NOMday Holiday Edition!

One of my absolute favorite things about the holidays is the FOOD.  I have a wealth of delightful memories of huge family gatherings (I have six and seven aunts and uncles on BOTH sides of my family… I don’t even have a count of my cousins anymore!) filled with games, gift exchanges, and wonderful foods.

imageEgg nog is one of my favorite holiday treats.  I’m partial to my mother’s recipe, which to me is smoother and lighter than the store bought version.  It’s also SUPER EASY to make, with just 5 ingredients (plus some nutmeg!).

Holiday Egg Nog

2/3 cup of sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
nutmeg to taste

Separate the egg whites and yolks and set whites aside in the refrigerator.  Mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a large pan until smooth.  Add milk to yolk mixture slowly, stirring or whisking constantly.  Heat slowly!  Once heated, set aside to cool.  Make meringue with egg whites and 6 tablespoons of sugar, if desired.  Serve with a dollop of meringue and a sprinkle of nutmeg!  WARNING: the meringue is made with raw egg whites, prepare at your own risk!

I remember with delight how my mother used to set the pan of egg nog outside in the snow to cool, when there was no room in the refrigerator.  How wonderful it was to poke my head out into the cool winter night to bring the cool pan back inside and then enjoy the cold egg nog!

What’s your favorite holiday treat?

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Beg, borrow, and steal!

It’s a mantra we use as teachers that really applies to good teaching strategies that we can learn from others and then use… but I think it has good applications for crafters, too!  I’m taking a few cues this holiday season for my décor from fellow blogs!

imageFirst, I just arrived home from a trip to my local Family Dollar!  Fellow frugalese blog Dollar Store Crafts is constantly touting the benefits of shopping at this super-discounted location, and for once-a-year decorating it can save a lot of money!

I’d started out with a classic gold and silver theme, and then while taking a walk down the floral aisle, I caught sight of the fruits and veggies pictured to the left, and I had a brilliant idea!  A fruit-filled and fluttery tree filled with faux fruit and birds of all colors and sizes.  I also added in the element of white flowers to fill in the lacking spaces in my somewhat sparse (and secondhand) tree.  I’ll also include some of my keepsake ornaments that were handed down from my parents.

imageThe other project I’m looking forward to is this silvery, lighted branch that was posted over at Remodelista.  I love the simplicity and natural flavor of this simple-to-create project.  It seems to go along the lines of the outdoorsy, natural feeling I’m pursuing this season (apparently!).  I’m thinking about giving this one a home on the mantle above the fireplace… it would make a nice foil to some stockings hung by the chimney with care!  I could also go dark green or brown to follow the accents of the red camellia branch curtains in the living room.  So many possibilities!

I like that both of these are not limited to the winter holidays.  A lighted branch is a lovely accent any time of the year, and faux fruit can be a great part of everyday décor or specifically for Thanksgiving.

I admit…  I’m a fan of the winter holiday season!  I love all of it, the decorating, the parties, the lights, and just the overall feeling of wonder and delight.  Oh, and did I mention winter vacation?  Gotta love it!

What fun projects are you finding in the blogosphere this season?