cinco de mayo party - nacho and brownie bar

Cinco de mayo literally means the 5th of May in Spanish. And I think it is just an excuse to have a Mexican themed party. I read that it is more popular in the US than in Mexico where it is celebrated in only one part to commemorate a small Mexican army defeating a larger French army.
I also needed an excuse to call friends over and make some nachos. So this was totally a last minute party. I was watching "The Chew" on Thursday where they were showing cinco de mayo themed recipes and I thought this is a great chance to make nachos. We called up our friends on Friday evening and I had less than 24 hours to put together a nacho bar and a brownie bar. Although I had done some of the shopping in the morning, it is not the ideal situation. But it was just a casual "friends over for snacks" type of party and I love challenging myself (but only in food-related situations)

nacho bar with all the fixings

So here's what I managed to make :
  • cooked salsa
  • roasted corn pico de gallo
  • guacamole
  • cheese sauce
  • pinto beans (refried beans)
and cut up some
  • lettuce
  • spring onions
and laid them out with store-bought
  • chips
  • pickled jalapenos
  • olives
  • sour cream
For the brownie bar, I, of course, made spiced brownies, salted caramel chocolate sauce, lemon-lime whipped cream with some store-bought vanilla ice cream.

But everything didn't go so smoothly. I wanted to make a Mexican style cilantro-lime rice so that we could also have "burrito bowls" along with the nachos. That would have been two dishes with one batch of the various toppings. But somehow half the rice turned to mush and the other grains were uncooked. I had to throw out the batch although the flavor was good. I will try it again tomorrow for lunch.

I also made a watermelon lime fizzy drink along the lines of the Mexican drink "watermelon agua fresca".

Watermelon Lime fizzy drink

Everyone loved the zing and the fizz of a seemingly innocent watermelon juice. This recipe makes about 3 liters of drink which would serve around 8-10 people.

watermelon lime fizzy drink watermelon lime fizzy drink

8 cups (personal size) watermelon cubes
1 cup water
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp chaat masala
4 cup lemon soda
  • Blend the watermelon cubes and strain into a pitcher to remove any seeds.
  • Add the lime juice, water, sugar, salt and chaat masala.
  • Stir till the sugar is dissolved. *see notes
  • Just before serving, add the lemon soda and stir.
  • I also left some lemon soda on the side so that people could add extra soda in their drink if they liked.
The sugar and water can be heated to dissolve the sugar and make a sugar syrup. This cooled syrup can be used in place of the sugar and water in the recipe
I will include the other recipes in the coming posts which will hopefully be real soon 


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