As I get older, I have come to realize how much I truly love to host people. I love the cooking, the decorating and the opportunity to create an inviting atmosphere for my friends and family. I always want my space to be an open place for others to feel comfortable and relax. This holiday season, I am embracing my love of hosting while getting creative in the kitchen. For my Thanksgiving, I am bringing a few appetizers – and of course a festive cocktail for good measure. I wanted to share a few tips and tricks if you are in the same boat and help make the holidays a little easier on your end.
First things first, I made a delicious appetizer with my favorite sprouted grain crisps from Angelic Bakehouse. They are my go-to for sprouted grain products, and I was so happy when they launched new flavors of their sprouted grain crisps. They are all amazing, but I decided to use the Fig & Tarragon crisps to make a sweet and savory appetizer. I love how versatile they are, and they would make for the perfect item on your charcuterie board as well.
Fig & Tarragon Goat Cheese Bites
For my first appetizer, I used the Fig & Tarragon savory crisps and laid them out on a sheet. I then took some cranberry goat cheese, sliced it and added it to the crisps.
The star of the show in my opinion here was the candied pecans, which I made by pan frying with coconut oil, an abundance of cinnamon, and coconut sugar. My biggest tip here is to not eat these all straight out of the pan before adding them to the crisps. You guys, these are GOOD! Ever since making this appetizer, I have been making the candied pecans on repeat to snack on. I don’t use any strict measurements here – I just put coconut oil in the pan, heated it up, added the pecans, cinnamon and coconut sugar, and cooked until the pecans had a good coating and the house smelled fragrant. Yum, it really is the most delicious smell!
Last but not least, I added pomegranates to the mix as they are my favorite fruit. They add the best sweetness to holiday dishes and I could really eat them year round. These little flavorful bites are addicting and are sure to please any and all guests! You could also put the ingredients for these on a charcuterie board separately and allow guests to assemble the bites for themselves.
Charcuterie Tips and Tricks
The second thing I am bringing for my Thanksgiving appetizers is, you guessed it, a charcuterie board! I have so much fun making these and of course, eating them too. Preferably with a glass of red wine on the side. Although I typically only eat goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses, I always like to make sure there is something for everyone. If there are any dairy free guests attending, you can include hummus on your board, homemade vegan cheeses, and so much more. One of my favorites is the Homemade Vegan Ricotta from Minimalist Baker.
As far as the board and accessories go, I love a good wooden board. You can even use a wooden cutting board that you already have on hand. My favorite accessory to put on the plate is mini ramekins to hold different items, a honey stirrer, and toothpicks for making the eating process easy for guests.
I start my boards off by assembling the cheeses evenly throughout the board. I try to include a variety of cheeses, although my favorite is always a flavored goat cheese. Honey, cranberry, fig flavored; you name it, I’ll have it! It adds such a fun sweetness to the board. For other cheeses, I like to include a sharp cheese as well to contradict the creaminess of the goat cheese. I also like to then put out small bowls filled with nuts, fruits, chocolate covered nuts, etc.
For the crackers, I love using the Angelic Bakehouse sprouted grain crisps. Now that they have so many fun flavors, you can put a variety of them on your board. My other favorite board fillers include grapes, anything truffle flavored, honeycomb, olives, cured local meats – I could go on forever. My most important tip for assembling a charcuterie board is to HAVE FUN and not take it too seriously. Put on the items and flares to the board that make your board you, and treat it like a fun art project.
Dips & More!
Another fun appetizer to make is a dip for everyone to enjoy. Although it is more “game-day themed”, I love making my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip. It is super simple and only calls for a few ingredients. You can also dip the savory sprouted grain crisps in here as they would make for the perfect vehicle. Another delicious dip idea is the Hot Spinach Dip from Skinnytaste, which is a lightened up version of Spinach Artichoke Dip. It is delicious and a fun way to sneak some greens onto the table!
Now that my stomach is growling, I will leave you guys with these tips and tricks and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. I am extremely grateful for your support of me and my brand every single day. If you use any of these ideas for your table on Thursday, definitely let me know as I would love to share about it on my account. To a happy, healthy and safe holiday – I love you all.
** This post has been sponsored by Angelic Bakehouse, but all opinions and recommendations are wholeheartedly my own. Thank you for supporting my content and the brands that I choose to affiliate myself with.