Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Mexican food is my favorite. And the funny thing is, I had never tried guacamole until a few years ago. I mean how crazy is that?! Who doesn’t like guacamole?!

My sister and her husband hosted a party in their new home years ago, and it was obvious they had spent a lot of time dicing, slicing and chopping. They had some amazing salsa variations and a few guacamole options…all of which scared me. Until I tried it. And then I couldn’t stop dipping. And I still can’t!

So today’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to all things Mexican.

One of our favorite places to eat is Maya in Short Pump. It’s on a remote corner of a shopping center and to be honest, I had driven by it several times, without giving it a second thought. It has become our go-to spot for Mexican. The ‘tipical guacamole’ (pico, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion and lime) is our favorite but the guacamole trio is fun with a group. We love the chipotle bourbon tacos and the the carnitas tacos, but really, the whole menu is fantastic.

And I can never leave without a fresh strawberry margarita!

Just to note…we love Casa del Barco and cannot wait for that to open at Short Pump Mall. Be sure to read our upcoming blog post on that!

Now that I love guacamole, I love playing around with different variations. My tried and true recipe is simple: diced avocado, fresh lime juice, a little garlic, a lot of cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper. Depending on what I have on hand, I chop and add a little red onion, green onion, red/orange/yellow pepper or for a sweeter version, diced mango or pineapple.

And I have to say…after following this fun Instagram account, Living with Pie, I had to try the ‘guac lock’. And it works! I’ve tried all kinds of methods (storing the leftovers with the avocado pit, using plastic wrap to keep the air out and so on), but none have worked as well as my new contraption. Guacamole doesn’t last long in our house anyway, especially if we’ve got friends joining us, but I am glad to have the option of putting the leftovers in the fridge for the next day.

I love making my own salsa at home too. I prefer a chopped pico style salsa with equal parts tomato, onion and cilantro. Add in some of my favorite chips from Trader Joe’s and we are set!

I love playing around with all kinds of Mexican recipes at home since it’s typically on a weekly dinner rotation at our house. Katie, a local blogger with a wonderful blog full of yummy recipes, (and easy…which I especially appreciate on a busy night) is one of my favorites. And you’ll love her Crockpot Jalapeno Chicken Tacos or her Spicy Crockpot Chicken Thigh Tostadas. They were both a hit at my house.

Real Food With Gratitude

And what Mexican dinner isn’t complete without a homemade margarita?! My all time favorite at-home recipe is featured on FXBGLiving today along with the step-by-step directions for the perfect drink.

And finally, one of my Mexican favorites is a trip to Mexico. We’ve been several times to different parts of Mexico and always have such a great time. It’s beautiful, the people are great and the food is always a highlight of our trip (well, that and the kid-free time). Cheers!

Do you have a favorite Mexican-inspired recipe? Something you make at home that’s a family favorite? Or tell us your favorite Mexican spot in RVA and we’ll check it out (because clearly we love Mexican cuisine!)

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