The artsiness of Frida Kahlo + delicious Mexican food make for a fun and colorful celebration whether it be Cinco de Mayo, a wedding, or just a cool a$$ theme for a brunch or party. I did just that and curated a menu of favorites like Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Mole Sauce, The ONLY Guacamole Recipe You’ll Ever Need, and Hibiscus Sparkling Cooler to name a few.
I have always been a fan of Frida Kahlo. Ever since my Art History days in college I’v’e admired her whimsical, passionate and powerful storytelling of colorful images. Read more about her wonderful legacy here. I wanted to take this theme and ‘paint a picture’ and bring it to life in everything from the food presentation and place cards to the table setting. As with most inspirations, you don’t have to be too literal. Just invoke the spirit and color story and it will all come together. Focus on a 3 or 4 elements to give you a baseline to run with.
I was inspired by the embroidery in her dresses, and of course the roses in her crown, red lips, talavera pottery, tropical fruits, a mix of patterns and textures, and bright colors.
Now, let’s get to that fabulous menu I keep talking about.
I was cooking for my boyfriends family and friends and we all love to eat Mexican food. I may have mentioned a few times on this blog that my boyfriend Kai is a Vegetarian so I made sure he would be able to eat as much on the menu as possible. The only thing he couldn’t really have was the Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas. Everyone was happy! You may need to add or take away a thing or two for any Vegans. Since you put so much effort into your whole fiesta, you might as well make these Eat Pretty Vegan Veggie Tacos for them and you and they taste as beautiful as they look. Click on any photo description to get the recipe.
For starters we had Guacamole with tortilla and plantain chips and a really good Mexican Beer. I also made a Hibiscus Sparkling Cooler mocktail that was made with Hibiscus Syrup, sparkling water and finished with blackberries and slices of lime. It made such a pretty drink!
The main dishes were the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas served with Mole Sauce, and the Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas served with a Green sauce made with tomatillos, spinach, avocado and pablano chile’s. The side dishes included Sweet Corn Cake with Red Pepper Crema, South West Salad drizzled with Avocado Ranch Dressing, and Mexican Green Rice. To kick everything up one more notch, I crated some add ons like Pickled Red Onions, Fresh radish’s, and an out of this world sauce called simply White Sauce. A sour cream base packed with sweet roasted garlic and a flavorful olive oil. Here’s how to make it:
- Roast off 1 head of garlic by cutting off the top of the bulb about 1/2 in in. Close tightly in foil, place in a baking pan and roast on 375F for about an hour. Set aside.
- Take 1 cup of sour cream and mix it with 1/4 of heavy cream. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and white pepper (or to taste), then squeeze the roasted garlic in and mix thoroughly. Drizzle liberally with really good extra virgin olive oil. Serve on nearly everything.
Adding More Flavor
There a few sauces and toppings that will make your fiesta a successta! You can buy bottled sauces if time is not on your side, but most of these take no time at all and can be integrated into your prep with the other dishes. For the Enchiladas I have a Mole Sauce which admittedly is time consuming and not for a beginning cook, but if you are ambitious go for it! For the Salsa Verde Chicken and other dishes there is the so so good White Sauce and Red Pepper Crema which are both sour cream or Mexican Crema based.
I had so much fun choosing the table settings. As in Frida’s paintings, piecing together the look was like creating a collage of images.
I have quite a collection of floral plates. I mixed and matched them with other patterns and deep blue as a base to bring it all together.
The Details cannot be overlooked
I used green glass votives and fresh cut papaya to adorn the table along with a couple of succulant plants and red roses. For the cake I served it with more floral plates and the prettiest ceramic cake server. Anything floral can work mixed with other textures like wood, pewter, and terra cotta.