Any True Blood fans out there? It’s an HBO series set in the heart of Louisiana. A synthetic blood has been created, and vampires have been able to “come out of the coffin”, as it were, and live among us. Where there’s one, there is usually more, and lots of other supernatural characters have been introduced – werewolves, shape shifters, ancient fire gods. In a world full of junky, reality TV – it’s nice to have a television program that’s still scripted! This past Sunday was the Season 5 finale, and it didn’t disappoint.

My favorite character, Lafayette – who is a gay Voodoo priest/medium, in addition to a line cook, made some delectable looking Cajun Margaritas for the waitresses after their shift ended. I love margaritas, and I love the flavors and feelings that go along with anything Cajun. I couldn’t wait to make them! Most recipes I found online simply called for the addition of hot sauce to make it Cajun, but that just sounded lame. Then, I remembered the strawberry-infused vodka I had made earlier in the year. Why not do the same with chile peppers and tequila?

It’s an extra step that takes a day or so, but man oh man. It’s so amazing how liquor can leech all the qualities from something into itself. After only an overnight soaking of jalapenos and serranos in a Mason jar full of tequila, it had a lot of heat to it. We’ve made a Habenero IPA before, that we really liked. It’s so wild to take a drink, and feel the heat in your blood. This margarita gives it to you!

I’ve never been a blended marg gal, but I liked it here. Almost like a fire & ice thing going on. Jon and I both really enjoyed them, he drank virtually the whole pitcher. Which, isn’t like him – he’s a beer guy. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit different to go on this long weekend’s menu, add these to the menu. A little heat to close out this last week of summer!

As this year draws to a close and we look forward to ringing in the New Year,  I thought it was only pertinent to share the most popular recipes here on the site in 2012. They’re some of my all-time favorites too, and I’m excited to be able to share them with you guys again!

Nutella Cheesecake Bars

Nutella Cheesecake Bars – these are one of the most delicious and indulgent things I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Totally craveable and worthy of the coveted #1 position. Make them. Like, now.

Rustic Roasted Tomato SalsaRustic Roasted Tomato Salsa – a good homemade salsa that can be kept in the fridge for a moments notice is indispensable. This is my go-to recipe.

Strawberry Yogurt CakeStrawberry Yogurt Cake – this cake was so easy to put together, so delicious, and so versatile. Would be great with any berry you’d care to add I think, and it’s just so gorgeous to look at. This strawberry version would have to be my favorite though, just because it brings a smile to my face thinking of picking those little ruby gems with my boys this summer!

Swedish MeatballsSwedish Meatballs – pretty much my favorite appetizer/party food of all time. And, they kick the pants off the ones from IKEA. I’ll take the Pepsi challenge anyday.

Chicken GyrosChicken Gyros – easily one of my favorite dinners. My husband grew up working in a Greek restaurant, so gyros hold a special place in his heart. We often have this for dinner once a week in the warmer months, and we never tire of it.

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream – I’m so glad that this was your favorite cupcake here on the blog, because it’s mine too. The Oreo on the bottom of the cupcake is such a delightful surprise, and the Oreo buttercream frosting just plain rocks.

Peanut Butter Cookie CupcakesPeanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes – these are some of the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And, surprisingly – some of the easiest cupcakes to decorate. I entered them in the cupcake category in my local fair, and they won first place! A winner, for sure.

Cajun MargaritasCajun Margaritas – I knew there were other Truebie foodies out there! When these drinks were mentioned on the show True Blood, I couldn’t help recreating them at home. And, I’m so glad I did. You guys loved them as much as I did!

Triple Chocolate Mousse CakeTriple Chocolate Mousse Cake – as the name implies, this is everything you could possibly hope for in a dessert. A cake made of chocolate mousse? I mean, come on.

Strawberry MargaritasStrawberry Margaritas – these are sooo bad. And by bad, I mean good. Homemade marg mix, tequila, and plenty of pureed fresh strawberries make for one delicious batch of cocktails.

Pot Roast with Stout GravyPot Roast with Stout Gravy – The winter months certainly aren’t my favorite time of year, but one of the few things that make it palpable is this delicious pot roast with stout gravy. With a homebrewing husband, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that include beer. This will always be a favorite for us!

Loaded Baked Potato SoupLoaded Baked Potato Soup – this recipe completely blew us away. It comes together easily and relatively quickly, and after just a few hours in the slow cooker you have a delicious and satisfying meal on the table that pretty much cooked itself. This is one you’ll make again and again!

A big thank you to the readers for making 2012 the best year for Tide & Thyme so far. Here’s to an even better 2013!