Spending the holidays at home does not mean you have to skimp on some of the best parts of the season: the food + drinks!

Make virtual holiday parties and Christmas movie marathons extra festive by trying some of these delicious and easy-to-make finger foods + boozy bevvy’s.

Sweet potato and spinach fritters are vegan, gluten free and paleo-friendly, but don’t skimp on taste! The brown sugar and bacon bites are an absolute dream. And the mix of sweet, bitter and salty flavours in the pear and prosciutto wraps are melt in your mouth divine.

And that’s not all! We’re sharing our fav boozy apple cider – it’s super simple, yet makes seasonal sipping sensational!

Whether you make them all or choose just one, we guarantee some appy-happy-campers with these recipes.

Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide featuring some of our fav local businesses along with our top picks for everyone on your list. And discover the true spirit of the season with 5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season.

SWEET POTATO & SPINACH FRITTERS

These tiny sweet potato cakes are vegan, gluten free and paleo-friendly but delicious for all diets! Made with spinach, garlic, onions and a little heat; they are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Pan-fried in small bites, they are great to serve as a warm appetizer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen, chopped spinach (if you are going to wilt it yourself, I have no idea how much, but would estimate 13lbs. – kidding, maybe like 2 cups fresh to get 1/2 cup)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice (and lemon wedges for serving)
  • 1/8 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2/3 tsp fresh cracked pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I use GF flour, but regular flour works too)
  • Oil for frying (you can use coconut oil, macadamia oil, ghee or avocado oil)
  • Green onions or chives, chopped, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes whole , until soft when poked through with a knife (about 30-40 mins). Let them cool then spoon out the insides and mash in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet and sauté for about 6-8 minutes over medium heat, until translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Add the chopped spinach, garlic, lemon zest, thyme and chilli flakes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Most of the water should evaporate from the spinach. Add lemon juice.
  4. Get your bowl of sweet potato mash and add the spinach and onion mix, salt, pepper and flour and mix well together.
  5. Get out your frying pan (non-stick works best) and heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high heat. Wet your hands slightly or use a tablespoon to roll equal amounts of potato and spinach mixture into small balls. Remember, these are appetizers, so smaller work best for finger foods (approximately 1 tbsp in size).
  6. Gently place in a hot frying pan, leaving a little space in between balls. Press down on each ball with a spoon or spatula so they flatten out into fritters. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms, making sure to turn over gently using a fork and a spatula. Fry in batches, adding more oil as needed.
  7. Serve with chopped green onions or chives on top and lemon wedges.

BROWN SUGAR BACON BITES

Original recipe from tiphero.com

We all have at least one bacon-loving friend or family member – and they’re usually the life of the party (am I right?!). These bite-sized brown sugar bacon bites are so easy to make and have a salty-sweet-savory-spicy crunch that is second to none! They’ll be an instant favourite for all party people.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package crackers (I used Vitta brand, but you could use your favourite semi-plain rectangular cracker or gluten free variety)
  • 8-10 slices of bacon (regular-sliced works best, not extra thick)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • Cracked black pepper (to taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and top with a wire rack.
  2. Place crackers on the wire rack, leaving a little space in between.
  3. Slice or cut the bacon into thirds or fourths (depending on the size of your crackers). Place a piece of cut bacon lengthwise on each cracker.
  4. Spoon brown sugar on top of the bacon-topped crackers (about 1 teaspoon per cracker). Then lightly sprinkle with cayenne and cracked black pepper.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the brown sugar melts and bacon becomes crisp. Allow crackers to cool on the wire rack. Use a spatula to carefully lift them off to serve. Brown sugar bites can be made ahead, but taste best when reheated in the oven for a few minutes before eating.

PEAR & PROSCIUTTO WRAPS

Original recipe adapted from Real Simple

Never has a mix of flavours come together in such beautiful harmony. These bites combine soft, sweet pears, tangy blue cheese, bitter and crunchy arugula, and salty prosciutto, all wrapped up in delicious goodness. Blue cheese lovers unite! This appetizer will have you swooning for more. And GF/carb watchers can rest easy knowing that these are grain and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 2 pears (I used d’Anjou), cut into 8 wedges per pear
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 8 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
  • fresh lemon juice (if you aren’t serving right away)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prep all items according to the ingredients list and lay out in front of you.
  2. Place a slice of prosciutto down on a cutting board or plate and layer with aslice of pear, a few arugula leaves, and a small piece of cheese.
  3. Roll it up and repeat.
  4. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator. NOTE: if making ahead, gently toss your pear slices in lemon juice before rolling to prevent the pear from turning brown.

BOOZY APPLE CIDER

Cheers to the Spirit of the Season.

Whether you will be toasting the holidays in person or virtually this year, old and young alike will be eager to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or apple cider! To up the festive factor for adults add an Irish cream liquor to your cocoa or try this boozy cider recipe – it’s a favourite at our house!

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 4 oz Apple Cider
  • Twist of Lemon
  • Optional: Cinnamon Stick and Brown Sugar

DIRECTIONS

Heat all ingredients and then pour in a heatproof glass or mug. Serve with a cinnamon stick and brown sugar rim.

How are you making the most of the holidays at home? What are your go-to finger foods? Drop us a note and let us know what you’ll be whipping up this season. We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays!

December, 2020

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