(Family Features) The fall and winter months bring plenty of entertaining opportunities, ranging from tasting wine or watching football games, to formal parties or casual nights in with friends. Regardless of the occasion, there are simple ways to make each experience stand out.
Elevate your football fare. It's easy to add a little something special to your typical football viewing foods. Provide some unexpected toppings for your burgers, such as pickled vegetables or interesting cheeses like jalapeÒo cheddar, smoked Gouda, or gorgonzola. Swap the usual potato chips and onion dip for some artisanal breads or crackers with Boursin(r) Gourmet Spreadable cheese. With a re-closable lid and enticing flavors like Vermont White Cheddar and Sage or Spinach and Artichoke, these cheeses are easily transported for an enjoyable addition to any party spread.
For a fun and functional dessert, bring along hot chocolate fixings. It'll satisfy your sweet tooth and warm you up at the same time. Add a nice touch with homemade flavored marshmallows.
If you can't take the cold, head into the kitchen. There are countless opportunities to escape the cold by enjoying an evening in with friends - book clubs, watching red carpet or other TV events, game nights, or simple dinner parties. The key to a memorable experience for your guests is to surprise them with a delicious appetizer. While a nice spread of seasonal fruits, artisan cheeses and charcuterie is always appreciated, baking something in your oven will take the experience to another level. This fills your home with a welcoming aroma that will set the tone for a lovely evening. Vermont White Cheddar and Sage Pretzel Bites are small and manageable in size but big in flavor - they're sure to delight your guests.
For more great entertaining ideas and recipes, visit www.boursincheese.com or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BoursinCheese or Twitter via @boursincheese.
Vermont White Cheddar and Sage Pretzel Bites
Created by Chef Emily Peterson
Makes about 4 dozen
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dark honey or molasses
1 packet active dry yeast
1 container Vermont White Cheddar and Sage Boursin Gourmet Spreadable Cheese
3 cups plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
In electric mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, combine water, sugar, honey and yeast. Mix to combine and let sit 5 minutes until top is slightly foamy. Stir in cheese and switch paddle for dough hook attachment. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
With mixer on slow, stir in 3 cups flour. Use mixer to knead dough for 3 minutes. Turn machine off and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking mat.
In pot, bring remaining water and baking soda to a boil. Meanwhile, turn dough out onto a floured surface. If sticky, add extra 1/2 cup flour and hand-knead until dough is soft.
Pull sections of dough off and roll into gum ball-sized bites. Line bites up on baking sheet fairly close together.
When finished, drop bites into boiling baking soda water a few at a time and cook until bites float to surface, about 25 seconds.
Using slotted spoon, remove bites several at a time. Rest spoon on folded paper towels to drain, then place bites on baking sheets.
Brush bites with egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt and bake until dark golden brown, about 12 minutes. Rotate baking sheets halfway through.