Homemade Limoncello

December 14, 2013

Homemade LimoncelloHomemade Limoncello

Last month I was in Rome on a culinary tour.  Along with having delicious Amaro after dinner I had delicious and refreshing limoncello, which by the way, was much better than the bottled stuff available back home in New York. I was able to squeeze the recipe out of a well-known Roman chef before leaving Rome, although this recipe is typical of Salerno and is not as sweet as other limoncello recipes. It’s not too late to make your own limoncello for the holidays.  At the very least get a batch started in time for New Years.  If you can’t find a place to purchase grain alcohol you can substitute 100 proof vodka.  I store my limoncello in the freezer. 


5 Medium Organic Lemons

4 Cups High Proof Grain Alcohol (Such as Everclear)

1 Cup Sugar

6 Cups Water

Wash and dry lemons. Remove peel from lemons and try not to get any of the white pith. A vegetable peeler works great for this job. Put peels along with alcohol into a large glass container with a tight seal.  Let sit for 7 days.  At end of seventh day heat sugar with 6 cups water until sugar is dissolved.  Strain peels from alcohol. Add lemon peels to sugar mixture and cook until peels break down.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour in alcohol.  The color will have taken on a yellow color.  Let rest for three days and then strain before use. Transfer finished limoncello to serving bottles and seal tightly. Store in freezer. This recipe makes about 1 liter.  Recipe can be doubled if desired.  


Mocha Java

October 1, 2013

Mocha Java 5

Mocha Java

As the days and nights get cooler it’s nice to have a good flavored coffee recipe. 


2 Cups Strong Hot Coffee

1/2 Cup Hot Cocoa Mix

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Half & Half

Whipped Cream For Garnish

Chocolate Shaving For Garnish (Optional)

Ground Cinnamon For Garnish (Optional)

Pour coffee into 2-quart saucepan. Add cocoa mix, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and stir until dissolved.  Add half & half and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally until heated through. Top each serving with shipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shaving and ground cinnamon.  Makes 2 (1 1/4 Cup) Servings

Mocha Java 7


Carrot, Apple & Beet Smoothie

August 1, 2013

Beet SmoothieCarrot, Apple & Beet Smoothie

Sometimes I’m in the mood for a smoothie, but I want to make it healthy.  You can prepare your own wholesome smoothie with the push of a button.  Homemade smoothies can be just as quick as store bought ones and a lot healthier.


2 Large Peeled & Chopped Carrots

1 Cored & Sliced Granny Smith Apple

2 Peeled & Chopped Beets

1 Cup Ice Cubes

1 Cup Cranberry Juice

In a blender or food processor, combine the carrots, apple slices, beets, ice cubes and cranberry juice.  Pulse until smooth.  Pour your delicious smoothie into tall glasses and serve immediately.  Serves 2

Refreshing Ginger Tea Drink

July 8, 2013

Refreshing Ginger Tea DrinkGinger Tea Drink

Here is a refreshing summer drink that you and your loved ones will take a liking to.  With the hot weather here we all need to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated!


4 Cups Boiling Water

15 Individual Green Tea Bags

3 Cups White Grape Juice

1 Cup Apple Juice

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger

2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves

1 Green Apple Sliced For Garnish

In a slow cooker combine the boiling water and the tea bags.  If you don’t have a slow cooker you can make this on the stove in a large pot on simmer.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Throw away the tea bags and stir in the grape juice, apple juice, honey and ginger.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until heated through.  Strain and transfer to a large covered pitcher (or two covered pitchers).  Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  When ready to serve pour into glasses and garnish with fresh mint leaves and apple slices.  Makes about 2 quarts.


Even More Skinny Cocktails

April 8, 2013

Cocktails 3Even More Skinny Cocktails

There is a huge demand for “Skinny Cocktails,” but it’s not easy coming up with reduced-calorie cocktails.  There are several lighter-calorie alcohol brands that have come onto the market in the past few years.  Skinnygirl Vodka and Voli Light Vodka are two low-cal vodka brands that have become quite popular.  Skinnygirl was launched by former Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel who sold it to Beam in March 2011.  Voli is owned by singers Pitbull and Fergie.  TY KU Sake is a low-calorie, gluten-free premium sake brand which is owned by singer/producer CeeLo Green and The Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger.


Gin & Lime Juice


1 1/2 Ounces Gin

3/4 Fresh Lime Juice

1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup

1 1/2 Ounces Seltzer Water

Lime Wedge

Add all ingredients except the seltzer water into a shaker.  Shake and pour into a glass filled with ice.  Top with seltzer water and garnish with a lime wedge.  Serves 1.  155 Calories.




2 Ounces TY KU Sake

1 1/2 Ounces Light Rum

1/2 Ounce Lime Juice

1/2 Ounce Agave Nectar

Add all ingredients into a shaker.  Shake and pour into a glass filled with ice.  Serves 1.  163 Calories.


Light Bloody Mary


2 Ounces Low-Calorie Vodka

2 Ounces Tomato Juice

1/2 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 Teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/8 Teaspoon Celery Salt

Lime Wedge

Cucumber Slice

Celery Stalk

Add all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake and pour into a glass.  Garnish with lime wedge, cucumber slice & celery stalk.  Serves 1.  122 Calories.Cocktails 5


More Skinny Cocktails

April 7, 2013

Cocktails 1More Skinny Cocktails

While one cannot consider these “health drinks” these cocktails are less guilty alternatives to the cocktails that are heavy on calories. Stay on weight goal track with my Skinny Cocktails.  You can have your “cake and eat it too!”

Vodka & Citrus Cocktail


2 Ounces Thyme & Citrus Blend

1 Ounce Vodka

1/4 Ounce Absinthe

Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker.  Shake and pour into a glass.  Tope with soda water.  Serves 1.  200 Calories


Prosecco Fresco


4 Ounces Chilled Prosecco

1 Cucumber

1 Lime Wedge

Splash of Hot Sauce

Pinch of Sea Salt

Peel the cucumber and puree it in a blender.  Strain the cucumber juice into a large glass.  Top off with the prosecco.  Finish with a splash of hot sauce and a pinch of salt.  Gently stir to combine and garnish with a lime wedge.  Serves 1.  130 Calories



Skinny Cocktails

April 6, 2013

Skinny CocktailsCocktails 4

Spring seems to be poking its head out and the weekend is here so why not sit outside this weekend and enjoy an evening cocktail.  The problem is that mixed drinks have a lot of calories so here is a cocktail with just a fraction of the calories (under 200 calories) that a regular cocktail would have.  Enjoy your weekend!

Skinny Margarita


1 1/2 Ounces TY KU Citrus Liqueur

1/4 Ounce Silver Tequila

1/4 Ounce Agave Nectar

Squeeze of Lemon

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker.  Shake well.  Serve on the rocks or blend with ice.  Serves 1.  100 Calories


Skinny Gin & Grapefruit Cocktail

1 1/2 Ounces Gin

1 Ounce Sugar-Free Simple Syrup

3 Ounces Fresh Grapefruit Juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker.  Shake well.  Pour into a glass filled with ice.  Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.  Serves 1.  110 Calories


Bourbon Blizzard

December 31, 2012

Bourbon Blizzard

Let’s be honest, New Year’s Eve is the drinking holiday for many party goers around the world. Whiskey isn’t just a man’s drink anymore and with the comeback of traditional cocktails you just may want to try your hand at the Bourbon Blizzard.  Remember to drink responsibly. 


3 Ounces Bourbon

1 Ounce Cranberry Juice

2/3 Ounce Lemon Juice

1 Ounce Simple Syrup

Lemon Twist


Place ice into a cocktail shaker.  Pour the bourbon, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup into the shaker.  Secure the lid and shake well.  Strain the liquid into a cocktail or martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.  Makes 1 Bourbon Blizzard.

Christmas Punch

December 6, 2012

Christmas Punch

Everyone needs a good Christmas Punch to serve to guests.


8 Cups Cranberry Juice

2 Cups Orange Juice

3 Cups Ginger Ale

Ice Cubes

In a pitcher combine the cranberry and orange juices.  Just before serving stir in the ginger ale.  Serve over ice.  Feel free to add orange slices if you like.  Serves 12


Eyeball Punch

October 23, 2012

Eyeball Punch

Halloween is fast approaching and if you’re having a party and in need of a creepy drink then look no further. 


8 Cups Grape Juice

3 Cinnamon Whole Sticks

1 Tablespoon Whole Cloves

1 Tablespoon Whole Allspice

3 Slices of Fresh Ginger

3 Cups Peeled Green Grapes

3 Bottles Chilled Ginger Ale (12 Ounces Each)

First you will need to peel the grapes by plunging them into boiling water for 20 seconds and then transfer them to ice water.  This will loosen the skins.  Peel the grapes and set aside.  In a large size saucepan combine the grape juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and fresh ginger.  Cook over a medium heat and bring to a boil.  As soon as you’ve brought to a boil remove from the heat and set aside for 1 hour for the mixture to cool.  Do no put in the fridge just let it sit out on the counter.  Strain out the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and ginger.  Throw the spices away.  Pour into a pitcher and chill for two hours or until cold.  When you are ready to serve pour into a punch bowl and add the ginger ale and grapes.  Serve immediately.  Serves 12

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