Homemade Eggnog

20131210-120952.jpg

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… πŸ˜‰

20131210-120946.jpg

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!

20131210-120914.jpg

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.

20131210-120920.jpg

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.

20131210-120928.jpg

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.)

20131210-120939.jpg

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! πŸ™‚

Download the recipe!

Advertisements

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! πŸ™‚

Continue reading

Homemade Horchata

20130502-095206.jpg

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!

20130502-095200.jpg

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.Β I combed through my email to find the recipe from anΒ Imbibe MagazineΒ 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. πŸ˜€

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