Melt Away the Holiday Hosting Blues

Hosting friends and family during the holidays can be challenging. Dietary restrictions and picky eaters can add additional challenges to preparing your holiday menus. Here are some simple, creative recipes from The Beacon House Inn (we’re kind of experts).

Easy Prep Appetizers.

Smoked Gouda Apple Points
You will need:
-Thick sliced seasonal apples (soak in lemon water to prevent browning)
-Quality Smoked Gouda
-100% Pure Maple syrup
-Shredded coconut, lightly toasted.
Slice apples and soak in lemon water while preparing everything else. Apple slices should be about 1/4in thick. Dry toast the shredded coconut on med-high heat until it begins to brown. Be careful not to burn by constantly moving coconut in the pan. Once toasted, remove from pan and let cool. Slice cheese (don’t be afraid to be generous). Pat dry apple slices with paper towel, top with cheese, drizzle with maple syrup, and top with cooled toasted coconut. Enjoy!

Home-made Roasted Garlic Hummus
You will need:
-2 Cans Garbanzo beans (rinsed)
-½ lemon
-Salt & pepper to taste
-2-3 tbsp Tahini paste
-¼ c Olive oil
-5-7 cloves of garlic, roasted and cooled.
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp paprika
Using a food processor or blender, combine garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini paste and olive oil. Add water a tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency if needed. Blend in salt & pepper, spices and roasted garlic. Sprinkle with a little more paprika before serving. Chill or serve room temperature with crackers and sliced veggies!

Avocado Deviled Eggs
You will need:
-1 dozen eggs, boiled over hard, cooled and peeled.
-4 cloves chopped garlic
-½ avocado
-Salt & pepper
-Fresh copped cilantro
-Sweet Chili sauce (I recommend Maggi brand)
Slice eggs in half, remove yolk and place in bowl. (you will only need to use ½ the total amount of yolk). With a fork, combine yolk and avocado. Start with 2 tbsp of sweet chili and add more if necessary to achieve creamy texture. Mix in raw chopped garlic, salt to taste and 1-2 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro. Scoop mixture into egg whites using a spoon (or get fancy with a pastry piping bag). Top with generous amount of pepper (fresh cracked is the best) and chopped cilantro. Serve and Enjoy!

Warm Balsamic Figs
You will need:
-12 ripe figs washed and de-stemmed.
-4oz honey goat cheese
-Crushed roasted pistachios
-Balsamic glaze
Cut a deep X into the top of the figs (be sure not to cut all the way through). Generously stuff figs with goat cheese crumbles. Place on baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown slightly. Remove from oven, top with balsamic glaze and crushed pistachios. Serve warm!

Now onto the Spirits!
Let’s put some holiday twists on your favorite classic cocktails! Before you start crafting beautiful cocktails, you need to learn the basics. Simple Syrup and Sour Mix can be utilized in a multitude of drink recipes. You can buy these, but home made is always better!

Simple Syrup
You Will need:
-1c White granulated sugar
-1c water
-Spices/fruits of your choice
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (ensuring all sugar is dissolved). You can play with this recipe by adding things like cinnamon, blueberries,
or fresh herbs to create an interesting syrup you can use for desserts or drinks! If you choose to add herbs or fruits, make sure to strain the syrup before storing. Properly stored syrups will last up to a month! 

Sour Mix
You Will Need:
-3c Simple Syrup (cooled)
-2c Fresh squeezed lime juice
-2c Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container to keep in the fridge up to a month!

Cranberry Margarita
You will need:
-1.5 oz good silver tequila
-.5 oz Cointreau
-1oz fresh made sour mix
-2 oz 100% Cranberry juice (say no to cranberry juice cocktail!!)
In a bar mixer, add liquid ingredients over ice and SHAKE! Prep your glass with a sugar rim & fill to the top with ice. Strain drink into glass, top with an extra splash of cranberry. Garnish with fresh cranberries and a juicy lime slice.

Smoking Blossom
You will need:
-.5 oz Elderflower liqueur
-2 oz Bourbon (We Like Bulleit)
-.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
-.5 oz simple syrup
-2 dashes of orange bitters (you can substitute regular bitters and the zest of an orange)
Fill a pint glass with ice and add ingredients. STIR with a cocktail spoon (Whiskey and Bourbon drinks should never be shaken). Strain and serve up in a martini or rocks glass. Garnish with orange zest.

Pomegranate Mimosa
You will need:
-Bottle of prosecco
-1 oz Pomegranate liqueur
-Fresh rosemary
-Pomegranate seeds
-¼ lemon
Pour pomegranate liqueur into shaker over ice. Add one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and a sprig of rosemary, squeeze lemon over shaker and drop rind in. Shake vigorously. Strain mixture into Champagne flute, add sprig of rosemary and another tablespoon of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Top with prosecco and serve!

Rumchata & Coffee
You will need:
-2oz Rumchata
-Fresh hot dark roast coffee
-Whipped Cream
-Cinnamon for garnish.
Later Baileys! This drink is a great twist on a classic Baileys and coffee. Pour Rumchata into a coffee mug and top with fresh hot coffee. Add a little whipped cream and sprinkle top with a dusting of cinnamon for a great presentation.



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