I shared a Taco Date Night party on the blog yesterday and today I’m diving into the recipes. I’ve noticed Mexican street corn popping up on lots of restaurant menus near me lately (in particular, the street corn at Painted Burro makes me SO happy) and I wanted to try to recreate the idea at home. It was super.duper.simple. In warmer weather I would have grilled the corn on the porch, but in these wintry cold temperatures, I just charred the corn in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. While the corn is cooking, I made a chipotle lime aioli. Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobe sauce (depending on your affinity for spice!) and the juice of one lime. When it comes off the pan, sprinkle the corn with chili powder, a little sea salt,  drizzle it with the aioli, and then top it with cotija cheese. YUM!aDSC_0065aDSC_0057

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

When people ask me, ‘why do you like blogging?’ — it’s posts like these that make me unequivocally be able to say it’s getting to ‘meet’ and collaborate with so many awesome people. The darling Hattie, owner of Hattie Sparks, reached out to me with the idea of collaborating on a table-styling project using some of the beautifully curated products from her shop. I of course jumped at the chance and when I saw the bright Jonathan Adler pieces she pulled together,  I knew they were begging for a little taco party (I guess that makes this Taco Tuesday!). My husband absolutely loves tacos, they’re his favorite food, so I made a plan over the weekend to cook up some gourmet tacos for a Mexican-inspired date night at home.

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For the menu I made a spin on pulled pork tacos that were slow-cooked with chipotle peppers and honey and topped with a lime-chipotle slaw. I plated up some Mexican street corn on a bright green and white geometric patterned tray (those colors together were perfectly appetizing!), and of scooped lots of fresh guacamole and all the toppings into playful bird dishes and bowls! Of course we needed a sweet libation to wash down our tacos, so I mixed up a batch of orange mango margaritas in mod white rocks glasses.

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I hope I have made you thoroughly crave a taco night — I’ll be posting my recipes later this week so you can recreate the whole meal.

And to help you recreate the look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – shop away my dears,  you know need a guacamole bird bowl!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions, recipes, and taco jokes are my own. 

 

I got a few questions on the bourbon-soaked cherries that were featured in the Ladies Winter Whiskey Party over on Style Me Pretty this week, so I thought I’d share the recipe! Fill a mason jar with cherries, add in 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar, fill 3/4 of the way with bourbon, and then top the rest off with some water. I let mine rest for about a week before using them, and they were a tasty garnish to our Ladies Manhattan cocktails and paired perfectly with the bourbon-caramel drizzled chocolate cake we had for dessert! Plus I picked up a few small corked jars (these cute ones from Target!) and made mini-versions that everyone could take home at the end of the event — I heard after that made a great topping at home on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream, yum! UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_036UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_057Photos by Brian Samuels Photography

Lately I have been following along with Brottle, a  year-long bottled cocktail project, that posts a new bottled cocktail recipe everyday on their instagram account. They post videos with step by step instructions of the recipes on YouTube too, and I’ve watched just about every one — they’re so cute, and the recipes are quick and easy. It’s an idea I can get behind, mix up a bigger batch to keep on your bar cart while entertaining, or bring it along with you as a little hostess gift to a party. And because everything is pre-mixed into one bottle, it makes those cocktail refills a little faster too! So after seeing their greyhound recipe last week, I decided it was time to join in on the fun and make one myself. I switched up the recipe and made my greyhound with 8oz of gin instead of vodka, and  mixed it with 19oz of fresh grapefruit juice. Then once it was time to serve, I poured it over ice and garnished it with a fresh spring of thyme leaves. It was tasty — and now I have a little cocktail waiting for me in the fridge after work tomorrow too!

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I mentioned earlier this week that my weekend was a bit of a carb-fest. One of the highlights of my breaded-binge was making homemade popovers and strawberry butter. It’s sort of a family tradition to make these delicious egg-y pastries. When my sister and I were kids, my mom and aunts would take us to have lunch at Neiman Marcus, and the popovers were always a highlight of the meal. So when they visited this weekend I broke out the Neiman Marcus Cookbook and whipped up a batch. The strawberry butter is the best part, it’s just strawberry jam and butter whipped together, but for some reason it tastes absolutely amazing — I want to put it on everything! ADSC_0067ASC_0060ADSC_0058ADSC_0066ADSC_0068ADSC_0063

I am not feeling so hot this week, I’ve come down with a pretty terrible cold and just can’t seem to bounce back! So I made it my mission last night to get on the road to recovery with a pot of homemade soup. I took a stab at a tortellini soup I saw in the most recent issue of Food Network magazine and made a few modification like adding in chopped onions and extra garlic to the recipe (and omitting the water they suggested). And it was just want the doctor ordered, a totally delicious soup can do wonders. Find the full recipe here.

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Guys, it’s hump day — and no one likes hump day — let alone the first one after the holidays, so I saved this recipe from a few weeks ago that’s completely focused on butter to make you feel better. One of the nicest presents I received for Christmas this year was from my grandparents and uncle; they got me a bunch of artisanal pasta and olive oils from a local pasta shop in my hometown. Clearly my family knows me well, carbs are my first love.

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When it came time to test out one of those pastas I wanted to make it a super special dinner, so in addition to working on a nice sauce and some homemade meatballs, I got a fresh loaf of Italian bread and decided to whip up a special herbed butter to go with it. I roasted a whole head of garlic for about an hour in a  small dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then once the garlic was cooked and soft, I used the food processor to combine the cloves with a 3 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of chopped rosemary, and a teaspoon of chopped thyme, plus a little more salt and pepper. The result was a sweet roasted garlic and herb-y butter spread that went perfectly with the little Italian feast I prepared!

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I got such great feedback a few weeks back about my 3-ingredient appetizer idea  that I decided to try another combination for a little blogger holiday party thrown by my friend Elizabeth this weekend. And for this little snack I chose one my all time favorite cheese, a creamy french brie… yum. I rolled out thawed puff pastry dough (store bought, from the frozen food section!) and spread a thin layer of strawberry jam across the surface, and spaced out the slices of cheese.  Then I rolled the dough over the ingredients and sealed off the edges before cutting it into pinwheel slices. I baked the pinwheels — on baking sheet with a light mist of cooking spray — for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Let them cool a bit before removing them from the baking sheet so all of the cheese doesn’t ooze out — you don’t want any of that going to waste! I think this is going to be a new entertaining staple, it took about 5 minutes of prep time and they flew off the plate! Brie and Jam Pinwheels 1 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 2 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 3 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 4 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 5 Brie and Jam Pinwheels 6

I was brainstorming some new appetizer ideas that were easy to make in advance and came up with a simple formula for a snack that has some variety, without requiring tons of grocery shopping or dirty dishes. I purchased some frozen puff pastry dough, thawed, rolled and cut it into 2″ circles. Then I experimented with a few combinations of filling: herb goat cheese and rosemary sea salt, blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of organic honey, and my favorite combination, slices of heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese. All three combinations got some fresh cracked black pepper on top as well before I rolled up the sides to resemble bite-sized -tarts.  After following the baking directions on the puff pasty box (375 degrees for 10-15 minutes), they came out of the oven golden brown. These lasted about 3 minutes from plate to table at a family party I brought them to, which I think means they were pretty good? I’d love to hear what combinations of fillings you might try!
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One of the very last stops we made on our cross-country road trip honeymoon was a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach, and on that lovely little stroll ending our two-week adventure, we popped into LemonadeLA and tried their tasty drinks and cookies. So when I saw that the Lemonade Cookbook was being published this fall, I jumped at the chance to take a peek through it! I can tell the SoCal vibe of the recipes will be perfect come summertime, and in the meantime I tested a more seasonal recipe — their oatmeal raisin cookies —  which went over quite well at a family get-together last weekend.

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Cookbook gifted to me c/o Lemonade LA, all opinions are my own.