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Apple Pie in a Jar – Apple Pie “Shine”

2 Apr

When I think of apple pie, it reminds me of being a kid, playing outside and being able to smell the delicious fragrance of freshly baking apple pie flowing out the open windows in the spring. There is just something about that smell and taste. It’s childhood.

As an adult, I like to enjoy apple pie in different variations. Cookies, cupcakes, cakes, tarts. As a grown up beverage, it can’t be beat. I did an Apple Pie Sangria with a jar of this mixed into the batch. It was AMAZING. Slightly potent, but AMAZING.  The best way to make a batch of that sangria is to actually have a jar of the Apple Pie “Shine” to mix into it. It’s easy to make, and just as easy to drink. My second batch was a little less potent, so I may add another shot of grain to the jars upon opening them. The recipe listed below is my variation of the recipe given to me by a friend. I think it makes something great tasting become epic tasting!

apple pie shine

Apple Pie Shine

1 gallon apple cider

1 gallon unsweetened apple juice

3 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons vanilla extract – do not use imitation

1 liter (plus a couple extra glugs if you are heavy handed like me!) moonshine, Everclear, or the highest proof vodka you can find

Take and put all of your ingredients into a large pot, with the exception of the alcohol. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve brown sugar and molasses. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add your grain alcohol, stirring to combine.

Fill clean pint or quart mason jars to bottom of threads on jar, wipe rims and add lids and screw bands, twisting to finger tight. Rinse jars to get rid of any sticky residue and store in a cool dark place. Let “age” about 1 month to get rid of any strong booze flavor. Enjoy ice cold, shaking the jar before passing the jar around with friends! Tastes just like apple pie – in a jar!

When the chickens give you fresh eggs, make Homemade Brown Sugar Custard Egg Nog!

17 Dec

christmas tree 2012

If this is the first time you are tuning in to Seasoned with Sarcasm, I’ve got chickens. Those hens (and duck) give me eggs daily. Even with it being sporadically cold out (mother nature has our temps all over the place – 25 degrees one day, 52 the next) and it’s getting dark at literally 5:10pm, they are still producing at least 3 eggs per day. That being said, with the holiday baking all completed and us really only eating eggs on weekends, we have a plethora of eggs.

Right around Thanksgiving, I get a hankering for spiced rum spiked egg nog. Especially when I start decorating for Christmas. I’ll buy one of the cardboard cartons from the store and hubs & I will enjoy it until it’s gone. Sometimes I’ll buy a second carton. Or a half gallon. This year, while sipping on a store-bought glass of the stuff, I thought damn. Why don’t I just make my own? It certainly has to be better than the overly sweet store bought stuff. And, I mean, eggs don’t get any fresher than straight out of the nesting box that evening. So I whipped up a batch. Man, I’m glad I did. The hubs and I are really enjoying it. This is my second batch, which I have improved upon with the addition of molasses. This recipe is for a custard like egg nog. If it is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk or cream. Since it is cooked, it will last a little bit longer than its uncooked counterpart. For best quality and flavor, consume within 5 days.

Why is it called BROWN SUGAR Custard Egg Nog if there isn’t actual brown sugar IN the recipe? Because all brown sugar is white sugar mixed with some molasses. I decided to use white table sugar and add the molasses for a more concentrated flavor. Plus, I was fresh out of brown sugar from all my baking.

Feel free to use whatever type of sugar you like. Splenda, Stevia, brown sugar, raw sugar, agave nectar. Whatever floats your boat! Just remember to adjust according to what you are using. I have made this with Stevia liquid as well and it’s just as delicious. Don’t like spiced rum? Spike it with some whisky, scotch, vodka. Or leave it virgin. I like the additional spice flavor added from the spiced rum. I use The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. It’s extra dark and takes this egg nog to the next level. And every time I pour some I say “Release The Kraken!!!!”  just like Liam Neeson in Clash of the Titans.


Homemade Brown Sugar Custard Egg Nog

serves 4

  • 2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks, preferably fresh
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces spiced rum
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Add your eggs to a medium sized bowl (or stand mixer bowl). Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and molasses and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add your milk, heavy cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove your saucepan from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixer with the egg/sugar mix. Return everything to your saucepan and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the spiced rum. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any thick custard like pieces of egg nog. Bottle and let chill overnight.

Serve with an additional sprinkle of nutmeg and whipped cream if desired. For a kid friendly version, skip the spiced rum.

The DIY Life: Bacon Vodka

28 Feb

Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. It does in fact say “Bacon Vodka”. Infusing vodkas is a fabulous way to switch up the flavor of a drink and make it all your own. Why buy fancy infused vodkas when you can do it yourself?

Onto bacon infused vodka. Why bacon vodka you ask? Because I think it will be totally delicious in a bloody mary. That smokey flavor from the bacon. Mmm.

I searched the internet long and hard and the length of time to leave the bacon in your vodka as well as the amount of bacon was all over the place. So I collected the totals and did my own version. Sure, you can buy bacon flavored vodka, but it’s just artificial flavoring. Meh. I’ll stick with real deal flavoring.

What you will need:

1 clean quart mason jar along with the ring and lid

3 pieces COOKED bacon

vodka to cover the bacon and fill the jar

3 weeks

Place the cooked bacon in the clean mason jar – I used the precooked kind because it was just easier. Fill the jar with plain vodka of your choice. I used the brand you see in the photo. It was on sale for $10 a bottle. Top with a lid and screw band, shake it up, and stick in in a dark place for 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks out of the fridge. The vodka will essentially pickle the bacon so it’s safe. I stuck my jar in the cupboard that holds my drinking glasses and would shake it when I went to put away clean glasses. Now, just a warning. It looks gross as it goes through the infusing stage. Really gross when you shake it. But not to worry. All the gross will filter out.

^^^^bacon soaking in vodka. oh joy!

After 3 weeks, put your jar in the freezer. Once all the fat has had a chance to firm up, strain the vodka through a coffee filter into another clean jar. You can also use cheese cloth, but you will need to most likely strain it more than once. You want the vodka to be clear of any floating stuff and oils.

Now you’re ready to get your drink on. Bloody Mary anyone? I used my bacon infused vodka in my favorite bloody mary mix -Zing Zang brand. And it was amazing!

Strained and clear bacon vodka...look at that golden hue!

A celery stick and a crispy piece of bacon for garnish. Bliss.

Mission Pineapple Wine – Complete!

31 Jan

If you recall, I started my wine making journey back in July. As of January, my mission is complete and now I just have to patiently wait for my wine to age. It was a long process with not a lot of hands on time but a lot of waiting time. I’m totally doing it again! It’s awesome to look and see that i’ve got a shelf full of homemade wine.

About the wine:

Originally, this wine was dry, similar to a chardonnay. I’m not a huge fan of dry wines, so I decided to stabilize my wine and sweeten it. I then let it sit for a couple more weeks just to make sure the yeast was in fact dead and I wouldn’t have a bunch of corks popping out of my wine bottles once I bottled it! Right now the wine has a strong alcohol taste, which is why it needs to age. Over time that will decrease and the flavors will meld and smooth out for a pleasant drinking experience.

I followed the recipe in this book and tripled it (it seems like a lot of effort to get only one gallon of wine, so 3 gallons was more worth my time). It’s got some decent details, however you want to have a little bit of knowledge about wine making. The main thing is you want to make sure EVERYTHING you are using – utensils, measuring cups, buckets, carboys, bungs – are sanitized. Otherwise it can ruin your wine. Ruined wine would be bad. This summer I’m going to make a watermelon wine. Next I’d like to do a red fruit wine – either strawberry, cherry or raspberry with a canned fruit from the local wine & beer supply place. If the results are good, I’ll post the recipes! Before trying the legit wine making method again, I’m going to make what the internet is calling “prison wine” – which is fruit, water & sugar. To up the alcohol content, I’m going to add wine yeast. I’ll be documenting the process for you!

The 3 gallons yielded me 14 bottles + 1 quart mason jar. Not bad. Once I get a couple other batches going we’ll have a nice homemade stockpile.

Canned Pineapple Wine

Recipe from The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garey

Yield: 1 gallon (double or triple everything in this recipe BUT THE YEAST to make a larger batch. One packet yeast is enough for 1-5 gallons)

3 1/2 quarts water

2 16oz cans crushed pineapple in juice

2lbs sugar or honey

1tsp acid blend

1tsp yeast nutrient

1 campden tablet, crushed (optional)

1/2tsp pectic enzyme

1 packet champagne yeast

Heat the water. Drain the juice (reserve for later use) from the fruit, place the fruit into a nylon straining bag, and put the bag in the bottom of a sanitized primary fermenter.

Add the fruit juice to the warm water. Add 1 1/2lbs of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Be sure it is dissolved and check the PA. For this wine you want about 12% potential alcohol. If the PA is below 12% add the additional 1/2 cup sugar. (you most likely will need to)Measure the PA again. Do not worry if it is a degree off. Pour the water and sugar syrup mixture over the fruit in the fermenter and add the acid and yeast nutrient. After the must cools, add the crushed campden tablet if you choose to use one. Cover and fit with an air lock. Twelve hours after the campden tablet, add the pectic enzyme. If you don’t use the tablet, you can wait until the must cools and add the pectic enzyme.

24 hours later, add the yeast.

Let it ferment for 5 days, stirring daily. When the PA falls to 3-4%, remove the fruit. Drain it well but do not squeeze. Let the wine settle, then rack into a gallon jug (or whatever size jug required depending on if you double/triple the recipe). Bung and fit with an air lock.

Rack the wine once or twice over the next 3-6 months. When fermentation is done and wine is clear, taste it. If you want it sweeter, stabilize it and sweeten it with dissolved sugar or boiled honey, then bottle.

Note: to give the wine more body, I added 1/2lb of golden raisins. I did sweeten my wine as it was too dry for my liking. I racked my wine twice in between July 4, 2011 (first added to carboy) to January 22, 2012(bottled and ready to age) to get rid of any excess pulp/yeast at the bottom of the carboy. And I did squeeze my fruit to get out every last drop of fruity goodness. It just made a little extra pulp that I had to filter out. For my corks I used synthetic corks because they don’t have to be soaked prior to using, and it allows me to store my wine bottles upright instead of on their sides. No worries about the corks drying out!

How to make creamy limoncello

12 Aug

I once had limoncello, and to  me it tasted like what I thought the lemon Pledge would taste like should I ever be inclined to ingest it. Needless to say I didn’t want to drink it often, if ever. No matter how ice-cold straight from the freezer it was, I still couldn’t get past taking a few tiny sips.

So I decided to go out on a limb and make some creamy limoncello. Why not? I mean, I liked creamsicles, so wouldn’t creamy limoncello be good? Why yes it was, to be exact. It’s nice and smooth and doesn’t have any of that Pledge like taste. It’s great all by itself in a small glass to sip after dinner or with dessert. It’s fabulous mixed in with a lemon/lime soda as an evening cocktail.  And another bonus – it’s WAY FASTER to make than making plain old limoncello. Soaking time is only 1 week. Sweet!  The only drawback I can see is that you must keep it in the freezer since there is milk in it. And really, this is only a drawback if you have a super small freezer.

I deviated from the recipe in only one way – I used fat-free skim milk (Dean’s Skim Choice to be exact, which looks and tastes like 2%) I did this because this is the milk we drink and always have on hand. The original recipe called for whole milk. I don’t really see that it matters. Use whatever type of milk you like, but do not use heavy cream.

If you cannot get your hands on some Everclear, fear not. Just use the highest proof vodka you can find. It doesn’t have to be the super best quality, just high-proof.

Creamy Limoncello

1 liter (4.25 cups/33.8 oz) Everclear or highest proof vodka you can find (100 proof)
8 lemon peels
2 orange peels
2 liters (8 3/4 cups/67.6 oz) milk of choice
5 lbs sugar – 10 cups
1 shot glass whiskey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl or crock place lemon and orange peels. Pour Everclear/vodka over the peels. Soak for one week, stirring daily.

After one week, strain lemon and orange alcohol; discard peels. Pour alcohol in a heavy bottomed large saucepan and add milk, sugar, whiskey, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then reduce until just bubbling, for 5 minutes. Stir continuously so it does not boil over. (You are cooking to dissolve the sugar. You will lose some of the alcohol content but it’s not a big deal since you are using such a high-proof.)

Remove pan from  heat and let cool completely. A thin film will form on the top of the limoncello. Using a large spoon, skim it and discard.

Pour limoncello through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.

Pour into bottles or freezer safe mason jars and freeze. Keep in freezer at all times. Shake before using.

Creamy Limoncello mixed with lemon lime soda - summertime in a glass!

Wine – part 2

13 Jul

So, the pineapple wine is coming along. It was originally transferred to the carboy on July 4. It did not look anything like actual wine upon transfer. It looked more like 3 gallons of orange juice. But things are certainly coming along very nicely. We are currently at the ‘it looks like apple juice stage’. Unfiltered apple juice, but it’s  a step above orange juice!

On Friday/Saturday we are going to rack it out of the carboy so we can get the yeast off of the bottom. If you leave the yeast in there for too long it will give the wine a nasty flavor. We do not want nasty wine.

Here is a photo of the wine as of yesterday, July 12:

And here is a close-up of the yeast that has settled onto the bottom of the carboy:

Yummy huh?

After it’s been racked back into the carboy, it will need to sit another 2 weeks to allow for more sediment to settle and we’ll get to do this swap all over again!

Stay tuned!


12 Jul

drink wine – it’s classy. make wine – you’re awesome.

So, awhile back the boy and I decided to make some tomato wine. I know, it sounds gross, but do not judge until you have tasted. It is sweet, tastes nothing at all like tomato, and will make you confess to crimes you didn’t commit it’s so strong. Tomato wine is not a wine to sip all lady like from a long stemmed glass. tomato wine is what you pour into a mason jar and pass around to everyone around a bonfire. Or in the limo full of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

I decided I wanted to make a wine that could actually be sipped from a long stemmed wineglass if I wanted to…but I wanted something rather simple but slightly more complicated since according to the boy tomato wine can be made in a toilet (ours was not. if it was it would have saved us alot of money on fermenting buckets and carboys!) So canned pineapple it was!

This wine takes 3-6 months to be ready to sip on. I plan on letting mine age at least another 6 months after we bottle it. This is post one to document the wine making process.

pineapple wine fermenting in the bucket. the bag you see is a straining bag to make life easier when it’s time to transfer it…the brown stuff? raisins for extra color and body.

horrible photo. take that iPhone. pineapple wine racked for the first time into the carboy. it looks more like orange juice right now, but that will change.

Stay Tuned for more updates. If it’s good, i’ll post the recipe!