The 2020 holidays are not exactly how I thought they would look. My husband and I, along with our adult daughter and son and my youngest son, a high school senior, are sheltering in place together. The regular Thanksgiving visit to grandma’s has been postponed. As we plan smaller, more socially-distanced gatherings, I can’t help but think about how to make things festive for my family during the current circumstances. Perhaps the special foods we prepare and eat may bring us together with good memories of our friends and family. Which delectable appetizers will you serve? The following are a few of my favorites.

Epic Charcuterie Board 

Layout cured meats, cheese, olives, nuts, dried fruit, crackers or baguette or flatbread or bruschetta, vegetables, deviled eggs and anything else on a platter. Be creative!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (two boneless skinless breasts or thighs or shredded rotisserie)
1 package of 8-ounce cream cheese (melt in the microwave for about 2 minutes) 
1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt 
1 cup Buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 green onions, sliced

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, then cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 hours. Top with additional blue cheese crumbles and green onions. Add hot sauce for a little spice, and garnish with carrot and celery sticks, tortilla chips or crostini. Pro tip: use the dip as filling for grilled sandwiches.

Whether you make holiday meals for your loved ones or support a local restaurant, may you and yours enjoy the foods that help you appreciate one another in safety and good health.

By Marisa Gonzalez