Appetizer Ideas for a Friendsgiving Feast

Friendsgiving is a special opportunity to show our chosen family a little gratitude during this season thanksgiving. This recently coined holiday is usually celebrated in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and is typically a more casual event. This makes it the perfect time to try out less traditional holiday dishes. We say, keep it simple with an all appetizer menu! Each of the recipes featured here can be prepped ahead of time and finished off in minutes on the day of, leaving you free to spend time with your guests.

Wind and Willow Bacon Stuffed Mushroom Cheeseball and Appetizer Mix

One appetizer that is a must is Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms. No time to stuff a turkey? No problem! This is one of the easiest recipes to make (only 3 ingredients!!), but tastes like it took you lots of time and effort. The best part is that they can be completely prepped the day before and baked as guests arrive so that your home smells warm and inviting. Simply combine Wind & Willow Bacon Stuffed Mushroom Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix with cream cheese. Fill small mushrooms (stems removed) with about a tablespoon of the mixture and top each one with the breadcrumb topping. Cover the mushrooms and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Jalapeno Cranberry Crostini are a fun twist on traditional flavors. Cranberry Sauce pairs with savory Jalapeno Jack Cheeseball for the perfect savory/sweet/heat combination. A garnish of rosemary completes this beautiful app. The best part is how simple it is to put together. You can toast baguettes ahead of time and prepare the cheeseball ahead as well. Just before guests arrive spread about a tablespoon of Jalapeno Jack Cheeseball onto each slice of toasted bread. Top with whole cranberry sauce and a bit of rosemary. These beauties will be the first thing to get polished off by your friends!

A board is the perfect way to display a variety of festive foods that guests can graze on. In addition to the traditional cured meats, cheeses, and fruit add a boost of flavor with your favorite Wind & Willow products! Savory Herb & Pecan Cheeseball, Tuscan Olive Cheeseball, and Cracked Pepper & Garlic Roasted Pecan make beautiful and delicious additions to this Friendsgiving platter.

All that’s left is to light some candles and set the food on the table for a family style feast. Fresh flowers, foliage, and seasonal produce can make fun additions to your table scape and can even serve as conversation starters!

From appetizers to desserts, drink mixes to soup, Wind & Willow has a product that will be perfect for you this holiday season whether you are hosting a holiday, attending a party, or picking out the perfect gift. Check out all our products and recipes on our website for more inspiration.

Find us on social media @windandwillow and don’t forget to tag us in your posts for a chance to be featured on our page!

How to Throw a Last Minute Harvest Party

When you have Wind & Willow on hand, you have a last minute party right in your pantry.

When you have Wind & Willow on hand, you have a last minute party right in your pantry. By gathering just a few additional ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry and fridge, you can create a whole menu for a Harvest Party! Hot cider and a festive party mix will tide your guests over while you prepare the main dish. Then really wow guests with two gorgeous dessert options. Guests will think you prepped for weeks, and they never need to know the difference!

Hot Apple Cider

Warm apple cider in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick. Cozy fall scene with warm drink.

Greet your guests in from the cool fall weather with a warm cup of cider. When you have a batch of Wind & Willow Apple Cider simmering on the stove the smell fills your whole house and sets a cozy fall mood without even setting out decorations.

Harvest Party Mix

Fall party cereal mix snack with corn candies, checked cereal, and pretzels.

For this super easy recipe, simply gather an assortment of cereal, crackers, and festive candy that you have on hand and coat in oil. Then, mix in Fiesta Ranchero Dip Mix (or Back at the Ranch for no spice). Serve in a bowl right away or store in a large zip-top bag overnight for an even bolder flavor! Check out the full recipe here for full details.

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin chili recipe that makes a big batch and is perfect for fall.

In our family, nothing says fall like a big pot of chili. This amazing recipe feeds a crowd and uses our Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball Mix to really enhance the flavor. Just grab some ground beef at the store (or defrost some from the freezer), because you likely already have everything else on hand for this easy recipe.

Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

Turtle cheesecake swirl brownies with gooey caramel sauce.

Prepare a boxed brownie mix. Prepare a Turtle Cheesecake Cheeseball Mix plus one egg. Swirl the two together. Experience the most decadent dessert of all time. Once cut up, these basically become a portable cheesecake with a super thick brownie crust.

Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Have you ever seen anything more festive? The great news is that these cookies are as easy as they are cute! Prepare a Pumpkin Pie Cheeseball with cream cheese and butter. Then, spread the mixture onto a dozen sugar cookies. Finish by decorating them with assorted fall candies, nuts, and the graham topping.

Fall Harvest Party in a Flash

With just a few pantry and fridge staples, your fall harvest party will come together easily and likely without even a trip to the store when you keep Wind & Willow products on hand! Be sure to take pictures of your gathering and tag us @windandwillowfoods on Instagram and Facebook

Grilling Tips and Ideas

Marinate to Infuse Flavor

Infuse your meat and veggies with flavor by marinating them before grilling. Combine 1 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or citrus juice (lemon or lime). Mix in a Wind & Willow Dip Mix such as Roasted Red Pepper, Back at the Ranch, or Fiesta Ranchero. To the mixture add your meat (in a separate bowl or zipper top bag, you can also marinate vegetables). Stir to coat each piece and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to four hours) . Remove the meat and veggies and place on paper towels to catch excess moisture. Grill vegetables until slightly softened and meats until appropriate internal temperature is reached.



Pick a Contrasting Dip

You’ve kicked up the flavor with the marinade, now let’s add even more depth with another layer of flavor.  If you marinated with spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix, try dipping your meat (or kabobs as pictured) into a cool Cucumber Dill Dip Mix or Asiago & Roasted Garlic Dip Mix prepared as directed on the packaging. If you marinated with something cool and tangy like Back at the Ranch Dip Mix, try dipping your grilled masterpiece into something with a little kick like Chipotle Cheddar Dip Mix.


Grill up a Side Dish

While you have the grill hot, why not grill up your side dish as well? Try one of our grilled side dish recipes to complete your summer meal. Roasted Corn is as simple as combining Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix and oil, then coating fresh corn before roasting it on the grill. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos are stuffed with the classic BLT Cheeseball and Appetizer mix, wrapped in bacon, and then thrown on the grill until the bacon is nice and crispy. Another great grilled side dish are Zucchini Boats. Just spread some prepared Bruscetta Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix on to zucchini halves and cover with fresh tomatoes and cheese. Grill them until the cheese has melted and zucchini has began to soften.  



Show us your Creations

We hope these ideas and recipes inspire you to gather with your family and create memories over good food. We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow products whether you are preparing them according to the directions right on the box, cooking up one of our hundreds of recipes online, or creating your own original recipe. Tag us in pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook @WindandWillowFoods for a chance to be featured!