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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Lime Meltaways with Zesty Glaze

These melt in your mouth cookies are the perfect little treat with the tart lime glaze and softness of shortbread-like cookies they are a great afternoon treat!

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So, if you haven't already figured it out already, I love citrus! When I was younger if you offered anything lemon or lime flavoured I would have passed without hesitation, but now, if there's a lemon flavoured dessert on any menu, it's the only thing I choose.

For some reason, I also feel less guilty about eating something that has more of a fresh flavour like citrus; it just feels healthier. I know this isn’t true, but it sure is something I like to tell myself.

Now there are a couple of rules that you absolutely must follow:

1. Be sure that you allow your cookie dough to cool for a minimum of 1 hour before you cook them.

2. Be sure to cool before you put on the cooling rack or your cookies will fall apart.

3. Do not put chilled cookie dough onto a hot cookie sheet. Doing so will cause the cookies to melt before they bake.

Now, follow these easy steps you will have the most delicious refreshing cookies you will ever taste.

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prep time 10 minutes + 1 hour to chill

cook time 13 minutes

total time 1 hour 23 minutes

servings 20 - 24 cookies

Ingredients

14 tbsp butter softened

1/2 cup icing sugar

zest of 2 lime

juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup corn starch

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

In the bowl of your stand mixer whip the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar, lime zest + lime juice and beat until fully combined.

In a small bowl combine flour, corn starch + salt. Add flour mixture to the butter and stir until just combined. Cover with Saran Wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to chill.

Preheat oven to 350. Form cooled dough into 3/4 inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press each cookie down slightly then bake for 13 minutes or until very lightly browned. Allow to cool before transferring to a cooling rack.

*If you are going to use the same baking sheet for the second batch of cookies be sure to allow your tray to fully cool before putting cold cookie dough on the tray.

Zesty Glaze

1 cup icing sugar

juice of 2 limes

zest of 1 lime

Instructions

In a small bowl combine icing sugar and lime zest. Stir until well combined then add in the juice of the limes and stir well. If the glaze is too thin add additional icing sugar to thicken.

Allow cookies to cool completely before drizzling with the glaze.

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Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup with Cilantro Lime Sour Cream and Avocado

Everyone loves Tortilla Soup! With the addition of the Cilantro Lime Sour Cream, this soup is a yummy twist on a favourite dish.

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So, after spending some time in Sunny California I have certainly come to realize that there is a big difference in Mexican food here vs Mexican food at home. I should have expected it since Southern California is so close to the border and the ingredients available are so much fresher, but let me tell you it is REALLY exciting that every grocery store carries types of peppers and fresh tortillas that we would never get at home!

So naturally all that I want to do is cook with all of these fresh ingredients available, so let’s kick it all off with Tortilla Soup since right now there are fresh avocados everywhere!

Now, I don’t know about you but I think the best part of tortilla soup is the crunch, but I can never find the little tortilla strips that they have in restaurants. More often than not I have to crunch up full-sized taco chips, but this time I found great little fresh corn tortillas that were street taco sized - they worked so perfectly for making my own. I sliced them thin, broiled until they were nice and toasty and they came out perfectly. I highly recommend making them for yourself since they are seriously soooo easy!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 1 hour

total time 1 hour 15 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 shallot

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large jalapeno seeded

4 cloves garlic

4 cups chicken stock

1.5 lbs chicken breast

2 cups frozen corn

1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 - 15 oz can black beans

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

juice of 1 lime

1 avocado

Tortila strips

Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

To a large pot add oil and chopped shallots, cook until translucent (approx. 5 minutes). Add in finely chopped jalapeño and minced garlic and cook 1 minute or until garlic fragrant.

To the pot add chicken stock and uncooked chicken breast cut into 2-inch pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken from the stock and shred chicken using 2 forks then return to the soup.

Add in canned tomatoes, black beans, cumin, smoked paprika and chilli powder. Simmer for 20 minutes, add in corn and lime juice and cook 10 minutes.

Serve with cilantro lime sour cream (recipe below), avocado, tortilla strips and cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream

zest of 1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro

salt to taste

In a small bowl combine sour cream, zest of a lime, and cilantro. Stir until fully combined. Season with salt to taste.

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