Welcome to my world!

I've developed a passion for cooking since childhood, but in the past six years, that passion has grown into a geeky obsession. I love cooking, baking, and most importantly, sharing the love of food with family and friends. I invite you along on my journey of food discovery and passion.

Monday, August 9, 2010


The title doesn't do justice to the project on which we embarked a week ago. IceDaddy came across an article from NPR on homemade Limoncello (lee-mon-chay-low) and we decided to embrace the time-honored tradition of creating homemade alcoholic beverages. Limoncello has its origins in Italy. Variations to the actual origins exist, but are attribted to Sorrento, Amalfi, or Capri.

Not being from the South, I've never tasted homemade moonshine; the closest I came was some homemade gut rot my brother gave me from his ex-girlfriend's family. After sitting for a year, it was still unpalatable and when I asked him what exactly it was, he couldn't remember (and the girlfriend was long gone). That experience aside, we knew that Limoncello was something we both liked, and figured it was a good complement to the Italian food I've started learning to make.

Zesting the lemons
The recipe recommends Everclear or 100-proof vodka. I can tell you, the fumes are almost enough to make someone pass out! We decided to try a half-recipe, so we purchased one 750-ml bottle. I zested 4 lemons and 1 orange in long strips being careful to have no pith on the strips - apparently even liquor store employees have made limoncello before us! We were sternly warned that any little piece of pith would impart bitterness. After close inspection of each non-pithy piece, I placed them all in a non-reactive bowl (glass) and poured in the Everclear. Inserting a plate to keep the peels submerged, the whole thing was plastic-wrapped and set on the counter for a week. I'm sure the cleaning lady wondered what science experiment we were cooking up this week when she encountered a bowl, plate, and yellowish liquid, but it remained intact and free of disturbances.

Fast forward to Saturday, 7 days after the initial prep. The plan was to keep part of the limoncello in its natural form and make part of it into creamy limoncello - an infinitely more drinkable and versatile beverage. I took just over 4 cups of the alcohol and combined with just over 4 cups of milk and 5 cups (yes 5) of sugar, along with a smidge of vanilla and whiskey. I brought to a boil and then allowed to bubble 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Once cooled, I bottled and stored in the freezer.

We enjoyed a glass of the creamy limoncello as a digestif following a meal of spiced pork tenderloin and corn. It was a great option on a hot summer night. But, not that I EVER gild the lily, I took it a step further and made a zabaglione with the creamy limoncello, egg yolks, and sugar. Whipped and frothy, it was amazing over sliced fresh strawberries and is something I will turn to time and again.


  1. It was all very good. I'm still learning how to drink this stuff.

  2. I have wanted to try this since I saw the recipe in Bella Tuscany.

  3. D.Day - Definitely worth trying. Today I shared it with more of the family and they've all begged me to make more. One of the biggest hits in cooking that I've had.