If you are anything like me, you don’t need an excuse to eat Mexican food. Tacos on Wednesday taste just as delicious on Tuesday. But having a holiday that basically begs you to eat chips and salsa all day? Yes, please! Cinco de Mayo, you wonderful day. And while it’s not really observed IN Mexico (Independence Day is September 16, May 5 was the day the Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla) the fine folks of the United States use this day as a way to celebrate Mexican heritage.
For me, gone are the days of tequila shots and Corona beer; Cinco de Mayo has gone Madre. I plan on spending the day teaching my own little Niño y Niña as much as they can absorb about the beautiful culture and heritage. So before we hit the kitchen, let’s have some fun!
Cinco de Mayo activities for kids
There’s certainly not a shortage of informative books out there that can teach you and yours all about the fifth of May. Instead of bogging my six and three year old down with too much facts, I have decided to stick to a couple of simple story books. I downloaded “Marco’s Cinco de Mayo” for free on my Kindle Paperwhite (thanks, Kindle unlimited!) and plan to hit up our local library as well. My fingers are crossed that “Off We Go to Mexico!” will be there… look at the artwork!
I also stocked up on supplies for these adorable and easy crafts. A couple spoons, a plastic easter egg filled with popcorn kernels, some fun tape and you have yourself a maraca! Check out this site for the full how to.
Ojo de Dios are another perfect craft for little hands. Craft sticks and colorful yarn is all that you need to make these sweet little ‘eyes of God’ but you can find a complete tutorial (with a video!) over at this site. We are going to use ours to decorate the dinner table!
Next up… the food! I asked the other writers over here at A Parenting Production for a few of their family favorite Mexican dishes. This list has me thinking we should celebrate the entire week of Cinco de Mayo– too much deliciousness to chose from!
First up, we have Catherine sharing a few of her own recipes:
And here are some of Ashley’s own recipes:
Kristen shared her favorite salsa recipe as well as an easy way to jazz up your rice.
Kristen’s Mexican Rice
Boil your rice in vegetable broth instead of water per directions add one can of Rotel tomatoes, a sprinkle offeta cheese, 3 oz of cream cheese, about a half of a can of sliced green chilies to taste.
Kristen reports that her kids LOVE this rice by itself or wrapped in a burrito with refried beans.
And what will I be cooking? Us Rodenhizers could live off of carnitas. I keep the flavors mild, as my kiddos are still a little picky in the spice department, but this meal has a lot of layers so they can pick and choose what they like!
Bryna’s Slow Cooker Carnitas
2-3 lbs pork tenderloin
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 cup chicken broth
Season your pork on all sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a preheated pan, sear your pork for about a minute on each side. Transfer to a crock pot, set on low. Add a cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook for 4-6 hours. About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, shred the pork with two forks.
We eat our carnitas over rice (I will be making Kristen’s recipe this time!) topped with mango salsa. You really can not go wrong with mango salsa; I always have mango, avocado, red bell pepper, green onion, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice in mine. Just dice and stir until it looks delicious! I always make a ‘kid friendly’ batch that is only mango and red bell peppers. Like I said, my kids are not big fans of big flavor just yet, and that’s totally OK! This way it’s easy to accommodate their personal tastes without sacrificing the whole meal.
And there you have it! With books, crafts and tasty food, Cinco de Mayo is going to be a good one. Olé!