Eggnog is the New Pumpkin

Last couple of months I noticed pumpkin flavored everything in the stores.  When I saw pumpkin moisturizing cream, it reminded me of the paper I’d written years ago on oat bran for my marketing class at university.  Back then oat bran was hailed as being fabulous for one’s health.  How it ended up in shampoo and everything else besides oatmeal, was the marketing geniuses at work.  Back to pumpkin; I did actually indulge in some pumpkin flavored items like instant oatmeal and pancake batter (the latter was so delicious) in October and November.  I also incorporated it into some of my cooking and baking.  Now it’s eggnog season, pumpkin is so last month, and I’m beginning to see some items like ice cream (one from Trader Joe’s is really, really good), gelato and cookies.  I’m wondering what else will be now eggnog “flavored”. Donuts?  Hair gel?  Deodorant?

Anyway, all my kids happen to love eggnog.  I buy it pre-made from a couple of stores/brands but it’s hard to get it without high fructose corn syrup and preservatives.  It’s also costly since I usually end up getting the organic one by default (sans other ingredients I’m avoiding). I’ve told the boys we’re going to make some, but I keep putting it off.

Well, my eldest son asked for French toast the other day, “made with eggnog”.  I used about 1/3 cup with one egg, sprinkle of cinnamon, dash of sugar and pinch of salt. Cooked on a lightly buttered saute pan over medium/medium-high heat until golden.  Topped it with some warm buttered maple syrup*.  He loved it and since there was a little mixture left, I had one too.  He had a great idea!  So, maybe eggnog won’t go the way of oat bran or even pumpkin, but we’ll be indulging in the next few weeks while it’s around.  Think I’ll try some in my baking. 

*Warm Buttered Maple Syrup:  I learnt this tip from the restaurant business.  Add a pat of butter to 1/2 cup of maple syrup (we only use the real stuff) and heat it in the microwave for 40 seconds until the butter melts. Stir and serve on pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc. 

Pancake with warm buttered maple syrup

Pancake with warm buttered maple syrup

(didn’t have a photo of the eggnog French Toast)


Gluten Free Banana Pancakes


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Updating the website and having some issues.  In the meantime here’s a photo of our delicious breakfast.  Gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup. I added cinnamon and bananas to mine.  (Boys weren’t interested.) I made them with buckwheat, sorghum, and brown rice … Continue reading

Manic Kitchen Maniac Part II (Roast Butternut Squash Ravioli)

So, I was cooking and baking up a storm…  I had limited time before I had to take my preschooler to the library for story time and then afterwards  the other two would come off the school bus.  I was bringing them over to a friend’s house for an autumn party following pumpkin picking.  I knew the ravioli would take some time— an hour and half to create 30 raviolis!  It had taken an hour and half (which is really passive time) to roast the butternut squash the day before, so this is a time consuming recipe— hands on time is just about 2 hours.  And I’m using wonton wrappers that you can get in the produce section of supermarket.  (Faster and easier than homemade pasta, but they’re fresh and delicious.) But, if you have the time, take it or make it if you don’t.  These were beyond my expectations (and I was pretty sure they’d be good).

Roast Butternut Squash Ravioli


2 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Maple syrup to taste (approximately 2 tsp)

salt and pepper to taste

Using food mill over a bowl purée the squash.  Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper. If needed, add maple syrup to taste preference. On a floured surface, place a dollop of mixture on wonton wrapper (about teaspoon for small round, 1-2 tsp for larger square wontons).  Brush water along edges, then place second wonton on top, press one edge together well, pick up and while carefully squeezing air out (burp) press the rest of two wontons together.  Place the ravioli on a cookie tray dusted with corn meal until your ready to cook.  Repeat for desired amount.  I made 30 with this recipe and had enough filling for another 5.  In a wide pot boil water.  Depending on your pot, place about 8 raviolis at a time in soft- rolling boil for about 5 minutes.  Don’t crowd, too many might stick together.  Place on serving plate, add sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese, pour butter sauce over and serve immediately.

Brown Butter Sauce:

Stick of butter

cup whole fresh sage leaves (destemmed)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a sauté pan melt 1/4 stick of butter over medium-high heat until it starts frothing.  Add sage until it crisps.  Take off heat immediately and either serve or keep warm.  Sprinkle cheese on each individual ravioli and pour butter over.  Repeat for each serving.   Took photo before the last two were eaten!  Butter sauce little over done on last round.

I prepared them before the library and prior to a pumpkin picking hayride with a group of friends and their kids and then actually cooked the ravioli and sauce when we had gathered at a friend’s post-hayride.  

The adults loved this as did the kids willing to try it.  My youngest wouldn’t yet, but I imagine one day in the not too distant future, he’ll be gobbling them up too.  They were divine— I was nervous since I’d never made them before and appreciated the enthusiastic reviews.  I actually made them again two days later at another friend’s because she missed out on the gathering and so that my eldest could try some since they were all gone by the time he got round to eating the previous day.  It’s hard when the kids are around so many others (there were at least 20 kids) they tend to play and play and not eat even when told it’s time— until they’re absolutely famished.  When my eldest son finally did try them, he too loved them.