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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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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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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Spicy Chorizo Chili

Chili is the perfect comfort food and with the addition of extra veggies and chorizo, it's your favourite classic with a spicy kick!

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Seriously who doesn't love chili! it’s one of those meals that is such a classic, and so versatile. Vegetarian, meat filled, basically it’s a meal you can make work for any crowd.

My only issue with chili is that often it’s not a very veggie-forward meal, but the great thing is that you can sneak veggies into it without most people even noticing. This recipe has peppers, corn and zucchini but you could add in grated carrots, mushrooms or even spinach. Anything you and your family love throw it in, the flavours are strong enough on there own that adding extra veggies in isn't going to compromise how delicious it is.

I also really love the extra spice with the addition of chorizo but if spice isn't your thing feel free to leave it out. You can also sub the beef for chicken or turkey to switch it up.

What I love most about cooking these kinds of meals is that you can customize it to your liking and make it what your family will love!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 2 hours 30 minutes

total time 2 hours 45 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

1 onion

1 tsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno

1 yellow pepper

1 zucchini

1 lb ground beef

1 lb chorizo

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayanne

2 tbsp cumin

1 cup of water

1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 - 15 oz can black beans

1 - 15 oz can kidney beans

1 - 15 oz can of corn

sour cream and shredded cheese (optional)

Instructions

In a large pot add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add in chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes then add ground beef and chorizo. Saute until meat is fully cooked and no pink is remaining. Drain any excess grease than return to heat.

Add in finely diced jalapeno, chopped yellow pepper and zucchini. Saute until veggies are tender. Add in all remaining ingredients and spices except the corn and simmer for 1 -2 hours. With 10 minutes remaining add in corn and allow for it to heat through. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese.

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Orange Glazed Hot Crossed Buns

The classic Easter bun, with delicious spices and chewy raisins it’s the perfect treat!

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So hot crossed buns are certainly a new love of mine. When I was a kid I wouldn’t go near them, probably because they had raisins in them, but then one day something strange came over me and I bought a bag of them and let’s just say, life has never been the same!

It’s kinda sad to me that these delicious little buns are only available during the Easter seasons but I guess that’s part of what makes them special. I think what I have come to love about them is the spiciness. It’s like an upgraded version of raisin bread only better. And the glaze, it really throws these delicious little buns over the top.

Now I think that I always thought that the crosses were icing and was disappointed to find out that it wasn't, but this the addition of vanilla it gives the crosses a bit of pizzaz that I think they need. I’m also not opposed to icing crosses - maybe next year.

So here is the other thing, if you don’t love raisins the great thing with making your own is you can leave them out. While that may not be traditional they are your hot crossed buns so do what you want, that’s the best thing about baking for yourself! And if you eat the whole batch yourself no one will be there to judge you!

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prep time 25 minutes + 2 hours rising

cook time 20 minutes

total time 2 hour 45 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup lukewarm milk

4 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp clove

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups rasins

2 orange (zest only)

3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 egg

Crosses

1/2 cup flour

1 tbsp vanilla

4 tbsp water

Glaze

2 oranges (juice only)

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp butter

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer place yeast, 2 tsp of sugar and water and stir until combined. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.

To the bowl add remaining sugar, flour, spices, salt, raisins, oranges zest, egg and melted butter. Using the dough hook mix until it is elastic and smooth.

Cover with a clean damp towel and allow to sit for 30-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then remove the damp towel and punch down to deflate. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead gently for 1 minute then form into a log. Cut into 12 equal pieces then form into a bun shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet then repeat until all of the dough has been used. Cover once again with the damp towel and allow to rest another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine the flour, vanilla and water and stir until smooth. Place mixture in a ziplock bag then snip the corner. Pipe crosses over the buns going slow so that it curves each bun.

Bake 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.

While baking combine the juice of the oranges, honey and butter and simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened.

Remove buns from the oven then while still warm brush them with the glaze then allow to cool on a cooling rack.

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