Thanksgiving Menu: Fromage Fort & Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sours

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Below I am sharing recipes for Fromage Fort and Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour from Julia Turshen’s cookbook, Small Victories. This Fromage Fort is the perfect appetizer because it lets you use up all the leftover cheese and wine you have from the rest of the Thanksgiving recipes you are making (plus it’s cheese and wine – how could it even get any better than that?). Additionally, I love this simple Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour recipe since it’s made with ingredients you most likely already have on hand; this also makes it ideal for whipping up when guests stop by or you are hosting a huge dinner (like Thanksgiving) and don’t want to add more ingredients to your long shopping list. 

This post is part two of a six part series on Hosting a Vegetarian Thanksgiving. Please visit post one for the full menu and tips on hosting your own meat-free holiday.


As I mentioned in part one of this year’s Thanksgiving series, I always turn to trusted sources like my favorite cookbooks and magazines when planning a party menu. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogs (HELLO! This IS a blog!) but the recipes are not always as vetted and tested over and over again on websites. When it comes to a recipe making or breaking my dinner party, I just can’t chance it on the recipe not turning out for the big day. That is why I chose two recipes from Julia Turshen’s new cookbook, Small Victories, to include on this year’s Thanksgiving menu. Both recipes are simple, come together quickly, and turned out perfect!


Julia’s book is not strictly vegetarian but it’s filled with so much cooking inspiration that it even keeps a meat-free eater like myself mesmerized. The photos are gorgeous (gosh, I’m such a sucker for good photos), recipes approachable, and her tone is inviting throughout the entire book. It feels like a book I’ll be coming back to often when I’m looking for a no-fuss comfort meal.

Sharing these recipes with you today is extra special because this post is also part of Julia’s No Kid Hungry campaign. In her book she writes:

This cookbook, like most cookbooks, assumes that whoever is reading it has access to food and not only the desire, but also the time, energy, and means to cook. How great would it be if that were the case for everyone? I firmly believe that if you have the privilege of eating however much you want whenever you want, you should spend some time ensuring that others have the same opportunity.”

I’ve read that 1 in 5 children in this country don’t have enough food to properly thrive. ONE in FIVE! Just think on that for a minute. I personally will be joining Julia in not only giving thanks this Thanksgiving for having the privilege of enjoying a huge meal with my loving family but also by giving back to this campaign and hope you consider doing the same. Here is the link to learn more.

Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sours recipe below:

Thanksgiving Menu: Fromage Fort & Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour

Assign a family member to be in charge of whipping this cocktail up as people walk in the door. Easily made for one or 100 people, you can size this up depending on the crowd. I personally will be sipping on one of these before the guests arrive while putting the last minute touches on appetizers. I’ll then switch over to red wine with dinner.

Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Calories: 173 kcal
Author: Julia Turshen
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp whiskey
  • A few dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes for serving
  • ¼ cup [60 ml] seltzer water
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, lemon juice, whiskey, and bitters.
  2. Fill a highball glass to the top with ice and pour the whiskey mixture into it. Top with the seltzer and give it a stir. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Potassium 45mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Sugars 12g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin C 14.1%
Calcium 2.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



I love this Fromage Fort recipe for Thanksgiving since it’ll help use up odd and ends from the other recipes you are cooking. How many times do you buy a fancy cheese for a recipe and only use 2/3 of it? I can’t be the only one with a cheese door filled with bits and ends of cheeses. Plus, wine! And you don’t even have to bake anything to whip this up!

Fromage Fort recipe below:

Thanksgiving Menu: Fromage Fort & Whiskey + Maple Syrup SourThanksgiving Menu: Fromage Fort & Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour

Fromage Fort
This Fromage Fort is the perfect appetizer because it lets you use up all the leftover cheese and wine you have from the rest of the Thanksgiving recipes you are making (plus it's cheese and wine - how could it even get any better than that?).
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 264 kcal
Author: Julia Turshen
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 8 oz [230 g] assorted pieces of cheese (cut soft cheeses into small pieces and coarsely grate hard cheeses)
  • 1 Tbsp butter , at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toast or crackers for serving
  1. With the food processor running, drop the garlic into the feed tube and process until finely chopped. Add the cheese, butter, and white wine and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper (the amounts will depend on the types of cheese you use).
  2. Serve right away on toast or crackers, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (it will harden a bit in the fridge, so bring it to room temperature before serving).
Nutrition Facts
Fromage Fort
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 378mg 16%
Potassium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 13.1%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 40.9%
Iron 2.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Thanksgiving Menu: Fromage Fort & Whiskey + Maple Syrup Sour

Styling & photography notes: Wood bowls and wood spoons: Bomisch / Ceramic white pourer: m.bueno / ceramic black and white plates: Herriot Grace / Marble and brass knife: Target / Photos shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and edited with Adobe Photoshop CC.


Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.



  1. Reply

    Considering The Radish

    November 7, 2016

    Both of these look fantastic. I’m keeping the fromage fort recipe in my back pocket for all of my cheese scraps.

  2. Reply


    November 7, 2016

    Those menus!!!! So pretty! Did you design them?

    • Reply


      November 8, 2016

      I wish I had the skills to design menus like this! I actually bought a wedding template (lol) from and then adjusted to make it feel more festive.

  3. Reply


    November 10, 2016

    WOW this is stunning!!