Eggnog French Toast

A little kick of Bermudan rum and just the right amount of eggs in the homemade eggnog makes this French toast extra silky and there’s no need to add more eggs when cooking.
French Toast, Holiday Breakfast, Christmas Morning Breakfast
Eggnog French Toast
serves 6 (with extra eggnog for sipping)

What you need:
Bermudan Eggnog (recipe to follow)
1 loaf Challah, cut into 1-inch slices
1/2 cup butter
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
1 pint fresh berries (I use raspberries)
Pure maple syrup, warmed
Mint for garnish (optional)

What to do: 
1. Heat a griddle until hot.
2. Soak Bread: In a medium mixing bowl, add a cup of Bermudan Eggnog at a time and QUICKLY soak two bread slices in the egg nog.
3. Cook French Toast: Add two tablespoons of butter to the hot griddle and add the soaked bread slices. Cook until browned on both sides and cooked through. Continue with remaining slices. Adding more eggnog as needed as you go.
To Serve: Serve warm dusted with confectioner’s sugar and berries. Serve warm maple syrup on the side.

Photography by Chia Chong

Bermudan Eggnog
serves 6

What you need:

What to do: 
In a large bowl, or bowl of a standing mixer, beat the egg yolks until just starting to lighten in color. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until thick and light and the sugar has completely dissolved. Whisk in the milk, cream, rum, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg.

In a separate large bowl, whip the egg whites until have reached a soft peak. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Place in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes, stir again and serve with grated nutmeg for garnish.

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Gingham Placemat and Yachtie Linen Napkin Set from Libbie Summers label


Savory Mushroom and Bacon Bread Pudding

Recipe by Libbie Summers from The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli)
Linen Napkins:Shiitake Linen Napkin Set available at Libbie Summers label
Linen Apron Dress: Atelier Apron Dress in black linen available at Libbie Summers label

Creamy, organic, salty and just a little sweet. It’s everything you will ever want in a side dish. Substitute this bread pudding for your usual holiday stuffing recipe and you’ll probably never make the other again.
Pro Tip: Up the bacon if you are feeling so inspired. Omit it to keep it vegetarian…but why?

Holiday Side Dish, Mushroom and Bacon Bread Pudding, Thanksgiving Sides, Libbie Summers Recipes, The Whole Hog Cookbook
Apron Dress from Libbie Summers label, Holiday Entertaining, Libbie Summers Entertains, Black Linen Dress, Slow Fashion, Made in the USA

Savory Mushroom and Bacon Bread Pudding
serves 6

What you need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup white wine (can substitute chicken stock)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped (I use a mixture)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 cups day-old challah bread, crusts on, torn into cubes
Warm Sage Butter (recipe to follow)

What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with the butter and set aside.

2. Cook Bacon: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to a bowl and set aside.

3. Cook Mushroom Mixture: To the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the wine or stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits as you stir. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, shallots, basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. Sauté for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Finish Bread Pudding Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 3/4 cup of the cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.  Stir in the mushroom mixture and transfer the pudding to the prepared baking dish.

5. Bake Bread Pudding: Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the pudding is browned and the center has puffed up.

To Serve: Serve warm drizzled with Warm Sage Butter.

Warm Sage Butter
Yields 3/4 cup

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the sage and simmer for 3 minutes.

Thanksgiving Table, Holiday Table, Holiday Napkins, Shiitake Napkins, Libbie Summers label, Libbie Summers Recipes, The Whole Hog Cookbook, Savory Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Sides, Holiday Sides, Libbie Summers label
Let your food inspire your table decor.
Linen Napkins, Modern Linen Napkins, Libbie Summers label, Table Decor, Tabletop Linen
Shiitake Linen Napkin Set available at Libbie Summers label. 

And always feel beautiful while you create beautiful and delicious things…always
Atelier Apron Dress, Slow Fashion, Libbie Summers label, Kitchen to Street Fashion,
Atelier Apron Dress in black linen available at Libbie Summers label.


Zinnia-inspired Dessert Table

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

At the end of Summer, long after all the fancy flowers fade away, the zinnia holds court. She wears a ruffled collar of rich hues and a crown jewel of  yellow that makes her sassy and playful. What she lacks in fragrance…she makes up in fabulousness. This easy entertaining dessert course of zinnia decorated sugar cookies and fun linen napkins is a tribute to her. 
Zinnias, Zinnia Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Libbie Summers Entertains, Libbie Summers Label Napkins, Fun Tablesettings, Happy Table settings, tablescapes, Dessert course, table design, party design

What I used:
Zinnias: The model (Aeriel) is wearing the Tiered A-line Midi Skirt from my line and carrying an enamel pail of just-picked zinnias liberated from my friend Pamela’s yard (2 hours before she woke to see they were missing).
Zinnias, Zinnia Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Libbie Summers Entertains, Libbie Summers Label Napkins, Fun Tablesettings, Happy Table settings, tablescapes, Dessert course, table design, party design

Napkins: French Picnic Linen Napkin Set Trimmed in Orange Gingham

Linen Napkins, Gingham Napkins, Libbie Summers Label, Table Setting, Tablescape, Napkins, Gingham Napkins

Food: Zinnia Decorated Sugar Cookies!
Decorated Cookies, Zinnia Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Easy Cookie Decorating, Libbie Summers Recipes, The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Zinnia Sugar Cookies
makes 3 dozen (depending on cookie cutter size)

What you need: 

3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for bench flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (can sub and extract you would like)
Crusting Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow)

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Mix Wet Ingredients: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg, paste and extract.
4. Finish Mixing the Cookies: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough should be stiff.
5. Cut and Bake: Do not chill the dough…just get right into it!! Lightly flour a work surface and cut off enough dough to be workable. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness and use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place on the prepared baking trays and bake for 6-8 minutes.
6. Decorate: Allow cookies to cool completely. Decorate the cookies using  Crusting Buttercream Frosting. Using a #103 or #104 tip and brightly colored (orange or pink) frosting, hold your pastry bag with the largest part of the tip opening at the outer edge of the cookie and work around the cookie in a ruffle type pattern. Do a second layer to fill in the middle. Switching to a pastry bag filled with yellow frosting and fitted with a #2 tip, fill the center of the flower with a round of yellow and then make small dots over the top of the round and dotted just around it. Allow to dry.

Crusting Buttercream Frosting
(But why a crusting buttercream frosting? Crusting buttercream is a frosting that lightly sets and is perfect if you need your frosting to keep its shape. It works great on cookies where you don’t want to use a Royal Icing to decorate.)

What you need: 
1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 (2 pound) bag of confectioners sugar, sifted
4-5 tablespoons of whole milk
Food coloring (i prefer a gel coloring)

What to do: 
1. Cream Butter and Shortening: In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and shortening and mix until well incorporated. Mix in vanilla.

2. Finish Frosting: Slowly add the powdered sugar to the creamed mixture. Once fully incorporated (it will be slightly thick) add your milk (a tablespoon at a time).

3. Color Frosting: Now’s the fun part. Color frosting for your application with food coloring (I prefer gel). (For the zinnia cookies, I needed three colors, so I divide the frosting among 3 bowls and colored one pink, another orange and the final yellow.)

Zinnias, Zinnia Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Libbie Summers Entertains, Libbie Summers Label Napkins, Fun Tablesettings, Happy Table settings, tablescapes, Dessert course, table design, party design

Here’s a BONUS easy entertaining idea using the same napkins!
An orange-inspired table setting.
Libbie Summers Label, Table Setting, Tablescape, Happy Table, Orange Table, Gingham Napkins, Linen Napkins, Easy Entertaining,

Best Ever Family Reunion Chocolate Sheet Cake

By Libbie Summers from her book, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli)
Photography by Chia Chong

This is a Missouri, hog farming family recipe. Not a Texas recipe…better…much better. 

Chocolate Cake Recipes, Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe, Libbie Summers Recipes, The Whole Hog Cookbook, Missouri Sheet Cake

Best Ever Family Reunion Chocolate Sheet Cake
Serves 20

What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup leaf lard or vegetable shortening
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bacon Pecan Icing (recipe follows)

What to do:
1. Mix Dry Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 2-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

2. Mix Cocoa, Fats and Boiling Water: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and lard. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a separate small pan.  Whisk the cocoa powder and boiling water into the butter mixture over the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.

3. Finish Mixing Cake and Bake: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add to the cocoa mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.  Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until set.

4. Frost Cake: Frost the cake while it’s still warm.  Let the frosting set up for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bacon Pecan Icing
yields 3 1/4 cups

What you need:
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, finely diced

What to do:
Put the butter, cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the pecans and bacon.

Brown Sugar-Scorched Lemonade

By Libbie Summers from her book, Brown Sugar (shortstack editions)

There are few things better than sitting on a screened-in porch in the summer while sipping a glass of this lemonade. I think of it as a privilege for those of us lucky enough to live in the South, a reward for surviving the annual sand gnat season. The thing is, our lemons aren’t very juicy during the summer months. My solution: “scorching” the lemons in a hot pan before squeezing them, which yields 40% more juice and adds a subtle caramelized flavor. 

Scorched Lemonade, Grilled Lemonade, Summer Drinks, Refreshing Drinks, Brown Sugar Shortstack Edition, Libbie Summers Recipes

Brown Sugar-Scorched Lemonade
makes 2 quarts

What you need: 
3/4 cup light brown sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
4 lemons, halved

What to do: 
1. Make Vanilla Brown Sugar Syrup: In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Cook, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add vanilla bean. Let vanilla bean steep in the water until cooled. Remove vanilla bean and save for another use (make vanilla sugar -your baking will never be the same old). Note: A faint vanilla flavor is what you are trying to achieve in this sugar syrup.

2. Scorch Lemons: Heat a griddle or medium skillet over high heat. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup sugar onto a small plate. Dip all the cut sides of the lemons into the sugar to coat the surfaces. Place the sugar-coated lemon halves (sugar side down) on the hot griddle and cook until the sugar starts to turn brown and bubble around the lemons (about 30-45 seconds). Remove the griddle from the heat and allow to cool until the lemons are cool enough to handle.

3. Make Lemonade: Fill a pitcher or large jar with 2 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemons over the water, then drop the squeezed lemons into the water. Stir in the vanilla sugar syrup.

To Serve: Fill glasses with ice and pour the Scorched Lemonade over.

Lemonade Recipe, Libbie Summers Recipes, Brown Sugar Lemonade, Shortstack Editions, Brown Sugar

Thirsty for more? Try these other Refreshing Drink Recipes! 
Havana Mojito
Cherry Coke Float
Lunar Landing Cocktail
Watermelon Basil Beach Blaster
Chinese Junk


Get the latest from Libbie!
Stay up-to-date with the latest recipes, photoshoots, videos and much more!