It’s the Season of (Savory) Treats

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | December 12th, 2016 | Tasty Thoughts

cheese-crackersIf it isn’t apparent in my writing, I am a huge fan of healthy eating. Salads truly are a favorite dish of mine, as are veggie-centric meals. Of course, all healthy eating and no indulgent foods make Michele a dull girl. So, during most of the year I try to keep my eating balanced- mindfully healthy eating Monday morning through Friday afternoon and more indulgent foods during the weekend. This system of eating, with regular exercise, tends to keep me feeling good about how I eat and assure that my clothes will fit.

However, we are now amidst the holiday season. We’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving and are headed to Christmas and New Year. There are the office parties, family gatherings, friends’ night out, cookie swaps, and so much more. At this time of year, I tend to bend my rules a bit and enjoy the flavors of the season a bit more. Office gathering on a Thursday night? A slice of eggnog cheesecake may be in my future. Late afternoon meetup with girlfriends? Yes, a cocktail may be my afternoon treat.

As we prepare for these seasonal gatherings, it’s time to think about what food you can make to share. This week we are going to focus on savory dishes. Although everyone tends to think of cookies and candy, sweets can become overwhelming. To combat that sugar overload, be the one to bring a salty snack to share. On Wednesday and Friday, I’ll share my two new savory snacks that are perfect for the holidays. In the meantime, here are a few recipes from our archives.

Spinach Squares– To me, this recipe is the epitome of the holiday season. Shared with my family and me by our close friend, Jean, it doesn’t feel like a Christmas party without a batch of these warm, cheesy squares.

Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms– You may think that stuffed mushrooms are boring, as you’ve only ever had them filled with some sort of bread filling. This recipe will make you rethink that opinion. The shrimp adds lovely elements of flavor and texture to this appetizer.

Easy & Elegant Appetizer (aka pastry wrapped brie)– This recipe is so simple, but it pleases so many. What could be better than gooey cheese surrounded by buttery pastry? Oh yeah, one that is served with fresh fruit slices.

Baby Pears with Goat Cheese– There’s a secret ingredient in this appetizer that will make it a guaranteed win- bacon. This appetizer is a bit more time consuming, so it may not be the ideal dish for a large gathering. But for your nearest and dearest, I’d suggest taking the time to make a couple batches.

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