Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Keep ‘em Comin Quesadilla Party for Cinco de Mayo

I’m not a kid anymore…but I still enjoy taking a peek at what’s on the Kids’ Menu at restaurant chains. The “Kids-a-dillas” option is too cute! In most cases, though, they slap some gooey cheese between two tortillas and call it a day…but Top NANA is pulling out all the stops with a Continuous Quesadilla party, featuring 3 muy bueno recipes that pack protein, vitamins and serious flavor for your Cinco de Mayo. Read on for these, plus a Mexican Bean bracelet craft the kiddos can put together next time you babysit.

Lay Out the Toppings & Let the Kids Build Their Own Quesadillas! Cinco de Mayo is a bigger celebration in the U.S. than it is in Mexico—with the exception of the small town of Puebla where the oiginal Cinco de Mayo battle was fought and won in 1862. It’s a wonderful and F-U-N holiday to teach children about different cultures, beautiful customs and great food. For my quesadilla party, I suggest creating a salad bar, so to speak, of all of the raw ingredients that will eventually top each tortilla. Let your tiny party guests don a sombrero (see Nana’s New Favorite Thing for this special party favor) and get in line with a paper plate. Even if little Bobby’s choices make for a slightly different quesadilla than the ones I list below, it’ll still be fun to let him choose his own quesadilla creation.

Top Nana’s Quesadilla Bar:
Flank Steak, Toasted Corn and Black Bean Quesadilla
Oven Roasted Zucchini, Tomato and White Cheddar Quesadilla
Lime Grilled Chicken Breast, Asparagus and Brie Cheese Quesadilla

Special note: Give the kids a little Spanish 101. The word “quesadilla derives from “queso” meaning cheese, so let them have a queso sampling party of different cheeses that could potentially go into their quesadilla. My recipes here call for Monterary jack, sharp cheddar, white cheddar and even brie!

Cinco de Mayo Bedtime Stories! Sometimes we grandparents are lucky enough to keep our grandkids overnight. I happen to have run across an adorable Mexican story, as a perfect chaser to your successful quesadilla party. Consider buying or checking this one out from your local library: The Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel, a takeoff on The Three Little Pigs, your kids will love cheering on three cute tamales who are encouraged to run away by a tortilla who just happened to be rolling by like so much Southwest tumbleweed. It’s perfect for Grades K-3.

And if Your Mexican Jumping Beans are Just Too Energetic to Go to Sleep? You can make beautiful Mexican bracelets, like the one pictured with this blog post. I found detailed instructions online, but summarized it for you here. Here are the Materials You’ll Need:
--Toilet paper roll

--Black construction paper
--Dried beans or lentils
--Light blue paint
--Hole punch and ribbon


  1. Paint some or all of the beans a light turquoise blue with tempura paint and let it dry.

  2. Glue construction paper or tinfoil around your toilet paper roll.

  3. Slit toilet paper roll so it isn't a roll anymoreCut toilet paper roll into thirds.

  4. Glue beans onto the bracelet. Smaller beans don't slide off the wet glue as much as big ones do. You can also add sequins for extra sparkle if you like. Let dry.

  5. OPTIONAL: punch holes in either side of the bracelet and thread a ribbon through. Use this to tie the bracelet on when you slip it on your arm so it doesn't fall off as easily.

So there it all is! Get your glam on this Cinco de Mayo, gulp down a few tasty margaritas and enjoy my signature Quesadillas! Happy 5/5/11, everybody.


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