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WE RECOMMEND:

Taste of the Tropics

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Can’t afford to go on an exotic vacation this spring? Take your taste buds on a culinary adventure with this compilation of menus, inspired by top tropical vacation destinations—no frequent flier miles, passport or vacation days required.

Hawaii

Signature drink: With a one-two punch of rum and vibrant blue curaçao, our Coconut Blue Hawaiian will have your hips swinging the hula in no time.

Appetizers: For an easy appetizer, try Tropical Island Chex Mix, chock-full of crunchy banana chips, sweetened coconut and jewel-like dried fruits. Fruit with Piña Colada Dip, with kiwis and more dipped in a rum-and-coconut yogurt blend, is another good-for-you appetizer with island vibes.

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Main course: Slowly simmered in a sauce made with crushed pineapple and other kitchen staples, our top-rated Slow Cooker Polynesian Pork Ribs would be wonderful atop a bed of fluffy Coconut Ginger Rice.

Dessert: Rum-spiked Mai Tai Tiki Pops take the flavors of a well-known Tiki cocktail—the Mai Tai—and turn it into a fruity (and boozy!) ice pop. Members rave about our five-star Aloha Paradise Bars, citing them as “a keeper” of a recipe.

Jamaica

Signature drink: For a quick ticket to paradise, simply blend up a pitcher-full of our Banana Daiquiri Slush and sip your way to a happier place.

Appetizer: Fried plantains, also known as Tostones, are staples in both Latin American and Jamaican cuisines. Season with cinnamon-sugar for a sweet starter, or keep it simple with salt only.

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Main course: Packed with chicken, black beans and sweet potatoes, this Jerk Chicken Casserole is a balanced one-dish dinner. If crock cooking is more your scene, try this spicy Slow Cooker Jamaican Pork Roast served with Red Beans and Rice.

Desserts: Rum cakes are popular year-round in Jamaica, making these sensational Rum Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting and this crowd-ready Chocolate Rum Sheet Cake natural picks.

Cancun

Signature drink: Jump start your mental vacation with a mug of Michelada or a grande Mango Strawberry Margarita.

Appetizers: Set up a help-yourself appetizer spread outfitted with a basket of tortilla chips, a bowl of Salsa Guacamole, Fresh Vegetable Kabobs with Jalapeno Aioli and cups of Ceviche-Style Shrimp Cocktail.

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Main course: Fast and flavorful, our Quick Grilled Fish Tacos are made in a flash using prepared coleslaw mix and Old El Paso taco seasoning. For another fast-fix, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli and whip up some Chicken and Corn Tostadas with Salsa Verde, ready in just 20 minutes.

Dessert: Heads will turn when you bring Chocoflan to the table. Combining rich chocolate cake and creamy flan, this showstopper only looks complicated to make.

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