Luscious Lemorancello

I am still up to my eyeballs in fresh citrus, so I found a new project from which I will be able to make some really fun desserts!

slicecake_w_lemons11Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and seen Limoncello on the after dinner drink menu or seen some type of Limoncello Cake on the dessert menu?   Limoncello is a syrupy liqueur that is smooth and sweet with an intense lemon flavor.  It can be sipped on its own, mixed into sparkling water, or shaken into cocktails.

I had no idea that Limoncello is the second most popular liqueur in Italy.  Considering that both my family and my husband’s have Northern Italian roots, I was amazed to realize neither of us had ever tried this particular yummy treat!  I think that counts as some kind of neglect or child abuse 😉

The process to make homemade Limoncello (or in this case, since I am combining blood orange and Meyer lemon peels:  Lemorancello) is quite easy and much less expensive than buying a smaller bottle of the commercially bottled version.

Lisa’s Luscious Lemorancello

  • 1 – 750 ml Bottle Vodka (80 Proof is fine, but 100 Proof is even better)
  • 5 – Medium Sized Meyer Lemons
  • 5 – Medium Sized Oranges (I have Blood Oranges, So I am using those)
  1. Remove the peels from the lemons and oranges.  Put the fruit in a zip bag to freeze for later use.  I peel them whole and then use a spoon to scrape away the pith, but you can also use a vegetable peeler.  It’s important to leave as little of the bitter white pith as possible.
  2. Once you have peeled the fruit and removed the pith from the skins, slice the peels into narrow strips and put the peel into a 32 oz container with a lid then pour the vodka over the peels.  I prefer glass so that any dormant odors don’t transfer from plastic into the vodka.
  3. Seal the container tightly and put aside in a cabinet – or at least on a counter out of direct sunlight.
  4. Infuse your blood orange & lemon peels in the vodka for at least 1 week to a month or longer. Most of the fruit flavor is extracted in the first few days, the longer you let it sit the bolder the flavor will be.  I’m going to let mine sit undisturbed for 6 weeks.

You don’t need to worry about mold or bacteria growing while it is infusing.  The alcohol prevents any mold or other bacteria from growing on the fruit.

When you decide that you just can’t wait to enjoy your treat any longer, it’s time to strain out the fruit peels and combine the infused vodka with simple syrup.

TIP:  You can use any amount 1 C Water to 1 C Sugar up to 4 Cups Water to 4 Cups Sugar.  More water will dilute the alcohol percentage and make the liqueur milder.

  1. Make your simple syrup:  In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar (I use superfine baker’s sugar) with 1 cup water and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add this to the infused vodka, taste, and add more simple syrup if you need it sweeter.

When you have reached your perfect ratio and your Lemorancello is ready to enjoy, you can store it in a cleaned 750 ml vodka bottle (there will be more than 1 bottle worth of liqueur) or in pretty oil/vinegar type bottles with hinged or screw sealed tops.

The liqueur can be kept in the freezer for at least a year, and likely much longer. Use your own common sense if it’s been more than a year and it tastes off or you see any mold growing in the bottle.  Then it’s more than likely time to toss it and make a fresh batch!  I have no intention of letting mine last that long.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

My Top 5 Bloody Marys

bloodymarybasicsThere are few things that are more satisfying on a lazy Sunday morning than a great Bloody Mary.  But, as we who enjoy them can agree, not all Bloody Marys are created equal.

Personally I like mine to not be so spicy as to rip my throat off as I swallow, or sting it so bad that I can’t enjoy more than the first sip or two.  I like a lot of flavor and really enjoy the presentation of a pretty AND tasty drink.

I also enjoy a little variety.  My favorites have featured chunks of crab amongst crisp, tall vegetables; entire lobster claws; thick strips of crispy bacon; antipasto on a skewer (tomato/mozzarella/basil/salami);  and crispy, fresh vegetables to munch while sipping a perfectly spiced drink.

My Top 5 Bloody Marys:

  1. The Crab House on Pier 39 – San Francisco, CA
  2. Lobster Me at The Palazzo in The Venetian – Las Vegas, NV
  3. Paul Martin’s – Irvine, CA
  4. Olive Garden – Santa Ana, CA (Mainplace Mall)
  5. The Signal Lounge – Orange, CA

After stumbling across a picture of a giant fried WHOLE CHICKEN hanging out of a giant Bloody Mary I decided that I need a list of places to visit just for my favorite Sunday morning cocktail!

Although I’ve been to Milwaukee before, somehow I managed to miss Sobelman’s Pub & Grill and their menu of “Beast” Bloody Marys.

My mouth waters thinking about their 80+ oz concoctions that are meant to be shared by at least 4 people.

chickenfried

The Chicken Fried:  $50 and topped with a whole fried 4 pound chicken from Ray’s Butcher Shop in Greenfield.  That is one intimidating presentation!  It’s a drink for a cause though!  During the last 4 months of 2014, for every Chicken Fried sold, the owners of Sobelman’s donated $5 to Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force.

abc_heeseburger_bloodymary_jp_121212_msCheeseburger Bloody Mary:  Features a scallion, a stalk of celery, a colby cheese wedge, a Polish sausage, a pickled mushroom, onion & brussel sprout, a pickle & olive, a shrimp, cherry tomato & lemon wedge, a spear of asparagus and a bacon cheeseburger slider.

2012-08-30-bacon-thumbAnother Bloody Mary that is definitely on the “Must Try List” is this 32 ounce monster from The Nook in AtlantaThe Bloody Best:  8 oz. of Absolut Peppar vodka mixed with a special Bloody Mary mix, garnished with pepperoncinis, jalapenos, Tater Tots, steak, a slice of toast, a hard-boiled egg and you drink it through a straw made of meat!

The list is in its infancy and recommendations from enthusiastic Bloody Mary adventurers are welcomed.

On the flip side, I know that there are those who only partake to quiet the ache in their head and swirling of their bellies after a night of over indulgence, to that end, Smirnoff shares their basic recipe for a pitcher of basic Bloody Marys:

  • 9 oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • Tomato juice
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • 4 tsp Hot sauce
  • 2 tbs Horseradish
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Celery salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 Lime wedge

Blend all ingredients except vodka. Pour into pitcher. Rub lemon or lime wedge around the rim of highball glasses and then roll glass in celery salt and add ice cubes. Fill glass 1/3 with vodka & top off with Bloody Mary mix. Serves 10.

Time for this girl to head to bed so I can wake up and create something somewhere in the middle of these to sip tomorrow!

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood