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Hibiscus Margarita Popsicles

The beauty of a boozy popsicle lies in its discreetness. Dessert For Two‘s Christina Lane explains how this seemingly innocent frozen pop is tons more fun thanks to a splash of tequila and triple sec, perfect for judgement-free imbibing from the prying eyes of neighbors. Amen to that! We’ll be making these hibiscus margarita pops all summer long.

For the full recipe and more sweet ideas, check out Dessert for Two!

Hibiscus Margarita Popsicles
prep time
15 Minute/s
cook time
5 Minute/s
total time
20 Minute/s
Serves 6Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅓ cup dried hibiscus (agua de jamaica) flowers
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • juice from ½ a lime
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 2 teaspoons triple sec (or Cointreau)
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and stir in the flowers. Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain the flowers from the tea, and then whisk in the sugar. Whisk very well to dissolve.
  3. Next, stir in the lime juice and alcohols.
  4. Taste. Smile.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks, and freeze until solid.

Photography: Dessert For Two | Recipe: Dessert For Two

Travel to Spain

If Spain is on your must travel to list it will surely shoot to the tippy top after one look at these gorgeous images by Claire Graham. On a recent holiday, she explored all that this gorgeous country has to offer… white stone architecture and breathtaking water views, vibrant colors and open air markets. It’s firing up the old wanderlust engine this morning. Click here for so much more.

From Claire… I recently visited Spain on a holiday and enjoyed the beauty and culture of Marbella, Malaga, Ronda & Puerto Banus. I love the beauty Spain has to offer around every corner with its culture, white buildings, stone roads and evening markets.

WHERE TO EAT: Piucaro Restaurante is a must! I have visited this beautiful restaurant so many times. The food is always delicious and the views are stunning.

MUST SEE: There is so much to see! Puerto Banus is always interesting if you like to see the big expensive boats and super cars. My husband and I really enjoyed going to Ronda – The old town. Wondering down the beautiful stone roads with gorgeous white buildings is breathtaking. We ended up in a pretty square with a few spanish men playing their guitars and a few little restaurant/bars, it was so tranquil.

Also go to the Alameda Del Tajo, it has the most amazing views.

WHERE TO STAY: Gran Melia Don Pepe is such an incredible hotel. Highly recommended.

Photography: Claire Graham

Bohemian Essentials to Dress Up A Bare Picnic Table

Even if you’re not a real-life gypsy (not many are), that doesn’t mean you can’t have the perfectly undone, outdoor féte of your summer entertaining dreams. And, with our picks to achieve step-by-step bohemian perfection, we promise you can set up shop for your dream party anyplace, anytime — even using a bare public picnic table! Don’t believe me? Click through to see how easy it can be!

Bohemian Picnic Table
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Bohemian Picnic Table
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Other Summer Entertaining Inspiration:

Entertaining Tips For Beating The Heat | DIY Summer Floral Halo

Strawberries & Cream Mini Chiffon Cake

In the summertime, all we can think about are strawberries and how to eat them: tossed in a salad, muddled in a cocktail, dipped in chocolate—drooling yet? Our favorite way is layered with whipped cream between stacks of chiffon cake, which is why we are obsessing over these adorable mini strawberries and cream cakes from Two Red Bowls.

To assemble the mini cakes, Cynthia of Two Red Bowls used a stabilized whipped cream with gelatin, and she froze the cakes to make them easier to slice.

Made with “airy, light, eggy vanilla chiffon, crimson macerated strawberries, and gently sweetened whipped cream to tie it all together, dusted with confectioners’ sugar,” these itty bitty bites sound like a dream! For the full post and more recipes, check out Two Red Bowls!

Strawberries & Cream Miniature Chiffon Cake
prep time
1 Hour/s 45 Minute/s
cook time
45 Minute/s
total time
2 Hour/s 30 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 2 eggs, carefully separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 7 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (68 g) cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder* (see Notes)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • two clean, empty tin cans (one 28-oz and one 14-oz) or one 6-inch round cake tin* (see Notes)
  • For the strawberries:
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • for the stabilized whipped cream (adapted from Wilton):
  • 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin (I used Knox)
  • 2 tsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold, plus 1 tbsp cream at room temperature
  • 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of the tin cans or the cake tin with parchment paper rounds, unless you have a 6-inch tin with a removable bottom (see Notes). In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, 6 tbsp sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the yolks, oil, milk, vanilla, and almond extract until pale yellow. Set aside.
  2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a small bowl. Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they reach soft peaks. With the beater still running, gradually add the one remaining tablespoon of sugar and continue to whip the whites until firm and glossy.
  3. Give the yolk mixture another few whisks to emulsify it, then add it to the cake flour mixture and whisk until just smooth, 20-30 seconds. Very gently fold the egg whites into the mixture in batches, adding the next batch before the first has been fully incorporated to avoid overmixing. With the last addition, fold until just incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the two tin cans, filling each about halfway. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 5-10 more minutes, for a total of 40-45 minutes. When done, the cake should be dark golden brown on top and should bounce back when pressed. (Note: The smaller tin can might finish baking a few minutes earlier than the large one -- simply remove quickly from the oven and let the larger can finish baking.)
  5. Invert the tins and let the cakes cool upside down for about 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the cake by running a knife around the tin, angling the knife towards the tin to try and get the full crust on the cake.
  6. For the strawberries: Meanwhile, combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator to macerate for at least 30 minutes. Strawberries will release syrup and turn a brighter red.
  7. When cake is fully cool, torte them into layers and set aside while you prepare the whipped cream.
  8. For the whipped cream: In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water and let stand until thick, about 5 minutes. Microwave in 5-second increments or heat over a water bath until gelatin dissolves. This will only take about 10 seconds total in the microwave.
  9. Remove from heat and let it cool briefly, 2-3 minutes, until just warm but not set. Pour one tablespoon of room temperature cream into the gelatin mixture, whisking continuously, to temper the gelatin and avoid lumps.
  10. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream to soft peaks. Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until incorporated. Keeping the mixer on low, add the gelatin in a slow stream to the whipping cream, beating continuously. Return the mixer to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Note that this whipped cream will need to be used within 20 or so minutes of beating -- because it's stabilized, it tends to become more difficult to spread after that.
  11. Frost cake as desired (I used Sara Tso from Matchbox Kitchen’s excellent naked cake tutorial here) and enjoy immediately, as naked cakes have a tendency to dry out a bit quicker. (I did find that these froze pretty well, frosting and all, though!)
  12. Notes:
  13. Be sure to separate the eggs carefully; even a small amount of yolk in the whites will prevent them from beating up properly.
  14. Using parchment to line the tin cans will cause the bottom to sink slightly when you invert the cakes to cool. I thought it was negligible for the tin cans, especially when compared to how hard it was to get the cakes out without the liners, but it may be more noticeable for a 6-inch tin, in which case it might be better to use a tin with a removable bottom.
  15. In the several trials I did for this cake, the leavener proved to be the hardest for me to get right. I was looking for a very close crumb and ended up with one that was still slightly more open than I was aiming for. If you don’t mind this and want a tall cake, keep it at 1/4 tsp baking powder as written. If you’d like a tighter crumb, decrease to 1/8 tsp baking powder.

 

For more summer desserts, check out:

20 Finger-Licking Summer Desserts | The Prettiest Peony Cake | 20 Popsicle Recipes to Beat the Heat

Photography: Two Red Bowls | Recipe: Two Red Bowls

10 Best Beach Reads

Warm sand between our toes, cold drink in hand, and a riveting beach read—that sound like our perfect beach day! We’re always looking for recommendations on what to read next, which is why we had to share this awesome summer reading list from Waiting on Martha. Lose yourself in these 10 books that are perfect for a lazy day at the beach!

10 Best Beach Reads
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10 Best Beach Reads
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For the full post and more inspiration, be sure to check out Waiting on Martha!

Weekend Menu: Best Ever Guacamole + Pink Lemonade Margarita

What do you get when you combine a hot summer day, tortilla chips, our Best Ever Guacamole and a super-delicious, super-cold Pink Lemonade Margarita? Oh, I don’t know… maybe the best mini weekend menu combo ever?! Check out this, and other dips ‘n’ drinks pairings below, make like it’s Friday night, and get sipping and dipping!

Party Dips

If you’re an avocado aficionado, then you already know that almost nothing in the world beats a good bowl of guac. Try our Best Ever Guacamole recipe, and it’ll become your new go-to.

Other Party Dips To Try:

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted red Pepper Hummus

Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce

Margaritas

Put a grownup twist on a childhood favorite by fusing pink lemonade with all the fixin’s of a regular marg, to make this version, specially created by our own Abby Larson!

Other Margaritas To Try:

Dragonfruit Margarita

Cranberry Raspberry Margarita

Mint Watermelon Margarita

Dippers

Tortilla chips may seem like an obvious choice to pair with guacamole, but you can also try using classic kettle-fried potato chips as dippers for a decadent twist.

Other Dippers To Try:

Homemade French Fries

Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade Tortillas