Three tips for a budget-friendly Cinco de Mayo | SierraSun.com

Three tips for a budget-friendly Cinco de Mayo

Chef Heather Hunsaker
Special to the Sun

Like many holidays, Cinco de Mayo celebrations center around food and fun!-

Cinco de Mayo should not to be mistaken for Mexicoand#8217;s independence day, which is celebrated on Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, a victory for the Mexican army, which was an embarrassment to French troops. Even though France ultimately won enough conflicts to occupy Mexico until 1867, the victory at Puebla is remembered as an example of the spirit of Mexico citizens. Thus Cinco de Mayo allows millions of people to celebrate Mexico history.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations can be a fun way for all to learn about Mexico history and have a fun celebration with friends and family. Follow these tips to create a festive Cinco de Mayo celebration:

The food: No celebration is complete without a lovely spread of holiday themed food. Usually around specific holidays you can count on popular seasonal food to be on sale at the grocery store. Some great options to serve at your Cinco de Mayo dinner are tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, chips and salsa, quesadillas, burritos, Spanish rice or nachos. And to finish off your delicious meal try sopaipillas, tres leches cake, or churros for dessert!

The drinks: For any party or gathering, choose just one or two drinks to serve to keep costs down. For Cinco de Mayo, try a Mexican beer or margaritas.

The decor and party activities: Decorate with bright colors and patterns, chili peppers and sombreros. Print off copies of the Mexican flag and have the kids color them appropriately and use them as placemats or hang on the wall. You can also decorate with pinatas and allow children to take turns breaking it open while Mexican themed music plays in the background.

These Southwestern Chicken Tacos are an easy and affordable dinner and a perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or to enjoy any night of the week!

and#8212; Chef Heather attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was nine years old in her motherand#8217;s kitchen. She is an avid crockpotter and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site http://www.foodonthetable.com.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4-5 hours on high 7-8 hours on low

Serves 8

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 (16 ounce) jar salsa

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

3 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded or thinly sliced

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

12 and#8211; 14 flour tortillas

To prepare chicken:

Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Add entire jar of salsa. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours. When chicken is done cooking, use two forks and shred into pieces.

To form tacos:

Heat corn and black beans in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat until warm. Warm tortillas in microwave for 10 seconds. Top each tortilla with prepared chicken and remaining toppings.