Tag Archives: Christmas

The Gentleman’s Egg Nog Ice Cream – your children will sleep past 6am Christmas morning…

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

When I was a fat little kid down in Texas, I couldn’t get enough eggnog. And even though I was 8 or 9, dad would still spike it a little for me. Probably because he realized it would make me sleep.

Christmas Eve was the most overstimulating day of the entire year. Family, church, singing, Mawmaw time, presents, driving around looking at lights in Hillcrest Village, more church, more singing, cousins, cousins, cousins, eating, more eating, more presents, baby and toddler meltdowns, envelopes of money, TV specials, more eating, and EGGNOG.

We never made eggnog from scratch, nor did we make eggnog ice cream. I didn’t even know making eggnog was a “thing” until I was well into adulthood. So, here I will offer you two versions: version 1 being the overachiever method and version 2 being the “I still have 30 presents to wrap, I am not making homemade eggnog” method, and then the freezing process.

VERSION 1

What you need (approximate 1 pint yield):

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar (superfine works best) + an additional tablespoon
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon**
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum**
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or the caviar of 1/4 of a vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 3 egg whites

**may be doubled or eliminated. 

This is very easy. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks for about 2 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup sugar gradually. Beat until the sugar dissolves. Add milk, cream, booze, nutmeg, and vanilla.

In another bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the 1 tablespoon sugar and beat to stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the mixture, chill.**

**Yes, this recipe contains uncooked eggs. Yes, the FDA says eggs should get to 160 degrees for “food safety.” However, you eat steak medium and raw oysters and over easy eggs, don’t you? And most dietitians/nutritionists agree that raw organic eggs are the cleanest, safest form of protein available. So screw the FDA.

If you don’t want to make ice cream, you can serve this as is right now! It’s delicious!

VERSION 2

What you need:

  • 1 pint commercially produced eggnog, your favorite variety*
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon**
  • 1 tablespoon dark spiced rum**
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or the caviar of 1/4 of a vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

*Not the kind from the liquor store. It won’t freeze. The kind from the dairy case.

**may be doubled or eliminated. 

Mix all the ingredients together and chill to very cold.

MAKING THE ICE CREAM

I use this with my Kitchenaid Mixer:

http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/kitchenaid-kica-ice-cream-attachment-kica0wh?ID=481896&pla_country=US&cm_mmc=Bing-PLA-_-Home-HomeCoop-_-Kitchenaid-_-50946960197USA&CAWELAID=120156070003174529&catargetid=120156070003728566&CADEVICE=c

I think it’s a great tool. Super easy, no fuss. You use what works for you.

Pour the well-chilled liquid into the SUPER FROZEN bowl of the mixer attachment. Process on slow/stir for about 25 minutes.

Remove the dasher and put the ice cream (should be about soft serve consistency) into a bowl or container, and quickly get it into the freezer.

It will continue to harden. Allow it to sit for a few hours before you serve it so it’s nice and firm.

Shown here with The Gentleman Caller’s Spiced Up Holiday Apple Pie http://thegentlemancaller.net/spiced-up-holiday-apple-pie/

Do your best not to eat it all before your guests arrive!

That’s all for now, little fatty.

xo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE GENTLEMAN’S EGG NOG ICE CREAM

The Gentleman Caller’s Non-Tacky Christmas Stocking

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

One thing about Christmastime has always baffled me. A good many people lose all sense of taste when it comes to decorating and what is acceptable to put out around their homes. Perhaps, rather, Christmas exposes people I didn’t know had bad taste as People Who Have Bad Taste. The vulgar plastic atrocities lining the shelves of the local K-mart continue to bring us to new visual lows as a society.

The two particular items I find most loathsome are 1) Santa hats, and 2) STOCKINGS.

Now, a stocking is a must. It’s half of the Santa shakedown. I would have run around as a child with nary a pair of underwear were it not for the Christmas stocking. But let’s class it up a little, can we?

The Gentleman Caller has taken the matter into his own hands. We are making our own. Go out and find some lovely material that incorporates your home’s decor with your Christmas tree, and then watch my video. It’s a VERY easy sew. And don’t forget: the bigger the stocking, the more loot Santa leaves.

Good luck and happy holidays!

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Linzer Cookie

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Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Welcome back, you crazy carolers!

Alright, I am outing myself here. I am a cookie monster. I have been known to take a cookie to bed with me, and that’s not a euphemism. I could eat a cookie every day. During Trip of Love, given it’s proximity to Schmackary’s, NYC’s most renowned cookie purveyor, I DID eat a cookie almost every day.

My family has a long tradition of making several varieties of holiday cookie, some more notorious than others. There’s this one particular variety that are green butter cookie Christmas trees that – well, let’s just say there is a lot of green food dye in them and you might have a surprise the next morning.

While we’ve always made cookies, we didn’t do the Linzer traditionally. However, I have always thought them pretty and elegant. And perfectly seasonal. So I did a little development and here I present The Gentleman’s Linzer cookie.

What you need:

  • 2 sticks of butter – 16 tablespoons, softened OR 1 stick – 16 tablespoons of butter flavor Crisco + 6 tablespoons water**
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • strawberry (or your favorite red colored) jam (http://thegentlemancaller.net/the-gentlemans-momma-end-of-summer-strawberry-jam-video/)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

**I know I sound like a Crisco salesman, and yes, it is not good for you, but it makes a flakier cookie.

Preheat oven to 375.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar to cream, about 4 minutes. While creaming, sift flour and salt together. To the mixer add the egg and vanilla. Turn the mixer off. Spoon in the flour and salt mixture and stir to combine. This dough is stiff. If it’s especially dry in your house from radiant heat, or you live in Las Vegas or something, you might need a tablespoon of water. Humidity makes a difference in a stiff cookie.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Take about a 2 cup ball of dough and roll it out on the parchment to 1/8 of an inch. Thin is your friend. Use a biscuit cutter to stamp out circles. Remove excess dough and reuse in the next batch you roll out. Use a smaller cookie cutter (or soda bottle cap or something else like that) to stamp out a relief in the middle. Reuse that dough as well. Not everyone has all these shapes and cutters. Be resourceful, you just need two shapes, one bigger than the other.

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Bake for 7 minutes. Check them. They should not get brown, only barely gold-ish. Watch them fastidiously.

Keep baking in batches. Allow them to cool.

Spread the tops (the ones with the hole in the middle) on wax paper. Put the powdered sugar in your sifter and dust the tops gently.

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Spread the jam on the bottom halves. Squish the two together.

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OPTIONS:

  • Cut the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and use cherry jam instead of strawberry jam. Delicious.
  • To the dry ingredients, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom. Use orange marmalade instead of strawberry jam. Spicy.

These are very impressive on the plate and will impress people if you gift them. But good luck not eating them all yourself, says the self proclaimed cookie monster.

That’s all for now.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S LINZER COOKIE

Make Your Own $80 wreath for less than $8

Knock knock knock.
Gentleman Caller.

Know what’s expensive? Christmas!

Now don’t misunderstand, I am more than accustomed to emptying my wallet for a pair of $1000 sneakers or a ridiculously overpriced backpack, but if I can save money on something, I will. Someone I was very close to used to say, “Austin, you will drive across town to save a nickel on an orange.” Accurate! What can I say? It’s my legacy. My great-grandmother was a Scot, like, off the boat immigrant. Scots are cheap. Ahem, frugal.

So when it came time to decorate for Christmas this year, I was confronted with two realities. If you invest in artificial pine things you have to STORE THEM. If you buy real throw away pine things, you still pay an arm and a leg and then you chuck it in the bin on January 2. Both of those options seemed unacceptable.

I live next to a Whole Foods. Like there would be no asking my neighbor for a cup of sugar because my neighbor is Whole Foods. I noticed they had put up a makeshift Christmas tree lot and the guys who worked there were trimming branches off the trees and putting them in the trash. Hmm…

So I decided to ask them for branches. Worst thing they could do is say no. But they didn’t, so up to my apartment I trekked, loaded down with two great arms full of aromatic fresh pine boughs. I got out a 5 gallon bucket and put some water in it. I put the ends of the branches in the water until I was ready to work with them to keep them nice and verdant.

As pretty as my pine branches were, I wanted to amend with some other varieties of plant. Cypress, juniper, boxwoods. You’d be surprised how many overgrown shrubs you see when you are thinking about gathering branches. So I started asking people: May I trim your shrubs? An odd request, I admit. But it worked and I came home with a sack full of cypress, juniper, and boxwood. If I had been in Texas, I would have used those waxy leaves from magnolia trees. That would be gorgeous. Maybe next year.

Now to construct a foundation. I just used three layers of stiff cardboard. I turned a round table upside down and traced a big circle. I then found a mixing bowl and traced the internal circle. I had about 3 inches of width to work with.

I hot glued the layers together. I brushed on some acrylic paint, but I mixed white and dark green together as I brushed so that it had dimension.

We have arrived at the Dollar General portion of this project. So far we have spent about zero dollars, especially if you have old paints available.

Your dollar store is going to have everything else you need. Fine gauge wire, a couple feet of ribbon and a handful of ornaments.

Now let’s build. I would advise that you either do this outdoors, in your garage, or put down a plastic sheet or something. This project is messy.

Lay your foundation on a flat surface. Cut about 8-10 inches of branch and just start layering, working backward. Branch, wire, branch, wire. At first you are probably going to think Wow, this looks like some kind of shitty 3rd grade arts and crafts project. Keep at it. Fill it out as you go. If you make the circumference of the wreath and it looks anemic, get more branches and keep shoving. You can continue shoving supplemental branches in existing wire. Do that until you reach the desire fullness.

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Embellishment time. I cut 10-inch segments of ribbon and hot glued the ends to the back of the wreath on opposing sides. Then I wired clusters of ornaments together and wired them into the greenery. It’s basically like decorating a tree. Be creative.

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In all honesty, I almost pulled all the ornaments off after I put them on because the simple greenery itself was really stunning. You be the judge. Sometimes less is more.

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Time to hang. I had a hole available on my door that I could easily put a wire through. You might need a 3M hook or something like that. I am sure you can figure it out.

Here we are at the end. I spent about $4. Not bad indeed.

Now get to work! Send me photos of your endeavors!

Out for now,

The Gentleman Caller