Recipe Collections

National Margarita Day. It’s like a thing.

by Shawnda on February 22, 2012

in Beverages,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex,Recipe Collections

Classic Lime Margarita

A real thing.

February 22nd – today! – is National Margarita Day, declared by someone who knows someone who knows something about these things. So here’s wishing you & yours a wonderful, margarita filled day!

Of course, around here, it seems like every day is Margarita Day. It mostly seems that way because it is :)

I often get asked about brands of tequila and orange liqueur. Our favorite tequila is currently Sauza Hornitos Plata.

Orange Liqueur: As for orange liqueur, I no longer use it because I make all our margaritas “skinny” now to save on sugar & calories. Back in the day we used Grand Marnier. But then we discovered Paula’s Texas Orange. Paula’s is made locally here in Texas and has a much cleaner citrus taste than Grand Marnier. The bonus – it’s also much cheaper than Grand Marnier! If you can’t find Paula’s, simply use an orange liqueur that you like. Or do like I do now – just substitute an equal amount of fresh orange juice for the orange liqueur.

Which bottled margarita mix is the best: Trick question. Keep reading.

Homemade Margarita Mix: We gave up the neon green bottled stuff in favor of a homemade margarita mix years ago. It’s 2 parts lime, 2 parts water, and 1 part sugar (only now I simply omit the sugar and sweeten each margarita recipe by the glass with liquid stevia). It will keep a week or so in the fridge – if it lasts that long :) And you’ll never, ever go back to the premade stuff.

Sweeteners: As far as simple syrup goes, that’s simply equal parts water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves. It also keeps nicely in the fridge. Since someone has been watching her empty calorie intake, I now sweeten our cocktails with liquid Stevia. To use your favorite sweetener in place of sugar, simply add the equivalent of your sweetener to the mix in place of the sugar or omit and sweeten per-glass. For liquid stevia, I find that 3-5 drops per glass is perfect.

Flavored Margaritas: Here are a few of our favorite flavored margarita recipes, but for the full menu of flavors, click here!

Classic Lime Margarita – It starts out with a homemade margarita mix of lime juice, water, and simple syrup and then you add in the good stuff. Warning: You will forever be spoiled and know in an instant if your favorite Mexican restaurant uses bottled mix and not fresh lime juice. It’s a burden you’ll learn to bear.

Grapefruit Margaritas

Grapefruit Margarita – The juice of a Texas ruby red grapefruit, when mixed with tequila and orange, is completely magical. This drink has turned life-long grapefruit haters into fans. Pick up 1 large grapefruit and make it once. If you don’t like it…

Blood Orange Margaritas

Blood Orange Margarita – It’s wonderfully citrusy and absolutely gorgeous. Blood oranges aren’t available year-round so you should really get started on this one. Like yesterday.

Raspberry Margaritas

Raspberry Margarita – Inspired by my good friend Brooke, who always ordered her frozen margaritas with a Chambord floater. It’s full of raspberry flavor from both fresh berries and raspberry liqueur (I use Drillaud because it’s not as pricey as Chambord).

Blackberry Margarita

Blackberry Margarita – Inspired by my good friend Brooke’s raspberry margarita :) The winning formula is the same, the berries and liqueur are different. And don’t even think about wearing white while making it. Or drinking it!

Jalapeno-Cucumber Margarita

Jalapeno-Cucumber Margarita – Inspired by chef Tim Love’s appearance on Iron Chef. It’s cool, spicy, and tastes like spring. Plus, how could you not love something inspired by a cowboy hat-wearin’, tequila-shootin’ guy who knows his way around the kitchen?

Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margarita – A huge hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially for those of us who don’t care for the peppermint and non-hot-chocolate cocktails. I don’t know about you, but it just isn’t Christmas at home without a tequila spiked drink :P

And believe it or not, there are actually a couple of flavors I haven’t gotten around to posting yet. They’re hanging out in a draft folder somewhere, waiting on a “rainy blogging day” to see the light of day. Maybe soon… But probably later. Because guess who has given up alcohol until Easter.




Chocolate-Valentine's Day Series

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. I can tell because everything in every store is pink, red, and chocolate. And 4 of the 5 most viewed posts on the blog this week are indulgent chocolate desserts (the popular non-chocolate recipe is the recipe for a Blood Orange Margarita – now that’s why we get along). So if you’re looking for a chocolate dessert to knock your significant other’s socks off (let’s stick with “socks” – my 11-year old niece reads this), I’ve got a couple of favorites:

Chocolate Overdose Cake

Chocolate Overdose Cake. This is the most viewed post over the last few days. Inspired by a dessert that our favorite pizza place used to serve, it’s a layer of chocolate mousse sandwiched between a brownie base and a top layer of chocolate cake. If that’s not enough, it’s coated in chocolate ganache. You’ll need a few hours and almost 2 pounds of chocolate to make the recipe. You’re welcome. (About the chocolate, not the few hours. I’m sorry for that part.)

Individual Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. A rich, gooey chocolate center inside a cake. The recipe can easily be made without a fancy mixer and scaled to serve only 2 people. Should you not want a couple of extras hanging around for breakfast the next morning.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Dark Chocolate Mousse. Correction, the world’s best chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries. They’re probably a lot little cliche. And a little messy to make. But is it really Valentine’s Day without them?

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes. I’m an unapologetic Red Velvet fan. I strongly feel that copious amounts of scary red food coloring should be dumped into every baked good possible… and then slathered with cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Raspberry Tart. A dense, rich chocolate tart spiked with raspberry liqueur. You can say “I love you” and “You have a gym membership, right?” without really saying anything at all.

Chocolate Truffles with Grand Marnier

Chocolate Truffles. You melt chocolate, cream, and maybe a little booze, let it cool, and then scoop it into rounds. That’s it. A fancy dessert with little effort.



Winter Citrus Recipes

by Shawnda on January 11, 2012

in Recipe Collections

Winter Citrus Recipes

It’s here! Winter citrus season!

Our dwarf citrus trees in the backyard are dotted with dozens of key limes and a handful of pink and Meyer lemons. Our grapefruit tree is still a little young but the Rio Grande valley picks up the slack when it comes to our sizable demand. They churn out wonderful, softball-sized Texas Rio Star grapefruits at only ~.20/lb. It’s totally worth waiting a couple of years for better production from our tree.

I’ve pulled together a collection of recipes where the citrus can really shine. And for the next 2 1/2 months, we’ll be whipping up lots more :)

Winter Citrus Recipes