holidazed {homemade eggnog}

I blinked, and somewhere in the process November became December. Days seem to blend into one another lately, and the last week has especially left me pondering my life now compared to just one year ago. There are a million words swirling in my head, yet they float not quite capable of connecting themselves to one another to form a proper thought. The words being emotions and feelings really, much of which leave me even more confused when I try to piece them together.

So, my approach these last few weeks has been to really take my own advice. I’ve been consumed with just trying to be present and fully aware of every moment. We spend so much of our lives being connected to something, instead of someone. And so my silence here, there and everywhere these last few weeks has been because I’ve been absorbed with experiencing life rather than simply documenting it.

I hadn’t really given this change any thought until a friend said she wondered why I’d been so quiet on Instagram lately. I looked at my photo gallery and realized it had been six days since I posted something. A six day lapse in social media is akin to dog years in real life. I looked at Twitter today and realized it’s been 11 days since I thought there was anything of value to share. The closer I get to the book publishing, my heart races a bit, and not in a good way. For all the incredible friendships this brave, new world of social media has brought to me, I struggle to find meaning in it now. The outlets that helped give me a voice, and in many ways helped all of you find me here in this little corner of the world…well, they don’t hold the same solace they once did.

I ponder this a lot lately, especially as I turn my thoughts to next April when the book publishes. I know the purpose of promoting the book is to help with sales, but for me it isn’t just about the bottom line. In a few short months, I move one step closer to connecting the dots of virtual life and real life. As I wonder how to best promote this book, I hold advice that a friend gave me close to my heart. I will only do what feels comfortable and genuine. It’s great advice to keep in mind for living my everyday life too. So, don’t take it personal if I’m not here as much as you all wish. Do know that I’m always thinking about all of you. I have a few more holiday recipes that I’m eager to share, and hope to do so if I can lift my head from the fog it seems to be in lately. It’s a good fog, though. For the first time in 16 months, I’m truly enjoying life’s little moments. I’m finding happiness and peace.

I’m hoping to pop back here in a few days—I have a few more holiday-inspired recipes I want to share. Until then, here’s a new favorite recipe of mine for homemade eggnog. This one is a cooked version because the thought of eating raw eggs makes me faint. I know eggnog is traditionally served cold, but I love it warmed, and am even thinking about stirring in some chocolate ganache to my next cup for a jazzed up hot cocoa.

Jennie's Homemade Eggnog

makes 1 1/4 quarts (1.25 L)

Music Pairing: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses

You’ll need a dedicated 15 minutes to prepare this eggnog, so plan on making it when you can give it your full attention. I start off making a zabaglione-like base (an Italian pastry cream used in tiramisu), and then stir in the milk. It’s a gentler way to cook the egg yolks, and ensure they don’t curdle or break.

I first tried it using the whole egg, but it was missing richness and depth, so I decided to save the whites for my royal icing and go with just the yolks. Many eggnog recipes call for cream and whole milk—it’s rare to find a lower fat version. Look no further, though—I made mine with 2% milk and honestly can’t imagine enjoying a whole glass with a heavier version. A splash of bourbon is totally optional.

4 large egg yolks (save the whites for a later use)

3/4 cup (150 grams) natural cane granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split in half

4 cups (1 liter) 1% or 2% milk

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (a generous pinch for me)

Get the double boiler going: Fill a 3.5-quart pot one-third of the way up with water. Set it over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, add the egg yolks and sugar to a 2-quart metal or glass bowl that will fit securely on top of the pot. Whisk vigorously until well combined and the egg mixture drops in thick ribbons when you hold the whisk over the bowl.

Remove the lid from the pot, and reduce the boiling water to a gentle simmer (little bubbles popping to the surface). Place the bowl on top of the pot. Whisk vigorously for five minutes, until the mixture is thickened and the sugar is mostly melted.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and add them to the egg-sugar mixture. Whisk  to combine. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk. Whisk vigorously to mix it well. Whisk in the remaining milk. Whisk in the nutmeg. Continue to cook the eggnog, whisking constantly, for 10 more minutes.

At this point you can serve the cooked eggnog warm. Alternatively, you can transfer it to a glass bottle. Let it cool for 30 minutes on the counter, then cover, and place the bottle in the fridge until thoroughly chilled, about 4 hours.


  • Cheryl Arkison

    I have never made eggnog from scratch. I’ve buy one container a year at the grocery store and that’s it. This is so tempting…

    You will find your balance. That’s because you have a voice, one all your own. That transcends social media. One of the cool things about your book getting out there in the real world is that there are a million more people who’ve never heard of you before that will become entranced by the work. I don’t know why, but somehow that feels more real.

  • cherie

    you’re engaging in your real life and feel less of a need for your virtual one – that means you’re getting out of your own head more

    Wishing you peace

  • Ines

    Thank you, I was looking for an eggnog recipe that included cooked eggs. And, here it is. I am grateful.

  • elissapr

    Thank you for this post. Social media has also been a way for us to how you are healing via your posts. Awesome that you are moving onto a new phase…

  • Heidi

    My son loves eggnog so much, I actually bought him a t-shirt commemorating the fact. I’ve never made him homemade because he is allergic to raw eggs but can do the store bought because of the processing. I am going to make this and surprise him. Thank you so much.

  • Maria in NJ

    i have to admit, i was also missing you, but i totally understand where you are coming from, i feel somewhat the same way. social media is nice and you can meet some really great people that you would have never had the chance to but…it sometimes takes away from the here and now. 15 days to the Lord’s birthday, can’t wait…

  • Tracey

    Good Morning!
    I had wondered what happened to you, but just thought you were busy .Good to just maintain for awhile, just hold on to your hat. Wishing you all a happy holiday season.
    Much love and rainbow wishes,
    Tracey A

  • Laura

    <3 Who needs social media when you are out actually LIVING. It's so much better. Glad you're doing well. Merry Christmas!!

  • rachel alexander

    please know that your survival and happiness is more important to the readers of this blog then our own selfish desire to read your wonderful words and recipes. we miss you, but knowing that you can get through several days without turning yourself inside out on paper is just as comforting to us as your posts are because in your silence we see your triumph. I don’d know you. I probably could pass you on the street and never know it, but this painfulness I have watched you pull yourself through has made me see my own victories. Your blog has brought me something called thankfulness and most likely I’ll never be able to thank you in person. the merriest Christmas of all to you and your girls.

  • tracy {pale yellow}

    Sometimes it’s good for the soul to take a break from social media. I try to remember Christmas as a time to connect with people in real life and celebrate the holidays as a reason to come together. Lovely recipe, I cannot wait to try!

  • Lisa

    I think social media is a mirage. It makes us think we are connected, but actually makes us less connected to the real world we inhabit. (And it’s especially dangerous for children!)

    I respect your silence and hope you find more of it!

    Wishing you peace!

  • sweetmaddy

    I affirm your inclination to only post when you feel so inclined. I appreciate the high quality of your writing and recipes that you share on this blog; my favorite blogs do the same and it’s what I strive for on my own blog. Keep on doing what you’re doing!!

  • Gina

    Just keep being you, in what ever time feels right. I’ve looked forward to, and missed very much, your posts, and have hoped that it was because you were off being happy. So glad to know that this has been the case. No matter what, be authentic.

    Peace & Happiness to you

  • Kim/hormone-colored days

    Many of us go through phases with social media. It’s healthy to take a break now and then. Please let me know if your book tour is coming through Chicago. I’m happy to host an intimate event (i.e. In Kim’s Kitchen) or use my network to promote something larger you have planned.

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen


    Merry Christmas to you & your precious girls!! I’ve been rather quiet on my blog lately only averaging 2-3 posts a month since June. It’s bizarre, but it’s taken me back to my first love of it. Yes, living in the here and now, and living fully present in each moment is much more meaningful. It’s what I strive for also.

    I’m very excited about your book, and would love if you ended up in the South Florida area to promote it. I’d love to see you again!

    Girl…you read my mind with this EGG NOG!! I’ve had homemade egg nog on my list to make now for probably at least 8 years. And your version is the most simplistic I’ve found thus far, and the cooked eggs are a huge bonus.

    THANKS so much!! I might not comment much, but I’m still an avid and faithful reader of In Jennie’s Kitchen!

  • Stella Ann

    Happy New Year. Paris! Wonderful. What hotel is that. I love the way they do the trees. Darling pictures of the girls. Take care of yourself. I worry when you don’t blog for a while. Love, Peace.

  • Stephanie

    If your book promoting path takes you to Madison, WI, you’ll have some happily baked goods and excitedly prepared dinners waiting for you!