Tajin Paloma

Freshly squeezed grapefruit Paloma’s with spicy tajin - the perfect way to kick start your weekend!

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It’s Friday and it’s Memorial Day Weekend - so if you're in the US it’s a Long Weekend!!! I love the first long weekend of summer, knowing that the days are getting warmer and the sun is shining a little bit brighter.

So kicking off this long weekend I figured we needed a bright fresh cocktail. If you have never had a Paloma you are missing out. They are so easy to make and a great alternative to the classic margarita. While this is a pretty classic recipe the tajin switching things up a bit with a little spicy kick.

Now if you have never had tajin you are missing out - it’s a combo of salt, lime and red chillies and you can put it on soooo many different things. Sprinkled on fish or chicken, cucumbers, popcorn or the classic mango. Now perhaps the idea of sprinkling salt and chillis on mangos seem odd to you but don’t knock it till you try it! So since there is a great balance of flavours in Tajin it also makes for a fun and unique rim for a drink.

So cheers to the long weekend and the official kick-off to summer - have a Paloma to celebrate!

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prep time 25 minutes

cook time 13 minutes

total time 38 minutes

servings 30 cookies

Ingredients

2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz simple syrup

2 oz tequila

soda water

Tajin

Instructions

In a cocktail shaker add grapefruit juice, lime juice simple syrup and tequila. Add in 1/2 cup of ice and shake.

Rim the edge of your cocktail glass with the tajin then strain your drink into the prepared glass and top with soda water.

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Sausage + Pea Breakfast Muffins

A complete meal all in one convenient muffin! The perfect on the go breakfast for your busy mornings.

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Sausage + Cheese + Peas - seriously what more do you need in a breakfast right! I personally tend to be more of a fan of savour things and when it comes to breakfast I am a strong believer that sweets don’t belong.

So when it comes to muffins I kinda think that savour is a better way to start the day. Now, this is certainly not to say that I don’t love a sweet muffin, but they tend to be more of a mid-day snack that a morning kick start. So that is where these muffins come into play.

I don’t know about you but most mornings there is barely enough time to get ready let alone eat a full breakfast, so why not one that can be easily taken to go and gives you all the things you need to get you through the morning. It’s like a muffin version of the classic breakfast sandwich + peas.

Now perhaps peas seem like an odd choice but hear me out.

  • They are bright and cheery and everything savour needs some freshness

  • Peas contain just about every vitamin and mineral that you need, so while you may not be getting a full serving in every muffin, even a little bit helps right!

That being said, if that still didn't convince you, you can totally leave them out or sub them for something different. Zucchini, corn or carrots would all be equally delicious - I just think that any time you can sneak some veggies then you are winning!

So do yourself a favour and make a batch and keep them on hand for when you need them - your mornings will thank you!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 lb breakfast sausage

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 and line your muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a small frying pan place breakfast sausage and cook through breaking into small pieces as it is cooking. Drain onto a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cheese - stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture then add in milk, melted butter and lightly beaten eggs. Using a large spoon stir until just combined then add in peas and sausage and stir until mixed through (be sure not to overmix).

Divide evenly between 12 paper liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Chocolate Espresso Coconut Mousse with Almond Crumble

Chocolate Espresso Coconut Mousse with a crunch Almond Crumble - this is what dessert is supposed to look like!

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So I, like so many other people, LOVE Trader Joe’s. I mean seriously, how can you not go into one and get excited about your cooking potential! Plus it’s so cheap and who doesn't love that!!!

So during a recent visit, I picked up some of their coconut cream with absolutely no plans for it. I was just one of those items I needed to have for 2 very good reasons.

  1. I rarely see coconut cream rather than coconut milk

  2. the label was just so pretty

So after having it for a few days, I started doing a little brainstorming and that is where this mousse was born. Now, I love a good chocolate mousse but sometimes just having straight mousse doesn’t cut it. While it is yummy and has a great texture I tend to like when textures are mixed. That’s why cheesecake is so delicious, a crunchy crust with smooth creamy filling = a match made in heaven!

Now, this crumble is a bit reminiscent of one of my all-time favourite desserts - Butter Brickle. If you have never tried it you are soooo missing out, it’s crumble, caramel and ice cream - perfection on a hot summer day. So while this isn’t exactly the same it gives the same crunchy element to complement the smooth creamy mousse.

So do yourself a favour and keep a few cans of coconut mousse in your fridge at all times because you can never be too prepared when it comes to dessert!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 30 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1/ 3 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup oatmeal

3 tbsp cold butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 oz dark chocolate

2 cans coconut cream (refrigerated a minimum of 12 hours)

2 tbsp espresso or dark coffee

4 tbsp white sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine almonds, oatmeal and brown sugar. Using a cheese grater grate in butter and mix together until crumbly. Press onto a small cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

In the bowl of your stand mixer add in your cans of cold coconut cream - being sure to only use the cream that is on the top and not any of the coconut water. To the cream add in sugar, vanilla, coffee. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until it is light and fluffy like whip cream.

While the coconut is whipping melt your dark chocolate using a double boiler or microwave. Once the coconut cream is fully whipped carefully fold in the chocolate.

To assemble layer divide 1/8 of the crumble in the bottom of 4 glasses or dessert bowls. Divide mousse between each cup then top with remaining crumble. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

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Hoisin Chicken Potstickers

These spicy and crispy hoisin chicken potstickers are a delicious way to start a dinner or a great meal all on there own.

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Ok, guys, these potstickers are seriously so good. Now while these may not be the most traditional potsticker you have ever had, sometimes it’s good to stray from the usual and switch things up a little.

I also love that almost every culture has some type of dumpling. Whether it be gyoza, pirogies, samosas or ravioli they are a favourite around the world and essentially comfort food for many children and adults.

So while they can maybe be devoured in a matter of moments they don’t exactly come together in moments. They are certainly one of those little things that are a labour of love. Honestly, it took me over an hour just forming these little beauties. But the one thing that makes up for the tedious work is the fact that you get so many and they freeze so well! I mean honestly, unless you're having a party you’re not going to eat 48 of these in a single meal. But once they are in your freezer you can have a quick meal or delicious snack in less than 10 minutes. Just be sure to check the internal temperature as you may need to steam for a couple of extra minutes if they start out frozen.

So while it may be easy to get a frozen bag from the grocery store nothing beats making your own - you know exactly what is in them and with the spicey-hoisin flavour combination, you will never be able to go back to generic store-bought ones again!

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prep time 1 hour 20 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 1 hour 30 minutes

servings 48 potstickers

Ingredients

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp sambal oelek

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp corn starch

1 medium carrot finely chopped

2 scallions

1/2 cup water chestnuts finely chopped

1 lb ground turkey

1/4 cup hoisin

2 tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped

1 pkg wonton wrappers

sesame seeds

Instructions

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except the wonton wrappers and sesame seeds and mix until thoroughly combined.

Place a single wonton wrapper in the centre of your palm then using a small bowl of water and your fingers wet the edges of the wrapper. Place a teaspoon of the turkey mixture in the centre of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half so the edges meet and crimp to seal. Wet the bottom of the potsticker with water and press into sesame seeds to create a sesame crust. Continue with each wrapper until all of the filling has been used.

To cook place 1 tsp of oil in the bottom of a frying pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat then add in 1/2 cup of water and cover with the lid. Allow to steam for 7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve with soya sauce or your favourite dipping sauce.

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Cherry Smash

It’s cherry season so why not celebrate with a cherry smash - it’s sweet, minty and tastes like summer!

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Do you guys love cherry season as much as I do - they are one of those little fruits that because they seem to be available so rarely just feel special.

Now when it comes to cocktails I have said it many many times, I don’t like things all that sweet which is why this drink is perfect. You can add more or less simple syrup to adjust to your personal taste and even make it non-alcoholic if your serving kids or non-drinkers.

Now, this drink requires some good muddling, but if you don't have a muddler have no fear, the handle of a wooden spoon will solve all of your problems, plus you don’t need to have an extra tool taking up room in your cupboard.

So since it’s summer what is your favourite patio sipping drink? Do you like a classic mojito or do you switch it up and make your cocktail making a bit of a game? Keep a bit of simple syrup on hand as well as some sparkling water and your options are endless. How about adding pureed mango, watermelon or blackberries. I think that if it’s in season it’s a wonderful idea!

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prep time 5 minutes

total time 5 minutes

servings 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup cherries pitted

4 mint leaves + more to garnish

1 oz lemon juice

2 oz simple syrup

4 oz vodka

soda water

Instructions

Divide cherries and mint leaves between 2 highball glasses and muddle until cherries are completely broken down. To the glasses divide lemon juice, simple syrup and vodka. Top with soda water and garnish with mint leaves.

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