Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Yep, I said Merry Christmas! I know I've been a bit of slacker when it comes to the blogging lately, but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, or whatever you choose to celebrate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sick Day

One sick little boy, camped out on Mommy's pillow, watching Spongebob's Christmas Special for the 73rd time in 4 days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shameless plug!

Ok, I know i've been slacking off on the blogging lately, but hey, its the holidays, what can I say? I'm swamped.
BUT! Jaci at Ravings of a Mad Housewife is giving away some absolutely stunning Fiestaware and it has my name on it! Well, at least I hope it does....and I get 3 extra entries in her contest by mentioning it here, so there ya go! Shameless plug.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I just gotta say...Its about friggin' time!!!!

Rod Blagojevich id going to jail!! Woo-hoo!!!!!

Someone finally did something right. Kudos to the feds.

And yes, I live in Illinois.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Tall Drink of.....

Hello All! And welcome back from a gloriously long holiday weekend! I was fortunate enough to recently have one of my blog posts featured on the SewMamaSew website. This particular post was the one about my favorite Coffee Liqueur recipe.

This is a recipe that I found in a random cookbook years ago at a kitchen outlet store in Iowa. Based on responses to the previous post, I am throwing a couple more out there that are tried and true favorites from the same book. (note: I have copied these exactly as they are in the book, although I tweak them a little) Enjoy, be merry, and THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

From the book: Glorious Liqueurs, Edited by Mary Aurea Morris

(the picture isn't great, I had to round up some of the few remaining leftover droplets and snap some shots this morning! The Blackberry is on the left, in the glass, the vanilla is in the mason jar)

Blackberry Brandy
2 ½ to 3 cups ripe black raspberries, rinsed
2 cups (approximately) brandy
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 TB grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon glycerin (optional thickener – although I’ve never needed it)

Lightly crush 2 cups of the berries with a fork or potato masher; place in a quart-size glass canning jar or any other quart size glass jar that has an enamel-lined lid. Pour in enough brandy to cover the berries. Add equal portions of the remaining berries and brandy to reach the top of the jar’s lip; make sure that all of the berries are covered by the brandy. Pour in just enough brandy to begin a small overflow, then tightly cap the jar and wipe the outside clean.

Label the date on the jar. Allow to steep in a cool, dark place for 2 months. Every 2 weeks, gently shake the jar to distribute the flavors.

After 2 months, gently pour the jar’s contents through a regular strainer or sieve; discard the residue. Follow this by two strainings through slightly dampened cheesecloth. For true clarity and professional –looking results, pour the strained mixture through a large clean coffee filter placed inside a funnel or clean coffee cone; loosely covered with plastic wrap, since the process may take several hours.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Add the optional glycerin, if desired.

Funnel the strained brandy into a glass bottle, the funnel in the sugar syrup through a strainer, to remove the lemon zest. Cover tightly, shake to blend. Let mature at room temperature, or slightly cooler, for at least one month.

Vanilla Cordial
3 cups water
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or ¼ to ½ cup vanilla extract
1 quart light rum

In a large saucepan, combine the water, dark brown and granulated sugars, and the vanilla bean, if used. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add the rum and the vanilla extract, if used. Pour into 2 quart sized bottles with tight-fitting covers. Let stand two weeks, shaking occasionally. Remove the vanilla bean, if used, before serving.