Mexico City has been on the top of my travel list for a very long time. There are many reasons why this trip was long over due. Mexico is one of my favorite countries and having traveled throughout Mexico pretty extensively, I still couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been to its capital. The food alone is reason enough to visit. With some of the best restaurants in the world to street eats around every corner, we went with an appetite and focus on making sure we tried as many things as possible. Yes, there are amazing street foods like churros and tacos but there are innovative chefs using traditional Mexican ingredients in the most incredible ways like ant larvae, unique herbs like epazote, pulque (an alcoholic beverage made of fermented maguey), maguey worms, mole– the list goes on and on! I went with a few girlfriends for a four-day weekend, which was do-able but hardly enough time. We crammed in as much food and mezcal as we could, running around from place to place. I wasn’t too bummed about the short time there since I kept think over and over how I would have to come back– and I plan to! I hope these photos inspire your trip to Mexico City!
There is goat’s milk is this cocktail . . . and it’s @*%$ delicious!! I first heard about milk punch back in my cocktail catering days. Not only is it a delicious flavor modifier, but it’s a great way to preserve a cocktail. That’s right, you can mix up a bottle of milk punch, and keep it handy in your fridge for months (possibly years)! The process of adding acid to milk to clarify/preserve has been around for centuries. But as you can imagine, milk punch surely has its place in today’s flourishing cocktail scene. It’s a great way to premix cocktails for bartenders to keep ready in the well. As mentioned, it’s also a unique way to affect the flavor of a cocktail.
When mixed, the acid of the cocktail curdles the milk. The resulting curds are used to filter the cocktail, stripping most color and any cloudiness from the drink, and softening the harshness of the alcohol. Please, I beg you, give the technique a try; experiment! For this particular cocktail I tried both goat’s and cow’s milk. The goat seemed to result in a more luscious cocktail. All in all, quite the magical process, don’t ya think? Just another reason to love cocktails (as if I needed another reason).
Add the goat's milk to a 4-cup measuring cup and set aside.
In a separate measuring cup add the tequila, Chartreuse, pineapple gomme, lime juice, and grapefruit juice. Stir to combine.
Slowly pour the cocktail mixture into the goat's milk. Let sit out at room temperature for one hour.
Using a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter, a nut milk bag, or another similar very-fine straining device (I actually used a Chemex pour-over coffee drip, lined with a Chemex paper filter and it work great), gently pour out the cocktail and milk mixture to strain. It is critical that this process is done with care, as it is actually the milk curds that create a nest and filter the cocktail. This process will take a long time to drain. Do not stir. Let the curds and gravity do the work.
Once completely drained, discard the curds, and transfer the cocktail to an empty bottle or container and store in the fridge. Serve in an old fashioned glass over one large ice cube. Garnish a couple pineapple leaves.
It comes as no surprise, but Fiona has become obsessed with Easter eggs. All she has wanted to do this week is decorate eggs while boasting about how the Easter Bunny is going to bring her all sorts of chocolate eggs, gummy eggs, and other egg-related candy. Strangely, I don’t ever remember having a talk about the Easter Bunny, nor all the sweets she’ll apparently soon be consuming. Sounds like Mom must be involved . . . needless to say, the girl loves her eggs; whether sweet, or savory like these beauties here!
These particular eggs are inspired by a visit to Octavia across the bay in San Francisco. They prepared a dish that they simply call “deviled eggs”, and it was one of the best bites of the evening. Octavia serves their eggs whole, atop a Fresno chile relish (yum!!). Instead, we halved our soft boiled eggs and served them atop a spread of labneh – similar to çilbir. The Aleppo chile/spice blend isn’t truly spicy, but definitely bursting with flavor. The perfect dish for brunch, or well, any time of day, really! My little Fiona would be proud 🙂
Turkish Deviled Eggs
Soft boiled eggs dusted with a flavorful chile spice blend and served atop a spread of labneh
In a pan over medium heat, toast the spices/seeds to be used in the ground spice blend. Once the spices become fragrant, remove from heat. Allow the spices to cool, and then grind to a fine powder using a spice grinder. Set aside.
In a pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, poppy seeds and black sesame seeds to be used in the chile mixture. Remove from heat, allow to cool, before adding the Aleppo chile flakes, the paprika, and the ground spice blend. Mix everything together and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a simmer, enough water to cover the eggs. Gently lower the eggs into the water with a spoon to prevent the eggs from cracking. Simmer for 7 minutes. While the water is boiling, fill a bowl with cold water and ice. After 7 minutes, strain and place eggs in the ice bath to cool the eggs down.
Add the minced garlic and a large pinch of salt to the labneh and stir to combine.
Peel the eggs and cut them in half. Spread the garlic labneh on a plate and place the eggs on top of the yogurt.
Drizzle the top of the eggs with extra virgin olive oil, top with the chile/spice mixture and a pinch of sea salt.
Full disclosure, I don’t like cooked carrots. Well, to be more accurate, I used to really hate cooked carrots and I’ve warmed up to them over the years ever since I realized what I actually don’t like are overcooked mushy carrots– bleh! They also are the kind of veggie that needs a lot of help. There’s really nothing worse in my opinion than plain steamed or boiled carrots. I actually stumbled upon this recipe after being so sick of my go-to roasted veggies. I couldn’t make roasted cauliflower AGAIN! So I just used the same seasoning but on carrots instead and, to my surprise, loved them! These carrots are coated in ras al hanout, which is a Moroccan spice blend. Every spice brand has their own recipe but ras al hanout typically contains cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon among many other spices– the cinnamon in the ras al hanout goes really well with the sweet carrots. I’ve served mine with some creamy labneh and topped them off with some dried rose petals and pistachios. I mean how gorgeous will this look on your spring-inspired Easter table? Just saying . . .
It feels wonderful to finally settle into our new house. Fiona has her own bedroom, and is no longer crammed inside our walk-in closet. We purchased a new kitchen island, which has quickly become the featured attraction, also known as Audrey and Fiona’s baking zone. Our bedroom gets a incredible amount of natural light! It has a rather odd layout – measuring only 7 feet wide, but also spanning the entire the length of the house! It’s normal to have a giant home bar setup and photography studio at one end of your bedroom, right? Great, just making sure. Our new yard is full of lush vegetation, complete with magnolia tree, lemon tree, blueberry bushes, and several vegetable beds ripe for planting. This past weekend we even managed to take advantage of the nice weather, and hosted a few friends and family for a barbecue. As usual, the margaritas were flowing! We kept with the grilling theme, and mixed up a batch of High Plains Margaritas, created by bartender Shaun Gordon of Atlanta, GA – a lovely combo of grilled pineapple, sage, and fresh citrus. The smokiness of the charred pineapple pairs beautifully with the freshly muddled sage; the sharpness of the citrus balances the sweet orange flavors of the Patrón Citrónge; all of which mingle delightfully with the Patrón Silver . . . I was in my happy place. 🙂
If this recipe entices you, well you’re not alone. The High Plains Margarita has been nominated for Patrón’s Margarita of the Year competition!! That’s right, Patrón searched the globe for seven delicious margarita recipes, which are all now battling head-to-head for the right to be called Margarita of the Year. The best part is that YOU get a chance to vote for your favorite (hint, hint, High Plains Margarita . . . 😉 😉 )! Annnd I’m proud to say that as of this writing, the High Plains Margarita is in the lead!! If you too agree that sipping this deliciously smoky, herbaceous cocktail while gathered around the grill with friends sounds heavenly, then help it secure victory by voting now! Or, you can vote on Instagram or Twitter by using the hashtag: #HighPlainsMargarita. And remember, the perfect way to enjoy Patrón is responsibly.
High Plains Margarita
A tequila based cocktail with a lovely combination of grilled pineapple, sage, and fresh citrus
Cut a few wheels of pineapple and place on a hot grill. Cook pineapple on both sides until pineapple begins to char. Remove from grill, let cool, and cut into one-inch chunks.
On a small plate, mix the coarse salt with the dried chipotle powder. Cut a slit in a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a rocks glass, then dip the glass in the chipotle salt to coat the rim of the glass.
In a mixing glass, combine 2 pieces of grilled pineapple, 4 sage leaves, simple syrup, and muddle.
Add lime juice, yuzu juice (or lemon/orange), Patrón Citrónge Orange, and Patrón Silver, top with shaking tin, and shake vigorously with ice to chill.
Double strain into the chipotle salt-rimmed rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a slice of charred pineapple and a sprig of fresh sage.
(images by HonestlyYUM. This post is sponsored by Patrón. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep HonestlyYUM up and running!)
Weekday meals are a constant struggle– you want to make something that is relatively healthy but quick and easy. Well, collard green wraps to the rescue! If you’re looking for a meal that makes for great left overs the next day, this is it. You can easily scale this recipe to make a lot of wraps. You know how much I love a recipe that is flexible too and you can definitely riff on this one. I’ve made this with my favorite combination of ingredients, but you can always swap them for whatever you have around. The key is to use a good mix of fresh vegetables that have good crunch and texture and proteins. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally make collard green wraps but I’ve made them 3 or 4 times in the last month, they’re that good– and good for you!