Browsing Tag


Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

February 23, 2017
Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The Oscars are on Sunday and I felt it only right to leave you with some black-tie cocktail inspiration to have with your Thai take-out, or delivery pizza, or if you are really doing it right, fancy appetizers (if its fancy appetizers, can I come over?).

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

This icy drink is a combination of two different cocktails that for some reason scream Hollywood to me; the Japanese Cocktail (which has nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with classy 1920’s glam) and a Ginger Sidecar I had at Zuni Cafe when we were in San Francisco last October.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The classic Japanese cocktail is a simple but sophisticated combination of cognac, almond-scented orgeat (pronounced or-zsa, like Zsa Zsa Gabor), and bitters. Zuni’s Ginger Sidecar has brandy, ginger liqueur, orange, lemon, and pineapple gum syrup. Put those two together and your classy Oscar cocktail is served.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Let’s Talk About Pineapple Gum Syrup

Pineapple gum syrup is a pineapple simple syrup that packs a punch of pineapple and adds viscosity to the drink at the same time. I found a bottle made by Small Hand Foods at Bev Mo but you can also find it online.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

How To Make Your Own Ginger Juice

Making ginger juice is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a juicer, stick a big piece of fresh ginger in there (you don’t even need to peel it) and juice comes out. This stuff is for real! Add some to your orange juice in the morning, that’ll get you going. If you don’t have a juicer you can still make ginger juice, but you’ll have to peel the ginger first, and chop it, put it in your food processor and blend until it is a puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Cheers Amigos! Have a great weekend!

Brandy Ginger Twist
Prep time
Total time
Brandy gets a kick in the (fancy) pants from fresh ginger juice, orgeat, lemon, pineapple gum syrup, and bitters.
Serves: 1 drink
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) brandy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) fresh ginger juice (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orgeat
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) pineapple gum syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • ice
  • lemon twist, for garnish
  1. Combine brandy, lemon juice, ginger juice, orgeat, and pineapple gum syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat beads the outside of the cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, shake a few drops of bitters over the top, add a lemon twist and enjoy!
To make the ginger juice; press fresh ginger through a juicer, no need to peel. If you don't have a juicer, peel a large piece of fresh ginger, chop and blend in a food processor until very finely chopped. Press through a fine mesh strainer. Ginger juice can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 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!

Mains, Recipes

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

February 9, 2017
Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Sometime between the holiday’s fading glow and spring’s first warm breezes lies a long, frigid stretch of nights when we huddled in our homes, hunker down from the cold and wind, and heat up leftovers for dinner. There is no better time than now to gather some friends together and throw a party full of cozy comfort food, delicious cocktails, and loads of laughter—An Italian Polenta Party!

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

When Aida of Salt & Wind suggested the idea to myself and Meg from This Mess Is Ours we answered with an enthusiastic, YES! I mean, I am never one to turn down an opportunity to cook and gather together with my friends, especially over creamy mountains of soft polenta and Aida’s sensational creamy pesto.

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Throwing an Italian Polenta Party is a really fun way to entertain. All you have to do is invite some fun-loving friends, make a few appetizers, a simple cocktail, and then pour out the polenta onto a board in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in!

Here’s All You Need To Know To Throw Your Own Polenta Party

Fiesta: How to Throw An Italian Polenta Party

We all gathered on a late Saturday afternoon and Meg mixed up some sparkling Apple Basil and Prosecco Spritzer cocktails while Meredith finished her sweet herb and floral wreaths to line every plate. Aida arranged Fontina and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Squares and Mushroom Ragout Agrodolce Bites on a marbled wood board along with balsamic roasted apples, several types of cheese, and charcuterie. It was all just the beginning to the main event about to come: The Polenta!!

Italian Polenta Party Menu

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Here is the rundown of the entire menu. We did one meat topping and one vegetarian topping to go with the polenta but you could always just pick one. It is all the little extras however that make it super fun, so try to have at least three or four different sauces or garnishes that your friends can add to their polenta. Included are the recipes to make these but you could easily make one or two and buy a couple more high-quality versions from the store. Or make the sauces and have toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan or Pecorino on hand for generous sprinkling.

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party


Apple Basil and Prosecco Spritzer cocktails | This Mess Is Ours

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party


Fontina and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Squares | Salt & Wind

Mushroom Ragout Agrodolce Bites | Salt & Wind

Nuts, Cheese, Sliced Charcuterie, Balsamic Roasted Apples, Crackers, and Fruit

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

The Polenta Board + A Salad

Escarole, Charred Mandarins, Toasted Almond Salad with Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette | Salt & Wind

Basic Creamy Polenta | Salt & Wind

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa| ¡Hola! Jalapeño

Braised Chickpeas with Porcini and Tuscan Kale | This Mess Is Ours

Creamy Basil Pesto | Salt & Wind

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes | Salt & Wind

Red Pepper Romesco Sauce | Salt & Wind

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Something Sweet

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone | ¡Hola! Jalapeño

Serving the Polenta

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

For our party of 8 people Aida quadrupled this recipe and we had plenty of leftovers to take home (gratefully). The polenta is really nice because you can start it and then let it basically cook on its own, giving it a stir every now and again until it is ready.

To serve the polenta you’ll need a very large food-safe board. Meg had a gorgeous reclaimed wood board that ran the length of the table from Pasadenaville which worked perfectly as everyone had some polenta right in front of them at the table. A large wood cutting board or tray would also work. Just find your biggest food-safe board and pour the polenta out onto the it. Top half of the polenta with the barbacoa and half with the braised chickpeas and place it in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves. Serve all the sauces and garnishes in small dishes scattered about the table so your friends can add what they please. Aida also made a dairy-free version of the polenta with chicken broth and olive oil instead of the butter, milk, and cheese.

The Place Settings

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Our very talented friend Meredith created delicate mini wreaths made from fresh (and totally edible) herbs, olive leaves, and straw flowers. They look rustic and pretty on the plates and Louisa turned them into a darling little tiara after the party was over. Get all the details on how to make them here.

Shop The Party

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Here are a few party essentials we can’t live without:

W/R/F Lab ceramics

Pasadenaville Polenta Board

Pink Shibori Napkins

Linen Napkins

Vintage Roly Poly Cocktail Glasses

Cheese Knives

Denim Cloth Table Covering

All Produce: Melissa’s Produce

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

A humongous thanks goes to Salt & Wind and This Mess Is Ours for all the photos.

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

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


Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

February 8, 2017
Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

What is Barbacoa?

The term barbacoa has always confused me. The first time I heard it was in my early twenties as a sous chef at Mustard’s Grill in the Napa Valley. A few of my fellow cooks were gathered around discussing weekend party plans and announced they were going to do a barbacoa in their yard. Truly a weekend project, they dug a deep hole, filled it with smoldering wood and a baby goat then covered over the hole with agave leaves.

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

The meat roasted very slowly and about 8-10 hours later was shredded and served with an accompanying chile broth with which you’d brush the meat through before piling it into warm corn tortillas. This was a meal reserved for a grand celebration and one that my Mustard’s compadres offered to replicate for our wedding. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the go ahead from the our reception venue to follow through—something about not wanting a huge, gapping, smoking hole on their property—ridiculous.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I was then later told it was only made with cow head and then Chipotle came along serving barbacoa in every nook and cranny of America (did they all have baby goat-sized holes in their parking lots? Were they really serving goat? Or even more interesting, cow’s head?) But now I’ve come to discover that barbacoa means beef to most people, more specifically tender, slow roasted succulent beef.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

A Much Easier Version

This recipe was inspired by my friend and fellow chef Susana who cooks her barbacoa in a beer and spice bath. The addition of molasses adds a subtle sweetness that is undetectable but also very much there if that makes any sense. It is about as easy as a recipe can possibly be—not one single shovel necessary. All you need is a sturdy blender, a large enough roasting dish, and a few hours then leave the oven to do all the work.

Even better, the slow cooking means an inexpensive cut of meat is actually preferable here making it a very budget-friendly way to feed a crowd. I’ve made this recipe using boneless beef brisket, boneless chuck roast, and even a clod roast which I got just because it was the cheapest roast at the market and I wanted to see if it would be as good as the most expensive brisket and guess what? It was! Any tough cut of meat would melt under all that beer and heat.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I made this barbacoa recipe for an Italian Polenta Party I threw with Aida from Salt + Wind and Meg from This Mess is Ours. We piled the meat on top of the polenta straight from the tray with all those beautiful juices. Even though it is Mexican in origin it went beautifully with the sweet roasted tomatoes, grated hard Parmesan, and Aida’s silky romesco sauce. For more polenta party details head here!

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe


Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 5 pounds boneless beef brisket or chuck roast
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced (remove seeds if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 9 epazote leaves, or ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  1. Heat oven to 300°F and place roast in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender starting with the beer (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender). Blend on high until all is pureed.
  3. Pour beer mixture over roast and move it around in the mixture to coat all sides. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven.
  4. Slow-roast the beef 3 hours, remove foil and return to the oven and let cook 30-45 minutes more or until the edges are browned and the meat easily pulls apart with a fork.
  5. Shred meat and mix with the sauce in the pan. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of Italian parsley leaves or let cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. To reheat; place meat and sauce in a shallow pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Did you love this recipe? 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 huge thanks goes out to Salt + Wind and This Mess Is Ours for the photographs and WRF Lab for all the ceramics.

Recipes, Sweets

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone

February 7, 2017
Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

I’m stepping away from my typical Mexican-inspired posts today and reaching back into my pastry chef past to bring you a blood orange tart that I think would be beautiful for Valentine’s Day.

I made this blood orange tart for an Italian Polenta Party we went to a couple weeks back at Aida’s house. It was so much fun and such a great way to get together with friends to break up the winter monotony. I’ll be bringing you lots more photos and recipes from the party later this week.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Anyhoo, I was asked to bring a dessert and wanted to stick with the Italian theme which is not hard for me since I love Italian food with all my heart and soul. Did I tell you guys we are going to Italy this summer? Specifically Rome, so please send all your recommendations. I’ll be eating everything. Like Hiro says, “Gelato for breakfast!!!”

This tart is really lovely and shows off winter’s beauty, the blood orange. A vixen of a citrus, the blood orange oozes seduction, making this a perfect dessert to make for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day—chocolate, shmocolate.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Blood Orange Tart Tips

The crust is my standard pie dough, but I added an egg yolk to give it richness and an extra crisp snap which is a beautiful contrast to the silky mascarpone filling which, get this, requires no baking of any kind. Just whip the sweet, creamy cheese with a little zest from one of the blood oranges, some sugar, and vanilla and spread it into the tart shell.

The last step is to remove all the peel and white part (pith) from a few blood oranges so they can be sliced into perfect little slices, if you need a visual, watch this video here.

Blood Orange Mascarpone Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.
Serves: 12
For the Crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
  • 2 cups (1 pound) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 blood oranges
  • rosemary, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 (10-inch) tart pan
For the crust:
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter pieces and toss to coat in flour. Using a pastry cutter, blend the blend the butter into the flour until it is in tiny pebble-like pieces.
  2. Add egg and 5 tablespoons of ice water and work the liquid into the flour mixture with your hands, squeezing it into the flour until it is uniformly moist and the dough holds together when you squeeze some in your hand. Add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press dough into a disk and refrigerate for at least and hour and up to 2 days.
  4. On a lightly-floured surface roll dough into a ¼-inch thick circle. Gently press dough into a 10-inch tart pan. Trim dough flush with the top edge of pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
  6. Halfway through baking, remove from oven and poke any air holes that have formed, pressing gently on the crust with the back of a fork until it is flat. Do it again when the crust comes out of the oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Crust can be made up to a day in advance. Cover cooled crust tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.
For the Filling:
  1. Combine mascarpone, sugar, blood orange zest, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff and fluffy.
  2. Remove all peel and white pith of the blood oranges with a pairing knife then cut into ¼-inch thick slices.
  3. Spread mascarpone evenly over cooled tart shell then arrange blood orange slices on top. Garnish with rosemary if you'd like. Serve immediately.

Did you love this recipe? 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 to Salt+Wind for all the photos and Melissa’s Produce for the beautiful blood oranges.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe

December 20, 2016
Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Merry Christmas!

Since this is the last recipe I’ll post before Christmas arrives I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. It means the world to me that you are here, showing your love and cooking the recipes and being just downright lovely, lovely people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Can I toast you with a Cranberry Ginger Margarita?

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

I hope over the next week you will gather together with people you love to celebrate another year, the beauty that is life, and just having a moment of joy in this often crazed existence we all live. And for that, I wanted to leave you with a cocktail, and a beautiful one at that.

I was halfway through developing a straight-up ginger margarita when my eye caught the last of the cranberry agua fresca sitting in the fridge and well, history was made in the form of the most gorgeous-hued cranberry ginger margarita I ever did create.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Now, of course I’d be overjoyed if you made the cranberry agua fresca and then turned it into this margarita but you certainly don’t have to. I also tried it with store-bought cranberry juice and it tasted just as festive.

I love the little bits of fresh grated ginger

Make sure you use a microplane, you want it really fine but if the thought of ginger strands stuck between your teeth grosses you out you can strain the drink over fresh ice in each glass before serving.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

The final holiday pizzazz comes in the form of a lime and salt rim around each glass which is made by grating a little zest from a lime (use the microplane remember), mixing with some coarse salt and sticking it to the rim of each glass—fancy!

The recipe makes either 1 enormous drink or 2 regular-sized drinks so you can either share with a friend or have a very merry Christmas by yourself! Cheers!!

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Cranberry Ginger Margarita
Prep time
Total time
The most beautiful cranberry margarita to celebrate the holiday. The color alone is reason to make it but then add fresh grated ginger and a lime-salt rim and Happy Holidays indeed!
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2 Drinks
  • 2 limes
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup cranberry juice or Cranberry Agua Fresca
  • ¼ cup silver tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • A few slices candied ginger for serving, optional
  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from one lime and place it on a small plate. Add salt and rub the two together with your fingers to incorporate. Cut a wedge out of the lime and rub it around the rim of two cocktail glasses. Dip the rims in the salt mixture and set aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the other lime into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add cranberry juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and grated ginger.
  3. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat starts to bead on the outside of the shaker. Divide the drink evenly between the two prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge and a few strips of candied ginger.


Apps, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts

December 14, 2016
Goat Cheese Toasts with Spicy Honey and Almonds Recipe @holajalapeno

Tis the season for last minute party snacks and because I love you with all my might I wanted to share one of my favorites, Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts, which if I lived in a house with others who cared for me….I mean cheese, I would make this every night for dinner then serve glasses of wine and call it good.

But because I can only make cheese-involved dishes when they will be served outside the home this is my go-to “hey, can you bring an appetizer to share?” “Of course!” I say delighted to have an excuse to buy eleven whole ounces of soft, creamy goat cheese.

You can go about this hors d’oeuvres two ways.

The first and simplest plan of attack is to place the goat cheese in a shallow dish, cover the goat cheese with spicy honey and sprinkle almonds over the top. Serve with a nice selection of crackers or toasted bread and let party-goers scoop up cheese and honey and nuts for themselves. The upside to plan number one is ease of transport. If you are say, traveling by train to the party it is much easier if you go with this method. Downside: the honey tends to dribble off the cheese overtime and pool beneath it. Not a major bummer but for guests to get the full effect you might want to mention that they should be sure to “not forget the honey!”

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

The second suggestion

Make little toasts by spreading cheese, honey, maybe a pear slice or two, and some almonds on toasted slices of bread. This way you are guaranteed everyone will get a bite of all the glorious bits and it looks prettier. It is also more work and harder to carry around.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

One note about the honey

Two teaspoons of ground arbol chile may seem like a crazy amount when you are measuring it into the honey but it takes quite a bit of spice to fight through all that sweetness. Start with one teaspoon and see what you think, then add the other if you’d like more spice. I found that 1 teaspoon was not spicy at first then kind of crept up on you and two teaspoons was spicy right away but not burn your mouth hot.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft goat cheese on crisp toasted bread drizzled with spicy arbol chile honey, a few ripe pear slices, and a sprinkling of toasted almond slices.
Serves: 12 Servings
  1. Warm honey in the microwave or on the stove top until just warm, but not boiling. Heating the honey helps the chile powder disperse easier and bloom.
  2. Whisk in chile powder and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread about a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on the toasted bread, add a few pear slices if using, drizzle with generous amounts of honey and sprinkle with a almonds.
  4. Alternatively, arrange goat cheese on a platter pour spiced honey over the top and sprinkle almonds over the goat cheese. Serve with toasted bread slices or crackers.

Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Fiesta: How To Throw A Christmas Tamalada Party

December 6, 2016
A Christmas Tamalada @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Shortly after Armando and I first got married we started hosting what has now become our infamous Tamalada Party. The idea was simple, we wanted tamales, but didn’t want to do all the work ourselves, so why not gather friends for an afternoon of chisme and good food, and when it’s over everyone gets a dozen or so tamales to take home!

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

This being our first Christmas back in California we wanted to keep the tradition going so invited our partners in merry-making crime, Meg and the whole Beard + Bonnet crew and Aida and her Salt + Wind gang over for a tamalada party that, unlike year’s past, could actually happen in our backyard!

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Here was the plan:

 Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

To pull off your own tamalada party here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 100 soaked corn husks. This will depend on how many tamales you want to make. Each of our recipes makes about 2 dozen tamales. The husks need to soak a few hours in hot water.
  • About 12 cups of masa. This will make about 4 dozen tamales. You can make it using Maseca (special ground cornflour used for making tamales and tortillas) using this recipe, or buy pre-made masa made from fresh ground corn at a Mexican grocery store.
  • At least one type of filling.
  • A large surface for assembling. We pushed our picnic table and a folding table together and covered them both with a long piece of Mexican oil cloth.
  • A tamale steamer or large lidded pot fitted with a strainer or rack (like a big pasta pot with a strainer liner). This is also a good tamale-making starter kit.
  • Lots of drinks and snacks; tamale-making is hard work! Along with Aida’s delicious cocktail I made my Cranberry Agua Fresca for the kiddos to drink too.

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party Menu

Follow the links for all the instructions on how to make and assemble each tamale.

Pomegranate Ginger Apple Cider Punch

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Mint and Lime

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

Dunk and Slather Board

Avocado Bruschetta

Spicy Black Bean and Cheese Tamales

Chicken and Roasted Pumpkin Tamales with Manchamantel Mole 

Sweet Potato Tamales with Chocolate Sauce

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

 A big thank you to Salt + Wind and Beard + Bonnet for taking all the beautiful photos!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Avocado Bruschetta with Bacon and Jalapeños

November 30, 2016
Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

The holidays are here! Time for gift-giving and evergreen-scented homes and holiday cocktail parties full of nibbles!! I know the season just started but there is no time like the present to dive right into holiday appetizer recipes like these avocado bruschetta.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

The good news is they don’t all have to be heavy cheese bombs or bbq cocktail wieners.

Take this avocado bruschetta recipe for example, it is dairy-free but still tastes indulgent with bits of crispy bacon, rich hunks of ripe avocado, and spicy thin slices of jalapeño—basically all you’ve ever wanted from an avocado toast but in a handheld miniature size.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

I made these for a tamalada (tamale-making party) we had with my partners in merry-making crime, Aida and Meg. I’ll be bringing you all the details on how to throw your own tamalada next week, but for now I wanted to give you this recipe in case you’ve already got holiday party plans this weekend (you social butterfly, you} and you need to bring something delicious to share.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Here’s what I’d do if I were you.

I’d make the toasts the night or morning before and bring those in a Ziplock, then I’d mix up my avocado bruschetta topping about an hour or so before leaving. I’d take a piece of plastic wrap and press it directly on the surface of the avocado mixture and refrigerate it until you leave. Then assemble on the toasts once you get where you are going. This will keep the avocado from turning brown.

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Let’s set forth to this time of year with as much warmth and joy in our hearts as we can muster and enjoy the beauty of gathering together. After all, what good is Christmas spirit if it’s not shared?     Abrazos Amigos, Kate

All photos by Salt and Wind

Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8-10 Servings

Think of these like mini avocado toasts....but with bacon and jalapeños and lots and lots of fresh herbs. Basically everyone's dream appetizer.

The baguette can be sliced and toasted up to a day in advance. Let cool and keep in an sealed Ziplock bag until ready to use.


  • 1 baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 ripe (but still firm) avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1-2 jalapeños (depending on how hot you like things), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cut baguette into 1/2-inch thick slices and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with coconut oil and bake until crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine remaining bruschetta ingredients in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and gently stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
  3. Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of avocado mixture and serve.

Did you love this recipe? 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. Besos!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mayo-Free Guacamole Deviled Eggs

November 30, 2016
Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe

Hi! Hi! And Happy Monday. Do you remember a couple weeks back when I made you Butternut Squash and Maple Empanadas and told you about the new e-cookbook that myself and whole slew of other talented food bloggers contributed to called The Casual Veggie?  Well, guess what? The book is now available! And to celebrate I made you guacamole deviled eggs!

Guacamole Deviled Eggs



The Casual Veggie Cookbook

This is a extensive compilation that features over 150 veggie-centric recipes from 45 food bloggers. Each of the 29 most common veggies from asparagus to eggplant to Brussels sprouts have their own chapter with details on how to buy, store, and cook them. The digital format is easy to navigate from any device but all the recipes are also printable so you don’t have to take your iPad into the kitchen if you don’t want to. The book is available for download right here from my site and every copy of the book bought from ¡Hola! Jalapeño helps support my blog, which means more delicious recipes for you…and maybe a glass of wine for me, I won’t lie. To purchase your very own copy click on the image of the book on the right-hand side of this page!

Deviled Guacamole Eggs

To celebrate several of us contributors are throwing a virtual party full of autumn nibbles and drinks.

Click on the links below to find all the details. My contribution to the shindig is a combination of everyone’s two favorite hors d’oeuvres; Deviled Eggs and Guacamole to make the world’s best guacamole deviled eggs (in my opinion). If the words deviled eggs have you thinking gloppy mayo-laden gut bombs then think again. These are light and creamy without using any mayonnaise at all. The avocado acts as the fat here which means less guilt for me when I accidentally devour half a dozen.

Guacamole Stuffed Eggs

Even better guacamole deviled eggs are super simple to put together. Here’s how…

Ingredients for deviled eggs

First you get the hard part out of the way; boiling and peeling the eggs (I give you a detailed rundown in the recipe for how I boil eggs, follow them and you will have perfect eggs every time). Then combine the yolks and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the filling is smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can chop all the filling ingredients super small and then mash them together with a fork.

Pureeing the filling for eggs

Pipe or spoon the filling into the egg white shells, top with some thinly sliced jalapeños or red chiles if you’d like and serve!

Prepping Guacamole Eggs

For the rest of the party check out these fancy veggie-inspired autumn drinks and appetizers:

Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt, divided
  • 1/2 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced, plus 1 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover, and let sit 12 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel eggs and slice in half vertically. Remove yolks and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally.
  4. Pipe or spoon filling back into the cooked egg whites, top with thinly sliced jalapeños if desired and serve.

Mains, Recipes

10 Recipes To Try This Week

October 30, 2016
Day of the Dead Party Ideas

Lots of Halloween and Day of the Dead party ideas like Mezcal-Apple Cider cocktails, Cheesy Stuffed Peppers, Rum-Spiked Tres Leches Cake, and more! 

Good Sunday Morning to you!!

Exciting things happening this week:

  • Of course, Halloween!! My kids are going to be whatever costume they can create from “The Halloween Box” and we will attempt to trick-or-treat in our new neighborhood—I hope our neighbors have candy (fingers crossed).
  • Don’t forget to enter the Cookie Baking Basket Giveaway. Lots of good stuff here that you will need for holiday baking season.
  • Dia de los Muertos is this week and if you are doing some last-minute planning today check out my Dia de los Muertos Fiesta ideas.

Now for this week’s recipe inspiration:

The cocktail to toast with for Day of the Dead.

Make a big batch of Aji Picante salsa today and eat it on everything this week. You don’t have to thank me, really.

I can personally attest this is the BEST vegan pozole I’ve ever had.

In case you need to spice up your morning oatmeal game. Mexican Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

A sweet way to incorporate marigolds into your week.

Vegan Tres Leches Cake with Rum Spiked Coconut Whipped Cream pulls at my lactose-intolerant husband’s heart-strings.

What you really want to eat after a long day at work.

Anything on top of a crunchy tortilla works for me

Pumpkin Chicken Chili  has pre (and/or post) trick-or-treating written all over it.

If I don’t make enchiladas for Day of the Dead then I’m definitely going with Cheesy Beef-Stuffed Poblano Peppers.