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March-April 2014: More recipes!

We had more delicious recipes than we had room for in our March-April 2014 issue of Edible Twin Cities. Accordingly, here are five additional recipes. Enjoy!


By Stephanie Fox

(From “Imagination and Matzo: How Generations of Jewish Cooks Make Passover Meals Special,” March-April 2014 Edible Twin Cities)

Haroset is one of the foods eaten at the Seder, symbolizing the mortar used by Hebrew slaves in Egypt. But, it’s also served as a side dish, a kind of a fruit salad or a chutney. There is no set recipe or style and experimenting with exotic variation is the current trend. Recipes from the Middle East can con-tain dates, figs, and dried fruit. Some adventurous cooks even add coconut, bananas, and dried pineapple, but this traditional Eastern European version is what most American Jews saw on their childhood Seder table.

6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces

1 cup of chopped nuts (your choice of one or more, almonds, walnuts, pecans, or other favorites)

1 tablespoon powdered cinnamon

Zest of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)

2 teaspoons sugar, brown sugar or honey

¼ to ½ cup kosher concord or other sweet red wine

At least six hours before serving mix together the first six ingredients. Add the wine a little at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Store covered in the refrigerator for at least six hours and up to about 24 hours.


By Beth Dooley

(From “In a Stew Over Hot Dish,” March-April 2014 Edible Twin Cities)

Serves 6

Make this with freshly ground Riverbend cornmeal from the natural food co-op. This easy dish puffs up like a soufflé, then falls. It makes a hearty main dish served with a tossed green salad.

2-1/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup cornmeal

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

4 large eggs, well beaten

1-1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped green onions

Butter a 1-1/2 quart casserole and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and lower the heat to a simmer. Slowly add the cornmeal, stirring to keep lumps from forming. (A wire whisk works well.) When all the cornmeal has been added, continue cooking, stirring con-stantly for about 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should be completely smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pepper and butter and then the milk. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the eggs, beating well until everything is smooth. Stir in the cheese and the chopped green onions. Pour the mixture into a casserole and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes up clean. This will be puffy and light.


By Becky Poss

(From “Cold Comfort: Minnesotans Take Comfort in These Dishes,” March-April 2014 Edible Twin Cities)

This steaming soup is gloriously all about satisfaction.

Serves 2 – 4

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 each; red pepper and jalapeno pepper

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 more medium potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed

1 pound favorite sausage (Polish, Italian, or Brat) par-boiled and cut in bite-sized pieces

4 cups chicken broth (canned or homemade)

1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice

2 cups finely shredded green cabbage

2 teaspoons Penzeys Bavarian Seasoning (or an Italian Blend)

Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Melt butter in a deep cast iron pan. Add onion, peppers, and diced potatoes and sauté several minutes. Add sausage and continue sauté for about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

Add cabbage, mashed potatoes, and seasoning. Cover and let simmer at least 20 minutes or until cabbage is cooked through. Serve with a generous sprinkle of cheese, salt and pepper to taste.


By Becky Poss

Serves 4-6.

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks

2 each: red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and jalapeno peppers seeded and cut into ½ inch dice

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons Italian herb blend

½ head cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces

1 8-oz package mushrooms, sliced

½ cup olive oil

½ pound orzo, cooked (approx. 2 cups when cooked)

1 cup finely grated or sliced cabbage

2 cups chopped spinach

1 cup crumbled cheese (blue or feta) or grated Parmesan

4 scallions, chopped

½ cup chopped pecans, pistachios or pine nut

4 tablespoons each : olive oil and lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and prepare orzo according to directions on package. Line large cookie sheet with aluminum foil, turning edges of foil up to retain cooking juices. Toss eggplant, peppers, and garlic on aluminum. Drizzle with 3/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs; roast in oven for 25 minutes.


By Becky Poss

A very comforting soup if you or your loved ones are suffering from a cold. The zip of the peppers and curry clears the senses while the sweetness of coconut milk offers smooth satisfaction. Not your grandma’s chicken soup (unless of course she’s of Thai descent…)

6 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated

1 scant cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon Canola or Sesame oil

2 cans coconut milk (a low fat version is available, but is less creamy)

4 cups chicken broth

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into small matchsticks

1 each; jalapeno and poblano peppers, completely seeded and chopped

1 tied bundle of cilantro (approx. 12 stalks)

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into

bite-sized pieces

8 oz. white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tsp. zest of lime

2 tablespoons Sweet Chili sauce OR 1 tablespoon honey

4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, OR a paste or powder you like

In a large soup pot, saute onion, garlic, 1 tsp of curry paste, peppers and ginger in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Do not let brown. Add chicken pieces and carrots, saute several minutes, then add 1 can coconut milk, broth, cilantro and 1 TBSP fish sauce. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 1/2 hour on low heat. This can also be transferred to a crock pot on low setting, for about 4 hours. Discard cilantro stems, add mushrooms, cook another 10 minutes or until mushrooms are wilted. Add 2nd can of coconut milk, remaining fish sauce, lime juice, sugar or sweet chili, and curry paste. Stir and simmer until heated through, at least 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, thinly sliced scallions, and chopped seeded fresh jalapeno. For a lovely variation, add 4 TBSP peanut butter when adding second can of coconut milk, and garnish with chopped peanuts.Read the rest

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Local authors out with new books

Several local authors have new books out or titles that are due out soon.9780873518949

Original Local, focusing on indigenous foods, stories, and recipes from the Upper Midwest, spans traditional American Indian treatments and creative contemporary fusion. The book, published in November by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, is by Heid Erdrich, author of five books of poetry and coeditor of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community. The book features 135 home-tested recipes that are paired with stories from tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs. More information can be found at the Minnesota Historical Society Press website,

The ‘flavors’ of Lake Superior norton_lake

A new book due in April from the University of Minnesota Press, Lake Superior Flavors: A Field Guide to Food and Drink Along the Circle Tour, is dedicated to telling the stories of Lake Superior food culture, taking its readers on a culinary tour around the lake. Author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley—a husband and wife creative team—offer the book as half guide and half journal of their voyages around the lake. For more information, visit the publisher’s website:

Gluten-free optionsPasta-CVR6_Layout 1

Gluten-Free Pasta: More Than 100 Fast and Flavorful Recipes with Low- and No-Carb Options, by Robin Asbell, a Minneapolis private chef, freelance writer, and recipe developer, is a new book to be released in March by Running Press. The book offers an amazing variety of recipes and approaches pasta three ways: with recipes for homemade fresh pastas, recommendations for store-bought brands, and veggie “pastas” that serve as guilt-free noodle stand-ins. Traditional Italian favorites are well-represented, but Asian noodle soups, pasta bakes, and even wheat flour-free appetizers for entertaining are included. Visit Asbell’s website at… Read the rest

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Get back to your roots at two SFA conferences

Yes, the temperatures have been FRIGID this month, so, what better time to start thinking about crop and livestock production, seed saving, soil health, and other warm-season topics than now, right?

Well, our friends at Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) have two informative conferences coming up that will give you ample time to talk about planting and harvesting, even though winter is still howling outside your door.

 SFA’s annual conference, “Back to Our Roots,” is set for Feb. 8 at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph. Cost is $55 for members, $65 for non-members.

 In addition, SFA’s Midwest Soil Health Summit is Feb. 19-20 at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. The Summit’s featured speaker is Gabe Brown, a pioneer in diverse cover cropping, who has used no-till techniques for two decades at his Brown’s Ranch in Burleigh County, North Dakota. Cost for the two-day conference is $100 for SFA members and $150 for non-members. For more information, visit the rest

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Fresh Bounty…In Winter: Eat local vegetables year round

By Andy Greder

When a late fall frost hits the carrots in the fields of Featherstone Farm, the snap only makes them sweeter.

And now more local food consumers realize you can eat that favorite food from the southern Minnesota farm—in January.

About 10 farms now offer winter CSAs (or Community-Supported Agriculture) shares in the form of routine deliveries of produce during the winter months, according to the Land Stewardship Project directory.

A few years ago, only about three farms offered CSAs, and before that, “virtually none,” said Brian Devore, communications co-ordinator for the Minneapolis-based Land Stewardship Project. “It’s an interesting little trend. Another way to keep people interested in local food year round.”

Featherstone Farm, a 250-acre certified-organic farm in Rushford, began offering a CSA in about 2009 and the number of cus-tomers has tripled in recent years to more than 360 shares this winter.

“We’ve had really good growth in the winter CSA,” said Greta Sikorski, Featherstone Farm’s business manager. “It attracts differ-ent people–other growers and people that garden and like to produce their own foods, but don’t have the storage capacity that we do.”

Featherstone bills itself as a “true winter CSA” with food they can preserve and store. That means onions, cabbage, and—of course—the delectable carrots in “pretty much every box,” Sikorski says. Also in the mix: fresh greens, broccoli, kale, squash, rutabagas, radishes, and maybe some dried peppers.

“With a winter CSA, people see that they really can eat at least a majority of their vegetables locally in the winter,” says Sikorski of the $425 investment for nine deliveries from November to the end of February. “It does also underlie consumers making a commitment to local because… it is truly what we can produce.”

Devore said new technology has contributed to the increase in winter or “frozen” CSAs by incorporating hoop houses or high tunnels.  “They are a low-cost way to extend the season,” Devore says.

Besides vegetables, other Minnesota CSAs offer meats, cheese, eggs, canned goods, breads, jams, and baked goods.

“Maybe (customers) are not thinking about the farm, but this is a way to connect with local and sustainably-raised foods year round,” Devore says. 

Winter Markets

Along with the CSAs, the advent of winter farmers’ markets has the organizer of the popular Minnesota Grown directory thinking of ways to track and present the new offerings.

Jessica Miles, the agriculture marketing specialist, said 14 winter farmers are available for customers this winter, but she is unsure how many there have been in previous years.

“Not something that we started tracking until this year,” says Miles, who can rattle off that there are 163 farmers’ markets in this year’s printed directory.

Given the new presence, the number of winter markets—from Duluth to Minneapolis and St. Paul to Maple Grove—will likely continue to grow, but not to the extent of seasonal markets when the amount of produce is much higher, Miles says.

“That is one thing about why we are starting to track that number,” Miles says.

“Internally, we are saying that it’s growing. While I can give you numbers on wineries, farmers markets, and CSAs, soon I will be able to say, ‘In 2013, we had this many, and 2014, we had this many.’ It will be a great way to look back.”

The Mill City Farmers’ Market looks back to 2011 as the first year they plowed into part of that winter. the market’s vendors were successful in selling their bounty that year, so they’ve held a market on the second Saturday from November to April in the Mill City Museum.

“People were looking to continue buying local food,” says Martha Archer, the market’s executive director. “We decided to roll out a monthly market because the year before we were successful.”

Last year, the Mill City market had about 25 vendors and this winter they will have about 40, Archer says. During the traditional market, about 55 vendors partake.

“Our vendors are seeing that people are coming in and are having better sales on a Saturday once a month, in some cases, than they will in two or three or sometimes four weeks in the summer because people are really stocking up on meat and root vegetables and cheese from the vendors,” Archer says.

While Minnesota Grown and Mill City have seen growth, lack of awareness and misperceptions still exist.

“I would like to put together a write up explaining what people can expect when they go to a winter’s farmers’ market,” Miles says about what might be included in next year’s directory. “The type of product that you will find there. The atmosphere is very different.”

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Garden Fresh Farms: An Update

Entrepreneur Dave Roeser and his Maplewood-based Garden Fresh Farms keep garnering awards and, as the Star Tribune recently reported, are also raising some serious expansion capital.

Roeser and Garden Fresh Farms, which were also featured in the Nov.-Dec. 2012 issue of Edible Twin Cities, have won entrepreneur awards from the Minnesota Cup and Midwest Region Clean Tech Open. Plus, in November, they won the National Sustainability Award at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Jose, California.

Now, as the Star Tribune reported, Roeser, 57, a building owner who started the company with his wife partly because he had a vacant warehouse to fill, has raised $300,000 from individual investors and is starting the first of several “farms” inside an abandoned building the company is acquiring near St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. It’s twice the size of the Maplewood location.

As he told Edible Twin Cities in 2012, “Food is recession proof; everybody has to eat. And local, green, and natural are all trends that are here to stay.”

In 2011, Roeser started Garden Fresh Farms, a high-density aquaponics operation producing basil and lettuce from his self-designed systems.Read the rest

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Healthy snacks for Black Friday

By Amanda McKnight

Black Friday is coming.

Many of you will likely skip the madness, but there may be a few of you who love a good bargain and will venture forth accordingly. Well, be warned. You may think you’ll make it through the day (or night) just fine fueled by Thanksgiving leftovers, but you might want to rethink that notion. Think about it—do you really want to stand in line behind dozens of other Black Friday goers in a busy mall to get a temporary energy jolt from a latte? Not to mention the food court! That truly sounds like the seventh circle of, well, you know.

We found a great source for Black Friday snack ideas—not only do all of these snacks sound delicious, but they are also hearty, filling and generally healthier alternatives than whatever you might find at a food court. Here’s the link:

 … Read the rest

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Leftover Turkey? Make Turkey Shepherd’s Pie or Turkey Fajitas

By Carol J. Butler

The sight of my mother making turkey soup, separating leftover meat from the bone, is as much a Thanksgiving memory as the actual feast itself. She always looked forward to making the turkey soup, and my father always gave her the highest praise. Unfortunately, as a vegetarian, I share neither my mother’s fondness for picking over the bones nor my father’s appreciation for the soup. I do, however, have a turkey-eating family of my own now, as well as a few ideas about what to do with that leftover bird.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

The original pot-pie, hailing from England, Shepherd’s Pie is a catch-all hot dish that capitalizes on food found in the fridge. Though traditionally made with mutton or beef, making a turkey pie with thanksgiving leftovers is easy, and sure to comfort the carnivores in your family.

To make a turkey Shepherd’s Pie, save those mashed potatoes for the top crust, blending with a little milk if you need to stretch the spuds. Parsnips, rutabaga and turnips can also be boiled and mashed in with the potatoes, or try using the left-over sweet potatoes, mashed with a little butter, and leaving off those mini-marshmallows.

To make the meaty filling, start by sautéing onions, carrots, and celery in a bit of butter or oil. Add to that pieces of torn turkey meat, and any leftover gravy or sturdy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or green beans. Soft vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower can get overcooked, so choose accordingly. To make your sauce, place 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or 2 tablespoons of flour into a lidded jar, along with some spices – onion powder, basil, salt, pepper – and about half a cup of turkey broth, milk or water. Shake, pour and stir into your meat and vegetables just until thickened. You may need to add more liquid if you don’t have much gravy; if you’re short on vegetables, a bag of frozen peas can fill in nicely. Pour the filling into a greased baking dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake at 350 degrees F until hot and bubbly.

Turkey Fajitas

Traditionally made with strip steak served in tortillas with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, the word Fajita means “little belt.” To substitute turkey or chicken for the steak, pull the meat from your bird in long strips, and slice your bell peppers and onions to length accordingly. You can marinate the meat in lime juice, olive oil and spices, but I usually skip this step in favor of a saucier fajita. Using the same jar-method, start with a tablespoon of corn flour to serve as your thickener, and blend with a more lively assortment of spices such as chili powder, garlic and cumin. A few tablespoons of turkey broth here capitalizes on all the poor bird has to offer. It’s easy to set the bones in water on a slow simmer, allowing the bullion to condense and then using it as a base for flavoring other sauces and gravies.

To finish your fajitas, sauté your strips of vegetables in a grill or sauté pan, add the cooked meat and pour your small jar of sauce over the mixture. Cook just until thickened, and serve in warm tortillas with your favorite accompaniments. 

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Thanksgiving: ‘It’s all about the pies’

By Amanda McKnightpie

Thanksgiving dinner is one of those meals that is practically guaranteed to be delicious, but deep down aren’t we all most excited about dessert?

Thanksgiving is known for its traditional desserts—pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie. Like Taya Kaufeberg says, “It’s all about the pies.”

Kaufeberg, culinary manager at The Wedge Co-op, says she and her staff make around 75 percent more pies this time of year than any other time.

“We sell hundreds of pies right now,” she says. “And lately it’s been more vegan and gluten free pies.”

Vegan pies can be made with raw sugar and soy milk substitutes, while gluten free pies can be made with rice or coconut flour.

While Kaufeberg isn’t sure what it is about pie that screams “Thanksgiving!”, she ventured to guess its because pumpkins and apples are seasonal.

“It’s just tradition,” Kaufeberg says. “The odd ball out of the popular pies is banana cream.”

The Wedge makes its pies with all organic, fresh ingredients, which Kaufeberg says only make the pie taste better.

“We use organic ingredients, so (the pies) are very clean and fresh,” Kaufeberg says. “We have a farm where a lot of our ingredients come from. The ingredients are the freshest you can get.”

If you’re making your own Thanksgiving pies and don’t have access to organic ingredients, at least try to get fresh ingredients. Kaufeberg swears that pie tastes better this way.

“It doesn’t matter what brand of pan I use or what spatula I have,” she says. “It’s about the ingredients.”Read the rest

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Duluth area startup egg producer could be sitting on golden egg

By Andy Greder

A northeastern Minnesota startup that produces eggs from pasture-raised hens could be sitting on a golden egg.

Locally Laid Egg Company, about 25 miles outside of Duluth, announced recently that its 15-month-old business is one of four finalists for a professional TV commercial to air during the Super Bowl.

Married co-owners Jason and Lucie Amundsen say its ethos of providing eggs from humanely raised birds fed non-GMO grain drove its charmed status among the initial 15,000 entries.

In October, Locally Laid was named one of 20 semifinalists in the contest from Intuit QuickBooks.

 “This has to be screwed up. Our little company can’t be doing this well,” Amundsen says of the 2,500 hens producing for some 30 locations, including about 15 in the Twin Cities metro.

Then, on a chilly and snowy day in early November, an entourage of slick-dressed businessmen and a camera crew arrived, via a private jet, at the farm in Wrenshall. Bill Rancic, winner on “The Apprentice” and best-selling author, emerged, high-fived Amundsen and told him he was a finalist. “I was too stupid and too cold to have any emotive response,” Amundsen jokes. Until Dec. 1, public voting at will determine the winner. Read the rest

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Holiday Drinks Warm Up Family Gatherings

[NOTE: This story and recipe first appeared in our Nov.-Dec. print edition.]

By Beth Dooley

My grandfather loved the Holidays, especially Christmas. A self-taught pianist, he played every carol come the day after Thanksgiving, over and over and with glee.  His annual Christmas party, held the night before Christmas Eve, welcomed the entire family (about 20 of us, grand kids and great grand kids), friends, and neighbors, literally hundreds squeezed into his rambling colonial home in West Orange, New Jersey. We ate my grandmother’s meat balls and the ham sent up from an old relative in Virginia and the kids took turns sitting on Santa’s knee.  Joe McGuire, a distant uncle, was game to dress up, and patiently listen to our wishes and dreams.

My grandfather was a serious, formidable businessman. On work days, he dressed mostly in a gray suit, with striped vest, and a pocket watch. But come this party, he donned a goofy red plaid sports coat (it hardly buttoned over his tummy) and played through the night, shouting out the names of the songs (and often their lyrics) as we crooned the night away.

Of Austrian descent, my grandfather was proud of his special Gluhwein. Directly translated “glow wine,” it was a traditional mulled red wine, spiked with cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange peel, and sugar. My grandmother kept it simmering on the stove in an enormous stockpot to ladle into special thick stoneware mugs. Her specialty was eggnog.  A second generation Scot, she whipped up this rich eggy, creamy concoction so that it was light and custardy, topped with fluffy whites. The children were treated to mulled cider and cocoa topped with plenty of whipped cream. The drinks warmed us all and infused their home with spicy aromas that mingled with the freshly cut pine.

The trick to these glogs and nogs, is a balance of flavors matched to the spirit. If the glog is too warm, the wine turns harsh and bitter. Too often eggnog is cloyingly sweet. Be warned that both can be wickedly strong (because they are so flavorful you can’t taste the alcohol). Use a light hand. How well I remember the year, Santa Joe, nodded off after too much nog and fell asleep on my grandparent’s couch. He drove home early the next morning fully dressed and in character. Just think of the kids who spied St. Nick driving a blue Cadillac.

These recipes from my grandmother’s collection can be tailored to your own tastes and traditions. In these parts, Tom and Jerry is more popular than eggnog. It is a drink I’d not heard of until we moved to Minnesota and one you won’t see outside the region. It was devised by British journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s to publicize his book and play – “Tom and Jerry or Life in London”. This variation of the classic eggnog is served hot in a mug topped with whipped cream. How it came here is something of a mystery, but I suspect its popularity is due to the comedian Yogi Yorgesson, who wrote and performed the song, “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas.”  It goes, “Down at the corner the crowd is so many / I end up drinking ‘bout twelve Tom and160945218 Yerry.” 

HOT MULLED WINE (pictured)

8 servings (easily doubled)

4 cups apple cider

1 bottle red wine (Pinot Noir)

¼ cup honey

3 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, zested and juiced

4 whole cloves

3 star anise

            Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer for at least 10 minutes.


Serves 6 and easily doubled

This recipe cooks the eggs slightly so they’re safe to eat. (Omit the egg whites if you’re concerned about raw eggs and float meringues on top instead.)

4 egg yolks    

½ cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

1 cup cream

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup Cognac (optional)

4 egg whites (optional)

            In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they’re light and slowly beat in the sugar until the mixture is fluffy.

            In a thick-bottomed saucepan, slowly heat together the milk, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg until steamy hot, but not boiling. Slowly add half of the hot milk to the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour this back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Cook over medium nigh heat, stirring constantly, with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken, and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Let cool, then refrigerate. Stir in the vanilla and Cognac (or, you may also set the bottle on the side so guests can mix in their own). Chill until ready to serve.

            If using the egg whites, whip until stiff then fold half in to the eggnog and layer the remaining on top.


            To make the eggnog into this classic drink, serve the mixture warm and top with whipped cream.Read the rest

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