The holidays are, in a normal year, hectic for all of us. We’re busy entertaining, gathering, and celebrating with friends, family and co-workers.
But of course, this is not your average year. Far from it.
With that, the holidays are looking a little quieter this year but a wonderful upside is that it gives us the opportunity to slow down and focus on what we cherish and what matters most.
Chef Lynn Crawford is known for her illustrious career in the food industry. As a celebrated chef with over 25 years of experience, she has earned her place at the head of the table. You may recognize her from The Food Network’s multiple cooking shows including Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, Wall of Chefs and others. She’s a much-loved author of several cookbooks, with another coming out in 2021. She has also been at the helm of several restaurants including The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and in New York as well as her very own restaurant Ruby Watchco – which has garnered critical acclaim as one of the best restaurants in Toronto and Canada.
Crawford tells us that this holiday season she plans on spending quality time with her family and sticking with her traditions of baking, building a snowman, sledding and making eggnog.
“It will be a little quieter this year, but it is the holidays and everybody is truly in the holiday spirit,” said Crawford. “I have two young girls and we’ve recently moved, so we’re very excited to be in a new space and make it our home. The tree is up and decorated. We’re hoping for a little bit more snow at the cottage, which we love. It’s a real winter wonderland up there.”
Another holiday treat chef Lynn and her family love; eggnog!
In our conversation, I confessed to only having tried the store-bought version and the thought of making my own was intimidating. Does her version have real eggs in the recipe? Indeed. Crawford mentions that you’ll want to use fresh eggs in making eggnog at home. Of course, we’re fortunate to have access to fresh, high-quality eggs, sourced locally right here from Canadian egg farmers all-year-round.
“Canadian egg farms are local businesses,” says Crawford. “There’s so much heart and soul going into producing the perfect egg for consumers. Eggs are delicious, versatile and there are so many great recipes you can make with them. It’s probably one of the first things we learn to cook. I’ve always been a big advocate of supporting local food and Canadian farmers work so, so, hard to give us quality ingredients. Knowing where your food comes from is something we tend to take for granted. If you go to eggfarmers.ca you can really get to know your egg farmers and the amazing work they are doing within their communities.”
With the holidays fast approaching, there are so many ways we can use eggs in recipes from appetizers, desserts to brunches. That reminded me of my mother-in-law’s traditional Boxing Day brunch casserole made of eggs, bacon and cheddar. It was a classic and I’ve carried on her tradition in our own home.
It’s those classic recipes that we’re nostalgic for now especially since we’ve slowed down and have given ourselves time to remember all the joys of the season.
Feeling inspired? Here is chef Lynn Crawford’s recipe for Spiced Rum Chocolate Caramel Eggnog. We’ve also come across chef Dale MacKay’s recipe for Eggnog Panna Cotta with Rum Soaked Raisins and Pecans.
Enjoy the simple things this season with Egg Farmers of Canada by trying one of their comforting eggnog-inspired holiday recipes, found on eggs.ca. We’d also love to see your favourite dishes and your love for eggs on social media using #MyHolidayKitchen.
Spiced Rum Chocolate Caramel Eggnog
By Chef Lynn Crawford
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
What better way to warm up this winter than with a festive drink in hand! Keep cozy this holiday season with this sweet and spicy spin on this classic holiday cocktail.
-2 cups (500 mL) whole milk
-½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
-¼ tsp (1.25 mL) ground nutmeg
-1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
-6 large egg yolks
-½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
-1 cup (250 mL) dark chocolate chips
-1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream
-½ cup (125 mL) spiced rum (optional)
-¼ cup (60 mL) caramel sauce, store-bought or see recipe below
-Whipped cream, for serving
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla slowly bringing the mixture to a low boil.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the yolks are pale in colour. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined.
2. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil. If you’re using a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 160 °F (70 °C). Add chocolate chips and whisk until melted.
3. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, spiced rum. Refrigerate until chilled.
4. When ready to serve, coat the inside of a mug with caramel sauce. Add eggnog to the mug and garnish it with whipped cream and cinnamon.
Makes ¾ cup (175 mL)
-½ cup (125 mL) butter
-½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream
-½ cup (125 mL) dark brown sugar
-1 tbsp (15 mL) fancy molasses
-1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, whisk together the butter, cream, brown sugar and molasses on medium-high heat.
2. Let the mixture come to a boil and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.