Tag Archives: recipes

Homemade Limoncello Recipe

For years pals {of both the real and interwebs varieties} have been asking me to share my homemade limoncello recipe. It’s not that my Limoncello is so fancy, or that the recipe is a tightly guarded secret. The fact is I’m mostly just lazy. 

Homemade Limoncello RecipeI’ve finally transferred the info from the tattered piece of paper I stuff in my copy of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, to the Slightly Tipsy Facebook page… and now HERE. There are any number of limoncello recipes out there. I’ve tweaked mine a few times over the years, but it’s always remained really simple.

We make two large batches a year. One to stock our bar with {for the year, don’t judge} and one for gifting. Other than cash, not much else beats handcrafted hooch in the gift department. Enjoy!

Homemade Limoncello Recipe

8-10 Lemons {I prefer Meyer for flavor & color}
5 Cups Filtered Water
3 1/2 Cups Superfine Sugar {or pulse regular sugar in a food processor}
1 Quart of Vodka {or any clear grain alcohol}

Remove zest from lemons. Be SURE not to get too much of the icky {totally a technical term} white pith in there. Place in an airtight container. Pour vodka in. Seal and store in a dry, dark place for 6 days. On the 7th day, combine water and sugar. Bring to a low boil until sugar is dissolved. BOOM! You’ve got simple syrup. Add that to your lemon peel and vodka concoction. Place back in your storage spot for 2-4 more days.

Remove lemon peels. Strain that sunshiny hooch through a fine sieve. With a funnel, fill smaller {prettier} bottles with your awesome Limoncello.

Once you’ve mastered this homemade limoncello recipe {or even before you have} come stop by the Slightly Tipsy website. It’s a fun place where I get to hang out with some of my favorite people and fellow cocktail  aficionados. 

Ten Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes

10 minute blueberry and meyer lemon galettes
When life hands you lemons, toss some blueberries at them and stuff ’em in a pie crust! Make my Ten Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes. Then open a bottle of wine and serve these fancy little bites of tart, sweet, awesome to friends and family. They’ll be all impressed with your gourmet-fancy-french-y-ness and have zero clue that you pretty much phoned this one in.

The ingredients are easy to find, and even easier to work with!

 blueberry and meyer lemon galettes
Just a couple of simple steps (so easy the kiddos can help out with this one) and you’re done.

10 Minute Blueberry and Meyer Lemon Galettes

10 Minute Blueberry & Meyer Lemon Galettes
Serves 6
Easy and elegant, these free-form tarts are great for entertaining or just a week-night treat. With easy to find ingredients and just a little prep, you'll be impressing!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Quart Fresh Blueberries
  2. 2 Prepared Pie Crusts
  3. 1 Jar Lemon Curd
  4. 1 Tablespoon Flour
  5. Turbinado Sugar
  6. Egg Wash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Use a large ramekin or salad plate to cut rounds out of the pie crust. Fold over and roll out remnants to get a yield of six rounds total. Toss blueberries in flour - set aside. Place rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread one tablespoon of lemon curd in the center of each round. Top with blueberry mixture. With a pastry brush, brush egg wash on the edges of the rounds. Pull up the edges and pinch to close around the filling, leaving and opening at the top. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Set aside. Slice Meyer Lemons thinly. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and top with remaining turbinado sugar. Place in the oven on the top rack. Place galettes on the bottom. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove lemon slices and move galettes up to the top rack. Cook and additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Remove and allow to cool. Top with lemon slices before serving.
Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom http://chickennuggetsofwisdom.com/

“Taste Washington” a Food & Wine Pairing Journey

Julia Child Wine

Traveling through the taste buds is the ultimate experiential journey. Few things serve to acquaint you better with a culture or destination than getting to know the culinary landscape. The beauty of this is that you don’t necessarily need to be in the geographical area to experience what it has to offer.

Visiting cultural enclaves like “China Town” or “Little Italy,” in any city can transport you without a passport. Letting your taste buds to the traveling can also be the start of your journey. Fall for a felafel and you may find yourself booking an exotic adventure to the Middle East.

Food is a universal translator, we all speak fluent “Foodie,” no matter what we like to eat.

I suspect the language of food was the the idea behind “Flavors of the World,” a culinary series and adventure launched by Omni Hotels. Last year at the Omni Berkshire in New York I fell in love with Peddlers Noodles – Char Kway Teow, one of the award-winning foods included in the “Simply Street Food,” portion of the series.

Char Kway Teow or ‘Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodle,’ is a popular dish throughout Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, that was made famous by local street food vendors. Chef Andy Oh of the Pan Pacific Orchard put a modern twist on the dish and it was a featured offering at Omni Hotels. The best part? Chef Oh’s recipe was made available online (check it out here) allowing me to recreate it at home and test it out with several wines.

My favorite? Cashmere by Cline Cellars. A silky, smooth blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah, it paired perfectly with the sweet crab meat and spicy chili paste in the dish.

Watch out Singapore… here I come!

This spring Omni’s latest offering is, “Taste Washington.”  Let your taste buds travel to the Evergreen State with some of Washington’s best wines, hand-selected by the culinary adventurers at Omni, and paired with iconic culinary creations from the region.

“With dishes inspired by local flavors and the indigenous cuisine of Washington State, guests can enjoy: Handmade Washington Cheeses served with fig jam, honey and olives, Dungeness Crab Fritters, Dungeness Crab and Snap Pea Soup, Apple and Fennel Salad, Roasted Salmon served with Wild Mushrooms and Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream.” ~Omni PR

They had me at cheese with fig jam. Honestly it’s a reconnaissance mission, we have so many figs come summer I want to learn how to make jam out of them.

washington figs and cheese

Want to taste a bit of Washington, but your travels are taking you to Dallas, Boston or beyond? March 7, 2014 – May 31, 2014, Omni Hotels nationwide will be serving up the wines and bites mentioned above in their bars and restaurants, as well as offering a “Taste Washington” package. The package includes a Washington cheese plate, Washington bottle of wine and Washington apple delivered in-room upon check-in.

I may be stuck here in Washington, D.C. at the moment, but I’m looking forward to letting my taste buds travel to Washington State. Next stop… Pike Place Market and a Girls Weekend with cookies for breakfast!

 

(The only sponsors for this post were my taste buds. I was not compensated in any way. Though if you stay at Omni for this event I’m willing to take wine and/or figs as a thank you!)

Pairing Wine & Chocolate: A Recipe for Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème

Like most tales worth telling, this one begins with wine. For a twist in the plot, we’ll open this parable on the back of the bottle.pot du creme recp on bottle

Our journey takes us into a world where ancient fruit meets the dark soul of the cacao bean. A torrid affair of vine and pod. Okay, so maybe it was just a recipe for Pot de Crème on the back of a bottle of Cline Cellars “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Mourvèdre, still it had me rather excited.

Who knew there were wine producers out there offering up not just pairing suggestions on their labels, but actual recipes? Not me. And here I try to claim I’m a wine-loving,  Foodie… bah!

As it turns out, I may have been alone in my ignorance. A fellow, ” Amante del Vino” pal on Instagram chimed in telling me he liked a fig offering found on another bottle. I’ll have to ferret that one out seeing-as-how our four fig trees leave us  flush with fruit come Fall.

With a few tweaks, and a little personal flair, here is my take on Pot de Crème a la Cline Cellars;

Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème

pot du creme ingredients

Ingredients

3.5 oz 60% Cacao content Dark Chocolate
3.5 0z 85% (or greater) Cacao Dark Chocolate
1 cup Whole Milk (do not substitute with skim or lower fat milk, your end results won’t be as luscious)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp Pure Extract Vanilla
6 Large Egg Yolks

Optional: Seeds of one vanilla pod. I added these to the heavy cream.

Supplies/Gear/Utensils:

Small Sauce Pan, Chef’s Knife, Ladle, Whisk or Electric Mixer, Roasting Pan, 4-6 Pot-de-Crème cups, small ramekins or teacups.

Preheat oven to 325°

Pot du creme whisk your way

 Whisk or mix mix egg yolks and sugar together until blended. JUST until blended, no need to go crazy here. If you end up with any foam on top, just scoop that off.

pot du creme melt the choco

Roughly chop your chocolate, and pile it onto a cutting board, or any surface that will make it easy to convey it to the stove top.  Combine milk and cream in the small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add in vanilla and vanilla bean (if using). Then add in chocolate and gently stir until melted.

A few words on Tempering: In my early years of learning to cook – while living in Spain –  I attempted a Blood Orange Pot de Crème-esque recipe for a Feria celebration. What I ended up with was sweet, orange and sherry flavored scrambled eggs.  Plus “egg” all over my face. I hadn’t yet learned about tempering.

Boiled down to basics, Tempering is the process of gradually adding a substance (in this case our huevos – eggs) of a lower temperature to a substance of a higher temperature (our milk and chocolate mixture) so that the temperatures regulate without one overpowering the other.  Were we to just dump our eggs into the chocolate without Tempering them, we’d end up with… anybody?…. Bueller?

Yup, Chocolate Scrambled Eggs. Yum. NOT!

So let us Temper.

Pot du creme temperWith a ladle, gradually add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and slowly mix it in until the two are combined. Easy, as scrambled eggs, Si?

Divide your mixture into the serving dishes of your choice. I’d suggest smaller portion sizes as the dessert is very rich. I used four medium sized ramekins and they were just too large.

pot du creme water bath

Place filled dishes into roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan, enough to fill up to 1/3 of the way up the side of your serving dishes. If you are not using traditional  Pot de Crème pots, cover the pan with foil.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon your oven. You’ll know when they are done by checking to see that they are set but still a little “quivery” in the center by shaking the cup a little.

pot du creme done

I like to serve them warm, but you can let them cool for 30 minutes and then pop them in the fridge for two hours before serving. Garnish with some confectioners sugar, maybe a berry?

I’ve always been of a mind that wine goes with pretty much anything. Some wines go better with some foods, but really it is all about enjoying the food, drink and company. This time though there was magic in the making.

We had the Cline Mourvèdre with dinner. The wine that was perfectly pleasant, a little spicy, with a nip of mint as we enjoyed it with Mushroom Risotto at dinner was transformed at dessert. Had I not poured it myself, I would have sworn we’d been drinking something entirely different.  It became mellow, almost as silky as creme that slipped from the spoon, and berries floated on my tongue.

The story ends with the best part, the magic of a perfect pairing; Wine & Chocolate.

 

*I purchased this wine, all the ingredients for this recipe. This is not a sponsored post. 

How To Make Sangria

Ahhhh, Sangria! Few things say “Summer” to me like the harmonious marriage of fresh fruit and wine that make up the base of a sublime Sangria. One sip of a really good one and I’m back on the veranda of my flat in sunny Spain.

In the three years I spent living in a small, coastal town in southern Spain, I sampled many a Sangria. My extensive “research” led me to uncover the secret to making it. Grab something to write with and prepare for greatness.

The secret to making a sublime Spanish Sangria….

Keep it simple.

Down the street from my flat in Spain, there was a small Bodega, earthen floors and terracotta walls lined with huge oak barrels. Some held the region’s signature Porto Sherry, others “Vino”. In the summer months local Fishermen would gather at the end of their day as the proprietor cut up whatever fruit he had on hand, mixed it with the vino and poured it out into glasses of all sorts.  The cost, about twenty cents a glass. The conversations, priceless.

You see Sangria is anything but pretentious. You don’t need measuring instruments, formulas or a guide of any kind. All you need is; fruit, wine and good company.

Notice I didn’t say “good wine”. I’ll admit that I can be a bit of a wine snob. You’ll never catch me drinking wine that comes in a box. Until recently I’d even turn my nose up at a bottle with no cork. Family tradition isn’t the only reason we make our own wine. Making it, can be far more cost effective than buying wine I’d approve of. Unless we’re talking Sangria. I have only one rule for wine that makes it into my Sangria. It has to be drinkable.

For this post I picked up one of our favorite easy-to-drink wines; Carménère by GatoNegro of San Pedro Chile.

GatoNegroNotice that price tag? It’s rather like hitting the lotto. This wine is FAR better than the price would suggest. Wine Enthusiast even agrees with me on this one.

Next, choose your fruit. When I say “your” that is exactly what I mean. Choose in-season fruits you like. For this recipe I used strawberries, blueberries, grapes and apples. Let your taste be your guide.

Sangria with fruitChop your fruit up into bite-sized pieces. Some people like to macerate (the technical for this would be smooshing-up) their fruits. I do that with the grapes and blueberries so that they release their juices.

Cut sangria fruitThere are two camps when it comes to Sangria. Fizz and No Fizz. Some take this debate rather seriously. I, being the peacemaker that I am, make my Sangria both ways. If you’re a No Fizz-er, simply add your wine at this point and let it groove with the fruit for an hour or so in the fridge. If you’re game for giving Fizz ago, I have a “secret ingredient” that is sure to make your Sangria the star of the party.

Soda sangriaThis stuff is bottled BLISS! My family call it “Kid Sangria”. You can find it in the Hispanic isle of almost any grocery. I found this at Sprawl-Mart (aka, Walmart). Basically, it’s a carbonated, non-alcoholic Sangria soda. I add it to red and white Sangria’s alike, right before I serve.

Glass of sangria

My recipe for the above:

Spanish Sangria

1 medium green apple

1 cup white grapes

1 cup quartered strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1 bottle GatoNegro Carménère wine

1 single serve bottles of Sangria Señorial

Cut and macerate fruits. Place into a pitcher, add wine. Chill. Gently stir in Sangria Señorial just before serving. Serve over ice.

Here are some other great Sangria options from around the web (courtesy of my Pinterest board “Bar Wonderful‘)

White Peach Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria

Tropical Sangria (a non-traditional Sangria that includes rum… yum!)