Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas + Holiday Cheer

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you all.!I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted (and more!) and that you are spending this holiday with your family, friends and loved ones. This holiday is about spending time with the ones you love and making memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it be trying our new recipes, sharing stories from long long ago, or laughing until you almost cry over silly board games, I am sure this will be a holiday you will remember.

Although Santa brought me everything I wanted and more, there is one additional thing I wanted this holiday season, that I was just not able to get - to travel down to San Luis Obispo to be with the captain, his brothers family and his mom. We planned for me to go down the weekend before Christmas, spend Christmas Eve with them and then drive the five hours back home at the crack of dawn, but a silly cold stopped me. There has been this nasty cold going around my family that I tired everything in my power not to get sicky (I lysoled the whole house!), but I ended up getting it. Darn it! I am glad I stayed home to rest because in all honesty, I would have been a cranky crab and no one likes to be around a crab. The good news is that I am finally starting to feel better, but am still sad I am not down there celebrating with them tonight. They even watch the California Raisins claymation - that's my favorite! Not to worry, there is always next year and all the years to come to celebrate together. I can't wait!

Enough of the sappiness. Then again, it is the holidays so a little sappiness is allowed, right? Nevertheless, it's time for a recipe with a little holiday cheer! Because I was unable to spend the holidays with the captain, I decided to make something that reminded me of him. Well, of us. Homemade amaretto! Did you know you could make it at home in just about 30 minutes? I didn't - until today. I have always loved amaretto. It's sweet. It's nutty. It's just pure deliciousness. I'll never forget the time I ordered this at a bar and the bartender asked me if I was 80 years old? Do only grandmas drink amaretto? I think not. Classy ladies drink amaretto, thank you very much. I sure told him! I don't remember when or how it even started (do you dear?), but the captain and I began drinking amaretto with desserts. Not always, just sometimes - usually when we go out. It's the perfect dessert drink and that something extra special and sweet. When I saw the recipe for homemade, I knew I had to make it. I bet you even have everything in your pantry to make this right now. Wanna bet? Wanna? Wanna?

This amaretto is just perfect and tastes just like amaretto. I guess that is what I was going for, right? If it tasted like something else, that would be bad. And probably gross.  If you've never had it, perhaps you've eaten an amaretto cookie? Please tell me you have. They come in a red tin and are wrapped in colorful wax paper. Boy are they delicious and I can never eat just one. Well, if you haven't had the cookies or the real, deal this is a must make. Not only is it perfect for the holidays as a little something extra special, but it is also just a nice little treat to make for someone. No one would ever expect homemade amaretto and it's just so different. It's just perfect. Happy holidays everyone!

five ingredients

make a simple syrup with the brown sugar, white sugar and water

the vodka is waiting for the sugar

fully dissolved and cooling

adding the almond extract to the sugar and vodka solution

adding in the vanilla

ta da! ps. don't drink this all from the bowl

holiday cheer in a jar!

Homemade Amaretto (

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups vodka
2 tablespoons almond extract (use pure over imitation, if you can!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is boiling, and all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.
Stir vodka, almond extract and vanilla extract into the mixture. Store in jar(s). The Amaretto should last for a long while, that is if you don't drink it all. Makes about three cups, give or take.

(You can drink the Amaretto immediately, but you’ll find it gets better with age)

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

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