Cinco de Mayo Cocktail Recipes

While the most obvious cocktail to celebrate the holiday is the traditional margarita, there are many variations on the cocktail that are also worth exploring. If margaritas are not your thing, we have included a few others that we think you will enjoy while listening to Mariachi music and celebrating with friends. Grab a bottle of Jose Cuervo and start experimenting with your favorite flavors from the list below. Salud!Margarita

The Traditional Margarita

This drink is a real treat from South of the Border! Take a cocktail glass and rub the lime wedge around the rim, dip rim in the salt.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • ½ oz lime juice or sweet & sour
  • Bar salt
  • Lime squeeze

Instructions

In a shaker with ice combine tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Shake well a strain into the cocktail glass.

Tequila Sunrise

This fun cocktail is named for the way that the denser grenadine settles to the bottom of the glass while the tequila and orange juice sit perched above the grenadine, making it look like a sunrise.

If you are serious about celebrating the holiday, substitute the grenadine in the glass for a dark rum or brandy to create the tequila sunrise’s alter-ego, the tequila sunset.

2 measures tequila
orange juice
2 dashes grenadine syrup
Pour tequila in a highball glass with ice, and top with orange juice. Stir. Add grenadine by tilting glass and pouring grenadine down side by flipping the bottle vertically very quickly. The grenadine should go straight to the bottom and then rise up slowly through the drink. Garnish stirrer, straw and cherry-orange.

Paloma

Margaritas are a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But they’re not the only way! Here’s one of my favorite tequila cocktails, the Paloma. This cocktail is a tall, cool and not too sweet. Tequila, lime and grapefruit juice (or soda). So nice on a hot day.

Ingredients: 
2 oz tequila (blanco or reposado)
1 oz lime juice
4-5 oz grapefruit juice or soda
1 pinch of salt

Directions: 
Build in a tall glass over ice. Start with the tequila, lime juice and salt and then fill with grapefruit juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Easter nest coconut & white chocolate cupcakes

Spend some quality time with your kids making some yummy Easter nest coconut & white chocolate cupcakes!  Come pick up the ingredients at the Bel Air Foods market.

Easter cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g melted butter
  • 100g white chocolate, melted

For the frosting

  • 100g white chocolate, melted
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 225g icing sugar, sifted

To decorate

  • about 25g shredded coconut
  • 36 mini eggs
  • orange or yellow icing for beaks
  • black writing icing tube
  1. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases and heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Whizz the sugar with the coconut in a food processor until very finely ground. Tip into a big mixing bowl with the flour and mix. Add the whisked egg mixture, melted butter and chocolate, then stir together until smooth.
  1. Spoon into the cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 mins on a middle shelf until golden and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack (keep the oven on).
  1. Spread the shredded coconut on a baking tray and put in the oven for about 10 mins to lightly toast – stir halfway through. Cool. To make the frosting, put the chocolate, butter and icing sugar in a big bowl and beat together with an electric whisk until just combined.
  1. Spread some of the frosting generously over the top of the cooled cakes – you don’t have to go right to the edges. Once you’ve done all 12, scrape the rest of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1-2cm nozzle, and pipe a ring around the top edge to make a nest. Roll in the cooled coconut to roughly coat.
  1. Turn each mini egg into a baby chick by moulding little beaks from the orange or yellow icing and sticking on with a little runny black icing when you add the eyes. Stick baby chicks into the middle of each cake and enjoy.

Visit BBC Foods for more Easter Recipes for Kids.

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Persian Herb Frittata (Kuku Sabzi)

Persian Herb FrittataFresh parsley, cilantro, chives, and dill are the stars of this recipe, though you can substitute leeks, scallions, tarragon, spinach, or other tender greens that you have on hand. Whisk them into eggs, pour into a skillet, and in minutes you have a beautiful, nourishing dish that can be served as an appetizer, side, or main for any meal of the day.

Serves 6

6 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped chives or green onions
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped dill
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons dried barberries, currants, or cranberries (optional)
2 tablespoons clarified butter/ghee, butter, or vegetable oil
Plain yogurt, to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Whisk together the eggs, garlic, flour, turmeric, salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Whisk in the herbs, walnuts (if using), and dried fruit (if using).

Heat the butter or oil in a 10-12″ skillet over moderate heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Cook until the eggs start to set around the edges of the skillet, about 2 minutes.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the eggs are completely set, about 5 minutes. To test, cut a small slit in the center.

Serve hot or cold, cut into wedges. Especially delicious with a dollop of yogurt.

For more Persian recipes go to The Kitchn.

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Italian Vegetable Matzo Pie

Vegetable-Matzo-PieThe Vegetable Matzo Pie is an Italian-Jewish tradition that is sure to delight all your guests.  You can serve it as an appetizer/first course, Italian-style, or as a side.  Check out the recipe at Bel Air Foods.

Extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
2 boxes (about 10 oz. each) matzo (more or less)
2 lbs. cleaned Swiss chard or baby spinach
2 lbs. artichoke hearts (frozen is ok)
2 lbs. asparagus or mushroom, cleaned and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
6 garlic cloves
2 quarts cold chicken broth (for soaking the matzo- sub vegetable broth for vegan mod.)
3 eggs (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

ROAST JUICE INGREDIENTS
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic Cloves
Rosemary
4 oz. ground meat (optional)
1 piece marrow bone (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

YOU WILL ALSO NEED
Three large skillets with lids, 10″x12″ baking pan (or similar size)
Servings: 8
Kosher Key: Meat (Pareve/Vegan with modification)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Clean the vegetables, discarding the tougher parts of the artichokes and asparagus. Cut the asparagus into small pieces, slice the artichokes very thinly (if using frozen, partially defrost first), and chop the spinach.

Blanch the spinach for about 5 minutes in a covered pot with a few tablespoons of water (you can also do this in a covered platter in your microwave). Allow to cool down, then drain and squeeze the liquid out by pressing it into a colander in your sink.

Prepare three separate skillets on your stovetop, with at least 2 tablespoons of oil in each. Heat the oil and add 2 whole cloves of garlic to each skillet. Place the artichokes in one skillet, the asparagus or mushrooms in another, and the spinach in another.

Add 1/2 cup of white wine each to the artichokes and the asparagus/mushroom skillets and salt to taste. Turn heat on those two skillets to medium. Allow the vegetables to simmer in the wine till it evaporates.

Add 1/3 cup of water to the artichokes, and cover both the artichokes and the asparagus. Turn heat to low.

Salt the spinach skillet to taste (do not add any wine). Turn heat to low.

Cook all 3 vegetables separately on low heat until very moist and tender, adding some water if they start sticking to the skillet, or if they dry out. Cooking times may vary between 15 and 20 minutes.

Discard the garlic cloves and set the three vegetables aside. If they feel too dry, add a few tablespoons of broth.

Make sure you have some “sugo d’arrosto”* (roast juice) ready, or make some following my instructions at the bottom of this recipe.

Soak the matzahs in cold chicken broth. For a prettier result, soak them briefly (about 10 minutes), a few at a time, not allowing them to crumble (if you soak them for a short time, they might still split in 2, but they will be easy to “re-compose” in the pan). For a softer, kugel-like texture, soak the matzahs for at least 40 minutes until very soft, break them down with your hands into a “mush” and then squeeze the liquid out (some people prefer this texture and they don’t mind the fact that it looks less “pretty”).

Line the bottom of a baking pan with about ¼ of the soaked matzah. splitting some in ½ or 1/3 as needed to completely fill the perimeter.

Brush or drizzle with a little “sugo di arrosto” and with about 1/3 cup broth (if you mush the matzah you will need to use less broth; whole matzahs, more broth), and then layer most of the spinach (reserve about ¼ for the top); follow with a layer of matzah, a little more “sugo d’arrosto” and broth, and the artichokes (set aside ¼ of all the vegetables) ; again matzah, roast juice, broth, and the asparagus. You can just top with the asparagus or make a final layer of matzah and top with roast juice.

Break the eggs and whisk them with 1 cup leftover broth. Pour the mix over the pie slowly, trying to cover it evenly and allowing it to penetrate down the sides (if you are serving this dish as a side and prefer a lighter version, or if you are making a vegan modification, you can skip the eggs).

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Half-way through the baking, check the pie, and if it feels too dry, add some more broth, concentrating it on the perimeter of the matzahs. You can also cover it with foil for the second half of the baking.

TO MAKE SUGO D’ARROSTO (ROAST JUICE)
Roast some beef with olive oil, garlic and rosemary leaves. When the meat is done, remove it and strain the pot juices, which you will add to the matzah pie (if it’s not Passover, the roast juices also make an awesome pasta sauce!). If you don’t need to make a whole roast beef, you can make a “fake” roast juice sauce by heating some olive oil in a skillet, and cooking a small amount of ground meat in it with a few whole cloves of garlic, some rosemary, salt and pepper. And if you are vegetarian or vegan, just heat the oil with garlic and rosemary and skip the meat!

Visit The Shika for more Jewish Recipes.

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Egg shapes with chocolate candies hidden inside

Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats™ Recipe

Egg shapes with chocolate candies hidden inside.  Give these Easter egg-shaped goodies a shake to hear the tasty surprise inside – M&M’S® candies!
12 Plastic snap-apart 3 x 2-in Easter eggs
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
– OR –
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
1/2 cup M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
Canned frosting or decorating gel (optional)
Why use Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies®

1. Clean, then coat inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
4. Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into each plastic egg half. Use fingers to make hollow center in each half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper. Cool slightly.
5. Place about 6 M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies in one half of each egg. Gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick. Cool completely.
6. Decorate with frosting and additional M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies (if desired). Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: Follow step 1 above. In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 3 through 6 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

When I think of wine, I think of a great fat substitute in recipes. I’m probably unusual in this regard, but I actually use wine more often in cooking than I do as a beverage with dinner.

When you take some of the fat out of dishes, you usually need to add another ingredient to replace the lost moisture. Here are some examples of how wine can do just that:

  • Instead of sautéing veggies in heaps of butter or oil, you can sauté them in a smaller amount of oil plus some wine for flavor and moisture.
  • Instead of making a marinade with 1/2 cup of oil, decrease the oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup wine.
  • Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert wine to the batter.

Visit Rice Krispies for more fun recipes.

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Hannukah Latka Recipe

Hannukah Latke or Potato Pancake RecipeOld Fashioned Potato Pancakes

Ingredients (Available at Bel Air Foods Market)

6 medium potatoes, cut in wedges
1 large onion, cut in wedges
3 tablespoons matzah meal or all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1-2 eggs (2-4 egg whites)
vegetable oil for frying

(serves 4)

Optional: applesauce, sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt

Place shredding disc of food processor into mixing container. Closely pack potato and onion wedges into feed tube. Process while using food pusher to press potatoes and onion onto shredding disc. After processing, remove shredding disc and food from mixing container. Place steel cutting blade into container. Mix together matzah meal or flour, salt, baking powder and white pepper into mixing container. Process while adding eggs. Stop, unplug unit and scrape down sides of mixing container with rubber spatula whenever necessary. Add shredded potatoes and onion and process for a few seconds until mixed.

In one or two 12-inch skillets, heat oil to a depth of approximately 1/4 inch. Drop potato mixture by large spoonfuls into the oil. Flatten each mound slightly and fry in batches over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, changing the towels frequently as they absorb the oil. To keep the finished pancakes warm and crisp while you fry the rest (or to reheat them if they were fried in advance), place them on a rack set over a cookie sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven. Between batches add more oil to the skillet if needed, and make sure that it is hot enough before dropping in more potato mixture.

Serve hot with applesauce, sour cream or low-fat yogurt.

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How To Choose The Perfect Christmas Tree

Step 1: Location! Location! Location!   Your Christmas Tree will be the center ofClick to view full size imageyour festivities and family gatherings, so choose an ideal location where it will be housed for the coming weeks.  Find an ideal location, perhaps the room with the highest ceiling or next to a cozy fireplace.

Step 2: Measure the Area:  Once you have chosen the ideal location for your tree, measure both the ceiling height and the with of the area where it will be placed.  Be sure to bring these measurements with you! If you are placing the tree in a tree stand, measure the width of your stand for proper potting.

Step 3:  Bring the Right Tools:   If you’re shopping like a pro, then you must prepare like one.  The most important tool to remember is your location measurement from Step 2.  Get a pair of heavy gloves and bring your own tape measure for assessing the trees that you’ll be considering.  The real enthusiasts will also bring along an unbreakable ornament to test the slope and strength of branches. Lastly,  if you are transporting the tree on top of your vehicle, bring a soft blanket to avoid scratches and damage.

Step 4: Shop Locally from a SERF-Certified Vendor:  SERF-Certified Christmas Trees are grown on sustainable farms in the Pacific Northwest inspected by the Washington and Oregon Departments of Agriculture. With the labor-intensive methods used on Christmas tree farms, SERF certified farms provide local rural economies with dependable year-round green jobs, providing employee training, proper sanitation, and documented worker safety measures.

Shopping locally from a neighborhood vendor can also reduce the stress on the tree during the transportation and it will reduce your own carbon footprint!  VISIT BEL AIR FOODS MARKET FOR SERF-CERTIFIED TREES!

Step 5: Choosing the Perfect Tree:  Most of us experience a love-at-first-sight moment when we see and smell the right tree.  Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to be methodical about your choice.  Keep in mind that because of their shorter needles, it is easier to decorate trees such as Fraser and Noble Fir.   For heavier ornaments, look for trees with heavier branches.  Test your unbreakable ornament on random branches to ensure a perfectly vertical hanging.

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Premium SERF-Certified Christmas Trees and Wreaths at Your Neighborhood Market!

Premium SERF-Certified Christmas Trees and Wreaths at Your Neighborhood Market!

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Vegetables for Roasting Preparation Approximate Roasting Times at 450 degrees F. Roast vegetables until crisp-tender. Carrots Trim and peel or scrub baby carrots or regular carrots. Cut regular carrots into bite-size pieces or julienne strips. 40 to 45 minutes (julienne … Continue reading

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An Expert’s Pairing Advice

The fact is there are very few extraordinary combinations when it comes to wine and food, just as there are very few combinations that are truly terrible. I find that in the vast majority of pairings, the wine and the food don’t affect each other much; they coexist peacefully, if unexcitingly. In a modest percentage of matches, the wine and the food accentuate the flavors in one another, and both taste better as a result; however, an equal percentage, I’d say, are the reverse.

On the whole, extremes of flavor in food tend to narrow the range of what wine pairings might work well—or at all. A dark, oily fish like Spanish mackerel is hard to match. When focusing on the wine first, I find that the best rules of thumb have more to do with weight and structure than flavor; for instance, a medium-bodied, moderately oaked Chardonnay will work with a broader range of foods than a superoaky, buttery, rich, 16 percent alcohol Chardonnay would. To that end, here are some tips:

Don’t match strong to delicate. Pairing a big, powerful, high-alcohol or high-tannin wine with a light, delicate dish (and vice versa) is rarely a good idea.

Acidity is your friend. People tend to be wary of wines described as “high acid,” like Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Who wants to drink acid, after all? But there’s no better quality in a wine for matching rich, creamy or cheesy sauces, deep-fried foods or fish dishes; in addition, tart wines go better with tart foods, such as a vinaigrette on a salad.

Tannins pair well with fat. That’s because the astringency of the tannins cuts through the viscosity of the fat.

Follow the don’t-upstage-the-star rule. If you have an amazing bottle of wine you want to show off, especially an older vintage (they tend to be more subtle, their flavors less flamboyant), don’t serve a wildly complex dish with it. A simple dish will allow the wine to be the center of attention.

Courtesy of http://www.foodandwine.com
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