Well, we made it!
We survived the heat strokes and the warm swimming pools, we survived the start of school and the Halloween sugar highs, and now we roll right into cozy season and my personal favorite holiday—Thanksgiving!
The cozy vibes of fall flavors make cooking in season a treat. I’ve tested out variations of Thanksgiving appetizers to bring to your next friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or just indulge in all by yourself this Fall! Plus, what are appetizers without a cocktail to go with them!?
Fall Flavored Cocktail
A tried and true drink for me is a bees knees—gin, lemon, & simple syrup—and maybe some lavender in there too when the mood is right. This recipe is a play on that but adds in all the warm flavors of fall.
- Lemon juice
- Apple juice
- Rosemary (fresh)
Mix one part sugar to one part water and bring to a boil (usually 1/2 to 1 cup of each is plenty), once all the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and add in a few rosemary sprigs to infuse the simple syrup. Let it sit for about 15 minutes or until it has the level of flavor you’d like. After the simple syrup has cooled, add in 1 part simple syrup, lemon juice, and apple juice to 2 parts gin. Give it a rigorous shake and pour over ice. Totally not necessary but I topped mine with a slice of apple and some rosemary for garnish. Cheers!
Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Blue Cheese Bites
- Blue cheese
- Fig preserve
- Puff pastry
*Make sure before starting, the puff pastry has defrosted* Start preparing these Thanksgiving appetizers by cooking the bacon however you prefer (I like to cook it on the stove and then use the bacon grease for the oil when I cook down the onions). Once the bacon is done, set it aside and begin the process of caramelizing the onions–think low and slow until you get a nice brown on them, add in a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of white wine if you have some (or leave it out!). When the onions are done, preheat the over to 400. On a greased baking sheet or on parchment paper, cut the puff pastry into small squares (small, but big enough to fill). Once cut, start assembling–layer fig jam, onions, blue cheese, a crumble of bacon. Brush the edges with an egg wash and put in the oven until the edges are golden brown. Top with honey and a little rosemary or thyme if desired!
Mushroom and Swiss Toast
- bread of choice (I used ciabatta but anything hearty will work)
- dijon or grain mustard
- portobello or cremini mushrooms (or a combination)
- Swiss cheese (preferably fresh shredded, but I used sliced)
- hot honey (easy to DIY)
Sauté mushrooms down until they are very soft, and season to taste. Thickly slice the bread and begin toasting the bread in a skillet in butter to achieve a crispy base (I’ll add cheese to the skillet to for an extra crunch on the bread). Once toasted, begin assembling–grain mustard, generous amount of mushrooms, loaded with cheddar, and place back in the skillet (now cooking the bottom side of the toast in butter. Cover loosely with a lid to allow cheese to melt. Top with hot honey and thyme. Enjoy!
Bacon, Apple, and Cheese Puff Pastry
- puff pastry
- gala apples
- sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
Defrost puff pastry and then roll out onto a greased baking sheet or lined with parchment paper. Use leftover bacon from a previous recipe on the post, or save time to get some bacon cooked before starting to assemble. Preheat oven to 400. Spread a thin layer of cheese over the puff pastry, leaving about one inch around the edges. Next, thinly slice apples and arrange them all over the layer of cheese (it can really be designed into something beautiful–but clearly not my thing). After, load it up with more cheese and give the edges an egg wash to make the edges that crispy golden brown. Once it is out of the oven, add crumbled pieces of bacon and finish with a drizzle of honey.
What Thanksgiving appetizers are you preparing this year?