Okay, my Spanish is weak. My love of Cinco de Mayo, however, is not. I love love LOVE this holiday. It started back in college when we’d all take turns being diligent designated drivers. I somehow landed that job on both Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day that year, so when Cinco de Mayo rolled around, I decreed that it was my holiday. And oh, how I enjoyed myself.

Over the years, my love of Mexican food, colorful decor, and tequila has only grown, and more and more people have come to appreciate Cinco de Mayo as my holiday. This year, since it fell on a Monday, we had some people over to partake in the fun.

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Margarita bar!

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Festive banner – for tutorial, click here

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Tacos and enchiladas, oh my!

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Some more seating downstairs…

I had to have those napkins and rings from Crate and Barrel. I just had to.

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Left: Holy guacamole! My favorite Mexican side disk in an adorable bowl from MudPie (thanks mom and Miami International Airport!)

Right: Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce, see recipe at bottom

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Sopapilla Cheesecake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Blackberries…

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…topped off with a margarita. Doesn’t get much better than that for a Monday!

Sopapilla Cheesecake (modified only slightly from Miss Homemade)

Ingredients
  • 3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 (8oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Unroll one can of crescent roll and place it into the bottom of the baking dish. Press the seams together so that it looks like one big piece.
  4. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, on top of the dough.
  5. Unroll the other can of dough and carefully place it on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Brush some of the melted butter over the top of the dough.
  7. Stir together 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, when the crescent rolls look puffy and golden
  9. Let cool for about 30-40 minutes so that it is still lukewarm, but not scalding hot.
  10. Serve with vanilla ice cream and yummy fruit.

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce (adapted from The Recipe Critic)

Ingredients for Enchiladas

  • 8-10 corn or flour tortillas (corn are a little harder to roll but both are tasty)
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (**To poach chicken easily: I let five boneless breasts simmer in 3 cups water, 1.5 cups dry white wine, juice from 1/2 lemon, a generous spoonful of minced garlic, and a sprinkling of rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. It smells heavenly and only takes about 20-25 minutes.)
  • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, some for in the enchiladas and some for the top
  • Feel free to add onion if you want. We had chopped onion at the taco bar, so I didn’t worry about including them here.

Ingredients for Avocado Cream Sauce (** I doubled this so that I had plenty of sauce for 15-18 enchiladas)

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 avocados, pitted and scooped out
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro (I’d recommend using a pizza cutter for this)
  • juice of one lime

Directions

  1. First make the avocado cream sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is golden.
  2. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth. Be careful when pulsing hot liquid! I did it in batches since I have a mini food processor.
  5. Place a tortilla on a plate, and spread a generous spoonful of the sauce down the middle.
  6. Layer shredded chicken and cheese.
  7. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it with the seam down in a baking dish (I used two – a 9×13 and an 8×8).
  8. Repeat with tortillas until dish is full.
  9. Pour about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce over the tortillas in the disk, and sprinkle some more cheese on top.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.
  11. Serve with remaining sauce, if you want, as well as any other toppings.
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