The older I get, the more I consciously make an effort to say, “YES,” to things that I would not normally do. I’m glad I did accept Susie’s invitation to join her live on Instagram. It was a perfect picture of imperfection! Being a novice to this platform, I did not know how to best set myself up and I also felt those nerves of insecurity blindfolding my thoughts. All aside from my negative head talk, I am so proud of myself for showing up and trying new things. I hope to fill 2023 with many more “NEW” experiences that make my knees shake, voice quiver and heart race, for then I know I am living.
It was wonderful connecting with new people virtually, that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity. For those who could not make it, Susie shared her Brain Health Board that is great for those last minute get together. Her board used easy to find ingredients and pantry items. She also shared her tips for a special touch, when using nuts, seeds and her recommended spice blend. Even though I am much more likely to run to the charcuterie and cheeses, I much appreciated her health focused spread; especially coming into a fresh start for 2023!
I was happy to share my book pairing for the entertaining holiday season. Olivia Carney’s book, The Art of the Board, is filled with beautiful food photography and thorough explanation of the “how-to” of creating a food board. Everything from seasonal inspirations, ingredient placement on the board, slicing cheese, folding meats, and caring for the different types of boards. For my bookish foodies, Carney’s book pairs beautifully with Kate Lebo’s book, The Book of Difficult Fruit. Lebo is a wealth knowledge and talented essayist. I loved reading her book that is filled with food history, science, recipes and some personal memoir components. I especially loved learning various facts, such as fruit paste being the first confectionary and we still use these today. A common fruit paste found on many boards today is quince paste (membrillo). Lebo shares a recipe for gooseberry paste, that I cannot wait to test out!
Here is a board that tossed together for a friends gathering and my favorite component was the frosted cranberries from one of Lebo’s recipes. A must try!
During our LIVE, we also talked Cocktails and Mocktails. Susie shared how to make a non-alcoholic aperitif and I shared my take on eggnog. This recipe was developed from a drink my grandmother shared with me years ago. She called hers “Ponche.” Her ponche was an alcoholic drink that included eggs, orange, cinnamon and Peruvian Port. Here is a recipe for my Eggnog with twist.
- Stand Mixer
- Double Boiler
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- pinch Salt
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 3 Eggs (separated)
- 1/2 Cup Cream
- 1 Orange zested
- 1 1/2 oz Brandy
- 1 1/2 oz Rum I like Jamaican Rum
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites
- Zest 1 orange
- Measure out ingredients
- Heat milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon stick in double boiler. Stirring constantly until milk reaches barely a boil. Remove from heat and let cinnamon stick seep for a few minutes.
- While milk is seeping, whip heavy cream until you get whipped cream. Put it in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
- Next whip egg whites until you get stiff peaks. Put it in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
- Going back to the heated milk, remove the cinnamon stick and set it aside. Using a whisk, mix a little bit of the milk into the egg yolks and add the yolk mixture to the rest of the milk in the double boiler. Turn heat on to medium and whisk constantly until thicken. Once you think the custard has thickened use a spatula to stir and when you draw a line with your finger across the spatula and the space remains separated, then remove from the heat.
- Strain into a clean bowl. Add back cinnamon stick and orange zest. Refrigerate until cold.
- When ready to serve, use a whisk to combine whipped cream and egg whites into the custard until well incorporated. Add liquors stir and pour into serving glass. For the final touch use the zester to finely grate a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.