Celebrate your loved ones with a colorful Dia de los Muertos fiesta! With 6 recipes, tons of decorating ideas, DIY florals, and a shoppable list!
One of the greatest joys of moving back to California has been reconnecting with old friends. There were so many solitary days over the past seven years in North Dakota that I longed to collaborate with fellow professional foodies; to learn and ask questions, to swap ideas and basically figure shit out. I made it my mission once we moved back to get in touch with friends old and new.
A Dia de los Muertos celebration seemed like the perfect way to reconnect. This traditional Mexican holiday is a time to remember and honor our loved ones who have passed away and to gather together with all your friends and family here on Earth to rejoice in the beauty and brightness that is life. I immediately thought of Meg from Beard and Bonnet, a person I have worked with virtually (and admired greatly) but have never met in real life and my dear friend Aida from Salt and Wind who I’ve known for a decade now and has been an inspiration to me personally and professionally.
Dia de los Muertos is first and foremost a fiesta of the senses
DIY Floral and Fruit Portraits
The idea of a Day of the Dead party is to fill the space with as many colors and flavors, delicious scents and music to awaken those who have passed on to the other side. Meg and Todd (who took all the gorgeous photos in this post) from Beard and Bonnet and Meredith Ambruso (mer_ambruso on Instagram) came together with the most brilliant flower arrangements. You can find the tutorial on how to make these incredible floral portraits on Beard and Bonnet.
The backdrop for our fete was Meg and Todd’s gorgeous courtyard. They assembled the most stunning altar in which we hung pictures of our loved ones who have passed, lit candles, flowers, and sugar skulls and decorated it from head to toe with the generous gift of fruits and fall produce from Melissa’s Produce. An altar filled with sweet smelling flowers, ripe fruit, light, and photos beckons those who are gone to come back into this world for one more night.
To toast friendships, old and new, we created mezcal margaritas made with dried marigold syrup. Marigold flowers are symbolic of Dia de los Muertos. In Oaxaca, Mexico the streets are lined with oversized marigolds throughout the month of October leading up to Day of the Dead, which takes place on November 1st and 2nd.
Dia de los Muertos Menu
The meal started with a spicy vegan green pozole that Meg made with fresh soaked hominy and poblano peppers. Then there was creamy chicken enchiladas bathed in a jamaica mole sauce, Mexican Red Rice, Rainbow Jicama Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, and to finish the meal Aida made a decadent Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie piled a mile high with whipped cream and toasted coconut. I also made loaves of Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto, a traditional sweet yeasted bread symbolic of Day of the Dead. I will post links to all the recipes here over the next couple weeks.
Particulars for Party Planners
Fall fruits and produce: Melissa’s Produce
Dansk Kobenstyle Saucepan (for rice)
Dansk Kobenstyle Buffet Platter (for salad)
Le Creuset Serving Platter (for Enchiladas)
All Photography Courtesy of Beard and Bonnet
A big thank you to Melissa’s Produce for all the beautiful fruit and vegetables for our fiesta