Weekend Fare: Margaritas

Just in time for the holiday weekend – margaritas! We’ve made a couple of different kinds and both were excellent! They make a great accompaniment for a backyard bbq or fiesta. I usually like them on the rocks but whatever you prefer.

TRADITIONAL MARGARITA
Ina Garten/Food Network
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1 lime, halved
Kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5 limes)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup white tequila (I think we used gold and it was fine!)
2 cups ice, plus extra for serving

If you like margaritas served in a glass with salt, rub the outside rims of 6 glasses with a cut lime and dip each glass lightly into a plate of kosher salt.

Combine the lime juice, lemon juice, Triple Sec, tequila, and ice in a blender and puree. Place extra ice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with margarita mix, shake well, and strain into glasses.

BLACKBERRY MARGARITA 
adapted from Cooking Light, June 2011
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1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
3/4 cup Triple Sec (or Grand Marnier as originally called for)
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries

Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and kosher salt in a dish. Cut lime into 9 wedges; rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip rims of glasses in salt mixture. Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool. Combine syrup, tequila, Triple Sec, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids. Serve over ice. Garnish with remaining lime wedges.

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Snow Day Must: Marshmallows

We thought this post from Heather was perfect to include today after the hot cocoa yesterday! Homemade marshmallow & cocoa is a wonderful winter treat!

Homemade marshmallows are a new discovery for me and now I can’t sing their praises often enough! Their soft, squidgy texture keeps the store-bought type from even entering the competition. Next time you have a snow day, you must give these a try!

The marshmallows do take at least 2 hours to “firm up”, so be sure to allow yourself enough time for that before you begin.

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
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Nonstick cooking spray

3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for coating
  •  

  • Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.

     

    Add vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.

     

    Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed sharp knife. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

    Makes about 16.

    Weekend Fare: Summer Drinks

    I love summery, fruit drinks. They are great for an afternoon playdate, for an evening dinner party, or a casual cookout. These are both incredibly easy and wonderful! My favorite was the strawberry lemonade – so fresh and delicious.  

    FRUIT TEA
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    1 1/2 qts. black tea
    2-11 oz. cans fruit nectar (I used peach)
    Sugar to taste
    Mint Leaves
    Fresh or Frozen Fruit

    Combine tea, fruit nectar, and sugar. Serve over ice and garnish with mint and fruit. Serves 4-6. 

    STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
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    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
    1/2 c. water
    8-10 strawberries, halved
    1 c. sparkling water
    ice
    mint

    Combine sugar, lemon juice, and water – stir until sugar is dissolved. Add strawberries and juice to the blender and pulse. Add sparkling water and blend until smooth. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint. Serves 3-4.