Plan a Semi-Homemade Cinco De Mayo Party
With help from Sandra Lee
- Rule numero uno is to use bright, bold colors.
- Start with the most summery, striped piece of cloth you can find at the fabric store. Don't worry about doing any hemming — this is a sewing-free idea. Just fit it on the table and top with a montage of plates in full-fiesta colors.
- Get the party started with plates stacked in fruity flavors, like tangerine, melon, lemon and lime, with a plaid kitchen towel tucked in between as a napkin.
- A sombrero centerpiece puts dessert on a pedestal. Wrap a cake stand in an extra dishtowel (to match the napkins) and rest a straw hat on top. Add a colorful plate of mini lime cheesecakes as the crowning touch.
- Tequila shooters liven things up, especially when served in waves of sand. Pour colored play sand into wavy stripes in a shallow glass dish and nestle etched-glass shot glasses in the sand.
- Toss some pillows on benches to bring in even more color — and entice guests to settle in and stay a while.
- Spray paint terra cotta pots and plant a cactus inside for a fun party favor.
- Turn extra votive candles into mood-enhancing place cards. Use a cookie cutter to cut colored paper into ovals. Write the guest's name on the front and punch holes on both sides. Thread a ribbon through the holes and around the votive, tying in the back.
- There's always the limbo, but to get your guests dancing, play the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gypsy Kings or Texas Tornados.
Giada makes perfect drinks and appetizers for any party or holiday celebration.