I rushed Thanksgiving this year. Last weekend when I went grocery shopping they had a nice looking organic chicken and I picked it up and decided to make our whole "traditional" meal of roast chicken, tons of roasted veg and a pumpkin pie…a week before Thanksgiving.
So when this weekend rolled around and it was actually Thanksgiving I didn't want to repeat what we'd had just a few days before. Instead I decided to go with tapas, small plates – aka…appetizers.
The good thing about about tapas is more variety and no overeating.
The recipe I followed for the gougèrs was off. It should have had 1 cup of flour, not 3/4 of a cup (maybe even a bit more). Oh well, they still tasted good even if they weren't as puffed as they should have been. Thanks Martha!
The endive appetizer is my own recipe, super easy and very tasty. Also…it looks impressive.
Win win and win!
Cut off some of the endive spears, rinse well and dry. Mix 2 tbsp honey with 1/3 cup soft seasoned goat's cheese and spread a bit of the goat's cheese in each spear. Top each spear with a roasted pecan half and a dab more of honey. YUM!
The stuffed bacon wrapped dates turned out wonderful. I highly recommend them. A great blend of smokey, salty and sweet. Normally I don't eat meat, but sometimes I eat a little bit of blackened bacon. I cooked it for almost an hour in a slow oven, 350 F and then 90% of the fat melts away.
I make this hummus all the time. It is my own recipe.
Suzanne's 3 Minute Hummus
Throw 2 cans of rinsed cooked chickpeas, 1 large peeled garlic clove, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, pepper to taste, 2 small jalapeno peppers (tops cut off), the juice of 1 lemon and the grated rind of one lemon, and 2-3 tablespoons of honey into a food processor. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick just thin it down by adding some water. You may need to add a bit more salt depending on your taste.
I made the "Today I Am Thankful" printable for my table decoration. As a thank you to all of my readers (sorry Canada, I wasn't speedy enough for you to use it this year…) you can download it and print it off here. It comes 5" x 7" so it will fit nicely into any photo frame and would be lovely framed on a wall as a reminder to each of us to be thankful every day.
I was taught how to make the homemade shrimp cocktail sauce when I worked in Scotland at a secluded private hunting lodge. My husband's stomach thanks that Mrs Stronach every day for developing my interest in cooking.
I don't usually measure anything out when I cook, so I'm guessing at the exact amounts of the ingredients. You might need to adjust it a bit. As any chef will tell you, you always need to taste and adjust to your palette. I've adjusted the recipe to my tastes over the years.
Suzanne's Spicy Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
1/4 cup (light) mayonnaise
3 tbsp (light) sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
rind of one lemon grated
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp (or less if you don't like spicy) sriracha (Chinese hot sauce)
a bit of honey if not sweet enough
Mix it all in a bowl with a whisk and season to taste.
For my tablescape I just pulled out items from around the house and grouped them together using books or upside down vases for some extra height.
I made the bouquet as well. I had to go with what was available at the grocery store as far as flowers were concerned but I'm happy with the mix of colours.
A little tip when you are arranging your own flowers at home…use clear tape to make a grid across the mouth of your vase. It will allow you to space the flowers correctly in the vase.
I didn't care for the glass vase I was using so I wrapped it in newspaper and tied it with twine. You can also use wrapping paper.
It all turned out lovely. I found that making this type of tapas meal meant I was able to do it all in the morning and then just relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
For dessert we ate the pears that were part of the table decorations with some fresh raspberries and ice cream.
Tomorrow I'll be showing what I wore and on Thursday what my husband wore.
All I can say is, "Damn my man looks good!"
Do you have any favourite super easy appetizer recipes or party decorating tips that you'd care to share?
Linking up with: My Girlish Whims Your Whims Wednesday