Since moving to Seattle two years ago, we’ve spent the last two Thanksgivings locally with new friends instead of flying across the country to be home with family. Not wanting to expose my lack of cooking skills to my new Seattle friends, we’ve typically contributed wine, a salad or store bought dessert to the big meal.
Before you get too excited, no I haven’t spent the last year learning how bake (baste?) a turkey, but I have learned some fun festival holiday cocktails that will be more impressive than bringing another bottle of wine.
Regardless of the type of beverages your guests prefer, this recipe can accommodate! Three different festive drinks can be made from this one simple syrup concoction. All you need is about 15 minutes and a couple standard ingredients.
- 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen (8 ounces))
- 1 cup regular sugar
- 1 cup water
Bring cranberries, sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat in a saucepan. Then reduce heat to low and cook until cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. You can’t really mess this up, but you don’t want the cranberries to burst. If that happens, just remove the saucepan from the heat. It’s done!
Let cool for 5 minutes and then pour through a strainer separating the cranberries from the liquid (which is your simple syrup). Keep both. Store in the fridge until ready for use.
- 4 tablespoons Simple Syrup
- 1 shot of vodka
- 1/2 cup seltzer water
Stir together all ingredients and add ice & a couple of the extra cranberries for garnish.
- 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
- 1 glass dry white wine
Mix simple syrup in to wine glass with wine. Add a couple of the extra cranberries for garnish.
- 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
- 1 glass champagne
- 1 lime wedge
Mix simple syrup in to wine glass with wine. Add a couple of the extra cranberries & lime wedge for garnish.
These Thanksgiving cocktails will be the best “dish” of the holidays without having to cook a thing!
This post was featured in: Shabbilicious Party & Cooking and Crafting!
Anytime I bring a homemade food item over to a party, I panic that no one is going to eat it. In fact, I’m typically the one having 5 servings of my dish just to make it appear popular (and edible).
On the contrary, one of my best friends Alison is a not only a natural host but an amazing cook as well. She makes it all appear effortless as she’s opening her oven pulling out something amazing right as the guests arrive. And to top it off her husband makes the best cocktails. They’re literally the most perfect party hosting couple ever.
Meanwhile at my house before a party I’m running around like crazy, unnecessarily cleaning areas that guests will never see, making Joe fix my destroyed concoction in the oven, and likely with a glass of wine to calm my nerves.
I asked Alison to share her recipe for her famous bacon wrap appetizers. This is probably my favorite party appetizer ever especially because it’s so simple to make!
- Whole water chestnuts
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
Cut bacon strips in half, roll chestnuts in bacon and secure with toothpick. Place on a cookie sheet (with a lip for grease) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min-1 hour until bacon is crisp.
Mix mayonnaise, brown sugar and hot sauce. Pour over cooked wraps!
May you appetizer be so popular that you never have to chow down on it again!
This post was featured in: A Creative Princess, Skip the Housework, Hearts for Home, Show Off & Five Friday Finds!
I am NOT good in the kitchen. I repeat I’m good in the kitchen. My husband jokingly reminds of ‘that one time’ when I couldn’t find prosciutto at Trader Joes so I bought a different type of cheese instead. Yes, you read that correctly. I thought prosciutto was cheese. And yes, this was only a couple years ago.
But what I am a pro at is finding good dishes that save time, money & stress. And this breakfast casserole checks off all three. Plus it’s great for a brunch with friends or to make on a Sunday and portion out for breakfasts for the week ( = time saving during the week). And an extra time saving plus is that you compile the ingredients the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning. Doesn’t get much easier than that. Well, besides going out to a restaurant for brunch 🙂 , but that would be cheating.
So here goes…..
- 9 eggs
- 9 slices of white bread (cut in to 1 inch chunks)
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 lb bulk sausage (you can use chicken sausage) chopped up in 1/2 pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
Mix eggs & milk in a large bowl. Add in bread, salt & dry mustard. Mix again. Finally add the cheese and sausage. Cover bowl and put in fridge overnight.
Wake up the next morning. Grab a coffee. Bake covered in a 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Try with different types of cheese! Anything you have in the fridge.
- Replace white bread for French bread (I’ve even mixed in a couple left over hamburger buns).
- For the last 10 minutes in the oven, I take off the cover and bake sans cover. My oven seems to bakes at odd temperatures. (or at least that’s the excuse I keep telling everyone 🙂 )
With all that extra time you save in the morning, grab yourself a mimosas!
This post has been featured in: Five Friday Finds & Simple Supper!