Recipe: Eggnog Crème Brûlée

I don't know when I decided to like eggnog. Growing up, it was always around during the holidays and I remember trying it and being pretty repulsed by it. When I got older, we used to go to parties where the boozy eggnog was flowing and I still couldn't get into it.

But I'm now a convert. I can get down with some eggnog. Not a lot, just a small glass or two with a little cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Or just one of these eggnog creme brûlées because these babies are great. If you like eggnog, these are a must. And I promise, creme brûlée is not as hard as it seems!

Eggnog Crème Brûlée

Makes 6 ramekins

4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup full-fat eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For sugar topping: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until combined. Whisk in eggnog, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and spices until everything is combined. Pour mixture into something with a spout for easy pouring.

Arrange ramekins in a baking dish so that they aren't touching each other or the sides of the baking dish. Pour the eggnog mixture into each ramekin so it's 3/4 full. Heat about 4 cups of water to a boil, and pour the water into the baking dish to create a water bath for the custards. Water should come half way up the ramekins.

Carefully place in the bottom rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes. Finished custards should be set in the center, but still slightly jiggly. Once cooked, let cool on a baking rack until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before serving. 

When ready to serve, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and sprinkle an even coating over each custard. Using a kitchen torch to brûlée the tops. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can place them in the broiler for a few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them!


Fall Bucket List Review

With Thanksgiving happening last weekend and everyone posting Christmas trees on Instagram, I guess you can say Fall has come and gone. I had really hoped to get this posted before my holiday gift guides when up, but as you can see that didn't happen. BUT today we're taking a look at what was on my Fall Bucket List and how I did at knocking things off of it!

Spoiler alert: pretty okay! Here we go!

Go Apple Picking: We actually did this twice. We first went to Linvilla Orchards with just G and I. It was rainy and a little picked through by the time we made this trip (but it was late in the season tbh), but we had a great time nonetheless. Linvilla has a bunch of other things, including a giant store where they sell pumpkins and mums and everything else you could imagine, a farmer's market area and bakery, as well as food vendors, apple slingshots, donuts, and tons of other things for families. The second place was Highland Orchard and we went with a few friends. Also had a nice farmer's market/bakery, petting areas with goats, and pick-your-own pumpkins.

Reorganize My House: As I mentioned in this post, G and I now live together in my house! We moved all his stuff in early November and though we are still finding places for things, most of our space is working out quite nicely. We still have some things to figure out, but I'm happy with it so far!

Carve Pumpkins/Have a Pumpkin Carving Party: I was so happy with this little shindig! We had maybe 15-18 friends come over, hang out, and carve pumpkins. We covered both my dining room tables and coffee table with paper bags, I picked out some carving knives at the thrift store and got some dollar store carving kits, and it worked out great!

Bake More Pies: Yes! I made two standard pumpkin pies for our two Thanksgivings, and posted recipes for this Pumpkin Tart with Gingerbread Crust (which is basically a pie) and this Apple Crumb Pie

Try 5 New Restaurants/Bars in the City: So I've been to 4 new-to-me restaurants in Philadelphia in the past couple of months and they have all been REALLY good. They are The Dandelion, Mission Taqueria, Fitzwater Street Bagels, and Cheu Noodle Bar. But I'm also going to throw Pub & Kitchen in there as well, because it's someplace that I first went to in the very end of Summer and we've been back several times since. 

Cook Dinner at Home More: Also something we've been doing more of since G moved in. As long as the work week isn't super busy for either of us, we try to make 2 meals at home a week. I currently have a pot roast in the crockpot at home as we speak and stuffed peppers to make this weekend. 

Post a Blog Post Once a Week Without Missing a Week: I feel really good about this one you guys! Throughout the life of this blog, I've blogged often, I've made consistent scheduled, I've blogged several times a week, and I've gone on hiatus for months. I'm currently in the groove of slow blogging. My aim is consistently once a week. If I have more content for a week, I'll throw up an extra post (like this post, actually), but for the most part, I stick to once a week. I'm so thrilled and proud of myself for sticking to this for several months. Blogging is something I do on top of my normal 9-5 job, social obligations, relaxing time, and everything else that comes with being an adult. It's a balancing act that I love, but can also be the first thing to go when I'm not feeling up to it. So I feel good that I've pushed through and made content consistently these past few months. Woot woot. 

Now for the handful of things I didn't complete:

Clean the Back Deck and light the chiminea at least once: Well, I did clean the deck off for the Pumpkin Carving Party, but besides that it's looked pretty awful back there. I get leaves that fall onto my deck that are the size of dinosaur footprints and it's hard to keep up with. But I need to bring in the furniture and roll that rug up so I'm sure I'll be cleaning it soon.

Make More Time For Friend Hangs: I feel like I made the same amount of time for friend hangs. I feel like I saw everyone around the same amount, with the exception of scheduling a day date with my girlfriend who lives back home and her son and getting to attend the wedding of one my favorite people who I don't see that often. Not really a loss, but not a true win either.

Do Something with that Extra Bedroom: The extra bedroom reminds unfinished (still). Though it's better, it's still not there. Still need to deal with this. :(

And that's it! Not as good as last time but still above average! I hope these posts aren't too boring for you and at least some of you are enjoying them. I know they help me remember the things I've accomplished over the past couple of months so I hope to keep writing goals out this way!


Recipe: Cranberry Gin Fizz

A story I tell often of my family is that growing up (and I'm sure still to this day I just don't live there anymore), my family ate cranberry sauce all year round and often more than once a week. With a roast chicken or a pot roast, we always had a can of cranberry sauce along with it. I was in college when it was mentioned to me that that was not the norm. I don't remember how that conversation went or how it came up, but I learned that my mother was single-handedly keeping the makers of cranberry juice busy throughout the rest of calendar year.

I do have to say that this is not a complaint by any means, I love cranberry anything and feel bad for the people who don't eat cranberry sauce all year round. You're missing out real bad.

But cranberries do feel very holiday to me, so today we are adding gin and orange juice and making them into their best and booziest selves. 

Cranberry Gin Fizz

Makes one drink

3 oz cranberry juice
2 oz gin
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 dash bitters
club soda
frozen cranberries, sprig of thyme or rosemary, orange slices/peel (optional)

In a short glass with ice, add cranberry juice, gin, orange juice, and dash of bitters and stir to combine. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, give it one with stir, and top with frozen cranberries and a sprig of thyme or rosemary. Cheers!

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Booze-Lover Gift Guide

Thanksgiving is over and I'm ready to be in full-blown Christmas mode. Christmas shopping has started. I'm itching to take my tiny pink Christmas tree out of the box. I want to look at Christmas lights and wander around Rittenhouse Park and look at the decorations. 

This year I put together a few gift guides that focus on different things I love (and conveniently all begin with Bs): Booze, Beauty, and Baking. This week we're looking at gifts people the Booze-Lover or Party Host/Hostess in your life. I wanted these guides to focus on gifts under $35. Most of the items are very affordable and can be thought of as an add-on to a larger gift or something to stick with a gift card. Cheers!

  1. Brass-Dotted Barware. Gold and polka dots? Sign me up! Would be a sweet gift to add to a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of fancy beer.
  2. Belvoir Pressé Gift Set. All wrapped up and ready to go. This cute set would be a great gift for a party host/hostess during the holidays.
  3. Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Great for someone who already has a bar cart set up. A way to gussy up an Old Fashioned.
  4. Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History. Written by Philadelphia's own Steven Grasse (Hendrick's Gin, Art in the Age, Tamworth Distilling), this book is great if you know someone who's interested in American history and the history of alcohol. An easy read, it's filled with historical recipes and tales of how booze built this country. Loved reading this book.
  5. Threshold Marble & Wood Coasters Set of 4. An easy gift for the person who has everything or is maybe hard to shop for. Simple, but really on-point design-wise.
  6. Hummingbird Glass Straws. An upgrade from the paper straw. These glass straws would be a great addition to a glassware set or a bottle of booze.
  7. Carry On Cocktail Kit: Champagne Cocktail. These cocktail kits are just so freaking adorable. A gift for the traveler.
  8. Real Dill Bloody Mary Mix. Sampled this at a recent Terrain event and it was mighty delicious. A quirky gift, but something fun for the bloody mary lover.
  9. Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker with Gold Finish. There's obviously a love of gold going on in this gift guide. A standard shaker with a golden finish. Maybe paired with that gold bare tool set? Or that muddler?
  10. Marble & Wood Muddler. I always like gifts that are something practical, but slightly upgraded or nicer than you would buy yourself. This muddler fits the bill.
  11. Carry On Cocktail Kit: Bloody Mary. Again, just too cute. Attach a liquor store gift card and you're good to go. 
  12. Fee Brothers Bar Cocktail Bitters Set of 6. For someone who loves to experiment with cocktails at home. 
  13. Disco Ball Tumbler. I feel like this tumbler was made for me. A really fun gift for someone who just screams fun and party. Or someone who spends a lot of time on the internet because these babies have been posted everywhere.
  14. Marble & Gold Barware Tool Set. For your friend who's just starting building a bar/ bar cart at home. This gold all-in-one kit is both functional and pretty.

Recipes Ideas for the Holidays

It's almost here! Thanksgiving is only a handful of days away!

Maybe you need to bring something for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a Friendsgiving or a holiday party in the near future. Maybe you're hosting friends or family and need a little something special. I've got you covered! Here's a handful of recipes that are sure to impress.

Let's start with the best part: Dessert!

Above: Very simple Apple Galette. Easier to throw together than a standard pie, just as good.

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée: Way easier than they sound. For when you want to have all the pumpkin vibes, but don't want to bake a pie.

Apple Cranberry Pie: Pouring a caramely sugar mixture over the top of the lattice crust gives this pie a crispier top and caramelized flavor.  

Apple Crisp: Easy to throw together and feeds a crowd. Also, great reheated for breakfast the next day.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes: For the people that need to have chocolate at every event. This is a classic combination that most people will love.

Pumpkin Tart with Gingersnap Crust: Something different for the pumpkin pie loves (a.k.a. me). Everything you want in a pumpkin pie with a thick, gingersnap crust.

Applesauce Cupcakes: One of my favorite cakes growing up. Similar to a carrot cake with the carrot. Moist and covered in cream cheese frosting. Yum.

Apple Crumb Pie: A classic with a crumbly topping instead of a top crust.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes: For the ice cream lover. Throw that pie into a blender with some ice cream and drink up!

Let's move on to Appetizers.

Baked Brie: Served with slices of green apple and crackers, this baked brie is addicting. Though it is best served warmed and melty, it's really a crowd pleaser. 

Pear and Goat Cheese Tart: If you like goat cheese, this tart is perfect. A mix of creamy goat cheese and sweet pears, topped with chopped thyme and honey, and sprinkled with a little black pepper to cut the sweetness.

Pumpkin Pie Dip: A sweet treat before dinner. Pumpkin and cool whip and dipped with gingersnaps. 

Pear and Brie Tart with Cranberries: Similar to the Pear and Goat Cheese Tart, this puff pastry-based tart has pears, brie, and dried cranberries mixed in. Best served warmed.

Need a Cocktail?

How about something with Apple Cider? Maybe an Apple Cider Margarita, Apple Cider Moscow Mule, or a SNAP and Cider Cocktail (above). Looking for something else? Maybe a simple Cranberry Fizz or a Grapefruit & Rosemary Gin Cocktail!