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Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Cinco de Mayo Birthday

Wellllllll, it's that time of year again. Along with the fun and awesome food & drinks of celebrating Cinco de Mayo, comes another notch on the 'ole birthday belt. This will be the 45th notch....I think I can officially admit I'm middle aged, right? 

Anywho... my birthday gift to YOU - my awesome readers - is I will share some great Cinco de Mayo recipies and freebie and/or deals that I get this time of year just for being the birthday girl. You should make sure you sign up/register for them so when your birthday comes around, you can feel pretty special too! ;)

Victoria's Secret - free $10 gift card in the mail the week of my birthday.
Noodles & Co. - free bowl of noodles via email to be used anytime during the month of May. 
Vera Bradley - birthday card in the mail with 40% off  one item or 20% off entire purchase at an outlet. Valid during the month of May. (very cute birthday card too!)
Starbucks - free birthday drink via email. If you have the Starbucks app on your phone, your freebie is automatically loaded in your Rewards.

I'm sure there's many more that I don't know about, so if you have some to share, please do in the comments! 

I've got my birthday menu planned, so I thought I'd share the great recipes with you that we will be enjoying!

Starting with appetizers, no party is complete without chips, salsa & cheese dip. I've made the salsa and cheese dip several times already and they are both so good!

The Homemade Restaurant Salsa is from Brown eyed Baker. So easy and the best ever!

This awesome Queso Blanco Dip is from Seeded at the Table. You've got to try it!

I have not made this Black Bean Hummus from chef in training yet, but we will be having it on my birthday. Not sure if this qualifies as Mexican for the beans or Middle Eastern for the hummus but I'm going with it!

For the main course, Tortilla Pie. This is the recipe I grew up with, as it was one of our favorites that our mom made. She always made it in the crockpot, but I've adapted it so that I can throw it in the oven because sometimes I don't plan ahead enough to have everything in the crockpot on time. 

It's soooo good! A flour tortilla smothered with refried beans, taco meat, enchilada sauce, black olives, corn, cheese, chilis or jalapenos... you really can add whatever you desire. I keep layering those in a springform pan and bake in the oven. Then top each piece with some sour cream and salsa! For the crockpot version, use round, hard tostada shells and layer up the crockpot. In the end it's more of a scoop it out vs. a slice but it all tastes the same! Recipe is at the end of this post.

For dessert, I came across these Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes on Pinterest from AllRecipes.com. They look amazing! (photo credit to registered cook by the name of CookinBug.) I LOVE spicy chocolate and I'm so excited to try these!

Various beverages to be determined, but no celebration is complete without this.... 

Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? If so, how? Share some of your favorite recipes with us!

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TORTILLA PIE  (printable version)

1 lb ground beef (or cooked shredded chicken if you prefer)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 box of tosada shells (crockpot version) OR 1 pkg of flour tortillas (oven version) I use the 10" tortilla size to fit in my 10.5" springform pan
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can refried beans
sliced black olives
diced chilis or jalapenos
1 can whole kernel corn
shredded cheddar cheese (or pepperjack, or whatever you prefer)
Toppings for serving: sour cream, salsa, green onions etc.

Several of the ingredients you can make from scratch (enchilada sauce, refried beans, taco seasoning, etc. and feel free to do so. For the last pie I made, I did make my own refried beans and enchilada sauce. The ingredients listed will make enough for the crockpot version. But since I used homemade enchilada sauce and refried beans, I don't recall the exact amount used. I will not be using homemade this next go around, so I will make sure I update this post with exact amounts for the larger tortillas used. It's possible you may need 2 cans of beans and sauce.

Cook the ground beef; drain fat and add taco seasoning and cook according to directions. 

For crockpot version:
Take a tostada shell and spread beans, meat, enchilada sauce, olives, chilis/jalapenos, corn and cheese on it. Place in bottom of crockpot. Do this same step for remaining tostada shells until crockpot is full, gently pressing down the pile with a spatula as you build up. Top with remaining cheese and other remaining ingredients, just put into the crockpot down the sides. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve with toppings of choice.

Tip: you can use regular taco shells if you have those on hand. I just break in half and lay each half in the crock pot to make a circle. It takes more time, but it's do-able.

For oven version:
Heat oven to 350F. Take a flour tortilla and spread beans, meat, enchilada sauce, olives, chilis/jalapenos, corn and cheese on it. (I find it easiest to spread the beans on the tortilla, put in the pan and then add the rest instead of trying to lift the loaded tortilla in the pan.) Place in bottom of springform pan. Do this same step for remaining tortillas until pan is full. Top with a layer of cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is thoroughly melted. Let sit 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with toppings of choice.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


Organized Island said...

Those Chili Chocolate cupcakes look amazing! I ususally celebrate with a margarita and a meal, but I was on in France that day this year and there were very few Mexican restaurants there. Happy Birthday to you!

Jill P. said...

Thank you Organized Island! As much as I like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, France sounds much better to me! ;) Sigh.... maybe someday! ~ Mama Ging

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