Spicy Margaritas

A month or so ago, M&I were out to dinner, and the power went out in the entire Marina as we were about to pay. Our server basically told us he understood if we just left, but when we sat around and waited for the power to return, he brought us a flight of house-infused tequilas to thank us for our patience.

SpicyTequila2When the lights go out in the city…

It may have been the 2+ glasses of wine, the free tequila, or the excitement of the entire Marina in pure darkness, but we fell in love with the spicy tequila, and set out to figure out how to make our own.

We followed this recipe almost exactly, but here’s what we did:

1 750 ml bottle of Tequila Blanco
2 Cups chopped Pineapple
3 Jalapeños, sliced in strips, with the seeds

1. Put pineapple and jalapeños in a large jar (we found one for $2 on clearance at Target).
2. After 2 days remove the jalapeños.
3. After another 2 days, remove the pineapples, and strain the tequila back in to its original bottle.

SpicyTequila

The first time we made this, it was perfectly spicy, full of flavor of both the pineapple and the jalapeño. The second time we made it, we forgot to take out the jalapenos for 4 days, so we left the pineapple in for another 2 days, and it was much sweeter with less of a bite. I prefer the spicier tequila, but you can play around with the length of time the jalapeños and pineapple stay in the tequila to find a blend that works for you. (We’re currently on Day 2 of our third batch, and I hope we get something closer to the first…) (UPDATE: The third batch was exactly like the first batch)

We’ve also tried this with 2 cups of chopped Mango and 3 Habaneros, but we both preferred the Pineapple-Jalapeño tequila. And this is coming from someone who loves everything mango.

SpicyTequila4

Mike’s Spicy Margaritas:

3 oz Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila*
2 oz Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz Agave
Splash Triple Sec
(Edit: I was just informed by my personal bartender that it was a splash of Cointreau)

1. Shake in a cocktail shaker
2. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses

*If too spicy, make with 1 oz Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila, and 2 oz Tequila Blanco

SpicyTequila3Pairs well with taco night.

Advertisements

R’s Nerdy Thirty

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for more than a year. R didn’t want me to post it, but considering (1) I no longer give a shit and (2) I’m attending my very first Blathering, I need to get this little blog up and running again. I’ve been explaining what I did for this party to people for years, so this post seemed to be pretty perfect to get back in to it. I’ll try to contain my snarky digs at R and his folks (who hated the party, btw) (ok, that will be my only dig, promise) (but seriously. They HATED this idea)

***

R turned 30 and I wanted to do something big for him. I knew that I wanted to throw a surprise party, and I wanted there to be a theme. I tried to think of themes to include his favorites: Muppets, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Video Games, Robots – and they all came out looking with varying degrees of success. I didn’t want it to look like a child’s party – He is an adult turning THIRTY. But I did want it to be fun, a little punny, and include all of his interests. And then it hit me – NERDY THIRTY

RsN30invite
Address/phone numbers removed for privacy’s sake. The QR code opened a map, but altered slightly for same reason.

I had a lot of fun putting together the themed menu, and it was basically a big hit. Some of the references were lost on most of the guests, but that was OK. R got everything, with the exception of the Legend of Zelda reference, because I didn’t realize he had never played the game before (UNACCEPTABLE!)

Anyway, here’s the food table, referred to as Admiral snAckbar:
R30_8

Computer-y things:
R30_
hardware (utensils) | software (napkins) | pi (mango pie) | chips (get it? like computer chips!) 

Lord of the Rings:
R30_3
lembas bread (pita chips) | council of elrond (e.l. fudge cookies) | second breakfast (pastries) 

Star Wars:
R30_2
dagobah swamp (spinach artichoke dip) | bantha fodder (popcorn) 

Legend of Zelda (sortof) | James Bond (sortof) | Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
R30_4
be square (triscuit) | lon lon ranch cheeses | broccoli | babel fish (goldfish crackers)

This one was a bit of a stretch. One of R’s favorite snacks is Triscuit with sliced cheeses. The tagline on the invitations was “Be Square” so I kindof used that as the them for the Triscuit. As I mentioned before, R didn’t get the Zelda/Lon Lon Ranch reference. But not all references can be perfect. Same with the broccoli as a reference to James Bond. We had just finished watching every James Bond movie, so I wanted to include 007 in the party somehow. Bonus points if you get it without clicking this link.

Ninja Turtles / Muppets / Star Trek:
R30_5
pizza | cup labels | rainbow connection (fruit salad) 

Cake:
R30_7 R30_11
It was NOT a lie, and it was delicious. 

And of course, the star of the show: The Death Star Watermelon
R30_6

We told R that you can’t have a Death Star without destroying it using The Force. His response was “Well, clearly this is the first Death Star, and there isn’t an exhaust port” so we handed him a blindfold and a baseball bat and told him to improvise.

R30_9

Food stuff I had planned, but forgot to take photos of:
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (adult beverage, Hitchhiker’s Guide)
Vaderade (fruit punch, Star Wars)
Felix Felicis (lemonade, Harry Potter)
Goldfingers (chicken fingers, James Bond)
Edgar Food (salad, named of course for Edgar)

Lastly, I found a company that lets you design your very own robot, so I made the little guy on the invitations:
R30_12
The RobBot liiiiiiives

Arnold Mango Tango Pom-er

We’re still in the middle of summer, and I thought I’d share with you my current summer obsession: the Arnold Mango Tango Pom-er. Sometimes I’ll just call it the Mango Pom-er for short. When I’m feeling sassy I call it Mango Tango. Yes, silly names, but the most accurate description.

MangoTango3
Summer in a glass.

My take on the Arnold Palmer, it’s equal parts DavidsTea Pom Tango tea and Stew Leonard’s Mango Lemonade. Add some ice and an optional splash of mango-passion fruit vodka, and you’ve got summer in a glass. I prefer mine with the vodka, R prefers his without, but we’ve spent every Sunday since June sipping our Mango Pom-ers on the patio with a book.

I brew 4 teaspoons of tea with 4 cups of hot water. Using 1/2 cup tea and 1/2 cup lemonade, this gives me approximately 8 Mango Pom-ers.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a Stew Leonard’s, then there are several recipes out there for mango lemonade, but the ingredients on the bottle of Stew’s version list simply lemons and mangoes. I saw an ad recently for a new Simply juice brand  mango lemonade, although I haven’t seen it in stores yet (I also haven’t been looking).

What really makes this drink is Pom Tango from DavidsTea. Unfortunately, it was one of DavidsTea’s spring teas, so unless you bought it a few months ago, you’re unlikely to find it in stores. However, the tea did recently show up on their website at 20% off, so if you’re fast you can probably grab some before it is completely out of stock (until, hopefully, next spring). It’s my favorite from DavidsTea, and I can vouch that it’s fantastic both hot and iced.

Last weekend, I wondered what would happen if I prepared the drink frozen. It was a complete game changer.

MangoTango2
Darth Vader approves of the Mango Pom-ers. (It was the only ice cube tray free)

I used both frozen tea cubes blended with the mango lemonade, and frozen mango lemonade cubes blended with the tea. I found the flavor of the frozen tea cubes to be smoother – almost creamy, but my blender had an easier time blending the frozen lemonade. Either way you prepare it, the frozen drink is delicious.

MangoTango5
Umbrella optional.

The best part about the Mango Pom-ers? It’s a feel-good guilt-free summer beverage. This tea has 5 calories per 1/2 cup, and with the lemonade and light vodka, you’ve got yourself a summer cocktail for around 100 calories*.

Whether you’re in the summer-ends-on-labor-day camp or you’re a summer-ends-on-the-autumnal-equinox fan, you still have plenty of time to enjoy a Mango Pom-er. What are you waiting for?

MangoTango4

PS This was not a sponsored post, even though this did end up sounding like a love letter to both DavidsTea and Stew Leonard’s.

*Estimation. Assuming 55 calories for the 1/2 cup of lemonade and 40 calories for a splash of Smirnoff Light Mango Passion Fruit Vodka. Stew’s doesn’t list their calories but Simply Lemonade with Mango has 110 calories per 8 oz.  Smirnoff Light Mango Passion Vodka is listed at 78 calories per 1.5 oz.