Goop

The other day, I got an email from Ward’s aunt, Mary.

She’s a chef, and a magnificent one at that. She even has her own book out! It’s called Throw A Great Party and has some seriously amazing tips.

Anyway, she emailed me this:

I obviously had to try it!

With only three ingredients, it was no hassle. I put one part of each into a measuring cup… I know it’s not super attractive here, but, bear with me.

I whipped it all together and it became a thick-ish, light beige paste. I’m so excited to use this when I bake next!

Thank you, Aunt Mary!!

Sweetly,

Simona

Once A Baker, Always A Baker

Before Christmas, my mom and I got a bunch of old VHS tapes transferred to digital files.

We used Southree and could not be happier with the results! I couldn’t resist posting this video of me at age 4 (speaking totally in Spanish) reveling at the pecan something-or-other I created.

Preserved Lemons – Mini Post

Back when I had all those Meyer lemons, I preserved some.

It was the simplest thing ever, and now I have delicious Meyer lemons to use on a chicken, in a salad, etc.

I started by cutting the ends off of the lemons.

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I then cut the lemons in half, carefully, making sure to keep the peels in tact. The point was to open up the lemons but keep them as one piece.

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I covered the bottom of a big mason jar with salt until I couldn’t see the bottom of it anymore.

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Then I poured salt over the cut up lemons and began to stuff them into the jar. While doing this, I tried to place them along the edges in order to fit as many as possible. I covered the top of the lemons with more salt and then I was done! There is definitely no room to be stingy with the salt here.

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I let the lemons sit in the jar at room temperature for three days. Every day, I shook the jar to make sure the salt and juices were covering all the lemons. After day three, I placed the lemons into the fridge for use when I was ready!

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Sweetly,

Simona

Meyer Lemon Limoncello

I know this isn’t technically baking…

But, I had so many Meyer lemons and this was fun to make so I figured that I would share it with all of you!

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It was my mom’s birthday last week and she loves limoncello so it was perfect timing that I got a huge box of Meyer lemons 3 weeks before her birthday. It was surprisingly easy! All you really need is vodka, lemons, and sugar so, the first step was to get a bunch of lemon zest.

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I poured vodka into the bottle with the lemon zest and added a label dated a week ahead.

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I let the vodka-lemon zest mixture sit in a room at room temperature for a week. Every couple days, I shook it up to mix.

In the meantime, I went out and got these adorable bottles for the limoncello at Just For Fun!

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After the week was up, I made the syrup to add to the limoncello. Just water & sugar!

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Once the syrup cooled, I added it to the vodka mixture. Once combined, I strained he lemon zest out of the mixture and poured it into bottles.

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Once in the bottles, I kept them at room temperature for two weeks. As you can see in the above photo, the limoncello was very light yellow and still pretty translucent. I wasn’t sure if it would “thicken” up and turn more yellow or not.

After two weeks, I put one of the bottles into the freezer and Ward and I took a taste sip. The color was more yellow but still not as yellow as you see at restaurants. The taste was pretty great, though. It packed a punch when it first hit your mouth and was followed by a smooth and sweet finish. Super refreshing! Definitely thinking of making more of this as gifts!

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Sweetly,

Simona

Soccer Ball Ice Cream

Happy Humpday! 

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Do you see that soccer ball? That soccer ball is actually an ice-cream maker that I got Ward for Valentine’s Day. Over the weekend, Ward, Jade, and I decided to give it a try (finally)!

Guess what flavor ice-cream we chose. Yes, that’s right – STRAWBERRY! We had to finish them up and thought this was the perfect occasion.

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We chopped up the remaining strawberries and puréed them. I still had some leftover “frosting” from the Sloppy Joe Cookies so we added that to the mix as well.

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We let that sit while we heated whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar until the sugar dissolved.

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After the cream cooled, we added the strawberry purée and mixed it together.

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We poured the mixture into the bowl side of the soccer ball. I convinced Ward to add chocolate chips to the ice cream as well 😉

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We filled the other side with ice and salt.

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This is when the fun began. We took it outside and started kicking it around. It’s safe to say that Jade had a lot of mixed feelings.

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We kicked it around for ten minutes and then opened it up to mix. It was cold but still not ice cream. We kicked it around for another ten and it was better but STILL not right.

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We were tired by this point (it was pretty heavy) so I sat down on the couch and kicked it back and forth between my feet while Ward cooked lunch.

Eventually, real ice cream did appear from the soccer ball! It looked very pretty and when we ate it, it had very small chunks of strawberries, and it was perfectly creamy. I really liked the chocolate chips in it but Ward would have preferred it without them.

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It was fun to make this ice cream but we might consider a more traditional ice cream maker in the future for the sake of our tired arms and Jade’s sanity. To be fair, she kind of got the hang of it…

Sweetly,

Simona