Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Egg Nog Time

Over the weekend, we created the concoction passed down from generations. As far as I can tell, it goes back to my great-grandfather. Our fridge is stocked with about 8 bottles to enjoy but mainly to share with friends before we scoot out of town for the holidays.

My dad learned to make it as a boy with his father and for a long time used the same red bowl. But along came the Kitchen Aid invention which Mom gladly shared with him for his annual brew making fest.

Dad has a story written down somewhere about the tradition that he used to pass out with bottles to friends. He even ordered his own bourbon (cheap stuff I'm sure) that had his last name printed on the labels..."Brightman's Bourbon." Good for sipping throughout the year, using a bottle or two in the nog recipe itself and then makes a nice container to share with loved ones.

As a kid or young adult, I never really liked milk products so it really wasn't until I was in my 30s that I realized how good this stuff is. I started making it every year about 8 or 10 years ago.

Since Dad included the recipe with his printed story, I figure that it's not a family secret and am happy to share via the ethers:

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 pints whipping cream (24 oz.)
5 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
13 oz. rum
13 oz. bourbon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. Grand Marnier
Powdered sugar

Using Kitchen Aid Mixer (perfect bowl size):
1) Separate yolks of eggs from whites. Save egg whites in separate bowl.
2) Mix sugar and bourbon to thoroughly dissolve sugar.
3) Add egg yolks and continue to mix thoroughly.
4) Blend in whipping cream.
5) Add rum and mix thoroughly.
6) Add salt and mix.
7) Add vanilla and mix.
8) Add Grand Marnier and mix.
9) Add milk and mix at least 5 minutes.

  • Makes 3 liters. Chill and serve cold. Sprinkle nutmeg according to taste.

  • Egg whites: Mix in bowl with powdered sugar until mixture becomes fluffy.

  • Spoon on top of serving bowl and lightly sprinkle with nutmeg.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fighting Cock Roaster

Calm down everyone. It's not any name I've chosen. It's a new chicken shack over in Magnolia. Our friend Damon is the chef here and we stopped by to sample on Saturday. Three chix sammies and three chix (or tofu) meals. I love the simple concept. Look for Damon's pulled pork to come on the menu soon.

Try the Muay Thai sandwich. Besides, everyone at Sully's concurs. We'll be back for the meals sans bread. While I'm mentioning bread, I happily inform you that the freshly baked rolls (from a local Vietnamese outfit) are soft and delish. No crusty, ripping of the mouth roof action here.

Now they are missing a certain je ne sais quoi. Boston Jimmy and I were trying to figure it out last night. Is it a touch of salt? Perhaps a dash of cumin? An herb or other fresh veg. ingredient? Not sure but if they can figure it out, they'll have hit a home run and give Paseo and Baguette Box a run for their money.

Oh, and we ran into the owner last night on his wedding night chowing on some nachos with his new bride. Here's hoping their new venture takes off so they can celebrate their 1st anniversary in true style. Though they seemed plenty happy with pub nachos.

I can't wait to see the analytics for this post as far as what Google keywords sent readers this way. My post last year on the Thanksgiving creamed onions my sister-in-law made directed those looking for "creamed sisters" to march right in. Classy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hullo World!

WOW! It's close to a year since my last post. I took a month off in January, proving that if you do anything for 21 days, it becomes a habit. I haven't done any blogging, any writing (unless you count the 100+ daily emails that stream through the Exchange server) or essentially any cookbook prep.

My one foray in the MMK cookbook project?
Back in October, I prepared Mom's 7 layer bean dip for a football party. Nothing like watching the Seahawks (and all other local sports teams these days) receive an ass-kicking. Good times! Finding a recipe for the ubiquitous 7 layer bean dip is probably one of the easiest things and my siblings should be able to do this on their own. But it deserves inclusion in the cookbook, because it is so Mom. I gussied the recipe up and made sure each layer is a little more homemade, a little less canned. Added things like chipotle powder (instead of chili powder, which is probably instead of an MSG laden taco seasoning mix). It was delish. So to you cookbook recipients (aka family members), you won't be seeing Mom's standby in it's original form. But a version of it you will see. It just won't be same ole 7 layer bean dip that you see in the grocery store aisles.

What I've been up to in lieu of blogging:
I've been cooking here and there. It ebbs and flows. Been busy volunteering with the PCC Cooks program. I've learned to make gnocchi, whole wheat bread, Pranee's amazing Thai delights, gluten free treats and more. I'm a glorified dishwasher, sometime prep cooker, free class taker and left-over gatherer. Though it pays the mortgage, my day job is no longer fun and PCC Cooks has become an avenue of pleasure.

I've also been working too hard, played lots of golf April thru Sept (I proudly hit my first hole-in-one AND advanced to the EWGA semi-finals), watched my husband lose his job and the radio industry plummet (like many other aspects of our economy), been through too many stressful changes in my own job to count, and made it through an intense political season that had a dream of an outcome.

When it came right down to it, blogging or other computer activities were about the last thing I've wanted to do after 8-10 hour days in front of a screen. Well, that's a little white lie. I have been a tad addicted to Facebook. But that's an easy and quick comment and a fabulous way to stay connected with old friends when I feel so far away out here in the upper left hand corner of this country.

After a reading with a name I can't recall, let alone pronounce (I believe it's an astrology-numerology-chakra ish hybrid) from my sister last spring, I learned that I might not be the best at completing/sticking with projects. True AHA moment. Though I probably knew that was an issue, hearing her speak the words confirmed my fate.

My pledge:
Therefore, I commit to a reasonable goal: one blog post a week. See, I'm now good until Dec 1st. How hard was that?

I also need to come up w/ a reasonable amount of time dedicated weekly or monthly to the cookbook...let me think on that one.

Then by end of February I'll come up with a third goal: cookbook self-publication date.

Any small amount of readers I may have accumulated by now have scattered to other parts of the blogosphere. But then again, I'm really doing this for me and to motivate me to create that damn family cookbook.