The Easiest Bread You’ll Ever Make

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The Blind Pig Apple Festival continues with one of the easiest recipes we have posted on TBP:  Angry Orchard Bread.  This bread recipe, which only requires 3 main ingredients,  will have you feeling guilty for the minimum effort and big reward to your taste buds.  Yes, we said three ingredients!!!

Rhonda had a beer bread recipe for years that was super easy.  One day when we were brainstorming ideas for the blog, we thought, “What if we substitute hard cider for beer in our recipe?”  We tried it and lo and behold a star was born.  You don’t need to take just our word for it.  Our harshest and most severe critic, Blind Piglet #2, loved this recipe, so we know we have a crowd pleaser.

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Here’s what you need.  Self-rising enriched flour, a bottle of your favorite hard cider (ours is Angry Orchard), and sugar.  We also enhanced the recipe with some chopped apples covered in cinnamon and sugar.

The most difficult part of the recipe is that your hard cider needs to be warm or room temperature.  Ours was nice and cold from sitting in the refrigerator, so we had to place it out in the sun for about an hour.  (Hopefully you won’t need to do that part.)

Place the flour and sugar in a bowl.  Add hard cider and stir.  Place in a bread pan.  Top with chopped apples covered in cinnamon and sugar.  Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Out comes cinnamony, apple goodness!

If you are viewing this post in your email, visit our website www.theblindpig.blog to get the complete recipe.

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Is your weekend as soggy and wet at ours is in Dallas, Texas?  If so, it is the perfect time for making a little something, something in the oven!  Are you ready to try out Angry Orchard Bread?  What are you waiting for?

    

October Bonus Post: As American as Baseball and Apple Pie

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It’s October Bonus Post time!  This week we continue our love of the apple harvest with a delicious and easy apple mule cocktail.  We’ve had this recipe in mind to share with you for awhile, but we were waiting on the right time.  What time is better than the fall? This drink tastes like apple pie and is perfect to sip while watching a bit of baseball playoffs.

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The apple mule is sooo easy to make.  Add 1.5 ounces of Seagram’s Apple Vodka to a rocks glass or mule mug.  Fill with ice.  Top off with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.  Garnish with two apple slices and a cinnamon stick.

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The cinnamon stick gives the drink enough cinnamon flavor without overpowering the light apple and ginger beer mix.  It is a delightful, light and refreshing drink to serve anytime.

A great complement to the Apple Mule is to have a snack of sliced apples on the side drizzled with Butter Rum Fondue.  It makes for perfect fall afternoon snack.

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Is your favorite team in the playoffs?  Let us know if you decide to serve apple mules to your friends at your next watching party.  We would love to hear about it.

   

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

Autumn Salad with Hard Cider Dressing

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When you think of fall you think of definitive sights, smells and flavors.  Maybe you think of  colorful leaves falling on your lawn.  Perhaps you think of the fresh smell of cooler morning air or piles of burning leaves.  We think of the distinct flavors of pumpkins and apples.

We are back this week with a great fall salad that will have your mouth enjoying a bountiful harvest.  Our salad is made with hard cider dressing, which goes well with the flavors of the season.  We occasionally like to drink a hard cider.  It has a crisp refreshing taste that you can’t get with a beer or a glass of wine.  Our favorite hard cider is Angry Orchard, so we used Angry Orchard in our dressing recipe.

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We served our salad with a nice pork chop that Craig cooked on the grill, but this salad can also stand its own with a hearty steak or with grilled strips of chicken.

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To make this salad we used mixed greens as the base.  We sprinkled chopped apples,  chopped pears, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds over the top with a few thinly sliced onions.  We topped the salad off with our special blended hard cider dressing made of olive oil, dry mustard, brown sugar, hard apple cider, salt and pepper.

If you are viewing this post in your email, visit our website for a complete printable version of the recipe.

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This salad is easy to make and easy to eat.  Try it this weekend with your favorite fall grilled meat and let us know what you think!  We are going to make a few Rojos and sit by our chiminea this weekend.  What will you be doing?

  

 

Rojo

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Happy Fall Friends!  Just when we think it is never going to return, we feel that crisp breeze and the scent of Fall is in the air.  In Texas, Fall is a very welcome old friend and a great time to sit on the patio with friends and loved ones sipping on a delightful cocktail.  This week we are sharing a cocktail with you that complements the season well. The Rojo has a full bodied flavor that is perfect for sipping on a cool autumn night around a fire.

To make the Rojo, you will need Zaya Rum or another high quality dark rum, fresh lime juice, brown sugar syrup, and medium bodied red wine. To make the brown sugar syrup, follow the same directions for making simple syrup.  This time you will use a 1:1 ratio of brown sugar and water.

The Rojo gives us an opportunity to share some new elements with you that are popular on the cocktail scene.  The first new element is the trend to garnish drinks with dehydrated citrus fruits.  We adapted the recipe a bit, and noticed that it was garnished with a dehydrated lime.  So we partook in a little experiment to see how to go about creating this effect.  Apparently, dehydration has become popular in many bars and restaurants to prevent wasting so many citrus fruits at the end of a shift.

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To dehydrate limes we thinly sliced a lime.  Then we placed the limes on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  We set our oven as low as it would go, which was 200 degrees.  If you can set your oven lower, we would suggest trying it.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and let the limes slowly bake.  This process will take almost all day long.  We checked on our limes every hour- two to make sure that they were not burning.  After about 4 hours, we took our limes out of the oven and flipped them over.  As you can see, our limes dehydrated and caramelized a bit. However, if you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator, your limes will only dry and not change color.  We still think that our dehydrated lime gives our drink and interesting garnish, and the limes are now sitting in our pantry ready to be used for other drinks or plopped in a glass of ice water for a lime flavor.

Another fun element that brings a little extra sizzle to your cocktails is adding a red-wine floater.  To create this effect in your cocktail you make the cocktail as directed and pour into your glass.  Then very gently drizzle wine over the back of a spoon to disperse the wine atop the cocktail.  This creates a thin layer of wine at the top of the drink, and makes for a visually pleasing cocktail.  If you need to see how to make a float in action, we found this helpful video on YouTube.

The last element that makes this drink special is ice.  We have shared with you before the importance of matching the right ice to the right cocktail.  You want to use a large cube with the Rojo.  If you don’t, the floater will not have as big of an effect and the drink will have less visual appeal.

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If you are viewing this post through email, you can visit our site theblindpig.blog    for a printable version of the recipe.

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We would love to hear what you think about the Rojo.  It is a fun drink to make and even better to drink!  Happy Fall.

  

Disclaimer:  Beverages posted on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

  

Hatched!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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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If you are viewing this post in your email, visit www.theblindpig.blog for a complete downloadable version of the recipe.

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

  

Twisted Mississippi Mud Brownies

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Have you ever had one of those weeks when things should be very easy, but nothing seems to come together?  This week has been a comedy of errors trying to get this post out to you.  For one thing, Rhonda’s computer wifi card went bust, or that is what we think happened.  If you ever think you don’t need the internet, try going without it for awhile.  But we problem solved and prevailed.  Our family motto is, “There is a workaround for everything!” We are happy to share a very twisted recipe with you:  Twisted Mississippi Mud Brownies.

When Rhonda was young, her mother, (aka-Grandma Ruth) always made the most delicious Mississippi Mud Brownies to take to picnics and special occasions at church.  Who doesn’t love all of that chocolately goodness topped off with marshmallows and more chocolate, right?  We found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine’s October 2012 issue originally, but we Blind Pigged it up a little.  We think this week’s treat, just might have perfected the Mississippi Brownie.

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This recipe comes in three basic parts.  You have the brownie base, then a layer of peanut butter yum.  Topped with another layer of brownie and perfected with a layer of marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanuts, and chocolate frosting.  Oh yea!

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What do you need?  Besides an enormous sweet tooth and an appetite for chocolate and peanut butter, you need several ingredients that may already be in your kitchen, like unsweetened chocolate baking squares, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, vanilla, peanut butter, light brown sugar, baking powder, mini marshmallows, Kerrygold Irish Cream, mini chocolate chips, lightly salted peanuts, and powdered sugar.  Remember, if you are viewing this post in your email, you can visit www.theblindpig.blog to get a downloadable and printable complete recipe.

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Your first step will be to melt the baking chocolate.  We melted it slowly in a microwaveable bowl in the microwave using short bursts of cooking time.  Once the chocolate is melted, add in 2 ounces of Kerrygold Irish Cream and stir together well. Set aside.

Next beat together softened butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer.  Add eggs one at a time.  Then add in melted chocolate mixture beating until just blended.  Add in one cup of flour and stir in vanilla.  Spread half of the batter in a 13 x 9 inch pan that was sprayed with baking spray.

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Next you will make the peanut butter mixture.  Beat the peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup of softened butter with 1/2 cup granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs one at a time.  Stir together baking powder and remaining flour.  Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture on low speed until blended.

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Spoon the peanut butter mixture over the bottom layer of brownie mixture.  Top with the remaining brownie mixture and swirl together with a knife.

Bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

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While brownies are baking make the frosting.  Place 1/4 cup of butter, 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa and 3 tablespoons of Kerrygold Irish Cream into a small sauce pan.  Turn heat to medium and continue to stir constantly until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract.  You may need to reheat the frosting some when you are ready to drizzle it over the brownies.

Insert wooden pick in the center to check for only a few moist crumbs.  Remove from the oven.

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Sprinkle with marshmallows, peanuts, mini-chocolate chips, and drizzle with frosting.  Let cool completely before cutting.  Then enjoy!

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So what do you think?  Are you ready for a Mississippi-sized sugar rush?

  

Italian Mojito

italian mojitoHey friends!  We apologize for getting our post ready a little late this week.  It was Blind Piglet #2 and #3’s first week back to school.  We had hockey and soccer practices and soccer games and well, you know the drill.  Watching a soccer game in 100 degree heat can start a craving for a light and refreshing beverage.  Thus we decided to share the Italian Mojito with you.

You may remember our Zaya Mojito that we shared with you during the summer of 2017.  This is still one of our easy favs. However, when you see how simple and refreshing the Italian Mojito is, it may make it to the top of your quick and easy cocktail list.

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We first introduced you to Brancamenta, the main ingredient in the Mojito, last summer when we featured Who Needs Half Price Shakes After 8?   Brancamenta is an Italian apertivo-digestivo with a distinctive mint flavor.  It is delicious in many beverages and recipes and is the star of the Italian Mojito.

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To make the Italian Mojito you need a few basic ingredients: Brancamenta, Sprite, (We used Sprite Zero to cut down on calories.) a lime and mint leaves.  Place the mint leaves and juice of half of lime in a  shaker and muddle.  Next add ice and  Brancamenta.  Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.  Pour into a glass and top off with Sprite. Garnish with a mint sprig or slice of lime.

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If you are viewing this post via email, visit our site for a downloadable recipe.

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The Italian Mojito is less sweet than a traditional mojito, while still maintaining that refreshing minty flavor.  If you like a little fizz in your drinks, then you will like the energizing bubbles that the Sprite adds to this cocktail.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.  You may find out that it was mint to be!

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Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.