Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Here in America, Cinco De Mayo 
originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West
 as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy
 during the first years of the Civil War, 
and today the date is observed in the United States
 as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. 

In the state of Puebla, Mexico
 it is observed as the date the Mexican Army 
claimed victory over French forces 
at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

As a special treat, I decided to cook a little Tex-Mex dinner for The Mr.

My daughter, Jennie is also stopping by after work.  

I know they both work very hard, 

and they will appreciate a little celebration on a Monday night. 

Jennie thinks she is just stopping by to pick up these two. 

I have been pet-sitting these two little charmers over the weekend. 

Peanut and Weenie Baby. 

Don't let those innocent brown eyes fool you. 

They would gladly snap my finger off for that piece of hot dog I am holding. 

A photographer's secret! :)

This was Whitey right before I opened the meat drawer in the refrigerator. 

This was him about 3 seconds later....

He knows what the word 'hot dog' means. 

Even in a dead sleep. 

So in between pet-sitting and shopping over the weekend, 

I managed to plan a little secret celebration. 

Some bright flowers that The Mr. gave me (I know, so sweet, right?)

were arranged in a hand thrown pot. 

The 'pueblo' paper napkins were bought on my last trip to Arizona. 

I gathered together some memorabilia and serving pieces 
to create a festive atmosphere. 

When my Sweet Blue Eyes and I were newlyweds, we lived in Tucson, Arizona for two years. 

We rented a most charming little Adobe Cottage, right on the edge of the Saguaro National Monument. 

We drove a French Blue, Triumph Spitfire, a tiny sports car that took us on the most amazing adventures as we explored the beautiful desert scenery together. 

We listened to Carlos Santana over and over on the car stereo as we drove. 

We worked in big hotels together all week, organizing and serving for large functions. 

On weekends we explored. 

We were young and adventurous then, and have such wonderful memories of a charmed time in our lives. 

I have collected some special mementos of this time in our lives....

Chili pepper lights, 

Southwestern votive, 

Sombrero Margarita Salt dish, 

Red tomato salt and pepper, 

Vintage measuring spoon holder, 'potted plant' (minus spoons)

Ceramic Bell Pepper Salt and Pepper,

Red Chili Pepper Salsa dish with ceramic serving spoon,

Hand Painted Mexican Vase,

Tiny Mexican Cupboard,

Surely there are Mexican Garden Gnomes? 

It seems that one has stored his hat and bird house in the cupboard! 

Perhaps because of the potted succulents! 

Salt and Pepper Sombreros wait nearby. 

My Southwest Salt and Pepper collection. 

All set for Margaritas! 

A vintage table runner sets the mood. 

Hand Painted glass condiment dish waiting for garnishes. 

A clay coaster. 

Ready for mixing...

Embroidered 'Margarita' cocktail napkins,

Hand Blown Glass 'Cactus' shot glass,

Matching Swivel Sticks, along with glass 'Chili Peppers',

Hand Blown Glass Mexican Pitcher and Margarita Glasses, 

The tablecloth brings lovely color and artistry to the table. 

I found this years ago on a shopping trip with my Dear Mother. 

We always went to kitchen departments and stores together. 

She talked me into buying this little beauty, 

and I'm so glad I did. 

Hand sewn and embroidered. 

But more importantly, it reminds me 

of a lovely day spent shopping with her. 

My 'new' enamel topped table

holds the essentials. 

Wooden Citrus Napkin Holders, 

And Chip and Dip Servers. 

My hutch gets a Southwest vibe, too! 

A lovely Desert Scene with Quail and Stone Grinding bowls. 

The Painting is a sweet memory of our time living in the Desert. 

We had families of Quail come to visit every day, 

along with Road Runners, Jack Rabbits, 
Wild Boars, Coyotes, and of course, 
Rattle Snakes, Scorpions and Lizards! 

And don't forget the Tarantulas. 

I've added a Southwestern style pillow to the scene, too. 

It usually resides in the living room. 

I hope you enjoyed my Southwest Style decorating 

to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. 

I will be serving Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Home-made Guacamole, 
Margaritas, and Chocolate Pudding for dessert. 

Here are the recipes:

Effortless Enchiladas

*12 sm. corn tortillas (I used larger whole wheat tortillas)
*1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
(I used fat free)
*1 can (7 oz) chopped green chiles
*1 red bell pepper, chopped in small dice
(reserve a little for garnishing)
*1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
(I used 'light' sour cream)
*3 lbs cooked, shredded chicken
*3/4 lb Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

In medium bowl, combine soup, chiles, red bell pepper and sour cream. Whisk to blend well. 
(Separate and set aside 1 cup).
 Mix in chicken. Spoon mixture down center of tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up and arrange in a shallow baking pan just large enough to hold enchiladas in a single layer. 
Pour remaining cup of sour cream mixture over center of enchiladas in baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crisp on edges. 
Garnish with reserved red bell pepper. 


Spanish Rice

*1 cup long grain white or brown rice
*1 -14.5 oz can Mexican Style Diced Tomatoes

Prepare rice according to directions, replacing 1 cup water with the can of tomatoes. 


Classic Quacamole

*2 lg ripe avocados, mashed
*1/4 cup finely chopped onion
*2 Tbsp lemon juice
*2-5 drops hot pepper sauce (if desired)
*1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
*1/4 tsp salt and dash of pepper
*1 med. tomato, chopped
*2 Tbsp finely chopped green chilies (from a can)
 or 1 sm. fresh chile chopped

Mix all ingredients and try not to eat the whole bowl!
 I always double this recipe - it will keep for several days. 

Have a bite!

For a Happy Ending, serve chocolate pudding
(instant - mixed from a box - oops! did I admit that?)
 and whipped cream
(fat and sugar free, please),
 sprinkled with cinnamon and cayenne pepper!

Serve on a napkin decoupaged tray :)


Happy Cinco De Mayo, Amigos! 


  1. Wow that was a lovely post, lots of interesting things and many memories attached.

  2. What a sweet treat for your daughter and husband! Everything looks so festive. My parents retired to Arizona and lived not far from Saguaro National Forest. We hiked there many times and visited the Desert Museum. So different from where we live, right?
    have a great week Karen.

  3. Hola Karen! My last two posts are about cinco de mayo because it's our anniversary date. We met on cinco de mayo and married on it, too. Ray bought me a dozen orange roses. I thought of you as I posted a little celebration report -with three pix, an intro, and even words to a song! Stuff like you do on you blog that we all so enjoy. I loved the weeks Ray and I spent in the desert southwest years ago, Anyway, hope your family enjoys the sweet secret celebration you have planned for this evening. xxoo, m

  4. You have such a sweet set up for Cinco de Mayo! The lights are the perfect touch.

  5. The menu sounds fantastic Karen! And what a treat for them to have such an awesome celebration dinner on a Monday night! Makes the week sweeter! Your pieces in your hutch are all so stunning together! And that tablecloth that you got shopping with your mom is gorgeous! You have such a talent for putting things together and your loved ones are so very blessed to have you! And how very wonderful is it that you have these pieces from when you and your husband were newlyweds! I can't wait for the recipes!!! Happy Cinco de Mayo friend! Nicole xoxo

  6. you are quite the hostess. :) so sweet. love those two granddogs, too.

  7. What a treat your two were in for on their return from work! A real labour of love!

  8. I loved this! I once lived in Tucson too. I dream of a fixer-upper adobe someday. You have quite a collection! I have chili lights for my tree. It is really pretty on those backroads around Tucson. xoxo

  9. You decorated so beautifully!!! So many lovely little details all bought together really show off the theme of the dinner to great effect and so much fun too. I hope that the meal was a great hit and lots of fun for you all - and the dogs too! What a great way to celebrate with your family. xx

  10. Wow you go all out :) how festive-looking. Peanut and Weenie Baby are adorable dogs!!

  11. oooh, love the table cloth! It pulls everything together in your southwestern look kitchen area. So warm and welcoming!

  12. Que linda su casa Beatrice querida ,, adore cada rincón tan colorido ,, feliz 5 de Mayo

  13. You're amazing! I never would have imagined that you two wooded wilderness lovers spent a few happy years in the hot desert. I bet your daughter and husband loved their surprise Cinco de Mayo party. And those dogs are very cute.

  14. Your daughter must have loved the surprise! Her two dogs are absolutely charming. I had a dog in my childhood who understood the words "chocolat" and "gamelle" (French word for "dog plate").

  15. This is a lovely post! Your daughter must have loved her surprise and I loved all your decorations. Your little dogs are adorable.

  16. Hi Karen, it looks so festive and pretty the way you decorated for the occasion. The food sounds good too! I hope you all had fun. I too went out with my husband to a local restaurant that serves Mexican food for dinner. I can't wait for the next post. Take care.

  17. What a fun post Karen. It sounds like a great way to celebrate that holiday and you have lots of great decor to go with the theme. I had to laugh at Whitey's alertness. Our old Marshall would come running when he heard the cheese drawer open in the fridge. He knew he'd get a chunk. :)

  18. Thanks so much for including the recipes Karen! I pinned and I would love to make them sometime. Thanks for all the visits to my blog! Have a wonderful afternoon.

  19. Love that tablecloth! The pups are precious too.. All of them! My hubby and I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado so we grew up with good Mexican food. I still don't think I have fund the best in its category here in Denver. But I have a few similar recipes for the enchiladas. Love it! Thank you for sharing. So much color here. Ole!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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