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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Five Days of Mexi-Foods Began Last Night!

Our family is trying out something fun to liven up the cooking around here. For five consecutive nights leading up to Cinco de Mayo, we're dining on Mexican-inspired cuisine every night. While this may sound redundant, the motivation is to minimize our meal-prep for this week. We're all pretty busy right now, so making meals simpler while staying on a tight budget is a priority.

How we are doing this:

Each night, the dinner-cook prepares a large quantity of one or two Mexi-themed items, as part of their menu. There should be leftovers of these basic foods, from one night to the next, so that the other cooks can quickly and easily put together their Mexi-dinner.

Here's an example of what we're doing: last night was my cooking night and I made a large batch of refried beans, a large pot of Spanish rice, and a large jar of quickie salsa (quickie salsa uses chopped canned tomatoes, vinegar, salt, garlic, oregano, chopped onions, chili powder, red pepper flakes, pinch of sugar, and lemon juice, all cooked on the stove for about 15 minutes, following the proportions in this post).

My dinner plan for last night was for burrito bowls. I set out the refried beans, salsa, seasoned rice, shredded cheese, and plain yogurt. Everyone assembled their own bowl. Dinner was hearty and filled everyone. (I also made a batch of vanilla blackberry-rhubarb sauce, as a side/dessert.)

Tonight is my daughter's night. She's planning on making enchiladas. So, she'll use some of the leftover beans, rice, and shredded cheese, along with packaged corn tortillas and a homemade enchilada sauce. She'll make enough extra enchilada sauce for another night, too.

Friday is my night, again. I'll make a large batch of taco meat with some ground beef and seasonings. Then, I'll put together a casserole of sorts using many of the leftovers, along with the beef.

Saturday is my husband's night. He'll take any leftovers, make a large batch of fried tortilla chips, and make a family meal.

Sunday is Cinco de Mayo. We'll take all of the leftovers and make a Mexican buffet, using up as much of everything as we can.

The whole idea is to shake up our menu planning for the week, use budget-friendly foods, make cooking a bit easier for all, and celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Maybe I'll even get out the maracas!

Do you make anything special for Cinco de Mayo? Or is it just another day for you? Do you make salsa yourself? We have discovered that while we like to have jalapenos in salsa, our quickie salsa is equally tasty.


  1. Rolling over to next day and adding something new takes some planning. Sounds like fun.

    We don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo per say although some years we give it a nod. My husband's birthday is on May 3, so that is usually what we're focused on this time of year.

    1. Happy birthday to Ward!

    2. Hi live and learn,
      Happy, happy to your husband! I hope that you all have a wonderful celebration.

  2. Nothing special for meals for us either. We like all kinds of food but my husband has to be very careful eating things like beans, corn and other foods that have "shells" on them. He doesn't have a normal digestive track so many foods (fibrous) are off limits.


    1. Hi Alice,
      oh, your poor husband. I imagine that when he does eat the wrong foods that he is in a lot of pain.
      Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. That sounds like a celebratory way to manage your budget! My birthday is May 5 so people always ask me if we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This year the answer is a yes .... mainly because that is the meal plan for Sunday night's youth group meeting! I bought a fair amount of Mexi food today at Aldi for that event.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh, and another happy birthday, this time to you! I thought I remembered you had a birthday in early May.
      I hope you have some time away from your church's youth group to celebrate, too. But Mexican food does sound like a yummy dinner for a birthday, in my opinion.
      Have a wonderful weekend, and lovely birthday!

  4. So many birthdays!! Happy Birthday, Kris and Ward, and a belated birthday to you, Lili.

    Love the idea of rolling leftovers into the next meal. In fact, this seems inherent in Mexican cuisine, a lot of overlap of sauces, meats and veggies. Everything seems to go together well. We always keep easy rice paper wraps from Asian markets to put leftovers in and call it a meal.



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