Cinco de Mayo treats


Lauren/Wikimedia Commons

Layer your favorite taco-type ingredients for a tasty dip to serve with tortilla chips.

Is time dragging on for you due to this shelter-in-place thing? To me, time still flies, as I barely got used to it being 2020 and here we are, already creeping up on May.

So many people are struggling with boredom and even depression. It wasn’t until all this started that I realized my regular daily life was not much different than this sequestering routine.

I normally stay at home, especially this time of year, as the roads up in the high country are still closed and in most places, covered in snow. I do miss being able to go fishing, as we are not allowed to fish even from the shore when no one else is around for miles. We can still cook and shop for groceries, thank goodness.

As far as holidays go, this year we just need to think of different ways to celebrate them. A lot of people enjoy Cinco de Mayo, even though this year we are limited in our choice of celebration.

As for myself, I will cook up a few appetizers that have a Mexican flair, and maybe use some of my Mexican serving dishes, just for some cheerful bright color.

A bit about the holiday: The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

If you plan to do a little something this May 5, here are some recipes you might like to try.

Cheese stuffed jalapeno sausage biscuits

It’s always good to have an extra can of biscuits handy, as it is hard to predict an exact count of peppers in a jar.

1 jar (or use canned, as long as you have 16 ounces) whole pickled jalapeno peppers, drained

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 pound ground pork sausage

2 cans (10-oz. each) refrigerated biscuit dough

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice jalapenos lengthwise and remove seeds. Stuff each half with cheese.

2. Divide pork sausage into small balls. Press and shape the sausage balls into thin strips. Place one stuffed jalapeno half onto one sausage strip. Roll the jalapeno in the sausage, pressing firmly. Repeat for each one.

3. Arrange wrapped jalapenos on a medium baking sheet (with sides). Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until sausage is evenly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

4. Arrange biscuits on a baking sheet (I like to lightly coat with cooking spray). Wrap the sausage jalapeno with the biscuit dough, sealing well. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mexican pinwheels

I like to season the refried beans with a bit of dry taco seasoning.

2 large flour tortillas

2/3 cup Mexican cheese blend, divided (pre-shredded)

2/3 cup refried beans

1/2 medium ripe avocado, thinly sliced or diced, divided

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced, divided

1/2 cup tomato, finely diced (or use well-drained, chunky tomato salsa)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, divided

1. Lay each tortilla flat and place an equal amount of refried beans on each. Top with shredded cheese.

2. Continue layering with avocado, red onion, tomato (or salsa) and cilantro.

3. Pressing firmly, roll each tortilla up and place on a cutting board seam-side down. With a sharp knife, slice into pieces about 1/2-inch wide. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 to 3 days. Makes about 20 pinwheels.

Mini taco salad cups

Feel free to add whatever you like, including some guacamole, chopped green onions, or even ground beef.

12 2-inch round wonton wrappers

1 cup refried black beans (such as the Old El Paso brand)

1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce

1 Roma tomato, diced

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or coat with nonstick spray.

2. Fit a wonton wrapper into each of 12 muffin tins, pressing carefully to make sure there is an opening in the center. Place into oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

3. Heat the refried beans, then fill each wonton cup with refried beans. Top with lettuce, tomato, olives and cheese. Serve immediately, drizzled with sour cream and garnished with cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Layered dip

I remember making this for the 8th grade graduation dance for each of my boys. The kids went crazy for it.

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 can refried beans

1 tub prepared guacamole

1 can (4-oz.) chopped or sliced black ripe olives, drained

1 can (4-oz.) diced green chilis

1 small bottle mild red taco sauce

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

3 green onions, chopped

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

Sour cream

1. Mix taco seasoning with refried beans, then spread evenly on a serving platter. Spread guacamole over the beans. Sprinkle olives and green chilis evenly over the guacamole.

2. Layer the remaining ingredients, dividing the taco sauce into thirds so you don’t end up with too much of it in one spot. End the layers with sour cream. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with an assortment of tortilla chips.

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