Entertaining

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.

Street Corn Cups

Street Corn Cups

My version of Elote en Vaso. Roasted corn kernels in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile, lime and chives.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chicken Molé Amarillo Recipe from the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Chelada Beer Cocktail with Lime & Tajin

Chelada Beer Cocktail with Lime & Tajin

This super-refreshing citrus beer cocktail is served in a chile and salt rimmed glass over ice. It’s kinda like a beer margarita. I love it because it’s a big drink that lasts a long time and it has considerably less sugar and calories than a margarita. 

Hibiscus Agua Fresca Cooler

Hibiscus Agua Fresca Cooler

This recipe is an outtake from my new cookbook Taste of Tucson that was cut for space. It comes from Erika and Jake of Seis Kitchen, who said to be sure and not throw out the hibiscus flowers after you boil them, eat them instead! They said, “They are still super tasty and similar in texture to fruit leather.” This agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) Plus, hibiscus flowers have a myriad of health benefits.

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

Creepy Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe was originally developed for TasteCooking.com. This pasta is quite spooky looking, yet elegant enough to serve at a Halloween themed adult dinner party.

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites With Sprinkles

We all know that rainbow sprinkles make the world-go-round and this super-easy recipe is fun, festive and good for you too. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave which makes it the perfect treat for a hot summer’s day.

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

Mini Brownie Stack Cakes

A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.

Beautiful Brownie Bites

Beautiful Brownie Bites

These rich, mini bits of extra-gooey brownies are decorated to look like fancy boxed chocolates. The topping are a great way to try out new flavor combinations and play with the contrast of the colors against the dark background of the bites.

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow Sprinkles Cream Cheese

Rainbow sprinkles for breakfast? Yes! A crunchy and slightly sweet sprinkles cream cheese recipe for everyone who needs more rainbow sprinkles in their lives.

Lasagna Dip

Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Chocolate Caramel Apple Pops

Cute, kid friendly recipe for slices of apples dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles candy or nuts. This recipe was originally developed fro Refinery29.

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

Baguette Breakfast Casserole

This visually stunning breakfast casserole is elegant, yet quick and easy to prepare. Tuck savory Canadian bacon, eggs, herbs, and cheese inside slices of crusty baguettes. Recipe and food photography by Jackie Alpers

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Everyone needs a good buttercream frosting recipe. Here’s yours! From my cookbook, Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

Funfetti Layer cake

Funfetti Layer cake

Sprinkles melt away during baking leaving behind little confetti-like poufs of color in this deconstructed cake that shows off the sprinkles hidden inside.

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with My Recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.

Savarin Chantilly – French Bundt Cake with Apricot Glaze

Savarin Chantilly – French Bundt Cake with Apricot Glaze

My niece got married in a field in Oskaloosa, Kansas last weekend. Afterwards we had lunch under a tent. My mother-in-law made all of the desserts including this Savarin, a rich airy cake soaked in a simple syrup and topped with apricot glaze and whipped cream. It’s traditionally served as a feast-day dessert in France. This is her recipe. It’s a little more complicated than the recipes I usually post, but I think it’s worth the effort.

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Make any day a celebration! Just barely sweet, these sparkly sandwiches make a fun breakfast surprise, after-school snack, or party food.

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Fairy Bread” from A Child’s Garden of Verses, fairy bread is a popular treat at children’s parties in Australia, New Zealand, and other little pockets of the world.

This recipe is from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts. The photograph is previously unpublished

Postmodern Art Popsicles

Postmodern Art Popsicles

What is the nature of art? Can it exist in popsicle form? Is it still art after the popsicle has been eaten? How does the process of melting affect the piece? These are some of the questions that I pondered while creating, and then ingesting this popsicle. made it from diamond shaped sprinkles in primary colors and Sno-Caps candies.

Pretty in Pink: Candied Lady Apples

Pretty in Pink: Candied Lady Apples

These easy candied apples are a healthy, sweet treat that are fun for kids to make. I used Lady Apples, which are stunning, tiny, sweet apples that resemble crab apples. Also called Christmas Apples, they are generally available in stores starting in mid-October.  The candy melts are small discs that come in a variety of colors and are available at Michael’s and other craft stores as well as some supermarkets. I chose pink because I thought it looked nice with the red apples, but it’s fun to play around and find the colors you like best.

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

A can of pumpkin’s been staring at me from the counter top for two weeks now.The internet recipe sites are all screaming at me that it’s pumpkin season, and I am indeed ready for fall. So today I finally got to work and invented something to celebrate the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.

The Calypso Cooler

The Calypso Cooler

Recipe for a beautiful blue ice cream soda for adults made with fresh fruit muddled with wine coolers and ice cream.

The Muddler Tropical Cocktail

The Muddler Tropical Cocktail

I’m a bit muddled thanks to the help of my friends, and it smells a little bit like tequila in here. Lately, people have been sending me wonderful presents and coincidentally two of them were based on smashing citrus fruits and various high quality liquids together.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

This chunky guacamole recipe from the Taste of Tucson cookbook is spicy, salty and creamy – yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and a tiny bit of crunch.

Black and White Nachos

Black and White Nachos

This recipe makes a white nacho cheese sauce instead of the traditional yellow. Black beans add contrast, fiber and a bit more protein. There are more colors here than just black and white. but you get the point.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Who Needs Green Beer When There Are Margaritas?

In Arizona we tend to forgo the green beer in favor of a lovely pale green margarita on St. Patrick’s Day. You can make them easily at home without the high-sugar mix. If you use high end tequila and Grand Manier instead of tripe sec it’s called a Cadillac margarita which are usually served in bigger proportions than a regular margarita.

Recipe Index

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Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

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About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

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