Friday, January 25, 2008

Limoncello

Arizona is blessed with great citrus trees that produce fruit starting right after the holidays. One of the challenges of this is that everyone seems to have far too many lemons, all at the same time. Since there is only so much lemonade (and lemon poppy seed dressing) that you can make, we decided to tap into Scott's heritage to make Italian Limoncello.

Italian Limoncello
~10 lemons
1 bottle (750 mL) Vodka
2 cups sugar
2.5 cups water


Step 1:
Wash lemons with hot water to remove any pesticide or wax, pat dry. Zest lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel (Note: use only the outer part of the rind, as the white pith is bitter). In a large (1 gallon) glass jar, add the bottle of vodka and lemon zest. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 days. As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.



Step 2:
After the 10 days, in a large saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let syrup cool before adding to the Limoncello mixture. Add to the limoncello, and allow to rest another 10 days.

Step 3:
After the rest period, strain and bottle, discarding the lemon zest.

Step 4:
Enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Anna, over at Cookie Madness tagged me for this meme. I thought it might be time to unveil a little more about me, other than dogs and wine, so here goes...

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Living the single life, dating, working at Mayo Clinic for my day job, learning to cook and drink wine in the evenings.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Planning a wedding and living the jobless life.

Five snacks you enjoy?
1. Paradise Bakery Chocolate Chip cookies!! (I enjoy these daily!)
2. Fiber One Bars- especially love the new caramel flavor.
3. A really good apple
4. Soy crisps (the 365 degree brand from Whole Foods.)
5. Pretzel bread

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to?

1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
2. Hey Jealousy; Gin Blossoms
3. Anything by the Peacemakers
4. Love is All Around; Wet,Wet,Wet
5. Brown Eyed Girl; Van Morrison


Five things you would do if you were a millionaire billionaire
1. Buy a home in the Virgin Islands
2. Get daily massages
3. Open a wine shop
4. Donate to all the animal shelters I could find
5. Buy a plane to get to said home in the Virgin Islands

Five bad habits
1. Not getting enough sleep
2. Not letting people finish sentences
3. Leaving kitchen cabinet doors open
4. Worrying too much
5. Forgetting to return phone calls

Five things you like doing
1. Drinking wine and learning more about wine
2. Snorkeling in the tropics, followed by napping on the beach
3. Dancing
4. Relaxing on the patio with Scott and Chase
5. Laying in bed and watching T.V.

Five things you would never wear again
1. My highschool jeans
2. The "Flashdance" off the shoulder T-shirt, and leg warmers
3. My danceline uniform
4. Tight shoes that cause blisters, etc
5. Diapers! :)

Five favorite toys
1. My new Garmin GPS watch
2. Computer
3. ipod
4. Good corkscrew
5. hoola hoop

Ok now I am tagging:

1. Kirsten
2. Christine
3. Lia

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chase has a houseguest


This past week Chase had a playmate for constant wrestling, tug-of-war with dog toys, hikes, and some occasional naps. His playmate and best doggie friend, is Chopper. Chase and Chopper are roughly the same age, and the story of their friendship is how I met my friend, Dana. You see 3 years ago this January, we both were single, living in the same condo complex, and had 2 month old puppies. Hence, we were the only 2 people out in the dark, cold and rainy mornings, trying to potty train our little bundles of fur.

Now, 3 years later, the doggies have grown, and Dana and I have both moved from our condos, but we have continued to be close friends and the dogs still act up together like they did as puppies. A nice side benefit is that we never have a need to board our dogs, as we trade dog sitting services. A week of fun for the dogs, in which they sleep for about a week straight afterwards.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Drinking white again...


Inspired by Lia's post on Winter Whites over at Swirling Notions, we opened a delicious bottle of Miner 2006 Viognier. Viognier, when not over oaked, has to be my favorite white varietal. I love sticking my nose in the glass and taking a big sniff of the sweet honeysuckle and tropical notes. Then, taking a sip and tasting the dry, well balanced acidity combined with the floral undertones, that aren't nearly as sweet as the aroma (thankfully.) This Miner viognier did not disappoint. It was the perfect medium bodied, white for this mild winter afternoon.

To compliment this tropical white, I made an "Island Salad" for lunch today. Named because I had a salad with similar ingredients last May in St. John, USVI. Very simplistic, but a wow, for flavor and textures. I added a mango poppyseed salad dressing, that was a purchase in one of the stores in St. John. Any poppyseed or honey mustard dressing would also do.

The wine, the salad, and a bit of toasty bread was the perfect light lunch for this first Saturday of 2008!