Easy Contributions to the Holiday Party

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It’s that time of year – the holiday party and potluck season.  We’ve already been to 4-5 events in the last two weeks that required us to bring a dish.  By some blessing, we’ve come upon three recipes that are perfect.  Now, I want to be clear here – these are for snack or appetizer type events.  Main dishes are a whole lot harder.  These three dishes are simple, inexpensive, and cover most allergy issues.  They are, also, universally likable.

The first is a recipe I share a few weeks ago – chocolate covered popcorn.  This caramelly, chocolatey popcorn is gluten, nut, and egg free.  If made with coconut oil, then they are also dairy free.  They are also mostly vegan depending on your sugar.  The best part is that it comes together in minutes.  Another great thing is if you take that caramel and mix in nuts, you have an amazing candy.

The next, which is my specialty, is homemade soft pretzels.  I will update the recipe next week because I have a better way of making them than I did when I first discovered the recipe.  This recipe comes together easily and quickly but if you feel there will be a crunch for time, make the dough ahead of time.  These aren’t great if made too far in advance but we have been doing some experiments with reheating them (we turned some party leftovers into nachos).  For parties, I roll the dough into long strands and cut them into “fingers”.  If I feel like there will be a lot of people, I make smaller fingers.  Serve with cheap yellow mustard.  I have not had a party when people didn’t have a very positive reaction to them.  They do have wheat but they are free of all the other major allergens and are mostly vegan.  They do have a touch of sugar but you can always leave that out.  (Maybe I’ll try them with and without sugar and let you know if there is any difference.)

The last is a recipe we discovered this week.  I asked for help with ideas and a friend said spiced nuts.  She gave me a recipe that called for butter and spices.  We try to keep things vegan just to be more dietary friendly so we used that recipe as an idea.  What we ended up doing was taking about a pound of “raw” nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews) and coating them in a 1/4 cup coconut oil that we mixed in 1 teaspoon sweet curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.   I would have made that today’s tutorial if I had gotten a picture.

Quick instructions – melt oil, add seasonings, pour over nuts.  Roast at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.  Super easy.  It’s not as cheap as the others but nuts are a staple in our house so it is something we can just throw together.

We took all three of these to an event last night and came home with very little leftover (no pretzels, darn it).

The best part is that we can make some slight alterations if we desire so we don’t get bored with the foods.

Hope this helps make your holiday party season just a little less stressful.

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