Friday, December 13, 2013
Happy Friday, lovely friends!! I know we're all super busy right now, so I'll keep this short. After years of testing out eggnog recipes—and never finding one that I loved—I developed (literally) the easiest eggnog recipe ever for Good Housekeeping and I am obsessed with it!
Here it is: Melt vanilla ice cream, stir in rum and nutmeg—DONE. That's it! You see, most of my family just downright refuses to drink anything containing raw egg. Vanilla ice cream solves that problem! It already contains key eggnog ingredients—milk, cream, egg, vanilla—but it's cooked and ready to enjoy, straight from the carton. I'd suggest buying good-quality vanilla ice cream since it's kind of the big-deal ingredient of this recipe.
EASIEST EVER EGGNOG
SERVES: 8 to 10
1 (1.75-quart) container good-quality vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup rum or bourbon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
1. Microwave ice cream in a large microwave-safe bowl until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add rum and nutmeg and whisk until combined; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
3. Whisk well before serving. Transfer to a punch bowl or individual glasses. Sprinkle with more nutmeg, if desired.
I'll be honest: I'm not normally an eggnog fan but I cannot stop drinking this luscious treat of a cocktail. Make it! Trust me on this one. Cheers! xo Erin
Monday, December 9, 2013
Baby it's cold outside...here in New York City! I was going to hold off sharing my new Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate recipe—one of the easy Christmas cocktails I developed for Good Housekeeping this year—but I feel like it's a cocoa kind of a day, right?
This recipe is perfect for entertaining because it's made entirely in the slow cooker; it practically makes itself! Let milk, chocolate chips, peppermint extract and a little booze (optional) heat up while you take care of other things, just stir vigorously halfway through to combine. Once the cocoa's finished, use the "keep warm" setting to maintain cozy cocktail temperature all night!
Oo! And don't forget to set out cocoa fixings. My picks: Homemade whipped cream, peppermint sticks, crushed candy canes and extra vodka (for guests who like an extra kick).
SLOW-COOKER PEPPERMINT BARK HOT CHOCOLATE
8 c. whole milk
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. crème de menthe or vodka (optional)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Sweetened whipped cream, for topping
Crushed candy canes, for topping
1. Put the milk, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, crème de menthe, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and salt in a 7-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on High 2 hr. or until combined, whisking vigorously halfway through to help chocolate melt.
2. Switch to Warm for serving. Set out whipped cream and crushed candy canes, for topping.
Q: Are you a Peppermint Bark fan? What other Peppermint Bark-flavored recipes have you tried? I'd love to know! xo Erin
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Eggnog is one of my favorite seasonal grocery store staples. It's inexpensive, festive and completely multipurpose. Turn a carton into eggnog pudding, whisk a little into whipped cream or use it to make the super-easy batter for my Eggnog French Toast on Freutcake today!
Straight from the carton, the 'nog already contains 4 batter basics: milk, sugar, eggs and nutmeg. Whisk in a few other ingredients, add good-quality brioche or challah bread and cook until golden brown. The perfect Christmas-lover's breakfast with hardly any fuss!
My favorite eggnog is from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy—it's a little more expensive than other brands but it's worth it! Another solid options: Turkey Hill Eggnog or the Premium Eggnog from Trader Joe's. For this and more of my 5-Ingredient recipes head over to Freutcake (Leah has posted a ton of fabulous Christmas projects this week) and be sure to let me know what you think. Cheers! xo!
5-INGREDIENT EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST
5-INGREDIENT EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST
SERVES: 4 to 6
SERVES: 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups eggnog
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling (optional)
6 to 8 slices brioche or challah bread (about 1/2-inch-thick)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving (optional)
1. Whisk the eggnog, eggs and sugar in a shallow baking dish until combined.
2. Soak the bread slices (in batches if necessary) until saturated, about 10 minutes per side.
3. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven; preheat to 200˚F. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry half of the bread slices until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Keep warm on the rack in the oven. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices.
4. Divide French toast among plates. Serve with more butter and sugar for sprinkling, if desired.
Bonus: If you're willing to splurge on 1 extra ingredient, serve with grade A maple syrup or stir a glug (or 2!) rum into the batter before soaking!
Monday, November 25, 2013
With chilly mornings in mind, I'd love to share one of my new recipes for Refinery29 with you: Breakfast Berry Tarts. I'm such a sucker for a pretty breakfast. This one just happens to be super quick and healthy, too—score! Feel free to swap in a different berry and/or nut if you'd like. Here's how you make it...
BREAKFAST BERRY TART
1 whole-grain English muffin, split and toasted
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
Honey, for drizzling
1. Put the English muffin halves on a plate; divide the ricotta among the halves and spread using a knife.
2. Press raspberries into the ricotta. Sprinkle with the pistachios. Drizzle with honey.
What do you think? Could you spare 5 minutes to whip up a breakfast tart for yourself before work? I'd love to know! For my other quick-healthy breakfast ideas, head over to Refinery29! xo
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Good morning, lovely friends! T-minus 1 week until Thanksgiving. Are you getting excited!? I certainly am. What are you plans? Are you hosting or just eating? Fill me in!
Sugared Cranberries: Pile sparkly sweet-tart candied cranberries (recipe, below) in plastic pedestal cups like these from Party City. Print names on card stock, cut into tags and snuggle into the cranberries—I used one of my favorite fonts, Canter, to print out Aunt Mistrella's gorgeous name!
Cheese and Crackers: Since boyfriend is such a cheese-nut, I tucked his name tag into a little goat cheese "button" (or Crottin) from Coach Farms. Whole Foods usually sells 'em but you can purchase these teeny goat cheese rounds online, too. Depending on the firmness of the cheese, you may need to cut a 1/4-inch-deep slit to insert the name tag. Place on parchment paper squares and add crackers to complete the look! I used the font Aracne Ultra Condensed Light for boyfriend's name.
Bread and Butter: You'd likely have bread on the table anyway, so why not turn it into a place setting? Make a small incision in the top of a roll (I love the flour-dusted look of the Portuguese roll above!), then print out name tags and insert into the bread. I used Janda Celebration Script to print out our Thanksgiving hostess's name. Serve softened butter family-style or spread butter in modern candy molds, refrigerate and unmold onto each plate for a more polished look. Question: Do you have assigned seats at your Thanksgiving dinner or do you let guests chose their own seats? xo
MAKES: 2 cups
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1. Bring the water and 1/2 sugar to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Stir in the cranberries; remove from the heat and let cranberries cool completely in the syrup.
2. Put the remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Drain the cranberries and toss in the sugar to coat. Transfer to a wire rack and let dry 1 hour.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Growing up I thought quiche was a health food. Why not! It (for the most part) is a meat-less alternative to a steak dinner, right? Obviously I now realize that piecrust and gooey cheese will only pad my wiggly bits but I really don't care: I love quiche!
This recipe—one of 3 Easy Quiches I developed for Refinery29—is a great Monday-Friday meal during the holidays. Make it when you have a few minutes, then freeze slices in resealable plastic bags for up to 1 month (just reheat in the oven before serving). My advice: Buy a good hunk of Gruyère cheese for this quiche! It's so tasty with the other Frenchy ingredients. And don't feel bad about using a frozen pie shell...this is a weeknight dinner! xo
CHEESY BACON-LEEK QUICHE
1 frozen pie shell or 1 roll refrigerator pie dough
4 strips bacon
4 small leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1. Bake the pie shell as the label directs. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat until crisp, about five minutes, flipping once. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and let cool; reserve drippings in skillet. Cut or crumble bacon into pieces.
3. Add leeks and one-fourth teaspoon salt to the skillet and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in the pan, until leeks are soft, about five minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool slightly.
4. Whisk the eggs and milk in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the Gruyère cheese, leek mixture, bacon, and one-fourth teaspoon each salt and pepper.
5. Pour filling into the prepared crust; transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the filling sets, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool slightly before serving.