thanksgiving

5 Easy Apps and Drinks for Thanksgiving

Does the thought of having company over for the Holidays make you want to pull your blinds and hide? Take 5 slow breaths and remember how grateful you are for being a member of the Preserve community and how much fun it would be to have some friends over to celebrate. Kick off the Thanksgiving season with these five quick and delish apps and drinks that will have your friends, family and neighbors knocking down your door!

Spinach, Bacon, and Onion Dip

This is the kind of warm, creamy dip that the whole family loves to gobble up. A bubbly Parmesan topping adds extra richness and a nice crusty texture gives it the irresistible look your guests can feast their eyes on.

  • Ingredients:
  • 4-8 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese – I love greek yogurt cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan – I love freshly grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan. Add onion to pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add flour and cook 30 seconds. Add spinach, milk, sour cream, and cream cheese. Cook, stirring, until cream cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Stir in bacon and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, approximately 15 minutes. Heat broiler and broil until top browns, 3 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve dip warm with crostini or pita chips. 

Spicy & Sweet Nuts

  • These homemade spicy cashews pair well with many holiday cocktails, as well as, offer the perfect snack for conversation. Trust me, you’ll want to double this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 cups raw unsalted cashews

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon, grind salt with lime zest. Add dark-brown sugar, red-pepper flakes, and egg white and whisk together until frothy. Add cashews and toss to coat. Spread cashew mixture in a single layer onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden, or about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. If there are leftovers, store in an air-tight glass container.

Prosciutto Cups with Pear

  • You’ll need some mini muffin tins to make this seemingly sophisticated appetizer, and you’ll be glad you made the investment after one taste! Slices of prosciutto are baked in mini muffin tins to form crisp, edible cups that are then filled with spoonfuls of juicy pears.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut prosciutto into 24 two-inch squares. Place one square (overlapping any tears) in each cup of a mini cupcake tin. Bake until fat turns golden, about 15 minutes. Using a fork, immediately transfer to a paper towel to drain; cool completely. In a small bowl, combine pear and juice. Place 1/2 teaspoon mixture in each cup just before serving.

Cheers!

Cranberry Cosmopolitan:

Festive, floral and fun for the holiday season!

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka, try ruby red vodka or citron vodka
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce 100% cranberry juice, red or white

Directions

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with cranberries.

Cider Smash:

This is a great variation of mulled cider.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ounces chilled sparkling apple cider
  • Thin red-apple slice

Directions

Pour the bourbon and lemon juice into a glass and mix. Top with chilled sparkling apple cider and garnish with an apple slice.

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