Nov.
29

Em’s Easy-Easy Egg Nog

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s officially “The Christmas Season” in our household.  If it were up to DH, he’d have all the Christmas decorations up around mid-November… at the latest!  But I believe each holiday should have it’s own turn so he (im)patiently waits until the day after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations :)  And as I’ve mentioned before, he and the kids absolutely love egg nog so I’m test driving a few recipes to see which one is our favorite.  I’ve previously posted my neighbor Alan’s Amazing Egg Nog… which for some of you was a big hit at Thanksgiving.  Today I bring you one that’s mine-mine-mine!  This really is an easy-easy egg nog and the taste is just a big OH YUM!!!

For someone who previously really did not like egg nog, I’m shocked to think about the calories I’ve recently consumed from drinking it.  Really, this stuff is chocked full of calories my derriere surely does not need (not to mention neither do my hips, thighs or upper arms).  But it’s not like you drink it every day… all year long.  No, it’s a special treat just for the holidays.  And filling?  Boy is egg nog filling!  A single cup and it’s like having eaten a full Thanksgiving dinner all over again!  This recipe is really easy, comes together in a flash and is totally virgin… feel free to add the liquor of your choice (Brandy is my personal favorite but hey, do whatcha like!!)

 


Em’s Easy Easy Egg Nog

Ingredients
5 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
ground nutmeg (optional)
yellow food coloring (optional)

Directions
In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a stand or hand mixer.  Add the sugar and beat well. Add the cream and mix very well for about 2-3 minutes.  This will help thicken the end result.  Add the milk and vanilla extract and blend well (using clear vanilla will maintain the yellow color – if your vanilla extract is brown you may decide to add a few drops of yellow food coloring to enhance the appearance but this is totally optional).  Serve chilled and dust with nutmeg.  Yields approximately 8 1-cup servings. 

I gotta tell ya, this recipe was actually preferred by my family… but hey, the Christmas season is young and I have other egg nog recipes to try as well :)

Have a delicious day!

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Nov.
28

Coconut Custard Pie

While this pie certainly won’t win a prize for Ms. Photogenic, she most surely could take the prize for Best-in-Class. This was my first attempt at making custard pie and I just had a hankerin for coconut so I turned it into Coconut Custard Pie.  If you’re not a coconut fan, just leave it out and make this a custard pie.  But either way, you just gotta make it because Holy Mother this is one of the three best pies I’ve made in my entire life (and I’ll be blogging the other two real soon!!!)

Prior to March of this year, I would’ve said I truly disliked coconut.  Then something just changed and I started to not dislike it. After a few months I realized that I was looking for ways to incorporate coconut into my baking and cooking.  I made chicken dishes with coconut… and cakes with coconut, loving both equally.  I can’t figure out what exactly happened but now I actually do like coconut a great deal.  The texture used to really turn me off but no longer is that the case.  Eh, go figure ;-)

About a week ago I started planning out our Thanksgiving menu and decided on Pumpkin Cheesecake for the dessert (yes, I will most definitely be blogging that fabulous creation in the near future!).  Then it hit me that no one in the family really is into pumpkin… except me… so I made the chocolate “turkey” cupcakes that I posted yesterday.  I thought it was all covered :)  Then the night before Thanksgiving I started experiencing pangs of gilt that I hadn’t really made a “nice dessert” for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I mean, sure, the “turkey” cupcakes are cute but they’re not “nice dessert” worthy.  

Out of literally nowhere I came up with the idea of making custard pie!  I just love custard pie even though I’d never made one I figured it couldn’t be that hard. And then my coconut craving kicked in and I decided on coconut custard pie.  Oooooh!  I was giddy with excitement… until… until I realized no one in the family would eat it… except me.  ARGH!  But I went ahead with the idea and made it anyway LOL! LOL! LOL!  But don’t worry… I decided to make a French Silk Chocolate Pie which I knew the family would love and boy was I right. I’ll most assuredly be blogging about that one very soon!!! But today is Coconut Custard Pie… an incredibly good, thoroughly satisfying Coconut Custard Pie that I do believe is among the three best pies I’ve ever made.  And that, my friends, is one helluvan endorsement for my first time out of the gate!  If you’re not into coconut then don’t worry, just omit it and make this as a custard pie.  It’ll be JUST as good – really it will!!!  I’m sure I could’ve made this with coconut milk for more flavor but I didn’t think of it until later.  Regardless, this pie turned out fantastic and I hope you like it too :)

 

 

Coconut Custard Pie 

Ingredients

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (not frozen, just unbaked)
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg separated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F

Separate one egg… white in one small bowl, yolk in a separate small bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and heavy cream.  Heat until just starting to boil – be sure to watch it because it will go from barely simmering to heavy boiling rather quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine the one egg yolk, the three whole eggs (beaten), sugar, salt and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.  

Slowly… slowly add in the hot milk mixture continuing to beat continuously so that the egg mixture already in the bowl does not “cook”.  Once the hot milk mixture is completely blended in, add in the coconut and mix well.  Add in the food coloring if you’d like a more yellow-colored pie.

Place the unbaked pie crust on a cookie sheet lined with a silicon mat.  Brush the insides (bottom, sides and top) with the egg white to help prevent the crust from getting soggy.  Carefully pour the custard mixture into the pie crust.

Bake for 35 minutes then carefully… carefully place strips of aluminum foil over the exposed crust to prevent it from getting too dark (depending on your oven you may have to do this earlier than 35 minutes into baking – just keep an eye on it and protect the crust when it’s to your desired shade of brown). Reduce the oven temp to 250°F, return pie to oven and bake for about another 20 minutes or until the filling is just about set… Not so jiggly that it’s like liquid but also not so totally firm that it’s solid.

Remove from oven and cool on rack. When pie is just about room temperature place in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.  

Have a delicious day!

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Nov.
27

Happy Thanksgiving

 

I’m thankful for each and every one of you who takes the time to read my blog :)  Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov.
23

Alan’s Awesome Egg Nog

 

 

I’ll confess it right here… I’m not a fan of egg nog.  Really, I’m just not.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like the holidays… it doesn’t mean I’m a bah humbug… it just means I don’t like egg nog.  No hate mail please ;-)  My family, on the other hand, loves egg nog.  I mean they LOVE egg nog.  They wait all year for egg nog to return to the supermarket shelves.  I mean they wait all year. They reminisce about it in spring… talk longingly about it in summer…. they anticipate it in autumn… and come holiday time they begin to pretty much stalk the dairy guy in the supermarket. All over their love of egg nog.  Now saying that I don’t like egg nog makes me something of a total odd-ball in our household… and, uh, yeah, I’m uh kinda used to it by now ;-)  This year one of my neighbors told me he makes egg nog at home and it tastes nothing like that preservative-filled, chemical-laden stuff you buy in the grocery store. Hearing this totally intrigued me and of course, I had to ask him for the recipe, intent on adding some home-made lovin’ to a treat my family covets so much.  I had no idea this seemingly simple egg nog recipe would completely change my opinion of egg nog.  This egg nog is not only good… it’s absolutely awesome!  And it came from my neighbor Alan :)

This recipe makes quite a bit of egg nog, but it’s easily halved without issue. It calls for a significant amount of alcohol but you can easily omit it if you’re serving to children or you just prefer it that way.  You can even change the liquors in it – it’s really versatile.  Yes, it does contain raw eggs so if that’s a problem, well, perhaps this is not the recipe for you.  

 

 

Alan’s Awesome Egg Nog

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 1 cup whiskey  
  • nutmeg

Method 

Using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites, gradually adding half of the sugar, until stiff peaks form. Set aside.  Clean the beaters and in a separate bowl beat egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the yolks are light and glossy. Gently fold the yolks into the whites, add the cream and milk and whisk to combine. Slowly add the rum and whiskey. Stir thoroughly and chill. Dust with nutmeg before serving. 

 

 

When I made this I added a very generous amount of vanilla extract – probably close to a tablespoon! And I added freshly grated nutmeg and stirred so the flavor was throughout… and then we added more nutmeg on top of each individual glass.  Yeah, we like nutmeg in our house :)  This recipe serves about 10 people… twice… but that depends on serving size of course.  I made a pitcher for the kids by halving the recipe and omitting all of the alcohol and it made almost four very generous size glasses.

The kids loved it… the Hubs loved it… and me… me who previously hated egg nog, I loved it too!  Give it a try – I bet you’ll think Alan’s egg nog recipe is pretty darn awesome too :)

Have a delicious day!

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Nov.
18

Arborrio Rice Pudding

Another week has gone by… actually FLOWN by is more like it… and it’s time once again for Tuesdays with Dorie :)   This week’s host was Isabelle of the blog Les Gourmandises d’Isa and she chose the Arborrio Rice Pudding recipe. Vanilla… chocolate… or both… so of course I had to make both :)

Done well, rice pudding is a dessert I really like. Every once in a while I’ll order it in a restaurant though I do make it quite often at home.  It’s been another week in which I’ve been crazy busy… and I seriously considered sitting out this week.  But I really like rice pudding!  And the Hubs had never eaten it but being the chocolate lover he is, well, as soon as I said “chocolate”, well, he was in! LOL

The recipe (which can be found on Isabelle’s site) is not a difficult one at all but for some reason it gave me fits. Par-boiling the rice was easy, heating the milk & sugar was easy, combining the par-boiled rice with the milk/sugar was okay too.  But… it was the “simmering” for 30 minutes that just started things downhill.  At 30 minutes, what I had was soup.  Rice soup, sure, but soup nonetheless.  Removing it from the heat and having little faith that my rice soup would miraculously transform itself into rice pudding just by sitting in the chiller for 6 hours, I put it back on the burner and ran to the TwD site P&Q’s section to see if other people had the same experience.  Uh… yup… they did!  Luckily Dorie herself popped in and told us the recipe in the book has a major typo and it’s supposed to be simmer for 55 minutes.  Big difference!

By that time my Arborrio rice pudding had been cooking for 40 minutes so I just added 15 minutes to the time and thought I’d be good to go. Stupid me.  Stupid… stupid… stooooooopid me.  I never set a timer according to the recipe instructions… instead setting it about 2/3 of the time and checking it.  I truly regret not doing that because my Arborrio rice pudding was scorched beyond belief.  The whole inside bottom of my favorite stainless steel saucepan was horribly, horribly scorched :(  

I salvaged the non-burned rice pudding and separated into two ramekins.  To one I added the scraped innards of half of one 6.5″ vanilla bean (for me)… to the other I added just shy of 2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate (for DH).  We let them sit in the chiller for only a little while since we wanted to eat it warm (really the only way I like my rice pudding).  The chocolate one was definitely less creamy – I guess when the chopped chocolate melted it added a bit more liquid which kept it from setting up like the vanilla bean one.  After tasting it I thought it was way way way over the top too chocolaty… but DH thought it was just fine :)  And I’m wondering, is it just me or does my chocolate rice pudding look like a dish of no-bean chili? LOL  Seriously!  I think it does!

In my final analysis I think this recipe tasted just meh.  Nothing special, nothing terrible, just okay.  I’ll save my arborrio rice for making risotto and stick to my tried and true method for making rice pudding…. leftover rice (a day or two old is best), milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and golden raisins. Oh yeah, that’ll do it for me ev-ree time :)

As for my scorched saucepan, I was afraid it was a lost cause.  I soaked it… I boiled water in it… I scrubbed it… I was about ready to toss it out… and then DH spent a considerable amount of time scrubbing the heck out of it using a bbq-grill cleaning pad and Comet Liquid.  Amazingly, somehow he got it clean.  YAY DH!!

Please check out the rest of the TwD bakers to see how their rice pudding turned out :)

Have a delicious day!

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