Life on Regal-Hill: Dec. 2, 2009

Decorating for Christmas is always fun. Here at Regal-Hill I think we are finished. Certainly I am done doing anymore outdoors since it is too cold to be outside for any length of time. Inside I still need to do a bit more like little details in the bedrooms but since we aren’t in the bedrooms much maybe it isn’t necessary to spend much time there since hopefully we will be sleeping most of the time.
I like to decorate with swags and candles with a bit of fake plastic poinsettias and of course wreaths with ribbons, cones and twigs with berries. Last year I bought a beautiful wreath from Allegra’s 4-H club and put it on the front door. This year they won’t be selling wreaths since the club has been disbanded for lack of interest, which I think is too bad.
Of course there also must be a Christmas tree. Although it is often Christmas Eve before we get our tree we always have one. I have threatened to get a fake one so it could be decorated early and enjoyed longer without the concern of it getting too dry and causing a fire but so far I haven’t done it. Besides I am not ready to store it during the rest of the year yet.
Christmas shopping can be fun, especially if you have some ideas and know where to shop or order the item you want to get.
As everyone gets older and the wants and needs change here there doesn’t seem to be as many actual gifts any more to put under the tree either which in some ways suits me as I don’t enjoy wrapping gifts any more. Besides it is really a waste of money and time. But yet we all enjoy unwrapping gifts and being surprised.
I did come up with a gift idea for George but when my daughter went online to see what was available the price was more than we were willing to pay so it must have been gold plated with a 100-year-warranty.
Well, you can see I am working on getting ready for Christmas but there is much more to do.
Eggnog recipes are nice to serve during the holidays or if you prefer, serve eggnog as a drink at a party, meal or just when you are thirsty. Both of these desserts would be perfect for Christmas Dinner.

Eggnog Tube Cake
1 pkg. (18-1/4 oz.) white cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1-cup eggnog
1/4-cup canola oil
2 tsp. rum extract
1-1/2 tsp.ground nutmeg
GLAZE:
1-cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. rum extract
3-4 tsp. eggnog
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, eggnog, oil, extract and nutmeg. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into a well greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 38-41 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.
In a small bowl, combine the confectioner sugar, extract and enough eggnog to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Yield: 12 servings
Taste of Home Simple and Delicious November/December 2009

Elegant Eggnog Dessert
1 can (13-1/2 ounces) Pirouette cookies
1/2-cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4-cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups cold eggnog
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2-teaspoon rum extract
1/8-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-cup heavy whipping cream
Cut each cookie into 2-1/2 inch sections; set aside. Crush remaining 1-inch pieces. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, cracker crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased nine-inch spring form pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggnog, milk, pudding mixes, extract and nutmeg until smooth. Whip cream until until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture. Spoon over crust. Cover, refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, remove the sides of pan. Arrange reserved cookies around dessert and press gently into sides. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 12 servings
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with commercially prepared eggnog. Reduced-fat eggnog is not recommended.
2009 Taste of Home Annual Recipes