Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sparkling Bourbon Cranberry Cider

Bourbon is the perfect drink for this time of year. Actually, let's not kid ourselves...bourbon is the perfect companion no matter the time of year. But, I will say it does warm you up a little more with these frigid temps. and by frigid I mean how it was only 57' in Raleigh today. 

We leave for Boston tomorrow where the high is supposed to be in the 20's and it is supposed to be 74' here on Saturday. Please excuse me while I go cry for a few minutes. I am trying to prepare, but this may be where my trusty bourbon comes in. A few sips here, a few sips there. No one will be any the wiser.

But if you want to enjoy your bourbon in a classier way than the brown bag, this is the perfect option for your next gathering! It is really light and refreshing and if you are not a big whiskey drinker, this is a good way to ease yourself in!

1 cup cran apple juice
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup bourbon
1 bottle champagne
1/2 fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick(optional)

In a container, mix together all ingredients except the champagne and cranberries. I used one of my favorite bourbons, Evan Williams Apple Orchard. It is bourbon infused with cinnamon and a few other flavors. It is seasonal, so if you cannot find it, just add in the cinnamon stick when you combine your liquids. I would let the flavors marry for about an hour before you move onto the next step. and if you want to forgo the cinnamon, it is just as have my word. 

Chill your mixed juice and then once you are ready to serve, drop a few cranberries in a your champagne glass and then fill  about 1/2 way full and top with your champagne. 

You could easily make these by the pitcher and you could use any cranberry juice you like. Cran raspberry may be good or even pear.

I have a feeling we may be ringing 2014 in with this tasty concoction! 

Linking up with Kristin today

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eggnog Mudslide

I have to admit that I did not grow up a fan of eggnog. at all. maybe even the largest understatement of the month. And like most things I have discovered I may like a little bit, the mister is the one who turned me on to the yumminess of eggynoggy. Don't you just love it when people make all their words end in a y;) me neither.

Anyways, I still do not go out of my way to indulge in this treat, but I do like it when mixed with other flavors. and by flavors I mean bourbon. or kahlua or bailey's. or cream cheese. or pudding. or ice cream. You getting the picture now? Needless to say, the ingredients that make up this concoction end up with me being a very large of fan of this version of eggnog!

You can make this ten ways till Sunday and after I give you the rundown on how easy this is, I have a few other versions you may want to try out. and yea, does anyone even know the origin of the term "ten ways to Sunday?" I know where I am going when I am done. Wikipedia here I come.

Ingredients(makes 2 mudslides)
1 cup eggnog ice cream
1 oz eggnog
1 oz bailey's
1 oz kahlua
1/2 cup ice

Blend till desired consistency.

ok, here are a few different ways that you can make this. If you wanted this to be a kid friendly shake, just use non alcoholic eggnog  and add a little chocolate sauce. blend. If you can't find eggnog ice cream, vanilla would work just fine, you may just need to add a little more eggnog. I found gingerbread kahlua and let's just say.....oh, it was love at first sip! Yum. You could also make a non frozen version by using 3 oz eggnog, 1 oz kahlua and 1 oz bailey's. Shake vigorously over ice and strain into glass.

Now do yourself a favor and make this!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Peppermint Mudslide Cookies

This week I hosted a cookie exchange party and when deciding what to make, I realized I had some Bailey's & Kahlua on hand and knew that I somehow wanted to incorporate them in my cookies. One of my favorite recipes I have created was a peppermint oreo mudslide. When I stumbled upon a plethora of peppermint goodies at World Market, my mind was made up.

This is a cake mix cookie, but the flavors of the kahlua and bailey's married with the peppermint, make for the perfect combo and you will hardly notice. 

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 oz kahlua
1 oz bailey's
1/2 cup peppermint pieces

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat on low till all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pre heat the oven to 350'. Using a cookie scoop (I also use a tbsp) place about an inch apart on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes.

if you have any extra peppermint pieces you can sprinkle a bit on top of each cookie just as they come out of the oven, the pieces melt into the cookies for a nice crunch in an otherwise chewy cookie.

Let cool for about 20 minutes. 

These are also really yummy to turn into a whoopie pie! I used a chocolate peppermint mousse and gave my cookies new life the next day.

The cookie exchange party was a complete success if you don't count the zero pictures I snapped. Does that mean it didn't even happen? Actually, I think it is a sign that us ladies were having such a great time with one another that we couldn't be bothered to stop our talking for something such as a pictures;)

Thanks to all you ladies that joined in on the fun, I had such a great time enjoying your company!