Any gathering where guests mill about pre-meal with a beverage in hand feels like there should be at least a light appetizer.  Right?  As a host, it seems irresponsible to pour wine so freely while guests’ bellies are empty…..

Unless, of course, the gathering is Thanksgiving – the most infamously carb-heavy day of the year.  So much eating.  So much food.  So much post meal food-coma!  Do we really need an appetizer too??

If your friends are anything like ours, they arrive early and stay late.  Thanksgiving dinner (which we serve mid-afternoon) is an all day affair.  Appetizers feel like overkill with all the mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes, and pie.  But in an effort to avoid the combination of hungry growling bellies and wine-sipping guests, I opt for one light appetizer – one substantial enough to provide a little sustenance but not heavy enough to fill anyone up.  Notice that I said one – not multiple.

My other rule?  It must be something I can prep at least a day ahead of time!  No one wants to fuss over an appetizer when potatoes need mashing.  That’s just crazy.

This year, I’m making this creamy cauliflower and white bean hummus dip served with crunchy Belgian endive.  We made it for friends recently and it was a hit!  Its lemony, light, and just substantial enough to ward off growling bellies.  With a much more mild flavor than traditional hummus, its a great starter for just about any type of meal.

You all know how I feel about living a sustainable lifestyle… Everything from sustainable fashion and food to daily life.  I care how the products that go in and on my body are made and grown.  I feel passionate about supporting local and sustainable producers and try to avoid purchases that harm the environment or don’t fairly compensate producers.

But as a type-A personality, part of living sustainably means not stressing about small things.  Entertaining is a great way for a type-A gal like me to kick things into overdrive.  I love having people over.  But after a couple years of fretting over every detail from the presentation and decor to perfect timing, I would end up exhausted.  The self-imposed pressure wasn’t sustainable and definitely wasn’t life-giving to myself or my guests.  I’ve been to parties where the host or hostess rushes around the whole time in a tizzy and as a guest, its stressful to experience!  I feel like I should be helping but the well-meaning host insists otherwise…  Well, I was hosting parties like that!  You know the ones, right?

Today, my mantra is low-stress and low-key gatherings.  I want to actually enjoy the party – sit down and hang out!  Fretting over details is overrated.  Refusing help when its offered is overrated!  Often when a guest offers to help, he or she truly wants to help! Maybe, they don’t know the other guests and helping is actually more comfortable for them.  So if they offer, have them crack open the pomegranate for that salad!  Or, task them with setting the table, mashing the potatoes, tossing the salad, etc!  After all, why would I invite people over if I planned to spend the evening in the kitchen alone?  Hanging out with a glass of vino in the kitchen while meal prepping with some of our closest friends is fun!  Why did I ever think otherwise??

Thank you to JORD Wood Watches for the beautiful watch and caring about sustainable and eco friendly fashion.  JORD is a sustainable fashion brand!   All of their wood watches are handmade from sustainably and responsibly harvested woods.

Since its the gifting time of year, I want to spend my money with brands whose values align with my own. Companies for whom sustainable, transparent, and environmentally conscious business is not only valued but inherent in their DNA are not easy to come by. After learning about JORD, I don’t hesitate to place them in that category.

I always worry about ordering a gift online and having it delivered.  How will it look when it arrives? Is it gift-worthy presentation?  Well, JORD’s packaging is gorgeous!  GORGEOUS!

JORD has fashionable styles for both men and women.  My super watch-picky husband was eyeing a couple.  JORD is generously offering my readers 25% off through December 19th!  Just click here to access your coupon code!

UPDATE: JORD’s Black Friday sale is live now!  For even bigger discounts, visit the page and click the words “BLACK FRIDAY” 5 times for secret early black friday pricing.  How cool is that???

The watch I’m wearing: Frankie in Sandalwood and Slate

JORD’s Women’s Watches

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Creamy Cauliflower and White Bean Hummus

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Creamy Cauliflower and White Bean Hummus

    For Hummus:
  • 1 c. cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, plus more
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • For Serving:
  • 3-4 belgian endives, with end removed and leaves separated
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • chopped parsley for serving
  • sprinkle of sumac for serving

Add cauliflower florets to a pot of boiling water. Reduce temperature to a rolling boil and boil until florets are very tender 5-7 minutes. Drain water and pat cauliflower dry with paper towels. Press cauliflower between paper-towels to remove excess moisture. Allow them to sit 5 minutes.

In food processor, pulse garlic until finely chopped. Add cauliflower and blend until pieces are smaller than a grain of rice. Add drained beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times to make sure everything gets incorporated. Then drizzle in olive oil and blend until very smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. If consistency seems too dry, add another glug of olive oil and blend again. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day ahead. Transfer hummus to serving bowl. Drizzle top with a little olive oil. Add a sprinkle of chopped parsley and sumac. Plate endives and serve!


Total time does not include chilling.