Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#HandcraftedEdible Christmas Gifts: Limoncello

Each Tuesday I will post an Edible Christmas Gift that I have personally made that makes a wonderful gift for families, friends and neighbors.  I'll share with you other great edibles found across Pinterest and other blogs.  This week we will start with liquid refreshments.

One of my favorite after dinner drinks is a sippable drink called Limoncello.  It is so good, and a perfect dessert drink to serve your guests.  It is a fun drink to gift at Christmas, as it tastes just like liquid sunshine.  This is a great time to save jugs, too, from your apple cider purchases this fall!

I found this darling jug at Pier 1.  I love the chalkboard label!

Homemade Limoncello

by Terri Steffes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (approx 8 cups)
  • 10-12 lemons
  • 1 750 ml bottle of vodka
  • 3 c water
  • 2 c sugar
With a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove the peel from the lemon in long strips. Make sure there is no white pith remaining on the peels. Place the peels in a glass bowl, and pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peels and vodka do their job for at least 4 days.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes. Cool. Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture. Cover and let it steep overnight. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer, and then strain one more time using a coffee filter. Transfer to a pretty jar, and refrigerate.
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Store this in the refrigerator for instant pouring. You can serve it in its own glass, such as these from Crate and Barrel.

You can find more libations at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She is the hostess of #HandcraftedEdibles where you can join in on the adventure.

  • Nichole at Cookaholic Wife whips up some homemade Amaretto

  • Friday, September 25, 2015

    The 2015 Christmas Season Starts Now!

    Christmas is a very special time for me.  I know many of you love Christmas, too.  As I grow older, I am learning that sometimes something is actually made more special by savoring it and enjoying it because of its scarcity.  To have too much of something might make it not special anymore.

    That's why, this year, I am limiting this blog to September, October, November and December.  My way of savoring this special time of the year.  This doesn't mean I love it less.  In some ways, it means I love it even more.

    I just finished reading a short story by Shauna Niequist.  It is a personal memoir of Christmas.  You can find it in the book called Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way.  I totally adore this book!  In fact, I am giving away two copies of this book on Amazon and you can find the way to enter here!  Amazon Giveaway

    From the story, I started looking at Christmas a little bit differently.  Maybe it was my book club's discussion, or maybe it was the story itself, but I started to realize that the traditions my husband and I set up for our family was just that: for our family of three.  When our daughter got married, that marked a change was brewing, one that I didn't want to acknowledge.  Reading this story helped me realize that I need to be letting go of those traditions, and letting this transition time happen gracefully.  When my daughter has her family, it will be her turn to decide what traditions she wants to have in her family.  I must be ready to accept whatever those are.

    It doesn't mean I can't have traditions for my husband and me.  We can carry on whatever traditions we want, and start news ones if we want!  I am eager to have this discussion with him and to see what road we decide to take, whatever it is, doing it together will make it all the more fun.

    Recently I had the fun opportunity to be in Cracker Barrel and saw that they had some of their Christmas displays up.  Here a few snapshots from my Cracker Barrel.  I hope you see something that you like!

    I'm in love with the Cardinal ribbon!

    This is too cute.

     I hope you can think about the traditions in your family.  If you are experiencing some stress over the holidays because you can't keep your traditions, maybe, like me, it is time for you to revisit your idea of traditions.  I'm not doing this because I want to necessarily, but because it is the right thing to do.  For my daughter who has her own family, and for me, to learn to let go a little.