Raw Sugar + Vanilla Margaritas

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I’m cutting it real close, but these Raw Sugar + Vanilla Margaritas are so easy to make that you’ll have plenty of time to throw them together for some Cinco de Mayo cocktailing. These guys start with a simple raw sugar syrup that’s punched up with vanilla bean. I always love the combo of sweet, creamy vanilla with tart citrus.  I mean, there’s a reason why a creamsicle is such a classic.  So, this is like an adult creamsicle minus orange and dairy, plus lime and booze. Once the syrup is made and cooled a bit, it’s just lime juice, a little water, and tequila. The syrup is caramel-y and fragrant with vanilla, which play so nicely with the tart lime and sharp tequila. I also made a quick vanilla bean salt for the rim of the glasses–totally optional, but totally delicious. I mixed these up pitcher-style and served them on-the-rocks, so they’re perfect for an easy, breezy cocktail-hour and are perfect for scaling up for a crowd. ¡Salud!


Print Recipe

Raw Sugar + Vanilla Bean Margaritas

4 to 6 servings.

Adapted from THIS recipe.

I used a vanilla bean for this, but you could totally sub in some vanilla paste or extract. You’ll have a little extra syrup–use it to sweeten the margaritas if you like them less tart, OR, add it to your morning coffee! 

for syrup:

1/2 cup raw sugar (sometimes called turbinado sugar)

3/4 cup water

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

for vanilla salt:

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

for margaritas:

1 cup Raw Sugar + Vanilla Bean Syrup

1 cup lime juice

1 cup tequila

1 1/2 cups water

lime wedges, crushed ice, and vanilla salt (optional) to serve

for syrup:

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, scraped vanilla bean seeds and pod. Heat over medium-high to dissolve the sugar, bring to a boil, and boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat to cool. Pour into a heatproof jar and set aside.

for the margaritas:

Stir together the syrup, lime juice, tequila, and water in a pitcher to combine. In a bowl, combine the salt and vanilla bean seeds and rub the two together until the seeds are distributed throughout the salt. Spread the vanilla salt into a shallow dish. Rub the edges of your glasses with a lime wedge and dip each glass in the vanilla salt. Fill each glass with crushed ice and top off with the margarita mixture. Serve with a lime wedge. [/recipe]







Recently at Betty’s and Other News

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Hi, Peeps! (Because, Easter, right? Sorry.)

I have a few recipes over at Betty Crocker that I wanna share with you, PLUS I was recently on a podcast, so there’s that situation to cringe about.

Pickle Pepper Pork Melts

First, these Slow Cooker Pickled Pepper & Pork Melts (say that 3x fast). They are super easy, so flavorful (pickled pepper juice is the secret) and totally, indulgently, satisfying.

Easy Ham Glazes

Second, 10 (TEN!) dead-easy Ham Glazes just in time for Easter. All 10 are 4 ingredients or less and will add some flavorful pop to your Easter table. My favorites are the Peach Jalapeño, Honey-Sriracha, and Maple, Mustard, & Rosemary.The first 5 recipes are from another blogger, the second 5 are by me, and I took all the photos. So, needless to say it was glaze-city up in here but, bonus! they all work well to glaze other things: salmon, shrimp, chicken, chops, and WINGS.

And, for the podcast. I was invited by the super kind host, Gabriel, of The Dinner Special Podcast to be a guest a bit ago (Casper was only about 6 months old, then!) and it’s live today.  It’s such a good podcast, there have been amazing guests and I love listening to it. So many awesome bloggers and food people with amazing tips and insight, I really feel honored to have been invited on the show. That said, I’m a total weirdo and have no idea what I am saying in it. I talk about being a new mom and how getting dinner on the table is different now and some things I employ to get ahead. I also ramble on about other random things, it’s like half word-vomit and half mom-talk. You guys, I was SO NERVOUS!

Better On Toast: Zingy White Bean Toasts and A Giveaway!

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There are few times when a toasty slice of bread slathered in butter and sea salt does not satisfy. When those rare instances do happen though, there are a billion ways to gussy-up (gussy? who am i?!) a slice of toast that will satisfy any craving–salty, sweet, and in between. My internet friend, Jill, wrote a book all about it! Her new book Better on Toast is out today and it’s like a love letter to all things toast. The book is packed with recipes and ideas for topping toast from snack and appetizer toasts, to meal-worthy toasts, and even some sweet fare as well. There are even toasting techniques, like pan toasted with parmesan.

The book is full of amazing photos and all sorts of delicious toast toppers, even a recipe for a gluten-free-bread for gluten-free toast making–because everyone deserves a good piece of toast! Included in the book is this super-tasty recipe for Zingy White Bean Toasts. It really jumped out at me because I love white beans and loved the idea of them in a garlicky, rosemary infused, tomato sauce on crunchy parmesan toasts. YUM. Plus, I pureed some of the leftover topping for Casper and he LOVED it. Snack for me and snack for my boo. WIN, WIN.

Better on Toast

Speaking of winning, since most of us love toast, Jill and I were thinking maybe you guys would like a chance to win a copy of Better on Toast? If you think you’d like something like that, comment below with what you think Brown: would be better on toast. For a second entry, tweet or tag @theculinistas on twitter or instagram with how you like your toast (be sure to reply to your comment here and let me know). The giveaway will run from March 31st to April 7th and I will message the lucky winner to ship them a copy from the publisher Harper Collins.

For other Better on Toast ideas and chances to win check out these other great blogs:

Feed Me Phoebe: Avocado Toast with Roasted Spring Vegetables and Tahini Sauce

The Yellow Table: 3 Easy Breakfast Toasts

Leanne Brown: Soy Sauce Marinated Tofu

**(Only entries from the US and Canada are eligible).


Print Recipe

Zingy White Bean Toasts

Makes 8-12 appetizer sized toasts.

5 tablespoons olive oil

4 fresh rosemary sprigs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1, 15-ounce, can white beans, rinsed and drained

pinch of salt

1, 15-ounce, can diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 lemon, halved

4, 1/2 inch thick, slices rustic bread, Parmesan pan toasted (instructions below)

In a skillet over low heat, heat the oil and the rosemary sprigs until the rosemary leaves have fried but not burned, 5-7 minutes. Remove the rosemary and reserve. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the rosemary infused oil in a dish.

Add the white beans and the garlic to the remaining oil in the pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. Sauté for 4-6 minutes or until the garlic has softened. Add a pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes and cook them down, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Squeeze the lemon onto the toasts and top with roughly 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture. Drizzle with the reserved rosemary oil and sprinkle with fried rosemary.

To make the parmesan toasts, spread each slice of bread on both sides with a thin layer of butter. Smash some freshly grated parm onto one side of each toast. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot place the bread, parm side down, into the pan, and toast until golden brown. While the first side browns, carefully press some more parm on the top sides of the bread. Flip and repeat. [/recipe]