What could be more thoughtful this gift-giving season, than a personalized present? With just under three weeks left until Christmas you can still plan something very special. Here are some great ideas to make your presents more personal. Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Proof-Brands/181641835185326 and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.
eggnog brûlée 6 large eggs • 3/4 cups vanilla sugar • 1 litre half and half (or light cream) • 1 cup proof whisky or homemade proof spiced rum • freshly grated nutmeg or mini marshmallows
In large bowl, beat eggs until pale yellow and slightly frothy. Add sugar and cream, and stir until well blended. Add proof whisky or homemade proof spiced rum* and stir. Transfer to large pitcher and chill until cold, at least 3 hours. Divide between 6 punch cups, garnish each with mini marshmallows and brown tops with kitchen torch.
* proof spiced rum To infuse proof rum you will need the following ingredients: a 500 ml bottle proof rum • 1 vanilla bean • 1 star anise • a few cloves • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 piece allspice • 1 piece orange zest
Add all the spices to a 500 ml bottle of proof rum. Cover tightly with a lid, shake a few times and place in a cool, dark spot or in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 24-36 hours. Make sure to check it every day to ensure that you are happy with the intensity. You can remove certain flavours as you go, to intensify the ones that you like most. We tend to remove the citrus after day one, and keep the vanilla until the very end.
We have talked about them in the past, but here again are a few quality spice shops in the GTA: www.thespicetrader.ca, www.oliveolives.com, www.ehouseofspice.com and of course, there is the bulk barn www.bulkbarn.ca
We picked up the Christmas Vacation Moose Mugs while visiting the Distillery Christmas Market last Friday night. (Steven Page performed and he was AWESOME!) Retro Festive is the only Canadian vendor of these. RF was also peddling an assortment of bobble heads, ornaments and Leg Lamps. See a hilarious assortment of Festivus Poles, Ugly Christmas sweaters and Charlie Brown Christmas Trees on their website (http://www.retrofestive.ca)
Brûlée kitchen torches, similar to the one used here, can be purchased at several places, such as Williams Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com) and Home Hardware (www.homehardware.ca)
What about taking your LCBO purchase and personalizing it for your loved ones – Vanilla rum for Cindy Lou, cloves and orange for Clark, nutmeg and pepper for Trixie – you get the point. You can add whichever spice you think your friend or family member might prefer. (do it just before Christmas and write down the date, so that they can remove the spices within 2-3 days)
If you would prefer leaving the chemistry to your gift recipient, tie a little pouch of mixed spices to the neck of your bottle of rum. Customize your gift even more with a special hand-crafted gift card. We will be offering a downloadable gift card next Thursday for your wrapping convenience.
We searched the city for other personalized gift ideas. Here is what we came up with: 1. Monogrammed glasses from etsy 2. www.yellowowlworkshop.com 3. & 4. www.etsy.com 5. www.yellowowlworkshop.com 6. Personalized scents http://myaromachology.com 7. Stamp pad http://drakegeneralstore.myshopify.com 8. www.williams-sonoma.com 9. Custom perfume www.lelabofragrances.com 10. Monogrammed mug www.chapters.indigo.ca
Anthropologie also has a nice selection of these (www.anthropologie.com)
Don’t miss Michael Riley and Donna Dooher’s (Owner of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen) holiday segment on Monday’s Breakfast Television. We’ll be posting a special blog that day as well.
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of -1 degree.
Sunday: Cloudy periods and a high of 1 degree.