I just love this word, Homegating! Once discovered I realized that we homegate a lot! Like, a lot! The idea of tailgating (good eats, treats and drinks with friends at a game) but in the home pretty much sums up our weekends! With arguably one of the biggest tailgate and homegating days coming up, Thanksgiving football!, I wanted to share with you my tips, tricks, and favorite recipes! I have teamed up with Fre, alcohol-removed wine, to create two fall mocktails and paired them with a few of my favorite homegating recipes, from my new Festive Holiday Recipes cookbook, on sale now!
First and foremost, do you know about Fre?! If you are skipping alcohol this holiday season, skip the soda and flavored sparkling water, too. Fre delivers a luxe wine experience—from vine to glass—without the alcohol. When I was pregnant with Cooper I loved drinking Fre and created a lot of mocktails for friends of mine! For every bottle of Fre, they use state-of-the-art technology to gently remove the alcohol from your glass of wine, making it taste like the real deal because it came straight from the vineyard! This is not juice my friends, this is wine (just without the alcohol), and that is why I love it!
So when homegating, you end up eating and drinking quite a bit throughout the day, particularly on Thanksgiving. With these two mocktails you can enjoy the fall flavors and vineyard taste all-day long!
Sparkling Apple Cider Brut
Combine 1 bottle Fre Sparkling Brut + 2 cups apple cider in a large pitcher and then pour into champagne flutes. Add 1 cup cranberries + 1 cup pomegranate seeds to garnish each glass!
For that beautiful sugar rim, squeeze lemon juice on the glass and roll in sugar!
Red Blended Berry Bliss
Combine 1 cup Fre Red Blend + 1/4 cup apple cider. Pour into two wine glasses and garnish with cranberries and cinnamon sticks!
What is a homegate without the food? Here are four of my favorite fall recipes, perfect for Thanksgiving, and how to pair them with Fre!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups very thinly sliced yellow onions
1 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pie dough for 1 single-crust 9-inch pie (store-bought or homemade)
3 to 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 12-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions, butter, sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are deep golden brown.
While the onions are cooking, roll the pie dough out into a large circle, slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Lightly press 1 round into each mini muffin cup. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.
Remove the shells from the muffin tin and arrange on a platter. Divide the crème fraîche among the shells, top with the caramelized onions, and sprinkle the top with fresh thyme sprigs. Serve.
Pairing: This is an easy awesome appetizer that I enjoy with Fre’s Alcohol Removed Chardonnay. With its deep golden hue, and lively tropical fruit aromas, our alcohol-removed Chardonnay is elegance personified. Rich, creamy apple flavors mingle with crisp citrus notes on the palate, leading to an enjoyably tart finish. Perfect for the rich butter, creme fraiche and onion flavor!
Fall Harvest Salad
Ok, I know what you are thinking. Why a salad when homegating? Well, sometimes it is nice to have a fresh lightened-up snack / meal during the big game / big day!
Ingredients (Salad Dressing):
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 6-ounce package kale, stems removed
1 apple, cored and cut in matchsticks
1/2 cup pecans (use your candied pecans!)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
For the pumpkin dressing: Blend all ingredients in a blender. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the salad: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and roast the squash with olive oil for about 20 minutes.
Once squash has cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add the remainig ingredients and toss with the dressing.
Pairing: This will be delicious with Fre’s Moscato! This decadent alcohol-removed Moscato opens with gorgeous aromas of rose petals and peaches, framed by a palate of sweet, creamy flavors and a lovely, lingering finish. Perfect with a crisp, yet creamy pumpkin dressed salad.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pound pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, boiling water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans, then the vanilla .Stir until the pecans are fully coated.
Pour on a parchment lined baking sheet, separate the pecans, and allow to cool approximately 20 minutes.
Pairing: A perfect appetizer and/or sweet treat! Pair with my favorite, Fre’s Sparkling Brut! The cascading bubbles and delicate effervescence of our alcohol-removed sparkling wine elevates any occasion. A fragrant bouquet of green apple and ripe pear is balanced by a crisp palate of apple and strawberry. This bubbly is beautifully balanced with a dry, refreshing finish.
For more fall recipes, take a look at my post last year! This post is sponsored by Fre. The content and opinions expressed here are my own. I am really enjoying creating and consuming these delicious alcohol-removed wine recipes. Stay tuned for more!
For more information about Fre, visit their website here.
Enjoy Thanksgiving!! And for more holiday appetizers, entrees and much more - purchase my new cookbook on Amazon! Festive Holiday Recipes!