White Christmas Margaritas

This post is brought to you by Código 1530 Rosa but all opinions are my own.


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Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your day was filled with much love & joy a person can hold in their heart. I'm not big on the holiday in particular, but I did enjoy some major quality time with the pup and even squeezed in an old tradition - going to the movies on Christmas Day. I saw The Shape of Water and let me tell you, one of the best films I have seen in years. I balled my eyes out because I'm a hopeless, die-hard romantic, but everything from the cinematography to the story was absolutely phenomenal. Truly inspiring - if you haven't seen it yet, you HAVE to check it out! Lots of Oscar buzz going around on this particular film, you'll be hearing a lot more about it! And even though it's the day after Christmas, I wanted to create a fun, festive cocktail drink in light of National Candy Cane Day! Get hooked on this coconutty- peppermint refreshment with an amazing new tequila I'm trying from Código 1530. Continue reading to get the recipe and to see more photos of this holiday cocktail. 

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White Christmas Margarita Recipe

photos + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

photos + recipe by ©Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

14oz coconut milk

12 oz Código 1530 Rosa Tequila

1/2 c lime juice

8oz peppermint schnapps

2c ice

Directions:

  1. Crush hard peppermint candy or candy canes to rim to glasses.

  2. In a blender, mix all ingredients until left with a smooth frozen brew. Garnish with candy canes.

There's not much to this quick and easy recipe. First, crush hard peppermint candy or candy canes to rim to glasses. I did it with a Ziploc bag and the side of a hammer. Very simple. Then in a blender, combine all ingredients blending until left with a smooth frozen brew. Garnish with candy canes and sprinkle a little bit of the crushed ones on top of the drinks. I think it gives it an extra dose of fun and playfulness. As for the Código 1530 Rosa, this particular tequila begins with the purity of their Blanco, then is rested for 1 month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels. The result is a refined spirit with a natural color as beautiful as its taste. Their Rosa has rested just long enough in their fine Cabernet barrels to enrich the natural agave juice, without overpowering its delicate floral notes. I think it goes very well with the balances of the freshness of the peppermint along with the slight sweetness of the coconut milk. What do you guys think of this cocktail? Are you a fan of candy canes and what are your plans for #NationalCandyCaneDay?

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LOVE & XX'S, 

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Cameron Hughes Wine

Thank you Cameron Hughes for sponsoring this post. Capture the celebratory spirit of the holidays, and toast to the season with Cameron Hughes wine!

One of my favorite appetizers in the world are stuffed mushrooms. They can be of any kind. But paired with another fav, the glorious Thanksgiving side dish I go crazy for; stuffing, the combination is deliciously lethal. But anything that goes perfectly well with a nice hors-d'oeuvre is a really nice glass of wine. Exceptional wine, extraordinary value. Great wine doesn't have to be expensive and Cameron Hughes wine's mission is simple: Buy the best possible wine for the best possible price. Which is why I'm so happy to partner with this San Francisco-based wine company founded by Cameron Hughes! In today's post, I'm sharing my thoughts on three different bottles of wine from this brand including my very own quick and easy stuffed mushroom recipe.

The stuffed mushroom recipe literally consists of only 3 items, minus the butter and boiling water. Aside from that, all you need are white mushrooms, sweet Italian sausage (or any sausage you'd like to try it with), and Stove Top's 'Savory Herbs' stuffing. I do know how to make homemade stuffing, which I do almost every Thanksgiving, but it does require more time and it does always taste better cooked in the bird. All that flavor you're missing out on! But sometimes, for something simple and painless this recipe takes less than an hour to prepare + make on top of going well with either a red or white wine. 

photos + recipe by ©   Suzanne Spiegoski

photos + recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

24 oz fresh whole white mushrooms (about 28)

1/2 lb bulk spicy Italian sausage, cooked and drained

1 box Stove Top 'Savory Herbs' stuffing

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove stems from mushroom caps; discard stems.

On an ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides, place mushrooms, stem-side down. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until they just start to release their juices. Remove mushrooms from pan; drain. Remove any liquid from pan.

In a medium bowl, mix Stove Top (cooked) and sausage until well blended. Divide and spoon filling into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place mushrooms in the same 15x10-inch pan.

Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top and heated through.

My friends and I first tried the Chardonnay. The super fresh nose of honeysuckle, pear, and apple gains weight and complexity with a bit of air, adding papaya and orange creamsicle to the mix. Creamy and supple on entry, this wine really hits the “umami” button, with rich orange sherbet and vanilla notes riding that honeyed beam of acidity I find so thrilling about the Chardonnays from this region. Robust yet wonderfully complex even at this young age, it finishes in long waves of ripe fruit and creamy vanilla. Yum.

Next up is the beautifully balanced, complex Pinot Noir that will have broad appeal, providing ample punch but also carefully delineated flavors. Pale ruby in the glass, this Pinot starts with rose petal and earthy black cherry on the nose, opening up to reveal the warmer plum and brown baking spice notes with hints of pepper. Ample yet very refined on the palate, with perfect balance and emerging complexity that will definitely improve in the short term as this opens up in the bottle over the next month or two before settling in for long-term aging. Rich and concentrated on the palate with pretty yet ripe plum mingling peppery spice notes, this wine has plush texture and balance in a long, smooth, harmonious finish.

And lastly, no expense spared, icon-level winemaking. Aged in 50% new French oak, this opaque black wine is textbook, classic Rutherford Cabernet. Sumptuous and suave on the nose, it features a gorgeous mélange of blackberry, cherry, cassis, dark chocolate and mint underpinned with graphite and mineral wrapped in lavender florals. The palate is juicy and succulent, with red and black fruit and a finely knit but resounding kirsch/mocha punch. I have to say out of the three, the reds were my favorite, especially the Pinot Noir. What kind of wine do you normally drink with an appetizer? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

LOVE & XX'S,

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Spiced Apple Margaritas


Happy Labor Day weekend! I'm staying in town relaxing and prepping for NYFW along with brainstorming and creating content for my favorite season, fall! There's no drink quite like the margarita- whether it's frozen or on the rocks, from delicious variants like Chipotle to strawberry and more. That's why Margaritas are the #1 cocktail in the U.S., with 70% of them made from scratch in our very own homes... But there's a well-kept secret that turns an ordinary home-made margarita into an extraordinary one--Agavero Orange. Which is why I've partnered with Agavero Orange Liqueur, a tequila based liqueur that is the perfect addition to any margarita recipe. It's Gran Centenario Tequila's perfect match, and it's your dance partner, party pleaser and top-secret ingredient.With summer coming to an end, I wanted to create a fall-inspired margarita cocktail. Enter: Spiced Apple Margaritas! 

photos + recipe by: ©  Suzanne Spiegoski

photos + recipe by: © Suzanne Spiegoski

Spiced Apple Margaritas

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1.5 parts Gran Centenario Plata

.75 parts Agavero Orange Liqueur

1.5 to 2 ounces apple juice

1 oz fresh orange juice (about half an orange, juiced)

Dash all spice & cinnamon

Star anise, apple & orange zest for garnish

Cinnamon/sugar/salt rim blend and garnish

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. On a small plate, use a fork to blend the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Run a wedge of orange around the top of each drinking glass, then turn the glass down at a 45-degree angle and roll the top of the glass through the cinnamon, sugar and salt blend. Fill the glasses with ice and set them aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Feel free to make 2 to 3 drinks at once. Pour in the tequilas, apple juice, orange juice, all spice, and cinnamon. Put on the lid and shake the cocktail for about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass(es) and add a star of anise if you’d like. Garnish with a slice of apple and orange zest. Cheers!
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Agavero Orange Liqueur is a delicious blend of 100% agave tequila infused with orange and agave nectar. It is subtle enough for sipping, but also an ideal orange liqueur for the ultimate Margarita as it offers a robust tequila flavor coupled with the ripe citrus of Mexican oranges. So I paired the orange liqueur with Gran Centenario® Plata - it adds extra depth and character to crafted cocktails. The tequila is also delicious as a chilled shot. I paired the Tequila's with more orange and apple flavors, spicing it up with some ground all-spice and cinnamon. Lastly, I garnished the drinks with star anise, to not only enhance the flavor but to maintain a rustic sort of fall cocktail. 

What do you guys think of these spiced apple margaritas? I definitely wanted to try something different using fall-inspired ingredients. I was even thinking of a pumpkin spiced margarita, but given the fact that I don't have a blender in my kitchen at the moment, I found it to be rather more challenging to mix those kinds of ingredients together. Which is why I opted for apple and orange, the perfect combination with the Agavero Orange Liqueur and Gran Centenario Tequila. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

LOVE & XX'S,

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Kimchi Risotto

A rainy start to the work week, I wanted to create some new food content as a lot of you have been making several requests as of late. Plus, I've been going through a lot personally, and cooking has always been therapeutic, for me, at least. Eating well never sucks and having others enjoy the food I make results in me being happy, which also never sucks :) So let's talk about this wonderful recipe I tried out - it's nutty, buttery, and tangy with just the right amount of heat, and perfect for a chillier day like today... kimchi risotto! What the heck did I just say?!

Kimchi Risotto

photos by ©  Suzanne Spiegoski

photos by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2c Kimchi juice (squeezed from kimchi)

1/2 Kimchi (minced)

3c Vegetable stock

2Tbsp butter

2 Cloves garlic (minced)

1c Sushi rice

3-4Tbsp Gruyére cheese (grated with a microplane)

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the juice out of the kimchi using your hands to make 1/2 cup of juice and then weigh out 100 grams of squeezed kimchi. Mince the kimchi.

  2. Pour the vegetable stock into a pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn down to low to keep warm.

  3. In another pot, add the lard and garlic and saute until fragrant.

  4. Add the minced kimchi and continue sauteing until the kimchi is translucent.

  5. Add the rice and stir until the rice has evenly absorbed all the oil.

  6. Add the kimchi juice along with a ladleful of hot vegetable stock and stir the rice until most of the water has been absorbed.

  7. Continue adding vegetable stock a ladleful at a time and stirring until the rice is your desired consistency. You may not need all the stock.

  8. When the rice is done, add the grated Gruyère and stir into the risotto. Serve immediately.

I know, initially the idea sounded a bit peculiar. Swiss cheese with kimchi and sushi rice? But the combination of flavors go wonderfully within this dish, and though I've made risottos in the past, I've never tried a fusion recipe of this kind before. And the results were sublime, I'll tell you! One of my favorite dishes is risotto, which would make sense given I'm such a rice girl. But the creamy warm flavors delight my taste buds, as I'm sure they do yours. I love a mean, mushroom risotto, but this kimchi risotto certainly takes the cake! The flavors are really all there, you don't even need to add salt! 

I normally use arborio or baldo rice when it comes to making risotto, but I found sushi rice to be an interesting type of rice to use in this fusion recipe. Though this recipe is derived from here, I did a bit of my own tweaking in terms of measurements and the different use in rice. You could also try using a different form of kimchi, such as turnip/radish, which would still bring the acidity into the risotto. I'd love to give a zucchini kimchi a go, what do you guys think about the sounds of that? 

Here are a few tips to achieving the ultimate risotto: Number one - the broth you use to mix the risotto should be very heat, it better cooks down the rice giving it that smooth, creamy goodness that should be when making risotto. Number two - you can use lard instead of butter should you want a more rich flavor but I like to eat pretty healthy (not that butter is any healthier lol), should you not want to use butter at all, you can try making it with coconut oil! And lastly, when it comes to making your own risotto, try to live a little on the wild side. Mix up the flavors, try something you haven't tried before. Get creative. After all, that's part of the fun when it comes to cooking, am I right or am I right? :) 

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Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 


Hi, everyone! I have to admit - this week hasn't been my best week. I've had all sorts of technical issues when it comes to work, but I just keep telling myself,

"Chill. It's just a camera, not an arm or a leg."

However, having one of my 'babies' behave erratically during an already chaotic time is not exactly in my favor. And I also experienced, once again, the lesson of saving your work every five minutes. I know, I know. Before you lecture me about this, writers, perhaps, have a tendency to get in 'the zone' and will automatically forget to save every few minutes. I know, hit CTL + S and you're good to go - alas, when I did, my computer crashed and needed to restart. So three hours of (IMO) a pretty snazzy article had to be redone from the start. Dislike button, much? Ugh, it really irks me when too much is happening all at once and you feel like you'll never finish anything. But with discipline & hard-earned perseverance, there's nothing I cannot do! I will overcome and conquer! It's all about knowing what's really important and keep on keeping on, right?  

Which is why I partnered with GOODFOODS and had to #SHARETHEGOODNESS of fresh, never artificial-anything, ingredients when it comes to pre-made foods. Whenever it get absolutely crazy around the Spiegoski-Decamps house, I try and 'cheat' my way around certain steps when it comes to cooking. No, nothing like a tv-dinner, but rather, shortcuts or an alternative way to get through a recipe and save time & energy. Yet still remaining true to healthy eating and incorporating that into our lifestyle daily. 

Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

photos + recipe by: Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 large Sweet Potato, cooked, unpeeled and mashed

4 slices Bacon, cooked

4-5 GOODFOODS Grab N' Go Chunky Guacamole

1/4c. Kimchi, chopped

1/4c. chicken broth

salt & pepper, evoo

Directions:

  1. Clean sweet potatoes leaving skin on. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove potatoes from water and cool. Peel and smash with fork. Mix in chicken broth, evoo, and s&p.
  3. Plate tortilla chips down on serving plate. Use a dollop of mashed sweet potato on each chip, followed by GOODFOODS Chunky Guacamole, bacon and kimchi.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

What I loved about GOODFOODS's Grab & Go Chunky Guacamole was not only did it come with tortilla chips perfect for appetizers along with the freshness of the guacamole, but its high quality taste. When you think of anything pre-made, your first instinct would be, 'no', but you want to know what is on their ingredients label? Hass avocados, tomatoes, red onions, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and garlic. Doesn't get anymore fresh than that! And this appetizer is perfect for any game day, no matter the team or sport, the combined flavors will leave everyone happy! Can make it for any tailgate or just an everyday snack too! I have to admit though, I'm more of a basketball fan rather than my husband's fascination with football. Boys.. ;)

You can find other GOODFOODS products here. They have different kinds of guacamole and other dips like a Greek yogurt one. Does artichoke jalapeño or feta cucumber sound enticing? Trust me when I say this, you won't be disappointed when you #SHARETHEGOODNESS with #GOODFOODS. To find a GOODFOODS store near you go here.

This post is sponsored by GOODFOODS, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


PHOTOS + VIDEOGRAPHY BY: SUZANNE SPIEGOSKI 

{NEW VIDEO PRESS PLAY} The latest on our YouTube channel - How to Make Gameday Kimchi Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites with Bacon! Mmmmm... Catch the RECIPE at www.suzannespiegoski.com Be sure to #Subscribe for new videos every week to see more of my style, food & cooking, beauty tutorials and more!

LOVE & XX'S,

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