Tuesday, December 04, 2007

January's Theme

I'm stuck. I have NO idea what to put up as the options for January's Friday themes. Do you have any ideas?

Just to help guide, my plan for the month is to spend my normal 15 hours a week up at the Church getting the kiddo program whipped into shape, start working on my SWAP, and finish up all the class work that my current professors have so graciously agreed to let me turn in late thanks to missing an entire month with this stupid sinus infection. So that's how I'll be occupying myself. I'll probably offer "swap item of the week" as an option, though we'll see if I can keep up with the bargain there. I'm not the fastest seamstress ... but if I really want to complete the SWAP that's not a bad pace to set, especially with another semester lurking. Anyway, so far that's the only option I have to give you. Do you have any ideas? Hm, maybe creative ethnic dish of the week. Or ... hm. Nope, out of ideas. Time to use yours. :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Excellent Eggnog

Best. Eggnog. Ever.

Since I've been horrible about updating, I figured I'd give you a bonus sneak peak at our new Friday series on cookies. Or at least the format. Last Saturday we made eggnog, cider, and ginger snaps for a party and all turned out excellent. I was happy since there's usually at least one bomb - but in this case all were good!

Gingersnaps will come this Friday, today I'll show you, step by step, how to make the best eggnog you've ever had in your life. So... let's go!

But first a disclaimer- this recipe comes verbatim from nataliesmom's Amazingly Good Eggnog on allrecipes.com.


* 4 cups milk
* 5 whole cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 12 egg yolks
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 4 cups light cream
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Step 1
Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.

I took the "slowly" part perhaps a bit too seriously - it took about 20 minutes for me to get the mixture boiling, largely because I was only turning up the heat by about half a degree every five minutes. Next time I'll try to go a little faster.

Step 2
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar.

Here's my guy separating out the eggs. He was rather fascinated by the patterns the yolks formed in the bowl.

Whisk together until fluffy.

Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.

I only removed the cloves I could fish out. So far no one's died from having a clove in their eggnog.

Step 3
Stir in cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Here's the completed eggnog right before it goes in the fridge. My serving pitcher is far nicer but non-translucent so this picture works best, I figure.

I have to admit I broke into the eggnog while it was still slightly warm just to see how it tasted. Oh, my. It's amazing. Transcendent. Incredible. Even DH who hates store bought eggnog with a passion loves this stuff. It's rich and creamy like ice cream and just so flavorful. It did require a good amount of work (and a lot of time!) but it's worth it!