Who Needs Italy when you can make your own Limoncello!

Seriously…who doesn’t like Limoncello?  I tried it for the first time in 2010 when I visited a variety of Cities in Italy and fell in love.  It’s sweet, lemony and delicious!  It’s so easy to make your own…why didn’t I do this years ago!

Here’s the finished product.  It lasts for a year or two, so no need to drink it fast.  And I can always give them as gifts!

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Here’s the recipe…take 7 large lemons…organic is better and a liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of vodka.  I used Sveda Vodka.  It’s good quality and reasonably priced.

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Take a vegetable peeler and peel the zest.  Be careful not to  peel too deeply because you don’t want the bitter white pith of the lemon skin.  Add the zest to the alcohol, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere cool for a week.

On Day 6, make a simple syrup with 5 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar.  Boil the water and add the sugar to the boiling water.  Stir the sugar until it is fully dissolved in the water and then let it cool over night.

On Day 7, strain the lemon peels from the alcohol,  pour the alcohol into the simple syrup and stir well.

Serve chilled, from the refrigerator or freezer.

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How easy is that!

 

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My Life Lately

I thought I’d give you a more personal look at my life lately!  I joined a new Meetup.com group a few weeks ago that focuses on cooking.  Seeing that I’ve made over 160 new recipes from Pinterest this past year, it’s quite appropriate.  I volunteered to host the first gathering, which was held at our house Saturday evening.  The theme was Mexican and there were 12 of us.  Because I was the hostess…I didn’t need to cook.  Everyone else brought the food.  It was still quite a bit of work to make sure the house was clean, to assist the night of, and to clean again afterwards; but I enjoyed the company and the food was delish!

I joined another Meetup group for creative people and attended the first meetup the other night.  There were about 9 of us…so we went around the room and shared a little about ourselves and I’m signed up for the next event, an art exhibit for one of the members!

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DIY Large Photo Wall Art

If you’d like to use one of your own photos for a DIY Photo Wall Art project, Sugar Bee Crafts  has a great post to walk you through each step.  For less than $15 I was able to make a 3′ x 4′ piece of art with a photograph I took in California!  It’s hanging in my office, so I can look out the window at the woods and look on the wall at the woods!

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I found the idea on Pinterest and followed the link!  It’s a great idea for photos of people also.  Next, I’d like to make some for friends!

Football and Fun

Saturday evening we attended a Bengals Playoff Game party at a friend’s house.  I’m not much of an organized sports watching fan…but I love to socialize.  I made some Tailgate Ham/Cheese Sandwiches that were a big hit.  Originally the recipe was on Pinterest, but when I went to the website, the recipe was no longer there.  Luckily, I had typed it up and saved it—

Ingredients:

* 1 pkg. (12 count) Hawaiian bread rolls

* 1 lb. shaved Black Forest ham

* 12 slices Gruyere cheese

* 1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cheese Spread

* 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

* 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

* 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion

* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

~Cut all rolls in half.  Place roll bottoms in 9 x 13 inch pan.

~Place equal amounts of ham on each roll bottom.  Top with Gruyere.

~On each of the roll tops, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese spread.  Return the tops to the bottoms making sandwiches.

~In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion and Parmesan cheese.  Pour over your sandwiches and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  (You can make these ahead of time and allow to sit in fridge overnight.)

~Place sandwiches, covered in foil, in a preheated 350 deg. F oven.

~Bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through.  Enjoy!  Yield: 12 servings.

After a while of talking, eating, and drinking, it was time to have some fun…so I arm wrestled four women and won!  They wanted me to try a couple of the guys…so I did…but I knew they would win.  My arm is a little sore today.

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Next, we convinced a couple of the guys to help us make a partial pyramid…

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The photos were taken with my friend’s iPhone.  Who says you have to act your age?

 

Homemade Baileys Irish Cream

With the holidays almost here…if you need a quick and easy gift…consider making Irish Cream Liquor.  It’s less expensive and tastier than Baileys!

First, you’ll need some empty bottles.  I’ve been saving wine bottles, so I took four of them, soaked them in hot water for 5-10 minutes, used a rough cleaning pad to rub the labels off, and then sprayed Goo Gone on to remove the sticky residue.  You can also use olive oil, nail polish remover or white vinegar to rub the residue off.  I found a number of recipes on Pinterest for Irish Cream, so I combined a few of them and have the ingredients listed below.

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

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Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth (less than a minute).  Pour into your bottle and refrigerate.  It will stay good for at least a month.  I made three batches, which filled four bottles and half of another (for me)!

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It’s quick, easy and yummy!!

 

End of Summer

This weekend has been wonderful!  Saturday we started the day with our usual three-mile trail jog at the nature center.  There were beautiful wildflowers weeds everywhere, so I picked some to bring home.  Breakfast was a yummy smoothie with strawberries, banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, oatmeal flakes, honey, 1 cup of ice, and some Chia Seeds.  I discovered the Chia Seeds at Trader Joe’s and was impressed by the amount of fiber, Omega 3, and Protein in 1 tablespoon!

That afternoon we rode the Harley to the Milford Street Festival.  We stopped along the way because Randy wanted a photo with this tank…

We stayed at the festival for about an hour and stopped by the booth of one of Randy’s friends…Steve Black…who makes cool jewelry out of spoons and forks.  A lot of the pieces are Harley and breast cancer (ribbon) related.

There were a variety of booths including face painting…

This parrot was cool…

We stopped in a gun shop and I thought this would make an artsy photo…

And this wall looked cool.  The three different colors and textures really popped!

We rushed home, changed clothes and left for our next adventure…Bob’s Pig Roast.  It was in honor of his deceased wife who had died from cancer.  Everyone donated $10 to the American Cancer Society…so $2700 was collected!

This is Bob…

I took about 150 photos, but picked out just a few to post.  This is my friend Shari.  I took 7 photos of her with my flash on and she blinked every single time.  So I turned the flash off and…voila…

This was the beginning of the party…before most of the group arrived.  The port-o-lets were for the guys and the inside restrooms were for the ladies.

Randy, Frank and I were toasting with three different beverages in a wine glass.  Wine for me, beer for Randy and water for Frank!

It was a busy and FUN day!  I’m grateful we have so many nice friends!  We’ve had beautiful weather, but it is cooling off this week.  Hope your weekend was great and wishing you a wonderful week!!

xoxoxo

“In a Pickle Bag”

I came across a website “In A Pickle” from Pinterest that sells small bags that contain most things you would need if you ever find yourself “in a pickle” and thought it was a great idea, so I made my own.

My bag contains some of the same items theirs do but I customized mine to suit me.  I often carry some of these items around in my purse anyway, but I like having them in this clear bag that I bought at a pharmacy for $8.  It opens into two separate compartments.  It will be great for travel!  Here’s a list to give you some ideas of what to put into yours, if you decide to make one:

Travel size mouth wash – toothpaste – dental floss – hand lotion – mineral powder & brush – rubber bands – hair bands – bobby pins – post it notes & pen – eye drops – spray pen hand sanitizer – pill-box – ear plugs – band aids – pocket knife with cork screw – facial cleansing towelettes – matches – q-tips – cotton balls – mini perfume – paper clips – safety-pin – mini sewing kit

Yesterday, I spent the day with my girlfriend Dee and we went out to lunch – shopping – and to happy hour.  The funny thing is that I never carry around a sewing kit and the skirt I had on ripped while we were shopping so my bag came in handy!  I spent more than I anticipated on some Lancome facial moisturizer, Armani perfume and a Yves Saint Laurent highlighter pencil.  We have to treat ourselves sometimes!

I’ve done really well with the Paleo Plan this past week – although at lunch with Dee I did have a sandwich that came on a pretzel bun.  It’s O.K. to treat yourself every now and then!  (Didn’t I just say that?)

Here’s a photo of Dee, another friend Shari and myself at Happy Hour.  My other girlfriend Cindy stopped by for a glass of wine, but I didn’t get a photo…

I thought my Olympus PEN camera’s flash was broken because the last few times I tried it – it didn’t work – so that’s why this photo’s lighting isn’t very good.  The odd thing is that I tried it today and it works!  I’m so glad because I called the camera store and it would be less expensive to buy the same camera on Amazon than to get the built-in flash fixed.

One last tip from Pinterest for today – mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water and mix into a paste for a great facial exfoliater!  My face really glowed afterwards!

 

 

What fun looks like in your 40’s and 50’s

Since I’ve been back from Africa…a lot has been going on.  Some of it is personal and heavy-duty–so I can’t talk about it.  But most of it has been FUN!

This was my friend April’s (on the left) boat christening party.  She’s amazing!  She just finished 1st in her age group in a triathlon.

I really enjoyed this 4th of July pool party.  That’s me on the right with the hat on.  I didn’t know most of the people…but its good to get out and meet new friends!

This was at an outdoor concert in a suburb of Cincinnati called “Blue Ash”.

Downtown Cincinnati with friends…

The wine tasting meeup.com organization I belong to had an event at the Art Museum…

Its been really hot here, so I’ve been to the neighbor’s pool, my girlfriend’s pool, and to the beach at Eastfork Lake.  Lots of other fun events like a Reds Game, bicycling 20 miles on the Loveland Bike Trail, jogging almost every day, hiking, and trying new recipes that I find on Pinterest.

Like, Spinach Orzo, Shrimp Tacos, and fresh peaches, lemonade and vodka in a blender!

Tonight after jogging or hiking (can’t decide which one to do) I’ll try a Blackberry Margarita…yum yum!!

Hope you’re having a fantastic summer (or whatever season it is where you are)!!

 

Happy Easter

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Easter!  I’ll be spending mine with ex-family–I know it’s complicated.  We’re going to my brother’s ex-wife’s sister’s house.  My brother won’t be there because he and his wife have other plans (we all usually get together).  Hopefully my son will make it there.

I made a centerpiece for his ex-wife and her sister.  Here’s a photo…

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I found the idea on Pinterest.  They’re quite simple (a little labor intensive) and inexpensive to make.  Hardboil four dozen eggs, color them, and add real or “fake” flowers.  I chose fake so that they can be used again next year.

Cost:

Walmart glass containers               $12

Eggs @ $1.00 per dozen                 $ 4

Dye                                                      $ 1

Flowers (from the dollar store)     $12

Total                 $29 divided by 2 = $14.50 each

Sending peace, love, joy, happiness, safety and clarity to you!

~~Sherry~~

Care Bag for the Homeless

Guess where I got the idea to make “care bags” for the homeless–you guessed—Pinterest!

I went to Sam’s and bought most of the individually wrapped food items and to Wal-Mart  for the personal care items.  I plan on giving a pack to friends and family to keep in their cars for when the opportunity presents itself.  In warmer months, people will be standing at certain intersections with signs…but I haven’t seen any lately.

Here’s a photo of the finished pack…

I’ve done a variety of volunteer work in the past…ranging from babysitting abused women’s babies who are living in shelters…tutoring children…pouring sodas at a Cincinnati Charity…serving Hors d’oeuvre at a fundraiser…chaperoning kids at a church sponsored church event, helping to sort food at the Free Store Food Bank, delivering Christmas (tree, food, presents) to a deserving family in Over-the-Rhine area in Cincinnati, etc. etc.

There are so many charities…it’s difficult to decide which ones to get involved with.  But I’ve been drawn to the homeless people lately.  Perhaps my recent visit to San Francisco where there are a lot of homeless has sparked this interest.

Now to find the homeless people.  I live in a suburb…but I know what areas I need to go to…to find them.  I don’t like to give them money in case they have a drug or alcohol issue.

I believe most of us can’t imagine what it would be like to live on the streets (especially in the cold) and have people pass by us without even acknowledging our existence.  Stray dogs get more attention.  It’s quite appalling.  I know that many of them have a drug or alcohol dependence, but they didn’t start off saying…I think I want to grow up to be a “drug addict”!

I’ll do what I can…when I can.  Peace to all!!