I love the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season. Yes, there is gift buying and home decorating, but I’m pretty sure most of us will admit that one of our favorite parts of the holidays is the FOOD! Who doesn’t have at least one memory of a favorite food shared with friends and family during this time of year? Maybe it’s going to your mom’s house for cookie baking. Or your friend’s swanky cocktail party with the best spread ever. Or maybe it’s brunch with your girlfriends for a gift exchange. Whatever the reason, December brings us a calendar stuffed full of chances to gather with loved ones.
When Lisa and I visited Austin last June for the BlogHer Food conference, we met exhibitors, learned more about their businesses and sampled many of their products. One of the most memorable foods we tried was a side by side comparison of chocolate truffles (tough gig, I know!). The exhibitor claimed there was only one small difference in the truffles, but, boy, did it elevate one truffle over the other. The extra ingredient was a “secret sauce”….and now I’m sharing the secret with you.
Book club was at my house in November, which means our lovely friends were once again guinea pigs as I tested a bunch of new recipes. Fortunately, they are very tolerant of my culinary experiments as there are usually as many wins as there are misses. These Fontina Chive Risotto Cakes made the cut this time, and I’m excited to share them with you. I love that they are a substantial warm appetizer, and they worked well for me as part of a buffet of snacks in lieu of a full sit down meal.
Need a quick and easy appetizer to have on hand for those impromptu holiday happy hours? These Cheesy Fig Shortbread Crackers are ideal for sharing with friends over a glass of wine or a cocktail. Prep a big batch and store them in the freezer. The next time you need a snack for guests at 5:00, pop some of the frozen crackers in the oven. 7-10 minutes later you have warm munchies ready to serve. Low effort, big return…this is MY type of entertaining!