Friday, December 04, 2009

Time for Yummy Stuff

It's December, the official month of delicious foodstuffs. The cookies, the candies, the eggnog, the latkes.

Yes, the latkes. I am not Jewish, but boy, I LOVE this traditional Hannukkah treat. Each year, I make some during the festival of lights because I love eating them, but I'd usually buy the Streit's box. Last year, I broke out the grater and made them from scratch and YUM. I'd do it again this year, but unfortunately, I probably won't be up to the task. However, I bought a bunch of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, we didn't make them, and I might make some sweet potato pancakes this weekend.

Cookies. Is there cookie that doesn't taste good? The gift of the mixer was given with the request that I make my raspberry chocolate chip cookies, and I'm sure that there will be other requests soon. I'm on the lookout for some new recipes this year. Maureen brought some Oatmeal Cranberry cookies over for us to enjoy at Christmas and I think we need to add those to our baking repetoire.

Last year, in the effort of making a gift for a teacher with a peanut allergy, Chef and I made his teacher peppermint bark I'd forgotten all about making it-but the kids didn't! They're already bugging me to make more this year. (and that recipe works better with peppermint oil, from what I've read)

The eggnog. Once again, we have the stuff in the fridge to flavor our coffee and have Game Teen hounding us for a glass every hour or so. Why does every company insist on using food coloring in it, EXCEPT the one that charges the most? I am going to play with the various recipes I have to make it from scratch.

The best thing about being home this year and not being able to drive for a few weeks (hey, I'm trying to find positives here), I am going to make a batch of homemade Irish Cream and I'll share the recipe. One of my sisters used to give this to family members every year as a gift, along with homemade Kahlua. Alas, I lived 300 miles away, so I didn't get the Bailey's. I think I can make up for it this year!

Homemade Irish Cream

2 cups half and half (if you prefer thick, swap with heavy cream)
2 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
750 ml of Bushmill's or other premium label Irish Whiskey
2 teaspoons instant coffee
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon REAL vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, opened, with seeds scraped and put into the liquid
1 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients into a blender EXCEPT the vanilla bean and blend on high for one minute.

NOTE-Ingredients do matter. Use the best chocolate syrup you can, don't use imitation vanilla and aren't you worth top shelf Irish Whiskey? I know I think you are!

Do not substitute the half and half unless you use heavy cream. Otherwise, it loses the thick, creamy texture that is equated with Baileys and Carolans.

What yummy stuff are you looking forward to this month?





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