Cinq a Sept Friday Fabrizia Lemoncello Cocktail

 

We're happy to be back!  This week we're bringing a little sunshine to these cold winter days. Thanks to Fabrizia Spirits for providing two bottles of their sunshine in a bottle. This is an awesome awarding winning spirit company that offers Fabrizia Limoncello and Fabrizia Blood Orange. 

We Love an all American story. Here's the Fabrizia Story...

My childhood was very similar to that of most second generation Italian Americans. I spoke a few common Italian words, ate the homemade sausages and soppresata prepared by my grandparents, and was taught at an early age the importance of family. Aside from these brief glimpses into the Italian culture, my upbringing was mostly American. I thought very little of “the old country,” the traditions I took for granted, and the fact that I had an extended family living across the Atlantic.

That all changed in 2003 when at the age of 20, I accompanied my great-aunt on a trip to Italy. Our destination was Platania, the small hill-top town in Calabria where 3 of my 4 grandparents were born and raised. Little did I know that this weeklong trip would subtly, yet steadily, change the course of my life.

Upon arriving at the train station near Platania, we were met by my cousin Felice, who served as our ambassador for the duration of the trip. Each day we were escorted from one family member’s home to the next, stopping at each to enjoy all of the wonderful food that had been prepared. If we happened to catch someone off guard, only moments would pass before the table was full of home-cured meats, cheeses, and wine. The surreal setting for all of this was on an imposing hill with views of olive groves, vineyards, and the Mediterranean Sea. Many of the faces of my extended family reminded me of the older aunts, uncles, and grandparents who resided with me at home in Boston. Questions such as “Why did these family members stay?”, and “Why did my grandfather leave?” prompted me for the first time in my life to profoundly appreciate the sacrifices they made so our family could have a better life.

During our stay, we visited places such as the cemetery, where my grandfather and great-uncle helped my great-grand father build the tomb where he and my great-grandmother lay resting. Never in my life had I thought to even ask where they were buried (Italy or America), nor did I know that the tomb was built so beautifully by my own relatives. These types of events occurred throughout the week, and triggered my desire to learn everything about my family’s history and traditions in Italy, so they could be forwarded onto future generations.

Over the course of the next few years that followed, I began asking my grandparents more questions about “the old country” and the way life used to be. Instead of being the benefactor of the homemade wine and meats being produced by my relatives, I joined in and began making my own. I began to take serious the study of the Italian language, now with a sense of purpose.

The initial trip with Zia Rosina “Aunt Rose” was the first of many to Platania. While visiting family during the summer of 2007, my cousin Angelina placed on the table a bottle of Limoncello made with lemons from her own property. It was delicious! Inspired by her to create my own Limoncello; upon returning from the trip I began doing so for fun, with the first batch ready just in time for the holiday season.

While the homemade Limoncello was a real hit within the family; the idea of starting the business came about in a rather unconventional way. It was a Friday night after a long week of work. Upon returning home I found my Uncle Joe sitting in the kitchen visiting my parents. Knowing he was a fan of the Limoncello I took some out and poured him a glass. After taking a sip he looked up and said word for word “You know, this is what you should be doing…..this is the best Limoncello I’ve ever had”. At first I shrugged the idea off thinking it wouldn’t be possible. However by the next morning the idea planted had grown, and I was seriously considering trying to make a great tasting Limoncello, created by hand in the traditional style, right here in America. From that day on we worked to do so.

The company was created 99% on weekends and late at night, and would not have been possible without the support of friends and family. My brother Nick Mastroianni deserves a special acknowledgement for overseeing production. At Fabrizia Limoncello the pride we place into the production of each bottle is a testament to the hard work our ancestors taught us to appreciate.

To conclude; they say “you don’t know where it is you’re going until you know where you came from”. In my case, it wasn’t just that I didn’t know where I was going until I visited Platania, but also that I could make a good Limoncello! Thanks so much for visiting the website and taking the time to hear our story.

Written By: Phil Mastroianni Source: FabriziaSpirits 

I had an opportunity to express to Phil via email, my experience with Italy, and it was also an life changing event for me as well. I'm sure many of you have experienced an adventure that change your life in one way or the other. For me it was Italy, it opened my mind and heart to see what else the world has to offer. 

I look forward to many more adventures to come, and hopefully we will share some Girlfriend moments together.

From Your Girlfriend Next Door,

Andrea

The Art of Entertaining with Harry and David

It was such a pleasure to work with my local Harry and David store. We featured recipes using ingredients found in the store, that would make any holiday special and memorable.  Special thanks to the staff that help make this day possible.

 

We love to have a good time. Can you tell. From the photo booth, the food, music, & our Mocktails we had a blast. Try to join us for our next event.

Your girlfriend Next Door 
Andrea

If you would like to try some of these delicious recipes, please help yourself!

Here are the recipes featured below:

Recipe Cards

Holiday Entertaining With Harry and David

 

Happy Holiday Neighbors,

Your Girlfriend Next Door and Jamal, are here to give you the best Holiday recipes and cocktails. As we are tantalizing your senses, from salty, savory, spicy, and sweet. 

We're so excited to offer you newly created recipes from one of our favorite holiday brands Harry and David.  From the Cocktails to the Hen we used some of their delicious products to bring you the best holiday feast, that your family and friends will remember to for years to come. 

Cooking this year was so exiting, I used some of my favorite recipes and enhanced them with deliciousness from Harry and David. Jamal and I could enjoyed every moment of concocting the cocktails, I really think we landed greatness with the Sweet Potato Martini, its a must try and the festive White Chocolate Cranberry Martini is a fabulous addition to any holiday party, and for those warm cozy nights by the fire cuddle up with the Apple Ginger Spice. 

Recipes:
Cornish Hen
Harry and David Ingredients: 
Oktober Fest Chicken  and Apple Onion Relish
Andrea Ingredients: Fresh Cranberry Butternut Squash
Spice Rub: (1/8 Tsp. of each mix together and rub the entire hen inside and out Coarse Salt Black Pepper Garlic Powder Salt Onion Powder Cinnamon Onion Salt Curry Powder
Cut up Squash into cubes and place around hens in baking dish. Sprinkle with some of the Oktober Fest Seasoning
Top with fresh Cranberries
Butter: 
4 Tbsp Each Hen Cube and place on the top of the Hen
Bake: Roast, covered, 1 hour (if hen weighs over 1lb 2oz, roast 1 hour and 15 minutes) or until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced and temperature on instant read thermometer reaches 180°F. 
Uncover and spread Harry and David Apple Onion Relish allow to bake for 5 to 10 mins and dinner is served!

Apple Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
Harry and David Ingredient:
Summer Sausage and Apple Cranberry Walnut Stuffing Box
Andrea Ingredients: Home Style Smoked Sausage (For added Spice)
Slice and cook Sausage in a skillet, set aside and prepare the Harry and David Stuffing as directed on the box. 
Seasoning to add: 1/8 Tsp. of  Sage Thyme and a dash of Black Pepper
Add an additional 1/4 cup of water
Mix together and bake as directed 

Salmon Dip
Harry and David Ingredients:
Smoked Black Pepper Salmon and Artichoke Lemon Pesto
Andrea's Ingredients:
Cream Cheese
Sour Cream
Black Pepper
1/2 Lemon (Squeeze juice from Lemon to the bowl)
Finely chop up the salmon, and mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve chilled with your favorite crackers garnish with parsley.

Asparagus
Lightly season with Corse Salt and Black Pepper
Mediterranean Oil
Fresh Cranberries

Root Vegetable Medley
Harry and David Ingredients:
Apple Butter
Andrea's Ingredients:

Beets, Carrots, Crisp Apples, Turnips, White Carrots, Sweet Onion, rutabaga, sweet potato, parsnips, baby turnips
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, dried, thyme, and sage, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.

Put the baking dish, cover with foil, place in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb macaroni
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup muenster cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Colby jack, shredded
8 oz. Sour Cream cups 
4 oz. Cream Cheese
2 cups half-and-half
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni and the 1 TB oil.
Cook for 7 minutes, or until somewhat tender.
Drain well, and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 8 TB of the butter.
Stir into macaroni.
In a large bowl, combine all of the shredded cheeses.
To the macaroni, add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheeses, half and half, the cubed cheese and the eggs, and the seasoned salt and pepper.
Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
Dot with remaining 1 TB of the butter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly.
Serve hot.
Serves 8.

Dessert: Pecan Praline Popper (P3)
Harry and David Ingredients:
Praline Pecan Pancake Mix and Sweet Potato Butter
Whipped Cream/ Jim Bean
Honey Grahm Cracker Crumbs

Cocktails: Sweet Potato Martini
2 oz Ultimat Vodka 
2oz Lemon Drop Drink Mix (Harry & David)
1 Tsp Harvest Spice Syrup (Harry & David)
2 Tsp Sweet Potato Butter (Harry & David)
Whipped Cream
Dash of Nutmeg
Cinnamon Stick

Apple Ginger Spice
2 oz. Ginger Simple Syrup
2 oz. Markers Mark Whiskey
4 oz Apple Cider
1 Tsp Honey Cream (Harry and David)
Dash of Cinnamon 
Apple Garnish

White Chocolate Cranberry Martini
2 oz Cranberry Simple Syrup
2 oz Vodka
3 oz White Chocolate Martini Mix (Harry and David)
Splash of Vermouth

Enjoy the Holidays!
From Your Girlfriend Next Door
Andrea

All Harry and David ingredients were found at our local Store: 
6800 Oxon Hill Road #868, Tanger Outlets, National Harbor, MD 20745
Phone:(301) 567-3023 Hours: Open today · 9:00 am – 9:00 pm



Blood Sucking Halloween Cocktails | Cinq à Sept Friday

Happy Halloween!

Do you want the best Halloween Cocktails Every?

It's officially Spooky Cinq à Sept Friday!

We have pulled out all the stops to give you the best drinks EVERY.

The Blackberry Bloodsucker & The Black Widow

We had a blast creating these witchy cocktails, and of course you know we had to make sure we included some spooky and deadly food. So get ready for Black French Fries & Poison Pears, and of course the pears are from our favorite place Harry and David

Black French Fries

Ingredients: 

Your Favorite Brand of Fries (Ore-ida Crinkle Fries are my favorite)
1/4 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/4 cup Gorgonzola Cheese
1/4 cup Feta Cheese
2 tbsp. Parsley Flakes
1 tbsp. Coarse Salt
2 tbsp. Coarse Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Season All
Wilton Black Color Mist

Cook Fries until golden & crispy
In a separate bowl mix all cheeses and seasoning
Once Fries have cooked, drain fries on a paper towel and toss in bowl until coated

Poison Pears (Harry and David Royal Riviera)

Prep

Soak the Pears for 2 days or more in Absolute Pear Vodka and leave in the Refrigerator until ready to prepare. (Tip punch holes at or place a small core at the bottom of the pear to allow the alcohol to penetrate the pear)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup liquid glucose/light corn syrup
  • few drops black gel food colouring
  • 6 Granny Smith apples (or 12 small apples) (Ensure your apples are fresh and haven't been waxed)

Instructions

  1. Grease a piece of baking paper and place on a tray/baking sheet.
  2. Insert bamboo skewers in all the apples and set aside.
  3. In a medium pot, combine the sugar, water, glucose/corn syrup and food colouring and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels smooth when you rub it between your fingers.
  4. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and wash the sides of the pot down with a pastry brush dipped into clean water to prevent crystals from forming.
  5. Allow the caramel to boil until it reaches the hard crack stage (150°c/310°F).
  6. Carefully dip the apples into the hot candy mixture and place on the baking paper to set and cool for approximately an hour before serving.

Enjoy your spooky day!

From Your Girlfriend Next Door

Andrea