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Recipes, Sweets

Friends Who Fete: 20 Essentials For A One-of-a-Kind Ice Cream Social

August 21, 2017
Celebrate summer with a one-of-a-kind ice cream social! Complete with recipes for homemade ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauces, and even DIY tattoos.

As summer draws to a close my merriment-making crew, Friends Who Fete—Aida of Salt & Wind and Meg of This Mess Is Ours—were dying to get together one last time and celebrate with the whole family. An ice cream social seemed like the perfect excuse to soak in the summer sun, play games, eat ice cream until our bellies burst, and give one last hurrah before the kiddos head back to school and life gets busy again. Here’s how we made it happen!

1.No-Churn Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream: There is nothing more essential to an Ice Cream Social than vanilla ice cream. This homemade version requires no fancy ice cream machine and is extra tangy and rich thanks to the addition of cream cheese.

2. Chocolate Chocolate Ice Cream: Aida mixed up a batch of decadent homemade chocolate ice cream to satisfy the chocolate lovers in the crowd. Perfect for topping with a s’more—you know how we do.

3. No-Churn Churros Con Chocolate Ice Cream: I took my No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream base and add a swirl of Mexican Hot Chocolate Sauce and churros, no biggie.

4. Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream with Almond Butter Swirl: Aida recreated her sister’s childhood obsession with this decadent combo. She took her extra chocolatey ice cream and swirled in a ribbon of almond butter then added miniature almond butter cups.

5. No-Churn Blueberry Mezcal Swirl Ice Cream: I felt it very important that the adults didn’t feel left out. Rich vanilla no-churn with a ripple of mescal-infused blueberry sauce; warning, this ice cream will make you swoon.

6. Hazelnut Chocolate “Baci” Ice Cream: This luxurious ice cream was inspired by Aida’s love for Baci Perugina, the Italian chocolate-hazelnut truffles.

7. Strawberry Aperol Spritz Poptails: These grown-up boozy pops are Meg’s ode to Italy’s signature summer cocktail, but with fresh strawberries added for an extra fruity kick.

8. Mexican Hot Chocolate Sauce: Impromptu sundae making calls for chocolate sauce. This is the sauce (with a touch of almond and cinnamon) that I swirled into my churros ice cream. I made a double batch so we’d have extra to drizzle on  top.

9. Coffee Salted Caramel Sauce: No ice cream party is complete without caramel sauce. Aida upped the ante with this topper. Rich caramel gets a boost from a shot of dark espresso for a sauce you will want to drizzle on everything.


10. Homemade Waffle Cones: Meg made these sweet cones in chocolate and vanilla. They were the perfect size for little hands—and gluten-free!

11. Toppings: You really can’t have too many toppings. Sprinkles are obviously a must, but we also lined the table with rainbow marshmallows, chocolate-covered candies, mini stroopwafels, macarons, graham crackers, and more!

12. Metal Ice Bins: Unless you want to be running back and forth from the freezer every five seconds you should have a plan on how to keep the ice cream as cold as possible. A metal bin filled with ice worked well for us, even in the LA heat.

13. Ice Cream Pints and Ice Cream Cups: We packed our homemade ice cream in these cute paper pint-sized containers (which, by the way, makes leftovers really easy to take home) and used colorful cups for sundaes.

14. Ice Cream Scoops: Invest in more than one ice cream scoop so multiple hands can be scooping at once. Sturdy scoops like this stainless steel one are my favorite but the spring-loaded scoops work well too.

15. Colorful Candy: Okay, I’ll admit having candy at an ice cream social is a little overkill…but its so pretty!! Try Twisty Rainbow Candy Lollipops, Swirl Pops, or Candy Ice Cream Cones.

16. Garland, Tassels, and Honeycombs–Oh My!: Colorful decorations are a must at any ice cream social but you don’t have to be a crafter to create a IG-worthy background. We used vibrant Tassel Garland and Honeycomb Balls from Sweet Lulu to set the scene. But PS, they also have Honeycomb Ice Cream Cones which are ohmygod so cute!

17. Punch Balloons: Let’s face it, kids who are eating tons of sugar need somewhere to put their energies, punch balloons to the rescue! Plus, they look really sweet too.

18. DIY Tattoos: Partying with uber-creatives like Meg and Todd has it’s perks. Like getting a full sleeve of handmade temporary ice cream tattoos. Click the link for instructions on how to make your own!

19. Ice Cream Cone Piñata: Word to the wise, filling the piñata with confetti makes the moment of explosion extra special.

20. Pin the Cherry on the Ice Cream Cone: This was a cute game that Meg and Todd came up with and the kids just loved.

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

Friends Who Fete are three gals (¡Hola! Jalapeño, Salt & Wind, and This Mess Is Ours) who love to throw parties big and small. Every season we do something new–find them all here!

One More Thing

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Recipes, Sweets

No-Churn Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream

August 21, 2017

Homemade ice cream can be finicky, it can curdle, scald, or be too icy. Then there’s the whole ice cream machine thing. You have to freeze the base way in advance in order for it to get cold enough and sometimes even if the base is cold, the machine still doesn’t get the ice cream frozen fast enough resulting in super dense or worse, over-churned ice cream.

For all these reasons I’ve been really intrigued by this very popular no-churn method. Essentially you combine sweetened condensed milk with whipped cream and freeze. So super easy! But when I made it I also found the result to be so super sweet.

To combat the one-dimensional sweetness I added a Jeni’s trick–softened cream cheese. At first just a little but the more I added, the richer, creamier, and more complex the ice cream became until before I knew it, I had added the entire eight-ounce block—without a hint of regret I might add.

Indulgent and tangy this ice cream scoops up in big, milky scoops and is full of luxurious vanilla flavor. The classic vanilla is excellent on its own or topped with sundae essentials like chocolate sauce and M&M’s but I also easily turned this basic ice cream into two other flavors for our Friends Who Fete ice cream social last weekend. The first got a boozy swirl of blueberries and mezcal and the second got a one-two punch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Sauce and crispy churro bites. But really, the options are endless. Other easy mix-ins could be basic childhood favorites like Oreo cookies or chocolate chips or more sophisticated types might like brandied cherries or chopped chocolate truffles or what about both of those at the same time. Oo. La. La.

No-Churn Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 quart
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (13.4 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  1. Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for 1 minute until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add vanilla and salt and continue beating until combined and smooth. Scrape this mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Add cream to the stand mixer bowl (no need to clean it out) and using the whisk attachment, whip the cream to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add a third of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Add remaining cream and gently fold until completely incorporated. Scrape into a freezer-safe container with a tight lid and freeze at least 4 hours.

All photos courtesy of This Mess Is Ours

One More Thing

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Recipes, Sweets

30 Fruit Dessert Recipes for the End of Summer

August 6, 2017
A roundup of 30 fruit dessert recipes for pies, crisps, ice creams, cakes, and more to celebrate summer in all its glory!

Back in May I put together my first ever ¡Hola! Jalapeño Reader Survey (which you can still totally take so please take a second and let me know what you think!) and one of the things you guys are interested in seeing more of are Recipe Roundups!! Which is awesome, because there is nothing I like more than a good listicle, especially one involving recipes.

For my first roundup I gathered together some of my food influencer friends and asked them to share their favorite summer fruit dessert recipes. Crisps, crumbles, cobblers, and pies, I live for summer fruit desserts and with summer coming to a close I think we should all buckle down and pack in as many as we possibly can before Labor Day hits. Which are your favorites?

Pies, Galettes, and Tarts 

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Pie {DF}

Blackberry Tarts from Saving Room for Dessert

Sour Cherry Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust

Wild Blackberry Pie {DF}

Purple Gooseberry Pie {DF}

More Ideas:

Peach Raspberry Pie with Lattice Crust from Saving Room for Dessert

Almond Peach Galette {DF}

Crumbles and Crisps

Fresh Cherry Crisp from Give Recipe

Mini Rhubarb Apricot Crisps {Vegan}

Summer Fruit Masa Cookie Crumble {GF, Vegan}

Cakes and Shortcakes

Strawberry Basil Shortcake from Nutmeg Nanny

Blueberry Zucchini Poke Cake from Peas and Peonies

Paleo Crepes Cake with Strawberry Coconut Cream from Food Faith Fitness {Paleo}

More Ideas:

Raspberry Angel Food Cake from Peas and Peonies {DF}

Meyer Lemon Glazed Blueberry Pound Cake from Swirls of Flavor

Cherry Frangipane Cake from Manu’s Menu

Blueberry Paleo Cake from Food Faith Fitness {Paleo}


Berry Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Trial and Eater

More Ideas:

Peach Bread with Walnuts from Give Recipe


Paleo Blueberry Coconut Popsicles from Joyful Healthy Eats {Paleo}

Sweet Chili Mango Popsicles from Delish Knowledge {Paleo}

More Ideas:

Frozen Banana Pops from The Lemon Bowl {GF}

Ice Cream and Sorbet

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream {No Churn} from The Lemon Bowl {Vegan}

No Churn Pineapple Chile Sorbet from The View From Great Island {GF, Vegan}

Other Fruity Ideas


The Ultimate Summer Fruit Board {GF, Vegan}

Grilled Stone Fruit with Granola and Yogurt from Joyful Healthy Eats

Fruit Salsa and Homemade Cinnamon Chips from Yummy Healthy Easy

Banana Split Grilled Dessert Nachos from Two Healthy Kitchens {Vegan}

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries from Nutmeg Nanny

Tropical Fruit Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing from Iowa Girl Eats {GF, Vegan}











Recipes, Sweets

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

August 1, 2017
Make a Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake for your next birthday celebration! It has layers of chocolate cake, cookies and cream ice cream, and Oreo cookies.

Before even opening my eyes on the morning of my children’s birthdays I have a ritual I perform. I have to keep my eyes shut because it helps me remember. I can’t let my brain get flooded with any new information which might impede on my memory, forgetting important details of the events I wish to conjure up.

I go through each birthday, starting with their birth, trying my best to remember each detail, what their faces looked like, what they were wearing, what Armando was wearing, who was there. Some have been huge celebrations, some have been small family affairs. As the years go on, this has started to become a harder and harder task. It takes me a moment to separate the third birthday from the fourth but in the end I succeed, watching them grow right before my eyes.

This past Saturday Louisa turned nine. She is growing in ways I wish she wouldn’t but I know she has to; needing her space, separating herself from me. I remember her sweet little pumpkin face at two and wish I could wrap that little body up in my arms again.

This year she wanted to be in charge of every aspect of her birthday from picking out her presents—long gone are the days when I can buy her clothes that she will actually wear—to making the cake. She couldn’t decide between our favorite chocolate cake and an ice cream cake, so we decided to do both!

The chocolate cake is Ashley’s recipe which is so perfectly perfect there is nothing I can improve upon, so you will need to hop over to her site to get the recipe. For the ice cream cake you will only need to make the cake part, not the frosting. Bake the cake in 3 (9-inch) cake pans. You will only use two of them for this recipe but you’ll have no problem finishing off the third layer by itself.

To assemble the cake, I used a 10in-x-3in springform cake pan. This is wide and deep enough to fit all the layers. Center the cake layers in the middle and then the ice cream has room to cover the cake completely. Let one quart of ice cream sit out and soften at a time. You only need to let it sit out 10-15 minutes so it is still solid, but soft enough to mold into the pan. If it is too soft, put it back in the freezer and let it get hard again.

Oh, and it goes without saying that this doesn’t have to be a Cookies and Cream ice cream cake. Use whatever flavor ice cream is your favorite, the possibilities are infinite.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 12 servings
  • 1 recipe Not Without Salt's Chocolate Cake made in 3 (9-inch) cake pans, cooled completely
  • 2 quarts Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) package Oreos, crushed
  • sprinkles and candles of your liking
  1. Spray a 10-inch (ideally 3-inches deep) springform pan. Place one layer of chocolate cake in the center and cover with 1 quart softened ice cream.
  2. Evenly spread over the top with a large offset spatula, pressing into the edges between the cake and the side of the pan. Cover with a half of the crushed cookies. Freeze until hard.
  3. Place another cake layer, then the second quart of ice cream smoothing it into all the empty spaces. Sprinkle remaining cookies on top and sprinkles if your using them. Freeze until solid.
  4. To serve, pop the sides off the pan, slice and serve. After singing Happy Birthday, of course.
The prep time is minimal but you will have to wait about an hour for the cake to freeze in-between layers so plan accordingly.

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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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.

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





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
Serves: 6-8 paletas
  • 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
  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.

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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.


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!