Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Food: Eggnog Pudding and Cranberry Sauce

Wow, what a great weekend it's been!  Good food, lots of family time, and PRESENTS!  What can I say, I'm a kid trapped in a 43 year old body.  

I did most of the cooking for Christmas this year since I was off and gave my MIL a break.  She usually does all the big meals.  But we always force her to make the deviled eggs (the best around) and her cranberry salad, which is like nothing I've ever had.  In fact she forwarded the recipe to me and I think I have a little left so I'll try to get a picture and post the recipe soon.

I had purchased two bags of cranberries and realized I had no idea why.  So I whipped up a little fresh cranberry sauce myself.

A Martha Stewart recipe that's easier than falling off a log.  I would recommend halving the recipe unless you are making it for a large crowd who really loves their cranberry sauce.  

2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. (To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.) 

Our dessert was a recipe I found at Country Living for Eggnog Pudding.  

I was really excited to try this, but was a bit disappointed because I found the molasses flavor a bit over powering.   If I made it again, I would definitely decrease that ingredient, or maybe eliminate it altogether.  Even though I wasn't crazy about it, my husband and son thought it was really good.  

1 can(s) (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk, (1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 cup(s) half-and-half
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoon(s) molasses
1/3 cup(s) brandy
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
1 teaspoon(s) cornstarch, (combine with above cornstarch)
 25 small (about 1 1/2 inch) gingersnap cookies
3/4 cup(s) heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) confectioners' sugar

Make the pudding: Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring the sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of the half-and-half, nutmeg, molasses, brandy, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup half-and-half in a medium bowl until combined. Slowly add in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, while continuing to whisk, and set aside. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining half-and-half together in a medium bowl. Quickly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot milk mixture. Place the pan back on heat, increase to medium-high, and whisk constantly until it just boils. Remove from the heat and add the egg mixture, while stirring vigorously, to the hot milk mixture. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid just begins to simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and strain into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the film directly on the hot pudding, and set in the ice bath to cool. Refrigerate.
Assemble the dessert: Crush 1 gingersnap and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl and beat to soft peaks. Alternate layers of cooled pudding, gingersnaps, and cream in six 6-ounce individual custard cups. Chill for at least one hour. Top with crushed cookies and serve.

A couple of things I wanted to mention...

I was the lucky winner of a giveaway at Two Peas and Their Pod, and got this cute as a button popcorn bowl with Orville Redenbacher popcorn to fill it up with.

 That bowl's gonna hold a lot of popcorn!

Also, don't know if you remember, but I was given the chance to review a book called "Dining with Joy" recently, and just finished reading it today.

I suck at book reviews, but I found this to be a fun read, with lots of food talk, and a sweet (although improbable) love story, with issues of stuggles with faith thrown in as well.  In fact, I'd love to pass my copy on to one of you if you'd like to read it.  Let me know in the comments if you'd like to receive it, and I'll choose a winner later this week.  (US only please)

Have a great week as we gear up for a new year! 


Monet said...

Eggnog pudding sounds AMAZING. I would say yes to the book, but I have so much to read for school! I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend. Many blessings as the new year approaches. Thank you for sharing this sweetness!

grace said...

eggnog pudding is wonderfully unique and it must be delicious. great post, and happy holidays!

Brownieville Girl said...

I love the idea of an eggnog pudding - actually I love the idea of eggnog, but have yet to try them!!

I have to admit that I love prezzies too!!!!

Joanne said...

If that trifle and the cranberry sauce are any indication, it sounds like you ate some amazing things this holiday!

Jennifurla said...

Oh yum, eggnog pudding sounds really great to spice things up.

Reeni said...

I am in love with eggnog right now - the pudding looks scrumptious! I have a huge stack of books I'm working on and it may take me until next Christmas to finish!

Tiffanee said...

What a great daughter in law you are. I am drooling over the eggnog pudding. Both recipes look so good. Bookmarking it.

scrambledhenfruit said...

I always buy too many cranberries- they're just so perfect with so many things! Your eggnog pudding sounds yummy. :)


The book "Dining with Joy" looks great. Count me in. Thanks.

Kerstin said...

What a yummy dessert - so fun you served it with the cookies too! Merry Christmas!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Congrats on your win.

The recipes sound pretty good.

Mary said...

Your pudding and cranberry sauce were perfect for the holidays. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

theUngourmet said...

I'm loving the eggnog pudding. It's too bad the molasses flavor was a bit too strong. It looks fantastic. Great shot!

Congrats to Two Peas and Their Pod!

teresa said...

ooh yes, i'd LOVE to recieve it! what a great book.

love the eggnog pudding, how wonderful, your holiday spread looks great!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Sounds like you had a nice Christmas. Happy New Year!!

Susan said...

WOW -this looks amazing!

I am so glad you had a great holiday. I loved being in TEXAS with my family - nothing like it!

Take care! Happy New Year!


The Blonde Duck said...

I had fresh cranberry sauce for the first time at a restaurant a few days ago...LOVED it!