Tag Archives: virtual thanksgiving potluck

Cranberry Cider Margarita

Whether you’re greeting guests at the door or closing the evening with a nightcap, this year try trading in the basic wine for a signature holiday cocktail. We think that this gorgeous, fall-inspired Cranberry Cider Margarita recipe from Lauren Fister is sure to put your friends and family in a festive mood.

Lauren is a girl who knows the kitchen inside and out, working as a kitchen designer for Studio Snaidero by day and blogging by night over at Chat N’ Chow.

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish or Tradition: Growing up my mom (who’s from the south) always had a baked ham in addition to the turkey. I always love to have a bite of fresh sliced ham on a biscuit with my Thanksgiving dinner!

Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie? Pumpkin Pie – if I had it available to me I would eat it for breakfast every morning!!

Cooking Mantra? Just roll with it! If you’re going downhill with a recipe stick it out to the end so at least you gave it your all and you will have learned what not to do for next time. Also, never apologize (as Julia said)!

What are you thankful for this year? I started my blog a year ago in December. At first it started out as something I did to fill my time and my content was just OK. There was a turning point a couple months ago where I got totally inspired to push myself for higher quality content and to put more of myself into my posts. When this happened I found such an amazing community of readers and bloggers who inspire me even more. I don’t know where it’s going but I’m thankful to have discovered an outlet where I can creatively express myself and focus my energy!

Cranberry Cider Margarita

When I entertain I like to have cocktails ready for guests as they come in. This is a great cocktail because vodka could be easily swapped if someone doesn’t like tequila. Cocktails are also great at Thanksgiving because they can add fun edge (vs. just only having red and white wine) to what can sometimes become a stressful day (you know how it can go with all the different personalities that come together but only a few times a year). I show two serving ideas, as a martini and on the rocks. I think guys might like it on the rocks and ladies might like it in a martini glass. Mixing Note – I use a small shot glass as my measure for 1 oz.

holiday cocktail recipe

Rimming the Glass
I think rimmed glasses are a fun & flavorful addition to cocktails. For this cocktail I ran the lemon wedge around the rim of the glass to make it wet, I then dipped the glass in the following mixture spread out on a plate:

1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
zest of one orange

Optional garnish:
For a sliced apple garnish, place apple slices or wedges in a dish with cool water and the juice from half a lemon or lime. This will keep the apple from turning. Keep the dish at hand when making the cocktails.

thanksgiving cocktailCranberry Cider Margarita (serves 1)
2 oz tequila – I like silver tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz fresh cider
Juice from 1/4 of an orange

In a cocktail shaker combine all of the ingredients with ice. Shake well. Pour into chilled rimmed glass and garnish. Enjoy!!

cranberry cider margarita
Thanks again to all of our haute guest bloggers and to you, haute reader, for celebrating this foodie favorite holiday with us!



Filed under Drinks, Holidays

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Thanks for swinging by the HAP Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck!  Since Thanksgiving is all about bringing together family, friends and food we thought a little party with some of our favorite bloggers would be the perfect way to get in the mood.

Kicking things off with a starring side dish is Rachel Humiston, who by day is a brand manager and by night dishes up taste tests and restaurant reviews over at The Avid Appetite.

Favorite Thanksgiving dish and/or Tradition?
Do I have to pick one? I love mashed potatoes and don’t eat them the rest of the year, so it’s really a special treat on Turkey Day. Also, any super sweet potato casserole! Bonus points for lots of brown sugar! As for traditions, I love watching the Macy’s parade (you know, like I’m 5), baking and spending time with my family.

Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie?
I’ll never turn down a good apple pie, but pumpkin has my heart.

Cooking Mantra?
Have fun! Regardless of your level of expertise, when you are making something you love and sharing it with others, you can’t go wrong if you have fun doing it!

What are you thankful for this year?
My husband who makes me happy every day and my family who are always there for us and who make everything fun!

Rachel’s Classic Thanksgiving Potatoes

When the ladies of HAP asked me to guest blog as part of their Thanksgiving series, I was delighted. Even more so when I learned I’d be writing about potatoes, a major staple in every Turkey Day feast (have you ever heard of a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes? Me neither). Admittedly, I had never made mashed potatoes. Though I’ve seen them made countless times while serving as my mom’s sous chef, I’d yet to tackle them in my own kitchen. And I have the ladies of HAP to thank for giving me the nudge, since this dish is nothing short of life-changing. Oh, and did I mention that they couldn’t be easier?

While there are an exhaustive number of options for mashed potatoes, with additions ranging from garlic and blue cheese to cheddar cheese, onions, they all begin with a classic base. Since it’s Thanksgiving, the holiday of traditions, why change it up? I vote for a standard yet unforgettable mashed potato. And once you taste this creamy, velvety version, you may find, as I did, that there’s no need for anything more. Except for some turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce.

thanksgiving potato recipe

Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes (erves 4-6)
2-3 tbsp salt (or more if needed)
2-3 lbs potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 C heavy cream (or more if needed)
4 tbsp butter
pinch black pepper
chives, dried or fresh

Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat slightly to a light boil and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the water and place in large mixing bowl.

Add butter and heavy cream. With the back of a wooden spoon or a fork, smush (yep, it’s a technical term) the potatoes and lightly mix together. This will prevent splatter all over your beautiful kitchen once you break out the mixer. Add black pepper. With a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add more salt or more heavy cream if needed. Garnish with chives.

whipped potatoes

So there you have it. A creamy, decadent mashed potato that’s quick and simple to boot. It’s the perfect potato addition to any Thanksgiving table which won’t have you slaving over the stove but will have your guests oooh-ing and aaah-ing! Happy Turkey Day!

Join the Party!

Got a great Thanksgiving dish or decorating idea? Share a link to your Turkey Day blog post or recipe in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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Filed under Holidays, Sides

Turkey for Me, Turkey for You

As stores deck the halls for Christmas this time of year, I can’t help but feel sorry for one of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving! This noble holiday does not get the attention it deserves. That is why Haute Apple Pie will be celebrating next week with a Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck. We’ve invited five of our favorite foodies to bring a dish to the table in preparation for the main event.

Rachel, Kendra, Alison, Michael and Lauren will be dishing up sides, desserts and tasty beverages as well as sharing a few of their Thanksgiving thoughts with us.

But a Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without the bird, would it? While cooking up a turkey may seem simple, there are many ways to make it happen. You can roast, grill, deep fry, stuff, marinate, brine, slow-cook and heck, some even cook a turkey breast in the microwave (HAP does not condone this method). While I love you all, I’m not sure I have enough friends on hand to come eat a big bird right now and have not accumulated enough Turkey Perks at Pick N Save to save some cash, so I am dishing up some recipes from around the web that have been certified as solid ways to get the bird ready for the big day.

Photo courtesy of Butterball

Deep Fry: Deep frying a turkey requires some skill, an open outdoor space and lots of care, because it is quite dangerous. However, it taste delicious. Check out this video with some help from Paula Deen on how to deep fry a turkey.

Brined and Roasted: My friend Erin from Hot Dinner Happy Home recently posted her recipe for homemade brine and roasted turkey. Far less dangerous than deep frying, juicy and delicious and you can roast your veggies at the same time!

Grilled: Grilling a turkey may not have the inside of your house wafting with turkey delight, but your neighbors will thank you. This simple grilling method gets five stars on allrecipes.com and better yet, it frees up your oven so you can have more space for those sides!

Stuffed: Now some say you shouldn’t stuff a turkey for contaminating reasons. I throw that advice out the window as I’ve been eating my Grandma’s stuffed turkey my whole life and never once felt sick (well…maybe from over eating). Alton Brown from The Food Network provides this classic recipe for a stuffed turkey. If you are wary, you can always use a bag for the stuffing.

Slow Cooked: It is not advised to slow cook an entire turkey, and it would be difficult to find a slow cooker large enough. However, slow cooking a turkey breast is a great option for a smaller thanksgiving meal. If you are only hosting a small amount of people or if you are all by yourself for Thanksgiving, this is a simple way to get that great Thanksgiving turkey taste without all of the fuss. And again, your oven is open for other dishes. I made a similar recipe a few years ago and it was delicious!

Join the Party!
Join us next week for our Virtual Thanskgiving Potluck!  Feel free to bring a dish to the party by posting a recipe in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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Filed under Cook, Main Dish