This post is from my old garden blog called The Compost Bin and it was one of my favorites. It’s about my Dad’s really great Dandelion Wine recipe and it was originally posted in May of 2006.
After mentioning Dandelion Wine in a recent post I received a few comments wanting to know more about it. So I asked my Dad to explain how he makes it and give a little background into how he came up with his recipe. This is what he sent me:
A while ago I went to a High School class reunion and a class mate had made some dandelion wine. He brought it in a few sauce bottles and poured a little into everyone’s glass for a taste. This was my first experience with any home made wine other than grape wine. It was delicious. I remarked so much about it he gave what was left in the bottle to take home. When I asked for the recipe, to my surprise, he said “NO”. Well being the kind of person I am I took it upon myself to produce an even better dandelion wine.
After some trial and error, and quite a of bit of reading I have come up with my own recipe and it goes like this.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
11 ounces Dandelion Flower (Petals Only)
1 Gallon and 2 cups of water
1 lb Golden Raisins
3 lbs Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
Champagne Wine Yeast
I have found that the best way to pick dandelion flowers is with my wife or with many friends. What you can do is pick as many flowers as you can and freeze them. When you are ready to start your brew take them out of the freezer and pluck the yellow petals from the green stalk. Be sure not to use any of the green. Put the petals in either a nylon bag or a hops sack which you can get at a wine and beer making supply store. While you’re there pick up the yeast nutrient, the Champagne yeast, a one gallon jug, a fermentation trap and a food grade plastic pail. I have used both nylon bag and hops sack and they both work well. Tie the bags closed. Chop the raisins and place them in a bag or a sack also. The lemons and oranges must be peeled well with no pith (the white part) remaining on the fruit or the peel. Put all the fruit in the bags or sacks. Put the peels in a different sack. Chop the banana and guess what…put it in a sack. Just incase you’re wondering the raisins add body to the wine and the banana is for smoothness.
Place the dandelion petals the banana and the peels from the lemons and oranges into the food grade plastic pail. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar in the water. Pour the boiling water into the pail and stir. Hold aside a half cup of the liquid. Cover the pail with plastic wrap and let sit until the temperature is 70 degrees. Add the lemons and oranges squeezing them and dropping them into the must. When the half cup of liquid is also cool add to it the yeast nutrient and the yeast according to the directions on the package. When this starts bubbling add it to the pail, recover and place in a warm place for four days.
After four days rack into the one gallon jug and fit with the fermentation trap. You noticed that all the liquid did not fit. Hold this aside in a similar jug or jar. When the wine clears, in approximately 40 to 60 days, rack it to another jug leaving the lees at the bottom of the first jug. You should never rack the wine that is not clear. Use the liquid that was left over to top off the jug. Try to keep the wine full to about an inch and a half from the top of the jug. You should rack two more times before putting the wine into bottles and capping. Be sure that fermentation has completely stopped before bottling.
You should let the wine age about five to six months before tasting. In a year it will taste even better if you can wait that long.
I can not emphasize enough that all the components used in this procedure must be sterilized. The food grade plastic pail, the one gallon jug and any other containers you use.
Here’s a great panini recipe to try the next time you have some leftover baked ziti. Left overs always make for great panini. In fact, I included a whole chapter of recipes for panini made with leftovers in my book (The Everything Panini Press Cookbook).
Now if I remember correctly, I think I put a spaghetti and meatball panini sandwich recipe in my book but today I’m making it with ziti. Ziti is a better bite sized pasta but really you can use any pasta variety that you’d like. The choice of bread is more important. You’re going to want something hearty and it should be sliced thick. Plain sliced bread will not hold up well with all the weight and moisture content of pasta and sauce. Go with Italian bread or a big ciabatta roll.
Also if your leftover ziti is not baked ziti you can cheese it up with some mozzarella. The cheese is what helps this panini hold itself together. Plain ziti will taste good but will fall out of the sandwich. Put the ziti in a bowl, add a handful of mozzarella and mix it up. You can even give it a quick 30 seconds in the microwave if you like to get that cheese melting. Real baked ziti not only has mozzarella but ricotta cheese also. Add it to the bowl before mixing if you have some on hand.
Another option would be to add meatballs. It really all depends on what you have leftover. But I’d cut the meatballs into bite sized pieces before adding them to the panini.
Ziti Panini Recipe
Cut 2 slices of Italian bread at least 3/4″ thick
Add a layer of baked ziti to one side of the bread and place in a preheated panini press
Top with the other slice of bread and carefully close the panini press lid so that the ziti is pressed between the bread and not oozing out of the sides
Cook for 3-5 minutes
Serve with a bowl of tomato sauce for dipping
The word Fondue comes from the French word Fondre and it means to melt or to blend. They should have named it after the French word for outstandingly delicious because dunking crusty bread into a pot of hot cheese just can not be beat. There are so many varieties and types of fondues out there that perhaps one word really can’t describe it.
I’m a huge fan of fondue. In fact the first website that I ever built (back in 2002) was all about fondue. I used to spend my weekends trying fondue recipes for that site and it was loads of fun. A few years back I let the domain expire and now I have about a hundred great fondue recipes just sitting on my hard drive. Well guess what, it’s time start sharing there here at GoodStuffAtHome.
If you want to try fondue the best place to start is this Cheese Fondue recipe.
Cheese Fondue Recipe
1 clove garlic
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 lb Emmenthal Cheese (grated)
1/2 lb Gruyeye Cheese(grated)
2 tablespoons Corn Starch
3 tablespoons Kirsch *
1/4 tsp white pepper
Nutmeg to taste
Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the fondue pot with it then discard
Pour White Wine into fondue pot and heat at medium setting – should be hot but do not boil (do not add all of the wine)
Place the grated cheeses and corn starch in a bowl and mix until evenly coated
Slowly add the cheeses one handful at a time to the fondue pot while stirring (do not add all of the cheese)
Add Kirsch, White Pepper, Nutmeg while stirring
If fondue is too loose add more cheese
If fondue is too stiff add more wine
Italian Bread (or any crusty bread, sourdough, rye, etc.) cut into bite-sized cubes
Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc.
Sliced Granny Smith Apples or pears
Cooked ham cubes
* Kirsch is the common name for a clear cherry brandy called Kirschwasser. It’s usually served as an apéritif but it also adds a nice complex flavor to cheese fondue. Unfortunately, It can be hard to find and tends to be expensive, especially if you only plan to use a few tablespoons of it in your fondue. Feel free to leave it out of the recipe or substitute splash of regular brandy.
Yesterday was Father’s Day and I decided to completely block out my 9-5 job from my mind and pretend I was a full time blogger/writer. So of course, the first thing I did was declare that this upcoming week would be Margarita Week at GoodStuffAtHome. Full time bloggers declare things all the time, so I wanted to get in on the action. Making drinks, trying new recipes and taking pictures of it all is a great way to spend the day. The kids had a long weekend and were glued to their iPads while watching a movie so, Happy Father’s Day to me. After a quick trip to the store for some margarita ingredients the taste testing was underway.
The first drink I made was a regular frozen margarita. Now remember that I am the proud owner of a Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker and it’s of my opinion that it’s the best margarita machine on the market. I did a full review of the Margaritaville DM0500 Frozen-Concoction Maker if you’d like to read it but the quick summary is that shaved ice is better than ice that gets smashed in a blender. It doesn’t clog the straw and it goes down nicely. And the cool factor of owning a margarita machine is also a big factor at my home.
Now if you’re throwing a party and you have to make margaritas all day/night long, then I recommend using a margarita mix. You really don’t want to spend all your party time squeezing limes do you? Jose Cuervo Margartia Mix and Mr & Mrs. T Margarita Mix are very readily available at liquor stores and they will suit your needs just fine. But do you know how to jazz up the flavor a little bit? Add a quick splash of orange juice to the mix. I learned this from a friend of mine who also has a Margaritavilla machine. Something about that OJ just makes things right. Now my brother in law has a similar opinion about adding the orange flavor to a margarita but he goes with a splash of Grand Mariner. Either addition to your mix is a-okay.
When I’m in the mood for a great margarita, I take the time to squeeze the limes myself. You really can’t beat fresh lime juice. If you have a good lime squeezer you can get about a 1/4 of a cup of lime juice from each lime. That means that you’ll need a few limes for each and every drink. Hey it’s a lot of work but like I said, it’s worth it. Go with my favorite margarita ratio of 3-2-1 and you’ll be set. Here’s a post all about that margarita recipe.
This week, I’ll be posting more margarita recipes including strawberry and blueberry. Hey this is a tough job but someone has to do it.