Ingredient: White Sugar

Vanilla Syrup Recipe

Vanilla Syrup Recipe

You’re gonna want to try this Vanilla Syrup Recipe, like… now.

I recently made this to go into a basket of homemade goodies for an auction I throw in for Highland Games. Throwing for the Cure has become such an amazing event, I am happy that I can contribute something that people not only look forward to but are starting to fight over! The money raised is for such a good cause, I’m glad I can do my little part. My homemade hooch basket almost started some fights this year! 😉

This basket included Vanilla Syrup, Peach Syrup, Strawberry Margarita syrup, Strawberry Ginger Ale Jam and a few other goodies. I thought it would be good to share this recipe since it is SO quick, simple and the most delicious thing ever. I always make up a batch when I make homemade buttermilk waffles or pancakes. It goes perfectly and makes just enough for the morning.

Don’t be intimidated by making your own syrup. It’s much easier than you think! Give it a try next time you’re making the family or that special someone a delicious breakfast. Don’t tell them how easy it is and just let them be impressed at how delicious it is 😉

Vanilla Syrup Recipe

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Vanilla Syrup Recipe
Vanilla Syrup Recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Vanilla Syrup Recipe
Instructions
  1. In medium size pot bring water to a boil. Once boiling add in the sugar and cornstarch. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Add in butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir until butter is completely melted.
  3. Allow to cool prior to using. Keep refrigerated for up to one week. Syrup may separate, simply bring to room temperature and high in microwave for 30 seconds on medium power, stir until re-incorporated fully.
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Crock Pot Peach Butter

Crock Pot Peach Butter

Crock Pot Peach Butter

You wouldn’t think that peach picking in the mid-west would be something we’d get into but… you’d be wrong. Although it was fun, as we do pick-your-own for just about every season we can here. Peach picking in the mid-west was exactly as you’d expect: not all that great. Many peaches were not good. I expect it is difficult to grow them up here, but we had a blast all the same.

We road tripped it across the boarder into Wisconsin, as we are want to do, and hit up an apple picking hot spot, Apple Holler, and on an over cast Sunday we had the run of the place.  The little one was able to take a train ride, a horse ride, and got his face painted. It was an amazing day.

Crock Pot Peach ButterCrock Pot Peach Butter  Crock Pot Peach Butter Crock Pot Peach Butter

Now, I make Apple Butter every year. It is one of the staples of my homemade kitchen arsenal. So when I came across several recipes for Peach Butter I had to try it. And it did NOT disappoint. It is very much like Apple Butter because it has the same spice profile but it has a different sweetness than you get from delicious ripe peaches.

I have never peeled peaches before and I have read several times about boiling them then putting them in an ice bath and then the peels would slip off. I didn’t think it could possibly be that easy but let me tell you if I didn’t do it with my own two hands I would have never believed it. It was incredible. If you haven’t tried this method of peeling peaches you should!

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Crock Pot Peach Butter
Delicious, sweet and different but best of all easy! Crock Pot Peach Butter.
Crock Pot Peach Butter
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Crock Pot Peach Butter
Instructions
  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Once at a full rolling boil, place the peaches in the water for 1 minute. (This method works best with peaches that are ripe and ready to eat).
    Crock Pot Peach Butter
  2. Remove the peaches from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and place them into a large ice bath. Let the peaches sit for a minute or two. The peels will slide right off. (Seriously, it's like magic!)
    Crock Pot Peach Butter
  3. Cut peaches into slices, place in crock pot.
  4. Add all spices and sugar into crock pot with peaches.
    Crock Pot Peach Butter
  5. Cook on LOW for several hours. Check after 3 or 4o hours to see consistency. The cook time will vary depending on how much juice is in the peaches.
  6. Once the peaches are cooked down enough, using an emersion blender, blend until smooth.
  7. Ladle peach butter into half pint canning jars. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Check jar lids by pushing on the tops to ensure they have sealed.
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Homemade Limoncello

With all of the insanity going on around us, I thought we might need a good homemade hootch recipe to savor. So, here it is, my Homemade Limoncello recipe and all the tips I use when making my highly sought after Limoncello.

Years ago, before I figured out sitting in a cubicle in an office after a hellacious commute wasn’t for me, I worked for a liquor distributor. It was fun, too! Aside from the terrible boss, we got tons of booze (like tons… I had a closet full of wine and liquor and gave boxes and boxes of it away when I moved out of that apartment). So the perks were pretty good even if the job was pretty crappy.

It was during this time I became really interested in infusing my own booze. Homemade hootch and infused booze became a passion of mine that still carried on to this day.

Limoncello is one of my favorites, it is also one of my specialities. I make a few batches each year and always have people asking me when it will be ready.

homemade limoncello

Well, living in the Midwest now, I left lots of people all over the country Limoncello-less, so I thought I would be generous 😉 and share my recipe and my secrets to a delicious, prefect digestive.

So let’s start with a few pointers before we dive into the nuts and bolts of making your ‘cello.

First of all I want to say that it is important to always take what you find and make it yours. Document what you did and what the outcome was so that next time you make it you can tweak, change, add, subtract until you have what YOU consider the perfect Limoncello. It will also help you create your own drinks (orangecello anyone?).

Now, it is important to realize that this is a subtle drink, mean to be consumed after dinner in shot glass or espresso sizes portions. Sipped and savored, not shot and pounded.

It is also meant to taste like… shocker, LEMONS! Not sweet like candy or even syrupy like pop.

You can use any lemons you can find, but for the best flavor, nothing beats the slightly orangey essence and subtle flavor of Meyer Lemons. If you can find organic, all the better but if not, scrub them pretty well before you zest them as you are literally using only the part that was sprayed to death with pesticides and that’s just gross.

meyer lemons

 

The liquor you use matters mostly in relation to the amount of time you are going to allow it to sit.

For example, if you want to use it more quickly (say only a few weeks or a month) after making it, use a more mild vodka. But if you are going to let it age (the way you should) nothing beats a high proof grain alcohol. I always use Everclear, but with it, you have to give it enough time to mellow out. I do no less than two months and upwards of four.

A note on the proof, though, anything less than 100 proof will most likely freeze, so make sure it’s the high proof vodka, not matter what you use.

homemade limoncello

My last tip is, that when zesting, make sure you get as little of the pith (the white part) as possible, it will make your limoncello bitter. I use either a plane grater or a simply handheld zester. Some people shave slices of the peel off, but I think that doesn’t release enough of the oil that you need to make your limoncello really really lemon-y.

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Homemade Limoncello
An exhaustively tested, delicious homemade limoncello recipe to wow your guests or give as gifts.
Homemade limoncello
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
Ingredients
Homemade limoncello
Instructions
  1. Wash the lemons well with a brush to remove any potential wax or residue.
  2. Using a zester or plane grater, zest the lemons making sure you only get the outer yellow portion and none of the white pith. Reserve the lemons for fresh juice, if desired.
  3. Put the lemons in a large mason jar and add Everclear or vodka. Place in a dark cool place like a cabinet for about two weeks, undisturbed.
  4. After two weeks, give the jar a swirl and shake to mix up the lemon peels. At this point you should see they are bleaching out and the liquid is beginning to turn a pretty bright yellow color. Wait until it seems the peels are all bleached, a few more days if not on the 14th day before moving on to the next step.
  5. Once you feel the lemon peels are tapped out, make the simple syrup, by combining the sugar and the water on a stove top and cooking until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely before using.
  6. Strain off the lemon peel out of the vodka and discard. Use a fine mesh strainer if it there is still sediment in the liquid, or a colander with a coffee filter or cheese cloth will work in a pinch.
  7. Add the simple syrup, once cool, to your vodka in mason jar and stir to combine (or just place lid on tightly and give it a shake)
  8. Allow to mellow in the back of your freezer for no less than 2 weeks or up to a month and a half. The longer you allow it to mellow the smoother and more delicious it will be.
  9. If you are giving as gifts, find pretty jars to put it in, but make sure they have tight-fitting secure lids. Serve Ice Cold.
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