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Happy Mexican Independence Day!

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I have these intense cravings for true, authentic Mexican food. I’m not talking Tex Mex here people – I’m talking hole-in-the-wall, taqueria-style, good old-fashioned Mexican food.

Carne Asada Taco with Avocado Pico de Gallo

I can probably attribute these cravings to my Mexican-American mother, who would eat her own homemade tacos, rice and beans every day if she could, but it probably doesn’t help that I grew up in a predominantly Mexican city with some if the best Mexican restaurants in California. Well lucky for me, today is Grito De Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), also known as Mexican Independence Day, and it’s cause to satisfy my cravings.

Grito De Dolores took place on Sept. 16, 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the small town of Dolores, Guanajuato, rang the church bell to call the townspeople together and initiate an uprising against the Spanish Crown. This inevitably started Mexico's War of Independence. Even though the country did not win their independence until 1821, this day symbolizes the beginnings of their freedom and is widely celebrated throughout Mexico.

And it wouldn’t be a proper celebration without food. Some popular Mexican fare on this day includes pozole, tamales, and foods that are red, white and green – the colors of the Mexican flag. Here are some of my recommendations for delicious Mexican dishes that you can easily prepare at home.

Tacos Al Pastor are typically made by marinating pork and then using a split grill method to cook the meat. I like to eat mine on corn tortillas with freshly chopped onion and cilantro, and my favorite salsa.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas are great to feed a family or large crowd. The prep takes some time but the delicious results are worth the effort.

Staying true to the traditions of Grito De Dolores, these Red Hot Stuffed Chiles proudly display the colors of the Mexican flag.

 You can't have a party without cake! Tres Leches Cake is a moist butter cake that has been soaked in milk and topped with fresh whipped cream. Although it is not originally from Mexico, it is a popular dessert throughout all of Latin America.

For more Mexican menu and recipe ideas check out these links:

8 Festive Mexican Menus

Mexican Meals in Minutes

Must-Have Margaritas