Black Walnut Manhattan

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:07 am on Friday, August 7, 2015

Speaking of making your own nocino, here’s a cocktail using nocino that I made with DIY Cocktails.

The Black Walnut Manhattan is a traditional Manhattan that uses nocino in place of vermouth. It’s tasty and elegant. Here’s how to make it.

Black Walnut Manhattan

(makes one drink)


    1.5 oz bourbon
    1 oz nocino
    2 dashes bitters


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, nocino, and bitters. Stir–don’t shake–the ingredients and strain into a glass. Garnish with a cherry if you desire. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Standard English Bitter Beer

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:40 am on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Last year, I Grew My Own Hops. You may be wondering what we did with those hops. Well, we made a Standard English Bitter with them.

The below recipe is from the book Brewing Classic Styles, except we changed it based on what malt we could get and the addition of homegrown hops. The resulting beer is great. First of all, it’s low-alcohol, only 3.6%. And it has a lot of flavor and depth for a lighter beer. It has a strong flavor with a hint of fruit and a subtle bitterness.

Plus, using fresh hops gave the beer a light, fresh, floral note that was surprising and awesome.

I can wait to see what Mr. Savvy Makes with this year’s hops!

Standard English Bitter


    abv (alcohol): 3.6 percent
    ibu (bitterness): 32
    og (original gravity): 1.038
    fg (final gravity): 1.011


    8 pounds British pale malt
    1/2 pound extra dark caramel malt (120 L)
    1/4 pound British crystal malt (50-60 L)
    3 ounces hops:
    (34 grams of cascade at 60 minutes
    14 grams at 30 minutes
    14 grams at 1 minute)
    1 vial white labs wlp002 English ale yeast

Fermented at 68 degrees Fahrenheit
Mash at 152 degrees Fahrenheit
60 minute boil

Want more? Check out Beer Making Part 1 and Beer Making Part 2.

How I Made Blackberry Jam For $.69 A Jar

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:31 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This year, I took a lunch hour to pick some berries from a patch down the road and got a pretty good haul. Since Savvy Jr. has been eating a lot of toast, I decided to make jam with it the berries. I made the following recipe, which makes eight 8-ounce jars of jam.

Since I got the berries for free and re-used jars, the only things I bought for the jam were the pectin ($3.99) and the sugar ($1.50). That means each jar of jam cost only $.69 to make.

My recipe uses 5 cups of sugar. Most jam recipes call for more than that—7 cups of sugar is common, sometimes you even see 10 cups.

That might be necessary if you have sour berries (which is often the case with frozen berries or store-bought berries), but that’s way too much sugar for good berries, if you ask me. My idea of jam is summer in a jar. You want it to taste like mashed, sweet fruit, not gelled sugar.

I find this recipe works fine with regular pectin, but to make sure it gels nicely, use low-sugar pectin if you have a choice. It acts and tastes like regular pectin—you won’t notice the difference.

Blackberry Jam
(Makes 8 8-ounce jars)


    5 cups blackberries
    4-5 cups sugar
    1 (1 3/4 ounce) package low-sugar pectin
    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Sanitize your jars, either with a dishwasher’s sanitize mode or by boiling them for 10 minutes. Wash the lids and rings with soap. Put the jars upside down on a clean towel until you’re ready to use them.

Wash the berries and remove any twigs or debris.

Put the berries in a large stainless steel pot. Mash with a potato masher.

Add the pectin a little at a time, stirring as you go. Heat the berries on high heat and bring to a full boil.

Stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Taste the jam. Add more sugar if needed. (The finished jam will taste pretty much like the jam in the pot, so keep that in mind when tasting.)

Bring the mixture back to a full boil. Let boil for one minute.

Remove from the heat. Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving about 1/4-inch space at the top. Put on the lid and rings on the jars.

Put the jars in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.

Remove the jam from the water and let sit upright on the towel at room temperature for 12 hours.

Ta-da! Jam! You can eat it within a day or two after making it. Enjoy!

Orange Marmalade

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:35 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My orange tree is giving me a lot of oranges this year, so I decided to make orange marmalade. I’m pleased with how it came out.

I used Alton Brown’s recipe, except I reduced the amount of sugar in it. His recipe calls for about 7 cups of sugar, which seemed like way too much. I cut it in half to 3.5 cups and it tastes perfect to me. Here’s the recipe:

Orange Marmalade
Adapted from Alton Brown.


    1 3/4 pounds oranges, 4 to 5 medium
    1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
    6 cups water
    3.5-4 cups sugar


    10 8-ounce canning jars with rings and lids
    12-quart pot


Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices. Remove the seeds. Cut the orange slices up into quarters.

Put the oranges in a stainless steel pot. Add the lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, which will take about 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce the heat so that the marmalade is at a rapid simmer. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring periodically so it doesn’t burn. The fruit should be very soft.

Sanitize your jars. Here’s how Alton says to do it: “While the fruit is cooking, fill a large pot (at least 12-quart) 3/4 full with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place 10 (8-ounce) jars and rings, canning funnel, ladle, and tongs into the boiling water and make sure the water covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids and leave everything in the pot until the marmalade is ready.”

Put a plate in the freezer. When the 40 minutes are up, bring the marmalade back to a boil. Add the sugar. Carefully taste to see if you like how sweet/bitter the marmalade will be. Adjust accordingly.

Stir the mixture continually until the marmalade darkens in color and it reaches 222 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

To test if the marmalade is ready, take out your frozen plate and put a dab of the marmalade on it. If it’s ready, the mixture should be a soft gel that moves when you tilt the plate. If the mixture is thin and runs, it’s not ready.

Transfer the marmalade into the jars. Put on the lids and rims. Tighten and wipe away any spillage with a damp cloth.

To finish the marmalade, put the jars into boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and let the cans sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before opening.

Voila! Marmalade. You can store it for up to 6 months.

Three Awesome Plum Cocktails

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:36 am on Friday, July 24, 2015

Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail: Grilled plums, bourbon, and honey liqueur.

Plum Margarita: Frozen plums, silver tequila, and don’t forget the blender.

Plum Smash: Plum, whiskey, and a little bit of thyme.

Make Yourself A Refreshing Plum Margarita

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:42 am on Wednesday, July 22, 2015


DIY Cocktails and I tried out plum margaritas, and you know? They’re awesome. Cold and refreshing and so easy to make. We used frozen plums, so we didn’t even have to add any ice.

Plum Margarita

(Makes one margarita)


    Three plums, halved, the pits removed, and frozen
    2 ounces silver tequila
    1 ounce triple sec
    1/4 ounce lemon juice
    1/4 ounce simple syrup


Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it looks like a margarita. Pour into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!

10 Delicious Plum Desserts

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:23 am on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My neighbors gave me four bags of plums. I’ve already frozen some and made plum jam, and now it’s time to make a plum dessert. Which one should I do?


Plum Tart with Lemon Shortbread Crust


Plum Upside-Down Pudding Cake


Plum Galette


Plum Tart


Puff Pastry Plum Tarts


German Plum Cake


Fresh Plum Crumb Dessert Recipe

Plum Puffs


Plum-Hibiscus Gelatin Dessert


Plum cake with white chocolate frosting

How To Make Nasturtium Butter

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:29 am on Thursday, July 9, 2015


I recently tried making nasturtium butter and was pleased with how easy it was. I tried it on roasted salmon and loved the subtle, delicious flavor–plus the melting flower bits looked so pretty on the meat.

This is also a great way to use up nasturtium from the garden. You know, these guys:


I followed the Food Wishes video, which you can see below.

How To Make Nasturtium Butter:


    1 cup nasturtium flowers
    3 Tablespoons butter


1. Pick a packed cup of flowers. Wash and dry thoroughly.

2. Remove the petals from the flowers and crush into a paste with a mortar and pestle.

3. Smoosh the paste into room-temperature butter.

4. Roll the butter into a sausage-shape in plastic wrap. Wrap and put the butter back in the fridge so it will harden.

To use, slice off a pat and use anytime you want to add fancy butter to something. Chicken, fish, and steak seem like they would all benefit from it.

Here’s the video:

What To Do With Canned Sardines

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:09 am on Monday, July 6, 2015

Like Sardines in a Can

I loved sardines. Somehow, though, I ended up with several cans of them, and I’m tired of looking at them in my pantry. How should I use them up? Here’s some ideas:


Alton Brown’s Sardine-Avocado Sandwiches


Beer-Batter-Fried Sardines and Lime


Pantry Puttanesca with Sardines


Canned Sardine Niçoise


Greek Salad with Sardines

5 Twists On American Apple Pie

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:13 am on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The fourth of July is just around the corner. What’s more American than apple pie? Probably something, but anyway, here’s 5 Twists On Apple Pie for Independence Day.


Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie sounds good.


It’s hot. Why not go for Apple Trifles?


Or Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie?


What is more American than Apple Pie? Perhaps Deep-Fried Apple Pie.


These Apple Pie Bars look delicious.

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