Winter Is Coming (And It Tastes Like Whiskey)

[I realise I’ve only updated y’all on Part I of my 5-day Berlin birthday extravaganza. I promise to finish that story soon! Life got in the way, as per usual. I also went out and drank loads basically every night this week, which took away from writing time. And now, for some unknown reason, I am ill. It wasn’t me.]

Today I had the most amazing revelation: We are exactly 2 weeks away from December. Hallelujah!

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a crazy Christmas buff or anything. That’s not why I’m excited. The REAL reason I love December is because it is Kahlua month. Haven’t you heard??

Actually, you probably haven’t, because I made it up. But starting on December 1st, I put Kahlua in my coffee every morning for the entire month of December. (And usually on New Years Day as well, unless I’m horrifically hungover like last year.) This is a tradition that began my senior year of college, in a fit of house-cleaning and excitement during exam week. And has since continued, because I figured why the fuck not?

In addition, I now have the BEST new mug from which to consume warm alcoholic beverages, thanks to my amazing wifey:

Mug-Face

So my brain was pretty Kahlua focused for the greater part of the morning. But fortunately for me, one drinking thought begets another, and I ALSO realised today that it’s wintertime and it’s damn cold outside and OMG HOT TODDY SEASON IS OFFICIALLY UPON US.

I actually can’t believe it took me this long to adequately prepare. I had thought of this a few weeks ago, at which point I procured lemons and honey, and then I completely forgot again.

So today, in my fit of genius, plus the fact that I have a monster head cold and hot toddies cure EVERYTHING, I bought this:

bulleit

It’s fucking happening. Winter be damned.

P.S. You are all welcome at mine for hot toddies anytime. They warm the soul and cure all ills (I actually believe this, I have hot toddy’d my way out of many a head cold in my day). XO

Drink #4: Eggnog

Obviously it would be an issue if this weren’t on my list. Eggnog is pretty much the epitome of holiday beverages. A lot of people hate eggnog. Which is too bad. Because I honestly can’t think of another drink that is more “holiday-appropriate” and completely inappropriate at all other times of year.

So here’s the deal with eggnog. Growing up, I thought eggnog came in a carton, you could buy it at the grocery store, and it was non-alcoholic. My dad used to buy it and spike it with Kahlua, and we would drink eggnog after Christmas dinner and it was wonderful. (In fact, at age 12, I decided it was so wonderful that I left eggnog-with-kahlua out for Santa Claus instead of milk. That was the age when I discovered “Santa” was my mom, and she would rather I leave out something interesting to drink because she hates milk. My life changed at that point.)

ANYWAY. The point is, eggnog is actually an alcoholic beverage. Not sure how and when it became commercialized, but I don’t really give a shit. All I know is that I can buy “virgin” eggnog at the store and put it in my coffee from Thanksgiving to New Years. And I can drink it for funzies if I want.

I also know that I now have at least one friend who makes really good real eggnog (i.e. that drink with eggs, cream, and liquor), and it is amazing. Like, whoa. Delicious. Chris, super props to you. Because if I didn’t have to drive home I’d probably still be drinking that delicious stuff from our work holiday party last night.

So there you have it. Photos are unnecessary. Because if you don’t know how awesome eggnog is, then this post is pretty much pointless to you.

Drink #7: Coffee with Kahlua

Those of you who know me already know that I LOVE Kahlua and coffee. LOVE, I say.

To those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, my senior year of college, my roommate, KB, and I finished our finals SUPER early. I mean, finals week ends Friday, and by noon on Monday we had turned in all of our papers and finished all of our exams. HOME FREE!

And so, we decided, we must celebrate! And how did we do that, you may ask? Well, we were over-committed college students with no free time, so our apartment was kind of a sty after a quarter of hard studying and no cleaning. So we cleaned and drank coffee spiked with Kahlua and watched Love Actually all day long!

(And then we spiked our coffee the next day. And the next day. Until eventually, it was an ordeal. You know, if by “ordeal” you mean AWESOME.)

Since then, each year starting on December 1st all the way until the New Year, I put Kahlua in my coffee every single morning. Yes, EVERY morning. Even when I’m hungover. Even when I don’t want it. It’s a tradition, damnit!

So if you’re feeling blue, or (on the opposite end of the spectrum) if you’ve just finished finals, spike your coffee with some Kahlua and join the party! I swear, it’s worth it.

DSCN0516Apparently I drink enough Kahlua that I get free coffee with it… Bad sign?

P.S. If you liked that story, you should hear about the time KB and I moved out of our apartment and got high on Clorox. And then we drank a bottle of wine! Ahh, good times…

Hungover? That’s the best way to breakfast.

Saturday morning I decided to make one of those delicious hangover breakfasts that you always want to eat but are never prepared to actually make. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t hungover so I was able to leave my apartment in order to procure the necessary materials.

[Important Note] Drinking is pretty necessary to making this type of breakfast. Whether it’s hair of the dog or simply a desire to start early, cooking at any time of day is better with a drink in your hand.

[Note #2] I started early.

(One of those cups is for Kahlua, the other is for coffee. Nah, just kidding. Sort of.)

Ok, now that the important part is out of the way, I am actually about to tell you how to cook something. I know I don’t do this all that often, but this breakfast is pretty damn delicious. And if you’re planning on having a night of drinking in the near future, pre-purchase the following ingredients so that you’ll be ready the next morning when you feel like total crap.

INGREDIENTS for BAKED EGGS!

  • Bacon
  • Hearty sandwich bread (really any bread will work, but big slices are better than baguette-style)
  • Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh spinach
  • Eggs
  • Heavy whipping cream (although whole milk will probably work too)

See?! The hardest part is already over. Now for the easy part.

Part I – Ohhhh, my head.

Wake up hungover.

Feel the desire to eat something delicious that requires only minimal effort and creates oh-so-heavenly bacon smells.

Look in your fridge and applaud yourself, because you already bought all of those ingredients listed above. Hooray!

Berate yourself for clapping. That hurts your head.

Part II – Hair of the dog.

Make coffee.

Add Kahlua.

Or make a Bloody Mary.

Try not to vomit.

Whatever.

Part III – Stove-top shit.

Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

Cook bacon on the stove until crispy. If you’ve never done this before, well, shame on you. I’m not going to waste my time telling you how. Here’s a picture if you are confused.

When the bacon is crispy (this is important), remove it from the pan and put it on a paper towel.

SAVE THE DRIPPINGS IN A BOWL. You will need them in a minute, I swear.

Add a small handful of spinach leaves to the same pan. Sprinkle them with pepper and toss them gently for about 1 minute. Then remove from heat.

Part IV – Oven shit.

So I neglected to mention that you need a small oven-safe bowl to make this work. If you are super awesome, you’ll already own ramekins, which are perfect. (If you don’t know what a ramekin is, that is totally ok. I am a cooking nerd.) If you’re like me, you already have some sort of porcelain/stoneware bowl that “probably won’t break in the oven, right?” That’s good enough…hopefully.

Take your “oven-safe” bowl and brush it with the bacon drippings. Ohhhh yeahhhhh. (If you don’t own a pastry brush, use a paper towel to spread it around. Or you fingers. ‘Cuz then you can lick them! Yum!)

Find the bread you bought. Take a slice and fit it snugly into your bowl-type-deal. (Yes, the bread is bigger than the bowl. Just bend it so it’s shaped like the bowl.)

Put the spinach on top of the bread in the bowl.

Crumble 1 to 2 strips of bacon into little bits over the spinach. (Eat the remaining strips.)

Using your fingers, make a little space right in the middle of that bread-bowl. You’re about to crack an egg in there, yo!

Crack an egg into that little space. Don’t break the yolk! (If you do, it’s not the end of the world. It’s still gonna taste good.)

Drizzle several drops of heavy whipping cream over the egg.

Add salt and pepper.

Grate (or add pre-grated) parmesan/asiago over the egg.

Here’s what it should look like:

Put it in the oven for 15 minutes!

Part V – Eat that shit.

USING AN OVEN MITT, take the bowl out of your oven.

Using a fork and knife, eat your baked egg.

DON’T TOUCH THE BOWL. It was just in the oven, remember?

Enjoy!

(And try not to vomit.)