Freshest Salsa Mexican Recipe
The Three Best Recipes for Your Fiesta (or Taco Tuesday)

We all know that having good food can make or break a party! Today I am going to share with you my 3 best recipes for a fiesta. These are my go-to recipes for any party, to be honest. You definitely don’t have to save them just for a fiesta. The Black Bean recipe is one that I get asked to share over and over! And so, here you go! My absolute favorite party appetizers for a casual gathering! They are easy to make and they always disappear fast! I like to serve salsa in an individual bowl for guests if possible. Here I used cupcake cups that are made to hold liquid. They are from Party Hat Paper Company.

This is my husband’s recipe for Salsa! Ron’s recipes are always so good- it can be hard to get him to write down the measurements for what he makes because he loves to just “iron chef” it – but I have been convincing him to write it down lately. My kids love this salsa so much- and I do, too- and so I thought you guys might like to have it on hand! It is soooo good!

Freshest Salsa Mexican Recipe

Best Ever Salsa Recipe

Lydia Menzies


  • 1 small sweet onion
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (add more if you wish)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • Fresh jalapeño in amount of preference (half of a medium size is what I use)
  • 6 to 7 medium to large tomatoes


  • Chop all ingredients to place in a food processor.  You will probably need to process in a few batches then final mix everything together in a bowl.  Serve with bite size Tostito’s.
  • Enjoy!
Freshest Salsa Mexican Recipe

My second easy recipe- which is great for Taco Tuesday ideas- is a burrito bowl. I can’t tell you how much I love how easy this is!! My husband and I just put out all of the choices and then everyone makes their own! I love serving them in small pots with a large lettuce leaf for the base just for the fun of it- but they are also great served in a taco bowl. Needless to say, it works equally as well on any bowl you have!

Best Burrito Bowl Ideas


Yellow Rice (you can choose any rice you like, but we like yellow rice for something different) Other good choices are Mexican Rice or white rice with your favorite spices. Cook as directed on package

Black Beans or Pinto Beans Cooked

Torn Lettuce or Spinach

Chopped Tomatoes

Shredded Cheese

Avocado Slices

Salsa (see recipe above)


I saved my very favorite recipe for last. This is called Cowboy Caviar but, for some reason, I have never liked that name. So, Black Bean Dip works just as well for me. Anyway, when my husband and I were engaged, my coworkers hosted a Fesita shower for me. This dish was one of the appetizers, but I didn’t actually have any at the party (I was too busy being the bride-to-be). One of my friends got the recipe and then gave it to me and told me that I had to make it. I didn’t take her too seriously but she told me again that I should make it for a party I was going to – and so I finally did! And, the rest, is history. It has become my go-to recipe for anytime I need to bring an app to a party. I even had a chef once ask me for the recipe! I thought that was funny and was quite a compliment. So, here is the recipe…


Cowboy Caviar

Lydia Menzies


  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz. chopped black olives
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • tsp black pepper


  • Mix all ingredients (except for cream cheese) together in a medium bowl.
  • Spread cream cheese on a serving platter.
  • Add bean mixture to top of cream cheese.
  • Garnish with lemon slices or pepper slices and cilantro.
  • Serve with bite sized Tostitos or blue corn chips.
  • Enjoy!

I hope this is a favorite at your house, too! My kids can’t stay away from it when I make it. There is something about all of the flavors together that are just so delish! Let me know what you think in the comments below! And, remember that you can easily double this recipe if you have a large crowd. No one will complain! 🙂 Have a great day!



fiesta party ideas table setting for cinco de mayo
Best Cinco de Mayo – Birthday Party Ideas Decorations and Recipes

How fun is a fiesta? There is something about throwing a party for Cinco de Mayo or for a birthday that makes this theme just so perfect! These party ideas that I am sharing today were made even easier by Party Hat Paper Company and the huge box of fiesta party supplies they sent me! It was such a welcome surprise to open this fiesta party box, and I loved how easy it made it to plan and decorate! Because I had so much to work with, I am going to share ideas for a kids’ party table (shown below) and show you how you can also use these ideas for a teen fiesta later this week. Then, I will share ideas for adults… and add in fiesta recipe ideas that are a hit with (most) everyone! So, check back often this week to see all of the fun happening over here! First up, a bursting-with-color tablescape for a fiesta!

With all of the color that was a part of party box, I added a white tablecloth to ground everything and let the decorations shine. The traditional Mexican serape made a bright cloth table runner – I loved how the colors looked so vivid on the white and then worked well with the brown Kraft lunchroom style trays that were included in the party box. I have never used those trays before, and so I had fun deciding how to dress them up!


The fiesta party plates were perfect to place under the mini pots that I used for the main dish. I also used the matching cupcake holders for salsa- totally testing the theory that they will hold liquid! Guess what? The cupcake holders were perfect for serving salsa! They really did hold up and they looked so cute on the tray.


Something else I had never used before that was in the fiesta party kit box, was the colorful taco holders. They are designed to hold tacos while you add the filling and prevent the tacos from breaking- but I used them for napkin and utensil holders. I really like how they kept the wooden knives, forks, and spoons (that were included in the kit) bundled in the napkins (also provided)- and it added color to the serving tray. I could stand them up or lay them flat and they worked so well. I added a couple of decorative food picks just for fun. The food picks are perfect for holding soft tacos together, too! So many uses for so many of the party supplies.

Speaking of the wooden forks, I added the tiny sombreros to the tops of the forks that were in the burrito bowls. I think the sombreros are my favorite little detail from the party box kit! They are so cute and can be used in several ways. I think they were originally intended to be cupcake toppers, but I think they are perfect for the forks and for the straws!


The orange cups and the yellow striped paper straws were also a part of the fiesta party kit from Paper Hat Party Company. They thought of so many details and really considered what you would need and how you could use the supplies. I am impressed! And even if you decided to use the mini sombreros for cupcakes, the cups and straws look great with a simple slice of lime! Also, notice the confetti sprinkled on the table…it came with the party box, too! I love how something so simple can be so pretty and easy to use…


For the center of the table, I used the luminaries that came from Party Hat Paper Company and added vases of flowers to them. I bought flowers at Trader Joe’s and arranged them in a short container. I folded the luminary bag down so that the white showed which helped show off the colors of the flowers. I love luminaries at night, but for a party during daylight, the luminaries can be used in several ways…


They would be perfect for

  1. holding chips
  2. party favor bags
  3. flower holders with a container dropped inside

I also never met a party that didn’t need some cute cookies to serve, and so Melissa of Dough & Batter came through with the absolute cutest cookie designs! Tacos and Pinatas – you can’t get more perfect than that for a fiesta! I displayed the taco cookies in the taco holders that were part of the party box kit and loved how they stood up! The cake stand of cookies looked so cute in the middle of the flower arrangements…

I could have taken a million more photos of them- the cookies were just so cute with their polka dot backgrounds and their icing transfer images. Dough and Batter is so fun to work with and so talented and creative! And, you guessed it- those cute cactus plates came as part of the party kit from Paper Hat Party Company! I loved having the plates to use for serving dessert!


Here’s a quick shot of the table as I was building it and before I added the plates, trays, food, etc. I enjoy the process of seeing what works well together and taking photos of it along the way as I am designing it. It helps me to see it better and from a different perspective. Anybody else do this?


I can tell you the the key ingredients for making patterns and colors work well together is first, not to be afraid to mix them! Definitely remember to mix large scale with small scale rather than having the patterns all the same size. You can repeat patterns of different scale to bring a cohesive feel- such as the tiny polka dots on the cookies work really well with the polka dot effect that the strewn confetti gives. The same works with the smaller diamond pattern on the plates paired with the bold stripes of the serape. And- remember to add texture to the table top with flowers and even the cut out on the luminaries. I love the motion of both of those, too! The height is always a tougher one for me because I love to have taller centerpieces for the visual appeal, but mostly, I want guests to be able to see each other and to chat– so I keep it lower especially for a kids’ table. The cake stand of cookies was as tall as I let the table get but added visual height with the wall behind the table!


I will share more about the fabulous wall decorations that I used from Party Box Paper Company coming up! Let me know what your favorite part of the kids’ tablescape is and remember to check back all week for more fiesta fun!! You can also see another of my favorite fiestas here– a party for my daughter that was full of good times!



outdoor mexican fiesta table for birthday party

Celebrating your birthday with a Mexican Fiesta is a sure way to have a great time!  My daughter and several of her friends had a ball with all of the bright colors and (hopefully) vivid memories of a beautiful party day full of fun!  Planning all of the party ideas and details was loads of fun- although we don’t claim to have everything authentically perfect- this is our take on a party that combines Mexican birthday party ideas with a young girl’s likes and wishes!  For instance, we know hedgehogs don’t hail from Mexico- but when she fell in love with a festive-looking hedgehog at a local shop, we decided the hedgehog would make a perfectly fun party favor!  So read on and enjoy- and hopefully you will find an idea or two that you can use for a Mexican-themed party or even a Cinco de Mayo celebration, too- and inspiration to incorporate ideas that make your party perfectly-suited for the birthday child! 

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Nothing says Cinco de Mayo like a RED HOT CHILI PEPPER!  This festive decoration will brighten any mexican-inspired celebration so that you could use it for a shower, birthday party, and of course, the 5th of May!  Susan of Oh My! Creative designed this tissue paper chili pepper pom and is sharing the tutorial with us!


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Ole’!  What a fun line-up of treats that you can make with your children or a classroom to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  Norene, of Party Pinching, is back today with her always cute and creative treat ideas that are easy to make and easy on the wallet!  This first treat is a Rice Krispies Treat disguised as red peppers!  Norene added candy eyes and fondant stems and a hat- I love how she displayed them in Hot Tamale Candies!

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I love Cinco de Mayo each year because it means dinner is a no-brainer and everyone is happy!  My kids can’t wait to dive in to the salsa and chips- but if they saw the party these beautiful children had, the salsa and chips would never measure up again…

Bird, of Bird’s Party, put together this fabulous fiesta- the colors are vibrant and the treats look delicious!!  Thank you for sharing your party, Bird!  In Bird’s words…

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas: A Mexican Fiesta Birthday Bash!!

So I hope today’s posts will give you some fun, vibrant ideas for the upcoming celebrations of Cinco de Mayo or indeed for a colorful, Mexican Inspired Pinata Birthday Party 

I designed and styled this Mexican Fiesta Party Collection for Bird’s Party EZINE Spring Issue that you can read here – And I worked with some stunning, talented friends (and family!!) for this fun party project! Check out the fun details below…

Party Printables:
The designs were inspired by the Mexican “Burrito” Pinata, with cacti, bright flowers, maracas and chili peppers party icons – Used to decorate party favors, dessert tables, cupcakes, straws and more!
The colors I chose were not necessarily traditional, but then again neither am I! I wanted something vibrant, fun and colorful to convey the feeling of celebration and party, suitable for a kid’s birthday party or a grown up Mexican fiesta bash!

Party Décor:

For the styling, I wanted a twist on the usual, dessert table layout and chose a very relaxed, outdoors sit-down style where all the goodies, desserts  and party favors bags (decorated with a “Gracias” favor bag labels) are available at arms reach of the kids!

Logs from my garden were re-purposed as seating, and my garden plants acted as a natural table backdrop.

Paper Lanterns decorated with satin ribbon, Sombreros and Chilli garland (from my kitchen) were hung from the trees to add interst and height to the table.

The tablecloth was a bargain find at my local fabric store. Colorful paper plates and napkins as well as round place mats, added nice color blocks to the table decor. The  printable buffet labels were used here as placeholder cards with each guest’s name.

The centerpiece was created using floral mousse, empty cardboard boxes covered with green wrapping paper, hardy grass from my garden and silk Gerbera Daisies from my local “dollar” store.

Party Frocks:

The photo I used for the cover of the EZINE Spring Issue is of my little angel wearing a stunning, gorgeous, handmade tutu and flower hair accessory by my darling friend Ashlyn from Cole Baby Tutu. 

I “met” Ashlyn waaaaay back through an Etsy treasury and have been great friends ever since, and I’m soooo grateful for that! 🙂

Desserts Table:

Desserts tables included vanilla Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche filling and colored marzipan frosting (recipe coming soon), decorated cookies or Biscochos that can also be included in party favor bags, and yummy Cake Pops displayed in small terracotta painted pots. 

Terri from Terri’s Party Treasures has been a sweet friends from a while back too, ever since she guest posted here with her printed cookie tutorial, but I was dying to taste her wonderful cake pops – And oh my, how gorgeous they were!!

Not only these cake pops were beautiful to look at, but they also matched my designs perfectly; and they tasted scrumptious too! My little models refused to be in the shoot unless they were well “remunerated” with her sweet treats! 🙂

Another fabulous collaborator was Sara from Dandy Delights!! I mean, you just have to look at these stunning decorated cookies to see what I mean!! When we were brainstorming about for the cookie designs, Sara gave me an array of fabulous cookie flavors to choose from: Almond Shortbread, Lemon Shortbread, Chocolate Shortbread, Chocolate Espresso Shortbread, Cinnamon Shortbread, Pumpkin Spice Shortbread, Lavender Shortbread, Mojito Shortbread, Peanut Butter Shortbread and Original Shortbread.

Since this was a Mexican Fiesta Party, I chose the Mojito Shortbread Flavor – Totally child -friendly (I asked hehe) but Sara told me it was more of a grown up flavor…Well, I guess my kiddos must have grown up taste then, ’cause there was not a crumb left! 🙂


Party Credits:
Party Printable Design, Styling and Photography: Bird’s Party
Styling Assistant: Bird’s Dad
Flower, Chili and Cacti Cake Pop: Terri’s Party Treasures
Flower, Pinata and Cacti Decorated Cookies: Dandy Delights
Bespoke Party Tutu and Matching Hair Accessories: Cole Baby Tutu
Models: Bird’s Own


One of the reasons I love my job so much is that I get to hang out with my kids all the time! Only when they’re willing to join in the madness off course, and my little girl just loves dressing up for the occasion! Even more so when she gets a  brand new, totally fabulous, and oh-so girly tutu out of it!! 🙂

My dear dad was a major help with the styling of the tables,  the party crafts and  sourcing of party props!! So a HUGE thanks to my lovely dad for the support, inspiring ideas and creative input with this party – It made the whole process a lot easier, a lot more fun and utterly memorable!! Love ya dad! 🙂

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Thank you, again, Bird!