Wednesday, 19 December 2012


 Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur traditionally served ice-cold as an after-dinner digestive. The ingredients are quite simple; lemon zest, alcohol, sugar and water.
 It is important to use organic lemons because the pesticides remain in the skin and that is the only part we use for this recipe.
 Pure alcohol would be the best choice to extract lemon flavors better, even though you can use any other type of alcohol. If you use vodka or some other spirit the taste will be a bit different because it already has a flavor and because they are too high in water to infuse the flavors properly.
- 8-10 organic lemons
- 1 liter alcohol (95%)
- 1,3 liter water
- 650 grams sugar

1. Rinse and dry the lemons.
2. Peel the lemons with a sharp knife, being careful to use only the yellow part of the peel, as the white part would make it bitter (you don't want that). Tip: squeeze the peeled lemons and freeze the juice.
3. Place the lemon zest and the alcohol in an air tight glass container.
4. Leave it in a cool dark place for a month, or at least 10 days.
5. Shake the jar every now and then to distribute the lemon oil through the alcohol.
6. Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. (it doesn't have to boil)
7. Strain the alcohol and lemon peel mixture through a sieve into the sugar syrup.
8. Transfer the limoncello to bottles and leave for at least a week before tasting it.

Not a good technique, skip the white part, you don't need it
For me it worked best with a knife
Protect your eyes, you are dealing with pure alcohol here.
Squeeze the lemons.
Freeze the juice to have it on hand.
After 3 weeks in a dark spot
Sugar syrup

I sprayed juice bottles caps because I wanted them neutral, no brand
 For every 100 ml of water you should put 60 g of sugar. You can decide how strong you want your liqueur to be, it depends on the quantity of water. The formula is quite simple,  % alcohol / liquids quantity (water + alcohol).
 My limoncello is 95% / 2,3 liters = 41,3 % alcohol. Approximately it is 40% because some alcohol probably remained in the zest. If you want it to be less strong, just put more water, or if you have 40% alcohol (vodka), put less water.
 Limoncello seems to mellow as it ages, the longer you keep it, the better it gets.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My first big sewing project

 It has been a year since I started sewing learning to sew. I made quite a few purses, but I haven't really moved on from that point for a while and with the beginning of the new school year I felt I should push on.
My goal was an over the top embellished faux leather jacket. Inspiration, Balmain spring 2011
Balmain S/S 2011 photo credit Glamour
The whole process was very long, it took me hours and hours of cutting, sewing, re-cutting, measuring, broken needles, running out of thread, running out of material, written and video tutorials, tutorials in Chinese on youtube, sleepless nights, a mess in my room, needles, pieces of thread and fabric all over the place, not letting my flatmates and my neighbors sleep, countless visits to the closest haberdasher's.

Building a jacket
Sleeveless, Harley, anyone??

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Candied orange peel

 This sweet snack is perfect with an afternoon cup of tea, with a bitter liqueur after dinner or pretty much with anything anytime. Put in decorative glass jars tied with holiday ribbon it makes a very nice hostess gift for the upcoming holiday season. You can also store them in a candy jar on the table to treat your guests.

The process is pretty simple but it takes 5-7 days (depends on the thickness of the orange peel), so make sure you start in time. The recipe I am using is very old, there are some quicker versions that allow you to do everything in a day, but if you start early, this one requires less work and I think it comes out better (I have never done it any other way though. I might try it next time).

What you'll need:
- 8 organic oranges (not treated with pesticides because the chemicals remain in the peel)
- 500 g sugar (for 500 g peel)
- 250 ml water

1. Score the orange vertically into 6 pieces (cutting through the peel and not into the flesh of the fruit).
2. Peel the skin and white pith off of the oranges in large pieces.
3. Slice the peels into long strips approximately 0,5 cm thick.
4. Put the peels into a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave it there for 3-7 days (the thicker they are, the longer they stay) and change water twice a day (you should change it because it might go bad). We do this to remove the bitterness from the peels.
(Parts of my peels were soaked for 3, 5 and 7 days. I did it separately because I couldn't eat all the oranges in a day.)
5. Drain well the orange peels and weigh them (use the same amount of sugar or a bit less).
6. Cook the peels with water over a medium heat until slightly tender (about 15 mins), uncovered.
7. Add sugar to the pan, reduce the heat to low and stir gently time to time.
8. Simmer until the syrup is quite thick (about 30 mins).
9. Set a few baking sheets, remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar, separating strips.
10. Let dry for 2 days.