Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little Effort Provides....

As some of you may know...my husband is a man of many talents and we have been adding on and remodeling our home for quite a while now. We are doing this ourselves with me being the supervisor/design expert and Jason being the manual labor. Anywho, we are almost finished! How blessed to have built our home ourselves and for our children to be able to say "My Dad built those cabinets, made that trim. " Truly blessed are we. What's even better? Zero house payment my friends!

In my kitchen you will find a shelf above and to the right of our stove. That shelf is full of extracts. I have vanilla extracts, orange extracts, lemon, cinnamon, and even one that is a combination of vanilla and cinnamon that smells and tastes an awful lot like a certain "Hot Damn" liqueur. No, really. I made for my holiday cooking and my husband even drank a bit to be sure of his assessment. Not a proud moment of mine, Lol. Homemade extracts are super easy to make and you can get as creative as you want. For instance, you may have noticed that in my previous shortcake recipe I used lemon extract. I have 2 different ones. 

Lemon Extract 

1 lemon peel with pith removed as much as possible (the white part between peel and fruit) 
Jam jar with lid
Alcohol of choice - I have vodka in one and sambuca in the other. 

To your jam jar add your lemon peel and then pour your alcohol in - covering peel. Place lid on jar and place in a dark, undisturbed location (for me it's the corner in the bottom of my pantry, I've even been known to use an empty tater box). Shake jar once a week for at least 6 weeks, and of course the longer it sits, the better the flavor.

I often start making these at the end of October to use as Christmas gifts. 
My list of extracts:
Lemon-Vodka
Lemon-Sambuca
Orange-Vodka
Orange-Bourbon
Vanilla-Bourbon
Vanilla-Vodka
Vanilla-Cinnamon-Vodka
Cinnamon-Bourbon

For the cinnamon, I use cinnamon sticks. Vodka is the most common alcohol used and what is used for your "grocery store" extracts. Go ahead and try some of these or make up your own. I'd love to hear what you end up with!