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Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Beet and Persimmon Salad with Candied Peanuts and Smoked Paprika-Orange Dressing

January 10, 2018
A colorful winter beet and persimmon salad bursting with all the flavors of the season; citrus in the dressing, smoky paprika, and spicy maple candied peanuts for texture and crunch. Vegan and gluten-free!

Salads are clearly a January staple but that certainly doesn’t mean they need to be boring, they don’t even have to include lettuce as far as I’m concerned. In fact, a winter salad should be just as hearty as any other dish you crave this time of year.

This particular (non lettucey combination) is a take off of Pati Jinich’s Ensalada de Navidad or Christmas Salad. Pati uses jicama, thick slices of orange, and beets and I love that combination but I’m also particularly fond of persimmons and just don’t think they get the love they deserve, not to mention, beets and persimmons are an irresistible match.

A colorful winter beet and persimmon salad bursting with all the flavors of the season; citrus in the dressing, smoky paprika, and spicy maple candied peanuts for texture and crunch. Vegan and gluten-free!

The orange component appears in a smoky-sweet dressing made from fresh squeezed orange juice, smoked paprika, scallions, and garlic. This dressing should not be reserved simply for this salad but is amazing over warm grains, pan-seared steak, and of course lettuce, if that’s your jam.

Now the pièce de résistance that totally makes this salad are the spicy, maple-coated peanuts that sound lavish but are really nothing more than a go around in the oven. I have a soft spot for Runamok Smoked Maple Syrup which is absolutely divine on these peanuts and goes beautifully with the smoky flavors of the dressing. That being said, I’ve also made them with regular ‘ol Grade A maple syrup and they are still delicious!

A colorful winter beet and persimmon salad bursting with all the flavors of the season; citrus in the dressing, smoky paprika, and spicy maple candied peanuts for texture and crunch. Vegan and gluten-free!

Beet and Persimmon Salad with Candied Peanuts and Smoked Paprika-Orange Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A colorful winter beet and persimmon salad bursting with all the flavors of the season; citrus in the dressing, smoky paprika, and spicy maple candied peanuts for texture and crunch. Vegan and gluten-free!
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 2 pounds beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound Fuyu persimmons
  • 1 cup baby arugula
For the candied peanuts:
  • ⅔ cup raw peanuts
  • ⅓ cup smoked maple syrup or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground arbol chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
For the salad:
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Scrub beets and dry them. Place in a baking dish, rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until a knife easily goes through, about 30 minutes. Remove, let cool, then peel and slice into ½-inch thick slices.
  2. Meanwhile make the peanuts. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss peanuts, syrup, chile powder, and salt together on the baking sheet until well combined. Bake peanuts in the oven with the beets 15-20 minutes, stirring a few times. Let cool then break into pieces.
  3. To make the dressing combine garlic, scallions, the zest of 1 orange and the juice of both oranges, with remaining dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if needed.
  4. To serve, slice the persimmons into ½-inch thick slices then arrange the beet and persimmon slices on a platter. Spoon dressing over the top, sprinkle with nuts and arugula and serve.

Photos by David Mendoza III

A Vegetarian Winter Menu

Beet and Persimmon Salad with Candied Peanuts and Smoked Paprika-Orange Dressing

Roasted Squash and Kale Quesadillas

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales + Your Favorites from 2017

January 2, 2018
These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

Happy New Year Friends!!

How were your holidays? More importantly, what was the BEST thing you ate? For me it was lovely chunks of smoked salmon from Santa Rosa Seafood  that we enjoyed before our Christmas dinner with an equally lovely glass of Stony Hill Chardonnay, rye bread, and cremé fraiche. I could’ve easily stopped there but you know I didn’t.

2018 is upon us and you know what? I’m entering my 40th year on this crazy spinning planet! Holy Moly! So I’d like to set the intention to dream big and while I’m working towards those dreams, live the moments as they come with compassion, gratitude, and pride for who I am, what I have, and how far I’ve already come. With that in mind I’d like to say, thank you. Whether you visit every week or you stop by every once in a while, I am so incredibly grateful that you are here.

Before we move forward into a new year of cooking and parties and fun, let’s take a look back at 2017 and which posts you loved best from the past year.

10. How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

9. Masa Harina Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries

8. Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing

7. Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

6. Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

5. Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken

4. Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime

3. Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: The Perfect Hostess Gift for the Brunch Lover In Your Life

2. How to Make a DIY Chambord Sangria Bar

1. Cinnamon Roll Capirotada

I hope you get a chance to try some of these favorites from last year. I love that you love the variety, everything from party posts to the more traditional stuff and here’s one more before I say good-bye.

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales

These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

These unique tamales were ones I created for a tamale feast I threw with my pals at Municipal Winemakers in Santa Barbara. The potato-tahini combination is one I learned from the imaginative Susana Villasuso and it seemed like a natural fit for a vegan tamale. I added a fresh touch of kale for something green and to break up the fluffy, glorious carb-load that is potatoes stuffed inside masa.

The recipe is straight-up tamales. They are a project people, but don’t let that stop you. For step-by-step with photos see this post over here. Serve the tamales with your favorite guacamole or salsa or pico. I like the Trader Joe’s salsa verde when I don’t feel like making my own.

These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.
Author:
Serves: 3 dozen
Ingredients
  • For the Potato Filling:
  • 2 ½ pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag chopped kale
  • For the Tamales:
  • 40 dried corn husks
  • 6 cups Maseca corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 8-9 cups warm chicken or vegetable broth
Instructions
  1. Cover potatoes with cold, salted water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile combine tahini, garlic, smoked paprika, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Drain potatoes and immediately transfer to bowl with tahini mixture. Gently toss potatoes until they are coated, this needs to be done while the potatoes are still hot otherwise the tahini will be too stiff to mix in. Zap for a few seconds in a microwave to melt if necessary.
  3. Bring a separate pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain and plunge kale into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
To make the Tamales:
  1. Soak corn husks at least 2 hours in advance in hot water. Use a heavy plate to submerge husks in water.
  2. Combine Maseca, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add cubed lard or shortening rubbing it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it in very small pieces. Add 7 cups of warm broth and mix into a dough making sure all Maseca has been incorporated and there are no dry spots. It is best to mix together with your hands so you can feel any dry Maseca.
  3. Add more liquid if the masa is too dry, you want it to be easily spreadable but not runny, like fluffy mashed potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Assemble:
  1. Fill a tamale steamer with water just until it reaches the rack where the tamales will sit. Use a few of the small or ripped soaked corn husks to line the rack. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and keep covered.
  2. Dry a soaked corn husk with a clean kitchen towel. Hold the corn husk with the wide end toward you. Using a large spoon or tamale spreader, evenly spread about ½ cup masa from the middle of the husk down leaving about ½-inch border on the sides.
  3. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of potatoes and 1 tablespoon of kale down the middle.
  4. Fold one side of masa over the filling until the two edges of the corn husk meet, and holding onto one side of corn husk, pull the other side toward the middle to press the two edges of masa together. Fold the pointy end of the corn husk up over the large end, and place on a clean baking sheet. Repeat with remaining corn husks. You can use a piece of corn husk to prevent them from opening, but it is not necessary.
  5. Place tamales vertically, open-side up in the tamale steamer, keeping them snug in the pot so they don't unravel during cooking. Make sure water is at a steady simmer and producing lots of steam. Cover tightly and steam until masa is cooked through and not doughy in the middle, about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the pot looks dry.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pot. Tamales can also be left in the pot, covered with a clean towel (and then covered with the steamer lid) for up to an hour before serving. They will stay warm and soft if you want to make them in advance.
  7. Serve with habanero salsa, pickled onions, and radishes.

 


A Winter Hibernation Party Menu

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa} with Chips

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales

Braised Pork and Chile Stew

Prairie Garden Salad

Cookie Butter Muesli Cookies

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

All tamale images are by David Mendoza III

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Chile Verde Chicken Tamales

December 19, 2017
These Chile Verde Chicken Tamales are like fluffy masa present waiting to be unwrapped; stuffed with tender poached chicken and mild green tomatillo salsa.

A couple weeks ago I was asked to whip up a tamale spread for the good folks at Municipal Wine Makers. This being the Christmas tamale season I jumped at the chance to share some masa love with friends.

These Chile Verde Chicken Tamales are like fluffy masa present waiting to be unwrapped;   stuffed with tender poached chicken and mild green tomatillo salsa.

Chile Verde Chicken Tamales are a holiday classic; tender chicken stuffed inside a fluffy masa shell and drenched in green tomatillo salsa will bring just about anyone to the table and actually, my friends, go great with wine. Muni has some great options too (I’m especially fond of their sparkling selection) so check them out.

These Chile Verde Chicken Tamales are like fluffy masa present waiting to be unwrapped;   stuffed with tender poached chicken and mild green tomatillo salsa.

If you’re new to the tamale game this recipe is a great place to start. They are no less labor-intensive (that’s why you should always make them with friends…and wine) but they are pretty straight-forward, chicken, salsa, masa, wrap. I like to make a double batch of the salsa so I’ll have more to serve the tamales with. Other garnishes can include Mexican crema or sour cream, crumbled Cotija, pickled onions, and/or radishes tossed with lime juice and salt.

These Chile Verde Chicken Tamales are like fluffy masa present waiting to be unwrapped;   stuffed with tender poached chicken and mild green tomatillo salsa.

If you’d like a step-by-step tutorial on how to make tamales see this post for more photos and detailed description of each step.

Chile Verde Chicken Tamales
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 40 tamales
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
For the chile verde:
  • 2 pounds tomatillos
  • ½ white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed (seeds removed if you’d like it less spicy)
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
  • For the tamales:
  • 40 dried corn husks
  • 6 cups Maseca corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 6-7 cups chicken cooking liquid or store-bought broth
Instructions
To Make the Chicken:
  1. Rinse chicken and remove any neck or giblets (save and freeze for later or discard).
  2. Place in a large stock pot with remaining chicken ingredients and cover by an inch or so with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook until chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, about 1-11/2 hours.
  3. Remove chicken to a baking sheet and let cool. Strain broth into a clean stock pot, discard solids. Keep broth warm to use in the masa.
  4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces removing any bone, skin, or fat, set aside.
To Make the Chile Verde:
  1. Combine tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a large saucepan. Cover with water by an inch or so and bring to a boil. Cook until tomatillos are soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain and transfer vegetables to a blender, let cool slightly then add salt and cilantro and carefully blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  3. To make the Tamales:
  4. Soak corn husks at least 2 hours in advance in hot water. Use a heavy plate to submerge husks in water.
  5. Combine Maseca, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add cubed lard or shortening rubbing it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it in very small pieces. Add 5 cups of reserved chicken cooking liquid and mix into a dough making sure all Maseca has been incorporated and there are no dry spots. It is best to mix together with your hands so you can feel any dry Maseca.
  6. Add more liquid if the masa is too dry, you want it to be easily spreadable but not runny, like fluffy mashed potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  7. Assemble:
  8. Fill a tamale steamer with water just until it reaches the rack where the tamales will sit. Use a few of the small or ripped soaked corn husks to line the rack. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and keep covered.
  9. Dry a soaked corn husk with a clean kitchen towel. Hold the corn husk with the wide end toward you. Using a large spoon or tamale spreader, evenly spread about ½ cup masa from the middle of the husk down leaving about ½-inch border on the sides.
  10. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of chicken and 1 tablespoon of chile verde down the middle.
  11. Fold one side of masa over the filling until the two edges of the corn husk meet, and holding onto one side of corn husk, pull the other side toward the middle to press the two edges of masa together. Fold the pointy end of the corn husk up over the large end, and place on a clean baking sheet. Repeat with remaining corn husks.
  12. Place tamales vertically, open-side up in the tamale steamer, keeping them snug in the pot so they don't unravel during cooking. Make sure water is at a steady simmer and producing lots of steam. Cover tightly and steam until masa is cooked through and not doughy in the middle, about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the pot looks dry.
  13. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pot. Tamales can also be left in the pot, covered with a clean towel (and then covered with the steamer lid) for up to an hour before serving. They will stay warm and soft if you want to make them in advance.
  14. Serve with remaining chile verde.

 


Holiday Tamale Menu

Chimayo Cocktails

Mexican Goat Cheese Dip and Salsa Morita with Chips

Chile Verde Chicken Tamales

Easy Black Beans

Baby Kale, Avocado, and Pear Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

Photos courtesy of David Mendoza

 

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Popular, Recipes

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime

December 8, 2017
A super easy, ultra healthy shrimp ceviche tostada recipe with fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut milk, chiles, cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions.

The idea for this recipe came from a double dose of inspiration. First from a restaurant dish made many years ago and secondly, a trip to Baja last year that changed the way I thought of tostadas forever.

A super easy, ultra healthy shrimp ceviche tostada recipe with fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut milk, chiles, cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions.

Back in my chefing days at Mustard’s Grill in Napa Valley we would frequently serve a ceviche very similar to this one made with scallops, coconut milk, an epic amount of lime juice, and lots of fresh herbs and chiles. Being a 80’s-raised, Midwestern girl I was new to the concept of eating raw seafood but this food was transformative. The lime juice “cooked” the scallops just so and the coconut milk added a buttery richness that calmed the chiles to a soothing hum.

I loved that ceviche and for as much as I think about it, you’d think I would’ve made it a million times by now, but alas, it took some subtle nudging from my partners at Guerrero Tortillas to get me to actually write it down.

When they asked me to collaborate with them on a recipe for their new Baked Tostadas with Sea Salt I immediately thought of that coconut milk ceviche and how delicious it would be piled high on their crispy tostada shells.

A super easy, ultra healthy shrimp ceviche tostada recipe with fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut milk, chiles, cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions.

 

Which leads me to my second source of inspiration. Up until last year I had only had tostadas (the flat, crisp corn tortillas) that were fried. I love them, they are deeply crunchy and have incredible corn flavor but then I took a little trip to Baja California and discovered the tostadas there were nothing like the ones I had eaten at home.

In Baja the tostadas are baked which gives the tortilla shells a completely different texture and flavor, one that is light as air, crisp, and subtle. Perfect for the delicately flavored seafood and fish they are known for. And this, my friends is what the Guerrero Baked Tostadas taste like. So good that you will eat them for their exquisite flavor, not because they are good for you—which they are, by the way, with less fat and calories than the traditional tostada shells.

A super easy, ultra healthy shrimp ceviche tostada recipe with fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut milk, chiles, cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions.

This ceviche makes a quick, easy meal during these busy holiday nights and is a great way to stay healthy during this indulgent season. It also is a chic appetizer for a cocktail party or sit down situation. Break the larger tostada shells into smaller mismatched portions and serve several on a larger tray. Bon Apetitos!

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A super easy, ultra healthy shrimp ceviche tostada recipe with fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut milk, chiles, cilantro, and thinly sliced scallions.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and diveined
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large radishes, sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground chile de arbol
  • 4-6 Tostada shells, such as Guerrero Baked Tostadas with Sea Salt
  • ripe avocado slices, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until firm and opaque, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.
  2. Chop shrimp into small pieces and combine with lime juice, coconut milk, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, radishes, salt, and ground chile.
  3. Cover and let chill 1 hour. Taste and add more salt or lime juice as needed.
  4. Serve on tostada shells with slices of avocado on top.

This post was sponsored by Guerrero Tortillas, all opinions however are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 

 


Menu

Honey Grapefruit Margaritas

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime

Oven-Baked Avocado Fries with Harissa Ranch

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Popsicles

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Coconut Christmas Cookies with Lime Icing

December 4, 2017
Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

Over the weekend we started in big time on the Christmas cheer. The Christmas tree went up and cookies were baked. Lights were strung on the eaves of the garage even though earlier in the week Armando swore we weren’t going to put up Christmas lights outside.  I believe there was a, “I don’t have time for that” and there might have been a “we don’t have the” …..name some random thing you might have to run to the hardware store to get in order to put up Christmas lights on the exterior of the house.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

Anyway, we’re feeling down right festive. I especially love the new addition to the Christmas cookie rotation. We typically make a traditional Christmas sugar cookie dough to roll and cut and decorate but I found these absolutely adorable ninja cookie cutters and I wanted to make a dough special for my little ninja in his favorite flavor.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

He loves anything coconut and due to the butter Armando can’t eat the traditional dough anyway so I went full coconut with coconut oil, sweetened flakes of coconut, and even a dash of coconut milk to make the ultimate coconut cookie that can be rolled and cut into any shape you please–even ninja.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

The coconut oil makes the dough a bit finicky so it will need to be chilled, but not for too long otherwise it becomes crumbly, so there’s a middle ground that just takes a bit of practice to get used to. Steer on the thicker side when rolling out the dough to make it easier on yourself.  The lime icing is subtle but is the perfect consistency for decorating and has a nice gloss when it dries. If you’d like more lime flavor add the zest of the lime as well, although then it won’t be perfectly white any more.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie recipe?

Coconut Christmas Cookies with Lime Icing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible
Author:
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites for icing)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
For the Icing:
  • 4 cups (1-1 pound box) powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 teaspoons lime juice
Instructions
  1. Combine coconut oil, sugar, and flaked coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times until coconut is ground and mixture feels like sand.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide dough into two pieces. Flatten into disks and roll each disk about ½-1/4 inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 375°F.
  5. Cut dough into shapes and place an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until dry in the middle. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Icing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low just until comes together then increase speed to high until smooth.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation!  

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breakfast, Dairy Free, Drinks, Popular, Recipes

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: The Perfect Hostess Gift for the Brunch Lover in Your Life

December 2, 2017
Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

This post has been sponsored by BevMo!. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Do you have friends who would happily stand in line for hours at the hottest brunch spot? Do they take a mental vacation by dreaming of the ultimate eggs Benedict? Are you planning a visit to their house this holiday season?

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

If you answered yes to any of these questions then I know what you should get them this year for Christmas. Their very own Hibiscus Mimosa Gift Kit that will have them making Hibiscus Mimosas better than any brunch spot in town.

A Hibiscus Mimosa is a tart, floral take on the traditional champagne-orange juice cocktail made with vibrant hibiscus syrup. You can easily make your own syrup by simmering dried hibiscus flowers with sugar and water until you have a crimson nectar that has the sweetness of dark cherries and the tart puckering of black tea.

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

These Hibiscus Mimosa Kits are super easy to put together and are such a special gift for anyone who likes a nice cocktail, whether it's brunch time or not. All you need is:

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

I got all of these things at my local BevMo! store—which means I spent a leisurely hour wandering around looking at all the fun holiday items they have right now— but if you were in a hurry you could easily pick all this stuff up in 15-20 minutes tops and have an instant gift to take to a Christmas party or friend's house for the holidays.

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

What I discovered when I started exploring all the options BevMo! offers for the holidays was that if you didn't want to dream up your own gift set, they have lots of options carefully crafted and ready to go. You can also get customized gift boxes at www.bevmo.com so if you know your father-in-law's favorite liquor is bourbon, for example, you can order a bottle and add six savory or sweet goodies to go with it. BevMo! will put it all together for you and deliver it (orders for a Christmas delivery must be made by December 17) or you can use their buy online, pick-up in store feature all the way up to the 23rd!

Since most people I know love to entertain BevMo! is basically the perfect place for all my gift giving needs. I particularly love that they have everything from glassware to gummy bears which means I can mix and match my friend's and family's favorite drinks with thoughtful gifts to go with them and maybe even spark some cocktail inspiration.

Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: Champagne, homemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet treats wrapped up in an ice bucket makes a lovely hostess gift for ladies who brunch.

I'm hoping with this Hibiscus Mimosa Kit, that I'll at least have a lot more brunch invitations in my future!

Hibiscus Mimosa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet, tart, bubbly, a Hibiscus Mimosa is a delightful brunch cocktail with a brilliant hue the color of the fuchsia flower who gives it it's name.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
For the Hibiscus Syrup:
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (also called Flor de Jamaica)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
For the Drink:
  • 1 ounce hibiscus syrup, chilled
  • 4 ounces cold champagne
Instructions
For the Hibiscus Syrup:
  1. Combine dried flowers, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve sugar and then bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and chill.
For the Mimosa:
  1. Add hibiscus syrup to a champagne flute, pour champagne over and serve.
Notes
This recipe makes enough syrup for 12-14 cocktails. The instructions are for 1 cocktail.

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Apps, Dairy Free, Recipes

Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs

November 27, 2017
Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs make the easiest party appetizer, just spruce up store-bought meatballs with a sweet and spicy mango habanero sauce.

In my pre-dinner repertoire meatballs play a very small role. I often forget about their sweet, spicy, hearty existence in favor of some dip or salsa or hunk of delicious cheese. It’s strange that that they go forgotten, especially when I think about every Christmas party I attended as a child and remember the bubbling crockpot of meatballs at the center of the buffet table. They were the centerpiece and with good reason; in a sea of less filling options the meatballs were the main course, so to speak, at every cocktail party.

Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs make the easiest party appetizer, just spruce up store-bought meatballs with a sweet and spicy mango habanero sauce.

For our Friends Who Fete Holiday Party I made cocktail meatballs in the easiest way I knew how—without having to even make the meatballs in the first place. The idea for our party was to throw one that was absolutely doable, even at the last minute, therefore I went on the hunt for the BEST frozen meatballs I could find.

Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs make the easiest party appetizer, just spruce up store-bought meatballs with a sweet and spicy mango habanero sauce.

After dedicated research, my favorite meatballs were the Nature’s Ranch Angus Beef Meatballs from Whole Food’s. They had dense, meaty texture and rich flavor without too much overpowering seasoning, allowing me to slather them in any sauce I please.

Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs make the easiest party appetizer, just spruce up store-bought meatballs with a sweet and spicy mango habanero sauce.

These mango habanero cocktail meatballs are made with a very simple sauce that uses another one of my favorite store-bought products, Mrs. G’s Mango Ginger Habanero Jelly. This jelly, made and sourced in Southern California, has a telltale kick from the chiles but isn’t so overpowering that you can’t taste the mango or ginger, all ingredients come through clearly. In Southern California you can find this jelly in many grocery stores like Whole Food’s but you can also order it online. If you can’t find this particular habanero jelly, any brand of spicy jelly will do.

Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mango Habanero Cocktail Meatballs make the easiest party appetizer, just spruce up store-bought meatballs with a sweet and spicy mango habanero sauce.
Author:
Serves: 8 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 pound 6 ounces frozen mini meatballs
  • 8 ounces habanero jelly
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mango juice
Instructions
  1. Bake meatballs according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Toss hot meatballs in sauce and serve.
Notes
Serve meatballs in a slow cooker to keep warm.

A big THANK YOU to This Mess Is Ours and Salt & Wind for all the photography!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Apps, Dairy Free, Recipes

Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs

November 27, 2017
These Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs make a stunningly simple party appetizer with just three ingredients, they are made as fast as they disappear.

As far as store-bought, frozen meatballs go, there is a big difference between the good and the bad. Too often frozen meatballs are spongy, flavorless orbs with very little similarity to their homemade cousins and I should know because I tried just about every brand at my local grocery stores to find the very best one.

These Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs make a stunningly simple party appetizer with just three ingredients, they are made as fast as they disappear.

When us Friends Who Fete gals decided to throw a holiday party we decided to make it as easy as possible to replicate because if there is a time of year when we all wind up having people over it is now, and we wanted to give you the tools to do it as effortlessly as possible.

These Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs make a stunningly simple party appetizer with just three ingredients, they are made as fast as they disappear.

We came up with a menu that spruced up our favorite store-bought ingredients for a last-minute celebration you can pull together in an afternoon and my assignment: meatballs. I came up with two different sauce recipes, honey-chipotle and mango-habanero, both requiring little more than a turn in a bowl.

These Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs make a stunningly simple party appetizer with just three ingredients, they are made as fast as they disappear.

So what are your favorite purchased meatballs you ask? Well, after trying waaayyyy too many, my favorites were Nature’s Ranch Angus Beef Meatballs from Whole Food’s. They have great meaty texture and rich, beef-forward flavor that isn’t bogged down with too many seasoning allowing me to bathe them in whatever sauce I choose.

This is such a simple recipe that I hope you will also consider it for busy weeknight meals as well. Served with steamed rice and some veg I can see these meatballs taking center stage on a snowy December night.

Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs make a stunningly simple party appetizer with just three ingredients, they are made as fast as they disappear.
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound 6 ounces frozen mini meatballs
  • 1 (7.76 ounce) can chipotle sauce
  • ⅓ cup honey
Instructions
  1. Bake meatballs according to package instructions
  2. Mix chipotle sauce and honey together in a large bowl.
  3. Add hot meatballs to sauce and stir to coat, serve immediately.
Notes
Serve meatballs in a slow cooker to keep warm.

A big THANK YOU to This Mess Is Ours and Salt & Wind for all the photography!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Dairy Free, Recipes, Side Dishes

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing

November 20, 2017
Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

Thanksgiving’s when we go all-out right?!

I was thinking about it this morning while putting the finishing touches on my menu. I mean when else do we think 6, 7, 8 side dishes are acceptable? Christmas Dinner doesn’t even see such a spread. I mean it’s nice but by the 25th we usually put a kibosh on the fourth side dish.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

No matter, this year we’ll be having olive oil-garlic mashed potatoes, maple and sage sweet potato gratin, fluffy warm biscuits, cranberry sauce, gravy, green salad with pomegranates, and green beans almondine. We will of course be having stuffing too!! I mean Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the stuffing.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

I first made this rustic stuffing two years ago at a Thanksgiving that started off fancy AF and ended up chaotic AF when Louisa tripped Hiro, he slammed his forehead into the corner of the wall, and ended up in the emergency room. They were playing “Make You Trip”. Louisa won.

This stuffing though, was also a winner that evening. So earthy and full of autumn, with roasted squash, sage, and toasted walnuts. I think I put chorizo in that first version but I kind of like it better without. It’s nice to have a vegan side that is so robust and absolutely killer with cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

Oh, and don’t do like I did and leave the crust on the bread. It is MUCH better with the crusts removed. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf multigrain artisan bread (about 1 pound), crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ⅔ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 bag) chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Bake bread in a single layer until dry, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Place squash on same baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, about 20 minutes. Squash will continue to cook in the stuffing so its better for it to be a little underdone.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 350°F.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a pan. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add kale, garlic, and sage and cook until kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer mixture to bowl with bread. Add squash, broth, walnuts, and remaining oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, taste and add more salt as needed.
  6. Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to pan, cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more or until crisp and browned on top.

 


A Thanksgiving Menu

Bay-Brined Roasted Turkey

Whiskey Cream Gravy

Jicama Slaw with Ginger Molasses Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing

Fluffy Biscuits

Cranberry-Walnut Jell-O Salad

Roasted Carrots with Chipotle Honey Butter

Pumpkin Pie with Pepita-Gingersnap Crust

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One More Thing

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Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dishes

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

November 15, 2017
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I can tell it is starting to get cooler out when I start wearing a blanket like an elongated tube top around the house. I guess the shorter daylight hours just doesn’t give the sun enough time during the day to warm things up in here. It’s still not cold enough to turn the heat on, (I believe it was after Thanksgiving when that happened last year if I remember correctly), but still a slight chill in need of a blanket.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I was in touch with some friends back in North Dakota over the weekend and they filled me in on their recent snowfall. Comparatively I have nothing to complain about, just an observation that subtle seasonal changes do occur, even here in Southern California.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Aside from snowy, long distance texts, this past weekend was filled with eating up our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern before it got too old and moldy to do something with. It goes without saying that I’m my spirit-decade is the Great Depression and I can’t bear to throw anything remotely edible and I remembered this idea from when I was the Pastry Chef at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco. These grilled pumpkin steaks were a staple on their fall menu and I always thought it was such a genius idea.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

They are good with any type of winter squash— kabocha, butternut, sugar pie pumpkin—but in my opinion if you are going to eat a big, honkin’ Jack-O-Lantern, there’s no other way. You see, normally, those bigger pumpkins are super stringy and watery and really not that good to eat, but throwing them straight on the grill, uses that extra water to their advantage. As it cooks over the hot, direct heat the water bubbles up inside the flesh of the pumpkin, evaporating from the surface as it cooks and intensifying its flavor, while making it tender at the same time.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Dealing with a big pumpkin is a tad bit cumbersome, but we’ve all carved one at some point and this is much easier than that. You need a sharp, heavy knife and just slice it open. Scoop out the seeds and use a Y peeler to peel off as much skin as you can. I find it’s easier to cut the pumpkin into 4-inch “steaks” first, then peel. Don’t worry if every bit of skin doesn’t come off. Pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Then on the grill it goes. Thirty minutes is all it takes for a delicious vegan main or the pumpkin with the pesto sauce would make a lovely Thanksgiving side dish. Give it a try!

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 3 jalapeños
  • ¾ cup packed mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon
For the pumpkin steaks:
  • 4 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • salt and pepper
For the black beans:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground arbol chile
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans
Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Heat a dry skillet over high heat. Add jalapeños and char, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then remove stem, seeds, and charred skin. Chop and transfer to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Add mint, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, garlic, salt, and blend. With the processor running add olive oil and lemon juice. Stop blade a few times to scrape down the sides. Blend until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. If pesto is very thick add a tablespoon or two of hot water to thin out. You want to be able to spoon it over the pumpkin.
For the pumpkin:
  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Remove as much peel as you can from the pumpkin with a Y-style vegetable peeler. It's okay if not all of it comes off, pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork and is charred on the outside. Turn pumpkin about every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the beans. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeño. Season with salt and let cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and ground arbol chile, and cook a minute more. Add black beans, juices and all and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Mash with a potato masher until about ½ of the beans are broken up. Taste and add more salt if needed.
To Serve: Spoon black beans on plates and top with a pumpkin steak. Drizzle pesto over the top and sprinkle with more toasted pumpkin seeds and mint. Dig in!
Notes
To toast your own pumpkin seeds, heat a generous teaspoon of oil in a hot frying pan. Add raw pumpkin seeds and toss in the oil. Cook until starting to pop and golden, stirring often. Season with salt and remove from heat.

 


Menu

La Bruja Cocktails (aka Tamarind Margaritas)

Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

Grilled Achiote-Lime Chicken

Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Raspberries and Whipped Cream

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

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