It’s the great countdown to Thanksgiving! Join me this week and next, as I share great ideas on how you can create a memorable experience this thanksgiving for your family and friends, whether you’re hosting or attending.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the focus on family traditions, food, gratitude, food, wine, did I mention food. Food has always been the centerpiece of our family gatherings and Thanksgiving is our “piece de resistance.” Our Thanksgiving dinner includes 3rd and 4th generation family recipes, updated throughout the years, but the cornbread and sausage stuffing recipe cannot be tampered with! I’ll give you the recipe next week…
Our tradition begins with the early arrival of family on Thanksgiving day. We like to share a glass of wine together, enjoy a few appetizers, and reminisce about past Thanksgivings, all in anticipation of the great turkey dinner. I think the smell of the turkey cooking is one of my favorite memories. Hmmm, I can smell it already!
Speaking of appetizers, I’m going to share one of our super secret family recipes. Do not tell me mother-in-law I gave you this super secret family recipe, or I’ll be in biiiiiig trouble! She may stuff my turkey…
The super secret family recipe is: The almighty Cheese Ball! Seriously, it’s the best cheese ball you’ll ever eat. So, here goes…
2 -8 oz package cream cheese
1 -10 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese
2 tblsp finely chopped onion
2 tblsp finely chopped green pepper
2 tblsp finely chopped pimento
2 tsp lemon juice
Dash of red pepper flakes
Dash of salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (roll cheese ball in walnuts)
Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese and mix until well blended. Add onion, green pepper, pimento, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt, mixing well. Place in small mixing bowl, shaping it into a mound. Chill until firm (overnight). Shape mixture into a ball and roll into the finely chopped walnuts. Place in center of tray and surround with Town House crackers ( use your favorite cracker, we of course, can not deviate). The cheese ball will keep for a couple of weeks if refrigerated.
If I could convince my family it isn’t a sin to serve a different appetizer on Thanksgiving, I would serve this easy to assemble, yet delicious one: St. Andre triple cream cheese(at room temperature) placed on a platter, surrounded with Trader Joe’s triple ginger, ginger snap cookies. Your guests simply spread some of the triple cream cheese on a ginger snap and pop it into their mouths. This is so yummy and always a big hit with everyone (except not with my family on thanksgiving day)!
Here’s another simple, yet delicious appetizer that will compliment dinner: Buy a large container of Trader Joe’s roasted red pepper hummus(or make your own) and place it in a clear dish. Place the dish on a large white platter and surround it with sugar snap peas. If you want a more rustic look, place the hummus serving dish in a large basket lined with a holiday cloth and place the sugar snap peas around it. Feel free to add whatever vegetable your family likes.
If you’re really pressed for time, pick up a large container of cashews or mixed nuts – who doesn’t like nuts! Just take them out of their original container and serve them in an attractive dish or a silver bowl makes them even more special. If you’re a Costco fan, the Kirkland mixed nuts and cashews are amazing and affordable! But hurry, they fly off the shelves.
All of the appetizer recipes would be great choices whether you’re hosting or attending thanksgiving dinner this year! Tomorrow, I’ll share some amazing side dish recipes. See you then!