It's the madre of all holidays...at least in Puebla, Mexico. We're talking Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), the day we bust out our sombreros and celebrate our inner Mexican.

If you're thinking of having a fiesta to celebrate, be sure to include these recipes!

  • Guacamole

    I have an unnatural love of avocados, and homemade guac is a MUST for Cinco de Mayo. Super easy to make. A few ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion, diced garlic, finely diced jalapeño or serrano chiles, cilantro, salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice. Mash it all up and serve. (Some people say keeping the avocado pit in the mix keeps it from turning brown, but I find a little extra acid from the limes and covering with plastic wrap does just fine.)

    Michael Coté, Flickr
  • Pico de gallo

    Pretty much the same as the guacamole, without the avocados. It's super fresh and tastes WAY better than jarred salsa. Put it on anything from grilled chicken to fish to eggs to chips. Awesome.

    Flickr user Little Blue Hen
  • 7 layer dip

    So...this isn't really Mexican, more Tex-Mex, but whatever, it tastes good. Two of the seven layers are guacamole and pico de gallo, so aren't you glad you already know how to do that? Get a deep serving dish and get ready to layer: refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, lettuce, and black olives. If any of those don't suit your fancy, use grilled chicken, chili, or green onions to replace a layer. Serve with chips. Sort of like nachos, but better.

    Flickr user erin.kkr
  • Chicken Molé


    Known as the 'national dish' of Mexico, chicken molé is one of my faves. If you've never had it, it can sound a little frightening...the sauce is made with chocolate. It's not candy bar chocolate though, it's the unsweetened kind, and it adds an amazing depth of flavor. Sure, you can give a recipe a go, but in this case, I'd totally support you picking some up from either 10th Ave. Burrito or Cielito Lindo in Belmar. Both do an amazing molé poblano.

    Flickr user Stu_Spivack
  • Margaritas

    Come on, did you REALLY think I wouldn't have any booze on this list?? Margaritas are a MUST for tomorrow. Grab a pitcher, add plenty of really good tequila, some triple sec (Cointreau is best), and a good amount of fresh-squeezed lime juice. (Don't use margarita mix, it's way too sweet and full of all kinds of weird stuff.) Mix in a pitcher with just enough ice to slightly dilute the mixture, and have plenty of glasses ready for your party guests. Rub the rim of the empty glasses with a lime wedge, dip the rim into salt, and you're all good to go. (Too lazy for that? Fine, use bottled margarita mix, but don't say I didn't warn you!!)

    Jon Harley, Flickr