The holiday season is officially upon us. It’s time for cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes and memorable holiday gatherings with friends and families. As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and begin entertaining the ones that we love. 

When entertaining during this holiday season, don’t stress. I assure you that your guests aren’t going to be paying attention to a perfect pie crust or an award-winning soufflé.  They are going to remember the feeling of fellowship and togetherness. Strive for execution, not perfection. 

During the Thanksgiving season, it’s always nice to use fruits of the season such as cranberries, figs, kumquats and apples. The recipes shared today are fail-proof and delicious, and they will be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving table.

Cranberry Moscow Mule 

This recipe screams holiday cheer. When creating this cocktail, I beg of you to use good, quality vodka.  Use a copper mug for this recipe for a single-serve. The copper is perfect for conducting temperature. So when an ice-cold mule is poured inside, the glass takes on that temperature and keeps the drink colder, longer.

Ingredients 

1/2 oz lime juice

4 oz ginger beer

1/2 cup crushed ice

2 oz vodka 

2 oz cranberry cocktail

Option garnishes: raw cranberries, rosemary sling, lime slices or orange wedges

Directions

• Add 1/2 of a cup of crushed ice into a copper mug.

• Add ginger beer, cranberry juice and vodka. Then squeeze lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

• Shake 

• Pour into the copper mug.

• Top with cranberries and garnish with a lime and rosemary sling.

Serve and enjoy! 

Cranberry Brie Crostini

This is a wonderful appetizer to start dinner.  It’s a great mix of savory and sweet.  This recipe is ideal for adding leftover turkey as well.

Ingredients

1 whole baguette

Olive oil

5 oz brie

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

2 tablespoon fresh orange zest

1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces

Sea salt

Black pepper 

Directions

• Heat oven to 400°F. Slice baguette into 1/2-inch slices.

• Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

• Toast baguette slices for 7-8 minutes, or until brown.

• Slice brie into very thin pieces. Place one piece of brie onto each crostini. 

• Place crostinis back in the oven, until the brie is melted. 

• Remove from the oven and top each crostini with a teaspoon of cranberry sauce and a couple of toasted walnut pieces. Sprinkle it with orange zest, thyme and sea salt.

Serve while hot!

Apple and Goat Cheese Salad

Salads are underrated during the holiday season. And trust me when I say that salads do not have to be boring. Everyone has various dietary restrictions, so a little green at the table is a win for everyone. Indeed, a Caesar salad is a classic. But add a little more fun to your holiday table. You can also add protein to this salad using any leftover turkey meat from your Thanksgiving meal.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

2 cups spinach

2 cups of mixed greens

2 cups arugula 

2 medium apples, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup green grapes, cut in half

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinaigrette

Directions

• In a large bowl, mix the grapes, mixed greens, apples and raisins. 

• Pour salad dressing over salad.

• Add walnuts and goat cheese.

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