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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Lime Cashews

Tracy Byrne

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

For the past few months I have been using Raw Spice Bar.  It's kind of awesome!  For only $6 a month a pack of three spices is sent to my apartment with recipe cards.  The spices are unique blends from all over the world and perfectly portioned for a recipe.  If you're anything like me, you are in a spice rut and trying new spices is daunting because who wants to spend six dollars on one spice you might only use a 1/4 teaspoon!

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

Raw Spice Bar has added some amazing flavor to my usual meals and is a great way to try new recipes and ideas.  This is not a paid advertisement, just a suggestion that you should treat yourself to a subscription to the service!

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

This recipe is not from one of the provided cards, but from my desire for a dessert/snack during my latest round of Whole 30.  The lime and salt pair so well with the meaty cashews providing a great snack.  It is healthful and full of flavor.  The brightness pairs well with seltzer or, as I could only imagine, a summery cocktail!

Print the recipe!

Lime Cashews

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 1 1/2 cups

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

1 tablespoon Kaffir Lime powder

1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large saute pan heat the coconut oil.  Once melted, add the cashews.

  2. Cook the cashews until they just begin to brown and become fragrant.  Stir frequently.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime powder and salt.  Stir until well combined.

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

Salsa Chicken

Tracy Byrne

Crockpot Salsa Chicken 2.JPG

This is one of those recipes you make all the time but does not seem worthy of photographing.  It is incredibly simple but the payoff is huge.  You have well seasoned, perfectly cooked protein adaptable to a wide variety of meals from five minutes of a actual work.  This is one of my easiest and best tasting recipes!

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

It seems the past two years of my life have been pretty chaotic with the start of grad school and I am always in need of quick and easy meals that last the week.  I suspect I am not the only one with such needs.  When I'm on a Whole 30 I put the salsa chicken over lettuce or mixed in eggs.  When not on a Whole 30, its in a taco or made into nachos.  All are fantastic options!

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

 Salsa Chicken

Adapted from Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Yield - 4-6 servings

 

1-2 onions

1-2 bell peppers

1 pound boneless, skinless breast

1 jar (12-ounces) of your favorite salsa

  1. Slice the peppers and onions into large slices.  Place them on the bottom of a crockpot.

  2. Add the chicken on top of the onions and peppers.

  3. Cover with the salsa.  Add a little water to the salsa jar, shake, and pour over the salsa.

  4. Cook for 4 hours on high in the crockpot.

  5. Serve with/in/over salad greens, eggs, tacos, rice, etc.

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

Roasted Strawberry Galette

Tracy Byrne

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

It's summer!  Beach, vacations, strawberries, wine, late nights = summer.  Last weekend was Fourth of July and I whipped this together for a last minute barbecue.  Pie is totally worth heating up the entire kitchen.  It's equally impressive and tasty.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

For July's Secret Recipe Club, I had CJ from Morsels of Life.  I knew I wanted to make some sort of dessert, but I didn't know what.  Maybe some cookies?  The Pecan Chia Pudding looked amazing, but I decided on a strawberry galette because it was summery, easy, and I had all of the ingredients on hand.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

The strawberries are perfectly ripe and flavorful with the addition of balsamic vinegar, honey, and vanilla.  The crust is tender, buttery, and lovingly browned.  Together you have a simple, yet delectable summer dessert ready to be eaten and enjoyed by all.  Galettes take away all the pretenses of a pie but add twice the delight!

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow
Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow | Secret Recipe Club

Print the recipe!

Roasted Strawberry Galette

Crust from Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker

Filling from Morsels of Life

Yield - 4-5 servings

 

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ice cold water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

 

1 1/2 quart strawberries

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean

1 egg

turbinado sugar

whipped cream for serving

  1. Crust - To the bowl of a food processor add the flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse until combined.  Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture is in the shape of small peas.

  2. Mix the vinegar and water, pour into the flour slowly and pulse until the dough starts to pull from the bowl.

  3. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead together.  Divide the dough into two disks.  Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.  You get to save one disk of dough for later.

  4. Filling - Make the filling after the crust, at least an hour before baking.

  5. Remove the tops from the strawberries and slice evenly.  Place a bowl.  Toss the strawberry slices with vinegar, honey, salt, and the seeds from the vanilla bean.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  6. Assembly - On a well floured surface roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle 1/4” thick.  Place the circle of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  7. Strain the strawberries from from the liquid.  Remove as much liquid as possible.

  8. Arrange the strawberries in the middle of the dough and fold over the ends leaving the middle open.

  9. Beat an egg and use a brush to coat the crust.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

  11. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving with whipped cream.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow
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Panty Sugar Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, let's be real, these are not my first batch of underwear themed cookies!  Whether or not you like word "panties," these cookies are fun and perfect for any bachelorette party or gathering of ladies looking for a fun night!  Considering it's been a looooong time since making decorated sugar cookies, these did not turn out too bad and they most definitely renewed my interest in the hobby!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

When your best friend is getting married, there is not much to do besides throw a panty-themed bachelorette party, there were literally hanging from the curtains!  Trust, it's not nearly as scandalous as it sounds...  We had a fantastic weekend in Chicago with great food, laughs, massages, and of course, all the sparkling wine.  I cannot believe Lynn is getting married in less than a week and it was a honor to celebrate her last few days as a single lady for a weekend!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

The cookies are the simplest of cut-out sugar cookies and full of flavor from all the vanilla extract.  The royal icing keeps the cookies fresh and makes them look adorable.  Whether for a bachelorette party or other special occasion, decorated cookies always seem to elevate the occasion!

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Panty Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Bake at 350 cookie & royal icing

Yield - 18 3-4 inch cookies

 

3 cups flour + more for dusting

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold & in cubes

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

4 tablespoons meringue powder

scant 1/2 cup water

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

white food coloring

pink and yellow food coloring (or colors of your choice)

  1. Cookies - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together on parchment paper.  Set aside.

  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar.  Cream together.  Add the egg and vanilla, mix until creamy.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until crumbly.

  5. Turn the dough on a floured surface and knead until the dough comes together.

  6. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/8” thick. Use a large heart (with the tip cut off) or a boob cookie cutter to cut out your butts.

  7. Place the cut dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies just begin to brown.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Royal icing - Combine the meringue powder with water in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix until foamy.

  10. Sift the powdered sugar and add to the mixer.  Mix on low until incorporated.  Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract.

  11. Beat the mixture on medium-high for 5 minutes until the mixture reaches stiff peaks.  Add a squirt of white food coloring and mix again.

  12. Separate the icing into the two bowls.  Add pink to one and yellow to another until the desired shade has been reached.

  13. Thin with a little water until you reach the consistency of peanut butter, this is for outlining.  Add the desired amount to piping bags with a number 2 tip.

  14. Thin the remaining icing until the consistency of syrup for filling. When you drop a ribbon of icing back in the bowl it should disappear in 10 seconds.

  15. Add to a piping bag with a large opening.

  16. Outline and decorate cookies as desired.

Panty Sugar Cookies (Royal Icing Decorated Sugar Cookies) | Pale Yellow

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers

Tracy Byrne

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers | Pale Yellow

Busy.  Life is busy.  I've been working hard to stop using that word, everyone is busy.  I'm not that special.  Instead, I've been trying to say "I have a lot on my plate."  Much better.  Between long weeks at work, grad school, some semblance of a social life, and planning for summer adventures, my plate is very full.

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers | Pale Yellow

Part of the reason I did a Whole 30 right before all the chaos started was to gain some control of my life.  Although meal planning is a lot of work, when your choices are limited, there is less to think about.  However, that did not mean I did not have cravings!  When I saw the recipe for strawberry top vodka on Wit + Vinegar, I knew it had to be made ASAP.

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers | Pale Yellow

Here I am, just composting strawberry tops instead of utilizing them properly!  And this is a proper cocktail.  The strawberry tops add a delicate and fruity flavor to the vodka and when topped with a hint of lime, seltzer, and lots of ice, you got yourself a fantastic drink!  Plus, the color is gorgeous.  Perfect for summer, light and refreshing.  The question is not whether or not you're going to make your own strawberry top vodka, it's what other food scraps can you start adding to your vodka!

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Strawberry Top Vodka

Adapted from Wit and Vinegar

Yield - 12 ounces vodka (6 cocktails)

 

Strawberry Top Vodka

7 strawberries

10 ounces vodka

 

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzer Cocktail

2 ounces strawberry top vodka

1/2 lime, juiced

ice

seltzer

strawberries + lime slices for garnish

  1. Vodka - Cut the tops off of the strawberries.  Eat 6 strawberries.

  2. Add one strawberries plus the 7 tops to a bottle with 10 ounces of vodka.  Shake and seal.  Let the mixture sit for a week.

  3. Strain out the strawberries.

  4. Cocktail - Add the vodka, lime juice, and ice to a rocks-style glass. Stir and add in seltzer to the top.  Garnish with fresh strawberries and a slice of lime.

Strawberry Top Vodka Spritzers | Pale Yellow

Beef and Veggie Stir Fry

Tracy Byrne

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

Last week I ended my second round of Whole 30, I feel great and this round went much better than the last one.  It really helped reading the literature, It Starts with Food.  I ate three meals a day, with no snacking in between and I wasn't hungry.  Lots of protein, veggies, and healthy fats.  I feel like I'm ready for summer!

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

This recipe was so good I made it twice during the month of Whole 30!  Twice!  I hardly ever make recipes more than once in a month.  The recipe was easy, delicious and fast to put together.  I made a few adaptations to the original recipe to make it Whole 30 compliant.  Serve it on its own or over cauliflower rice and you're golden.

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I had Lauren from the fabulous blog, From Gate to Plate.  Not only is it a great name, but I love the concept.  Living on a farm and cooking what you grow and produce is awesome!  There were many great recipes to try, I looked at the Cinnamon Bundt Coffee Cake, because yes, and the Spinach Citrus Salad before siding on this recipe.

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

I kept the idea the same, but made a few substitutions.  I added more veggies like onion and broccoli and substituted the soy sauce for coconut amines.  Coconut amines are a great product with tons of flavor minus the excessive sodium and soy.  Anyway, I highly suggest you whip up a batch of this stir fry while sugar snap peas are in season!

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

Print the recipe!

Beef and Veggie Stir Fry

Adapted from From Gate to Plate

Yield - 4-5 servings

 

1 cup coconut amines

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 tablespoon freshly grated garlic

1 lb chipped beef, anything thinly sliced would work here

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 head of broccoli, chopped small

8 ounces sugar snap peas

salt + pepper

rice or cauliflower rice for serving

 

  1. Whisk together the coconut amines, arrowroot starch, ginger, and garlic.  Add the beef into the liquid and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan or wok.  Prepare the vegetables.  When the oil is hot, add the vegetables.  Stir and cook for about five minutes until the broccoli is fork tender.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.

  3. Remove from the pan.

  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and allow the pan to heat for 1 minute.

  5. Add in the beef, stir and cook for about one minute.  When the beef is cooked, add the vegetables and any extra liquid, stir together.

  6. Serve over rice.

beef and veggie stir fry | pale yellow

I Do What I Want V. 4

Tracy Byrne

It's been too long since a random life post has appeared.  There has been much travel, much eating, and much fun.  Also, a lot of stress.  I have been very into the podcast Happier by Gretchen Rubin.  She is my new spiritual director of sorts.  She has a quiz to help you determine your tendency, which is how you relate to internal and external expectations.  Surprisingly, but not too surprisingly, I'm a Rebel.  At first I was like know, but then I remembered the hashtag I use - #IDoWhatIWant.

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Ruth and I looking lovely at Andrea's fantastic wedding!  Chelsea was kind enough to DD us home.

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Priscilla the hedgehog looking happy instead of her usual scared.

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A small sampling of the delicious food and drink had in Nashville.  The city is a great eating place, I could definitely go back and eat my way through town!

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NSTA fun!  Science teachers know how to have a good time.  I always say Galapagos tortises are my spirit animal, but maybe it's a sloth!

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Wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley for lunch.  Classy AF!

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With my ladies drinking all the wine!  Five ladies from 4 different states coming together to drink all the wine almost 10 years after leaving college.  A major win for friendship!

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Blue skies for days in Durham,  NC visiting Emily and the family.  Such a perfect February get away!

Relish Deviled Eggs

Tracy Byrne

Relish Deviled Eggs | Pale Yellow

Sometimes you get a craving and it needs to be satisfied.  On this day it was deviled eggs.  We have chickens at work, so there are always plenty of eggs around.  A throwback good for sure, but always the right decision!  If you ignore the little bit of mayo, a good deviled egg is relatively healthy.  Full of flavor and protein, they make a great addition to a salad or as an afternoon snack.

Relish Deviled Eggs | Pale Yellow

I tried a new method to make hard boiled eggs, baking them!  For some reason, it has always been hard for me to boil eggs properly for some reason.  Either they are over cooked with the green line, so difficult to peel, or under cooked.  Baking them so easy, and they came out perfectly!  So easy peel and perfectly cooked.  This will be my go-to method for sure.

Relish Deviled Eggs | Pale Yellow

I wanted to make sure there was a lot of flavor and some texture.  The mustard and lemon juice add flavor and the relish adds some crunch.  Parsley adds freshness and once it is all mixed together, you are ready to pipe!  Sprinkle with a little paprika (or a lot!) and you are done.  Not only did I enjoy them, but my co-workers loved them too.

Relish Deviled Eggs | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Relish Deviled Eggs

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 7 servings

 

7 eggs

3 tablespoons light mayo

1 tablespoon relish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

salt

paprika

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.

  2. Add seven eggs to a mini muffin tin.

  3. Bake eggs for 25 minutes.

  4. Make an ice bath using a bowl filled with water and ice cubes.

  5. Remove eggs from the oven and add to the ice bath for 10 minutes.  Peel immediately

  6. Slice eggs in half and scoop out the yolk into a small bowl.

  7. To the small bowl add the mayo, relish, lemon juice, mustard, and parsley.  Stir until well combined, the egg yolk is broken down, and the mixture is fluffy.

  8. Add to a piping bag with a star tip.  Pipe filling in each half of an egg.

  9. Sprinkle generously with salt and paprika.

Relish Deviled Eggs | Pale Yellow

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies | Pale Yellow

First of all, these cookies took me three days to make.  Not active days, but a few minutes each day, for three days to make probably the best cookies I've ever made.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  I've already made the cookies twice and look forward to making them again.  There are already possible variations in my mind!

Brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies | Pale Yellow

I used all my tricks in making these cookies.  First, I browned the butter, because browned butter makes everything taste better and adds a fantastic, nutty quality to everything.  Letting the browned butter cool allows it to be creamed to make baked cookies chewy.  Second, I beat the batter for a good 8-10 minutes overall, making sure the butter, sugar, and eggs were as light and fluffy as possible.  Then, after the dough was made, I let it rest overnight in the fridge.  The dough takes on a different texture and all the flavors are rest and absorbed into one another.  Finally, I add peanut butter cups and salt on top to give an extra flavor and cut through the richness.

Brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies | Pale Yellow

I'm actually in the middle of a Whole 30 so no cookies for me for awhile, but I feel great.  I read the book, It Starts With Food, and I actually understand what I'm doing now!  Lots of energy and I'm not hungry.  As always, the meals can be delicious.  Not quite as delicious as these cookies, however.  These are healthy eating ruining cookies!

Brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Brown Butter Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 4-5 dozen 2-tablespoon cookies

 

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

12 ounces mini peanut butter cups, divided

coarse sea salt

 

  1. Add the butter to a small saucepan to melt  Cook for 10-15 minutes until the butter transitions from a yellow color to a golden brown color.  The butter will bubble and smell nutty.  Keep a close eye as to not burn the butter.  Once brown, stir in the peanut butter.

  2. Poor into a bowl and let cool completely.  The butter will firm up to the state of typical room temperature butter.

  3. Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

  4. Add in the sugars and beat again for 3-4 minutes until pale yellow.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla for another 3-4 minutes.  The mixture should be very light.

  5. Add the baking soda and salt, mix until combined.  Add the flour and chocolate chips.  Mix on the lowest speed until just combined.

  6. Scrape down the bowl and fold in half of the mini peanut butter cups.

  7. Gather the dough and wrap in plastic wrap.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  9. Use a two-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.  Push two mini peanut butter cups into each cookie and sprinkle with sea salt.

  10. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until just set.  Remove from the oven when the edges have begun to brown.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies | Pale Yellow

Broccoli Turkey Salad

Tracy Byrne

Broccoli Turkey Salad | Pale Yellow

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I visited Terri Steffe's lovely blog.  She is a retired elementary school principal and I'm 1. jealous of her retirement, and 2. would love to pick her brain about the track of her career!  Needless to say, she has a lovely blog full of fun recipes.  I, as usual, was looking for something I could make a big batch to take to work throughout the week.

Broccoli Turkey Salad | Pale Yellow

This was a great recipe full of veggies and flavor.  Broccoli is far and away my favorite vegetable and usually I just eat it roasted with dinner.  Since I almost always have extra roasted broccoli in my fridge, it was on hand to add the salad.

Broccoli Turkey Salad | Pale Yellow

I also added some pepitas for crunch and green onions for extra flavor and more crunch.  Champagne vinegar added brightness and broke up the creaminess from the cream cheese.  Overall, the salad was flavorful and delightful for lunch.  I ate it between two slices of bread and my favorite way, toasted with melted cheese on top!

Broccoli Turkey Salad | Pale Yellow
SRC | Pale Pellow

Print the recipe!

Broccoli Turkey Salad

Adapted from Terri Steffes

Yield - 4-5 servings

 

1/3 cup light cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon Italian herb mix

1/2 pound thickly sliced smoked turkey lunchmeat

1 cup chopped, cooked broccoli (I used leftover roasted broccoli)

6 ounce can roasted red pepper, oil drained

1 bunch green onions, green and white part

1/4 cup pepitas

salt + pepper

 

  1. If your broccoli is not cooked, cook it now.

  2. Whisk together the cream cheese and vinegar until thin and well combined.  Whisk in the herb mix.

  3. Coarsely chop the turkey and add to a large bowl with the cream cheese. Dice the broccoli, red peppers, and green onions and add to the bowl.  Toss in the pepitas

  4. Mix until everything is well coated with the dressing.  Taste and add salt + pepper to properly season.

  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least a hour to let the flavors marry.

  6. Serve open face on toast or between bread for a sandwich.

Broccoli Turkey Salad | Pale Yellow

Slow Cooker Brisket

Tracy Byrne

Slow Cooker Brisket | Pale Yellow

Oh man, I had a ton of recipes in my draft folder just waiting to be published, and this is the last one.  I guess it is time to get back in the kitchen and start baking again!  Luckily, this is the last week of grad school for the semester, whoohoo!  The celebrations will be short as I start classes again two weeks.

Slow Cooker Brisket | Pale Yellow

Last night for dinner I had cashews and hot chocolate.  I could have used some of the brisket!  One recipes makes a portion for a huge crowd or to feed one lady for a week.  The meat was incredibility moist, tender, and delicious!  This is a recipe I need to add to the rotation again soon!

Slow Cooker Brisket | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Slow Cooker Brisket

Adapted from The Kitchn

Yield - 8-10 servings

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 onions (I used a big red, a big yellow, and a small yellow)

4 total pounds beef brisket (I used two pieces, most of the fat removed)

generous salt + pepper

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

 

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, add the olive oil and heat on medium.  Slice the onions into thin, half moons.

  2. Saute the onions until caramelized, stirring frequently.  I set a timer for 20 minutes stirring every 3-4 minutes and the onions were perfect.

  3. Transfer the onions to a small bowl for later.

  4. Generously season the fat side of the brisket with salt and pepper.  Place fat side down in the hot cast iron skillet and generously season the other side.  Sear the brisket for 8-10 minutes on each side until browned.

  5. Repeat with the second brisket if needed.

  6. Add the brisket to the crockpot and spread the garlic and onions over the top.

  7. Whisk together the broth, Worcestershire, and soy sauce.  Pour over the top of the brisket in the crockpot.

  8. On low heat, cook for 8 hours.  Occasionally stir and move the brisket so it all has contact with the cooking liquid.

  9. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.

  10. (This part is gross, but do it) Skim the fat off of the liquid with a spoon and then use your fingers to scrape the fat off the meat.  I used my hands to shred the brisket.

  11. Add the shredded brisket back to the cooking liquid.  On low heat, re-warm the brisket.  Leave the crockpot on warm for easy serving.

Slow Cooker Brisket | Pale Yellow

Baba Ganoush

Tracy Byrne

Baba Ganoush | Pale Yellow

Is there anything better than dip?  Creamy, smooth, tasty.  Like a snack that becomes a meal.  Vegetable based and dairy free is an extra bonus.  You can dip with veggies if you're feeling healthy, pita if you're feeling fantastic, and chips if you're feeling naughty!

Baba Ganoush | Pale Yellow

As a former non-hummus eater, baba ganoush was my go-to dip when eating Mediterranean food.  I love the freshness from the lemon and heartiness from the eggplant.  And it never feels as heavy or dense as a bean-based dip.  So many wins here.

Baba Ganoush | Pale Yellow

In my whirlwind of end-of-semester grad school work, travel, and some semblance of a social life, I wish I had baba ganoush in my fridge right now!  It would be a perfect dinner, especially with everything bagel chips.  Last night I had 1 piece of bacon, my last two eggs, and cereal for dinner.  I need some more veggies!  Here is a dip recipe with lots of flavor, lots of health, and fantastic flavor.  You should definitely whip yourself up a batch!

Baba Ganoush | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Baba Ganoush

Adapted from Why I Am Not Skinny

Yield - 12 ounces (5-6 servings)

 

1 large eggplant

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon salt

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup water as needed

paprika

everything bagel chips

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F and poke the eggplant several times with a fork.  Place on a foil covered baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft.

  2. Let cool.  I left the skin on because I like the bitterness and color.

  3. Cut off the top of the eggplant and chop into rough pieces.  Finely chop the garlic.

  4. Add the eggplant, garlic, tahini, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil to a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture is smooth.

  5. Taste and add more salt, seasoning, or water until you have achieved the right texture and flavor for your liking.

  6. Scrape into a bowl and cover.  Refrigerate for several hours allowing the flavors to marry.

  7. To serve, sprinkle with paprika and place alongside bagel chips.  Trust me on the everything bagel chips!

Baba Ganoush | Pale Yellow

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut (Gluten Free)

Tracy Byrne

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

This is how we do dairy-free - rich, sweet, indulgent, and full of tasty things.  Guess what?  They are also gluten free!  Hello allergy and dietary restriction friendly!  Once the recipe started down the road of being dairy free, I decided to get fancy with coconut sugar.  At that point, why not bring out the coconut flour.

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

These brownies were made for Andrea and her Bachelorette party on Shelter Island.  It was a lovely, simple weekend full of great food, lots wine, brownies, and blankets.  It was cold, but we were able to celebrate Andrea is the best way possible.  You don't need butter to celebrate!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Like virtually every brownie recipe on this blog, these are adapted from my favorite brownie recipe that is super easy and requires one pot to do everything.  The brownies are fudgy and moist with the perfect texture.  You can add in whatever you want to the brownies to customize for your tastes.  These were a perfect batch!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut (and pistachio and cacao nibs and gluten free!)

Adapted from MMMMM Brownies

Yield - 16 pieces

 

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, dairy free (almost a full bag - save the rest of the bag to mix in whole)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachios

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (reserve some for the top)

flaked sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Grease an 8x8” pan with shortening and line with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper.

  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, sugar, water, and instant coffee.  When melted remove from the heat.

  3. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined and melted.  Add in the eggs and vanilla one at a time and stir to combine.  Add in the flour, soda, and salt mixing until just combined.  

  4. Stir in the cacao nibs, pistachios, remaining chocolate chips from the bag, and most of the coconut until all combined.

  5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining coconut shreds on top.  Sprinkle flaked sea salt on the top.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is shiny and crusty and a toothpick comes out almost clean.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!

  7. Let cool slightly and then slice and serve!

Dairy Free Brownies with Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Nibs (Gluten Free) | Pale Yellow

Balsamic Pasta Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Tracy Byrne

Balsamic Pasta Salad | Pale Yellow

When I make a pasta salad I want mostly veggies and a little pasta.  I want it to feel healthful and filling, I also want it to taste good, obvi.  Pasta salads are great because they are hearty and fully adaptable to whatever ingredients you have available seasonally or in your fridge.  Most importantly it can last all week for lunch!  Top priority.

Balsamic Pasta Salad | Pale Yellow

I have been in a bit of a cooking/baking rut.  Going dairy-free really kills the baking creativity.  And two trips in a row have killed my routines.  I need to find my groove again.  I miss churning out cookies, cupcakes, and treats.  I can't even remember the last time I made cupcakes.  Four years ago I was making cupcakes every week with all the work birthdays, and now, nothing.

Balsamic Pasta Salad | Pale Yellow

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I had the lovely Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures where she cooks and shares about her beautiful family!  Her recipes all sound amazing and I had trouble making a selection, but was drawn to the balsamic pasta salad because it sounded like a perfect lunch. 

Secret Recipe Club | Pale Yellow

And it is perfect for lunch!  It fills me up to take care of the crazy that is summer camp registration and outside gardening.  The salad is easy to pack and has stayed fresh all week.  It's been a good lunch week!  Especially after last week's "freezer chili week," I needed some fresh veggies!  Don't let the pealing of the chickpeas distract you.  It's oddly satisfying and helps the chickpeas become super crispy and all the flavor get inside.  Trust me.

Balsamic Pasta Salad | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Balsamic Pasta Salad

Adapted from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Yield - 5-6 large servings

 

1 15-ounce can chickpeas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Italian herb blend

scant 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

heaping 1/2 teaspoon paprika

 

6 ounces (half a box) dried spiral pasta

1 small English cucumber

3 roma tomatoes

1 avocado

1 yellow pepper

1 12-ounce can artichoke hearts

1 small yellow onion

salt + pepper

3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lime, juiced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. Drain the chicken peas and dry.  Remove the skins from the chickpeas.

  3. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, Italian herb mix, chipotle chili powder, and paprika to coat fully.

  4. Spread evenly on the baking sheet.  Roast for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

  5. Let cool.

  6. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add salt and the pasta.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.  Drain and set aside.

  7. Chop the cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, pepper, artichoke hearts, and onion into a large dice.

  8. Add to a large bowl with the pasta.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

  9. Add the vinegar, oil, and lime juice.  Toss to combine.  Taste and adjust the seasoning and dressing as needed.

  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and toasted chickpeas

Balsamic Pasta Salad | Pale Yellow

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies | Pale Yellow

Remember last week when I wrote about being dairy free?  Yeah, these are not dairy free!  But, I did not eat one, truth.  All opinions are those of my friends and co-workers who I asked for their honest opinion.  I trust them to tell me the truth.  And, they all ate enough cookies so I know they are truth tellers when they said how wonderful these cookies tasted!

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies | Pale Yellow

It is hard to go wrong with a peanut butter cookie base stuffed full of chopped peanut butter cups and chocolate chips.  Sarah described them as "creamy," which sounds pretty damn good.  I am definitely sad I did not sample one of these cookies, but super proud of my resistance.  Clearly I am an abstainer, not a moderator. You can tell I did not eat any because there is not a picture of a cookie with a bite mark.  I like to show all my food in the process of being eaten!  Make these cookies, you can never have too many cookie recipes in your arsenal!

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Adapted from Table for Two

Yield - 40 2-tablespoon cookies

 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, I used Jif

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk (cashew milk worked fine)

1 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup flour

8 ounces mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well incorporated.  Beat in the sugars.

  3. Scraped down the bowl and add the egg, beat to combine.  Add the milk and vanilla, beat for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

  4. Add the baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.  Scrape down the bowl and paddle.  Add the flour, peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips.  Mix until just barely combined.

  5. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Cookies should be at least 2 inches apart.

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set, do not over bake.

  7. Move to a wire rack to cool completely before baking.

Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies | Pale Yellow

Vegan Cheese Spread (but it's not really cheese...)

Tracy Byrne

Vegan Cheese Spread | Pale Yellow

I have been working hard to eliminate dairy from my diet.  Giving up dairy for Lent was a good start and I resisted all but a two-day bender.  Now that Lent is over, I am trying to figure out how I can be diary-free while not being a pain in the ass and eating all things delicious.  As Andrea pointed out, this blog is literally named after butter.

Vegan Cheese Spread | Pale Yellow

So while this a dairy-free cheese alternative, it is not cheese.  Definitely not cheese.  Maybe if you have never had cheese and were told this was cheese you would believe it, but I have had cheese.  Maybe too much cheese and that's why I feel better when I do not eat it!

Vegan Cheese Spread | Pale Yellow

Despite this spread I'm calling a cheese, not being a cheese, it is extremely tasty!  The texture is smooth and silky, perfecting for spreading on crackers.  Garlic and tons of fresh herbs provide amazing flavor.  Diary- and non-dairy eaters were scooping up the cheese dip like crazy!  Next time you want a herby, fresh spread, I highly recommend you make this dip.  Just don't call it cheese!

Vegan Cheese Spread | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Vegan Cheese Spread

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Yield - 1 pint

 

2 cups unsalted, raw cashews

2-3 cups water

2 cloves garlic

zest from 1 lemon

juice from 2 lemons

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/3-2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

4 tablespoons finely chopped dill

 

  1. The night before - soak with the cashews with 2-3 cups water, enough water to cover the nuts.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.

  2. Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse until chopped.  

  3. Drain the cashews and add to the food processor.  Add the zest, juice, yeast, salt, oil, and paprika to the food processor.  Pulse until crumbly.

  4. Turn the food processor on high and stream in water until the mix is creamy.  Add as much water is needed to make the cheese creamy and smooth, but not so much that it is watery.  I used just over 1/3 cup.

  5. Scrape the cheese into a cheesecloth and shape into a circle.  Leave the cheesecloth in a sieve overnight to drain any extra fluid.

  6. Finely chop the chives and dill.  Roll the cheese in the herbs and shape into a ball.

  7. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Vegan Cheese Spread | Pale Yellow

Cream Puffs with Ice Cream and Ganache

Tracy Byrne

Cream Puffs with Ice Cream and Ganache | Pale Yellow

Drink all the wine.  Eat all the food.  A simple weekend mission with my college squad of ladies on a much needed vacation to Sonoma Valley this weekend!  This is my first trip to California and I'm smitten!  The greenery, the food, the wine, the sights, and cuteness is overwhelmingly lovely!  I may not come home.  Ever.

Cream Puffs with Ice Cream and Ganache | Pale Yellow

Cream puffs are straight from the memory bank.  Going to Sanders with my grandma and mom and recreating cream puffs at home was one of my earliest baking triumphs!  Nostalgia on a plate.  Here they are recreated with pistachio ice cream and warm ganache.  Do not let the long directions discourage you, cream puffs are easy to make and totally impressive!  Not only that, they are delicious in flavor and high on texture.  Make them!!

Cream Puffs with Ice Cream and Ganache | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Cream Puffs

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Yield - 10 cream puffs

 

Pate a Choux

1 cup water

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups flour

4 eggs

 

Ganache

1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream

1 cup chocolate chips

 

2 pints ice cream

sprinkles, nuts, cacoa nibs for garnish

  1. Pate a choux - Preheat the oven to 425 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

  2. Add the water, butter, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once it has boiled remove from the heat and add the flour, stirring vigorously.

  3. Return the pan to the heat and stir until the mixture is glossy and pulls from the pan.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

  4. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat for 1 minute on low speed.  Add eggs one at a time beating for a minute in between.  Scrape the bowl as needed.  Beat for two more minutes.

  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.

  6. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 ˚F to bake for another 20 minutes.  The cream puffs should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on.

  7. Turn off the oven and place a small slit in each cream puff.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes to allow the steam to escape.  Place a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. Ganache - Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it is scalding.  Pour over the chocolate chips in a small bowl and cover with a towel for 5 minutes.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.

  9. To serve - Cut the cream puff in half and add a scoop of ice cream.  Pour ganache over the top and sprinkle with a garnish of your choice.

  10. Enjoy immediately.

Cream Puffs with Ice Cream and Ganache | Pale Yellow

Guinness Soda Bread

Tracy Byrne

Guinness Soda Bread | Pale Yellow

[Insert scream here] Too much to do, too little time.  It's no fault but my own.  I have yet to find balance between work, school, and a social life.  Plus, there are so many annoyances like sweeping, grocery shopping, and showering.  There needs to be extra days in the week or I need a personal assistant.  Or I need a housekeeper.  Or a sugar daddy.  Currently accepting applications for all of the above.

Last weekend instead of getting ahead on life, or let's be real - staying on top of things, I was baking, planning, and cooking for the St. Patrick's Day parade.  #prioritiesAnyway, delicious food will always come before everything else, much to my detriment.

Guinness Soda Bread | Pale Yellow

Guinness soda bread falls under the category of delicious food and well worth the time, although it did not take much time to whip up.  As all soda breads, the ingredients are simple and the results are grand!  The bread is delicious smeared with butter, toasted on its own, or piled high with brisket.  I bet it would make a great french toast!

The recipe came from the lovely Maxine at Why I Am Not Skinny.  She hales from South Africa, so it was fun converting Celsius into Fahrenheit and ounces into cups.  As much as my dorky science teacher side preaches the metric system, when I bake, I rely on customary system. #scienceteacherproblems . Maxine truly glorifies food and I made a second recipe, her baba ganoush, which will be on the blog soon.  This was a great month for Secret Recipe Club!

Guinness Soda Bread | Pale Yellow
SRC

Guinness Soda Bread

Adapted from Why I Am Not Skinny

Yield - 1 loaf (12-15 slices)

 

3 cups AP flour

1 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups Guinness (or other stout)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and grease a loaf pan.

  2. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.

  3. Beat the eggs slightly and mix in the Guinness.

  4. Add the eggs and Guinness to the dry mix.  Whisk together until too thick and then use your hands to fully combine.

  5. Scrape into the loaf pan and bake 45-50 minutes.  The bread should be golden brown and dry on top.

  6. Let cool in a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely or enjoy warm.

Guinness Soda Bread | Pale Yellow

Irish Cream Brownies

Tracy Byrne

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

One of my favorite days of the year is St. Patrick's Day, not March 17, but the first Saturday of March.  Rockaway St. Patrick Day!  I have been celebrating for years and years as a visitor and the last three as a resident.

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

In years past, I have enjoyed the parade, drinks and snacks, the beer tent, and other various local establishments.  It's was dark when I went back!  Now that I live out here, I try to lore friends to my apartment with delicious treats and have found myself out and about, but the best nights happen when I'm safely back in my apartment by 7!

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

I choose to vary from tradition and serve brisket or pork instead of corned beef and drink champagne instead of Guinness.  One tradition that is unwavering is my commitment to boozy treats made with whiskey, Irish cream, and/or Guinness.

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

This year I kept things simple with Irish cream in a deep, dense brownie with a Irish cream ganache.  Irish cream two ways, as it should be!  The brownies are fudgy, deeply chocolate in flavor, and full of Irish cheer.  You have plenty of time to make a big batch of these brownies to share with all your Irish (or wannabe Irish) friends!

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Irish Cream Brownies

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Yield - 16 squares

Brownies

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Irish cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup flour

2/3 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Ganache

1/4 cup Irish cream

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

sprinkles, optional (but never really optional!)


  1. Brownies - Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease an 8x8” pan with shortening.  Line with parchment paper and grease again.

  2. In a medium-large glass bowl, add the butter and chocolate chips.  Place over a small pot of steaming water and stir until the the chocolate has melted.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, Irish cream, and vanilla.  Stir in the egg.

  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and powder.  Stir into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

  5. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.  The batter is thick and dark and a little sticky.

  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely before adding the ganache.

  7. Ganache - Add the creams to a small sauce pan and heat to a simmer.  Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes covered.  Stir until the chocolate chips are melted.

  8. Let cool for 10-15 minutes until the ganache is pourable but not runny.

  9. Spread over the top, I liked it when the ganache went over the sides!

  10. Sprinkle with shamrock sprinkles if you have them.

  11. Let the ganache harden before cutting.

Irish Cream Brownies | Pale Yellow

Palomas

Tracy Byrne

Palomas | Pale Yellow

I wish I was one of those people who didn't need alcohol.  Didn't crave a glass of wine or a cocktail after a long day.  Didn't thoroughly enjoy wine/beer/bourbon tastings.  But, alas, I do.  I'm not saying I have a problem, this isn't a cry for help, simply a statement that maybe, alcohol is my precious.  Between working full time (with an often sixth day), trying to stay on top grad school (all three classes this semester), and trying to have somewhat of a social life, I need a little booze.  To unwind, to relax, and most importantly to enjoy.

Palomas | Pale Yellow

Finally, after years of pinning recipes here, here, and here for palomas, tequila maybe my new bourbon.  I love grapefruit juice in things like kombucha, my bath, my face wipes, soda, and now in my cocktails.  This one is so light and refreshing I could drink it all day.  Winter is citrus season, so my suggestion to you is to buy all the grapefruit, all the tequila, all the limes, and make yourself pitchers of palomas.  You'll be very happy, I promise.  PS - I drank this at a social gathering with four others, not by myself.  See, no problem!

Palomas | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Palomas

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield - 4-8 servings

 

Grapefruit-lime syrup

1/2 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

 

Paloma

2 1/2 cups grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

2 1/2 cups silver tequila

1 1/4 cup grapefruit-lime syrup

lime flavored seltzer

grapefruit slices for garnish

ice

sugar + chipotle chili powder

  1. Grapefruit-lime syrup - Squeeze juice for the syrup and cocktails.  About 6 grapefruits and 10 limes.

  2. Add 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, water, and sugar to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Let cool completely.

  3. Palomas - To a pitcher add 2 1/2 cups grapefruit juice, 1 cup lime juice, 2 1/2 cups tequila, 1 1/4 cup syrup and stir.  This can be made ahead and refrigerated for later.

  4. Serving - Mix up 1/2 cup of sugar plus a few sprinkles of chipotle chili powder on a plate.  Pour some extra juice on a second plate.

  5. Dip a glass in juice and then in the sugar/chili mix to rim the glass.

  6. Add ice, palomas from the pitcher, lime seltzer, and a slice of grapefruit.

  7. Enjoy responsibility.

Palomas | Pale Yellow