The Mango Mule

Special shout out to the National Mango Board for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

We’re getting closer to Cinco de Mayo, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been craving a refreshing beverage to celebrate. I enjoyed incorporating mangos into this festive twist on a classic Moscow Mule.

One of the keys to this recipe is making sure you have a ripe mango for the puree. Focus on feel, not color – every variety is a different color when ripe. When you give a ripe mango a gentle squeeze, it will give slightly, indicating soft flesh inside. To ripen at home, store at room temperature (like an avocado), or speed up the process by storing in a brown paper bag at room temperature for two days.

Now let’s get into the fun part – the recipe!

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Passion Fruit Paloma

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

It’s starting to heat up here in Fresno, what was a 65º Tuesday is now an 85º Tuesday with the sun blasting turned up to high. Whenever the weather heats up I always find myself reaching for the most refreshing of drink flavors. Drinks that take lots of ice, that make me feel like I’m sitting on a beach somewhere.

That’s where this paloma comes into play. The classic paloma is a mix of grapefruit soda, tequila, and lime. I love a good paloma, they’re easy to throw together and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. The twist with this one is the passion fruit juice. This ceres brand can be hard to find at most grocery stores but Sprouts always has it and the flavor is everything you love about passionfruit, minus the high price tag it usually takes to get this much juice.

The classic paloma usually also uses a cheaper variety of grapefruit soda, but whenever I’m going to make it I make sure to grab an Italian grapefruit soda. The flavor usually aligns more with a fresh grapefruit and makes it that much more refreshing. The Sprouts Organic brand is a great option to keep in your pantry.

And last but not least: the Garnish. Sprouts has great looking produce (these grapefruits!) and it’s always in stock. Grabbing a grapefruit with a bag of key limes is a great way to finish off the drinks.

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Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

It’s a little uncertain and crazy right now, Easter’s right around the corner and everyone’s trying to stay at home when this is one of those bigger family holidays. While we’re usually out hunting for easter eggs or cooking a huge meal, odds are we’re stuck at home with immediate family or a roommate or a significant other.

For me the thing that would make this whole situation feel a little better is to make it as normal as possible. In my world that means that we’re making deviled eggs. Family’s always been too far away to celebrate this holiday but every year Esteban and I make at least 1 batch of deviled eggs.

Eggs are in a little bit of a short supply right now, I get that. But it seems that they’re being restocked more quickly and fully as the time goes on. Sprouts has been exceptional at keeping fresh produce in stock and eggs are right there. The cool thing too is that they deliver through instacart so you don’t even have to go into the store with everything that’s going on right now.

These eggs are great because they’re a recipe that only uses 6 (even though I always hard boil 8 because you just don’t know who’s going to decide to not peel easily) and they’re just enough of a departure from the classic so you’ve got the familiarity with a nice kick from the sriracha.

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Salted Honey Citrus Salad

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

It seems like every year the citrus selection gets bigger and newer and we get the chance to mix and match the classics with the new options and Sprouts has a great selection of all the old and the new to figure out and find my new favorite favorite citrus.

I was tasked to create a salad using a bunch of citrus, including my new found favorite, the Sumo Citrus Mandarin. Sweet like candy, easy to peel, with so much flavor.

For the salad I knew I wanted to start with the classic stand by of scattered slices of citrus but then dress it up with buttery macadamia nuts and mint to help cut through some of the acidity. To tie it all together I made a syrup with meyer lemon and lime sweetened with honey that I went to salt and accidentally added what I thought was too much but then tasting it realized that it’s actually perfect because it almost brings out the sweetness of the citrus a little bit more, like when you sprinkle salt on melons.

The whole thing comes together fairly quickly, and the citrus can be prepared ahead of time, then when you’re ready to serve you just dress it with the syrup and all the macadamia nuts and fresh mint. It’s an easy way to impress guests at a dinner party but also quick enough to throw together for a weeknight dinner for yourself (impress yourself).

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Poached Pear & Butterscotch Sundaes

Special shout out to Sprouts for sponsoring this post and giving me the notice that it’s national pear month So I have yet one more reason to stock up on pears.

The holiday of food has finally passed, you’re probably finishing up leftovers today, and you might be a little pie’d out.

If that’s a thing.

I think around this time of year we’re good on cakes and cookies and pies (still planning on making all of these) that we forget about the good scoop of ice cream with toppings situation.

This situation’s great too because we’re using in season pears (December is national pear month) and having them poached in a classic spiced citrus-y mixture that echoes off mulled cider spices, making it “winter appropriate” which is me reasoning to everyone else that ice cream is a year round menu item.

The pears we use are also important for this, bartlett and other varieties might have issues being cooked and falling apart so we’re riding the bosc train, and making a stop at Sprouts for their wide selection of good, affordable produce.

This recipe couldn’t be easier, we just heat up some maple syrup with water and spices and call it a day. You can make it ahead of time and just gently warm up on the stove when you make the butterscotch and build the sundae. The warm and cold situation is one of my favorite combos and the pears just sort of melt in your mouth with all the spice, it’s different in a way that’ll impress your guests without making you work too hard. Perfect for the holidays.

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Holiday Entertaining with Harry & David

Holiday entertaining is right around the corner, with Thanksgiving and Christmas and the million parties in between, something is bound to end up with you as the host. You couuuuld go to several different stores and buy all the different meats and cheeses and wines or you could also just head over to Harry & David and have all the options at your fingertips shipped straight to your house.

Before when I thought of Harry & David I would just think of boxes of pears delivered monthly so it was a nice surprise when they reached out and asked if I’d be interested in trying out some of their holiday options like organic charcuterie and cheese plate, California creameries collection (a personal favorite), and Gourmet Serving Tray Gift with Wine that ended up being most of the spread I put together because it has so many good options for a well rounded spread.

They’ve also got some great new wine, namely their new sparkling wine that’s a nice alternative to champagne for people who want the bubbles but not the champagne taste.

My other favorite thing about getting such an assortment for snack tables is that it makes it easier to spread out in a lot of different little bowls and plates. I think sometimes people think they need giant boards or platters for cheeseboards but the easier thing is to just decant it all in smaller bowls and a couple of larger plates, it takes up more room this way and makes everything look more bountiful, win win for us all.

Special shout out to Harry & David for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.