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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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

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)!!