Dairy-Free Egg Nog

Yes, you read that right:  it is egg nog that is dairy-free.  And a darn tasty one, too.

You see, I didn’t get any egg nog last year, and I missed it.  I love the stuff, and have to force myself not to overindulge.  Well, then it’s a good thing you didn’t drink any, Jan, you might say – and you’d be right.

But it’s egg nog, y’all.

So this year, I became determined to make my own health(ier) version of everyone’s favorite holiday beverage.  I’ve read countless egg nog recipes – traditional, sugar free, dairy free, even vegan (yeah, that kind of stumps me, too) – but it’s been a sacrifice I’m willing to make so I can bring you what is a simply delicious treat that you would never guess is dairy free.

In the end, I decided to adapt the recipe found in my 1975 edition of The Joy Of Cooking.  Now, there are some caveats – the recipe is for one serving and includes up to 1/4 cup of alcohol.  For most of my life I’ve been an egg nog purist, and to this day, while I don’t necessarily object to a touch of brandy in my nog, prefer the taste of it unadulterated.  I also had to replace the heavy cream in the recipe, then multiply it since I simply could not see making this one serving at a time (especially the way Beloved ended up drinking the stuff).

I should also mention that this egg nog is not cooked – most of the recipes on the internet are, in an effort to decrease the risk of salmonella.  Indeed, if you are using battery-raised eggs from the grocery store, you probably should make a custard of the milks, sugar and eggs but be aware that no matter how carefully you temper your eggs with the hot mixture, you WILL have to strain small bits of cooked egg out of the mixture by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve.   However, I’ve been eating our pastured eggs raw in various dishes/preparations for over a year now, and we have not had one instance of any food-borne illness in our household, so I was completely confident that we wouldn’t suffer any ill effects if I used raw eggs in this.

And I was correct.  So, grab your farm-fresh eggs and whip up a batch of this.  You will love it – the taste is far superior to anything you can buy at a grocery store.

Note:  Since the egg whites are whipped, which keeps the egg nog from being heavy and cloying the way commercial egg nogs often are, it will “separate” – the egg whites will rise above the yolk mixture – while it rests in the refrigerator.  Simply whisk, stir or shake the egg nog and it will blend back together beautifully.  Also, I’ve made this twice – once with evaporated cane juice and once with coconut sugar, and the version with the evaporated cane juice was better.  Coconut sugar isn’t as sweet as evaporated cane juice, so if you want it sweeter you might want to consider a few drops of liquid stevia in the recipe.  Finally, this is not a bright yellow egg nog like those you can purchase at a store – it’s more a rich, golden color due to the pastured egg yolks and the color of the sugar you choose to use.

Note #2:  I’d never used almond milk before, and don’t intend to make a habit of it, but please try to use a brand that has as few added ingredients as you possibly can, and make sure it is unsweetened.

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

serves 8 (makes about 2 quarts)

8 large eggs, separated
1 cup coconut sugar
1 can coconut milk
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
nutmeg to taste

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. Add the almond milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk until the mixture is smooth; stir in the vanilla.

Gently whisk the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture until the egg nog is smooth and light. Cover tightly and refrigerate until very cold, preferably over night.

Whisk the egg nog and pour into two clean 2-quart jars. Shake before serving and top each glass with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

Nutrition (per serving): 254 calories, 16.7g total fat, 186mg cholesterol, 122.5mg sodium, 239.7mg potassium, 18g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 14.4g sugar, 7.4g protein.

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Random Tuesday Watermelon Daiquiri

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in Random Tuesday Thoughts, and it’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of Be’s cocktail recipes.  So today you get both – sort of a Two For Tuesday type of thing.

Oh – with a picture of A Certain Young Man.  Because Grandmas do that.

It’s been a wild and wooly week and a half – The Young One not only returned home, escorted by Oldest Son, less than two weeks ago, but begins school tomorrow.  Since I’ve literally had a houseful (we have four bedrooms – two of which are unoccupied – plus a futon in the basement, and someone still had to sleep on the sofa), I have had NO time to do anything that even remotely resembles school shopping.

Guess what I’m doing today.  Oh, joy.

And have I mentioned my baby will be a junior this year?

Good gawd.  I’m ancient.

This weekend we were graced with a visit from The G Man, who turned TWO YEARS OLD last Monday (what was I saying about being ancient?).  It was wonderful, because it not only gave me an opportunity to look at this sweet little face to my heart’s content…

The G Man – 2 Years Old

…it gave me an excuse to play with fondant.

Dinosaur Cake

For any “new” readers that might be visiting today, I was a professional cake decorator when I was younger.  About the time dinosaurs roamed the earth, so the theme is appropriate.  And no, I did not eat any cake; even if gluten didn’t make me feel like complete crud, I still wouldn’t have eaten any – when you spend 12 hours a day, six days a week up to your elbows in cake and buttercream for ten years, cake isn’t exactly what you’d call “appealing” any more.

Pie, on the other hand, is a different matter all together.  Which is why I have a grain-free pie crust recipe, but not a grain-free cake recipe.

Yet.

Because our adult children were with us, Beloved took the opportunity to break out the new cocktail shaker we picked up on our trip to Charleston earlier this month.  There were many martinis, a few margaritas (which I refuse to touch), and Be’s take on a cocktail I indulged in during our trip:  a Watermelon Daiquiri.  The version I had there consisted of watermelon pureé, rum and mint-infused simple syrup (bad, yes) – the one Be concocted was less sweet (and a bit more potent, but that’s the way we roll).

At any rate, melons are now in season and the variety available at our farmer’s market is nothing short of amazing.  We have purchased a huge muskmelon and this tiny, seedless watermelon; I have no idea what it is called.  It had no stripes on the rind and the flesh was a delicate pink rather than a bright red, and was quite sweet.  With the the top sliced off and the insides scooped out and pureéd in the food processor, it was not only the perfect ingredient but the perfect vessel for this very tasty drink.

Watermelon Daiquir

Watermelon Daiquiri

serves me

1 part Rum
1 part Watermelon-flavored vodka
2 parts watermelon puree

Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well to blend, then strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with a cube of watermelon and a slice of banana that’s been dipped in lemon juice, and serve.

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