It always delivers a relaxed atmosphere and makes for the best fun!
It’s flexible to accommodate a variety of dietary needs. If your group of family and friends is anything like mine, there’s a good mix of nationalities, Vegetarian & meat eaters, and one or two with food intolerances. And there’s always an unplanned guest when I host a get-together, so it’s great that it always caters for a few plus ones!
- You can get the kids to help! The great thing about a Mexican-themed dinner is there are lots of ways to get your kids involved in the cooking. Some of the older kids can grate the cheese while another stirs the meat on the pan. My eldest even helps with chopping lettuce and tomatoes. My youngest loves to spoon the salsa and sour cream out of the jars and pop into the serving bowls. Many hands make light work!
- Stress-free nibbles.As my guests arrive, I keep them happy with chips, guacamole and salsa. It’s real simple, but very tasty and if you’ve people arriving at different times these are easy to keep replenishing until all your guests arrive. My family and friends are never all on time so these are a great crowd pleaser and keeps their hunger at bay until the main event.
- Double up.The salsas, dips and sauces serve double duty as toppings for the Tacos and accompaniments to the Fajitas and Chilli I normally serve. Nothing goes to waste. It’s a great frugal fiesta!
- It caters to everyone!Like I mentioned above, in our gang we cater for lots of different dietary requirements. Burritos are super if you have Vegetarians, Chickenarians or Eat—it-all-arians! The great thing about Mexican food is the fixings for a great meal are set out in bowls so it's no problem if one guest is a Vegetarian for example. People can help themselves. For an authentic Mexican fiesta party, try a Mexican buffet so that everyone can sample a little bit of everything. Some of the foods I like to include are chicken Fajitas, warm flour Tortillas, Chilli Con Carne, Burritos, Mexican rice, salsa and guacamole. These are all very simple to make.
- Handy Tip! No Mexican night is complete without Tortillas. Warming them in the microwave is great but to keep you from running forwards and back all evening keep the Tortillas warm by wrapping them in a kitchen towel.
- Cool down. There's a reason sour cream is so common in Mexican food – because dairy tempers spice. If there’s someone in your party who doesn’t like a little spice, make sure you have some yogurt or sour cream on the table. A couple of spoons of this on their dish will counteract overly hot flavours.
- Fun Games. Mexican Fiesta party games can really add to the fun and festivity of a Mexican night. Food, drinks, and music are all part of the fun of a Mexican fiesta. However, to make your night truly memorable and exciting you need to include a few fun games. My favourite is the Sombrero Dance! It’s a little like pass the parcel except you pass the Sombrero. It’s a great fun game for all ages and when the music stops (Mexican music of course) if you get caught with the Sombrero on your head, you must do a dance!
- The Piñata- This is the ultimate Mexican party game! Fill a Piñata full of treats and suspended from a height. You also need a stick! Draw a circle around the Piñata, so only the player who’s go it is stands inside (otherwise guests risk a bonk on the head). Line everyone up, youngest players first and let the fun begin! Each player is blindfolded and spun around (the blindfold and spinning part is optional for the kids). Then each person gets three swings at the Piñata with the stick- the aim being to burst open the Piñata. When the Piñata eventually bursts, the treats scatter on the ground, and pandemonium sets in! It can be mad scramble so it’s a good idea to stow away some of the treats for the smaller kids as they might lose out in the rush!
- Décor. It’s hard to go overboard with bold colours at a Mexican celebration. If you decide to decorate your table or even your home- think hot pinks, aqua colours, and lime to match in with the bright flavours of your menu. You can also use vibrant flowers in shades of pink and orange as a fun centrepiece.
- Drinks. As there are always kids at our gatherings I serve a non-alcoholic version of the adult’s favourite Margarita. For this frozen "Mock-a-rita" I use any lemon-lime soda drink to give them a fun fizzy flavour. Here’s how easy they are to make:100ml lemonade, 200ml of cold water, 15ml of lime juice, 6 ice cubes. I pop them all in my blender on high for 15 seconds until light and frothy. I salt rim the margarita glass for the adults before filling.