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Appetizers and Drinks

Posted On Jul 26, 2020

Yes, we know that the summer holidays of 2020 are going to be quite different – thanks to the unending scare of Covid-19 and social distancing. But who says we can’t get festive? A party for two or a few at home is just as fun with creative decorations, exciting games, and, of course, mouth-watering recipes! Drinks, desserts, and appetizers! Bring them on, right?

Even if you wish to stay away from the kitchen, there is no lack of scrumptious dishes to suit every palate. You can have them ordered and delivered straight to your home, ready for a bash!

However, if you wish to bring in the ‘wow’ factor to your table all by yourself, here are a few recipes that can make you an expert host even to your own small quarantine pod at home. And these will surely keep you and your loved ones in high spirits! ��

Appetizers

1. Hot Beer Cheese Dip

This is an easy whip up! With ingredients that are mostly available in our kitchen storage, this recipe is a quick savory to devour!

Ingredients -

- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

- 3/4 cup milk, divided

- 1/2 cup beer (ale or a lager according to your preference)

- 1 tsp. dijon mustard

- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

- 1/4 tsp. salt

- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (plus extra for garnish)

- 3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Directions -

- Melt some butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour till smooth.

- Take the pan off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of milk and stir well until smooth. Add 2 more tablespoons of milk and mix well till it blends. Continue adding ¼ cup of milk while whisking, followed by the final ¼ cup of milk.

- Add in the beer, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and cayenne and mix well. Return the pan to medium heat and keep stirring the mixture until it is thick and bubbling for about 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat.

- Add the cheese to the mix, one handful at a time and whisk after each addition to melt it in. Add more garlic, cayenne, and salt if desired, then garnish with a pinch of cayenne.

2. Slow-Cooked Whiskey Meatballs

Packed with delicious flavors, this recipe is lip-smacking! And the good part is that you get to spend less time in the kitchen and more on having a great time. Be sure to have some extra saved because these will be the first to go off your table. (You can serve these over mashed potatoes and rice as well.)

Ingredients-

- 2 lbs. frozen meatballs (1/2 oz size)

- 1 cup ketchup

- 1 cup brown sugar

- ½ cup whiskey or bourbon

- 1 tbsp. lemon juice

- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Directions-

- Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high flame for 1-2 hours. (That’s it!)

3. Margarita Guacamole

Because our obsession with avocados goes on. This dip is going to make it to the top of your favorites, with a twist on the classic.

Ingredients -

- 1 tbsp. agave nectar

- 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. flake salt

- 3 very ripe avocados

- 2 tbsp. tequila

- ½ jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

- ½ finely diced shallot,

- 1 lime to add some zest

- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

- 1 bag of blue corn tortilla chips

Directions-

- Rim the edge of a small glass serving bowl with some agave and two tablespoons of flake salt.

- In another medium bowl, mash avocados, tequila, jalapeño, shallot, lime zest, and cilantro together.

- Transfer the mashed ingredients to a small glass bowl and garnish with a slice of lime and flake salt.

Desserts

1. Red Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes

You can never go wrong with chocolate and red wine. A delicious pairing of flavors, this dessert is elegant and a great way to end a sumptuous meal.

Ingredients -

- 1/2 cup baking cocoa

- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

- 1/2 cup boiling water

- 1 cup butter, softened

- 1 - 1/2 cups sugar

- 4 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 - 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 - 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/2 cup dry red wine

MASCARPONE ICING:

- 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese

- 2 cups confectioners' sugar

- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions-

- In a small bowl, whisk cocoa and chocolate in a pan of boiling water until blended smooth.

- In a large bowl, add butter, sugar and cream till the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.

- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and add it to the creamed mixture, alternately with wine and chocolate. Keep beating the mixture well after each addition.

- Fill 3/4th of the paper-lined muffin cups with the mixed ingredients.

- Bake them at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan.

- In a small bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Then frost the cupcakes and store them in the refrigerator.

- If desired, garnish with chocolate scrapings and serve.

2. Slow Cooker Tequila Poached Pears

A refreshing, unique recipe, this dessert is sure to impress your guests and make you look like a dessert wizard!

Ingredients -

- 2 cups of water

- 1 can (11.3 ounces) pear nectar

- 1 cup tequila

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 2 tbsp. lime juice

- 2 tsp. grated lime zest

- 1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches)

- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

- 8 whole Anjou pears, peeled

- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

- Fresh mint leaves

Directions-

- In a large saucepan, add the first eight ingredients and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Let the ingredients boil for 2 minutes while stirring continuously.

- Place pears in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker and pour the liquid. Cover the cooker and let it cook for 4-5 hours on low heat until tender. Once done, remove the cinnamon stick.

- Serve tequila-poached pears with vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream) or chill and serve drizzled with poaching liquid and sprinkled with lime zest and mint leaves.

3. Chocolate Brandy Tarts

It doesn’t get any better than chocolate and brandy for a sweet tooth. This fabulous dessert will not stay in your fridge for long.

Ingredients -

- 2 sheets refrigerated pie crust

- 1 - 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese

- 3/4 cup sugar or turbinado sugar, divided

- 1/3 cup brandy

- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, divided

- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided

- 1 - 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions-

- Preheat the oven to 425° and bring the pie crusts to room temperature.

- Mix the mascarpone cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Then add brandy, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and vanilla and stir until blended well.

- Blend the pumpkin pie spice, the remaining sugar and ginger until smooth.

- On a lightly floured surface, unroll the crusts and sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly. Roll lightly to help the sugar mixture spread.

- Cut the crust into 24 circles with a round cookie cutter. Then lightly press the circles, sugar side up, into 24 mini muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

- Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden brown, then remove from the oven. Immediately sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of chocolate chips into each cup, so it melts in. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

- When the cups are completely cool, refrigerate for about 20 minutes until the chocolate is set. Spoon the brandy mixture into cups or into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the mixture into cups.

- Sprinkle the remaining chips and, if desired, add the pie spice.

- Refrigerate until serving.

So, what are you waiting for? Whip up any of these toothsome recipes and enjoy them with your family and friends!

 
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