Mexican Themed Dinner Plans
Spicing Up Your Dinner Plans
I saw a commercial recently in which a mother tries all sorts of tricks to get her family interested in eating dinner at home. She plans ridiculous things such as circus performers and floor shows. In her home, all it takes is a platter of chicken fingers. Who knew? In most homes it’s not that simple, but there is a point to the commercial. Serve something your family enjoys eating, and they’ll be happy to sit at the table and eat it. That’s not to say that dinner can’t be fun as well as delicious. Here’s a fun idea for creating a lively Mexican Buffet that can really spice things up.
One nice thing about Mexican food is that it is relatively in expensive and uses the same few ingredients in various forms to make a healthy array of entrees. It also allows you to incorporate healthy items such as fresh produce and lean meats, making it appealing to vegetarians and carnivores alike.
When I plan a theme night at home, I think about what it is that makes eating out so appealing. Fun music and a change of environment keeps things fresh and interesting. But eating out can be very expensive, so be sure to bring those elements into your own home. You don’t have to spend a fortune on decorations and music. Most party supply stores have cheap CDs for theme parties, or you can create your own my downloading music from iTunes. The Dollar Store or Dollar Tree is a good place to pick up plastic tablecloths and disposable plates, napkins and utensils for a great price. The colors of the Mexican flag are red, green and white, so sticking to those colors will create a more authentic atmosphere. If you plan your themed dinner around Cinco de Mayo, these stores will be loaded with fun decorations that can be used again and again. I once had a Mexican themed party and had sombreros and wall decals that I could incorporate into my theme dinner for added flare. I had also downloaded several songs from iTunes that added to the authenticity of the theme.
Getting the Kids Involved
Kids are much more apt to participate in preparing dinner if they know it’s going to be fun! Get them involved in menu planning. Mexican food is often very popular with children because not only is it delicious but finger foods are so much fun! Once the menu has been planned, they might even be willing to help shop for ingredients.
Then it’s time to decorate. If the kids are young enough, making replicas of the Mexican flag is a fun idea using simple items such as white paper and crayons. They might also create red, white and green streamers and have fun setting the table with the colored supplies you purchased.
Now it’s time to cook. Taco bar including hard and soft shells, tostadas, taco salad shell bowls, fajitas and enchiladas are fun and easy. Side dishes like Mexican style rice and refried beans are common in Mexico and are easy to make and delicious.
Since no Mexican Buffet is complete without a side of guacamole, here’s a recipe that is sure to please:
1 tbsp lime juice
1 small tomato, diced
1 small jalapeno, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
salt to taste
Peel and mash avocado with lime juice in small bowl. Add tomato, onion, jalapeno and mix well. Salt to taste and top desired amount of cilantro.
Tres Leches Recipe
Tres Leches is a deliciously sweet finishing taste that can be made in advance. My favorite recipe is actually a Tres Leches Poke Cake. Enjoy this recipe!
TRES LECHES AND CAKE INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp vegetable shortening
1 (15.25 oz) pkg yellow cake mix
1 c cold water
¼ c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 fl. Oz. can evaporated milk
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 c Half and Half
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp white sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 10x15-inch baking pan with vegetable shortening.
Combine cake mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth top of the batter, shake pan, and tap lightly on counter 2 or 3 times to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake about 22 minute or until toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with handle of a wooden spoon.
Combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half-and-half in a large bowl. Slowly pour over the cake until evenly distributed. Syrup will soak into cake. Wrap cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Best if stored overnight).
Combine cream and sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl and whip with electric mixer until cream is fluffy. Spread over cake.
|Serving size: 1/10 of recipe|
|Calories from Fat||279|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 31 g||48%|
|Saturated fat 13 g||65%|
|Unsaturated fat 18 g|
|Carbohydrates 62 g||21%|
|Sugar 45 g|
|Protein 11 g||22%|
|Cholesterol 123 mg||41%|
|Sodium 414 mg||17%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
© 2015 Jaynie2000