Browsing Tag

Christmas

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, 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

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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.

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Breakfast, Dairy Free, Drinks, 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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Fiesta, Popular

Friends Who Fete: How to Throw a Stress-Free Holiday Party

November 27, 2017
How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

The wonderful thing about the holidays is getting together with friends and family for Christmas dinner, a tamalada, Hanukkah, or my personal favorite–no reason at all. The holiday season allows us to gather at the drop of a hat, simply because. The downside of all this merry-making is it can be stressful if you find yourself with a houseful of guests and an empty fridge. But it doesn’t have to be that way, the Friends Who Fete crew are here to help!

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

As we do every so often, Meg from This Mess Is Ours, Aida from Salt and Wind and I gather together to throw a party, document every part of it, and share it with you so you can do the same thing with your friends! This time around we were also lucky enough to have Dennise from Le Petit Eats join us and we wanted to give you the tools you need to throw an elegant, but easy, party that can come together in an afternoon with the help of some store-bought ingredients, a few simple florals, and some items we’re pretty sure you already have in your pantry. We wanted to show you how to throw a stress-free holiday party.

Setting The Mood

Chances are you already have your Christmas tree lit and decorated and maybe a wreath or garland to brighten up the house, so you really need little more to make your place party ready. We picked up some greenery from the grocery store and placed a few flameless pillar candles on the table and bar to set the mood (check out how Meg created a festive holiday table centerpiece). A few strands of battery-powered string lights give the party a nice glow and look beautiful tucked inside mason jars or other containers.

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

The Bar

If you have the space, a bar cart or separate table away from the kitchen or food is ideal. This spreads everyone out and gets your guests mixing their own drinks. You know having a signature cocktail for the evening makes your life easier, this Cranberry Dark and Stormy that Meg whipped up is so good it will soon become your signature cocktail of the holiday season.

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

It is also nice to offer a non-alcoholic drink and we teamed up with Torani Syrup to create a Handcrafted Soda Bar that can go either way. With all their holiday-themed syrup flavors the options are virtually endless. Aida created an Eggnog Italian Soda, using the Torani Italian Eggnog Syrup and a Spiced Cranberry Cinnamon Italian Soda, using the Torani Cinnamon Syrup, that are delicious with or without alcohol.

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

The Menu

We opted to go with a app-heavy cocktail party instead of a sit down dinner. It’s a low maintenece (and easier clean up) way to entertain. Our menu focused on using high-quality store-bought ingredients, plus pantry staples to create recipes that can either be made in advance and have on-hand or made in under an hour.

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

The Plan

The idea behind this party is that you should be able to throw it at the drop of a hat because you will have already have your cupboards and freezer stocked with a few essentials. Here are the things you should have on hand:

Tableware

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

Food/Drink

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

How To Prep

The next step is to go shopping for the perishable items to round out the menu and pick up some flowers for decorating, then head to the kitchen and get prepping.

Up to 3 days in advance:

  • Butternut Squash Hummus

Night Before:

  • Fry the sage
  • Make the sauces for the meatballs
  • Bake the cupcakes
  • Make the hot honey and balsamic glaze
  • Arrange flowers
  • Set up bar
  • Set up buffet

An Hour Before

  • Bake Tartlets
  • Wrap Persimmons
  • Bake Brazi Bites
  • Arrange Cheese Board
  • Warm sauces for meatballs

As Guests Arrive

  • Bake meatballs and toss in sauce
  • Set food out on buffet

We hope this party inspires you to entertain and if it still seems too daunting, do what we did and invite friends over to help or instead of making the whole menu yourself share the duties among a few of your guests. Most importantly, have fun and we wish you a very happy holidays!

How to throw a stress-free holiday party that can come together in an afternoon with a full menu, drinks, and decorating ideas for a last-minute party!

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

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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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

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.

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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

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, Drinks, Recipes, Sweets

Ginger Cardamom Rompope

November 7, 2017
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toma Leche. All opinions are 100% mine.

The holidays are here! Let the fun begin with this non-alcoholic Rompope flavored with fresh ginger, cardamom, and canela. A perfect way for kids and adults alike to Toma Leche this holiday season!

I am kinda-sorta thrilled that the holidays are around the corner. I really wish I could stop time this part of the year and have enough hours in the day to get all the necessary stuff done and have time for all the things that make this season so special. Picking the perfect gift! Christmas cookies! Luxurious evenings by the fire!(if we had a fireplace, that is).

In fact the thing I think I love the most about the holidays is it gives us all an excuse to be a kid again and especially relive those sweet moments that have made this time of year so special.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

From now until New Years I try to keep that magical glow in the house and in this case milk is my fairy dust of choice. Ever since I was a kid, the first sign of the holidays has always been a milky, ice-cold cup of eggnog or in this case the Mexican version, rompope.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

If you’ve never had rompope it is very similar in flavor to eggnog but so, so much easier to make at home. While traditional eggnog can take up to three weeks to cure, rompope takes little more than 30-40 minutes on the stove and a couple hours to chill in the fridge.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

My version is sweet and creamy with a tickle of heat from fresh pieces of ginger and the warm glow of cardamom, nutmeg, and fragrant canela or Mexican cinnamon.

Fresh whole milk is essential to making the best rompope and when asked me for fun ways to drink milk, I immediately thought there is nothing better than an icy cup of rompope. It goes perfect with the most wonderful time of the year!

Ginger Cardamom Rompope
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.
Author: Kate
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • 5 pods cardamom
  • ¼ piece whole nutmeg
  • 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 6 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, sugar, canela, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, careful the milk will try to boil over, just remove from the heat for a moment, let it bubble back down, then return to heat and continue to boil gently.
  3. Let cook, untouched, until it reduces to about 2½-3 cups, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth and fill another large bowl halfway with ice and water (in other words, make an ice bath).
  5. Slowly whisk hot milk into egg yolks then place bowl over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir constantly until mixture is slightly thickened and the temperature reaches 175°F, about 5 minutes.
  6. Strain mixture into a clean bowl and place bowl in the ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
  7. Transfer to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate until cold.

Christmas Cookie Swap Menu

Cardamom Ginger Rompope

Mega Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger-Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Cranberry Lime 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!

 

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Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Dulce de Leche and Brown Butter Frosting

October 31, 2017
Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

The kids and I spent all last week in Des Moines and it was lovely to be home. Crisp fall air, crunchy leaves, and the vivid colors bring back so many wonderful memories; it was nice to pause and take it all in. We even got a spattering of SNOW on Friday! Which for us California transplants was just perfect— especially since we got to leave the next day and come home to 70 degrees and sunny.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

Now I’m back home, rested and ready to think about my favorite subject—the holidays! From now until eternity (or January, actually) it will be a non-stop holiday bonanza filled with recipes you are going to want to make at one point or another over the next couple months.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

This celebration cake is the perfect way to kick it all off! If you are super ambitious or just have nothing better to do tonight, I encourage you to make this cake for the Dia de los Muertos festivities tomorrow and Wednesday. If not, keep it in mind as a spectacular way to end Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a holiday dinner party.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

The lovely thing about this cake is it can be frozen—frosting and all— and keeps lovely in the freezer for up to a month! Make the cake and stick in the freezer uncovered until hard. Wrap tightly and freeze. Unwrap and defrost at room temperature for about 2 hours or so when you are ready to serve.

The layers of this cake are the essence of fall; pumpkin, warm spices, and a good dose of dark rum. Stacked tall in three layers they make a beautiful, enormous sandwich filled with milky dulce de leche caramel, and a brown butter-cream cheese frosting that is whoa, over-the-top good.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

On top goes a one-sided blanket of toasted, chopped pecans that ups the level of sophistication to super-sheek.

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Dulce de Leche and Brown Butter Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.
Author:
Serves: 12 to 14 servings
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup dark rum
  • 2½ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (13.4-ounce) can dulce de leche
  • 8 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
For the Frosting:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces (2 eight-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
Make the cakes:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Grease 3 (10in-by-2in) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, rum, brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture an whisk until blended and smooth. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth tops.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, until cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool 15-20 minutes. Remove cakes from pan, discard parchment and let cool completely.
Make the frosting:
  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium pan over medium heat until fragrant and dark golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, cream and salt, gently whisking until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and let cool.
  3. With machine running, add remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, and beat on low until incorporated. Raise speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add brown-butter mixture to cream cheese, and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Trim tops of 2 cake layers and top and bottom of third (this will be the middle) to create flat even surfaces.
  2. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a cake stand and spread ¼ cup dulce de leche over the tops of each cake layer.
  3. Lay the bottom layer on the parchment-lined stand and spread ½ cup frosting on top, then place middle layer on top (dulce de leche side down). Spread ½ cup frosting on middle layer, then place third layer on top (dulce de leche side down). Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and sides of cake and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Press chopped pecans on one side. Use the straight line of a piece of parchment paper to get and even edge.
  5. Slide parchment from the bottom of the cake and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Notes
The cake will need to chill in the refrigerator for about 6 hours in-between layers and before serving, plus plenty of time to cool so plan accordingly.


A Late Fall Fancy Dinner Party Menu

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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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