Plan a Fiesta at Home!

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Do you have a birthday, anniversary, retirement or other party to plan and need a theme?  Or are you planning a get together with friends and family just for the fun of it?  Why not have a Mexican inspired fiesta?  Great food, yummy drinks and a colorful and lively setting are all you need to bring Cinco De Mayo into your home any day of the year.

First start by setting the atmosphere.  Brightly colored decorations such as streamers, paper lanterns, and flowers will all help get your guests in the fiesta mood.  Think bright oranges, yellows, red and green.  Music is also an integral part of a good party.  No need to hire a mariachi band, just get a few CD’s or download some traditional Mexican music.  It will be sure to keep your guests on their feet.  Piñatas are another great idea for a fiesta, find one at your local party supply store our make one yourself with paper mache and balloons.

The food is another very important part of Mexican culture, and should take center stage at your fiesta.  Start with the snacks, fill up some bright colorful bowls with tortilla chips.  Whip up some of Paula’s homemade salsa on the fly and spicy basil guacamole.  The salsa is light and fresh with a little kick from the jalapeno.  Spicy basil guacamole is a great spin on the classic with the added flavor from the basil.  Of course your guests will need something to quench their thirst and cool their pallet with all this spicy food.  Mexican fruit sangria is a fabulous sparkling refreshment for your party.  Garnish the glasses with a sugar rim and some of the soaked fruit.

For the main course chicken tinga and simple perfect enchiladas will be sure to please everyone’s tastes.  Chicken tinga is a delicious twist on chicken tostadas.  Simmering the meat with tomatoes, onion, and garlic gives it a great depth of flavor and the chipotle peppers provide a delicious smoky kick of heat.  Don’t forget to set up small bowls with all the toppings like lettuce, sour cream, and radishes.  Simple perfect encihlladas are another Mexican classic.  Assemble it ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before the guests arrive.

No dessert says fiesta more than strawberry margarita mousse.  An easy do- ahead treat that will be a great finish to your fun evening.  The lemon and lime give it that great margarita flavor with the added touch of sweetness from the strawberries.  Serve the mousse in traditional margarita glasses to make it more festive!

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

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Reader Comments:

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paula I tried your mexican chicken it was sooo good!! but it tastes better with a can of green chilles and a onion put in it you need to try it its good Ilove your recipes

By tami jacksonOH on September 30, 2012

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HELL YEAH PAULA DEEN! HELL YEAH!

By Alaska on September 29, 2012

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I watch ur show every nite I love it when ur husband @ kids are on the show

By Joeeddie Clark on September 29, 2012

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I love your cook

By teresa young on September 29, 2012

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I so appreciate that you provide the printing options for your recipes.... with or without pictures, color or B&W... Thanks!

By Marsha Staley on September 28, 2012

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Paula, I have followed your show ever since the very first one. Each day at 4 I stop what I am doing and spend an hour with you and your family. I waw the show when Okra and Gayle came to see you - wonderful!!! I get the biggest kick out of your tv show daily - you are quite a comedian. I wish I lived close to you and could be your friend because you already seem like my family. I have made up myself many recipes which my friends have a fit over - stacked zuchinni enchalidas - stacked eggplant, fast great chili with my secret ingredient, ETC ETC One day, I would like to meet you and your two wonderful sons That would surely be a blessing! Zody Eddy 74 yrs old (going on 49), Female, own my home and ETC - Early retired from Chevron Oil Company. My parents in the resturant business 31 yrs I grew up there, I have had my own after retiring Zody's Sandwich-Soup-Salad place. There I made up the Fajita Potato, Zodys Dream and ETC Anyway Paula, Stay healthy cause we could not be happy without you every day. Zody Eddy 432-684-5209 5138 Ashdown Pl Midland TX 79705

By Zody Eddy on September 28, 2012

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm