My first thought was a light salad, since the shells will be warm and heavy. I love a good harvest salad, and there are endless combinations- apple or pears for fruit, craisins or grapes for sweetness, gorgonzola, blue, or goat cheese for creaminess, pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for crunch, and of course a sweet, vinegary dressing to top it off. Don't even get me started on the variety of lettuces that work here.
Don't get me wrong, I love nuts, butter and sugar, but I don't love becoming a chubster over the holidays, so I hunted down a healthier version of candied nuts. I loosely followed this recipe (cut out the white sugar entirely, added the vanilla extract to the wet mix rather than the dry, and almost doubled the spices).
|brown sugar and mucho spices|
|bake until they lose the wet, shiny look. they smell DIVINE|
(P.S.- for drinks, we went with an amaretto sour, but used this recipe so we could add 100 proof bourbon. our deer approves.)