub a lime wedge around the glass rim and dip into coarse salt or sugar!
+ Create different versions of this classic by throwing in a splash of ginger syrup, Topo Chico, or coconut water, even muddled berries or fresh mango for a more colorful and tropical take on your cocktail. You can even personalize by guest and serve a margarita bar where they choose the twist!
KEY LIME ICE CUBES
- 1 bag Key limes
- 2 cups Boiling Water
- Ice cube tray or mini muffin tin
Make any drink more fun by serving it “on the rocks” with key lime ice cubes! Simply slice the key limes into discs, de-seed, and disburse in an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin. Boil water (This is an important step, as it makes the finished ice cubes clear where you can see the limes) and pour over the limes in your tray. Freeze until solid and serve in any drink!
FOR THE KIDS
Make virgin “Margaritas” for los niños by mixing a splash of lime juice with sparkling water and some orange juice or muddled berries. Pour over key lime ice cubes and garnish with a citrus wedge. Kids love a sugared-rimmed glass, too! Mix some liquid food coloring with the sugar (be sure to let it dry, then de-clump before use!) to make the drinks even more festive. Pop in a fun straw, and VOILA, Y’ALL!™
TACO + FAJITA BAR
If you’re not going to have a caterer, there’s no better way to feed a hungry crowd than with a well-dressed taco and fajita bar that has all the fixin’s. Great for #TacoTuesday nights, too! Make it your own with this menu inspiration:
- Chicken breasts
- Ground beef
- Tri-color bell peppers
- 1-2 sliced white onions
- Taco seasoning + we add extra cumin!
- Cooking oil of choice (i.e. Canola)
- Taco shells
- Tortillas (serve warm)
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Avocado slices (or guacamole!)
- Salsa or an assortment of hot sauces
- Mexican-blend shredded cheese
- Pickled jalapeno slices and/or Nopales
- Fresh cilantro
Now get out that iron skillet for this low-stress spread! Coat your skillet with oil and start cooking the meat. Add taco seasoning as you brown the ground beef and cook until well done. Set aside the beef to cool, but keep the oil from the browned beef to cook your chicken breasts (keep whole until cooked, then cut into strips and stir to coat in the oil and spices). Last but not least, cook your onions and bell peppers (again in the same oil and spices leftover from cooking the meats- full of flavor!). Add a dash more oil and taco seasoning as they cook down. Now, throw some sprigs of cilantro on top as garnish and serve right from the skillet! Warning: HOT!
Allow your guests to choose warm tortillas or cripsy taco shells as they create their own dishes with toppings like cheese, sour cream, avocado and a lime wedge squeeze. I like serving the fixin’s in individual molcajetes or colorful Le Creuset mini cocottes! Serve with sides of beans and rice and/or a green salad with a Mexican-inspired dressing. Olé!
PIÑATAS + PARTY FAVORS
It’s not a fiesta without a piñata and some party favors! If your event includes children, find several piñatas in different sizes and allow kids to hit the piñata that corresponds to their ages. You can typically find a variety of piñatas at a local party store. We let the toddlers hit on a mini one while the “big kids” go after the larger target. Stuff them with different, age-appropriate prizes, too, so everyone goes home happy! Parents usually appreciate it when the prizes aren’t just candy, so we’ll often stuff piñatas with little toy trinkets, stickers and school supply treats, which are always fun to take home and enjoy! As for the adults, tie a fun ribbon and printed margarita recipe around mini Patron bottles as a cute takeaway or send them home with a few napkin rings from Mexico for their own future fiesta tablescapes.
My dress as pictured is called the Pachamama Tunic, and Lolli looks lovely in an embroidered dress layered atop a classic white button down blouse. We also love anything by Mi Golondrina, a brand WHERE THE GENERATIONS MEET™! If you’re planning host a Family Fiesta of your own, here are some links to more ideas, from serveware to what to wear:
Thanks for Fiesta-ing with us! We want to see how your party turns out, so please send pics and tag @lolliandme in your posts!