It’s May and that means that soon we’ll be celebrating our Mexican heritage, much like we all celebrate our Irish heritage in March…even when we have neither. Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to leave work early, eat tortilla chips and drink more tequila than sanity allows, but is it starting to feel just a little bit like the same old thing?

This year, to celebrate pride in our neighbors to the south, and to inspire more cultural awareness, why not try some new and different foods and beverages? If you’re tuckered out on the Tex-Mex nachos and watered down margaritas, why not try some sweet, savory and even tequila-filled treats?

Here are a few rather tasty sounding Cinco de Mayo foods we found on the information superhighway.

a tequila and pineapple drink

Of course, on Cinco de Mayo it’s proper to start with a drink. This tasty beverage is as refreshing as that margarita you love, and it has tequila, but it also has a fruity, spicy kick. You can’t really go wrong with tequila, pineapple juice, lemonade and some chili pepper spice, to name just a few of the ingredients. Keep it chilly and keep it coming. And, if you get bored or have some beer to get rid of, there’s also a recipe for a beergarita. How good does that sound?

tasty margarita popsicles

If you prefer your tequila drink in a solid state, then this is the treat for you. Maybe it seems wrong to have a margarita at work. Maybe you can’t carry that drink on the beach. But, you can certainly have popsicles at work or on the beach. If the sun’s out, nobody can fault you a cool, refreshing frozen treat. It’ll be our little secret that there’s tequila in there. Unless you decide to share, and then you’re on your own.

stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon

Jalapenos are a perfect snack for your May 5 festivities. And really, what food isn’t better once you’ve stuffed cheese in it? This treat is simple and so tasty. Chop up the cheese, slice the jalapenos, grill ‘em up, and if you really want to show you know how to party, wrap those spicy hunks of deliciousness in some bacon. You’ll want to make every day Cinco de Mayo if this is how you celebrate.

crispy fried chayote

Not fried coyote, but similar in sound. A chayote is a mild flavored squash native to Mexico. There are about a gazillion things you can do with it because you can jazz it up with just about any more savory food. Since we’re talking about party foods here, frying it is the way to go. If you want to be adventurous, add red onions, red peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers, or just about anything else you can think of. Make sure you’ve got some spicy salsa on the side for dipping and your fiesta is on its way.

Mexican Lasagne

Here’s how to confuse your friends after they’ve had a couple of Negra Modelos for lunch — serve them an Italian dish in a Mexican style. A Mexican lasagne is one of the best dinner ideas we’ve seen in a long time. It’s really the best of two supremely fantastic food cultures. Layers of starchy goodness with meat and beans and taco seasoning, and cheese, oh the cheese. We’ve got one in the oven right now. We’ll share if you bring the Cuervo.

Mexican taco ring

Maybe you’d rather have your delightful Mexican treat in the form of a ring, rather than in layers. That’s no problem. All you have to do is whip up one of these amazing baked taco rings. It doesn’t seem too difficult. You don’t even have to make dough. You can use crescent rolls, which are always yummy, and then fill in the rest with the ground beef, cheese, seasoning and all the other spicy Mexican flavors you love. It’ll make you look like a fancy chef kind of party machine, and will likely win you a few friends.

margarita lime cheesecake

It’s about time we move to the dessert portion of this celebration. You don’t have to give up a delicious margarita to make things interesting for Cinco de Mayo. You can simply add it to your dessert. Once again, there’s tequila in it, so it’s not like it’s going to be bad. Plus, you can have some of the tequila while you’re making it. But, only some, otherwise it might end up being a very interesting cheesecake.

yummy margarita ice cream

Fried ice cream is usually the celebratory Mexican ice cream stand-by, but not this year. You can have fried ice cream any time of year. For a true Cinco de Mayo fiesta, you have to have margarita ice cream. You love ice cream. You love lime juice, tequila and triple sec. It’s really a no-brainer. And, if you miss the whole fried thing, you can always fry up the margarita ice cream. There’s no rule against that. It’s a party.

decadent chocolate nachos

Nachos are one of the best ways to deliver cheese to your very appreciative taste buds, but nachos are so Thursday night at the sports bar. Anyone can do nachos for Cinco de Mayo. You need to step it up a notch (or nach-o) and get with the chocolate nachos. It’ll be a fiesta for your face. There are about a million ways to do them right, but the main things to include are buttery, sugary, cinnamon-y, baked tortillas and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Add some of that margarita ice cream for a real treat.

classic churros and chocolate

This Mexican classic will be our exception to prove the “You Should Eat Something Different on May 5” rule. Everyone loves a churro, and they’re really not that hard to make. It’s three steps and you’re in fried treat heaven. Make some dough, fry the dough and then roll the fried dough in cinnamon and sugar. Dip the heavenly sticks in chocolate and enjoy with a beergarita. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with a classic.

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