Ciderhouse Whiskey & Giveaway #CocktailDay

Ciderhouse Whiskey

Welcome to Cocktail Day, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and Donna of Cookistry.

Cocktail Day
We are raising our glasses to toast you all with some unique and delicious cocktails and mocktails in anticipation of the Big Game and Valentine’s Day. Be sure to bookmark or pin these creative beverages for your next gathering. We hope you enjoy this marvelous event and the incredible giveaways from our generous sponsors. Cheers!

All prizes

Well, how excited am I to be part of this fabulous event!! But what sort of cocktail can I bring to this party of fabulous bloggers? I really can’t drink any of the clear alcohols. Truth be told, I like bourbon. I have been told I drink bourbon like a sailor … not quite sure if that’s a compliment or not, but okie dokie … so bourbon it is.

And then I remembered that while the Dear One is away … for a month … there was a bourbon (his fav too!) cocktail I wanted to perfect to have at the ready when he returns.

Enter the Ciderhouse Whiskey, simply made with bourbon and cider syrup.

Cider syrup? Oh, what’s that you say? Really simple to make, smells heavenly and produces this thick, apple intense, lovely syrup that I can see on ice cream and on pound cake on … well, my sisters were eating it right off spoons!

So the combination of sweet, syrupy cider and mellow bourbon made this the drink of choice to have ready to pour when the Dear One returns from his chilly adventures!

But before we get to the recipe, check out these great prizes!
2 Individual Copies of Molecule Gastronomy by Molecule-R Cookbook
1 Set of Mojito R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Margarita R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Cosmo R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail sponsored by Race Point Publishing
1 Copy of Apothecary Cocktails sponsored by Fair Winds Press
1 Copy of The Best Craft Cocktails and Bartending with Flair sponsored by Page St. Publishing
1 Not So Simple Gift Basket
1 Microplane Bartender’s Garnishing Tool
1 Microplane Citrus Tool

TO ENTER, CLICK ON THIS LINK——-> a Rafflecopter giveaway

***This giveaway is intended for each prize to have a separate winner! No person can win multiple prizes. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only . Winners will be chosen by random draw. The winners will be notified via e-mail, and have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

Now back to the cocktail!

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. boiled cider or cider syrup (see note)
  • A strip of lemon zest

Combine bourbon and cider syrup over ice and stir gently. Twist lemon zest and drop into drink, stir again, and serve.

Note: Cider syrup is so simple to make, gently boil a gallon of apple cider in a heavy-bottomed pot, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to ⅛ (making 2 cups syrup), about 2 hours. Let cool to room temperature and store, refrigerated, in an air-tight container. To  know how much 2 cups is simple – pour 2 cups of the cider into the pot and measure with a chopstick or wooden skewer so you know where the 2 cup mark is. Pour the rest of the cider in and follow the above instructions until it boils down to the mark on your chopstick. This takes many hours. I’ll post this process soon.

Other Fabulous Bloggers Mixing It Up with Us for Cocktail Day:

Panorama

Our sponsors for Cocktail Day are Molecule-R, Page St. Publishing, Race Point Publishing, Fair Winds Press, Microplane, and Not So Simple Syrup.

Molecule-R can be found on Facebook, and YouTube. Molecular gastronomy can be defined as the fusion of food science and culinary arts. Molecular gastronomy by Molecule-R is a cookbook with stunning recipes explained and illustrated with the intelligence and aesthetic beauty that defines the MOLECULE-R brand. Mojito R-Evolution teaches you how to deconstruct your mojito into floating mint caviar and spectacular foams or encapsulate your favorite cocktail into a sphere that will explode in your mouth. Margarita R-Evolution teaches you how to create a margarita slush topped with a fresh lemon mousse, add a splash of colour by creating blue azure suspended pearls or encapsulate your margarita into an edible cocktail! Cosmo R-Evolution teaches you how to add a molecular twist to your traditional cosmo sure to awe your guests! Serve a cosmopolitan bubble on a spoon that will pop in your mouth, top off your cocktail with a light fluffy cranberry foam or suspend citrus caviar in your drink.

Microplane can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Microplane is a division of family-owned Grace Manufacturing Inc., a long-standing company specializing in the crafting of precision thin metal parts for home and industrial use. The versatile Ultimate Citrus Tool features Microplane’s surgical grade stainless steel Fine blade. In addition, the Ultimate Citrus Tool features two decorative garnishing blades in a large (.300-inch diameter) and small (.180-inch diameter) size. The blades are made in the USA and are dishwasher safe. Microplane’s sleekly designed and multi-functional Bartender’s Garnishing Tool easily opens bottles, effortlessly zests oranges, lemons, limes, and other types of citrus fruits, and is dishwasher safe.

Not So Simple Syrup can be found on Facebook, and Twitter. Not So Simple Syrup is a a small, local maker of simple syrups. Heidi and Barbie’s passion is to create all natural syrups that inspire and stimulate your pension for amazing mixed drinks as well as iced teas and non-alcoholic beverages too. They pride themselves on individual service. When you purchase a NSSS product, you can be sure that it received their personal stamp of approval. The Not So Simple Syrup Survival Gift Basket has two flavours of delicious all natural Not So Simple Syrup, a muddler for the perfect Mojito you might want to create, two glasses and a bar towel.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by our sponsors, no
bloggers have received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Apple Pie Filling … For the Freezer

Ready to freeze

Seriously, it don’t get much easier than this!

After making it through freezing peach pie filling, how hard could apple pie filling be? Certainly apples are easier to peel and core and slice. I honestly don’t remember where I found this recipe, but the gal whose blog it’s from doesn’t freeze it in pie shape, but flat in freezer bags and makes 10 or so at a time right in their own freezer bags.  All the dry, add apples, shake and freeze.

I wanted to be as lazy as humanly possible on t his venture and decided to freeze the apples the same way I did the peach pie filling, all ready to plunk into a pie shell and bake.

  • 2/3 C white flour
  • 1 1/2 C  sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon, or to taste
  • 6 to 6 1/2 C apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 gallon freezer bag

Place first first three ingredients into a bowl and stir.

Mixed

Add apples and toss until well mixed.

Line a pie plate with tin foil and saran wrap. Add the apple mixture. Place in freezer until sold.  Remove from tin. Wrap tightly and store in freezer.

TO BAKE:

Put frozen pie filling into crust lined pie dish.

Using 5 tablespoons of cut up cold butter, dot the filling.

Put top crust on, flute edges, and sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar, if you like.

Line edges with foil to prevent burning.

Bake at pie 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Until inside is just hot and bubbly. I would put it on a baking sheet to avoid a big mess in your oven.

NOTE: Take foil off for the last 25 minutes to brown the crust.

Apple Chips

This fabulous recipe for Caramelized Apple Chips is from the September 2012 Southern Living magazine. I know it’s been making the food blog rounds like wildfire, but I found this over at Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. I fell in love. It was bookmarked into my to do list. And there it sat. And sat. And sat.

And along came Winter Storm Athena, the nor’easter that slammed the Northeast so soon after our dear Sandy departed. Betcha didn’t know they named winter storms too! I surely didn’t. Gotta give it to those news guys … anything for a nifty logo and a theme song.

So here I am, locked away in my house AGAIN, dealing with the elements raging outside my windows and desperately trying to not write a letter to Mayor Bloomberg BEGGING him to stop repeating his announcements in Spanish. His Spanish makes my ears bleed and disturbs my sensibilities.

It seems within certain ethnicities, food and cooking is the solution to most of life’s problems. Some people eat to live, and others (like me and those I hold nearest and dearest) live to eat. We discuss lunch during breakfast, dinner during lunch, and what will we eat tomorrow during dinner.

Cooking. It’s MY solution to everything.  Oh, you’re sick? I’ll cook. You had a car accident? I’ll make you a little something. Fired from your job? How about a strudel? Locked in the house again ready to pull your hair out? APPLE CHIPS!

Now be forewarned. The apples need to be VERY thinly sliced. I think I sliced mine a little too thinly using my handy dandy handheld Kyocera Mandolin. It comes with a guard, don’t you know. Did I use it? NOPE. Everything went along swimmingly … well, until it didn’t. Slice, slice, slice, apple gets stuck, fingers kept going. You get the picture. USE THE GUARD.

These were really yummy, though very sweet. I think next time I’ll add a little lemon juice to the simple syrup and perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • 1 small apple (I used a Gala)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C water

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut the apple into very thin slices. You don’t need to core or peel the apple, but remove the seeds from the slices.

Add the sugar and water to a 3-qt saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the apple slices and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until they are translucent and the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly.

Use tongs to remove the slices from the syrup and place them on the wire rack in a single layer.

Bake the apples for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re golden in color. The baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your apple slices – I found the best indicator of doneness to be color. Don’t be concerned if the slices aren’t crisp when they become golden – mine definitely weren’t – the chips will crisp as they cool.

Transfer the chips to a sheet of waxed paper lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray and let them cool completely, about 10 minutes.

NOTE: With the exception of nearly taking the tips of three fingers off, these were really great. GUARD! USE THE GUARD! But, they make a quick and yummy snack!

Bourbon Apple Pork Chops

So … today’s posting is a tale of woe …

(It’s always something, isn’t it!?)

I normally do my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday. I pick my recipes, see what’s on sale, clip my coupons, gather my bags, and toddle off. I don’t give much thought to what I am going to cook on what night.

UNTIL …

Yesterday, I turn on the oven to bake some lovely orange roughy … Everything ready to go into my preheated oven … that is STONE COLD. Open the oven, thought of sticking my head in, but that wouldn’t really be a solution, where’s the pilot light, the pilot light … no pilot light. Some sort of new fangled electronic ignition that, according to my Google search, breaks constantly.

No oven. F*^K.

The fish was easy. The recipe for the pork chops, not so easy.

And along came my friends at Relish Magazine and Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen. One pot, on the stove, fabulous and quick! All my favorite things! Served with egg noodles and green beans, dinner was ready before anyone could complain they were hungry!

  • 4  (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds)
  • 2  teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1  tablespoon olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  shallot, minced (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1  tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pippin, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2  cup applesauce
  • 1  cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 or 3 T Bourbon (optional)

Rinse, pat dry and sprinkle both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme, pressing lightly so seasonings adhere.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add meat and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning only once, to brown. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm.

Add butter to pan and heat until foamy. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.Add apple, applesauce, broth and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to skillet scraping up browned bits. Cook, stirring, until apple is tender and sauce reduces slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.

NOTE: While they suggest to add a glug or so of Bourbon, they didn’t say where, so I punted and added it here!

Return meat, along with any juices that have collected at the bottom of the plate, to pan and cook just until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve warm with sauce and apples spooned over the chops.

NOTE: This was really simple to pull together and really yummy. I thought there would be too much liquid, so I let it bubble away a little bit longer to reduce it more and thicken up.

Caramel Apple Pie

Is there anything more perfect in the world than apple pie?

Nope. Don’t think so.

Well, maybe this apple pie. I had seen a recipe for a caramel apple pie probably 25 years ago. It had caramel only on the inside. I thought it was the most decadent thing I had ever tasted.

As the years progressed the thought of having my pie taste more like, and look more like, a carnival caramel apple began  plaguing me. It was very much like Brisbane for the Little Rascals, but instead of “learn that poem, learn that poem’, it was, make that caramel, make that caramel.

After a number of – albeit delicious and fattening – mistakes, this pie is what has resulted.

I hope you give it a try and I hope you like it!

  • 6 apples
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T butter (room temperature)
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/3 C dark corn syrup

NOTE: I am not loyal to any particular type of apple. I usually try and use 2 ~ one a little tart and one a little sweet.  It should be an apple that holds up well when baking.

Preheat oven to 425

Peel, core and slice apples and place in a 9″ deep dish pie shell.

Combine next 6 ingredients and pour over apples.

Put on top crust. Crimp and slit to let out steam. Bake for 40 minutes.

NOTE: Crimp the edges high so that the caramel topping will have a place to rest and not slide off. I would bake on a baking sheet. This pie has a tendency to be very messy!

While baking, combine the caramel topping:

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 C dark corn syrup

After 40 minutes, remove pie from oven and pour the caramel mixture above over top of pie. Return to oven and bake for 5 more minutes.