Browsing Tag

picnic

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Pink Grapefruit & Cilantro Spanish Gin Tonic

July 9, 2017
This pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonic is an ultra-refreshing sipper for summer. Flavored with cilantro-grapefruit syrup and a hefty splash of tonic.

Are you familiar with Spanish Gin Tonics? I wasn’t until a few months ago, and now I can’t stop drinking them. I am normally late to the game. I rely on my well-healed, childless friends to keep me up to date on what happens in the world after 9pm and apparently its Spain, Gin, and Tonic Water, plus other stuff.

Spanish gin tonics are like regular ‘ol English gin and tonics except lighter, more flavorful, and without that bothersome and word in the middle. They are frequently served with lots of garnishes so you can mix and match what you’d like in your drink. They also switch up the tonic and sometimes substitute mineral water, soda water, or (in this case) fresh fruit juice.

pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonics

Here’s how I like to Spanish-up my GT

First, make a herbal syrup. It is pretty common in a Spanish gin tonic bar to have a variety of herbs to choose from when making this style of cocktail because they highlight the flavors in gin. I made a syrup with cilantro and grapefruit rind. At first it might seem like a ridiculous amount of cilantro, but trust me, just do it.

Second part: use a big balloon wine glass. This will make all the difference I swear. Fill the glass halfway with ice then add some of the chilled syrup, your favorite gin, and fresh-squeezed, kinda sour, kinda sweet pink grapefruit juice. Stir until the syrup dissolves and top with fizzy tonic water. Do not use the stuff in the little cans from Trader Joes—it was gross (sorry Trader Joes).

pink grapefruit gin tonic

That’s it. Drink. Repeat. Sit in the sun. Enjoy.

Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin & Tonic
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonic is an ultra-refreshing sipper for summer. Flavored with cilantro-grapefruit syrup and a hefty splash of tonic.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
For the Grapefruit-Cilantro Syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 thick pieces grapefruit rind
For the drink:
  • ice
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce grapefruit-cilantro syrup
  • 2 ounces tonic water
Instructions
To make the syrup:
  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add cilantro and grapefruit rind and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Cover and remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keep syrup covered in the refrigerator for up to a month.
To make the drink:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the order they're listed in a large wine glass. Stir to combine and garnish with a pink grapefruit slice and sprig of cilantro if you'd like.

pink grapefruit gin tonic

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

Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing

June 27, 2017
This Red Lentil Picnic Salad is a no-cook salad that won't wilt and is hearty enough to eat on it's own but also an excellent side for picnics or barbecues.

Summer is the time for picnics and barbecues. It is not the time for standing over a hot stove, sweat beading on your brow. This is where the magic of ultra-tender split red lentils come in. Did you know you don’t even have to cook them?!!

I got this idea when I was experimenting with lentils back in April. It was my first attempts at sprouting lentils that lead to the discovery that the red ones didn’t really need to be cooked at all! When I tried to sprout them they instantly became soft and mushy, just a good soaking in water was all it took to turn them from hard seeds to beans so soft you could smash them between your fingers.

Then I thought what if I soaked them briefly, in boiling water. I bet they would be the perfect consistency for a nice crunchy salad, with just enough give to add great texture while still maintaining all their peppery flavor. Not to mention, eating them virtually raw like this keeps their nutrient level high, making them a powerhouse of a meal without the calories or fat of meat or other foods with similar amounts of protein.

Thus this picnic salad was born. I love make-ahead salads to bring to barbecues or picnics that don’t require any last-minute fussiness. Because all the components of this salad are hardy enough to handle a long marinade in the sweet ginger and cider vinegar dressing you don’t need to worry about them wilting or getting water logged by the time you get to where you’re going. That being said, the baby arugula will wilt a bit on especially long road trips so if this is a bother to you, you can always add it right before serving.


Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ¼ cup minced scallions or spring onions
  • 1 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ small head red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Instructions
  1. Pour lentils into a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad, or at least 30-40 minutes until they are tender but still maintain a slight bite.
  2. Combine scallions, ginger, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously until incorporated.
  3. Combine broccoli, cabbage, arugula, radishes, cherries, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Drain lentils and add to the vegetables. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.

One More Thing

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

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

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! Follow the hashtag #LetsLentil for great recipes all summer long!

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Apps, Dairy Free, Recipes

Avocado Deviled Eggs with Dukkah

May 30, 2017
These irresistible avocado deviled eggs are use fresh, ripe avocado instead of mayonnaise. The Egyptian spice blend, dukkah gives them a nutty finish.

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

If you are going to have one thing on your summer rotation these deviled eggs should be it. I say this with complete confidence because I made them for last weekend’s Friends Who Fete Bridal Shower (lots more on that to come) and they were a huge hit.

They are like Mexican deviled eggs with an Egyptian twist. What does that even mean? I don’t know. All I know is they are damn good and you’re about to eat a dozen by yourself in one sitting. Trust.

First things first: What the heck is dukkah?

Okay, so dukkah is kind of like sprinkling heaven on your food. If you are a nut-enthusiast like I am than you will be putting this Egyptian spice blend on just about errrything. You can buy dukkah already made, Trader Joe’s used to sell a good mix but they have since discontinued selling it–err.  But you can find plenty of options online or in the spice section of your grocery store.

I, however, like to make my own because this allows me to control the flavor profile and salt level. For example, dukkah’s main ingredient is typically hazelnuts but I wanted to go with something less assertive to let the flavor of the deviled eggs shine through so I used almonds in this recipe instead.

Any leftover dukkah can be used to coat fish before roasting, mixed with olive oil for a quick dip for flatbread or, how I use it most often: For lunch, sprinkled over a bowl of quickly fried rice and sliced avocado.

Second things First: What the heck are avocado deviled eggs?

A while back I made these guacamole deviled eggs where I substituted ripe avocado for the mayonnaise. They were so good I decided to go with that little maneuver from now on. The avocado makes the deviled eggs just creamy enough without being heavy and if you hate mayonnaise (which I don’t, but a lot of people do) than you can have your deviled egg and eat it too!

On a kind of related, kind of completely unrelated note; the results from our first ever ¡Hola! Jalapeño Reader Survey are coming in (if you haven’t taken it yet, please take a few minutes to give your feedback). I am pleasantly surprised to see you guys want more entertaining ideas! Which is YAY!! Because Meg (from This Mess Is Ours) and Aida (from Salt and Wind) and I got together last weekend to celebrate Aida’s recent elopement with a Friends Who Fete Bridal Shower. I’ll be sharing all the details with you over the next couple weeks but it was an effortlessly elegant party and I know one you are going to want to recreate this time of year with all the weddings and baby showers and such going on so I’ve got all the details from the recipes down to the decorations to make your next party absolutely perfect!

So there you go, your wish is my command. Now go make yourself some deviled eggs!

 

Avocado Deviled Eggs with Dukkah
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These irresistible avocado deviled eggs are use fresh, ripe avocado instead of mayonnaise. The Egyptian spice blend, dukkah gives them a nutty finish.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For the Dukkah:
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
For the Deviled Eggs:
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the eggs
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Thinly sliced scallion for garnish, optional
Instructions
To make the Dukkah:
  1. Place almonds in a medium frying pan and place over medium heat. Toast until fragrant and golden, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate to let cool.
  2. Toast pumpkin seeds in the same pan over medium heat until starting to brown and pop, about 2 minutes. Remove to the plate with the almonds.
  3. Toast sesame seeds in the same pan over medium heat, stirring continuously until golden, about a minute or two. Remove to a separate plate to cool.
  4. Add fennel seeds, peppercorns, caraway, cumin, and coriander to the pan to toast until they are fragrant, stirring frequently, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the almonds and let cool.
  5. Once all the almonds, pumpkin seeds, and spices are cool, grind them in a mortar and pestle or food processor until finely chopped, but not a paste.
  6. Place in a medium bowl and add sesame seeds, salt, and marjoram and stir to combine. Dukkah can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month or up to 6 months in the freezer. Makes 1 cup.
For the Deviled Eggs:
  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Pour a generous amount of salt into the water (about a handful) and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then cover and remove from heat. Let eggs sit covered for 8 minutes. Drain and chill with ice water.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a food processor.
  4. Add the flesh of the avocado, cilantro, dill, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Blend until smooth. Taste to see if it needs more salt or lemon juice.
  5. Spoon filling back into the eggs and sprinkle a pinch of dukkah over each egg and a few slices of scallion if you'd like. Enjoy!
Notes
Eggs can be made and filled up to 3-4 hours in advance. Sprinkle with dukkah just before serving.

One More Thing

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

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

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

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing

May 13, 2016
This recipe combines Salpicon salad and Fattoush salad with seasoned steak, oven-baked flatbread crisps, avocado, feta cheese, and spicy chipotle dressing.

¡Hola! This post is sponsored by Society Culinaria and Flatout Bread. The recipe and opinions however are all mine. Thanks so much for supporting the business that makes this blog possible!

As soon as the days get hot two things spontaneously happen in our house. Shirts come off (I’m talking about the children here), jorts go on, and every meal becomes instantly better when eaten outside.

Salpicon Fattoush Recipe

We had our first al fresco dinner of the year this week. It hasn’t been consistently warm enough to warrant taking the picnic table out of the garage so it was a hodgepodge of benches, miniature kids chairs, and stools circled up with some of us balancing plates on our laps, but it was glorious. There’s just something about feeling a warm breeze that makes all food taste better.

We were eating burgers but I wish I had come up with this salad for the occasion. It has turned cold again and I’m anxious to test my salad to see if its flavor improves if eaten outside on a blanket in the back yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

When Flatout asked me to come up with some recipes using their breads I wanted to make something you are going to want put together again and again all summer long. I took something inherently Mexican (Salpicón de Carne) and combine it with something else I truly love, in this case, a Lebanese salad called Fattoush made with toasted flatbread. It is a salad meant as a blank canvas that will adapt to whatever produce is at it’s peak as the season progresses. Fresh sugar snap peas and spinach would be great right now and heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn would be equally good in August.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

Flatout Artisan Thin Flatbread Pizza Crust makes a delicious, homemade pizza in minutes but the crust is a platform for so much more. It is also low in fat, a good source of fiber, and and available practically anywhere. If you’re not sure where to find it click here to locate a grocery store near you that carries it.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recipe

For this salad I cut the crust into triangles and tossed them with a little olive oil and salt and toasted them in the oven until they were golden and crisp. This little stint in the oven gives them the stamina they need to be tossed with the veggies, steak, and dressing and make it to your picnic spot without getting soggy. Even if it is right out the back door into the yard.

Salpicon Fattoush Salad Recips

 

Salpicón Fattoush Salad with Chipotle Dressing Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you think ahead rub the flank steak with the chile seasoning up to a day in advance. Steak can also be grilled instead of roasted if you prefer.
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
For the Steak:
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Flatbread Crisps:
For the Chipotle Dressing:
  • 2 chipotles en adobo, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Salad:
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
For the Steak:
  1. Lay meat on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until it is an even thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet and rub all over with the tablespoon of oil.
  2. Combine garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a bowl then rub steak with the mixture on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
For the Flatbread Crisps:
  1. Cut the flatbread into small triangles and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt then toss to coat the crisps in oil. Lay out in a flat layer and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven up to 450°F.
For the Dressing:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sealable jar. Seal tightly and shake until combined.
For the Salad:
  1. Once oven is hot, roast meat until cooked to desired doneness; about 5 minutes for rare and 10 minutes for medium-well. Let sit about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  2. Meanwhile toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and onion in a large bowl with the flatbread crisps and dressing. Arrange on a large platter and top with sliced steak, avocado, and feta.

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, Mains, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Chopped Garden Salad with Queso Fresco and Crispy Tortilla Croutons

August 16, 2014
I’d like to have a moment of silence for my beloved pumpkin plant whose life was cut short by a very ugly white worm infestation. Time of death: approximately 8pm, Friday night; at least that’s when I yanked the gigantic tangle of monster vines from the ground in hopes of saving its neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Delicata Squash.

I get a tinge of sadness now when I look out at the garden and see the huge empty spot and overgrown grass where it had once stretched out into the lawn, but it did manage to produce two very solid Jack ‘O Lanterns before its passing, which was kind seeing as I have two children who would not be satisfied with one pumpkin to share.

Other than the pumpkin fatality the garden is producing in full August fashion, we’ve had three consecutive meals (breakfast included) of tomatoes and actually have watermelons (!!!!!). I’m really excited about that last one (can you tell?) because that was a complete shot in the dark. I’ll take some garden pics next week so you can see how things are progressing.

I was so overwhelmed by the garden’s bounty when we got home last week that there was nothing left to do but dive in head first with supper salad after supper salad. Salad for lunch! Salad for dinner! Salad for breakfast?! Yay!

This one is a riff off one of my very favorite salads where thick slabs of avocado meet crispy-fried tortilla strips all tossed in a sharp lime-cilantro vinaigrette but this time I used tarragon and red wine vinegar instead of the cilantro and lime juice because….you guessed it—I’ve got tarragon coming out the wazoo. I used plenty of crunchy garden lettuce and lightly blanched green beans then finished it all off with a sprinkling of creamy queso fresco. Chop! Chop!

Chopped Garden Salad with Queso Fresco and Crispy Tortilla Croutons

Yield: 2 (as a main course)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 sprigs tarragon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups torn lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into thick slices
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of heavily-salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and submerge in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Set aside to cool completely then remove from water and pat dry.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the red onion slices, teaspoon salt, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside to marinate while you make the tortilla strips.
  3. Cut each tortilla in half vertically, then each half into strips horizontally. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Once oil is hot, add tortilla strips a few at at time and fry until browned and crisp on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips.
  4. To finish the dressing, add tarragon, olive oil, and black pepper to the onion mixture and stir with a fork to combine.
  5. Arrange lettuce, avocado, radishes, green beans on two large plates. Drizzle dressing over the top then sprinkle with tortilla croutons and queso fresco. Serve immediately.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2014/08/chopped-garden-salad-with-queso-fresco.html

Dairy Free, Recipes, Sweets

Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Pie

June 30, 2013

Does it feel like whenever you come to this blog there’s another rhubarb recipe? Are you thinking to yourself right now that I’m a broken record that keeps reaching for the same ingredient over and over again? Or maybe that I’ve obtained a lucrative deal from the Rhubarb Council of American Rhubarb Growers?

Well, first off I’d like to say thank you for visiting my blog so often that you would feel that way—I might be annoying you with all this rhubarb business, but you are making my heart sing. Secondly I do get into broken record mode, but more with my kids ‘stop picking your nose’, ‘stop picking your nose’, ‘could you please stop picking your nose?!’ than with anything else. And thirdly….I wish.

No, I continue to sing the praises of rhubarb because it is the first local ingredient of the growing season that is in abundance and is the only “fruit” that will be locally available until raspberries hit sometime in early August.

Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Pie

So here we are. You and me and rhubarb.

Have you ever had rhubarb pie? I’m assuming if you are still reading this than you have. I’ve recently discovered however that there are many people who have not. Growing up in the Midwest, rhubarb pie was a given, but apparently it has remained elusive to the rest of the country. My own husband had never had rhubarb pie until he met me—oh, how I’ve made his life complete in so many ways.

Anyway, this one’s a doozy. Very simple, full of tart rhubarb and luscious vanilla beans. The vanilla beans make it feel fancy and extravagant but a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract would fill in just fine flavor-wise.

Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Pie

The rhubarb I used was very tart, green rhubarb. If you have the sweeter red variety you might not need so much sugar, 1/4 cup of sugar for every pound of rhubarb is usually a good place to start.

 

Rhubarb-Vanilla Bean Pie

Yield: 12

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup cold extra-virgin coconut oil, diced and divided in half
  • 1/4-1/3 cup ice water, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten with a couple tablespoons of water (for brushing)
  • sanding sugar (optional)
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 pounds rhubarb, large dice
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. For the crust: Combine half of the flour, half the sugar, and half the salt in a large bowl. Add half the coconut oil and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the pieces are the size of small peas.
  2. Add a couple tablespoons of ice water and work it into the flour mixture by scooping large handfuls of flour from the bottom of the bowl and squeezing it gently before letting it fall through your fingers back into the bowl. Keep doing this until the dough easily holds together when you squeeze it, adding more ice water a tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press down gently to make a disk, then place in the refrigerator and repeat with remaining dough ingredients. When you are finished you will have a top and bottom crust.
  4. To finish the pie: Heat oven to 425°F and arrange a rack on the bottom. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place this on the bottom rack in the oven while it is heating.
  5. Place rhubarb in a large bowl. Slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds with the back of a pairing knife. Add seeds to the bowl along with the remaining filling ingredients and stir until the rhubarb is coated in the flour and sugar.
  6. On a lightly floured surface roll out one disk of dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick and about 12-inches wide. Line a 9 1/2-inch deep dish pie plate with the dough and press it firmly against the bottom and sides. Roll out the remaining disk of dough on the floured surface to the same size.
  7. Stir the filling once more to distribute the ingredients evenly then pour into the dough-lined pie plate. Cover with the second piece of dough and trim off any extra so only about a 1/2-inch is hanging off the sides. Crimp the edges to seal then cut a couple of slits on the top to let the steam escape. Brush the top crust with egg wash and generously sprinkle with sanding sugar or granulated sugar.
  8. Place pie on the heated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Leaving pie in the oven, lower heat to 350°F and continue baking for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Pie is best eaten the day it is made but will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days—the bottom crust might get a little soggy.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2013/06/rhubarb-vanilla-bean-pie.html

Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Blueberry Chews

May 4, 2013

As I predicted last week, spring has finally arrived in North Dakota. It might have taken until May to do so, but I say let’s celebrate with cookies!

I will admit for all of my local readers that spring did come…and has since left (it was 23°F this morning) but I believe it will be back and at least we’re not like those poor saps south of here who had snow on May Day…ha ha suckers! Sorry, that wasn’t nice.

Blueberry Chews

Anyhoo, let’s talk fruit-filled, soft, crumbly cookie fabulousness. These chewy blueberry cookies are like the best Fig Newton and Fruit Roll-up together as one. They feel fancy enough to make a lovely Mother’s Day gift, but are substantial enough to satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths.

The blueberry filling is tinged with orange zest and orange juice and I’ve thrown in a few raisins for good measure. The raisins act like the adults in the situation, kind of like chaperones at prom, making sure the blueberries don’t get too carried away with their bad selves.

Blueberry Chews

The citrus-tinged fruit gets wrapped in a soft sugar cookie dough then sliced and baked. Making for one hell of an elegant little cookie.

Blueberry Chews




Blueberry Chews

Yield: 32 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dried blueberries
  • 2 ounces raisins
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Combine blueberries, raisins, brown sugar, orange zest, and juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let cool. Scrape mixture into a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Stir together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the butter mixture and beat on low until flour is completely incorporated.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap 3 in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you roll out the other piece. Place 1 piece of dough between 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper and roll into a 12in-x-5in rectangle, about 1/4in thick. (The easiest way to do this is to roll it out lengthwise to 12 inches first, then  out). If you are feeling anal you can trim the edges, if not, leave them rough. Remove the top piece of parchment and spread about 1/4 cup of the blueberry filling down the middle. Use the bottom piece of parchment to fold the dough lengthwise over the filling and seal the edges with the tines of a fork.
  4. Cut crosswise into 8 slices. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and repeat with another piece of dough. When one baking sheet is filled bake for 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove to a rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2013/05/blueberry-chews.html

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Lime Agua Fresca

July 28, 2012
 We were fortunate enough to spend Father’s Day with my father-in-law this year. It was great to get three generations of Armando Ramos all in one room.

His wife is an amazing cook and on top of the seafood soup, braised beef tacos, two salsas, and an entire separate three-course meal for the kids, she made two types of agua fresca, lime and mango. The mango was sweet, thick and luscious and the lime was zingy, tart, refreshing—we downed the entire pitcher upon arrival.

As I watched her make another round I thought to myself, I am never squeezing lemons for lemonade again. It was ridiculously easy, and so much better. She cut the limes into small pieces and put them in the blender skin and all.

Added the sugar and water, blended it up until the peel was pulverized then strained out any leftover bits.

 The lime peel adds so much more flavor than the juice alone ever could. I plan on making lemonade this way and I bet a citrus combo would be equally delicious. The only important thing to remember when serving this is it is meant to be consumed right away. The peel gets bitter the longer it sits, so blend it up and drink it down.


Lime Agua Fresca

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 large limes, washed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups ice water

Instructions

  1. Cut limes into sixths and put in a blender, peel and all, with the sugar and ice water. Blend until peel is completely pulverized. Strain into a pitcher and serve over ice.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2012/07/lime-agua-fresca.html

Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Grain and Bean Salad with Pickled Cherry Pepper Vinaigrette

June 28, 2012
Are grain and bean salads white people food? My husband and I have this conversation a lot, well as often as I make a grain or bean salad. He hates them. And asks me “why, for the hundredth time would anyone want to eat cold beans?”

I tell him cold beans are toothsome and filling on a hot day when you want something cool and are especially nice paired with crunchy bits of fennel or cucumber. He tells me no real Mexican would ever eat cold beans. And this is one of those really funny, awesome conversations you get to have when you’ve married outside your race.

While flying home from Dallas last week we were waiting in the security line trying to keep our three-year-old from running off and the baby from crying as the line snaked back-and-forth.

Children tend to give strangers the go ahead to strike up conversation so the older couple who had spent the last five minutes politely smiling at the baby finally got up the nerve to ask how old he was. “Five months.” I tell them. Referring to the baby’s pacifier the woman goes on to tell me in her southern drawl all about her two-year-old granddaughter and her pacifier addiction.

I make some small talk in an attempt to get the conversation to stop and am pretty sure it has come to an end when the husband asks me “So what country are you returning to?” “Did you come here to have your baby?”

Unsure what to make of this question seeing as I am very much a white person with no noticeable accent. I say “I’m from the United States, I am returning to North Dakota.” Unless he was referring to the country of Texas, I’m not sure where he would’ve conjured the notion that we had snuck into the United States five months ago to make my otherwise illegal-alien child ligit.

This is not completely out of the ordinary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in conversation with my husband in public only to be asked by a stranger if he speaks English. Well, I suppose so seeing as that’s what we were just doing.

That’s just the joy of being Latino in America and as the wife of a Mexican man I get to be privy to such exquisite displays of stupidity. Occasions I otherwise would miss out on in my white world. It is one of the many benefits of being in a bi-racial marriage I get to experience racial profiling and my husband gets to eat cold beans.


Grain and Bean Salad with Pickled Cherry Pepper Vinaigrette

Yield: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked whole grains (such as brown rice, farro, red rice, or barley)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup chopped, blanched green beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 small head fennel, diced
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, seeds removed
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 sweet pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine grains, lentils, green beans, garbanzo beans, fennel, cucumbers and scallions in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate medium bowl combine cherry peppers, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive, whisking continuously until all oil has been added. Pour dressing over grain mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour before serving to let flavors meld. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve cold or room temperature.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2012/06/grain-and-bean-salad-with-pickled.html

Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

April 21, 2011
The calendar says it’s spring so I’ve decided to honor that and make salad for dinner. As I continue to ignore the fact that we still have snow on the ground and the temperature hovers around 29°F, I merrily tear lettuce leaves and squeeze oranges in my warm kitchen.

I look out my window at the snow-covered spot that will be home to this year’s garden and pretend the produce I’m chopping has just come from that muddy earth. It will happen, I keep telling myself. You will, one day, be able to go outside with only one layer of clothing on and dig in the dirt. But until then I will live in my world of make-believe and eat salad.

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 4

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine

If you don't have any cooked chicken on hand you can poach some chicken for this recipe, or just leave it out.

Ingredients

    For the Vinaigrette:
  • 6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 1/2 cups diced, cooked chicken (see tip)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, tough stems removed
  • 2 cups torn romaine or escarole leaves
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped chives
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped, drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

Instructions

    For the Vinaigrette:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pint-sized glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal tightly and shake vigorously until combined. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 4 days in advance (shaking again before using).
  2. For the Salad:
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with about a third of the vinaigrette. Toss and add more if desired. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2011/04/chicken-and-white-bean-salad-with.html