My mom used to wrap the most impeccable-looking presents, cutting her wrapping paper with a trusted knife that she stored in the crawl space year-round along with boxes of wrapping paper, ribbon, tags, and bows. The knife yielded a surprisingly clean cut. Scissors, on the other hand, didn’t do quite as smooth a job, she thought. Clean cuts meant the paper folds would be tucked in and taped down ever so perfectly. If she messed up, she’d start again. From scratch. Her finished work was always flawless. She took great care and pride in the presentation of the gift, but also in the spirit it created as some lucky person waited to open it. I remember as a kid mom making gift baskets filled with cheese, crackers, cookies, and some homemade pickles and preserves to fill hungry bellies with. She was also known to start her Christmas baking in November, freezing it so that come December, she could give away an assorted collection of treats to family, friends, and anyone else who needed a little holiday cheer. My mom loved to share the gift of food and she was an extraordinary cook. Her favourite holiday was Christmas and that meant weeks, if not months, of cooking, shopping, making, wrapping, decorating, and giving to create beautiful, memorable experiences for when we were all home. She created these experiences in the service of others, rewarded simply by the joy it brought to them. She still remains the most generous and giving person I have ever known.
I’m missing my mom a lot this year. With Basia’s arrival last year, her death still seemed surreal to me. But now that the dust has settled a year and a half later, I find myself missing her deeply and longing to immerse myself in her experience of Christmas. When Egg Farmers of Canada suggested a partnership for their #RecipesThatGive campaign, it felt like something that my mom would be proud to see me participate in. And even though I’m a grown woman with my own child now, making my mother proud still feels important to me. This year Egg Farmers of Canada, in partnership with Food Banks of Canada, is aiming to shine the spotlight on those who give back to their communities, while inspiring others to do the same. I was asked to showcase how a simple recipe could bring a lot of joy to someone’s life and, with my mom’s spirit in mind, I think I met that challenge with this sweet eggnog recipe. It’s a healthier take on store-bought eggnog, which already gives the gift of good, wholesome food. But then when you include the 3 recipes to use the eggnog with, it ends up being recipes that give and keep giving and giving! To my delight, my full recipe video will also be featured on EggcentricTV, the Egg Farmers of Canada’s TV network dedicated to all things eggs! And with eggs being front and centre, this homemade lightened-up eggnog seemed à propos this time of year. Despite still being decadent, my version tastes like the real deal. So, if you’re looking for the perfect homemade gift, a last minute hostess offering, or something you can have on-hand for the person who drops by unexpectedly over the holidays, this is it. To make you gift even better, I created these adorable, FREE, printable gift tags to hang on them. (Really, click on the link. They’re much better than the ones in the picture. Did I mention that they were adorable and FREE? ) They say, “Nog, Nog. Who’s there?” It can’t get much cuter than that! All the power to you if you simply want to make this one for yourself. There’s no shame in that game.
To watch the full video and to see the recipe being made in action as well as some gorgeous shots of what we did with it after, download the (free!) EggcentricTV app (available thru the App Store, Google Play and Roku) and go to the Holiday RecipesThatGive channel!
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at how I nogged myself out. 🙂
- Hug the ones you love tightly.
- For the full recipe video and to see the bonus recipe in action, download the EggcentricTV app and go to the Holiday RecipesThatGive channel.
- If you’re gifting the nog, download my FREE, printable gift tags here.
*This post was made in partnership with the Egg Farmers of Canada and EggcentricTV. Thank you for supporting my paid work opportunities. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with brands and organizations that are in line with my values.
Homemade Lightened-Up Eggnog + 3 Bonus Recipes
Makes: 1¼ to 1½ L of eggnog
Notes: I prefer whole milk in this recipes, but if you’re dairy-free I’ve also tested it it with Blue Diamond almond milk with good results. Start with ½ to ? cup of maple syrup to begin with. When the mixture reaches temperature, taste and add more maple syrup, if needed.
1L whole milk, or almond milk (see notes)
1 tsp vanilla
½ – ¾ cup maple syrup (see notes)
1 tsp cinnamon
1¼ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg (Don’t use pre-ground.)
4 large eggs
Add the milk, vanilla, ½ cup of maple syrup, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium pot. Warm over medium-low heat until maple syrup has dissolved and milk is steaming, but not boiling. Keep an eye on it and remove if bubbles begin forming.
In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk eggs together.
Temper eggs: Whisking constantly, slowly add in small amounts of warmed milk into the eggs until you have poured in about ? of the milk. Pour egg mixture back into pot with remaining milk and whisk to combine.
Steam again over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160°F. It will thicken up as it cooks. Taste for sweetness and level of nutmeg, adding in more of either, as needed. If adding more maple syrup, warm through until syrup dissolves.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Cool, then place in a glass jar and chill overnight. The flavours will come together and change significantly by the next day.
Serve over ice with freshly grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon or use in any of the following bonus recipes:
¼ cup eggnog
1 or 2 shots hot espresso
Pour eggnog into a steaming pitcher and heat to between 145°F to 165°F. Add espresso to mug and pour the steamed eggnog into the mug on top of the espresso. Sprinkle with cinnamon
Eggnog French Toast
¼ cup eggnog
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, optional
6 pieces whole-grain sourdough bread
Butter for cooking, plus extra for serving if desired
Maple syrup and fruit for serving
In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg, if using.
Dip bread in eggnog mixture, turning to coat both sides evenly.
On lightly greased pan over medium heat, cook bread until browned on both sides.
Serve with a pat of butter, maple syrup, and fruit.
Eggnog Cocktail (AKA Santa’s Shake)
2 oz vodka
2 oz irish cream
4 oz eggnog
Optional: cinnamon sugar rim and a cinnamon stick for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, Irish cream, and eggnog. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain and pour into cinnamon sugar rimmed coup glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick if you’re feeling fancy.