Holiday Traditions & Memories with Julie Butcher

Welcome back to my Holiday Traditions & Memories event, where some wonderful authors are sharing favorite traditions and/or memories with you. Today’s guest is up-and-coming author Julie Butcher, who is also the Buzzy Mag Columnist & Pundit. Julie is represented by the awesomeness that is Deidre Knight, and lives with her husband and six children on the fringes of Utter Chaos. She is the sister of #1 USA Today and NYT bestselling author, Jim Butcher (who was at Ad Astra in Toronto this year, but I was too shy to introduce myself…argh! 😉 ). Julie adores puppies and kittens, and thinks world peace would be cool as long as stuff still blows up in the movies (I totally agree!) and is sharing another recipe with you today…this time for eggnog. 🙂

After you’ve read Julie’s post below, you can see more wonderful traditions and memories shared by readers in the comments on my 30 Days of Holiday Magic giveaway. Share your own story over there for a chance to win, too!

The Chaos of Christmas

Christmas in our family is a little like red and green chaos with a side of mayhem thrown in. With six children, you need more cookies, more presents, and definitely more eggnog. Quite honestly, I am scared to death of them drinking unpasteurized Christmas goodness. I’ve spent many a holiday party at home with a sick kid. The thought of everyone being sick at once—well there aren’t that many bathrooms.

If there isn’t eggnog, it isn’t Christmas. (Not as far as the kids are concerned) and buying it a quart at a time doesn’t work for us. These people can drink gallons. This is my favorite recipe.  I make it three gallons at a time it’s so delicious. I honestly can’t buy eggnog even close in taste to this creamy goodness.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


  • 6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • Additional grated nutmeg for garnish


Combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3- or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined. Continue whisking while pouring milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Turn on burner to lowest possible heat setting. Place pan on burner and stir mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any accidental small cooked bits of egg. Add vanilla extract and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Pour into a glass pitcher, decanter, or container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate this egg custard mixture to chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before finishing.

When ready to serve, pour heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into cold custard mixture until combined.

Sometimes when I make this, it will get really lumpy with the eggs. If this happens, pour it in a blender on high for a minute before you add the cream. You can put this in a fancy pitcher but since I make so much I put it back into the milk jugs. I have no idea of the shelf life because it never lasts longer than two or three days.

 To find out more about Julie, visit her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.



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