Pandemic 2020 put a damper on all my plans for fun before we moved to Okinawa, but I felt committed to planning something with my neighbors. Cinco de Mayo was a great opportunity to switch things up for homeschool, add some flare to the dining room decor and enjoy margaritas. Luckily, my neighbor-friends were in for some change in pace, too. We agreed to each make a shareable Mexican dish for the other households and to coordinate dinner in our own backyards around the same time. Not the fiesta of pre-pandemic days, but fun nonetheless.
Themed fun is only as good as the details. My drink-float Piñata (whom I named Chad) was the perfect pool prop for me to float and enjoy my craft cocktails. I had been craving a spicy-sweet margarita and found myself making boatloads of Mango Jalapeño margaritas as one of my shareable items. I was swimming in mango juice for weeks! For festive decor, I hung a flashy tassel banner and some Mexican-styled fans around our dining area to add a fun touch. This 200pc fiesta set of plates and napkins on Amazon was enough to share with my neighbors and to enjoy leftovers on for a few days.
For homeschool that day, I used my teacherspayteachers.com account to find an elementary-level slideshow and other handouts on Cinco de Mayo. One set came with printable Aero Mexico tickets that I made for my family and our neighbors. It was super cute and so much fun to learn the history of Cinco de Mayo, as opposed to just celebrating without context.
Food was a bit trickier; I’m new to making authentic Mexican food but it’s one of my favorites. My husband wanted fajitas, I wanted quesadillas and we both wanted guac. I found an authentic Mexican rice recipe and will likely never purchase a pre-made package one ever again.
Interested in the recipes I used to tie together this fiesta? I found a great recipe to make homemade Mexican rice. I substituted the tomato sauce for tomato juice instead. Below is my personal Mango Jalapeño Margarita (on the rocks):
- Cup of mango juice
- Muddle 1 jalapeno and a few chunks of frozen/fresh mango
- Two shots of tequila
- 1-2 tbsp of simple syrup
- Tajin (a little sprinkled in and some on the rim of your glass)
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the jalapeno and mango chunks with a 1 freshly squeezed lime. Add ice, then pour in remaining ingredients and shake. Strain and pour into a Tajin rimmed glass then enjoy the sweet-spicy buzz.
The Extra Mom Verdict? This was a fun way to break up the monotony of quarantine! It was easy to put together, low cost overall and the only time I regretted was the time spent on the beautiful tassel banner…I love the look but maybe I need more practice? The plane tickets were a cute touch, too! Overall it was super low maintenance and we all had a great time socially distancing in Fiesta-style.