23 December 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS With Eggnog Creme Brulee

Welcome to the Great White North where nothing will put a damper on my holiday spirit. At 8:00 this morning the fire alarm went off in my building. I had to decide as I was taking a shower whether this was the real thing or not. Of course if it's clanging inside my condo I thought perhaps I had left something on the stove so left my domain to check on it. I poked my head out into the hallway and I did smell smoke, so got dressed and grabbed my keys. Funny that all I would choose to take would be my keys in a situation such as this. I have lived here for over a year and finally met most of my neighbours as I stood in the parking lot with my hair freezing to my scalp in minus 26 celsius weather waiting for the fire department. The fire was on the second floor but had been put out long before the fire department arrived. Welcome to the Great White North when not even the possibility of losing everything can put a damper on my Christmas spirit. What happened was that a group of strangers became a little closer and wished each other a Merry Christmas.

From there I ran my last minute errands (read that as shopping for groceries) before the big day. I have been hanging out with a good friend of mine lately and wandering around the Okanagan. Christmas is always a time to renew frienships it seems. I think it is because we actually have time off and have the time to visit and socialize with the people we really want to. She has been wanting to show me a retreat she wants to go to in February. They have a beautiful site not far from the city with a breathtaking view. We wandered through the grounds with snow up to our kneecaps and drank in the serenity. We found a spot where 6 deer had burrowed down for the night amongst the trees and tracked their prints through the snow. This is a major event for a city girl!!!

From there we decided to try a new restaurant where I tried Paneer for the first time. I would have no hesitation on having it again..it was so good and came sizzling to my table!!!!! It was the perfect ending with friendly waiters for a perfect day.

I hope that all of you will have an amazing holiday season filled with love and laughter. I am looking forward to so many more tasty treats from all of you in 2009!!! I am also looking forward to making many new friendships in the New Year as well. May peace and serenity be your guide over the holidays and if you have to travel...BE SAFE!!!

I leave you with one more recipe for the holidays..because you asked. The recipe can be easily halved to serve only 6 for a smaller crowd.

**Eggnog Creme Brulee**

1 litre (4 cups)whipping cream
1/2 litre ( 2 cups) prepared eggnog
18 large egg yolks
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 large vanilla bean

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put the whipping cream, eggnog, vanilla bean and scraped seeds into a heavy pan and scald over low heat. Do not allow cream to boil.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until well combined. Temper the eggs with a small amount of the scalded cream; add the rest of the cream and vanilla and whisk. Let stand at least 30 minutes but preferably 3 hours or more to infuse the vanilla flavour. Note, for the longer sitting time, allow the mixture to cool and then cover surface with plastic film and refrigerate. Strain the mixture and remove the foam from the top of the mixture.
Preheat oven to 300F. Ladle the mixture into 12 ramekins and place in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil but leave a space at one end of the pan to vent the steam. Bake for 1 hour or until the sides of the brulee are firm but the centre is still fairly soft, like gelatin. Remove the brulees from the pan. Wipe the sides of the ramekins clean and let cool. When cool, chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight. If storing overnight, cover each ramekin with plastic film. The brulees will keep for 2 - 3 days.

To serve, sprinkle 2 teaspoons white sugar on top of the brulees; caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch, until deep golden brown. Dust with icing sugar.Serve with pieces of fresh fruits in season. (ie, blueberries, raspberries...)

Serves 12

Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Kala Christougena, Frohliche Weihnachten, Buon Natale, Shub Naya Baras, Selamat Hari Krimas, Geseënde Kersfees,Fröhlichi Wiehnacht, Nadolig Llawen, Seasons Greetings!!!!!!
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  1. Glad to hear you're safe Val! Merry Xmas and a Happy 2009! All the best!

  2. Yummy! Have a great time! Happy Christmas!



  3. Sorry you had to go through that. I was reminded of 2AM fire drills in the dorms in the dead of winter at college. That does not sound pleasant.

    Merry Christmas to you and all the family and enjoy that delicous dessert.

  4. Merry Christmas to you Val! Hope it is one filled with joy and peace!

  5. Val, it's been a pleasure reading your blog through the year and enjoying your wonderful dishes.

    Merry Christmas, health & happiness in 2009!

  6. Though it is snowing in your parts, there is still some light in the form of sunshine. Here in Seattle it is dark and gray :(

    Merry Christmas to you and the family!

  7. Glad that it wasn't anything serious sis. Even here in Athens it's freezing. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas sis.

  8. Egg nog creme brulee sounds wonderful.
    Enjoy the holiday!

  9. Paneer is wonderful!
    Eggnog is such a wonderful flavor, it would be grand in creme brulee!
    Merry Christmas to you.

  10. I hope everyone was ok. What a shame, a fire right before Christmas. Keep an eye out for your book!

  11. Things always happen for a reason. Luckily no one got hurt during the fire and it was nice for strangers to get to know each other a little better.

    Merry Christmas and happy new year! Thanks for always giving me that feeling of "home" everytime I read your blog. :-)

  12. Happy Christmas Val!! I may not always comment, but I have enjoyed all your posts this past year and yay I have eggnog, so I can make this creme brulee!!

  13. Greetings from Paris!
    Have a Happy and Healthy 2009!

  14. Wishing you the Best Holidays with your family.

    A blogger friend.

  15. Blessed Christmas my dear friend! Glad you are alright!

  16. And Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy!

  17. wow...you really do live in a winter wonderland. Beautiful...to look at.

  18. Eggnog creme brulee! Yes! Yes! Yes! I need to try making it.

    Hope you had a great Christmas. Love the snow pictures.

  19. Merry Christmas Val! It has been a pleasure meeting you (cyberly at least) this year. I really admire all of your efforts to help people in need.

    Paneer is my favorite food to order at Indian restaurants. I always order saag paneer (spinach and paneer) and rice and I am in heaven.

    This eggnog brulee sounds delectable! So festive!

  20. Merry Christmas Valli - I hope you had a fantastic day!

  21. Glad it was only a small fire, and that your Christmas was still great. :)

  22. finally, a use for eggnog other than as a vehicle for rum. :)
    happy holidays, val!

  23. Eggnog Creme Brulee? Genius. I'm so enamored w/ eggnog that I simply must add this to my must-try list!! Hope your holiday was wonderful!

  24. And geseënde Kersfees to you too! Standing outside, damp in MINUS 26C? I'm sorry, that has to violate the Geneva Convention. Too ghastly! Hope your Christmas day warmed up from then onwards :)

  25. Happy Holidays also to You!
    Beautiful images :)


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