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Food

Recipe: The Best Margaritas

national margarita day is feb 22!

limes

fresh, simple margarita recipe

OH

EM

GEE.

This is literally what I g-chatted Joe several years ago when Twitter informed me that February 22 is National Margarita Day. Plans were immediately made to hit up our fave Mexican restaurant in SF. Margs and Mexican food are basically religion in our household, after all. Subsequently, every year I’ve forgotten about it until social media reminds me again, but this year, I managed to get it on my calendar. Which is lucky for you, because with Joe’s permission, I am sharing a very famous family recipe — Joe’s lethal margarita recipe. These are so good, I insisted we serve them at our wedding, and I worked with our venue to make sure they tasted exactly as they do at home. Don’t bother with gross mixes. These margaritas are made with fresh squeezed lime, tequila, triple sec, and NO additional sweetener. No agave nectar, no simple syrup, no way.

Now, in truth, we’ll sometimes mix up how much citrus we use (using lemon instead of orange, as in today’s recipe), but I tested the recipe below and it’s Joe approved, so roll with it. In our family, Joe always makes the margaritas while I do the cooking, so I was pretty proud when I managed to re-create these at home one afternoon with basic guidelines from him. And thus, the manatee has become the mento.

If you’re used to margaritas that are a lot sweeter, you can add additional orange, but I like how refreshingly limey these are — the true flavor of the citrus really comes through. National Margarita Day is this coming Saturday, so plan a fajita night and go for it. Oh, and also, I can’t stress enough that you should really only plan on drinking one of these. This is a one sip and, “Hello, I’m drunk” situation. Two makes a spontaneous dance party all but a sure thing. Here’s how to make ‘em and dance the night away:  Read more »

Recipe: Truffled Mac and Cheese with Prosciutto

baked mac and cheese with truffle oil and prosciutto

mac and cheese with prosciutto and truffle oil

Let the record show that the extreme lack of any type of food styling in these photos is indicative of two things. One, this is literally how they looked when they came out of the oven, so consider this a mix of “keeping it real” and “I was hungry” (hello, it was Super Bowl Sunday!). Two, I had taken a little bite out of one of the dishes to check for seasoning, and it was SO good, I had zero interest in prettying this up. Nay, this baked mac and cheese required immediate consumption.

Surprisingly, it had been a few years since I’d whipped up mac and cheese (blog name’s not withstanding). Sunday’s big game seemed like the perfect excuse; plus, I recently found these gratin dishes on sale, and have been using them as an excuse to make delicious, cheesy, baked things in the oven. This version of mac and cheese is no exception — it uses a three cheese sauce, chopped bits of salty prosciutto, and an herbed breadcrumb topping. But what makes it extra special is the use of white truffle oil. Divine!

Fancy as it seems, if you’ve made a white sauce before, this dish is a cinch to put together — and even if you haven’t, it’s easier than you think. This recipe could be perfect if you want to cook a little sumthin sumthin for your special someone on February 14. Just add Champagne, a simple green salad, and you’ve got a dinner to remember! Here’s how I made it: Read more »

Recipe: A New Twist on Pasta Salad

pasta salad with sundried tomato pesto, chicken, and veggies

You guys. I’ve made a lot of pasta salads in my day. After all, they’re a great ‘garbage bin’ for anything you need to get rid of in your fridge. But this pasta salad might be one of my favorites that I’ve ever made. I made this for an early lunch on Sunday, and ended up eating it as a snack and for dinner too — it was that good. After all, how can fusilli with a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, roasted chicken, crunchy veggies, and fresh herbs be bad?

The great thing about this (and many other) pasta salads is that it’s super versatile. You can serve it warm, or chilled, and easily make it ahead of time if needed. This would be perfect at a potluck, a Super Bowl party, a bridal or baby shower, or even just as an easy weeknight meal (that you can take to work for a few days after!). And of course, as far as ingredients go, anything can be substituted or removed. Don’t eat meat? Nix the chicken. Don’t eat gluten? You can actually nix the pasta — I tried this first as a chicken salad before adding the noodles, just out of curiosity, and it was still crazy delicious.

This recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but I promise you, it’s very simple. I recommend starting with the chicken first, and while it cooks, you can prep everything else. Easy as pie — or pasta salad: Read more »