Holiday Spiked Egg Nog and Blog Hop

It’s another Holiday Blog Hop from Savvy Sassy Moms and the ScoutBox team. This time I am one of the hostesses, because this week’s theme is holiday drinks! One of my favorite topics.

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What drink says “holiday” more than egg nog? For years I struggled to get mine just right, and then finally I focused on it. I didn’t make the nog from scratch – just got some at the grocery store.

egg nog ingredients

I experimented with all of the dark liquors in the liquor cabinet to see what egg nog recipe I liked best. This is a combination of old-fashioned recipes and what I thought tasted best. I actually liked it better over ice, too.

Holiday Spiced Egg Nog

1.5 tbsp bourbon
1.5 tbsp dark rum
1/3 cup egg nog
dash nutmeg

What’s great is that you can pour a little non-alcoholic egg nog for your kids, then spike it up for the grownups. A great holiday tradition!

This is part of the Holiday Blog Hop hosted by Savvy Sassy Moms and some other great bloggers. Check out their holiday drink specials here:

Savvy Sassy Moms

Lindsey of The Nashville Mom

Natasha of Hello, Happiness

Carrie Beth & Jen of Magnolia Mamas

Sara of Running from the Law

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You can share your own posts with recipes for special holiday drinks by joining in. Just put the URL and name of your blog post into the InLinkz widget below. It would be great if you could visit 3-5 other blogs in the Holiday Blog Hop and leave a comment on their posts. Share this Holiday Blog Hop with your friends and readers on social media using the #SavvySassyHoliday hashtag.


Super Lemon Bars

 

These easy-to-make lemon bars are extra lemony with a cup of fresh lemon juice in the filling!

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A batch of lemon bars. This special occasion treat might be easier to make at holiday time in Southern California, where your neighbor just might have a lemon tree whose branches grow over the brick wall between your houses and into your yard, so that you are free to harvest as many ripe or almost-ripe lemons on your side of the wall as you want.

Ahem.

IMG_2640That is a 5-gallon bucket of ripening lemons right there.

Let’s just say we’ve made a lot of fresh lemonade this November. My boys demanded a lemon meringue pie, but never having made one before I decided to start with a simpler confection. So I tested a few lemon bar recipes and settled on something I can turn to again and again, and I can whip up fairly easily as long as I have enough eggs in the house.

So, with props to The Pioneer Woman, The Joy of Cooking, and the Food Network test kitchen, here’s my hacked-up recipe for lemon bars that are super lemony!

Super Lemon Bars

super lemon barsIt’s a bird. It’s a plane. Nope, it’s a delicious lemon bar!

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into little cubes

4 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a glass 9 x 13 baking dish
Mix flour, sugar, and salt
Add diced butter pieces and work them into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mix is pebbly and sandy
Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish
Bake for 20 minutes

Filling:
Beat eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl
Add flour and sugar
Add lemon juice and lemon zest; mix well
Pour filling over the baked crust
Return dish to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is solid
Let cool on stovetop or rack for 20 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top (I just use a fine strainer). Cut into bars and enjoy!

Makes 24 bars – they are very rich, so a little goes a long way!

If you’re surfing for recipes for sweet treats to serve at your holiday party or to give as gifts, this week Savvy Sassy Moms is doing a blog hop featuring sweet treats! Check out this recipe for egg nog cookies – these I’ve gotta try -and the links at the bottom with more great ideas!

Best Boozy Cranberry Sauce

When I was growing up, cranberry sauce was always an afterthought at holiday dinners. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was only exposed to the canned, gelatinous mass of cranberry sauce “jelly” that came out with a plop. But over my years of serving Thanksgiving dinner to my own family and various invited guests, I have experimented with fresh cranberries as the main ingredient of that side dish.

I came upon this simple recipe on Eat, Love, Run and it was an instant hit. It has just a few ingredients, and for me, it is blessedly free of weird flavors. Just cranberry and sugar and something to give it a little kick!

Of course by the time I go to make the cranberry sauce I’m out of bourbon, so I usually just use whatever I have on hand. Here’s my lazy version of this unsung Thanksgiving dinner hero.

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

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Ingredients:
12 oz fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp whiskey, brandy, or bourbon (I used Seagram’s 7 this time!)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries burst and begin to break down, about 10-15 minutes. Stir well and remove from heat. I like to mash the rest of the un-split cranberries with a potato masher to release more jelly. Let cool for 20 minutes before storing in refrigerator for dinner the next day.

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This dish was my quick and easy contribution to a “Friendsgiving” brunch that my friend Jennifer hosted. She set the bar very high with her beautifully set table. But my boozy cranberry sauce was a hit and one friend said that it was the best she’d ever had, so I had to share it with you!

If you’re surfing for Thanksgiving dinner side dish recipes, this week Savvy Sassy Moms is doing a blog hop featuring holiday dinner sides. Check out this great looking recipe for perfect herbed mashed potatoes, and the links at the bottom with more great ideas!