Feb 21, 2017
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If you have been following Making it with Stephany for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of yummy adult bevies and love mixing up new cocktails for the world to enjoy.

 

If you are new here: I’m a big fan of adult bevies.

I have a love affair with the Italian family of ‘Cello liqueurs.  I have made Blackberry Limoncello, Blood Orangecello, Ruby Red Grapefruitcello and Crema Limecello.  And guess what? Another winter means another ‘Cello recipe made with the abundant and plentiful winter citrus.

Welcome to the world, Vanilla Orangecello.  This ‘Cello tastes like dreams and Orange Julius, but with vodka.  It is as simple as my other liqueur recipes and has the same quick turnaround time, instead of waiting months to imbibe this tasty lil number, Vanilla Orangecello can be ready in about 3-4 days.  I went with organic oranges because their peels were going to be sitting in the vodka/simple syrup mixture and I wanted to keep it as chemical-free as I could.

 

Sure, I could have just made a basic Orangecello, but with the addition of the vanilla and the lemon and lime juice for a little complexity, it really isn’t your average Orangecello; it tastes sweet, warm, and lovely.  It also isn’t too acidic tasting like a traditional orange vodka combo, but fresh and easy to sip.

 

Vanilla Orangecello

1 750ml bottle of vodka, this time I went local with l’Etoile du Nord vodka

6 large organic oranges, peeled then juiced

juice from 1 lemon

juice from 2 limes

1 cup water

1 cups sugar

1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract or 1/2 of vanilla bean cut and scraped

 

Make sure all oranges are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel lemons with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the oranges, lemon and limes.  You will get around 2 cups of juice.
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, and the orange juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for 4-5 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 72 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the orange peels and vanilla bean pod and store in the freezer.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne. Makes around 4 cups.

 

Feb 15, 2016
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I’m currently working with a group of ladies who all came up with recipes inspired by Oscar nominated movies in anticipation for the 2016 Oscars.  You can make these recipes for an Oscar party that your hosting or attending or just if you are looking for some new recipes to add to your food and drink repertoire.

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The movie I was using for inspiration was Mad Max: Fury Road.  The trailer reminded me a bit of one of my favorite movies ever, Tank Girl.  What can I say??  I have an affinity for chicks with shaved heads who get crazy and blow shit up in deserts.

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Unfortunately for the super hot Charlize Theron and her rescue wives, this movie just wasn’t as appealing as I thought it would be, but I don’t think I was the target market of this movie.  Maybe it’s because I’m older now and the thought of all that sand getting in my mouth and hair really did not sit well.  How much dirt, grime and soot did they actually eat by just breathing?  Blech.  With all of the dust and explosions, all I wanted to do after the movie was brush my teeth and take a shower.  Visually, the movie was shot really well and I loved the artistic side of it from a photographer point of view.

 

My recipe is a palate cleanser of sorts, because gritty sand in my mouth makes me gag.  My most favorite flavor to get a yucky taste out of my mouth is citrus, more specifically, I have been OBSESSED with ruby red grapefruit for the past few months.  I am a HUGE fan of making liqueur at home and have a soft spot in my heart for all types of homemade ‘cellos.

 

Typically, limoncello is an after dinner drink in Italy, and my Ruby Red Grapefruitcello is perfect liqueur to sip after spending the day trying to blow up crusty, filthy warlords with creepy skeleton denture masks in the wasteland.

 

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Ruby Red Grapefruitcello

2 1/2 cups high quality vodka (this time I used Prairie Organic Vodka)
4 large ruby red grapefruits peeled, then juiced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

optional: add 1/2 of a cut and scraped vanilla bean to the grapefruit peel/vodka mixture.  YUM.

Make sure all of the grapefruits are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel grapefruits with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the grapefruits.  You will get around 2 cups of juice.
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1.5 cup of sugar, and the squeezed grapefruit juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring once in a while for 4 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka/grapefruit peel mixture.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 72 hours in a cool, dark place, I used the refrigerator.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the peels and store in the fridge or freezer.  (I like pulp so I used a wider colander so the pulp could make it through, but if you don’t like pulp, strain through a finer sieve.)  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne.  Makes around 4 cups.
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This nummy, nummy, nummy ‘cello will knock any dirt and grime out of your mouth.  Yay!
Be sure to check out the other recipes that were created by the other gals that were inspired by some of the top movies of 2015:
Apr 17, 2015
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It’s safe to say that I am a little obsessed with ‘Cello recipes.  Fruit and vodka, the perfect combination!!

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I wanted to try a variation on Limoncello, so I looked to it’s green cousin, the lime and went with a Crema version.  And Crema di Limecello was born.  I added some vanilla beans to cut the harshness of the lime, and substituted milk for the water.

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And with summer *practically* around the corner (It’s probably going to snow next week, because Minnesota is a cruel old broad) so I needed to have a summery and tasty little drink on hand to keep me sane until it really is Summer.

 

Crema Limecello Recipe

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3 cups of vodka, I used Grey Goose

10 organic lemons, peeled then juiced

2 whole vanilla beans

4 cups of 2% milk

1.5 cups sugar

 

Make sure all limes are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel limes with a vegetable peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the limes.  You will get around 1.5 cups of juice
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 4 cups of milk, 1.5 cup of sugar, the vanilla beans with the seeds scraped and pods, and the lime juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for about 3 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka, vanilla bean pods included.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 48 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the lime peels and vanilla beans and store in the fridge.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne. Makes around 8 cups.  If you decide to freeze it, it will freeze close to solid, since there is a lot of milk.  DO NOT fill your glass container fully or it will explode in the freezer like one of my bottles did.  Oops.
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limecello_011Side note on organic limes: I had a hell of a time juicing the organic limes…they were pretty dry.  But I did have a back up bag of regular limes that saved me and brought my lime juice up to 1.5 cups.  I did only use the organic limes for their peels to soak in the vodka.
Feb 14, 2015
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So after making that Blood OrangeCello for Twin Cities Live last week, I realized how easy it is to make a Limoncello-style liqueur.  It’s very easy.  I became addicted to the stuff.  So much so that I wondered if anyone had made a blackberry version….I searched and searched and I saw no evidence of Blackberry Limoncello.  Then and there I decided to create it.  And after tasting my first batch, it is good stuff, Maynard.

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The timeline of having the liquid sit for 48 hours is still there, it does really need that time to let the flavors develop.  And if you do any taste testing between 0-48 hours, you will see that it is not ready at all, it really does need 48 hours minimum to be fully tasty.  I actually prefer to let it set for 3 entire days, just to make sure it’s at it’s most flavorful.  I even went fully organic with the fruit, just because it was going to be soaking in the vodka and syrup, so why not keep all of the nasty chemicals out?

 

I served it ICE cold with a splash of lemon San Pellegrino.  But it would be mega delicious over ice.  Really tangy & sweet, and makes a pretty magenta color with the blackberry juices.

 

So make this already!  It is that good!!

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Blackberry Limoncello

 

2 1/2 cups of vodka, I used Grey Goose

6 large organic lemons, peeled then juiced

1 6oz. package fresh organic blackberries

1 cup water

1.5 cups sugar

 

Make sure all lemons are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel lemons with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the lemons.  You will get around 2 cups of juice
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1.5 cup of sugar, the blackberries, and the lemon juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for 4-5 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka, berries included.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 48 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the lemon peels and blackberries and store in the freezer.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne. Makes around 4 cups.
Peeling the lemons.
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Adding lemon peel to the vodka.
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Juice those bad boys!  In most limoncello recipes, the never tell you to use the fruit’s juice, only the peel.  That is where a lot of flavor is!!!  Use it!
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Add the simple syrup to the vodka and let it develop.  It’s worth it.
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Now drink up!
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Mar 02, 2016
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This morning I was on the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show as their Almost Co-Host of the Day.  Dave, Falen, & Steve were super duper nice and to make sure that we would be BFF’s, I brought along some Grapefruitcello, because you can never go wrong with morning vodka.  Amirite?!?

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We talked about some weird jobs I’ve had, my run-in with the Backstreet Boys back in the day, and how you never read the internet comments about yourself because people can be jackasses sometimes.

 

I included the audio clip above, if you missed it or want to relive all of the humor, crazy stories, or the insults that make morning radio sparkle.

 

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Jul 09, 2015
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If you were one of the lucky souls who received my mug in your mailbox within the last few weeks, I apologize.  It was only supposed to be a story, not a cover.  I wasn’t prepared for that!

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A few months back I was contacted by the editor of the magazine to give an interview about all things Making it With Stephany.  From there, we came up with the idea to have me write an accompanying article about cocktails in the valley.  That was a little scary for me, because if you read this blog, you know of my juvenile writing skillzz.  But I interviewed, wrote, edited, saved, re-wrote and submitted my article (a little over my word count requirement) and on time.

 

A photo shoot was scheduled to run along side the article.  Smiles were made, pictures were taken.  I had a general idea of when the magazine would be out and I was excited to see my words in print.

 

Then I show up on the cover.  Man, was that a weird feeling!  I still feel shy about it, which is odd because I am usually not shy.  You’ve seen the videos, right?!?

 

Here is the article online of my interview.  The article I wrote isn’t online, but in the hard copy of the magazine along with my tasty ass recipe for Blackberry Limoncello.

 

Thank you to Kersten and St. Croix Valley Magazine for taking the time to get to know a little more about me.

 

 

Feb 06, 2015
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I made my second appearance on Twin Cities Live yesterday!  And for a second time, no bad words came out of my mouth!  Score!

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This time the theme was cocktails to make at home to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  It seems that I am becoming the Cocktail Queen over on TCL.

 

Please share the link, make the recipes and recommend this story to your friends!  Feel free to pin it to Pinterest also!

 

I made 3 cocktails, a Ruby Red Grapefruit Elderflower Sparkler made with St. Germain and Rose’, a Blood OrangeCello (which was SO GOOD!!!!), and a Frozen Cherry Mojito, with the option to make a non-alcoholic version, or get crazy and add that rum.

 

Grapefruit Elderflower Sparkler

1.5 oz ruby red grapefruit juice

1 oz St. Germain

top off champagne flute with Rose’ sparkling wine

 

 

Blood OrangeCello

2 1/2 cups vodka
5-6 large blood oranges peeled, then juiced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Make sure all blood oranges are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel oranges with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the oranges.  You will get around 2 cups of juice
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1.5 cup of sugar, and the orange juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for 4-5 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 48 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the orange peels and store in the freezer.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne.Makes around 4 cups.
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Making the simple syrup with the blood orange juice.  I loved how the liquid was red, but made bright orange bubbles.
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This is the giant glass jar I used to let the liqueur set up in.  I left it for 3 days in my fridge and it turned out so well.  I will definitely be making this again in the future.  IMG_1700
Frozen Cherry Mojitos

12 oz bag of frozen cherries

2 cups of ice

lime simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 3 limes juiced and zested)

6-8 fresh mint leaves

1 cup cherry or coconut juice (non-alcoholic)  or 1 cup spiced rum

To make lime simple syrup, In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature minutes before using

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.