The Paloma Cocktail

It’s grapefruit season!

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In my family, January means one thing: grapefruit. And lots of it. I’m talkin’ huge bags from the local warehouse stores. Each morning from the days after Christmas to just before summer, my father splits a grapefruit at breakfast. He methodically scores each segment with a paring knife, and sets each half in a small bowl along with the special grapefruit spoon for himself and my mother. And after scooping out all the meat, they have what I can only describe as a competition to squeeze their half to death to capture every last drop of juice left with their tiny spoons. A sweet, yet tangy ritual to start their day! Preciousness obviously runs in my blood.

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I’ve always loved grapefruit, but seriously, all that work to score and scoop, only to have like half the meat left behind in the shell!? Talk about inefficient. So imagine my happiness upon discovering I could get my grapefruit fix in cocktail form! .sign.me.up.

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Paloma Cocktail

serves 2 – adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 large grapefruit, halved and juiced
2 limes, halved and juiced
1 tablespoon white sugar (superfine or bakers sugar works best)
2 jiggers silver tequila
1/2 cup club soda, divided
1/4 cup sugar or kosher salt for rim (optional)

If rimming the glasses, pour 1/4 cup of your choice of sugar or kosher salt onto a salad plate and set aside. Gently swipe the rim of the glass with a wedge of grapefruit, then dip the wet rim into the sugar or salt. Fill rimmed glasses with a few ice cubes and pop into the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.

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Fill a cocktail shaker to the half-mark with ice and add in juices, tequila, and the 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Cap the shaker and shake for 30 counts. Strain into prepared cocktail glasses, top with club soda, and enjoy!

Smoky Bacon Guacamole

Avocado, meet Bacon. Bacon, Avocado.

Last Christmas I dropped some major hints to Santa that I wanted a molcajete. For justification, I even drew up a list of all the things I could do with it… and at the top of that list was guacamole. Needless to say it showed up under our tree and it’s been used more times than I can count – a fact GamerMan to this day still finds as “astounding” because he totally thought it’d be more of a paperweight than a regularly used utensil. I.SHOWED.HIMSANTA

Fast forward to this weekend where I found myself wondering what I was going to do with extra bacon. In a previous life I would have eaten it on the spot, but now that I’m on my way to becoming a vegetarian (yea, you heard that right… and I think Hell just froze over too. who’s down to ski tomorrow!?) I had a serious debate to bag or toss it.

And just as I was about to pitch those crispy strips into the bin, I had an epiphany. BACONGUAC.

Smoky Bacon Guacamole

FTY Original – Serves 6

1/4 cup white onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 yellow chili peppers, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (+ to taste)
2 Haas avocados, pitted, skinned, and diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 lime, juiced (+ to taste)
4 strips center cut bacon, hickory smoked, minced

This recipe works best when using a molcajete since mashing the ingredients creates a more finely textured finished product. No molcajete? Use a bowl and remember… Amazon is your friend!

 

In a molcajete, combine onion, garlic, chilis, and salt and mash until no singular pieces remain. Seriously, this takes a while so if you’re down with the chunky guac, go for it. If you want the smooth texture, mashing down chilis with a molcajete pestle is majorly therapeutic.

Once mashed to your preference, add in avocado meat and mash to combine. Again, if you like chunkage, mash less. Prefer smooth? Mash mas!

Using a spoon, stir in the red chili flakes and cumin until combined. Add lime.

Stir in bacon bits and adjust spiceage to taste. Transfer to serving bowl and enjoy!

BONUS: I totally added 1/2 teaspoon of STUBB’S Hickory Liquid Smoke to my guac for an extra dose of smokiness. If you have some on hand, use it. If not, no biggs!

I’ll be a real vegetarian next week. Scouts honor!

Pomegranate Margaritini

Friday night we went to Olive Garden to celebrate my father’s birthday. PAR-TAY!

GamerMan and I got there first, and after launching myself from the car so I could get our names in and not wait 4 hours for bread sticks, I found there was absolutely no line and was immediately seated. How’bout that! SO, while the hubs parked the car, I ordered a drink!

Our waitress was super nice and suggested the Pomegranate Margarita Martini. It was delicious and devoured in .4 seconds. But being $10 a pop, I wasn’t about to order another one so I impatiently (and apparently quite loudly) waited until I got home before running to the interwebs to find a comparable recipe.

Lucky for me the copycat recipe immediately popped up. Unlucky for me, I didn’t have all the ingredients (and I wasn’t about to spend $100 on booze after all.the.cute.props I just.bought). So I did what any geeky lush would do – AN ADAPTATION!

Pomegranate Margaritini

(adapted from TopSecretRecipes - Serves 1)

1 oz Jose Cuervo Silver
3/4 oz Absolut Orient Apple
1.5 oz POM
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons orange juice, low/no pulp
2 oz Sweet & Sour Mix

In a cocktail shaker, vigorously shake ingredients with a handful of ice. Strain into a chilled glass and serve with a lime round. Enjoy!

Like the glasses? Get’em here!

Spicy Avocado Pasta

I’m about to rock your world.

No, really. I am. You see, avocados aren’t just for guac and sandwiches anymore. Oh no, they’re popping up in unexpected places.

Like your pasta. PASTA! Ha, bet you weren’t expecting that, eh?

After you get over the gross factor (it took me some time too, I won’t judge you), promise me you’ll make this. It’s quickly become my favorite pasta dish and is my go-to weekend lunch :) I swear you’ll love it too!

Avocado Pasta

(adapted from TwoPeasAndTheirPod)

2 servings of pasta (your choice – we used fettuccine)
1 ripe avocado meat, smashed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook pasta as directed on box. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and return to pasta pot. Add into the pot the avocado meat, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt to taste and serve, adding more red pepper flakes as desired.

GamerGirl

Limeaide Surprise Cupcakes

I have a thing for limes. Lime OtterPops, lemon-lime soda, Lime flavored Lucas (who remembers that stuff!?). And each trip to the grocery story results in my purchase of at least one lime. However, since I don’t usually use them right away, I usually wind up with a pile of sad, shriveled limes in the fruit bowl. Determined to break my habit, I searched for ways I could incorporate lime into cupcakes without overwhelming the taste buds I have left…

Fortunately I stumbled across Jessica’s ingenious cupcakes and found a great use for not only the three limes I picked up, but the 2 flats of strawberries that somehow found their way into the basket.

 

YUM.

 

YUMMER.

Just in case you’re wondering, that’s vanilla-lime cake with a WHOLE STRAWBERRY in the center, with lime buttercream frosting.

The words you’re looking for is oh god, yes!

 

 

Limeaide-Surprise cupcakes:
(adapted from HowSweetEats; makes 6 cupcakes)

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter; room temp.
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder]
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c milk
1 tsp lime zest
6 fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake pan with desired liners.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and toss with fork (unless you feel like breaking out the sifter… your call!); set aside.
Cream butter, sugar, and egg until pale and airy. Stir in vanilla and zest.

Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to your butter mixture, beating well after each addition.

Distribute into liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick test indicates done-ness (that means no batter on the toothpick; a few crumbies are okay :)

Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes from pan to cooling rack and let them cool COMPLETELY, at which point you can hollow them out and add a strawberry, or just frost them.

If you’re going the strawberry route: Rinse and cut the tops off 6 small strawberries. Using a parring knife, remove a cone of cake from the center of the cupcake. Depth and width are relative to the strawberry you’re going to insert, so bring your comparative eye to this party!


Lime Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 c butter; room temp.
~1/2 lb powdered sugar (roughly half a bag); sifted
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whip butter, adding sifted powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments. Add lime juice and vanilla. Taste and check for consistency. If the frosting is too wet, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too dry, add more liquid in the form of lime juice, vanilla, or milk (or buttermilk – SRSLY!)

Frost and garnish as desired. Enjoy!


GamerGirl