To me, the hallmark of a good holiday party is eggnog. Sweet, rich, and indulgent — the Christmas season really wouldn’t be complete without a healthy portion of this requisite libation. If the cloyingly sweet and thick store-bought stuff, spiked with nothing but too much nutmeg, has left you jaded, Alton Brown’s homemade version will convert you to an eggnog believer.
This simple and traditional Christmastime concoction is made with milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar, and is spiked with smoky bourbon and dark rum. It’s enriched with whipped egg whites for a frothy texture, and has a a hint of freshly grated nutmeg for a warm undertone. It’ll leave you wondering why you ever settled for the store-bought alternative.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Raise Your Glass to Alton’s Eggnog
If you were to cross a pancake with a popover, you’d get an Æbleskiver. I love eating these traditional Danish pancakes — they aren’t too sweet, have a fluffy texture and are usually served with a variety of jams. I think they would make the perfect breakfast food, served with hot chocolate or coffee. In Denmark, though, they are usually enjoyed around Christmastime paired with glogg, a Scandinavian mulled wine.
Continue Reading A Danish Dessert: Æbleskivers
This post was going to be your run-of-the-mill gift guide. All week, I’d been thinking of things you could get your food-iac friends and family.
And then, I sat down to write it. I started and erased it three times.
Why was I having such a hard time writing such a simple post?
It might have something to do with a video I watched the other day of people waiting to get into a Victoria’s Secret once it opened on Black Friday. The crowd brayed and yelled, pushing and elbowing their neighbours even though there was nowhere to go. Their nostrils flared, their eyes wide with a combination of fear and delight; it looked like a mosh pit, or dare I say it: a herd of cattle. But that wasn’t what got me.
It was the look on the employees’ faces.
They were scared. And I think it is no exaggeration to say that I think they were actually scared for their lives, because once the doors opened, they knew that flood of people would knock them over, stomp on them, hurt them, yell at them — all in the name of saving a few dollars for a present for someone they ostensibly really care about.
Have we possibly gotten away from the importance of this season, y’all?
Continue Reading The Gift of Giving
Tomorrow, after all the presents are unwrapped, and the only sign of your delicious brunch are the pans piled high in the sink, how will you and your family spend Christmas Day? Here at Cooking Channel, we will be watching the Two Fat Ladies marathon. That’s right — to fill the void between meals, we’re serving up seven straight hours of Two Fat Ladies goodness — culminating in their Christmas Special and Caribbean Christmas.
For fans, we know this offering is nothing short of a Christmas miracle, but for newbies, we’ve gathered up 5 need-to-know facts to get you primed:
1. Two Fat Ladies aired on BBC Two from 1996 to 1999, starring Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Patterson – and last year, Cooking Channel revived this beloved series.
2. They traveled around the UK in a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle, with Patterson driving and Dickson Wright accompanying her in a sidecar.
3. They filmed everywhere from an army camp to Westminster Cathedral.
4. Both ladies were fond of cooking with high-fat ingredients like lard, butter and bacon.
5. That cheery opening sequence is sung by the Two Fat Ladies themselves!
Continue Reading ‘Twas the Night Before…A Two Fat Ladies Marathon!
O Christmas cheese, O Christmas cheese.
No holiday is complete without a whole bunch of cheese. In fact, no day is complete without cheese. This holiday season, your obligatory cheese can double as your obligatory holiday decor, if you play with your food a little and transform it into a Christmas tree.
Continue Reading Christmas Tree Cheese Ball
Tackle the Christmas Bûche de Noël...or pick up some of these tasty miniatures.
Countdown to Christmas: 3 days. If you’re one of those type-A holiday overachievers, all of your presents are ready and wrapped, the whole menu is planned and the grocery shopping is done. Multiple batches of cookies are tucked away in tins, you’ve decorated an entire gingerbread village and you’re putting the final meringue mushrooms on a painstakingly detailed homemade Bûche de Noël. Your Christmas spread is not complete without this lifelike log of sponge cake and buttercream, a French holiday classic.
And for the rest of us…good news. If you’re up for it, there’s still time to tackle a Bûche de Noël—just don’t stress too much about the décor. Bobby Flay is not a pastry chef either, but he made a delicious Bûche for an episode of Food Network’s Throwdown and kept the décor nice and simple. Dust yours with lots of “snow” (i.e., powdered sugar) to cover any imperfections.
Baby Bûche de Noël from Ceci-Cela in NYC come in vanilla, chocolate and Grand Marnier.
Then again, there’s no shame in going the bakery route. Many Bûche de Noël are shockingly expensive and need to be pre-ordered, but check out these cute little gems from Ceci-Cela, a charming French bakery in New York. They’re individual-size and cost $6. You could also follow their lead and fashion mini logs yourself. If you step up and make your own, these tiny Santa toppers are a fun, festive and effortless touch. Pick some up at a party store if those meringue mushrooms aren’t looking so great.