A Year of Holidays: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! (Part 1)

A review of Blackberry Margaritas, three Pico de Gallo varieties, Glorious Guacamole, and Chipotle Salsa from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays cookbook.

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Cinco de Mayo: Fiesta!

I’ve never actually celebrated Cinco de Mayo before, but since we’re getting through this cookbook now’s as good a time as any to start!

I’m not able to make the entire Cinco de Mayo spread from this book, so I decided to just make the following today:20180503_183540

  • Blackberry Margaritas
  • Straight-Up Pico de Gallo
  • Mango Pico de Gallo
  • Watermelon Pico de Gallo
  • Glorious Guacamole
  • Chipotle Salsa

You can find the Blackberry Margaritas recipe on the Pioneer Woman website here and the Watermelon Pico de Gallo recipe here!

I started some of the preparations yesterday for the Margaritas and Pico de Gallos, and I was actually able to make the Salsa completely a day ahead of time.

The salsa was really easy.  All of the ingredients were thrown into a blender and mixed until thoroughly combined.


For the pico de gallo varieties, I pre-chopped the onions and jalapeños.

And for the margaritas, I pre-made the blackberry puree.  The blackberry puree involved combining blackberries, sugar, and lime juice in a pot over the stove and cooking until thick.  Then the berries were strained into a bowl, and the bowl was refrigerated overnight.

This morning I started with the pico de gallo varieties.  Everything was chopped (tomatoes, mangoes, watermelon, cilantro, bell peppers) and the limes were squeezed.  After that, the ingredients for each variety were just combined and placed in separate bowls.


Then I moved onto the guacamole.  Once the avocados were scooped out and mashed, I added in lime juice and a little bit of each pico de gallo variety.

Finally, the best part: margaritas!  First I rimmed the glasses with lime sugar (a combination of lime zest and sugar).  Unfortunately I don’t have fancy margarita glasses, so we just used my regular drinking glasses.

Then I filled my blender up with ice, added in the ingredients (tequila, triple sec, lime juice, sugar, and blackberry puree), and blended until combined.


I also put out tortilla chips for all of the pico de gallo varieties, salsa, and guacamole, and two of my girlfriends came over to help me try it all!’

Most of the recipes were REALLY good!!!  We all found the guacamole to be a bit bland, but the salsa and margaritas were AMAZING!

20180505_121810Taste: Margaritas & Salsa: 10/10, Straight Up & Mango Pico de Gallos: 9/10, Guacamole & Watermelon Pico de Gallo: 8/10

We all really loved the salsa and the margaritas.  They were everybody’s favorites.

The pico de gallo varieties came in second.  They liked the mango one a bit more than I did, but we all really liked the “straight-up” pico de gallo (regular tomato).

The watermelon pico de gallo was a bit lower on the scale, and we all agreed it was because of the bell peppers.  I would just stick with the mango and straight-up versions next time.

And the guacamole was a little bit bland.  It could have used some extra cilantro, salt, and lime juice.


Difficulty: Easy

Most of these recipes were easy to prepare, involving just a mixing of ingredients.  The margaritas, however, involved a bit more work (boiling down blackberries and straining out the juice).

Cost: Expensive

The ingredients were pretty expensive, but this has been the case with most of the “Year of Holidays” recipes.


I’d suggest adding extra lime juice, salt, and cilantro to the guacamole.

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