When Life Gives You Lemons…

… make Limoncello! Or as I like to call it: Italian Moonshine

My Uncle has been making this stuff for a few years, now. I began my first batch on Black Friday 2014, hoping it would be done in time for New Years. And it was perfect! I don’t know what it was, but its the best I’ve ever had. Even Uncle Eddie left me the best voicemail telling me how fantastic my batch of his limoncello was. “I hope you wrote down everything you did, because I’d use that recipe.” That’s a huge compliment coming from my uncle. One that made me smile ear to ear!

LimoncelloWP_007777

(makes a small batch)

  • 750ml bottle grain alcohol (like Everclear)
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more
  • 1.4 lbs sugar
  • 10 lemon peels
  • large glass jar
  • plastic wrap or wax paper
  • food scale (optional, but helpful)

Shallowly  peel the lemons, ensuring not to include the pith (the white part of the peel). Place the peels into your large jar. Pour the grain alcohol a top the lemon peels. (Save the alcohol bottle!) Cover the jar opening with wax paper or plastic wrap, and seal the lid. Place this jar in a dark spot for at least 3 weeks. Turn the jar back and forth each day to mix the oils of the lemon peel into the grain alcohol.

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After 3 to 4 weeks of the peel steeping, strain the peels into a large pot. While the peels are draining, refill the saved grain alcohol bottle with water. Empty the water into another pot, in addition to 1/3 cup water. Weigh out 1.4 lbs of sugar, and add to the pot of plain water. Continually stirring, bring the pot with the sugar to a rolling boil, ensuring the sugar melts, creating a syrup. Let it slow bowl for 5 minutes. Remove this pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Discard the drained lemon peels. Once the syrup has cooled, stir it into the lemon-infused grain alcohol. Transfer back to the large jar. Reseal with plastic wrap or wax paper and seal the lid. Place back into dark space for an additional 1 to 4 weeks, turning the jar back and forth each day.

WP_007506After the final week, transfer the completed limoncello into your empty grain alcohol and another* bottle. Place in the freezer to chill and enjoy.

(You can add more water before bottling if the grain alcohol is too strong for your liking).

*You can find empty bottles at Bed Bath and Beyond like these, in a variety of fluid capacities. Or recycle an old wine bottle, like I do. actually, empty Torani and DaVinci syrup bottles are useful to.

Salud! 

But then you’re left with a bunch of peeled lemons… so now would be a good time to make lemonade… And we did! Brett juiced all the lemons, while I was peeling the zests. We followed this recipe with a change of sweetener, and using 3 cups of water, for the most perfect lemonade! One thing I love about homemade lemonade is the pulp that sneakily makes its way through the juicer. Plus, you can make it as tart or as sweet as you like. After the finished lemonade was refrigerated, we brewed a gallon of tea… Home-brewed tea and fresh squeezed lemonade??? Best Arnold Palmers!

Roasted Vegetables: Crock Pot Recipe #7

Wednesday:

I went to class this morning and while waiting, enjoyed a Muller Mousse Parfait. A girl I’m in clinical with loves these, so I gave it a try.

WP_001225I tried the peach passion fruit, figuring if I was going to try something, I might as well try the most exotic sounding. I topped it with both ground flax and chia, and it was delicious and filling! I only have one complaint: way too much sugar! Seriously, it had a whole days worth of sugar in it!

After this cardiac cram session, I hit the gym. I had a full workout planned but as I was doing it, I realized I was not going to be able to complete it, if I needed to get some sleep for night shift. I only worked out for an hour or so. I was so bummed when that I had to leave. Have you ever been so into your routine, you just didn’t want to stop. Seriously, even the shuffle on my iPod just kept giving me great songs to power up to!

I hit the sheets when I got home, unfortunately  only getting about 2 hours of sleep for my 12 hour shift. I made something that was LONG overdue: a shake. Iv’e been checking up on this blog I found and she made a shake that sounded delicious, so I gave it a go. The following was whipped up:

handful of kaleWP_001227

handful of frozen, pitted dark cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

half a frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

and lots of ice!

Pretty darn tasty… Actually, dad asked me to make him one for Thursday morning!

WP_001228Thursday:

Over the course of the long night, I did some pretty wise snacking choices, suck as graham crackers, sugar free pudding, and 94% fat free popcorn. I have to same, though, my favorite meal of the night, was the Raisin and Spice Oatmeal. I stirred in a little PB, and mmmmmm good!WP_001231

After I got home, I started preparing the crock pot. Tonight’s recipe is in preparation for tomorrow’s dinner (I can’t wait!)

Once all the ingredients were in the crock, I sat down to finish some homework and enjoyed a nice bowl of Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Cheerios, a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee with some sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer and a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me going for the day!

Katie loves crock pots too and I remembered a while back she posted about roasting vegetables in a crock pot. Being the sucker for veggies that I am, I starting thinking up ways to use these veggies. Over rice? with sausage? In a pita? The possibilities are endless! Needless to say, I hit up the discount produce shelf…

Roasted Crock Pot Veggies

2 bell pepper (I like using colors)WP_001233

3 cloves garlic, slivered

half an onion, sliced in rings

a few baby portabellos

1 large carrot stick, sliced into very thin coins

handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 small eggplant, sliced to 1/4 in thick

spices, to taste

Prepare all the vegetables, adding or subtracting vegetable that you enjoy, and toss them in the crock pot. Season, cover, and cook.

The original recipe calls for oil, but instead, I just gave the top of the veggies a quick spray with some non-stick pray and few shot a liquid aminos. I couldn’t find my Italian seasoning in the cupboard, so I used some granulated garlic, black pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil, and gave it all a nice toss.

WP_001235Cover the pot and look on low, stirring occasionally.

During class, I was starting to sense some hunger creeping up on me. I looked around the room, and wouldn’t you know like four people were chopping on protein bars! AHHHH! I knew this would be tough!

When I got home from class, the house smelled like a warm garden… fresh veggies in the air! I hustled into the kitchen to give them a stir and a try. I was so happy with how they turned out! The carrots were just the right consistency  the onions became translucent  the peppers and mushrooms cooked down, the tomatoes got soft and sweet, the eggplant absorbing all the flavors…

I had some leftover turkey sausage to I put a little in a tortilla with some veggies and I was in heaven! This most definitely will be a meal another night.WP_001237

As for tonight’s dinner, I was jonesing for a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger, and mom was really eyeing up the chili. My creation was a chili dipped burger! YUM! I snacked on some mixed fruit for dessert!

Over all, the last 24 hours was pretty decent with food… only a few minor binges.

After meeting up with Mike to finish our assignment, I tried to squeeze in a workout before being detained in nursing labs for 3 hours. I was able to squeeze in the following workout, based off of Julie’s Beat Boredom Interval Workout:

Weights:

Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 set 53 lbs
Tricep Extensions 15reps 4 sets 20 lbs
Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 sets 53 lbs

Elliptical:

0-10 min 11 resistance
10-1230 13
1230-15 14
15-20 11

Repeat Weights

Treadmill:

1-5 minutes 4.2 speed 8 incline
5-630 7 1
630-8 5 1
8-10 4.2 1

Now, I ready to crash, wake up refreshed, workout, watch some lectures, and cook you all a wonderful Friday Lenten dinner!Even though, I was totally sleep deprived, I did not want to leave. These last two days I’ve really been in the workout zone!