Need to Get Away? Part 2

Last week we told you about our trip to Northern California.  We shared information with you about Stinson Beach and Muir Woods.  This week we are going to tell you about what we encountered as we traveled further up the coast.


At first Rhonda was a little freaked out that there was not a Target nearby, but within a day we had settled into the quietness of the little beach town of Stinson.  As we mentioned last week we spent some time walking the beach.  If you follow us on Instagram you saw lots of fun pics we took on our walks.

The third day we drove north up Highway 1.  We weren’t quite sure where we were going, we just took some advice from friends and locals and set out on an adventure.  The first little town we encountered was Point Reyes.  Point Reyes is a cute little town with an adorable farmers’ market.  Their claim to fame?  Apparently Prince Charles and Camilla Bowles visited the farmers’ market years ago for an organic farming festival.  They are quite proud of their prestigious visitors and have photos of them displayed in various shops and in the center of the town.

After leaving the farmers’ market, we stopped at Point Reyes’ Vineyards.  This vineyard is not  like the picturesque vineyards in Napa and Sonoma.  In fact it is next to an organic dairy farm.  However, the ladies helping us in the tasting room were knowledgeable, friendly, and fun.  We enjoyed spending time talking with them and tasting their outstanding wine.  They gave us excellent recommendations on where to have lunch.  We stopped at the vineyard to satisfy our curiosity and left with two bottles of wine — a sparkling and a dessert wine.  If you are in the area and you like wine, this is a must!

We traveled further north in search of some restaurants that were on the coast and known for their great oysters.  First stop was Hog Island.  Apparently you don’t really go to the island, but you can see it from the restaurant.  If you go, you need to have reservations — which we did not.  We could have waited for 20 minutes to stand at a bar with a lot of other people and eat our oysters.  We chose to head down the road to the next establishment.

That is when we came upon Nick’s.  Nick’s was recommended to us by our friends at Point Reyes’ Vineyard, and a fine recommendation it was.  This cute little restaurant had an area to eat inside with a minimal wait.  You could also eat outside on the dock or down in the boat house.  The boat house was a great place to sit and have a cocktail and feel the breeze come in off the bay.  The boat house had a old piano and a few tables for a relaxed dining experience.  The ambiance at Nick’s was great, but the food was terrific.  By the point that we arrived at Nick’s and got seated at a table, we were a hungry crew.  We probably ordered one of everything off the menu. Rhonda had the Bar-B-Que oysters– which were a hit. Craig had the fish tacos and ceviche.  We had a few Templeton Rye cocktails and left with full bellies.  We highly recommend Nick’s if you are in the area.  Relaxed, fun, and friendly.

The next day we headed into San Francisco to spend some time with our friend Mike.  It was a very laid back relaxing trip away from the hustle and bustle — not touristy at all.


If you go, here are some things to know.  Pack layers of clothing.  The mornings were a little brisk, but by the afternoons the sun was out and the air warmed up.  No wonder people love to live in California — the weather is incredible compared to hot Texas weather.

Stinson Beach has lots of great beach houses to rent through VRBO or AirBnB.  We stayed in a house that was on the beach side. We were not right on the beach, but within a two minute walk.  There are also houses on the lagoon side which looked very peaceful.


Stinson Beach has only a small grocery store and may not carry everything you need. It was great for small incidentals, but if there are specific ingredients or brands you want, purchase your groceries before leaving the San Francisco Area.

Stinson Beach has a couple small restaurants which are crowded on Friday and Saturday nights.  However, some of the small towns north of Stinson also have restaurants.


The drive from San Francisco to Stinson Beach is on a two-lane windy road.  Brace yourself if you have motion sickness.  There is a route through the mountains and a route along the coast.  Both have beautiful views, but if you are like Rhonda, ten minutes into the drive you are feeling so bad, you could care less about the view.  Take precautions!

Have you traveled up the Northern California coast?  If you have we’d love to hear about your experience.


Need to Get Away?


What do you have when you mix sand, sea air, good friends and a little wine?  A great weekend getaway to Northern California.  We took a long weekend last week to the San Francisco area and Stinson Beach, California, with our good friends Heather and Troy.  We took the advice of our friend, Mike, who has lived in Northern California for years, and decided to stay at Stinson Beach, which is a quiet little beach town on the other side of the mountains.



Front door of our beach cottage

Stinson Beach is extremely small, to say the least. There is no gas station, hospital or chain restaurants.  There is a small grocery store, a bar, and a couple little restaurants.  At first, Rhonda was extremely skeptical, especially after riding through winding curves on Highway 1 and almost losing her lunch a couple of times. By the end of the weekend we were singing the praises of this sleepy little town.


What did we do while there?  Muir woods was only about 20 minutes away, so one day we spent a few hours at Muir Woods.  If you don’t know much about Muir Woods, it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and protects 554 acres of old growth coast redwood. The redwoods are not the giant sequoias that are pictured with a tunnel cars can drive through, but these trees are a remarkable beauty. The woods is definitely something to visit if you are in the Bay area.

The beauty of the woods is awe inspiring.  The tree stump pictured below shows the tree dating back to the time of the Aztecs.  It is spiritual to walk among living beings that have been on the earth for centuries.

After hiking around in a bunch of tall trees, what do you do?  Drive to Larkspur, CA for a trip to Posie ice cream shop. Don’t just take our word for it, but this ice cream was pretty tasty!  Not to mention the shop was nestled in the cute little town of Larkspur.

We packed much more fun into the weekend, later we will share  what we did when we headed North.  Have you taken any fun trips lately?  We would love to hear about it.  Have a great weekend!




Pecan Whiskey Ice Cream

pecan whiskey ice cream

We have a soft cold spot in our stomachs for ice cream.  It is one of our family’s favorite treats and desserts. (Kerrygold Ice Cream, Cafe Bourghetti PBIF Pie, Choco Menta Shake, Mojito Ice Cream, Tequila Strawberry Lime Ice Cream Pie) For a final farewell to summer, we wanted to share with you a delectable grown-up dessert: Pecan Whiskey Ice Cream.  When you see how easy this treat is to make, you will want to scream for more– ice cream that is!

To make this you need only a few simple ingredients — vanilla ice cream, toasted pecans, and Templeton Rye Whiskey.  That’s it — only 3 things.

pecan whiskey ice cream1

First you will need to toast the pecans.  We placed ours on a cookie sheet and placed the oven on broil.  You need to leave the pecans in the oven for about 5 minutes.  If they stay too long, they will burn.

pecan whiskey ice cream2

Stir together 1 quart of softened vanilla ice cream, toasted pecans and 1/4 cup of whiskey.  Place back in the freezer until hardened or at least a couple of hours.  Serve to friends.  Yummo!

pecan whiskey ice cream3

If you are viewing this post in your email, you will want to visit us at to get a printable version of this recipe.

The rye whiskey has a sweet flavor that pairs nicely with the vanilla ice cream.  This dessert goes down smooth.  Will you make the world’s easiest dessert this weekend?  Let us know if you do.



hatch tequila chicken

Happy Labor Day, friends!  We hope you have enjoyed a weekend with friends, neighbors, and family.  We have been with Blind Piglets #2 and #3 at hockey and soccer.  That is why this post is coming to you a little late.  We also cannot believe that August has come and gone and this weekend is the unofficial end to summer. Sigh!  In fact, August came and went with such a speed that we realized that we did not post a bonus post for the month.  We will try to make it up to you in the future.


Have you noticed all of the lovely hatch green chiles in your grocery produce section?  We couldn’t resist looking for a Blind Pig match up with the chiles.  Lo and behold, our friends at the Dallas Morning News did not disappoint.  They featured a whole section on great recipe with hatch green chiles.  We adapted a chicken recipe they featured to bring you Hatch Tequila Chicken.

hatch chicken 02

Don’t be overwhelmed by this recipe.  At first glance it looks a little daunting, but if you just follow the steps, you will see that it is not complicated and well worth the effort.

To get started on Hatch Tequila Chicken you need roasted hatch green chiles.  We had never roasted green chiles before, and it was nearly a deal breaker.  However, after a little research with our friend, Google, we realized there is nothing to be intimidated about.


First rinse the chiles and pat dry.  Place chiles on a baking sheet or broiling pan.  The chiles can touch but you do not want them on top of each other.


Turn the broiler on high and move your rack up to the second notch from the top.  Place pan of peppers in the oven on the top rack.  Keep a close eye on the peppers.  We let ours cook for about 5 minutes.  When the peppers start to blister and turn brown, remove from the oven and flip over with a pair of tongs.  Return to the oven and keep a close eye on them.  When the other side begins to blister and turn brown, remove from the oven.


Once the peppers are blacken, add to a large plastic bag.  We placed ours back in the produce bag from the grocery store.  Seal the bag and let the peppers cool for about 30 minutes.


Remove the peppers from the bag and peel the skin.  It should come off relatively easily.  Slice the peppers down the middle, cut off the tops and remove the seeds.  You can store your peppers in the fridge for about a week.

For the chicken portion of the recipe, you will need 4-6 chicken breasts, kosher salt, olive oil and Hatch green chile tequila marinade.


The marinade seems daunting when you look at the list of ingredients, but you just throw it all in a food processor and hit go.  It’s that easy!  To make the marinade, place  roasted Hatch green chiles, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic, cumin, kosher salt, coriander, Mexican crema, tequila (We used Corralejo Reposado.), and lime juice in a food processor.  Pulse until desired consistency.


Place chicken in a glass bowl or dish and cover with half of the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.  (We prepped ours the day before.)


Remove chicken from the refrigerator.  Remove chicken from marinade and scrap off the majority of the marinade.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Discard used marinade.  Place on a medium heat grill or under the broiler roasting the chicken for 35 minutes.  Remove from grill or broiler and top with reserved marinade.


We were pleasantly surprised with how juicy and flavorful the chicken was.  The marinade flavor was a nice complement to the chicken.  We are even thinking about making this marinade to go along with fish or fish tacos.


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Let us know if you try our Hatch Tequila Chicken recipe.  We think it is a hit, and hope that you do, too!