Archive for December 17th, 2009

December 17, 2009

Flavored Vodka…….YAY! (For my Friend Shawnee)

Yes my pregnant friend has been the inspiration of my recent experimentation in flavored vodka! She’s hoping this gives me enough practice to perfect the process for when she can drink again. Silly girl! ūüôā So my first try is with Mango and Lavender. Yes I said Lavender. Another friend of mine¬†suggested I¬†experiment with Lavender as an edible ingredient since it seems to be the new “thing.” So my first thought was Lavender vodka, but I wanted another flavor to help it out – Mango (one of my favorites).

750 ml Mid-grade vodka (I used Smirnoff – Skyy or Absolute would work too according to Shawnee)
1t. lavender (crush it up)
1 pakage frozen mango (Choose fresh if possible, there were no fresh mangos in the store right now)

In a jar with an airtight lid pour mango in the jar and sprinkle lavender. Pour vodka over the fruit. Store in a place out of direct sunlight and shake every day or so.¬†Since lavendar is strong I added very very little of it and I will infuse this flavor for 5 days and then taste to see how it’s coming along – good I hope.

During this process if the fruit becomes brown in color, remove those pieces. You can also replace with fresher fruit half way through the process too. (The mango was fine for 5 days).¬† Ingredients that have a strong flavor (lavender, citrus, grapes)¬†will likely infuse¬†in just a few days.¬†While subtle flavors (like almonds or apples) could use up to¬†a month of infusing. If you are infusing subtle flavors¬†with a¬†more intense¬†flavor add the intense ingredient(s) at the end for the last few days. (as I figure this out I’ll update this post)

Once the fruit¬†is done infusing,¬†strain the vodka and then pour into a nice bottle. Try The Container Store¬†this website is so cool. It appeals to my love of organization! ūüôā The jar above with the mini chalk board I found at World Market ($4.99)

I will update this post as my experiment progresses…next experiment flavors to try:

Almond
Cherry Vanilla
Pomegranate lime
Limoncello

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December 17, 2009

Potato Soup

I¬†have not been¬†feeling very well this week and I wanted the creamy potato soup with dumplings, that my mom used to make. It’s my grandma’s recipe and is creamy and buttery. SO super good. So I decided to make it tonight for dinner. It’s pretty¬†simple and easy. I made it and I’m not feeling¬†well so it must be easy!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better….I hope so because it’s the weekend!¬† The last weekend of shopping before Christmas too and I still have some shopping to get done.

2 lbs. yukon gold potoatoes, diced into bitesize pieces
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 large carrots sliced in coins
1 white onion
1/2 stick of butter
6 cups of water
1 1/2 c. milk (or half in half
1 sprig of thyme
2T. salt
1t. pepper
chives (for garnish)

Dumplings
In a bowl mix 2 eggs, little water (1/3 c.), 1/2 t. salt, pepper, wisk in 1/4c. flour until smooth. Keep adding flour little-by-little until thick, but still pourable. (little thicker than pancake batter consistency).

Melt butter in a large soup pot. Add onion and saute 2 minutes.

Add celery and carrots, saute about 5 minutes.

Add chopped potatoes, thyme sprig, salt and pepper and cover with water (about 6 cups of water).  Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.

Add milk , bring to a boil. Meanwhile mix dumpling batter.  Drop dumplings into soup with using a tablespoon. Dip the spoon in soup, then scoop a bitesized scoop of dumpling batter on the spoon and submerge dumpling into soup. Allow to boil 3 minutes.

Top with chopped chives.

Hopefully this weekend I will get to baking a couple recipes I want to try!