Cinco de Mayo

I love the color and fiesta of Cinco de Mayo every year.  Any excuse to have a margarita, I’ll take it.  I will be making delicious tacos tonight along with virgin fresh margaritas to celebrate.  I also love the start of Aztec-inspired fashion with strappy sandals, colorful prints, and adorable straw hats to kick-off summer fashion.  How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

Below is a  Cinco de Mayo inspired look and of course, I am sharing my favorite skinny margarita recipe.

CincodeMayo

The Best Skinny Margarita

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Instructions

Fill a small cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the tequila, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice.   Put on the lid and shake for 30 seconds. Strain the liquid into your glass and garnish with a slice of lime.  You can add agave nectar but I have been trying to cut out sugar where possible so I usually do without 🙂

Rim with sea salt and enjoy!

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Sandy toes + salty kisses

I feel so lucky to have spent 4th of July (my favorite holiday!) on St. John at the “carnival celebration”, which includes a floating bar, the best Caribbean drinks, and dancing all night in the beach and in the water!  The fireworks were incredible and it was one of the best 4th of July’s I have experienced.  Our trip was amazing, especially because I was able to go with my UCONN college roommate and her husband along with my husband.

Are you traveling anywhere this summer?

4thpfjuly

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Just a few favorites from the trip:

Painkillers. The liquid form. The most famous local cocktail. Bought some fresh nutmeg, bay leaves, and cinnamon to endeavor to make a homemade version. Recipe here.

Visiting the Baths at Virgin Gorda. Breathtaking views and incredible beaches.

The Soggy Dollar Bar at Jost Van Dyke. Sunny place for Shady people is their motto! Coolest bar ever, especially because there is no way to enter this island unless you swim to it.

Oh and I can’t forget the adorable animals. Donkeys (apparently they like Doritos), the goats that travel in large packs, and of course, all of the fish and sea creatures I saw while snorkeling!

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paddleboard

ryantaylor4celebrate

roomies

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Classic Mojito Recipe

I’ve never been a mojito lover because most of the places that I have tried them, they were pre-mixed and not fresh. This past weekend, for Father’s Day, we had a wonderful barbecue by the pool and I decided to make some fresh mojitos, Jamie style. I used flavored Bacardi to add a little raspberry flavor and used Truvia instead of sugar. I was delightfully surprised by how refreshing these were. Not too sweet but definitely the perfect pool-side drink.

mojito

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, cleaned
  • 1/3 cup Truvia
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 limes
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 (750 ml bottle) light rum (I used Bacardi raspberry for extra flavor)
  • 1 liter club soda

mojitorecipe

Directions:

In a large pitcher, muddle mint sprigs with Truvia until well combined. Add ice, rum and club soda and stir together. Add lots of lemon and lime wedges.  Pour into glasses, and add a lime for garnish. Enjoy!

 

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When Life Hands you Lemons

When life hands your lemons, make Limoncello, of course. That’s what my husband and I did last night. We picked up some organic lemons from Whole Foods and used the recipe we got when were in Positano, Italy. The recipe is very easy, calling for Everclear alcohol, lemons, cane sugar, and water.  However, the Amalfi lemons are what makes Italian Limoncello so delicious.  In 8 days, we will see how these Whole Foods lemons compare!

I hate to waste food so when I had all these leftover “naked” lemons, I wanted to make something creative.  First, I made low-calorie strawberry lemonade. Recipe is below and I must say, it is so refreshing.

I also decided to make lemon juice ice cubes!  I have never tried them but thought they would be great for ice water or for cocktails.  I had these cute star ice trays so I took a turkey baster and filled up the cubes with leftover lemon juice.

image{peeling the lemon grinds was the hardest part so I left that for the hubby}

positano{picture from Positano, Italy where they have the absolute best Limoncello}

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image{strawberry Lemonade:  1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons), 4 tablspoons Truvia,  5 cups water, 5 strawberries}

{directions: Mix lemon juice, water, and Truvia to taste.  By adding fresh cut strawberries and letting site for a few months, the natural flavor of the strawberries will start to soak in!}

image{brilliant idea- Lemon Juice ice cubs for refreshing beverages!}

Fresh Watermelon Margaritas

Happy Monday and Happy Cinco de Mayo! I love a classic, fresh margarita and am usually a plain Jane when it comes to margaritas. I usually opt for an all-natural margarita with no sour mix and tons of limes with my favorite tequila, Clase Azul. However, this fresh watermelon variation is the only variation of a margarita I love because it’s is so refreshing and not too sweet. Enjoy!

watermelonRitas