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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

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Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites

November 27, 2017
Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites combine the flavors of a Christmas time coffee shop favorite, are super easy to make, and look stunning on any holiday table.

Autumn can come and go and not a Pumpkin Spice Latte do I crave.  There isn’t a Christmas season that passes however, without at least one Peppermint Mocha stop. It’s usually at the Starbucks, inside the Target, while I browse the aisles for stocking stuffers and kid’s clothes. It’s a ritual I cherish—shopping alone with an indulgent hot chocolatey coffee—you’d think I was in the gilded halls of Harrods not the florescent-lit aisles of a box store attached to the mall.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites combine the flavors of a Christmas time coffee shop favorite, are super easy to make, and look stunning on any holiday table.

This holiday season I want to embrace my love of the peppermint-chocolate-coffee-whipped cream combo in a celebratory bite-sized cupcake. The recipe for these chic sweets came to me as I was searching for an easy dessert to add to our Friends Who Fete Last Minute Holiday Party. I wanted to make something in the classic festive style but also something that could be made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry in literally a matter of minutes.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites combine the flavors of a Christmas time coffee shop favorite, are super easy to make, and look stunning on any holiday table.

This chocolate cake batter is a throw back to the Great Depression when expensive ingredients like butter and milk were hard to come by so shelf-stable staples like mayonnaise were subbed in. The mayo flavor is undetectable, but it’s fat, in the form of oil and eggs, adds an undeniable richness and results in cupcakes that bake up tender and fluffy. Not to mention mixing in mayo takes little more than a few turns before these cupcakes are ready for the oven.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites combine the flavors of a Christmas time coffee shop favorite, are super easy to make, and look stunning on any holiday table.

Instead of frosting I opted for an easy dollop of whipped cream. Using a can of real whipped cream means that you can even make pretty florets on top of each cupcake. The only thing I would say about using canned whipped cream is that it doesn’t last long, so don’t top the cupcakes until you are ready to serve them, the cream tends to melt quickly. A fun little crumble of candy canes are the only other thing you need to make these bites Christmas ready.

For lots more easy entertaining recipes and ideas check out our Friends Who Fete Last Minute Holiday Party!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Bites combine the flavors of a Christmas time coffee shop favorite, are super easy to make, and look stunning on any holiday table. Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
Author:
Serves: 40 mini cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Real cream whipped topping, such as Reddi-Wip
  • Crushed candy canes, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Line 40 mini cupcake wells with paper liners or spray lightly with baking spray.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, whisking to break up any lumps.
  3. Combine cocoa powder and chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour hot coffee over cocoa mixture and stir until smooth; let cool slightly.
  4. Whisk mayonnaise, egg, and peppermint extract into cocoa mixture then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Scoop 1-2 ounces of batter into each well (a cookie scoop works best) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes.
  6. Let cupcakes cool completely then top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed candy canes.


Last Minute Holiday Party Menu

Spiked Eggnog Italian Soda

Spiced Cranberry Cinnamon Italian Soda

Habanero Mango Meatballs

Honey Chipotle Meatballs

Butternut Squash Hummus with Brazi Bites and Veggies

Pear Cranberry and Mini Brie Tartlets with Hot Honey Drizzle

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons with Balsamic-Honey Glaze

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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 Salt & Wind and This Mess Is Ours

Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake

October 5, 2017
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot!

Sometimes a girl just needs a piece of chocolate cake—ya know?!!

Like, if I could do it and still maintain my dignity I would probably enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake a couple times a day. The hours between 3pm and 9pm are rough, chocolate cake would really help.

But then I went and heard Paulette Lambert speak and she kept saying this thing about how the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it and how I should get my sugar fix from fruit and all this other nonsense that I should absolutely be listening to. She also said my evening glass or two of wine was a no-no so I’ve got work to do, anyhoo, back to the sugar thing.

I got to thinking that I eat way too much sugar and my husband eats way too much sugar and the worst….my kids eat way, way, way too much sugar. My daughter has a thing after school she calls her “candy snack.” #truth.

But instead of cutting everyone off cold turkey and risk breaking their collective heart, I decided to slowly reduce the sugar intake as well as make the sweet treats we do eat a bit healthier.

I fell in love with this cake from An Edible Mosaic the first time I made it about a year ago. It is utterly fluffy, tender, and filled with warm fall spices thanks to a healthy dose of chai tea.

It still has sugar, yes, but it also has over 2 cups of fresh zucchini puree, whole wheat flour, and no butter or dairy fat of any kind. Not that I’m a huge fan of hiding nutrition from my kids, but they have no idea there’s vegetables in there thanks to Faith’s genius tip of pureeing the zucchini instead of grating it. This gives the cake an impeccable crumb and FYI, zucchini puree is virtually flavorless.

So here’s to eating healthy-ish….the silky chocolate frosting doesn’t hurt either.

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot! Adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Author:
Serves: 16 servings
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Chai tea bags, I used Trader Joe's Spiced Chai
For the Frosting:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
Instructions
For the Cake:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment, if desired. (If you plan on serving the cake straight from the pan, no parchment is necessary).
  2. Place zucchini in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until you have a mostly smooth puree.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and zucchini puree in a large bowl. Sift both flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, into the egg mixture. Cut open the chai tea bags and add the tea straight to the bowl.
  4. Mix everything together with a rubber spatula until just combined—don't over mix.
  5. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes. If you'd like to remove it from the pan, pull on the outer edges of the parchment paper to take out of the pan.
For the Frosting:
  1. Combine coconut oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm, stirring frequently, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in milk, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Pour frosting over cake and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and serve.
  4. Cake will keep covered, at room temperature, for 5 days.

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!

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Orange Juice Donuts with Zucaritas Sprinkle

July 14, 2017
Super simple baked orange juice donuts packed with bright orange flavor, topped with sweet orange glaze and crushed Zucaritas (aka Mexican Frosted Flakes).

Introducing my first ever donut recipe!

I honestly don’t know what took me so long. I guess I had shunned the idea of baked donuts as simply a muffin baked in a donut shaped pan, but I’ve been wrong before and I’ll surely be wrong again.

These donuts are not at all muffiny, they are tender, soft little pillows full of orange flavor. The Sucaritos sprinkle on top are 110% inspired by my daughter and her love of cereal-topped donuts. When we hit the donut shop she makes a bee-line for the most purple, cereal-loaded donut she can find. Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, you name it, she’s on it.

In my consistent motherly effort to make the foods my kids love even the slightest bit healthier I decided to create my own cereal-topped donut with Zucaritas (aka Mexican Frosted Flakes). I fully admit Zucaritas are not, I repeat NOT healthy as far as cereals go, but the donut part IS a bit healthier than your average fried donut shop donut. It is naturally dairy-free; I used fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of milk and only a small amount of vegetable oil instead of butter. And of course, not dunking them in a vat of hot oil also keeps things a bit on the lighter side.

I made batch after batch of these donuts in my new Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven. I don’t think it is an understatement to say I’m in love. This oven does everything my standard-size oven does but faster, and more accurately. If I didn’t cook professionally out of my home kitchen I would replace my full-sized oven with this countertop version and use that space as extra storage—it is that good. It heats up in under 10 minutes, fits full-sized baking pans (like this donut pan) and comes equipped with an internal temperature probe for cooking meat perfectly every time.

Head on over to Wolf Gourmet’s Food Notes Blog to get the recipe!

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!

This post was sponsored by Wolf Gourmet. Opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ¡Hola! Jalapeño possible!

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas

June 21, 2017
Coconut lime paletas are one of my all-time favorite Mexican popsicles. They are so creamy and delicious but are actually vegan, low-cal, and easy to make!

Hey, Hey! 2017 #PaletaWeek is here!!

Thank God and bless the lovely Lola from Lola’s Cocina; she has impeccable timing, because it is HOT and all I want to eat are creamy, dreamy, frozen treats and she’s organized an entire WEEK of them!! Make sure you follow the #PaletaWeek hashtag on social for all the updates.

My contribution is about the easiest paleta you can make (aside from maybe pouring juice in a popsicle mold). It requires no special equipment—you could totally make these in paper cups if you want— and takes about 10 minutes to put together from start to pouring them in the molds.

But oh my are they delicious! Creamy coconut milk and fresh-squeezed lime juice are a dream combination. I sweetened them with agave syrup to save a little on the calories but the secret ingredient is the tiny shreds of lime zest which pool a bit at the bottom of the mold making those first few bites just sing with tart flavor.

I got a new popsicle mold this year and I’m loving it, I feel muy profesional because now my paletas look just like the ones from our local paleta shop. But I’m known to make popsicles in just about anything, juice glasses, paper cups, you name it. What I’m trying to say is there should be absolutely nothing stopping you from making yourself some homemade paletas this summer.

Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 paletas
Ingredients
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons finely shredded lime zest
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and place in freezer for 4-8 hours depending on how cold your freezer is.
  3. To remove: run each mold under hot water for 10-20 seconds or until the paleta easily removes from the mold. Return to the freezer until ready to eat.

Head over to Lola’s Cocina for a list of all the Paleta Week Recipes and check out these favorites too!

 

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, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Side Dishes, Snacks, Sweets

The Ultimate Summer Fruit Board

June 12, 2017
One thing Mexico and Italy have in common is their love of fresh fruit. This ultimate summer fruit board combines the two different styles in one board!

This evening precisely at 6pm we will board a plane to Italy where we will stay for the next five weeks, then it is off to London for another week before returning home.

I am so incredibly excited and honestly never thought this day would come. Armando and I spent three months in Italy 15 years ago and I truly thought that I would never be back. There are just so many places on Earth to see I didn’t think (as much as I absolutely fell in love with the country) that I would have the luxury to visit the same place twice. Now, here we are, packing—albeit a much bigger—suitcase, with some of our clothes we bought there last time, and not only returning to Italy but bringing our children with us too.

I will try to post here while I’m gone but I’ll be honest with you, I’m actually looking forward to having a break. I hope to spend most of the time replenishing my creative juices and stocking up on inspiration. I will be posting our journey on Instagram in stories and pictures so make sure to check us out there.

Before I take off however, I wanted to leave you with an idea I’m pretty sure you’ll use all summer long. It is not really a recipe but simply an easy idea that will make every party you throw or attend from Father’s Day to Labor Day. We took this ultimate summer fruit board to our friend’s last night where they were celebrating their son’s 4th birthday and it was loved by everyone from the smallest munchkin to the most sophisticated adult (who was not me, BTW).

This fruit board also ties in to our upcoming trip because if there is one thing Italians and Mexicans have in common it is their love of fresh fruit. I’ve separated the board to highlight the different ways fruit is enjoyed in both places and strangely enough they go very well together; a little sweet, a little spicy, something creamy, something salty. I guess there’s a reason I have such an admiration for both cultures, they are very much in lock step with each other in so many ways.

HOW TO PUT TOGETHER THE ULTIMATE SUMMER FRUIT BOARD

The most important detail of putting together a delectable fruit board is to choose the ripest, most beautiful fruit you can find. Ideally the Farmer’s Market is the place to shop, but wherever you go, make sure the fruit is fragrant and at it’s peak.

Anything goes as far as which fruits to select. Here’s what I chose:

  • black grapes, mango, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, papaya, oranges, cherries, red grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, green grapes, nectarines

For the Italian side of the board I added:

For the Mexican side of the board I added:

Have a wonderful summer my loves!!

Oh, and if you have any recommendations for things to see, do, eat, enjoy in Italy I’d love to hear them. Anyone want to meet up?

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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Apps, Condiments and Salsas, Recipes, Snacks

Spring Asparagus and New Potatoes with Harissa Goat Cheese Dip

June 5, 2017
Learn how to make homemade harissa then use it in this creamy Harissa Goat Cheese Dip; perfect for tender asparagus spears and summer's first new potatoes.

** Click here to enter THE ULTIMATE BRIDAL SHOWER GIVEAWAY worth over $1000!!**

It always intrigues me how cuisines from one culture can be worlds apart physically yet be exact replicas in almost every other way. The Tunisian spice paste harissa and the mole pastes of Mexico are a perfect example.

I hadn’t really thought too much about their similarities until last week when I decided to make harissa from scratch for the first time. Dried chiles got toasted and soaked, whole spices were warmed filling the entire house with their fragrance, vegetables were charred under an open flame until their skins crackled and blackened. The entire process felt like second nature, incredibly familiar to one I’ve done many times making homemade mole sauces and ground chile salsas.

My inclinations probably gave my harissa more of a Mexican flavor than is traditional—smoked morita chiles and charred tomatoes I don’t think are authentic. But it made a lovely dip on it’s own and when mixed with soft chèvre goat cheese and a little bit of cream cheese to ensure lusciousness in a harissa goat cheese dip.

I made this creepingly spicy dip for gently blanched asparagus and new potatoes; a very special seasonal crudite-style platter I brought to the Friends Who Fete Bridal Shower Meg and I threw for Aida over Memorial Day weekend.  Any leftover harissa goat cheese dip was quickly consumed with tortilla chips and as a drizzle over a big plate of carne asada, grilled vegetables, and rice.

All the party details will be coming out this week so make sure you follow along the #FriendsWhoFete hashtag for lots of effortlessly elegant party tips!


Spring Asparagus and New Potatoes with Harissa Goat Cheese Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For the Harissa:
  • 4 dried morita chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 dried arbol chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded
  • 1 serrano chile
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Dip:
  • 8 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
For the Veggies:
  • 1 pound new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
Instructions
To Make the Harissa:
  1. Heat broiler to high. Place dried chiles, red bell pepper, serrano chile, and cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet.
  2. Place baking sheet directly under the broiler and char the vegetables. Watch the dried chiles carefully as they will toast first, turn them occasionally until they are darkened on all sides, then remove and let the remaining vegetables broil.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the baking sheet as their skins char on all sides, the cherry tomatoes will be done next followed by the serrano and red bell pepper which could take up to 10 minutes.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the toasted dried chiles and let soak at least 15 minutes.
  5. Combine cumin, coriander, and caraway in a small frying pan and toast, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until fragrant and starting to brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, let cool, then grind into a powder. This can also be done in a clean coffee grinder.
  6. Once the charred veggies are cool enough to handle, remove all charred skin and the stem of the serrano chile. Remove the serrano seeds too if you don't want it very spicy.
  7. Drain the dried chiles and combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until very smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed. Harissa can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Makes 1½ cups of sauce.
To Make the Dip:
  1. Combine harissa, goat cheese, cream cheese, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until smooth and well combined. Taste and add salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. Dip can be made up to a day in advance, covered in the refrigerator.
To prepare the Veggies:
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, whole and cook at a gentle boil until just tender when poked with the tip of a knife. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  2. Add asparagus to the boiling water and cook until vibrant green and just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and submerge in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half or quarters if they are big.
  4. Arrange the vegetables on a tray with the dip and serve.
Notes
Substitute store-bought harissa for the homemade if you'd like; you will need 1½ cups for this recipe but don't add it all at once. Because the flavor of store-bought will be different you might need more or less depending on the brand and how spicy it is.

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!

A big thanks goes out to Salt & Wind and This Mess Is Ours for the beautiful photography and to Melissa’s for supplying the fresh produce!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Snacks

Mexican Mollete Bar for Mother’s Day + A Wolf Giveaway

May 8, 2017
A Mexican Mollete Bar is a fun idea for Mother's Day or any brunch. Toast and toppings like beans or avocado come together to make a treat everyone will love!

We have a winner! CONGRATULATIONS to Carey Cole!! And thank you to everyone who entered. We had over 350 entries!! Follow me on Instagram today for a chance to win a spice gift box from The Spanish Tin.  

¡Hola! ¡Hola! I am jumping into this week with a massive giveaway and a really fun (and easy) idea for Mother’s Day brunch. How are you?

I am so excited to partner with Wolf Gourmet and am especially excited about their Four Slice Toaster. This is like the Bentley of toasters you guys, with extra-wide bread slots, self-centering for perfect toast every time, and even a setting to keep your toast warm if you’re not ready to eat it right away!

Mexican Mollete Bar

I will admit, until I got this toaster I used either my broiler or comal to make toast. I felt a toaster was kind of a space hog and that I could easily use one of my other appliances to make toast, but I’m kind of in love with this toaster and it can take up as much room on my counter as it wants. I mean you can put a bagel in this thing—a bagel!!— with plenty of room to spare.

Mexican Mollete Bar

I am so excited about my new toaster I am giving one away to you!! Wolf Gourmet has generously agreed to send one lucky reader their very own Four-Slice Toaster (valued at $400)! See below for details.

Mexican Mollete Bar

Now on to Mother’s Day. Have you heard of Molletes? Have you eaten them? If you answered YES to both then skip to the bottom. If not, molletes are basically like the Mexican version of fancy toast. Mexicans have been doing fancy toast for like, ever….they be calling that molletes and they most commonly are toasted bread topped with beans and cheese and broiled like an open-faced sandwich situation. But wouldn’t it be fun to create a whole mollete bar?!! If you answered yes to that question, then I’ll meet you in the next paragraph.

Here’s what I’m thinking; we can set out a bunch of options for our favorite toppings for toast and people can mix and match as they please. I’ve provided a few suggestions for combinations, but they are mere suggestions and I highly encourage creativity.

BLACK BEANS + COTIJA

Mexican Mollete Bar

This is the most traditional option. Spread the warm refried black beans which you can buy or make this black bean recipe and lightly mash. Then top with what is essentially a deconstructed pico de gallo; halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced jalapeños and scallions, cilantro leaves. Sprinkle the whole thing with crumbled cotija cheese and thinly sliced red cabbage. Make sure there are plenty of lime wedges on the bar for squeezing.

BANANA + LAVENDER

Mexican Mollete Bar

This one is like the most luxurious peanut butter toast ever. Spread peanut butter on the toast, top with ripe, halved bananas, and sprinkle with culinary lavender or if you are lucky enough to have a lavender bush you can pick the flowers and sprinkle those on top.

AVOCADO + EGG

Mexican Mollete Bar

Everyone loves avocado toast so this is a no-brainer. You can use mashed ripe avocado or go all the way and make guacamole or go all, all the way and make my sweet pea and mint guacamole. Top with a hard-boiled egg half, a few slices of aged white cheddar cheese, and a splash of hot sauce (Valentina is my favorite). Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

GRAPE + TOASTED ALMOND

Mexican Mollete Bar

Call me crazy, but I love grapes on toast. Try it! Butter a slice of toast, top with halved grapes, toasted almonds, and cinnamon sugar. Become a believer.

HOW TO SET UP THE MEXICAN MOLLETE BAR

Mexican Mollete Bar

To set up the bar, get some lovely bread or go big and make your own (!!). Set all the components for the molletes out in a pretty display and place your brand new fancy toaster nearby (see below). Slice and toast the bread then let everyone top it however they choose. Serve some fresh juice and brunch cocktails, coffee and tea and you’re all set.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day my loves. Enjoy slowing down and spending time with the ones you love the most. And if you’re a Mama…have someone else make your toast. xoxo

Mexican Mollete Bar
 
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A Mexican Mollete Bar is a fun idea for Mother's Day or any brunch. Toast and toppings like beans or avocado come together to make a treat everyone will love!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the Grape and Toasted Almond Mollete:
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Soft salted butter
  • Red or green grapes sliced in half
  • Toasted sliced almonds
For the Black Bean Mollete:
  • Toasted Sliced bread
  • Refried black beans, warm
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced red cabbage
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • thinly sliced jalapeños
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • lime wedges
For the Banana-Lavender Mollete:
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Peanut butter
  • ripe bananas, halved
  • culinary lavender
For the Avocado-Egg Mollete:
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Ripe avocado, smashed or guacamole
  • Hard-boiled egg, peeled and halved
  • aged white cheddar, sliced
  • hot sauce, such as Valentina
  • Flakey sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
Instructions
For the Grape and Toasted Almond Mollete:
  1. Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.
  2. Spread butter on the bread, top with grapes and almonds and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over everything.
For the Black Bean Mollete:
  1. Spread black beans on the toast, top with tomatoes, cilantro, cabbage, scallions, and jalapeños. Sprinkle cotija over the top. Serve lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
For the Banana-Lavender Mollete:
  1. Spread peanut butter on the toast. Top with banana halves and sprinkle with lavender.
For the Avocado-Egg Mollete:
  1. Spread avocado on the toast. Top with an egg half, a couple slices of cheddar and a dash of hot sauce. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top.

THE GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Wolf Four Slice Toaster. Winner will be announced May 15, 2017. Open to US residents only. Good Luck!

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.

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Apps, Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa}

May 5, 2017
Salsa de Cacahuate is a creamy, spicy salsa made from ground peanuts, arbol chiles, charred tomatoes, garlic, & onions. Goes amazing with margaritas!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

I couldn’t leave you with nothing to nibble on! This peanut salsa is exactly what you want to go with your Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

It is a spicy little number, full of dried arbol chiles but creamy with ground peanuts to calm the heat.  I like to add a couple of charred tomatoes to add some smoke and make it just thick enough to coat a salty tortilla chip but not so gloppy it just runs right off.

The sweet margarita calms the spice from the salsa de cacahuate and it is an incredible pairing with blanco tequila bringing out the darker, earthier flavors in the spirit.

Salsa de Cacahuate

Have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo and be sure to check out the over 60 Margarita-inspired recipes we have on the Margarita Week page!!

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa}
 
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Salsa de Cacahuate is a creamy, spicy salsa made from ground peanuts, arbol chiles, charred tomatoes, garlic, & onions. Goes amazing with margaritas!
Author:
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup raw peanuts, plus ¼ cup toasted and chopped, for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 dried arbol chiles, stems removed
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place tomatoes, onion, and garlic cloves in a dry comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. The garlic will cook sooner than the other vegetables, remove them as they are done cooking.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the garlic and place in the blender with the other vegetables. Blend on high until smooth and keep in blender.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the ½ cup peanuts, oregano, chiles, peppercorns, and cloves. Fry, stirring occasionally, until peanuts are toasted and chiles are fragrant. Let cool slightly.
  4. Add peanut mixture to blender with the tomato mixture and the lime juice and salt and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add more salt as needed. Top with remaining chopped peanuts.

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, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole with Sweet Potato Chips

April 25, 2017
Mint and pea guacamole may seem odd at first but the two flavors are naturals with ripe avocado. Try it for Cinco de Mayo when fresh peas are at their peek!

We have a winner! CONGRATULATIONS to Daniela Cho!! And thank you to everyone who entered. We had over 700 entries!! Come right back here next Tuesday for a Mother’s Day giveaway with Wolf Gourmet! 

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner (and knowing full well all I’ll talk about then are margaritas) is there any better time than now to talk about guacamole? Specifically mint and pea guacamole?

This is, by all means, a break from the norm, but we are officially in spring and I seem to be all about health-ing stuff up these days (much to Armando’s chagrin). Last week when I brought home the tortilla press, then promptly made lentil turmeric tortillas with it…well.

mint and pea guacamole

“Corn tortillas”, he asked, “why can’t you just make corn tortillas?”. I really shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up like that. He did not, not eat them though (because they were very tasty, thankyouverymuch) and we had no problem finishing off this guacamole and sweet potato chips last night over some margaritas.

These chips are really fun, initially I was going to make plantain chips to go with the guacamole but got the idea for using white sweet potatoes while browsing an old issue of Bon Appetit that talked about having thin strips of sweet potato they initially thought were pappardelle at Lord Stanley in San Francisco. I know it sounds complicated but they are super easy to make, you just peel the skin off a white sweet potato (I don’t know if it works with other kinds of sweet potatoes/yams but let me know if you try) and then keep peeling it into thin strips with the vegetable peeler. Crisp them up in just a drizzle of hot oil on a comal or griddle pan for a minute or two and then sprinkle with salt.

pea and mint guacamole

The guacamole is dreamy too, a bit sweeter than you might expect but if you use really fresh Farmer’s market peas you’ll be really surprised at how delicious the pea-avocado combo is. The mint is a nice touch—just screams spring—making this the perfect guacamole to make at your Cinco de Mayo party next week!

Oh, by the way, do you like the sizzle platter and bowl I used in the images? Because they could be yours!! To celebrate Cinco de Mayo I’ve partnered with Le Creuset to give one lucky winner a Le Creuset Sizzle Platter and Round Multi Bowl….enter below for a chance to win! One lucky winner will be picked, at random on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Open to US residents only. 1 winner total. Good Luck!

pea and mint guacamole

Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole with Sweet Potato Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mint and pea guacamole may seem odd at first but the two flavors are naturals with ripe avocado. Try it for Cinco de Mayo when fresh peas are at their peak!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the guacamole:
  • ¾ cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped (add more or less, depending on how spicy you like things. Remove the seeds if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the chips:
  • 1 large white sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt
Instructions
To make the guacamole:
  1. If using fresh peas, remove them from the pod and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath until cold, then drain. If using frozen peas, microwave them until thawed, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Place peas, avocado, scallions, serranos, cilantro, mint, lime juice, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth.
  3. Scrape into a serving bowl, taste to see if it needs more lime juice or salt. If not serving right away, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole (touching it) and refrigerate until ready to eat.
For the chips:
  1. Peel sweet potatoes then using the peeler, peel the sweet potato into large strips until all of it has been used.
  2. Heat oil in a large griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Add sweet potato strips, a few at a time; don't crowd until starting to brown and get crispy, about 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side, about a minute more.
  3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Chips are best eaten the day they are made.

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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!