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strawberry-rhubarb margarita bars

strawberry-rhubarb margarita bars

We’re baaack! You may have noticed the last recipe we posted on our blog was in January, but let us assure you that we have been working on something very special behind the scenes, and will be sharing some exciting news later this month. Stay tuned—and until then, we have a sweet treat for all your Cinco de Mayo entertaining needs. Imagine a lemon bar—but instead, the lemon is replaced with a tangy strawberry-rhubarb filling made with fresh lime zest and a hint of tequila! Celebrate this festive holiday with spicy tacos, cool margaritas, and an irresistible margarita-inspired dessert that will have everyone cheering Olé! This pretty pink recipe is our contribution to #MargaritaWeek, hosted by Kate Ramos of Hola Jalapeño. Click HERE to see all the other bloggers’ creative recipes, and we’ll see you at the fiesta!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Margarita Bars
Makes one 8-inch square pan
Serves 9 to 16

For the filling:
1 pound (454g) strawberries, stems removed
1/2 pound (227g) rhubarb, chopped and leaves removed
1/2 cup (120ml) tequila of your choice
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (140g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons (24g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lime zest (3-4 limes)

For the crust:
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest (about 2 limes)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two overlapping sheets of parchment, with the paper overhanging the sides, creating a sling to lift the bars out later. Set aside.

Place the strawberries and rhubarb in a food processor or blender, and purée until smooth and liquified. Strain the mixture through a nut-milk bag, several layers of cheesecloth, or an ultra-fine-mesh strainer to remove all seeds and pulp. You should have about 2 cups of juice. Pour the juice in a small saucepan and add the tequila. Set the pan over medium-low heat, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook until the liquid reduces to just 1/3 cup of thick syrup, stirring occasionally, about 45 to 55 minutes. If the mixture begins to foam up, lower the heat to a more gentle simmer. When the mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup, pour it into a heatproof measuring cup and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before use.

Meanwhile, as the juice mixture is simmering, make the crust: in a mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, lime zest, salt, and pepper, and beat until fluffy and smooth. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and use your fingers to press it into an even layer over the bottom of the pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges just begin to turn brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly.

While the crust is cooling, finish making the filling: in a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the cooled juice mixture, flour, and lime zest, and whisk to combine. Pour over the warm crust and bake until the center is set and the edges begin to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. Then cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cut into squares—either 9 large squares or 16 smaller ones—then dust with additional powdered sugar and enjoy!

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sparkling dragon fruit margarita

sparkling dragon fruit margaritas

Even though there is an eight year difference between us, we have never noticed. Technically, it’s eight years and three months, but who’s counting? The only time it was an issue was when we first started dating: Ryan was nineteen and wasn’t allowed into some of the shows that Adam’s band was playing because he was still a minor. It’s funny to think that in the mid-eighties when Adam was in middle school, Ryan was just starting kindergarten. We both remember jelly bracelets and garbage pail kids, parachute pants, and the brightly colored neon fashion which illuminated that era. The vibrant color of this glowing cocktail we are sharing today reminds us of those days, and you won’t believe us when we tell you that the hue is all-natural and comes from a tropical fruit. This Cinco de Mayo we are going back… to the future!

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jalapeño-cucumber margaritas

jalapeño-cucumber margaritas

Monday was National Margarita Day. We don’t know who comes up with these random food holidays or how they get started, but somehow, we seem to hear about them the day they happen. Our schedules are fairly flexible so it keeps things exciting for us when these culinary affairs unexpectedly appear. A few weeks ago, we were in the kitchen about to make vegetarian matzo ball soup for the blog, when we realized everyone online was posting about National Chocolate Cake Day. You can’t ignore a sweet holiday like that, so we followed our instincts, baked a cake instead, and made the soup the following day. And how can you pass up an opportunity to start off your week making delicious margaritas first thing on a Monday morning?! Sure, it may have been 8am, but it was 5 o’clock somewhere plus it was Washington’s birthday, so we had to raise a glass to honor the father of our country, even if we hadn’t had our breakfast yet. And as appropriate as cherry margaritas would have been to recognize his 282nd, another idea blossomed. One of our favorite local Mexican restaurants, Cacao Mexicatessen, makes the best margaritas, and we thought if there was one recipe we’d like to make, it would be theirs. Even though they are closed on Mondays, we crossed our fingers and sent them a message on Instagram asking if they would be willing to share their recipe with us. Not only did they immediately respond on their day off, but were gracious enough to email us the recipe and said we would be welcome to post it on our website. So in celebration of this momentous holiday, as well as a belated toast to our first president, we thank Cacao, and nobly introduce you to these most-delicious jalapeño-cucumber margaritas.

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mango pie

mango pie

This post was created in partnership with the National Mango Board. All opinions are our own.

If you like apple pie, then you’re going to love mango pie! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this year’s dessert table is getting a brand new look. Don’t worry, we’re not advising you to do anything drastic—you can still bring pumpkin and pecan pies to the festivities as we don’t want your guests to miss out—but instead of baking the same ole apple pie for the twenty-ninth year in a row, this time we’re going to surprise everyone with something special. Spiced with warm fall flavors, and topped with a golden lattice crust—with this post we declare that pie season has officially begun!

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polenta mini-pizzas with kale-jalapeño pesto, burst cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese

polenta mini-pizzas with kale-jalapeño pesto, burst cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese

This post was created in partnership with Health-Ade and The Feedfeed. All opinions are our own.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, and we are diving right in. In less than 48 hours, we’ll be sailing on crystal clear waters 3500 miles from Los Angeles, sipping on dark and stormys, passion coladas, and soaking up Caribbean sunshine in the tropical British Virgin Islands. Ryan’s parents are experienced sailors, and every few years, they invite the family to explore the seas in a 45-foot catamaran that will be our floating home for the week. Stocked with a full kitchen complete with an oven and stove, the eight of us will be cruising in the water—with laughing gulls tagging along, waiting for our nieces Stella and Lucia, who will throw them a treat. With four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a sound system which will have Bob Marley and Harry Belafonte on repeat, our crew will be adventuring around the neighboring islands that make up this picture-perfect region—sampling fresh local fruit, snorkeling in 80-degree waters teeming with coral reefs and rainbow-colored fish, and enjoying some much-needed relaxation after this past year and a half of writing the cookbook! But before we embark, we’d like to leave you with a brand new recipe and a refreshing drink to go with it.

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