A Christmas Tradition (Eggnog Recipe)

A Christmas Tradition (Eggnog Recipe)

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

I hate eggnog.

At least, that’s what I’ve always told myself.  It had that weird, tangy whang that left a strange aftertaste in my mouth.  I didn’t understand why my husband liked the stuff, but since he enjoyed it, I dutifully bought a carton every holiday season.  And every year, I’d try the eggnog again, just to see if my tastes had changed.

My taste buds had not changed.  Eggnog was still yucky-tasting to me.

That is, until I discovered this recipe.  Suddenly, eggnog is one of the highlights of our family’s holidays.  No weird flavor here, just a wonderfully creamy drink.  No strange aftertaste, only the delicious spice of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Our whole family looks forward to having a mug of eggnog while we work on a 1,000-piece puzzle together (another of our Christmas traditions).  We’ve even discovered that this eggnog recipe is as delicious served warm as it is cold!

So whether you’re an eggnog aficionado or an eggnog avoider, add this recipe to your holiday to-do list and you just might find your family has a new Christmas tradition too!

Creamy HomemadeEggnog

Holiday Eggnog

Holiday Eggnog Printable Recipe

(Makes about 2 quarts)

4 cups whole milk, divided

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg (more to taste)

4 egg yolks

2 cups each of heavy whipping cream and whole milk

2 tsp vanilla

  • In a large saucepan, heat 3.5 cups of milk, sugar, salt, and spices until hot.
  • In a separate heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup reserved milk.
  • Very slowly, pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. You must do this in small amounts to temper the eggs.  If you add too much of the hot milk at once, it will cook your eggs!
  • Return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.
  • Pour custard into a large serving bowl (we use a pitcher for convenience). Whisk in 2 cups cream, 2 cups milk, and 2 tsp vanilla. You may need to add more cinnamon and nutmeg at this point.
  • Chill before serving, or enjoy it while it’s still warm.  It’s delicious either way!

Does your family like eggnog?  

What recipes are on your “must-make” list for the holidays?

Super Soup Series: Quick Vegetarian Chili

Super Soup Series: Quick Vegetarian Chili

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

This time of year, it seems like life is even busier than usual.  From kids’ school programs to office holiday parties to church activities, it can feel like the family is on the go nonstop! When we spend our time shuttling from one event to the next, the fast-food drive-thru can be a huge temptation, especially when you feel like there’s not enough time to prepare a good home-cooked meal.

Well, I’m here to give you a solution! This family-friendly vegetarian chili is easy on the budget and comes together in minimal time. You can even put it in the crockpot and let it simmer all day long. What could be better than coming home to dinner already waiting for you?

As written, this recipe is vegetarian (even better, it’s actually vegan, if you omit the optional cheese and sour cream toppings). Of course, you can also use vegan versions of the cheese and sour cream if that suits your family’s preferences.  Or if you prefer, you can add some browned ground beef. My family likes this chili served with hot buttered cornbread.

No matter which way you serve it, your family is sure to enjoy this vegetarian chili! And you’ll appreciate how quickly dinner can be served when you’re under the time crunch of the holidays.

Quick Vegetarian Chili

  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) hominy, drained
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced (optional)

Additional optional ingredients to top each bowl:

  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until hot all the way through. Remove from heat and add cheese if desired, stirring until melted. Top with sour cream and cilantro as desired.

 

Super Soup Series: April’s Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

Super Soup Series: April’s Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E
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Soup, The Ultimate Comfort Food

A couple of years ago I came across this recipe and immediately fell in love with it! It’s the ultimate comfort food, especially on a cold winter day. Another thing I love about it is that it’s two recipes in one. One day you can cook the chicken with your choice of sides and the next day you can use two of the leftover chicken breasts for the soup. The chicken itself is very flavorful and juicy when cooked this way. Then it adds a lot of flavor to the soup. We like to eat the soup with rolls or crackers. I hope you enjoy it!

Baked Lemon-Basil Chicken

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine (or use chicken broth)

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

 

1. Preheat oven to 400*F.

2. Place chicken in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Whisk together garlic, wine, lemon rind, and basil; pour over chicken.

4. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

5. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

6. Sprinkle with lemon juice; reserve 2 chicken breasts for Chicken Noodle Soup.

7. Slice remaining chicken, and serve.

image

Chicken Noodle Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 onion, chopped

48-oz carton reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp each salt and pepper

2 cups whole-wheat egg noodles

2 baked chicken breasts, shredded (from Baked Lemon-Basil Chicken)

 

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat; add carrots, celery, and onion.

2. Sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender.

3. Add broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.

4. Add noodles and shredded chicken; boil 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles are done.

Super Soup Series: Kristin’s Chili

Super Soup Series: Kristin’s Chili

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
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Chili–The Perfect Winter Warm-Up

It seems that everyone has a favorite recipe for chili, but I’m telling you this one is the best! The temperature is really starting to drop here in Oklahoma and some parts of the state are even due for snow before too long so I’m so excited to have some chili in the freezer, ready to simmer away on the stove on a cold and busy weeknight.

Chili is so versatile. I love to store it in quart-size freezer bags in the freezer. Here are some of the ways my family enjoys chili:

  • On its own, topped with cheese and a few corn chips or crackers
  • Frito Pie
  • Put in a baking dish with cornbread baked right on top
  • Spooned over baked potatoes
  • Nachos
  • Chili dogs

There are so many ways to serve chili, but our favorite is in a bowl with a slice of cornbread. This is a recipe handed down from my mother-in-law. and while I’ve made it my own it’s still very close to its original form. It’s comfort food to the max, and I love having this recipe on hand! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

 

Kristin’s Chili

2.5 lb hamburger

1 large onion, diced

28 oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

16 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

14 oz can Bush’s original baked beans, undrained

1 can of condensed tomato soup (or homemade soup, omitting the 1-1/3 cup of water)

1-1/3 cup of water

1/8 cup chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp pepper

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

 

  1. In a large pot, cook hamburger and onion together. Drain.
  2. Stir the spices in with the meat for one minute.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 hour.
  5. Kristin’s extra tip! During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, combine 3 tablespoons of masa or cornmeal with a little bit of water to form a very thick liquid, and stir into the chili.

kristins

 

Super Soup Series: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Super Soup Series: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

Pleasing Even the Pickiest Palates

I have a certain child (who shall not be named) who is extremely picky.  Our family jokes that she’s on the brown-and-white diet, i.e. she only eats brown and white foods.  And don’t even dare to serve her a green vegetable! I have no idea where her pickiness comes from, but I was thrilled when I tried this broccoli cheddar soup for the first time and she actually ate it! And better yet, she liked it!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 6-8 c. chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 c. sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 heads fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs chicken, cooked and chopped (optional)

Saute onion and garlic in butter until translucent. Add the flour and stir until bubbly. Add the milk and the broth and stir frequently until thickened. Stir in all remaining ingredients except the cheese and simmer 30-40 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Do not let it come to a boil. Last, stir in the cheese and heat until melted.

Flexible Options to Suit Every Taste

One of my favorite things about this soup is that it’s very flexible. Sub veggie broth for the chicken broth, and it’s compatible with most vegetarian diets. Have some carrots on hand that you need to use up? Throw them in with the broccoli! You can grate or finely dice the carrots–my family prefers grated.  The carrots add a great color and some extra nutrition as well. You can even add some finely chopped cauliflower.

With the holidays right around the corner, you’ll probably end up having plenty of turkey leftovers. After you’ve had your fill of turkey sandwiches, try tossing the leftover turkey into this soup instead of using chicken.  And although I haven’t personally tried it, I bet some cubed ham would taste great also!

One final note: Make sure you use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese! The flavors tend to mellow once they’re combined, and mild cheddar leads to a bland-tasting soup.  Also, the cayenne pepper adds a slight kick, which my family doesn’t mind.  Start with less if you think it might be too spicy for your tastes.

I hope you’ll try this soup and enjoy it as much as we do!  Any recipe that gets my picky eater to consume some veggies is a winner in my book!

broccoli-cheddar

Moist & Delicious Crock Pot Dressing

Moist & Delicious Crock Pot Dressing

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Excitement fills the air. Anticipation starts to grow.  It’s almost time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas is soon to follow.

For me this is a wonderful time of year filled with family, friends and lots of delicious food!  Growing up I remember sneaking into the kitchen to steal deviled eggs for my dad and I.  I’m sure my mom knew but she always acted surprised when her eggs went missing.

Sitting down to the table, I couldn’t wait for the mash potatoes and dressing to be piled high onto my plate.  Hmmmm!  Just thinking about it now has my  mouth watering.

Because I had always grown up with delicious, moist dressing, I didn’t realize it could be created any other way.  But apparently there is a dry and somewhat tasteless version that floats around out there.  My preference is definitely moist and full of flavor!

If you like moist and flavorful dressing but don’t want to spend the hours it can take creating the delicious masterpiece, then you must try this crock pot version.  My mom has used it for years upon years and gifted me the recipe she received from a friend. Since great recipes are for sharing, I’m excited to share it with you.

It’s simple and easy.  And the best part is that your oven will be available for other delicious creations.

 

Crock Pot Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8-inch pan cornbread (which is about 4 – 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pkg stuffing herb mix (about 4 1/2 – 5 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cans/boxes cream of chicken soup
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 tbs. butter

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

Of course, you can use a packaged mix but homemade cornbread tastes better!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, no problem. Simply put 3 tablespoons of vinegar (white or apple cider) into a 2 cup measuring cup, then fill up the cup with milk.  (So you use almost 2 cups of milk.)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt (I limit the salt here because the herb stuffing will have some salt as well.)
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes

Easy Steps

1st Step – Bake Cornbread, then crumble it up.  I have found that using a hand mixer, after initially breaking the cornbread apart, helps make the crumbles finer.  Just be careful not to turn the handle wrong or cornbread will go flying!

2nd Step – Lightly grease a large crock pot with butter.

3rd Step – in a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients well except the butter.

4th Step – Put all the mixture into the crock pot and then place the 2 tablespoons of butter on top of the mixture.

5th Step – Cover and cook on high for  2.5 – 3 hours or on low for 3 -4 hours.  Half way through, stir the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the sides and to  make sure the stuffing gets heated all the way through.

6th Step – Enjoy!

Now, isn’t that the easiest recipe you have ever seen.  May you enjoy more time with your family this Thanksgiving and Christmas season!

What are you most looking forward to this season?

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