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Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo Are Still On, Despite Pandemic


by Kara Kimbrough

Almost like a blue moon, it’s rare that Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday fall on the same days. An extension of Mississippi’s COVID-19 dining-in restrictions mean those desiring to celebrate the Mexican holiday on May 5 will do so at home this year. But never fear, there are several ways to stage an in-home celebration containing the best of Mexican cuisine.

Pass the salsa, please!

One of the first things that occur at any Mexican restaurant is the arrival of chips and salsa. It’s easy to make your own using chopped tomatoes, spices, and peppers. After a few seconds in the food processor, you’ll have a restaurant-worthy salsa that might just beat out the competition. Or, pick up a jar at the supermarket and pair with chips. To transform store-bought chips into homemade, spread chips on a baking sheet, lightly brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with taco or Mexican seasoning. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, until heated.

Taco ‘bout a delicious meal

Placing the fixings for a taco feast on the dinner table is a sure-fire way to please almost everyone. A do-it-yourself taco bar complete with seasoned ground beef or chicken, chopped vegetables, grated cheeses, and toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and salsa looks like you’ve cooked all day, when in reality, the entire meal can be put together in 30 minutes.

Sweeten Cinco de Mayo with a special dessert

Any Mexican fiesta worth its salt contains a special dessert. Mexican-inspired flan is delicious but time-consuming to make. So is traditional tres leches cake – unless, of course, you use my shortcut version that takes around 30 minutes to make. It’ll add the perfect touch to Cinco de Mayo or just plain ol’ Taco Tuesday. Quick and Easy Mexican Tres Leches Cake 1 package butter recipe golden cake 3 large eggs, room temperature 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Topping: 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 12-ounce can evaporated milk 1 cup heavy whipping cream Final Topping: 8-ounce container Cool Whip 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Ground cinnamon Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, milk, softened butter, and vanilla; beat on low speed 30 seconds, then beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk topping ingredients until blended. Using a skewer, generously poke holes in top of warm cake. Pour milk mixture slowly over cake, filling holes. Cool 30 minutes longer. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a bowl, add Cool Whip, then add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat lightly just until combined. Spread over cake. Sprinkle top lightly with ground cinnamon.

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