Homemade Eggnog

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Last year, during the holiday season, I had this really long list of things I wanted to make and bake. Unfortunately, as always, life got in the way of completing my entire list. It was pretty ridiculous list, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t finish all of it… 😉

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While I did get to cross off several things, most of the rest got pushed off in to the mysterious “future”. Well, this year, I get to cross off Homemade Eggnog!

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I’ve never really been a huge fan of eggnog. I don’t actively dislike it; I’m just kind of indifferent. But buying the packed stuff from the store always kind of creeped me out, in the same way that buying grocery store cake is usually on my “NO!” list. I like to avoid chemicals and preservatives when I can, so I figured that I might as well make some eggnog myself.

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After doing a little research, I settled on following an Alton Brown recipe. (He’s never steered me wrong!) Of course, I changed a few things to suit my tastes. Also, I decided to go with the cooked method because I knew the nog would spend a few days in the fridge while the boyfriend and I slowly work our way through it.

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If you’re going to go with the raw method, be sure to use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean eggs and avoid contact between the eggs and their shells. (Pasteurized eggs are of course best to avoid salmonella.)

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Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel to ask in the comment section below. And check back tomorrow to see what I decided to make with some nog! 🙂

Download the recipe!

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Rhubarb-Lemon Balm Spritzer

One of the great things about the new apartment that the boyfriend and I moved in to a few months ago is the balcony. We have enough room for a small table and chairs, and we were able to set up an herb garden in a few hanging planters. We have most of the basics (basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary) and a few more extravagant aromatics (lemon grass and lavender, namely). We also planted a mojito mint and a lemon balm plant.

When we were at the nursery, I went a little crazy on the herbs and aromatics. And when I smelled the lemon balm, I just couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use it for, but I knew I would figure something out! And that I did…

Serendipitously, when returning something to IKEA a few weeks ago, I stumbled on the rhubarb syrup in the marketplace. It was nestled between the lingonberry and elderflower syrups, and I knew it needed to come home with me. As it turns out, the rhubarb and lemon balm go beautifully together, and this Spritzer is my signature Summer 2013 drink!

Click below for the recipe. Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments! And thanks for reading! 🙂

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Irish Coffee Float

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Everyone is used to that night when you rummage through the fridge and throw a meal together with all of the week’s left overs. But now that I’m baking so much and not always finishing off each ingredient, I’ve had to come up with creative ways to use my leftovers…

From one of those crazy brainstorms, the Irish Coffee Float was born! It stated off as an experiment when the boyfriend and I returned from vacation, and he really wanted an “adult” iced coffee. But iced coffee with Bailey’s sounded just a little too normal, so my brain went racing…

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I had leftover Guinness ice cream in the freezer! So why not throw in a scoop? Oh, and there’s Whiskey Caramel in the fridge! Let’s drizzle that on top! And, like magic, a new favorite drink was created. (And we finished off the leftover ice cream and caramel…)

This drink is perfect for cooling off in the upcoming hot summer days! Click below for the recipe. Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! 🙂

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Homemade Horchata

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With Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend, I decided to make up some homemade Horchata. The boyfriend and I would almost always pick up a large cup of Horchata to share from our awesome local Mexican restaurant in DC, and now that we’ve moved, I wanted to experiment with making my own!

Horchata recipes vary greatly across Latin countries, but generally is a sweet “milky” drink, flavored with cinnamon. It can be made from rice, nuts, morro seeds, or sesame seeds and can have cow’s milk, coconut milk, or evaporated milk added. There are so many recipes and varieties published online!

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I decided to go with an easy (and lactose free!) recipe: easy enough that I could prep the base before bed one night this week and finish off the Horchata after work the next day. I combed through my email to find the recipe from an Imbibe Magazine newsletter that I saved a few months ago. I modified the recipe slightly because it wasn’t quite sweet enough, but feel free to cut back on the sugar if you want yours less-sweet.

The only “problem” (I guess you can call it that?) I had was that my blender was not strong enough to fully pulverize the cinnamon stick. So I ended up straining the mixture multiple times through a fine mesh strainer. If you have a regular blender (and not one super-strong like a Vitamix), you may have the same problem. In that case, remove the cinnamon stick from the mixture before blending it, and add about 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon when you add the sugar.

Serve the Horchata over ice, sprinkled with a little bit of cinnamon! It is wonderful and refreshing as-is, but you can also add a splash of spiced rum for a fun and easy adult drink. 😀

Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! 🙂 Continue reading

S’mores Pudding Shots

One of my favorite new things to experiment with is Jello, as can be seen in previous posts. It’s a great (sometimes easy) dessert and drink combination! And it doesn’t require turning on the oven, which, for summer, is always a plus.

But some of my friends don’t like the texture of Jello, and well, sometimes it’s a bit of an issue for me as well. But pudding? I’m all over pudding! Which led me to start thinking about how I could use pudding to make an edible dessert shot, maybe something like a cross between pudding and a cordial.

And, a few months ago (when I first started blogging) I came up with the idea to make a S’mores pudding shot using pudding, and this is what came out of my scheming…

The result was a delicate chocolate pudding infused with liqueur atop a graham cracker crust, drizzled with a chocolate ganache, and topped with miniature marshmallow bits. And so… I’ve discovered that pudding + alcohol = WIN!


Click below for the recipe! 🙂

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Bailey’s & Coffee Jello Shots

A few weeks ago, I needed to bring something to a party hosted by some friends. Typically, whenever I think up treats to bring, my mind trails towards cupcakes. (Why not? They’re easy, single-serve, and tasty!) Well, this time I decided to bring Jello shots, in addition to salsa and guacamole since it was a party held on Cinco de Mayo after all… I’ve made these Bailey’s & Coffee Jello shots a few times before, usually to rave reviews, so I decided they would be a perfect treat for the party!


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Chocolate Soup

Cause what goes better with grilled cheese than a nice, warm bowl of soup?! Well, nothing, that I can think of… It’s been a little chilly around here lately (snow in DC in April, what?!), so I decided that the perfect thing to pair with an ooey, gooey grilled cheese is a sweet and hot bowl of chocolate soup.

I decided to slightly modify a hot chocolate recipe for this chocolate soup concoction and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream! There can be several possible variations to this soup using different flavorings (orange peel, mint, cinnamon, cayenne) or sweet liqueurs (Chambord, amaretto, Bailey’s, Grand Marnier). Feel free to experiment with different flavors or mix-ins! For now, on to the recipe… 🙂

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