Bottoms Up to Infused Water

This week we continue to cleanse and rejuvenate by sharing some great ideas to encourage you to drink more water.

Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. — https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water

We always feel better when we drink more water, but we face the issue that many non-water drinkers face.  We need more flavor! There was a time when Craig worked for a water company that sold flavored water and we drank a lot of it.  When he changed companies our habits changed too. But in 2022 we are going to drink more!  Our solution is to add some flavor to God’s perfect liquid.  Here’s how we do it.

Choose any fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you like to combine for a flavorful water.  We have tried single ingredients and ingredient combos.  Slice or dice up your ingredients and place in a container with ice. Containers that can be used are water bottle, pitcher, mason jar or a carafe. ( We like to be fancy and treat ourselves, so we used the carafe.)  Fill the container with filtered water and let it sit for 2-4 hours to give the flavors time to mix.

Here are some helpful hints for successfully infusing water.

  • Use cold water rather than hot water.  Hot water breaks down the fresh fruits and herbs quicker.
  • When using citrus ingredients, the rind makes the water tastes bitter after 10-12 hours.
  • Most waters can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Make the night before and fill up your water bottle before heading to work in the morning.

There are lots of great flavor combinations or you can be adventurous and try your own! We made Blueberry/Orange/Rosemary.

  • Lemon/ Strawberry
  • Lemon/Strawberry/Mint
  • Cucumber/Mint
  • Blueberry/Orange/ Ginger
  • Watermelon/Basil
  • Cherry/Lime
  • Cranberry/Mint (This combination is great for the holidays.)
  • Pomegranate/Basil
  • Strawberry/Basil
  • Jalapeno/Cucumber/Lime
  • Cinnamon

We have found that using infused water for entertaining is a perfect idea to keep the mood festive while still providing guests with a water option.  Serve the water in a fancy cocktail glass to highlight the occasion.

Want more water ideas?  There are lots of ideas and combinations posted throughout the internet.  What flavor combination are you going to use first?

 

 

 

Welcome to 2022!

What are your resolutions for 2022?  Not much of the resolution type?  According to DiscoverHealthyHabits.com, in 2019, eight percent of participants failed to keep their resolutions and 57% refused to make a resolution at all. At The Blind Pig Blog, we fall into the camp of resolution makers.  We believe the new year is a time to reflect on accomplishments and set goals to be the best version of yourself.  We have used Jon Gordon’s One Word Challenge, to help keep us on track. (Rhonda’s one word this year is health.) A new motivation that we will be using this year is from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, which encourages you to have an overall goal with a mantra or question attached.  For example, “What would a healthy person do?”  Your key question is supposed to help you make choices that stay on track with your goal. When faced with eating a piece of chocolate cake or choosing a banana for an after-work-snack, one should ask themselves, “What would a healthy person do?”

After more than a month of enjoying delicious cocktails and eating rich foods through the holidays, we are ready to give our bodies time for a little cleansing and rejuvenation.  For our first post of 2022, we will not be sharing a tantalizing cocktail or a sugary dessert, we are going to share a hack that Rhonda has used for years.  A cold January day is the perfect time to try this out.

We are DIYers to an extent.  Craig has replaced our whole fence around the backyard on his own (2021 goal), and Rhonda is not afraid to improve a room with a roller of paint and a weekend to spare.  However, there are certain things that we will not cross the line.  For example, we are not in to the rigorous process of making our own marshmallows.  Buying the Kraft marshmallows from our local Kroger works for us. But we do make our own vanilla extract, and believe it or not…it’s quite simple!

First you need to have vodka or bourbon on hand.  Vodka makes a more pure extract, but bourbon can give the vanilla a richer flavor.  Another thing to keep in mind is that premium vodka goes for about $50 and bourbon prices can go for much more.  If price is of interest to you, you may want to use vodka as your base. (We used vodka.)

Purchase vanilla beans from your local grocery store.  We found ours at Kroger in the spice aisle.  Stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods also have vanilla beans on hand.  Cut the vanilla bean in half crosswise and place into a clean jar or bottle.  Make sure that the jar or bottle you plan to use has a lid or cork that will have a tight seal.  We found our bottles at World Market.

Cook vodka in a saucepan for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Make sure not to cook longer and keep an eye on the saucepan.  Cool vodka slightly and use a funnel to pour about 1 cup into each bottle.  Cover jars tightly and let stand at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.  You can keep your vanilla for up to a year.  If you start to run low, you can add more vodka to the jar to replenish.  The vanilla extract gradually turns a darker color as the vodka becomes infused by the vanilla.

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract.

Make a bottle for yourself and a couple to keep on hand as a hostess gift.  The homemade gift will be extra special. Enjoy the start to your new year.  We would love to hear what new goals and hopes you have for the year.

 

Our Top Picks for 2021

One of our favorite practices at the end of a year is to take time to look back and reflect.  We are always focus on what is coming next, and we often forget to take a look at what we have accomplished.

Here are just a few personal examples of 2021 in the rearview mirror.  Our youngest piglet started his freshman year in college at Ole Miss.  Piglet #2 transferred to Texas Tech and is much happier with his new path.  Piglet #1 continued to adult in NYC and find her way in this big world.  Rhonda changed jobs and continued to work toward life and career goals.  Craig never stopped working hard and surpassing goals and challenges that were set before him.

Here at The Blind Pig Blog we have kept plugging away with new ideas and posts throughout the months.  We would love for you to travel back with us as we take a look at a few of our favorite posts.

1. Raspberry Red Velvet Cake Balls

We were not sure how these were going to turn out when we first came up with this idea.  The Raspberry Red Velvet Cake Balls surpassed our expectations and are definitely one of our all-time favorite happy accidents,

2. Carpano Botanic Spritz

The Carpano Botanic Spritz is one of Rhonda’s favorite cocktails.  She had been sipping on these for a couple of years, before we realized that we had not shared our secret with you.

3. Raspberry No-Churn Ice Cream

Born from our favorite no-churn ice cream base, this yummy ice cream hits the spot.  Add a little Chambord and it’s a crowd pleaser.

4. Blind Pig Mojitos

The tequila based mojitos recipe is one that we use often for entertaining and had been remiss in sharing with you.  This is one of our favorite large batch cocktail recipes for gatherings.

5. Strawberry Mint Spritz

This yummy and easy spritz is the perfect cocktail for kicking back and relaxing in summer mode.  The sweetness of strawberries and the zip of mint are a perfect combination.

6. Cinnaspresso

Perfect for multiple occasions, sip this creamy concoction for brunch or by the fire. It is sure to be a pleaser.

7. Game Day Beer Queso

Our creamy queso dip is ideal for watching your favorite sports on TV.  Maybe this will make it on your superbowl spread?

8. Borghetti Mudslide

Another great ice cream treat for adults, who says kids should have all of the fun?

9.  S’mores Ice Cream Cake

Who doesn’t love a good smore?  Add ice cream and cake to it and you have a definite winner.

10.  Espresso Martini

The 2021 Cocktail of the Year, espresso martinis are everywhere.  While some espresso martinis can be a little too rich, we are partial to our recipe.

Who knows what 2022 will have in store for all of us?  We are so grateful for our readers and subscribers.  We look forward to sharing more cocktails and ideas with you in the year to come.

Happy New Year.  If celebrating tonight, please drink responsibly.

 

 

Celebrate with a Pomegranate Mimosa

We love cheery colorful cocktails around the holidays and this post is no different. The Pomegranate Mimosa is a bright cheery drink to savor with your Christmas morning breakfast or as an evening nightcap.  Garnish it with rosemary and pomegranate arils and let the festivities begin!

To make this delicious toast-worthy mimosa we used pomegranate juice, Carpano Botanic Bitter, and prosecco.  Stir together the pomegranate juice and Carpano Botanic Bitter in a pitcher and chill.  Add 1/2 cup of the bitter and pom juice to your serving glass and top off with prosecco.  Garnish with some arils and rosemary springs and toast to the holidays.

Due to the fruit juice base, some mimosas can be overly sweet.  The addition of the Botanic Bitter to the pom juice intensifies the cheerful holiday red color of the drink and softens the sweetness of the pomegranate juice.  It is just the right combination of flavors to pair with an egg casserole or an after dinner dessert.

If you are viewing this post via email, make sure to visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for our Pomegranate Mimosas.

Are you looking for some other holiday cocktails or breakfast ideas to serve?  Here are a few that we have used in the past.

Angry Orchard Bread🐷🐷🐷

Bananas Foster Coffee Cake

Christmas Morning Bread🐷🐷🐷

Chocolate Banana Bread🐷🐷🐷

Kerrygold Cinnamon Rolls🐷🐷🐷

Kerrygold French Toast🐷🐷🐷

Cinnaspresso🐷🐷

Cranberry Rum Slush

Holiday Aperol Spritz

Holiday Margarita🐷🐷🐷

Jingle Gin Punch🐷🐷🐷

Merry Margarita🐷🐷🐷

The Mistletoe🐷🐷

Pomegranate Paloma🐷🐷

Call this post late or a few days early.  This will be our final post before Christmas.  May your holidays be merry and bright!

 

Disclaimer: Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking. Drink responsibly.

No Bake Holiday Bourbon Balls

As we progress into the holiday season we start planning our yearly goody baskets that we love to share with friends and family.  Each year we incorporate our family favorites and add a few new sweets, as well.  This year we have an exceptionally easy treat that you will enjoy making as much as eating.

No Bake Holiday Bourbon Balls are a quick easy treat that requires no fuss ingredients.  You can whip these up in a snap and off you go to your holiday cookie swap or gathering.  To make these you need crushed graham crackers, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans, cocoa powder, cinnamon, bourbon and pure maple syrup.

Place the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  Form the mixture into small balls. (Don’t forget to spray your hands with cooking spray first for easier formation.)  Roll the balls in powdered sugar, chill and serve!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for No Bake Holiday Bourbon Balls.

The bourbon and maple syrup compliment each other to give these tasty treats a wonderful flavor with very little effort.

What treats are you planning on baking for the holiday season?  We have listed some of our favorites from the past below.

Boozy Peanut Butter Blossoms 🐷🐷

Borghetti Brownie Caramel Bites🐷🐷

Golden Mint Crinkles🐷🐷🐷

Love You More Cookies🐷

Menta Truffles

Menty Brownies🐷🐷

Thin Mentas

Twisted Mississippi Mud Brownies🐷

Yum Rum Balls🐷🐷

Espresso Fudge🐷🐷

 

Christmas is Coming…

Our tree is lit. Our stockings are hung. We have been scurrying to check off our holiday shopping list.  Christmas season is upon us.  Although it is one of our favorite times of the year it is always the busiest time of the year.  We have some wonderful holiday cocktails and treats to share with you over the next few weeks that don’t require lots of complicated ingredients and won’t consume large amounts of time — every hosts dream!

The Cinnaspresso is a delightful cordial that you can serve at your holiday gatherings. A perfect mixture of cinnamon and espresso flavors is a great way to start or end an evening. It is low in alcohol by volume (ABV), which makes for a great cocktail for most of your holiday revelers.

This cocktail requires only two simple ingredients stirred together, making it as easy on the prep as it is to enjoy. To make this great cocktail, you need equal parts of Caffe’ Borghetti Espresso Liqueur and Rumchata. We topped ours off with a large ice cube to keep it chilled and some other holiday garnish for a festive vibe.  Keep these ingredients on hand and you won’t be caught off guard when you have last minute guests drop by.

Searching for a gift idea for that one person on your list who is hard to buy for? Try giving him bottles of Caffe’ Borghetti and Rumchatta with a recipe card. Throw in some unique rocks glasses or a large ice cube mold. What an easy and original idea for the holiday season!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at http://www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe of the Cinnaspresso.

What great plans and celebrations do you have on your list for this holiday season?

 

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking. Drink responsibly.

Top Off Your Thanksgiving Feast with a Pumpkin Espresso Martini

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We know we are a few days early, but we wanted our favorite readers to know how thankful we are that you stop by our little corner of the vast internet.  We appreciate your comments, your shares with friends and your encouragement.  We have much to be grateful for this year – our health, our three piglets, our friendships and our families.

One of our favorite things we like about The Blind Pig Blog is creating new drinks and recipes.  We went back to the vault for this one. (Yes that is a reference to T. Swift.) We loved our Spiced Pumpkin Martini that we first shared with you years ago, but we decided to update the recipe a bit by adding a little Caffe’ Borghetti Espresso Liqueur.  We think it is even better than the original.

The new cocktail has a hint of pumpkin entertwined with the flavor of real espresso – a delicious combination. Pumpkin pie spice sprinkled across the top accents the cocktail with a touch of autumn, and the chocolate syrup drizzled inside the glass makes the cocktail complete.

The Pumpkin Espresso Martini is a great drink to serve to guests after your Thanksgiving Feast or save it for guests who drop by while they are in town over the holidays.

If you are viewing this post via email, join us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for the Pumpkin  Espresso Martini.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

 

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years and older. We do not condone underage drinking.  Drink responsibly.

Bourbon Apple Bread

Can you believe that it is already November?  We know that sounds trite, but time has been flying for us.  We thought after we became empty nesters that things would slow down a bit.  We guess in our new-found freedom that we are taking advantage of doing all of those things that were put on the back burner for years?

We wanted to share a homey fall recipe with you this week, and what is more homey and comforting than home baked bread? We have brought you some yummy bread recipes in the past, such as, Angry Orchard Bread, Chocolate Banana Bread and Easy Pumpkin Beer Bread.  This week we are adding a touch of fall flavor with some juicy gala apples and a twist of bourbon flavor.

To make this easy bread recipe you will need a yellow cake mix, shredded fresh apples, canola oil, eggs, milk, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter.

First mix the cake mix, oil, milk,  and spices together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bourbon and hand-stir in the shredded apples.  Divide the batter between two loaf pans prepped with cooking spray.

Mix together the chopped pecans, brown sugar, melted butter and 1/4 ounce of bourbon.  Sprinkle on top of the bread batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Cool. Slice. Enjoy!

This easy bread is perfect to bake as a hostess gift for a friend or pre-make for your next brunch.  We are going to enjoy ours on the patio this afternoon on this gorgeous autumn day.

What kind of fall adventures have you been on lately?  Make some bourbon apple bread and let us know your thoughts!

 

Just in “Queso”…Game Day Snacks

We have been making the rounds to a few football games and tailgates recently.  If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed that we were in Oxford, MS a couple of weeks ago to visit blind piglet #3 at Ole Miss #HottyToddy! We have participated in our fair share of tailgates . ( We are Chiefs fans.  Remember?)  However, we must say that our friends down in Mississippi take tailgating to a whole new level.  Not only was the Grove packed with home and visiting fans, alike, but we witnessed a whole different type of tailgating.  There were chandeliers hanging from tents.  Men and women dressed to the nines, and we even saw one fan designing center floral pieces for the tables under her tent!  Southern hospitality was certainly on display in full force, and to make the day even better, the Rebs beat Arkansas in an exciting game that came down to the final seconds!

All of this cheering for our favorite football teams got us thinking about writing another post about game day or tailgating snacks and food.  What would any tailgate without some delicious queso to munch on?  To make it fit for The Blind Pig Blog, we just had to add a little something something to it ;).   Thus our Game Day Beer Queso was born!

Before we get started on the details on how to make this delicious queso. (Torchy’s watch out we are coming for you!) Let’s talk queso. Blind Pig #1 informed us years ago when she went to college at MIZZOU that not everyone knows what queso is.  What?  Who?  How?  Queso is defined by wikipedia as a Mexican-inspired appetizer or side dish of thick and creamy melted cheese.  Queso should never be called or confused with cheese dip which comes in a jar or can and is served cold.  Eeeww! (See below).

Queso is one of the main food groups for anyone living in Texas and is served up warm with chips at nearly every social gathering.  To make our delicious queso you need these few easy ingredients: chopped onion, chopped fresh jalapeno, cumin, paprika, chipotle pepper, salt, pepper, olive oil, shredded Mexican blend cheese, Velveeta cheese, 1 bottle of beer, fresh avocado, fresh cilantro and Queso Cotija.

This easy queso can be whipped up in the matter of few minutes and has the flavor to make your guests think you are a master chef. If making for a tailgate, make at home and then transport it in a slow cooker to keep and serve warm.  This queso tastes great with your favorite corn chips, but could also make a great dip for soft pretzels or bread.

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for Game Day Beer Queso.

What are your favorite game day recipes?

Here are a few  of our favorites from The Blind Pig Blog.

Corralejo Lime Guac🐷🐷

Octoberfest Chili🐷🐷🐷

Twisted Mississippi Mud Brownies🐷

Corralejo Skinny Agave Margarita🐷🐷🐷

Carpano Antica Sangria🐷🐷🐷

Punt e Mes Sangria🐷🐷

Bloody Mary

Fernet and Coke🐷🐷🐷

3 Hot Chocolates with a Twist

Fernet Hot Chocolate🐷🐷🐷

Blind Pig Mojito

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn🐷🐷🐷

Enjoy your week.  As far as your favorite team goes, may the odds ever be in your favor!

 

For the Love of Peanut Butter

Who loves peanut butter?  Peanut butter is one of our favorite flavors. From peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a yummy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, we can’t get enough. The Blind Pig Blog has incorporated some delicious peanut butter recipes in the past, such as:

24 kt. Cheesecake

Caffe’ Borghetti Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

Fondue: Three Ways

Boozy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Butterfinger Bourbon Pie.

This is the first time that we are incorporating our favorite flavor into a yummy cocktail for all of you peanut butter lovers out there: Peanut Butter Caffe’!  This yummy cocktail is perfect for an after dinner drink or served as a dessert.  It is made from two basic ingredients – Caffe’ Borghetti Espresso Liqueur and Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey.  Shake these two ingredients vigorously over ice and serve.

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for Peanut Butter Caffe’.

We have ours pictured with our delicious Boozy Peanut Butter Blossoms.  The distinct flavor of peanut butter pairs with a hint of espresso to make a wonderful flavor combination.  This cocktail is delicious on its own or served with a peanut butter sweet treat.  Try it out and let us know what you think!

 

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking.  Drink responsibly.