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  • Writer's pictureLara Draxler

Lemon Granitas & Cinnamon Spritz

This week, we tried some fun and frugal family activities in the kitchen. Our family is BIG on food and home cooking (and dining out too) so we have really enjoyed being in the kitchen more together during quarantine.

First, the lemon granita:

The recipe came from my stepson's Italian cookbook seen below. We gave it to him for his 13th birthday because he loves Italian food. I have enjoyed having more time to explore cookbooks and try new stuff.

This recipe was so simple. All you need is time. It only required 3 ingredients:

lemons, sugar, water. Can't get much easier than that.

We started by making a simple syrup (boiling the water and the sugar together) stirring constantly. It took about 5 minutes. After we made the syrup, we poured in a cup of fresh lemon juice. This took more lemons than we were expecting (about 5) but it made the kitchen smell SO good. Boiling simple syrup is essential to making so many yummy things, it just takes a little time.

Fresh lemon juice

boiling our simple syrup

After we combined the lemon juice and simple syrup, the mixture sat for 20 minutes to cool down. Then I poured it into an old plastic ice cream pail that worked beautifully to freeze our sorbet. I put it into our deep freezer and checked it every 2 hours and stirred/mashed it up with a fork to combine the juice and slush. After four hours, I covered the top of the bucket with cling film to prevent any weird crusty layers on top. I just left it in the deep freezer until supper time and took it out 15 minutes before to stir and serve. VOILA! Instant taste of summer/trip to the beach. We can't wait to try this again this summer and use orange or grapefruit. It will be the perfect poolside drink.

The other activity we tried yesterday was cinnamon spritz cookies.

Being from TN, I did not grow up eating the German style butter cookie, especially at the holidays; however, they are very popular here. My family loves them, and they are wonderful. They taste so nice with tea or coffee.

We had used the recipe from King Arthur Flour (pictured above) for our dough. It fills the house with the most homey cinnamon aroma. We had leftover dough from the holidays that thawed out nicely. We are trying to be resourceful and frugal with all the things we already have here during this time.

We were also testing out a new spritz gun. (Ours broke at Christmas). I must say, we were a bit disappointed in the Wilton one we purchased. It was just TOO hard to use and kept getting clogged. I would recommend this OXO one from Amazon if you want to try making spritz. Usually I am extremely pleased with all things Wilton, but not the case with this cookie gun. It was so strenuous, it actually started falling apart after one use and wash because we had to pump so hard. We will definitely use a different gun when we make these again.

Even though it didn't go perfectly, my step kids and I enjoyed problem solving and figuring out how to make this work. We even managed to get some fun and tasty cookies eventually!

All in all, a very fun day in the kitchen!

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