I love margaritas, and not the frozen, artificially-colored, intensely sweet kinds. I'm talking about freshly-mixed drinks, where every flavor of each high-quality ingredient stands out–starting, of course, with the tequila. So when the ultra-premium brand Dobel Tequila asked if I'd like to use a bottle of their double-distilled Hungarian White Oak barrel-matured alcohol to make one of their signature cocktail recipes, I of course jumped at the chance. This has been my favorite so far: a Mexican-inspired take on the Salty Dog (a drink usually made with grapefruit juice, vodka and salt), here instead the slight bitterness of the grapefruit marries well with the intense flavor of the tequila. It's an incredibly smooth and refreshing drink, perfect for a balmy day.
p.s. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for the Mickey Lynn necklace. We'll be announcing the winner soon! x
5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
3 oz Tequila (Dobel, recommended)
Coarse salt, for rimming glass
Grapefruit slice, for garnish
1. Wet the rim of a glass with cut grapefruit half (discard) and coat with coarse salt. Fill glass with ice.
2. Add grapefruit juice and tequila in a shaker, and shake with ice for 15 seconds.
2. Strain into a glass and enjoy.
I'm always looking for ways to impress at parties, and nothing is more perfect (and easy) to serve than dips and accompaniments. Spinach and artichoke dip is an appetizer menu staple and favorite, so it's hard to go wrong with this made-at-home version (bonus: my recipe cuts down on the fat and sodium content). The relationship between prep time and wow factor on this dish is wildly disproportionate: the assemblage requires no cooking and can be done up to two days ahead of serving. Come party time, pop the mixture into the oven and watch as it's transformed into a pot of golden cheesy goodness.
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well blended.
3. Spoon mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle with some additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Serve with toasted fresh bread rounds and/or tortilla chips.