Ladies Night In With Chef Marcela Valladolid & Sauza!

Being a new mom with a 6 month old, I certainly can appreciate some time to myself... even better is time with girlfriends. Thanks to my fellow foodie friend, Babette of Bakespace, she connected me with her friend Beth who was hosting a special 'Ladies Night In.' How could I pass up the opportunity to hang out with other women over great food and cocktails? Little did I know that this event involved a fabulous evening with Food Network celebrity chef, Marcela Valladolid, over lots of tasty cocktails and recipes made with Sauza Tequila! Read on to see the fun that ensued...

Let me first say how much fun Chef Marcela is. Her Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy, is one I enjoy watching on Saturday mornings (or Monday mornings when they re-air). She has a bright and refreshing energy on screen which is exactly how she is in person. But her culinary perspective also matches her personality. Chef Marcela has a Mexican background where she adds a fresh, colorful and delicious Mexican spin to everyday dishes. I had the pleasure of learning a few new recipes from her and I'll be sharing them here all next week so stay tuned!

Sponsoring this tasty event was Sauza Tequila. They're pretty much a household name when it comes to tequila and it's a brand that I use when I make margaritas. I'll admit, margarita season for me usually starts in the month of May for Cinco de Mayo and continues on during the summer months. However, after this event, I think I'll be extending my margarita season and will be using tequila more often in cooking and for cocktails throughout the year. Here's some pics from the event along with the dishes you can anticipate seeing recipes for here on the site next week... you'll want to make sure to visit because some of these recipes will be perfect for the holidays!

Chef Marcela made her signature drink, Marcela Margarita, to kick off the evening. This grapefruit margarita is sweet and tangy and it's a great example how citrus fruits pair perfectly with tequila.

One appetizer we enjoyed with our Marcela Margarita is her Jalapeno & Cheese Stuffed Olives. They were delicious, especially if you love olives...

Another appetizer we pretty much devoured was Chef Marcela's Tequila Lime Shrimp. This dish was prepared with Sauza Silver Tequila which added a nice subtle flavor...

The next cocktail Chef Marcela made was this Citus Cooler. The cocktail was one of my favorites of the night and it's a perfect way to combine tequila and wine. The wine makes the tequila taste so fruity!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, you may be wondering how to prepare your holiday turkey this year. Rather than making the same traditional recipe, you may want to consider making an Apricot Tequila Turkey instead. Chef Marcela showed us how to inject a turkey with tequila and to use some tequila for an apricot glaze. For the event, they prepared chicken drumsticks similarly, which is a great alternative to a full turkey...
It was time for another cocktail and Chef Marcela made these Cran-Raspberry Mint Margaritas. The cranberry-raspberry cocktail juice in this drink makes it a bit sweet and sour, while the mint makes the drink perfectly refreshing...

To accompany the Apricot Tequila Glazed Drumsticks, we also noshed on Brussel Sprouts in Chipotle Cream. If you're looking for a new way to prepare brussel sprouts, you'll definitely want to check these out next week!

Another dish perfect for the season and with the spread we enjoyed is Roasted Chipotle Acorn Squash. Who knew acorn squash could be so good?!

It was time for another cocktail and one I plan on making for the holidays. Chef Marcela made us a Warm Winter Margarita. It's perfect on a cold day and is full of flavor thanks to the apple juice, cinnamon and dried fruit mixed in with tequila...

It was time to wrap things up on a sweet note and Chef Marcela gave us a fun flambe in the kitchen with her Tequila Flambeed Bananas. These are a nice twist to traditional Bananas Foster. Served up with vanilla ice cream and garnished with a cinnamon stick, it's so easy and elegant!

It was a fabulous night and many thanks goes out to Chef Marcela, Sauza Tequila, Beth Rosen, Stacey Roney and everyone involved to make the Ladies Night In event a success! Stay tuned for the recipes of these dishes and cocktails all next week!


  1. I love that the authentic Mexican dishes included squash and brussels sprouts - two of my fall favorites, but wouldn't normally have been top of mind when I think Mexican food. Thank you for expanding my horizons :0)

  2. Looks like an awesome time! Next time I'm in Chicago... we are doing a food crawl!

  3. Wow! How awesome it must have been to meet Marcela! Looks like a lot of fun :)

  4. Wow I missed so much last night, it was wonderful to read your post...thank you so much for being a part of this event you added so much and I look forward to getting to know you better and thanks to Babette for such a great intro to such a sweet gal...Beth

  5. Wow!! Your margaritas look refreshing and gorgeus!! :)))

    Greets from BFC !!!