The holiday of Cinco de Mayo (fifth of May) commemorates the victory of a band of Mexicans over the French army at the battle of Puebla in 1862. (It is not Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.) Celebrate this occasion in style with a scrumptious spread of food from south of the border.

Greet guests with a cool glass of Refreshing Lime Slush. Then turn up the heat and serve Southwest Rib Roast with Salsa. Cheesy Green Chili Rice is an appropriate accompaniment to the spicy entrée. For dessert, scoop up Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and pass a bowl brimming with traditional Sopaipillas.

Remember! When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.

Chili Pepper Place Card

Pepper-shaped place cards add the perfect touch to a Mexican meal. You can make them a week in advance and store them in an airtight container. Attach the raffia and name tag just before using.

  • 1 sun-dried tomato or spinach flour tortilla (8 to 10 inches)
  • Chili pepper cookie cutter (3-1/2 inches x 1-1/2 inches)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Warm tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds. With cookie cutter, cut out pepper shapes from tortilla. (The warmer the tortilla is, the easier it will be to cut.) If necessary, use a paring knife to assist with the cutting. Using the end of a straw, make a hole in the stem of the pepper. Place on a baking sheet; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 7-8 minutes or until slightly crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Loop raffia or string through the hole; attach a name tag and tie.

Yield: 6 to 7 place cards.

Water Goblet Napkin Bouquet

Bring a burst of color to your table by taking two napkins in different colors and making this napkin bouquet.

  1. Layer one napkin on top of the other so that each corner is offset a bit.
  2. Grab the napkins in the center and pull up.
  3. With the edges pointing up, place napkins in a water goblet and fluff.