Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!

I was looking for some quick and easily explained ways to integrate Cinco de Mayon into our curriculum on Tuesday. I figured that since we were having a playgroup cdm celebration, they might as well learn what it is we’re celebrating. I found this video on YouTube: Learn about Cinco de Mayo. It’s a great ‘skim’ of the history behind Cinco de Mayo for littles. Bigger kids might enjoy a more in-depth perusal, or learn more about the battles that preceded it, but for my kids, this was good. We also listened to some mariachi music and watched some folk dancing – very entertaining!

I found this craft:

Paper Bag Maracas

Of course, once the craft was done, they quickly lost interest in that to seek out a lizard that was in the garden. Go figure!

We made a big CdM celbration for playgroup, and I made a chicken casseole that my MIL makes – so yummy!! (recipe below)

Chicken Casserole Recipe:

  • mushrooms (I use canned, a big can, because I like them – use fresh if you like, or a smaller can to your taste)
  • white onion (I use 2 whole medium-sized onions chopped fine enough to disappear when cooked – I like the flavor of onions but not to bite into them. If you do or don’t like them, adjust this to your taste. In an emergency, you can use onion powder.)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable or xvirg olive oil (or your oil of choice)
  • 4 c cooked chicken (2 chicken breasts, boned – more or less depending on your taste), shredded works best but you can cube (small cubes!) if you prefer.
  • 1 10oz. can EACH of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. (You can use 2 cans of crm. of mush. if you don’t have the crm. of chick., but I’d advise against using 2 cans of crm. of chick.)
  • 1 4oz. can of green chilies (or fresh, finely chopped. Please remember to pay attention to whether your chilies are mild, medium or hot – this will get SPICY if you’re not careful!)
  • 1/4 c. of chicken broth
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (minced)
  • up to 8 corn tortillas, torn into 2′ pieces
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded for top of casserole (little more or less, depending on your taste – you can also mix some cheese into the liquid mix, or just put some on top – your choice!)
  • 1 c. monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. jalapeño peppers, diced (again, your taste will dictate how much to put)
  • salt, pepper, other spices to taste


Saute onions and garlic in oil until tender. If you’re using fresh pappers and chilies, add them now as well. Canned, add mushrooms, chilies, jalapenos when the veggies are done just to heat them up a bit. Add soups and broth to veggies when tender, mix well to heat. Add chicken and spices to warm them – mix thoroughly. Remove from heat. Line bottom of casserole dish with tortillas, add a layer of cheese and a layer of mix. Add another layer of tortillas, cheese and mix. Add another layer if there’s enough mix left and enough room in your pan – top with cheese. Put in the oven at 350 until cheese is golden and bubbly (20 – 45 minutes?)

I added bell peppers to it the last time I made it and it was a good addition 😉


Hope your Cinco de Mayo was just as festive!

Warmly, ~h


2 responses

  1. Daphne

    Now redo this but make it vegan! You need to appeal to all of your audiences 😉

    May 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

    • For a vegan recipe:

      Leave out the cream of chicken, use 24 oz of vegan cream of mushroom soup (recipe here: )

      You can leave out the chicken entirely or add a chicken substitute (recipe here: ) or tofu … We’ve made it without chicken and just doubled the tortillas and added more veggies.

      Substitute vegetable broth or plain water for the chicken broth (or you can omit it entirely and add a 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (Ro Tel) undrained. The tomatoes are a FANTASTIC addition!!)

      And instead of cheese, you can use a cheese sub or top with breadcrumbs and bake to toast them.

      Really, this is an extremely versatile recipe. We’ve made several versions of this, with various recipe changes and it’s always come out tasting amazing.

      Thanks for the heads-up, Daph. Since I know I have a vegan readership, I’ll keep that in mind in the future 😉

      May 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

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