We had so much fun escaping to Mexico (at least in our minds) last Saturday for our Valentine’s Day Fiesta! I shared all about the fun decorations here, and today I want to share with you the yummy food, and a few fun little games we played.
I set up my favourite little bar cart for the party with some non-alcoholic family friendly drinks. I loved including the little donkey as a decoration too, I picked him up at the dollar store in a pack of farm animals, in case you’re looking for some too. On top we had a punch -not yet made when I took the pictures before our guests arrived. It was Strawberry-Lemonade, made with pink lemonade, strawberry drink, ginger ale, and some frozen strawberries as ice-cubes. It was a huge hit with kids and grown-ups.
Sometimes when I set up the bar cart, I make a little “cheers” banner to go over it, so this time I made one in Spanish, “Salud!”.
We also served an assortment of Jarritos Mexican soda pop. I went to a few ethnic grocery stores to find them, and they too was a real hit with the guests. They liked trying all the exotic flavours.
In the kitchen, were a few Fiesta drinks for the grown-ups, including Corona beer and limes, and some tropical coolers. I thought about making a Sangria, but decided coolers were easier, and they were so yummy too.
After everyone arrived and had a drink, we played a few easy games. I set up a couple in the living room on the ottoman.
The fist one we played was with chopsticks. Players had 30 seconds to move as many pieces of candy from one bowl to the other using the chopsticks.
It’s always fun to see who the real competitors and strategists are at a party!
For the second easy game, you had 30 seconds to see how many conversation hearts you could stack up like a tower, if they fell you could start over until your time was up. The great thing about these little games was has that both kids and adults could join in, and they were easy.
I also picked up a classic, old school, pin the tail on the donkey game. It was fun too; easy and certainly fit our theme.
I set up all the food on the kitchen table, just to make things easier. I used some more of the succulents in glass containers for a centre piece, as well as another donkey, a vintage valentine, and the roses my sweet husband got me for Valentine’s Day.
For dinner we had:
- home made baked beans in the slow cooker (see my great recipe here)
- spanish rice
- tortilla chips
- tortillas (ordered from a local Tex-Mex restaurant)
- taco shells
Our meat options were:
- pork carnitas (Mexican pulled pork, also made in the slow cooker, I got the great recipe here)
- chicken with peppers, onions, and mushrooms
- ground beef with taco seasoning
As toppings we had:
- monterey jack cheese
- cheddar cheese
- shredded lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- green onions
- home made guacamole
- fresh salsa
- hot sauce
- sour cream
It was so, so yummy, and even some of the kids went back for seconds!
After dinner, it was time for dessert! I did struggle with this one. I wanted something Mexican, but relatively easy. I know myself. I know that after decorating and cooking all day, that by the time I get to dessert I’m starting to run out of steam. I originally wanted to fry some churros, but I’m so glad I went with this plan Mexican Sundaes. They were delicious and fun. I’m not a huge ice cream eater, and really not a chocolate girl. I made some home made spicy Mexican chocolate sauce for the ice cream, as well as some dolce de leche and they were amazing!
For the Dulce de Leche sauce, start with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the paper label, but leave the can completely sealed. You submerge the can in a large pot of water, making sure the can is completely covered, and then boil it. There is a warning that if the pot boils dry, the can could explode, so make sure to check it periodically and top it up with water if needed. Don’t let that warning scare you, if you make sure it’s covered in water you will be fine. I’ve made this lots of times and never had a problem. I usually make it for Banoffee Pie, and boil it for 3 hours for a really thick sauce. For the ice cream sauce, I wanted it more runny so I boiled it about an hour. It came out perfectly. I may have even had trouble stopping myself from tasting it before the party.
The second sauce was the spicy Mexican Chocolate sauce. I’m not even a real chocolate fan, but there was something about the spice of the cinnamon, and the heat of the cayenne pepper that kept me coming back for more and more. And it was perfect to combine the heat with the cold ice cream. Serve both sauces warm.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 340 g bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Heat whipping cream in a pot over medium heat.
- Add the chocolate chips and sugar to the cream, and stir until completely dissolved.
- Add the cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to taste, depending on how spicy and hot you like it.
- Serve warm over ice cream.
We served chocolate and vanilla ice cream, the dolce de leche sauce, spicy Mexican chocolate sauce, and Valentine sprinkles and candies along with whip cream, and cherries. I also picked up an easy all ready prepared plain chocolate sauce in case the kids didn’t want anything spicy. This dessert was the perfect sweet ending to the night. With great friends, great food, and a quick trip to Mexico for the night in the middle of a cold winter, life really is a party!