Beat the Heat: Spicy Margaritas!

I have a new favorite cocktail! I discovered it in New York City a few months ago and was determined to re-create it at home. After several batches and fine-tuning, I am proud to present you with the recipe to my masterpiece: Spicy Margarita! YUM!!!


I am sure many readers have now fled this site in horror, but in case anyone is still reading, I will issue a disclaimer that this is not a drink for the weak of heart! This yields a hot and sweet drink that I find very refreshing on a hot day, but few others in my world have been able to tolerate the heat factor. If you like spicy foods and margaritas, then you absolutely must try this and let me know it makes you as happy as it makes me!

This is a two-part recipe. First you must make the jalapeño infused tequila with this simple process:

Buy a bottle of tequila and 2 spicy looking jalapeños.
Open the bottle, pour a shot (to make room for the peppers), and have a shot in my honor!
Slice the jalapeños in quarters and stuff them into the bottle, seeds and all!
Wait. Sample. Repeat.
When the tequila sample meets your criteria for spiciness and flavor (probably around 48 hours from the start), strain the tequila into another container, shake out the peppers, and pour the tequila back into your bottle. Consider labeling the bottle with a scull and crossbones to fairly warn off any sissies!
Here is a picture of my infusion in progress:

Easy enough, right? I’ve tried with Jose Cuervo Gold and Silver. I liked the Gold much better. It had a very distinct smell that I loved and I thought the flavor was better too. In both cases, I thought the jalapeño brought out the tequila flavor and vice versa. Next time, I want to try a more expensive bottle and compare tastes.

Trader Joe’s makes an excellent margarita mix that I used with my jalapeño infused tequila to make a delicously hot and sweet margarita on the rocks. It was icy and sweet, but with a lingering burn. I followed the directions on the bottle with great success every time. I am always craving that drink now!

I also made a version with the Crystal Light drink mix and that was a good low-cal substitute.

Finally, I received a gorgeous organic grapefruit from our CSA and decided to try to make my own grapefruit margarita. I juiced it by hand and got a half a cup. I added 1 Tablespoon of sugar to the juice to make sure it was nice and sweet. Then, I added 2 oz of the jalapeño infused tequila and 1 oz of Triple Sec. I mixed it all up and poured over ice cubes. It was really delicious and tasted very fresh too! I am definitely going to try the same recipe with blood oranges when they’re in season.

I am generally a red wine drinker, but hot weather just signals mixed drinks to me, so this has been a fun experiment. I also tried making poptails, based on this recipe I spotted some time ago. They turned out great! I have a whole booze pin board full of ideas that I want to try. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

What is your favorite summertime cocktail? I’d love to hear any new ideas! In the meantime, the air conditioner has malfunctioned at our house and it is 5pm on Friday, so it is officially spicy maragarita o’clock for me! Have a great weekend!

Shopping for new pots and pans

High quality cookware is one of the most important assets in my kitchen. If it’s low quality and defective, cooking will not be efficient. Great cookware means keeping the kitchen shining and stainless, a classy appearance that should welcome every visitor into the shelves the kitchen. I have featured some of my best pots and pans 2016 in this post based on my experiences.

While I’m trying to save on my pots and pans, I always consider shopping for cookware sets. The Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-piece cookware set is one of my favorite sets. This set of pots and pans comes with stainless bases allowing effective conduction of the heat from my stove. When I’m cooking for longer times, the riveted handles do not heat up, allowing me to hold my pots at ease.

That’s not all, another of my favorite sets is the T-fal E918SC. My friend recently ordered this set from Amazon and what I have come to like about it, is the non-stick surface that saves oil while you cook. Interestingly, this set features a unique thermo spot heat indicator allowing for regulated heat to the pan. What I love about the technology of this pan is that whenever we are preparing pan cakes and pies, the middle part does not burn up unlike many other brands of pans.

I always like to have a deep frying pan around and the Nonstick Jumbo Cooker has always saved my days. The price pushed me towards buying this pan and I couldn’t help to notice it’s 2 layer interior which has kept my frying for 7 months now without facing any scratches. I can wash it on my dishwasher together with other metallic utensils saving lots of time especially when I’m in a hurry. There’s plenty of durable pans and pots to choose from but what I love the most about my sets is their unique features and the materials that make them live longer on my kitchen shelves.

Chocolate Mousse Cake




  • 3ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 14cup hot water
  • 1teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 2tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 34cup granulated sugar
  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2large eggs
  • 2large egg yolks
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 34cup all-purpose flour
  • 34teaspoon baking soda
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 12cup buttermilk
  • For the mousse

  • 34teaspoon gelatin powder
  • 1tablespoon water
  • 6ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 12cups cold heavy cream
  • For the ganache

  • 34cup heavy cream
  • 1tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 9ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


  1. Make the cake:.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven and heat to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour 1 8-inch springform pan. Tap out any excess flour.
  3. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the coffee granules and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, followed by the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined.
  6. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing it to the edges with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. Make the mousse:.
  8. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over water, let stand for 5 minutes. Place chocolate and sugar in a medium bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add the softened gelatin and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken slightly.
  9. In the bowl a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 30 to 60 seconds. Use a whisk to mix in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until no streaks appear. Spoon the chocolate mousse into the pan over the chocolate cake. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, about 2 hours.
  10. Make the ganache:.
  11. Heat the cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat just before it begins to boil. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Spread the ganache over the top of the mousse layer and refrigerate until set. About 45 minutes.
  12. Run a knife along the outer edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan and gently remove from the pan. Serve with whipped cream or fresh berries.
  13. Notes.
  14. Total time does not reflect the time needed for the mousse and ganache to set. Please allow 3 extra hours for this.