Tag Archives: mexican

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Copper French Press here

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Who needs an excuse to make margaritas?! I’ve never had any trouble coming up with one, but if you really need a reason, today is Cinco de Mayo! I started making these a few years back and they were a hit with mis amigas, and are SO easy, so I decided to share the love here. They key is gauging the heat level of when infusing the tequila…I like it HOT, so keep all the seeds, and let it sit for about 24 hrs. The fun part of these is the straining method…a French press! The process of French pressing your coffee is super fun and we decided to apply that to another fun beverage…tequila. Enjoy these responsibly and ¡Salud!

 

Ingredients:

-Silver Tequila (we used Espolon)
-7 Cups Grapefruit Juice
-5 Large Jalapeños
-5 Limes (reserve one for garnish)
-1/3 Cup Honey
-1/3 Cup Filtered Water
-Margarita Salt

*Note: This process takes a couple of days…So plan your party accordingly!

 

Instructions:

To infuse the tequila: Wash and slice jalapeños, place half in French press. Pour half of the tequila over the jalapeños and cover with saran wrap, refrigerate remaining jalapeños. Leave mixture in French press on counter for at least 8 hours per batch…just remember the longer you let it set, the hotter it will get! When you are ready to strain tequila, place lid on French press and press down just like you would with coffee. Pour off tequila and place in freezer while you make the 2nd batch (we just used the original tequila bottle for storage).

To make the margaritas: Heat honey with water in a small sauce pot to create a simple syrup. Let cool. In a pitcher combine grapefruit juice, 2 1/2 cups of the tequila, and the juice of four limes. Stir together. Add in simple syrup and ice. Salt the rims of your favorite glasses and serve immediately.

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I always enjoy chocolate with the addition of chile, and while we were in Mexico over Christmas, I was reminded of a chile-chocolate torte that my Mom and I used to make. The Mayan people use chile and cinnamon in their drinking chocolate, chocolate bars, as well as cakes and desserts, and with good reason. It’s a perfect combination where the cinnamon sets off the chocolate flavor, and the chile adds a hot kick. This is an adaptation of the torte Mom and I made, and a recipe from Emeril, with just a few tweaks. In this batter I used organic cane sugar in place of granulated white sugar, replaced cocoa powder with raw cacao, upped the amount of ancho chile, and added cayenne (the batter wasn’t quite spicy enough when I tested it at first). I made it for our guests on Valentine’s day, and served it up with a homemade unsweetened cinnamon whipped cream, which was the perfect balance to the sweetness of the torte itself. Add a cup of good coffee, and your guests will fall in love…

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Dine LA: Gracias Madre Weho

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Three Course Dine LA Menu 

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It’s not always easy for us Westsiders to drive down to Hollywood during dinner hours, so we’ve made it a point to go during lunchtime. LA has so many food options to explore and my guy had never been to Gracias Madre, so when I saw it was a part of the Dine LA Restaurant Week we zipped down for the afternoon. Gracias Madre is an entirely plant-based and organic restaurant, that has become one of my personal favorites (listed in LA Faves back in May). We each chose something different for all three courses;

Starters: Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Cashew Crema, Toasted Pepitas | Gorditas, Warm Salsa Verde, Avocado, Cashew Crema

Entrees: Roasted root Vegetable Winter Empanadas with Kale, Tomato Habanero Jam, Cilantro Tamarind Chutney, Cumin Lentils | Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion, Pico, Guacamole, Black Beans

Dessert: Mexican Wedding cookies with Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream and Fudge | Fudge Brownie with Salted Mezcal Caramel, Coconut Bacon, and Orange Coconut Whipped Cream

Everything was fabulous, let me tell you, you won’t miss the meat or cheese!!! Their salsas, and cashew crema are kind of magical, and the flavor combinations don’t disappoint. The soup was on point, and the gordita may have been our favorite. I’m usually not a dessert person, but we were stunned by the Fudge Brownie with Salted Mezcal Caramel…out of this world. At $20 per person, you cant beat this deal. Dine LA ends This Sunday February 1st, so don’t miss out!

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LA Faves

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Alfred Coffee | Sin-Min Lip Spread | Moon Juice | Gracias Madre | Thyme Market and Cafe | Treats Yogurt & Ice Bar

We’ve been in LA for almost two months now and have definitely developed some favorites in our hood. It’s been so fun to explore around our new neighborhood and check out the hot spots. We’re walking distance to Rose and Abbot Kinney, so the shopping and dining possibilities are endless. I had been wandering around Rose one day and happened upon Golden State, the coolest little shop carrying only California made products, art, books (SIN-MIN, STANCE etc.). If you haven’t checked out this store, you must, and pick up some SIN-MIN Horchata Lipspread or find it on their website here. Its kind of amazing. There is a juicery around every corner in LA, but Moon Juice on Rose has become our favorite. Not only do they serve cold pressed juices here, but they have their own line of tonics, and carry local raw snacks, and chocolate. Oh and the baristas? Juicisistas? Are the nicest folks around! Two fave West Hollywood finds are Gracias Madre, 100% organic and vegan Mexican food, and Alfred Coffee. The outside ambience by the fountain at Gracias Madre is so relaxing you feel like you’re in Mexico. We had the Ensalada de Verduras, the “Bacon” Coconut Torta, and both the “Purista” and “Quinceanera” cocktails. I would highly recommend this spot to anyone…not just vegans. The price is right, and no snooty hostess here. Head down the road to Alfred Coffee to enjoy freshly brewed Stumptown Coffee and shop around Melrose. Santa Monica faves are Thyme Cafe and Market where I’ve been lunching with my friend Caitlin who works in the neighborhood. Last time we split the Kale and Fennel Salad with Pecorino, and the Bacon, Caramelized Onion, Apple, Gruyere Panini (w/ Sauv Blanc of course) which were both incredible. There is a multitude of freshly baked bread, pastries, and a huge deli carryout section filled with different sides and salads which are perfect for any night of the week. With the heat wave a couple of weeks ago, I sought out the best snow cone/ frozen yogurt I could find, and Treats Frozen Yogurt and Ice Bar seemed to be a popular choice. If you’re a shaved ice fanatic like I am, you have probably heard of “sour spray,” and let me tell you, Treats has it. Stay tuned for many more LA faves…

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Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

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We just came to the end of our gluten free, dairy free, coffee free, alcohol free, sugar free (including fruit…yikes!) month. Yes, I know that alot of “free,” but, we did it!  The key for us was hitting the farmers market hard every week, developing relationships with our farmer friends, and visiting our friends with gardens. In addition to fresh vegetables/salad, we made every kind of quinoa imaginable. With quinoa being about fifty percent of our diet, its easy to get a little bored. Thats when we got inventive and created this dish. It features quinoa mixed with south of the border veggies which we then stuffed into freshly roasted poblano peppers, sitting stop buttery avocado rings.  Top with a shower of cilantro, a sprinkle of lime, and you’re good to go!

Ingredients:

Quinoa-3 cups
Poblano Peppers-4
Serrano Peppers-3
Avocado-3
Red Onion-1 medium
Cucumber-1 large
Cilantro-1 bunch
Garlic-4 toes
Limes-2
Olive Oil-1/2 cup

Directions:

Wash quinoa until water runs clear.  In a saucepan bring equal parts water and quinoa to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes. While quinoa cooks,  charr poblanos on the stovetop over a high flame. You will hear popping (this is good!) and  the lovely aroma of roasted green chiles will fill the air. Rotate peppers until most of the skin is dark and crispy.  Remove quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork, set aside to cool.  Dice serrano, onion, cucumber,  and garlic, chop cilantro. Combine oil, garlic, and the juice of two limes (save two wedges for garnish) in a mason jar. Add salt and pepper.  Shake. Once peppers have cooled, slice off a side of each, remove seeds and discard, but save pepper slices. Dice pepper slices and add to quinoa. To plate, slice avocados, and stuff peppers. Place quinoa on top of avocado, garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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