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Mussels with Cider, Shallots, and Bacon

Mussels with Cider, Shallots, and Bacon

If you have a large pot and a few pounds of mussels, you can have a dinner party worthy meal on the tables in no time at all. Mussels are one of the easiest meals to prepare. All you need to do is give the mussels a quick scrub and soak, cook up a few aromatics for a broth to steam the mussels in, and five minutes cooking time. For Mussels with Cider, Shallots and Bacon, I decided to add some autumn flair but using apple cider instead of the more typical white wine as the base of the broth.

The website Serious Eats has a more detailed article on cleaning mussels if you would like a step-by-step guide. I have also included a video below. But, I promise, it is really easy and takes no time at all. Once you get the hang of it, you will be preparing mussels all the time!

While mussels and French fries (frites) are a popular combination in Belgium and France, I prefer to serve mussels with slices of nice bread. My favorites are a beautiful baguette or ciabatta. You will want to use the slices of bread to soak up the delicious broth.

So, let’s walk through the process. Heat a large pot over a medium flame and add oil olive and butter. When the oil and butter start to bubble, add the chopped bacon and cook for a few minutes.  Next you will add the shallots, garlics, and thyme and cook until they are soft. Finally, add the cider and mustard. Bring the broth to a boil before adding the cleaned mussels. The only need a few minutes to cook. Seriously easy, right?

Mussels with Cider Shallots and Bacon-2

If you would like a tasty beverage to accompany your mussels, I recommend either a crisp white wine, sparkling wine (bubbles go with everything), or a Belgian beer.  I love to serve this meal not only because it is delicious but it is a slow-paced meal which encourages conversation as you work your way through the mussels. Slow food at its best!

How to Make Mussels with Cider, Shallots, and Bacon

Mussels with Cider, Shallots, and Bacon Pin

Cranberry Cider Bourbon Cocktail

Imagine yourself sitting by the lights of the Christmas tree, snow falling outside, and Nat King Cole singing holiday tunes softly in the background.  You are sipping a warming bourbon cocktail to celebrate the holidays.

You can share this moment with your partner, best friend, or sibling, whoever you love to spend time with during the holidays. Or, let’s be real, sometimes you have a moment of quiet during December and all you want to do is savor the silence and sip a drink all by yourself. I get you.

Cranberry Cider Bourbon Cocktail

Holiday time is cocktail time. Right? Right.

I love to make festive cocktails that are beautiful to look at and filled with holiday flavors. This cocktail pairs bourbon (my favorite) with cranberries and apple cider. I use Trader Joe’s spiced apple cider because it is delicious and not overly sweet. The splash of club soda at the end adds a bit of effervescence.

Another great thing about this cocktail is that cranberry juice, apple cider, and apples all keep well in the fridge so no need to worry about the ingredients spoiling right away. You can pick up the ingredients a week before you plan to imbibe.

Cranberry Cider Bourbon Cocktail

So, do yourself a favor and make this cocktail. I garnished mine with a thin slice of apple but instead you could pop a few cranberries and a sprig of mint into the glass if you are fancy. This cocktail would be a nice start to small holiday gathering or a perfect warm-up after an outdoor activity.

I would love to know, what are your favorite holiday cocktails?

Cranberry Cider Bourbon Cocktail

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