Breakfast at my parent’s house is the best. Nothing is better than going home for the weekend, sleeping in my old room and waking up to my parents making me breakfast so I can get in some extra zzzz’s. Makes me feel like a kid all over again. So making the most beautiful, yet laborious, crepe cake seemed like the perfect thing to make for mom for Mother’s Day brunch. Each of these delicate crepes are layered with a fluffy lemon mascarpone creme and topped with plump raspberries and fresh flowers. If you’ve failed at making crepes in the past, as I have, I’ve got some foolproof tips on making a flawless crepe. It’s absolutely glorious and worth giving it a try – your mom deserves it, after all!
Pozole is comfort food at its finest– a steaming bowl of tender pork and hominy in a deep red but light chile broth. My good friend Ofelia first introduced me to this Mexican stew and I instantly fell in love. Pozole is her dish. Any time she has a day off, she’ll make a big pot of pozole. Like any good cook, her method is imprecise but the results are always spot-on as a result of years of practice. Thankfully, I’ve watched her make this long enough to pick up a few of her tricks. She usually uses pork neck bones, but those can be hard to find so I’ve used pork shoulder here, which works great. This is the kind of dish that calls for improvisation so make it your own. So how does one eat pozole? I love it overloaded with tons of shredded cabbage, avocado, salsa, cilantro, onions, lime, tostadas and a sprinkle of McCormick’s Mexican oregano. Check out my video below on how it all comes together!
Now that we’re familiar with sotol, it’s time to put that knowledge to good use. And by good use I mean, let’s drink. It’s (almost) Friday after all – let the spirits flow! I’ve been wanting to get my swizzle on for some time, but I never was able to get my hands on a proper swizzle stick. It’s not like they grow on trees or anything . . . wait, scratch that. So it turns out there actually is a swizzle stick tree! It’s called the Quararibea Turbinata, and from it you can harvest swizzle sticks, or Le Bois Lélé. I ordered mine from Cocktail Kingdom and immediately got to work. Warning: this cocktail is so refreshing, you might never need/want another margarita. I will say, however, that if you can’t locate a bottle of sotol, substituting your favorite tequila would be perfectly fine and in fact encouraged. Also, while a rich simple syrup won’t replace the flavor of pineapple gomme, it will provide the necessary texture. However, I would grab some if you can, as it’s pretty killer stuff. Happy drinking!
Cinco de Mayo is on the horizon, but I’m not touching the tequila this year. Actually, that’s a lie. Oh well, I tried. But guess what else I’m drinking? That’s right, sotol!! How’d you know? This desert spoon spirit has me all kinds of giddy. What-the-yum is sotol, you ask? Let me explain . . .
I’m obsessed with papel picado. Not only are they incredibly festive and beautiful, in their wide range of vibrant colors, but it’s amazing how intricate and detailed some of the designs can be – especially the traditional versions which are completely made by hand with only a handful of finely sharpened chisels. So with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought what better excuse than to DIY my own mini version with the leftover crepe paper from last year’s piñata? They aren’t nearly as ornate and elaborate as the kinds you can purchase but these mini “banderitas” are handmade, fun to make and easy to whip up on a whim. And I love them nonetheless.
Note to self: Do not walk into the grocery store sipping on a mint julep. The security guard will probably start following you around, especially if you’re stuffing bottles of bourbon into your basket. Mint julep popsicles on the other hand . . . now that’s a different story. To be honest, I didn’t know how these pops would turn out. There aren’t many ingredients to play around with in a mint julep, so getting the proper ratios was essential. I used demerara sugar for a little added complexity, a ton of fresh mint, and just enough bourbon to whet the palate. Don’t worry, I’ll still be mixing up the mint juleps this weekend. Oh, and my Derby Day prediction . . . California Chrome (how can you pass on that name?). You’re welcome.