Joy Bauer lightens up holiday foods: eggnog, pigs in a blanket and pizza

Is it even a party without pigs in a blanket?
/ Source: TODAY
By Joy Bauer

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season! This time of year, I especially cherish spending time with my family and friends, singing cheerful carols and, of course, having the opportunity to reimagine festive foods. This year, my husband and kids voted for spinach-artichoke dip, pigs in a blanket and creamy eggnog, and boy, did I have fun in the kitchen experimenting and adding a bit of my own (health-inspired) personality here and there. Now, after debuting the winning recipes on the show, I'm extra excited to showcase them all at my holiday parties. I'm hoping you'll try one or two — or all three! — and everyone on your end gobbles them up.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip Pizzas

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Imagine combining creamy spinach-artichoke dip with a slice of cheesy pizza for the ultimate eating experience. My version of this dip is rich and indulgent yet light on calories. Plus, it's a cinch to make. Note that you can choose to build your mini pizzas on roasted portobello mushroom caps for a lower-carb spin or on a toasted English muffin for a crunchier pizza-like crust.

Get the recipe here.

Phyllo Dough-Wrapped Sausages with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Is it even a party without pigs in a blanket? If you love this fan-favorite hors d'oeuvres, then you'll get a kick out of this better-for-you (and fancied up) alternative. I wrap lean poultry sausages in flaky phyllo dough, bake until it's crisped to perfection and then dip 'em in a velvety mustard sauce. No one will pass on this pass-around app!

Get the recipe here.

Chai-Spiced Eggnog

No eggs needed in this flavorful rendition of a Christmas classic, which requires only a few everyday ingredients. First, I infuse the drink with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves by steeping a few chai tea bags in steamed milk. Next, I thicken and sweeten it up by blending in a simple slurry of maple syrup and vanilla. Finally, I stash it in the fridge to chill overnight. You can choose to serve this virgin or spiked with rum, whiskey or bourbon — drinker's choice. Then, garnish each glass with a squirt of whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg, and sip away.

For delicious recipes, follow Joy on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and check out her new kid's book "Yummy Yoga."

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