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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Coconut Jalapeño Margarita

It’s almost Happy Margarita Day - aka Cinco De Mayo - so make yourself a cocktail and enjoy the weekend!

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Margaritas - one of the first cocktails I ever ordered in a restaurant and let’s just say it was not love at first sip! It was margarita Monday many many years ago at Earls and so ordering a margarita just seemed like a good idea. Everyone else ordered strawberry or mango but not me, I went all in with a classic lime margarita on the rocks - needless to say, I had no idea what I was ordering.

Let’s just say the first challenge was the salt - I assumed it was going to be sugar so that was an unfortunate surprise; secondly, it wasn’t sweet, fruity, or slushy like the other ones. I took 1 sip and I was done.

Fast forward many many years later and margaritas are now one of my go-to drinks, especially on vacation. Maybe it’s my old age but the tart lemon with a hint of sweet is now right up my ally and the fruity slushy drinks are long behind me.

Now while I love a classic lime margarita I also like a good switch up so this coconut jalapeño combo is right up my ally. Plus there are so many great coconut sparkling waters that are sugar-free that making this drink is a breeze. You can also give your drink an extra spicy kick if you take some time and make a jalapeño tequila. It’s so easy and only takes a few days. Just pour your tequila into a jar and add jalapeño slices. This will really give your tequila a great flavour, but if you don't have time you can always just let your jalapeños rest in the tequila for 10 minutes or so. The flavour won’t be as strong but it still works!

So if your celebrating Cinco De Mayo this weekend make sure you celebrate with one of these spicy coconut treats, your adult self will love it!

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prep time 15 minutes

total time 15 minutes

servings 1

Ingredients

1.5 oz tequila

.5 oz Cointreau

4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

4 slices of jalapeño

coarse salt

coconut sparkling water (sugar free)

1 lime wedge

ice

Instructions

Run the lime wedge around the rim of your cocktail glass then dip the glass in coarse salt. To the glass add in jalapeño slices and tequila and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the jalapeño to infuse the vodka.

To the glass add Cointreau, lime juice and ice then stir and top with coconut sparkling water - serve immediately.

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Quick and Easy Homemade Salsa

This quick and easy salsa is the perfect homemade version to have in your fridge all the time. It comes together in 15 minutes and lasts for weeks!

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Today I’m keeping things quick and easy with this yummy salsa recipe. It’s such an easy recipe, and it all comes together in less than 15 minutes. Now I don't know about you but salsa is a staple in my fridge at all times, and nothing is better than having a homemade version rather than store-bought salsa.

In my opinion, salsa is the perfect accompaniment to so many meals. Tacos are a classic, but it's also the perfect addition to scrambled eggs or on top of a beautiful piece of grilled chicken. It can add so much flavour to most meals, so if you are going to add it almost everything you eat why not make your own and control exactly what is going into it.

I think that a bit of spice is also very important in salsa, but if spice isn’t your thing you can put in a more mild pepper rather than hot ones. Or if you are an especially brave individual you can use all hot peppers and give tastebuds a spicy treat!

Now, if you aren’t familiar with canned hot peppers they are available at any grocery store and are usually in the same area as jarred salsa and taco seasoning. And let me tell you if canned peppers are not something you are already using you’re in for a treat. These little peppers are the perfect accompaniment to so many meals and elevate a tray of nachos like you can't even imagine. So go ahead and pick up a jar for your next boring weeknight meal, trust me, your tastebuds will thank you!

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prep time 15 minutes

rest time 2 hours

total time 2 hours 15 minutes

servings 8 cups

Ingredients

2 - 14oz cans of petite tomatoes

1 - 14oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 - 4oz jar of hot peppers

1 - 4oz jar of banana peppers

1 white onion finely chopped

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp chili powder

Instructions

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir until fully combined. Store in airtight container for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

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Double Chocolate Mexican Hot Coco Cookies

These double chocolate cookies are kicked up with a hit of cayenne pepper, perfect to finish off any Cinco De Mayo feast!

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So it’s sunny and bright today but in typical Alberta fashion this past weekend it snowed!!! It’s almost May and I know, I know snow happens often May in Alberta, but for some reason, it’s still always really shocking especially when it was sunny and beautiful the week before and people were talking about starting to get their yards ready for summer.

So since it’s almost May it’s totally Cinco De Mayo time which always means a little bit of spice. It’s always easy to add spice into your savour dishes but often times the sweet ones get left behind, except for Mexican Hot Chocolate.

That hit of cayenne is the perfect kick with chocolate and translated perfectly into these cookies. The double chocolate gives an extra rich flavour and the slight burn of the cayenne give a surprise that you don't expect.

so if your hosting a Cinco de Mayo party with weekend finish it off with these little treats, your guests will love you for it!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 12 minutes

total time 27 minutes

servings 12 - 14 cookies


Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup dark chocolate

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan add in butter and melt. Remove from heat then add in finely chopped dark chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into your butter.

Pour butter/chocolate mixture into a medium bowl then add in cayenne, brown sugar, and egg and beat to combine.

In a small bowl combine baking soda, flour and salt. Stir then add 1/2 of mixture into the dough and stir using a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and stir then add in chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed.

Bake for 9-12 minutes then allow to cool on a cooling rack.

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Carnitas with Mango Cilantro Slaw

Who doesn’t love tacos and this version is made even better with slow roasted carnitas topped with sweet mango slaw.

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Since it’s almost Cinco De Mayo so I figured it's time to start rolling out my favourite Mexican recipes! I don’t know about you guys but I really love Mexican food. They have really figured out how to infuse the right balance of spice with bright bold flavours.

Growing up our family was always a spicy family, cooking wise that is:). There were times growing up that my sister would add so many spices to our meal we could all barely eat it, yet we did and loved it! So while we may have tamed down the number of spices we have added over the years we certainly haven’t lessened our love of the flavours.

If you haven't made carnitas before don’t worry, it's super simple to make, it just takes time. But let me tell you, that 3 hours it’s roasting in the oven is totally worth it and makes your house smell amazing. Plus, the rest of the preparation is really easy so it balances out right!

If you're making this and you don’t love mango you can easily swap it for pineapple. You really just need that fresh bright tropical hit to top off the salty carnitas are you are in business.

So if you're making this for Cinco De Mayo next week or your family dinner tonight I know everyone will love it, trust me!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 3 hour

total time 3 hour 10 minutes

servings 6 - 8

Ingredients

4 lb pork shoulder

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 jalapeno

1/2 white onion

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tbsp oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl combine finely chopped garlic and jalapeño, sliced white onion, orange juice, oregano, pepper, salt and cumin.

In an oven safe baking dish place pork then cover with spice mixture. Bake in the oven for 3 hours removing every 30 minutes to baste.

Remove from the oven and shred the meat using 2 forks. Serve with soft tortillas and top with Mango Cilantro Slaw (recipe below).

Mango Cilantro Slaw

2 cups purple cabbage

1 mango

1 lime

1/2 jalapeno

1/4 cup cilantro

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

In a medium bowl combine shredded cabbage, cubed mango, the juice of 1 lime, finely chopped jalapeño and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar then toss to combine.

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