A couple friends asked if I had any thanksgiving appetizer ideas, so I thought I’d follow up from my last post about different dinner recipes for Thanksgiving. If you’re your family is anything like mine, when we were kids, we normally made an all-day affair of Thanksgiving. We all gathered to eat lunch, then the adults would veg out, well the men would normally fall asleep watching television. The women would go outside under the large patio, sip on tea, and chat the afternoon up, while we kids would play hide and seek, baseball, climb trees, or anything else we could think of for fun. Once we came back covered in mud from head to toe. That was a sight to see and a Thanksgiving fun time we would never repeat.
I have tons of appetizer recipes to share, but I’m going to share the one’s that tend to go over best at my parties. This first one is lighter and is perfect for health-minded folks. Remember we have a variety of friends nowadays that range from meat eaters to Vegetarians, so when planning, keep in mind those family and friends.
Yogurt Fruit Dip
1 – 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup of yogurt (any flavor)
¼ cup sugar (I prefer brown sugar, it makes it richer, however white will do)
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until it’s smooth. Add yogurt and sugar and combine until smooth.
You can serve this with grapes, berries, melons, strawberries, pears, pineapple, and apples. If you choose apples, if you are not serving immediately, you may want to toss a little lemon juice over them, so they do not brown. Serves 6-8
Crispy Salmon Pizza
3 flour tortillas
5.2 ounces boursin cheese
6 ounces smoked salmon thinly sliced
3 tablespoons capers
Fresh dill springs
Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Lightly brush wedges with olive oil on both sides. Broil for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. Let cool, then spread with equal amounts of cheese. Top with smoked salmon and garnish with capers and tiny sprigs of dill. Makes 18 wedges
Chili Cheese Dip with a twist
1 – 8oz package cream cheese
1 – 15oz chili – your choice, beans or no beans
cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tomato diced and seeded
3 green onions diced
bag of small tortilla strips (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees. (You can also do this in the microwave, however I don’t like using the microwave. Warm chili in a pot. Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 8×8 glass baking dish. Once oven is preheated, spread chili over top and sprinkle with half the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour tortilla strips on top, remaining cheese and green onions, cook for another 5-7 minutes until other cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
If you’re not going to serve immediately, you can skip adding the tortilla strips on the top and serve as a dip with regular tortilla chips. Serves 6-8
Ranch Cheese Ball with Crackers
1 – 8oz cream cheese – softened
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 package ranch dip mix (1 oz)
Optional walnuts or pepper
This one is easy, once cream cheese has set out a while to soften, mix all ingredients together and form a ball. You can roll it in either the walnuts or the black pepper to coat the outside. Place in the middle of a serving dish and place crackers around it. Serves 8-12
24 large mushrooms
1 – 8oz cream cheese softened
1 – 6oz package Stove Top Stuffing
½ cup margarine/butter
2 tablespoons oil
Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Prepare the stuffing by following the basic directions on the box. Mix cream cheese and stuffing until cream cheese us completely melted. Fill mushrooms with mixture Melt butter in a large skillet, then add the 2 tablespoons oil and mushrooms with stuffing side up. Cover skillet and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until done. Top with parmesan cheese and serve. Serves 6
There are other items that go over well as appetizers. You can pick up fruit trays and vegetable trays at the grocery store if you are in a pinch, although, I like preparing my own. You can also find really tasty and a large variety of cheeses or cheese spreads at places like Trader Joes or Whole Foods that you can simply buy, place them on a long serving tray together and surround by various types of crackers. Throw a few fresh basil leaves or sprigs of dill and it will look like you’ve hired a professional.
Another easy appetizer is bread dipping oil. There’s a variety of recipes that include olive oil, some add balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic, and other spices to it. Serve with Italian bread, baguettes, or any other type bread loaf.
Get creative and see what sounds good. Remember though, depending on how may you are feeding, don’t overdo the appetizers and cocktails before the main course or you may have a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers. A great idea is to keep to go plates on hand and not end up with a refrigerator full of food for 3 weeks. Have fun and enjoy this holiday season. Don’t forget to remember what all you have to be grateful for.