Holidays

Easy Eggnog Recipe

This holiday season Peace of Mind Concierge is wishing you the BEST of the very best! We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Holiday Eggnog. Let us know how you liked it!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

Grated nutmeg, (optional)

Directions

  1. In medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour hot mixture into yolks in a slow and steady stream.
  2. Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 20 to 25 minutes; do not let simmer. Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in bourbon, if desired, and cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired.

Holiday Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

Peace of Mind Concierge is always looking for ways to help you – this Holiday season we’d like to offer you our shopping services to simplify your life!

We know the holiday season is hectic for all. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave their budgets behind. Below is a list of holiday shopping Do’s and Don’ts to help you make the most of this wonderful season!

1. Establish a budget and stick to it

This can be one of the hardest things to do as you get caught up in buying that one last fantastic gift, but it’s essential to keep a financial plan in mind throughout the shopping season.

2. Comparison shop

Whether it’s a sale at a particular retailer, or a store that offers lower prices in general, make sure you take a little time to know you’re getting the best price on an item. If you find a lower price, don’t be afraid to ask another merchant to match that price. Some stores have price matching policies. Also, be sure to always ask if the store has any coupon promotions you can take advantage of.

3. Bring sales circulars out with you

You might find the perfect television of DVD player in an ad, but they all look similar on the shelf. Bring the circular so you remember the exact item you want to buy, and also that the price is accurate. Also, if the store is out of an advertised item, ask for a raincheck to buy the item at the sale price when the next shipment comes in

4. Save all your receipts

Put them all in an envelope and in a safe place where you can find them later. You never know when you’ll need to return something, and a receipt makes the process so much easier.

5. Don’t overuse credit cards

It can be tempting to put a big purchase on a credit card, but the bill won’t disappear as part of a holiday miracle. Also, if you’re using your debit card, be careful about incurring overdraft fees if you should run out of funds in your checking account.

6. Know the exchange policies

A store can have any return policy it wants, as long as it’s disclosed clearly and conspicuously before the sale is made. Just make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with if you think the item might be returned, and make sure to make a special note of the time restrictions for returning items.

7. Know the gift card rules

Be aware of expiration dates, fees, and what happens to a lost or stolen card. These rules can vary by retailer.

8. Check shipping dates

When you’re buying online, make sure what you’re buying is going to get to its destination in time. Most retailers list their latest dates for particular days like Christmas on their Websites.

9. Consider layaway plans

Layaway plans are being more heavily advertised this year, and may be a good option if you don’t want to use a credit card on an item but can’t afford the entire cost up front. Make sure to check on fees for the plan, and whether there are fees imposed if you decide to not purchase the item and ask for a refund. Also, make sure the deposit amount and payment schedule meet your needs.

10. Consider time and travel costs

If you find an item is on sale but across town or a town or two away, consider whether a small savings is worth the extra time and gas it will take to pick it up.

11. Keep an eye on your bags

You might put a bag or pocketbook down for just a few seconds to check out an item or complete a sale, and then you might forget it or have it taken while you’re not looking. Always be mindful of your belongings.

12. Protect your personal information

Make sure your credit card information is protected throughout the holiday season, both at stores and online. When shopping online, check for privacy and security seals that indicate security and privacy measures have been verified. Be sure to read the online retailer’s privacy policy before providing personal information, and only give the information necessary to consummate the transaction. When at a retailer, make sure the receipt doesn’t include your entire credit card number.

Holiday Cocktail Party Hints

Hosting a cocktail party just takes a plan for a cocktail party menu including cocktail party appetizers, cocktail party food and, of course, party drinks

Although cocktail parties had their heyday in the 1950s, they truly never went out of style!

An upscale cocktail party featuring elegant appetizers and beverages can be a fun-filled way to gather with friends over the holiday season.

One sip of an Orange Razzletini will chase away the winter doldrums. As you mingle with guests, present a platter of bite-sized Prosciutto Bundles. A chive “ribbon” on each adds a festive flair.

There’s no need to prepare a formal meal when you offer hot and hearty appetizers like Coconut Shrimp, Roasted Rosemary Beet Skewers and Goat Cheese-Pesto Crostini.

Hints for Hosting a Cocktail Party

Pick a date and time. To avoid having to serve a meal, start the festivities after the dinner hour. Send out invitations or invite people by phone a few weeks in advance.

Make the menu. Plan on offering both hot and cold hearty appetizers. Also purchase nuts and snack mixes for guests to nibble on. A few desserts and coffee serve as a nice finishing touch.

Plan your beverages. Plan on having beer and wine as well as ingredients for other cocktails.

Don’t forget the ice!

Arrange the room. Remove or rearrange large furniture to allow for open spaces and easy mingling. Set up chairs and smaller tables for more intimate conversations.

Create stations. Set out two linen-covered tables: one for beverages and another for food. To reduce traffic, place the tables away from each other, even in different rooms.

Plan the atmosphere. Have the room dimly lit with plenty of candles. Set the mood with ’50s-inspired cocktail lounge music like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Peace of Mind Concierge is all about simplifying your life and helping you make the most of your Holiday season. We can plan your next event or help you with your Holiday shopping! With that in mind we would like to share some of our favorite Holiday Recipes with you! Let us know how they worked for you! Cheers and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Yellow and red food coloring
Pretzel nuggets (stems)
Green gumdrops (leaves)

  1. Heat the oven to 350º and line a 12-cup muffin tin with bake cups. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Set the mixture aside.

  2. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the oil and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.

  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently stir the mixture until well combined. Explain to your child that she should stir only until she can no longer see any pockets or streaks of flour.

  4. Stir the pumpkin into the batter until it is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of one cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes sit in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool thoroughly.

  5. Meanwhile, make the Cream Cheese Frosting. In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat together the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, and lemon juice until smooth. Add about 12 drops of yellow food coloring and 4 drops of red food coloring and beat until the frosting turns orange.

  6. For authentic-looking pumpkins, pipe on the frosting to resemble a pumpkin’s ridges. Fill a sealable plastic bag with frosting, snip a small hole in the corner, and pipe curved lines over each cupcake. (An easier option is simply to frost each cupcake orange and draw ridges from top to bottom with a butter knife.) Use pretzel nuggets for the pumpkin stems and cut flattened green gumdrops into leaves. Makes 12 cupcakes

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