Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kiss me, I'm Irish

Need an idea for gift giving this year?

Let me just hook you up with a recipe for a little sippy, sippy.

I made this a couple of years ago to give away as gifts, and sadly that year, ended up with none for us. Not even a drop. This year, that won't happen, as I tripled the recipe, and we have already been doing a little sippy, sippy of our own.

It is best made at least a week in advance so the flavors can soften, but if you are short on time, it will still be very tasty.

                                     Homemade Irish Cream

                         2 Cups Heavy Cream

                        14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

                         1 to 1 1/4 Cups Irish Whisky

                         2 Tbsp. Hershey's special dark chocolate syrup

                         2 tsp. instant coffee granules

                         1 tsp. vanilla extract

                         1/2 tsp. almond extract

It couldn't be more easy. Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend well. When you are adding the whisky, start with a cup, then taste and add more to your liking. I ended up using just shy of 1 and 1/4 cups. Always store this in the fridge as it will go rancid if kept at room temperature. Once made, it will keep for at least a month in the fridge. As it sits, it may separate and look "iffy". Just give it a good shake, and all will be good with the world again. I ended up getting my Irish Whisky at Trader Joe's. It is called Kilbeggan Irish Whisky. Irish Whiskey's can be spendy, but the bottle I bought was 19.95 + tax, and it made three batches worth. I poured each batch into big ball canning jars to keep in the fridge until I pour them into pretty jars for gift giving. That way I can pour off a little bit and taste test for quality control. : )

Here is another variation I did with one of my batches:

Fleur de Sel Caramel Irish Cream:  Omit the Hershey's chocolate syrup. In it's place, add 4 Tbsp. of Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel sauce. Cut down the instant coffee granules from 2 tsp, to only 1/4 tsp, or omit it all together. I added the 1/4 tsp just to add a tiny back flavor to it. Make sure it is blended well before pouring into jars.

Since we are on the subject of Trader Joe's, let me just tell you how much I love that Fleur de Sel caramel sauce of theirs.

I love it. I luuuuuuuuuuv it.

I have also found a way to make my favorite espresso out of it.  I have this espresso machine I bought from Starbucks way back in 1997, the "Starbucks Barista." I remember buying it, as it was sitting all lonely like in the back of the store on the sale rack, gathering dust. It was all, " No one likes me. No one wants me because I'm, well," It's true. It was most certainly gold colored. And not just any gold, but that awful '70's gold that has a shimmer in it that will match no ones decor. I took pity on it's golden tears, and scooped it up, and bought the machine that now sits on my counter and doesn't match any of my decor at all. I don't care. I have my favorite lattes down to a science, and I love it even if it does strike a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever pose in my kitchen. It makes me fabulous espresso.

Anyways, right now Trader Joe's has it's seasonal goodies out, and one of them is a "Sipping Chocolate." It is good as a sipping chocolate, but it can be better.  By adding a tsp. or two of it, and a  very generous Tbsp. of the Fleur de Sel caramel to your morning latte, you just made yourself a Salted Caramel Mocha. Yummmmmmmm.

I go sit now ( I am actually writing this on Thursday night instead of Sunday), with a small glass of Fleur de Sel Caramel Irish cream over ice, wrapped up in a fleece blanket, the Christmas tree twinkling to my right, as I go address my Christmas cards to send out. Daisy wants my lap, but can't, because I am busy, so she settles on keeping my feet company instead.  I click on the TV and pick out Sleepless in Seattle the new Footloose movie from my Netflix queue, and slide into the lazy evening.

Ahhhh, I do love Christmas time.

Have a lovely Christmas laden Sunday evening, y'all.

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