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Thanksgiving Appetizers?

mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 02:37 PM

What is everyone making? I don't like apps that are very heavy on Thanksgiving, since the meal and desserts tend to be on the heavy side. Ideas?

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  1. k
    KateMW RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 02:48 PM

    I'm taking the easy way out...either baked brie with cranberries that came from Real Simple or the goat cheese and mushroom strudel off of epicurious.com

    1. mamachef RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 03:20 PM

      A house favorite is herbed shrimp salad on endives. (no mayo; vinaigrette) If you don't care for endive spears, cucumber boats are delicious little vehicles.
      Prawn cocktails are popular and delicious, if a little retro, but then we're all about retro.
      BLT cherry tomatoes disappear like magic.
      If you can find great fresh tomatoes that aren't priced like diamonds, bruschetta's always delicious.
      Artichoke herts, or mushroom caps, stuffed with a sausage stuffing, are a little rich, but people really can't eat too many, at least in my experience, and boy do they love 'em.

      1. j
        JJS360 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 03:22 PM

        I usually make a simple plate of prosciutto-wrapped persimmons. Peel and cut the persimmons into wedges. Toss with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Wrap with prosciutto (no need to secure with toothpicks). Arrange on a platter and grind some pepper over those bad boys.

        It feels healthy and light because it's fruit (and so many people never try persimmons), but everyone digs in because cured pork is involved.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JJS360
          budlit RE: JJS360 Nov 8, 2012 03:27 PM

          JJS360.....sounds delicious. Also love prosciutto wrapped mango

          1. re: JJS360
            mamachef RE: JJS360 Nov 8, 2012 03:28 PM

            That sounds terrific, JJS360. I've done it many times w/ asparagus, but I love persimmons, and you're so right about people being a little unfamiliar with them, not to mention about flocking towards anything involving that good old cured pork product. Need to try this, being a huge fan of the sweet/savory combo. Thanks.

            1. re: JJS360
              cacio e pepe RE: JJS360 Nov 17, 2012 10:02 AM

              I do something similar. I use bresaola rather than prosciutto. I also put a few leaves of wild arugula in between the persimmon and the meat. I drizzle with saba. I also like to spear with a toothpick so they are easy and clean to eat with your fingers.

              Either variant should be well received.

            2. Bacardi1 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 03:35 PM

              It's just my husband & I, so we take the easy way out & just do some commercial baked snacks. Our local Safeway supermarket's own brand of different baked appetizer snacks are WONDERFUL!! I wouldn't even hesitate to serve them to company. Flavor & quality are fantastic, & we've tried nearly all of them. In addition, Giant supermarket's own brand ("Simply Enjoy") of little Spanokopita triangles are also wonderful, so we buy those as well.

              I pop them into the oven before I put in the turkey, & we enjoy them while the dear turkey is roasting.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bacardi1
                Berheenia RE: Bacardi1 Nov 12, 2012 07:21 AM

                I just picked up a giant box of Spanokopita from Costco as we are having a crowd coming to a rental space with a big oven. I love these and can't imagine making them from scratch. I will make bar nuts and some stuffed celery and the famous fat black olives from a can will be on the table. Still mulling over how complicated I want to get.

                1. re: Berheenia
                  Georgia Strait RE: Berheenia Nov 12, 2012 09:55 AM

                  plus one on the Costco spanokopita - up here in Vancouver Canada - they now sell it in a "ready to bake tray" (you still get the 48 pieces) - very handy esp at a rental cottage

                  1. re: Berheenia
                    Bacardi1 RE: Berheenia Nov 13, 2012 08:00 AM

                    Another "yay" vote for Costco's Spanokopita. They're great. I've made it myself as it was my paternal grandmother's specialty. She (& I) make it in strudel form which you then slice, so it's more like a sit-down appetizer than a finger food like the little triangles.

                2. Uncle Bob RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 03:55 PM

                  Raw Oysters......

                  1. a
                    angelsmom RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 03:57 PM


                    Giadas Basil cheesecake....savory.

                    1. Terrie H. RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 05:11 PM

                      Apps are going to be a surprise this year with my family. My 21-yr-old niece grew up eating absolutely nothing, not a green vegetable, not a bite of seafood, not even a bite of potato unless it was a french fry -- truly, one of the pickiest eaters I've ever encountered. She has recently become very interested in cooking healthy food and insisted that she bring some healthy apps for the day. Aside from the small obligatory crudite, my family has done the heavy, cheesy dips and spreads, so it will be great to see what she brings.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Terrie H.
                        blue room RE: Terrie H. Nov 11, 2012 12:48 PM

                        I'd like to hear the end of this story! Please post about your niece's contibutions after the dinner.

                        1. re: blue room
                          suzigirl RE: blue room Nov 11, 2012 12:59 PM


                          1. re: blue room
                            Terrie H. RE: blue room Nov 13, 2012 09:10 AM

                            Will do.

                            1. re: blue room
                              Terrie H. RE: blue room Nov 24, 2012 02:13 PM

                              My niece made some delicious apps (with her mother's help). There were baked wonton cups with two fillings: one hot spinach and parmesan, and the other a cold crab salad. She also made little caprese picks with cherry tomatoes (some red, some yellow) with a fresh basil leaf and a cube of fresh mozzarella, with a little balsamic dip. She did a great job.

                              1. re: Terrie H.
                                Bacardi1 RE: Terrie H. Nov 24, 2012 03:14 PM

                                Sounds lovely. A truly budding good cook in the making.

                                1. re: Terrie H.
                                  suzigirl RE: Terrie H. Nov 24, 2012 08:08 PM

                                  I would have happily eaten all of those. Yum.

                            2. biondanonima RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 06:00 PM

                              My husband always insists on olive cheese balls (green olives wrapped in a cheese dough and baked). I usually let guests bring whatever they might like for the rest, but this year, since DH's mom will be with us, I'm going to make deviled eggs (one of her faves, apparently) and maybe some chicken liver pate with crudites.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: biondanonima
                                sunangelmb RE: biondanonima Nov 9, 2012 06:21 PM

                                I have never had an olive ball, and wow that sounds yummy

                                1. re: sunangelmb
                                  suzigirl RE: sunangelmb Nov 10, 2012 05:51 PM

                                  Neither have I but i have seen the recipe a bunch of times and think I am going to try it once before thanksgiving so if they are as good as they sound I can bring them

                                2. re: biondanonima
                                  pedalfaster RE: biondanonima Nov 11, 2012 03:42 PM

                                  Cheesy olives!
                                  Oh so perfect with a nice dry martini.
                                  Sounds like the start of a pretty good Thanksgiving!

                                3. PotatoHouse RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 06:21 PM

                                  Since we usually have the holidays at my Aunt-In-Law's house, I bring a southern dessert (my wife and in-laws are born and bred Yankees) but in the past I have made Paula Deen's version of Brie-En-Croute (VERY yummy!!).


                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: PotatoHouse
                                    mawnyc521 RE: PotatoHouse Nov 9, 2012 05:37 AM

                                    PotatoHouse, I'm intrigued to know the southern dessert that you bring?

                                    1. re: mawnyc521
                                      PotatoHouse RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 04:57 PM

                                      Let's see...to date I've brought;

                                      Banana Pudding
                                      Bourbon Pecan Pie
                                      Pumpkin Pecan Pie
                                      Sweet Potato Pie
                                      Shoo-Fly Pie
                                      Buttermilk Pie

                                      1. re: PotatoHouse
                                        suzigirl RE: PotatoHouse Nov 10, 2012 05:53 PM

                                        Shoo-fly pie is awesome. I love molasses. Try chess pie sometime. Also very southern. And yummy.

                                        1. re: suzigirl
                                          mamachef RE: suzigirl Nov 10, 2012 08:42 PM

                                          Evil Evil Evil suzigirl. I love Chess Pie ALMOST as much as long walks on the beach and deep conversations, and gin. :)
                                          Now i have to make one. Good thing it's easy!!

                                          1. re: mamachef
                                            suzigirl RE: mamachef Nov 11, 2012 09:50 AM

                                            Harkening back to that southern heart are we mama? You know you love me.

                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                              mamachef RE: suzigirl Nov 16, 2012 01:37 PM

                                              *HIC* Yesh, i shert'nly does, i mean, do.

                                            2. re: mamachef
                                              Gail RE: mamachef Nov 11, 2012 10:47 AM

                                              Sorry mama, I must rearrange the order of your "loves".
                                              gin, walks on the beach, gin, deep conversations, gin.

                                              1. re: Gail
                                                suzigirl RE: Gail Nov 11, 2012 11:01 AM


                                                1. re: Gail
                                                  mamachef RE: Gail Nov 16, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                  yep, your way is definitely better, Gail.

                                                2. re: mamachef
                                                  suzigirl RE: mamachef Nov 11, 2012 11:01 AM

                                                  Afterthought... was that a chess pie or a gin drink you were going to make?

                                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                                    mamachef RE: suzigirl Nov 16, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                    At this point, I'll need gin to remember, suzigirl!

                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                      suzigirl RE: mamachef Nov 17, 2012 02:19 PM

                                                      Make mine a double.

                                        2. t
                                          tzurriz RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 06:38 PM

                                          We decided to keep it simple this year and just do cheese and crackers. Every year we make too many appetizers and everyone fills up on those.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tzurriz
                                            Dcfoodblog RE: tzurriz Nov 8, 2012 08:00 PM

                                            We're doing a cheese and charcuterie plate as an appetizer. The star is homemade fig jam. And yes we learned out lesson with the apps when we have three kinds of soup shooters, homemade pate, five cheeses, two kinds of proscuitto along with pears, nuts, bread and crackers. People barely touched the actual meal and the desserts were just directly wrapped up.

                                          2. CapeCodGuy RE: mawnyc521 Nov 8, 2012 07:10 PM

                                            Our tradition because the holiday happens to fall in the middle of when they are in season is Cape Bay Scallops wrapped in bacon. I may add some littlencks casino as well. We only have 8 for dinner this year so we'll keep to that with a little fruit and cheese, chopped chicken liver plate, and meatballs in Sunday Gravy.

                                            Geez, sounds like a lot when I write it all out!

                                            1. TorontoJo RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 04:21 AM

                                              I try to stay away from the heavier, bready apps (though a few do sneak in). Apps I've made over the last few years:

                                              spicy caramel popcorn
                                              wonton cups w/avocado and shrimp
                                              curried squash soup served in espresso cups
                                              ham and gruyere thumbprints
                                              puff pastry pinwheels
                                              wonton cups filled w/a spicy avocado and shrimp mixture
                                              chunks of pecorino or parm reg with truffle honey
                                              stuffed mushrooms
                                              bloody mary shrimp cocktail
                                              caramelized spiced nuts
                                              marcona almonds
                                              relish plate with cornichons, olives, pickled veggies, etc

                                              1. melpy RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 04:33 AM

                                                Since our meal has three courses not including dessert, we don't really have apps. For first course we have done the following:

                                                Fruit cup with sorbet
                                                Relish "wheel" a la Dog Team Tavern: pickled white beans, corn relish, horseradish cottage cheese, pumpkin and nut breads, apple butter sometimes, pickles and olives
                                                Antipasto tray
                                                Butternut squash soup

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: melpy
                                                  splatgirl RE: melpy Nov 13, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                  can you elaborate on how the relish wheel is enjoyed? Is is called a wheel because it's plated that way? And what is the deal with Dog Team Tavern? I have a sticky bun recipe with that name but I am not aware of the history.

                                                  1. re: splatgirl
                                                    melpy RE: splatgirl Nov 16, 2012 06:44 PM

                                                    Dog Team was a restaurant that the owner burned down a few years ago outside of Middlebury, VT. It was an institution. You ordered off a board when you walked in. It was most well know for their prime rib. Appetizers were juice although they served horseradish cottage cheese and ruffled potato chips in the bar. Sticky buns were served before dinner and they also had anadama bread. The relish wheel also came before dinner. It consisted of buckets on what looked like a spinning wheel. There were six buckets. Traditionally they were copper but as the years went on they were a silver metal. Although historically there might have been other items, the most current items included horseradish cottage cheese, pickled beets, pickled beans with onions, corn relish, apple butter an sauerkraut. Salad was served family style with three homemade dressings. Vegetables were also somewhat family style.

                                                    1. re: melpy
                                                      splatgirl RE: melpy Nov 16, 2012 10:09 PM

                                                      thank you! It sounds like something I'm sad to have missed out on

                                                      1. re: melpy
                                                        NHCarol RE: melpy Nov 17, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                        Thanks for the wonderful reminder of our many family celebrations at the Dog Team. The relish wheel was my favorite part of the meal - even better than the sticky buns. You have inspired me to make a relish wheel appetizer for Thanksgiving, It will be fun to see who makes the connection first!

                                                  2. f
                                                    FriedClamFanatic RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 05:19 AM

                                                    I often do mini stuffed quahogs, or some sort of clams casino, figuring back then, the abundant shellfish was one of the things the early folks must have used (and can't quite bring myself to making oyster stuffing for the turkey....waste of good oysters IMHO)

                                                    1. m
                                                      mawnyc521 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                      Thanks all - these are fantastic suggestions! I will be celebrating in Massachusetts, so I love all the seafood recommendations, they will go over well with my New England family :)

                                                      1. meatn3 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 08:34 AM

                                                        We try to keep it light and have begun to just have the relish tray available - pickled anything, olives, crackers, stuffed celery, spiced nuts, deviled eggs, etc.

                                                        1. f
                                                          Floridagirl RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                          On a budget this year so, I'm making deviled eggs, which everybody likes anyway and wonton cups filled with shrimp salad.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Floridagirl
                                                            Dcfoodblog RE: Floridagirl Nov 10, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                            How do you keep the won ton cups from getting soggy? I tried that with phyllo and it got soggy in two seconds.

                                                            1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                              suzigirl RE: Dcfoodblog Nov 10, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                              Wonton wrappers inverted on a mini muffin tin and baked til crisp and filled last minute filled with a sausage cheese dip in the past worked for me. Hoovered up pretty well at the party. And they are pretty. I am surprised that phyllo didn't hold up as it stays crisp in baklava covered in honey lemon syrup.

                                                              1. re: suzigirl
                                                                Dcfoodblog RE: suzigirl Nov 10, 2012 08:31 PM

                                                                I put a crab salad in my phyllo cups and the crab got way too wet. I think the syrup is thicker and more viscous.

                                                                1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                  meatn3 RE: Dcfoodblog Nov 10, 2012 10:22 PM

                                                                  Perhaps a piece of lettuce leaf inserted and then filled with the seafood would protect the phyllo cup?

                                                                  1. re: meatn3
                                                                    suzigirl RE: meatn3 Nov 11, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                    That would be tasty.

                                                              2. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                Floridagirl RE: Dcfoodblog Nov 11, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                                Yes, they do get soggy unless you fill them at the last minute. But, I figured I could make the cups and the shrimp salad the day before.

                                                            2. c
                                                              Christina D RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                              We always do oyster bisque, a cheese plate featuring American cheeses, spiced nuts, and a player to be named later. This year, it will be house cured fennel salmon with the usual sidekicks. In prior years, we've done chicken liver pate, stuffed mushrooms and smoked trout salad with apples.

                                                              1. perk RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                I agree with the "keep it light" concept. I usually do spiced nuts (sometimes I make them, but a local cafe does such a good job I've ordered them from there the last couple of years) and fresh shrimp.
                                                                Served with a sparkling wine....often a light prosecco. (is that an oxymoron?)

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: perk
                                                                  suzigirl RE: perk Nov 10, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                                  When i serve spiced nuts I serve them in wine glasses or brandy snifters so people are forced to pour the nuts in their so if they have not so clean hands it okay.

                                                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                                                    laredo RE: suzigirl Nov 11, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                    That is a great idea which I am going to copy!

                                                                    1. re: laredo
                                                                      suzigirl RE: laredo Nov 12, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                                      Please do.

                                                                2. p
                                                                  Pegmeister RE: mawnyc521 Nov 9, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                  For me it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without stuffed dates. I like them stuffed with peanut butter and rolled in confectioners sugar. There is always shrimp cocktail and this year I'm thinking of ham pinwheels. For the pinwheels I use hot ham, spread with garden vegetable cream cheese with an asparagus spear in the middle. They're nice because you can make them the night before and everyone in the family likes them.

                                                                  1. g
                                                                    gpier66 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                                    Stilton & White House Crackers, rosemary pecans, fresh oysters.

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      Saluti RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 05:13 PM

                                                                      I like to stuff dates with either a piece of pecan or walnut and then lightly dust with powdered sugar. It's simple, pretty and everyone loves them.

                                                                      1. suzigirl RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 06:25 PM

                                                                        Last year I made a layered cream cheese spread with an 8oz block of cream cheese mixed with pesto, another mixed with Classico sun dried tomato pesto and another block mixed with Hidden Valley Ranch mix and served with crackers. Went like gangbusters. Simple and if you have a mold... pretty

                                                                        1. d
                                                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 08:53 PM

                                                                          My son asked me to make this before the turkey dinner this year. A grilled apple, bacon & onion flatbread... Looks good.


                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                            tannline RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 17, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                            Come back on this page afterwards to tell us how it is! Looks like a lot of people would like that if it turns out well.

                                                                            1. re: tannline
                                                                              Dirtywextraolives RE: tannline Nov 17, 2012 03:46 PM

                                                                              Will do! I was just thinking how am I going to grill this thing...today! Hope the weather holds out...

                                                                          2. Antilope RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 08:56 PM

                                                                            I just found this recipe today and will be making this pie:

                                                                            Midnight Pumpkin Pie

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Antilope
                                                                              PotatoHouse RE: Antilope Nov 11, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                              My wife says that I am DEFINITELY making that!!

                                                                              1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                Antilope RE: PotatoHouse Nov 11, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                                                After seeing that picture, who could not make it? This article is from last Thanksgiving. I don't know how I managed to miss it.

                                                                                1. re: Antilope
                                                                                  rabaja RE: Antilope Nov 17, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                  I just saw your photo on another post and thought to myself, I am totally making that...maybe today!
                                                                                  Any good premade pie crusts out there? I don't know if I'm up to rolling my own out today...

                                                                                  1. re: rabaja
                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: rabaja Nov 17, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                                    Pillsbury are actually surprisingly good. I was short of time and energy several years ago the night before a potluck and work, so I opted for the Pillsbury.

                                                                                    I got so many compliments on my tender, flaky crust that I keep premade crusts in my fridge all the time -- because even if I have the time to make a pie, I usually don't have the extra 45 minutes to an hour that it takes to mix, rest, and roll.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                      rabaja RE: sunshine842 Nov 17, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                      Exactly how I'm feeling about the crust today.
                                                                                      I a ctuly have a disk in my freezer that I made yesterday, but don't feel like rolling it out and dealing with the mess.
                                                                                      I think it's because I know next week will be three or four days of kitchen projects.
                                                                                      I'll check out the pillsbury. Thanks!

                                                                                    2. re: rabaja
                                                                                      PotatoHouse RE: rabaja Nov 24, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                                                      I made it and used a homemade graham cracker crust instead. It came out great.

                                                                              2. tavalo101 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 10, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                Slightly melted brie topped with toasted sliced almonds.Drizzle with some local honey. Spread on your warmed slice of baguette. YUM!

                                                                                1. mcf RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                  I offer heavy and light depending on my crowd. We always have a jumbo shrimp platter with cocktail sauce, and crudite with dip. This year I'll probably make a brie en croute as well. Also, got great little baked tartlet cups that I'm thinking of filling with creme fraiche topped with caviar.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                                    tannline RE: mcf Nov 17, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                                    Do you know whether baked brie can be made ahead - is it still as delicious? We're having a brunch - if I bake it two hours ahead (and maybe microwave for a minute right before guests arrive) is there any point or is that just not going to work?

                                                                                    1. re: tannline
                                                                                      hotoynoodle RE: tannline Nov 17, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                                                      pastry doesn't do well in a microwave -- ever.

                                                                                      1. re: tannline
                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: tannline Nov 17, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                                        I agree with hotoynoodle- - you'll wreck your pastry.

                                                                                        You can slip it back in the oven for a few minutes to reheat...but not the micro.

                                                                                        I try to keep to cold or room-temperature appetizers for Thanksgiving -- I don't have the time or the oven space to do anything else.

                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                      sisterfunkhaus RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                                                      I like to do a blue cheese and bacon cheese ball coated with pecans and bacon. A nice side or drizzle of homemade apple or pear butter with the cheese ball is always good. I also like to do cold roasted asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. I've done Union Square Cafe Bar nuts, and those are always popular as well. I try to keep it super simple.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                        Floridagirl RE: sisterfunkhaus Nov 11, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                        I love those bar nuts. I'm thinking about adding those using nuts I have in the freezer.

                                                                                      2. o
                                                                                        onrushpam RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                                                        Always deviled eggs, dates stuffed with cheese/wrapped with proscuitto and baked and some sort of nuts.

                                                                                        This year I'll be taking Sweet Grass Dairy's pimento cheese and some peach/pecan preserves with crispy flatbread crackers.
                                                                                        I want to take some stone crab, but I don't think it will keep from Sunday to Thursday. :-(

                                                                                        1. Candy RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                                                          I was doing some demos in the new store kitchen, I am now at ETC for the home. One thing I made that was well received were apricots stuffed with whipped goat cheese and drizzled with sourwood honey. I used the Mediterranean style dried apricots, whipped the log of goat cheese and piped it in. The sourwood honey has a nice tang to it.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                                            meatn3 RE: Candy Nov 11, 2012 08:33 PM

                                                                                            That combination sounds great! Sourwood is my favorite honey. I used it in a pear preserve last year which people loved.

                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                            LilyB RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 01:29 PM

                                                                                            This year we have 22 people, with a number of vegetarians, a vegan, and allergies to nuts and shellfish. Given all the preferences, needs, and strong opinions at last count the number of dinner dishes were over a dozen. I love the prep and the holiday but not if everyone just eats pounds of cheese and then complains they are too full... - so I am thinking just drinks for an hour or so with a few beautiful and decorative bowls of popcorn around. Let people get hungry enough to enjoy the real foods! I hope that doesn't sound Thanksgiving-grinchy

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: LilyB
                                                                                              laredo RE: LilyB Nov 11, 2012 05:52 PM

                                                                                              It doesn't sound grinchy, but my guys would stuff on the popcorn!

                                                                                              We will have cranberry champagne royale cocktails. I prefer no food as I want people to be hungry, but we may have shrimp cocktail if we remember to buy some. (Have to get it out of town, so requires some forethought.)

                                                                                              1. re: LilyB
                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: LilyB Nov 16, 2012 11:01 PM

                                                                                                No, you're definitely on to something -- here in Europe, cheese shows up as an hors d'ouvre or appetizer on occasion, but only a garnish/flavor. It's believed that cheese shuts down your appetite...thus it's eaten after the meal, not before.

                                                                                                After several years of exposure, I'm inclined to think they're right.

                                                                                                At our house it will be nuts, some tapenades (spreads made with olives) on small toasts, and maybe some smoked salmon, and Kir Royale (sparkling wine - cremant for us --with a little creme de cassis)

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                  hotoynoodle RE: sunshine842 Nov 17, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                                  am also in the anti-cheese as appetizer camp. it's easy to over-eat, very filling and indeed dulls the palate. i never use it with hors d'oeuvres.

                                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: hotoynoodle Nov 17, 2012 01:23 PM

                                                                                                    I've done things like gougeres (choux pastry with cheese), or shaved Parm on bruschetta, or similar...but yes, mostly after dinner now.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                      hotoynoodle RE: sunshine842 Nov 17, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                      with drinks, i like gougeres too. mine aren't super-cheesy though. little salty puffs of goodness. :)

                                                                                                      am having a post-thanksgiving buffet (last-minute change instead of t-day dinner this year) and will have out cured meats, but no cheese to begin. there will be cheese in the food later in the day.

                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                sweetpotater RE: mawnyc521 Nov 11, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                                                                Chopped liver (in memory of Great Aunt Hildegard), fat black olives from the can, spiced nuts. Maybe shrimp cocktail. But any of it seems overkill before the biggest meal of the year.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: sweetpotater
                                                                                                  Bacardi1 RE: sweetpotater Nov 12, 2012 06:05 AM

                                                                                                  Your "fat black olives from the can" couldn't help but make me think of my paternal grandmother's infamous "relish tray" that was always a component of Thanksgiving (or any major dinner for that matter). She also had those "fat black olives", pitted of course, from the can, along with celery stuffed with blue cheese, green olives, carrot sticks, radishes, etc., etc. Also chicken livers sauteed with caraway seed in an obscene amount of butter & served with those frilly cocktail toothpicks stuck into each one, and her Swan Song appetizer - her famous Spanokopita, which she made in the form of a phyllo strudel & sliced. Sheer heaven - everything.

                                                                                                2. Njchicaa RE: mawnyc521 Nov 12, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                                                                  Shrimp cocktail, mini crab cakes, antipasto platter, and grilled mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese and sausage.

                                                                                                  1. Chocolatechipkt RE: mawnyc521 Nov 12, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                                                    We've pretty much given up on appetizers, aside from some bowls of mixed nuts around the house. I love making appetizers, but if there's anything too much, people complain that they ate too much of those, so they have no room for dinner. I love reading all of these ideas, though!

                                                                                                    1. danionavenue RE: mawnyc521 Nov 16, 2012 01:20 PM

                                                                                                      cheese ball rolled in nuts and since I am a small town girl, my brother the hunter always bring venison jerkey to Thanksgiving:)

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: danionavenue
                                                                                                        Bacardi1 RE: danionavenue Nov 17, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                        I know that this is going to sound like a stupid question, but be kind.

                                                                                                        I've never quite understood the Cheese-Nut Ball thing. Even as a kid, never came across one. How does one serve/cut something like this? Doesn't it roll around, or is it soft like cream cheese? I seen (& made) soft creamy cheese spreads in loaf form, but never balls (except for little cream cheese or creamy goat cheese balls rolled in herbs).

                                                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: Bacardi1 Nov 17, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                                                                          yes, it's soft (it's spreadable) -- so once you put it on a plate, it flattens a little on one side and doesn't roll around.

                                                                                                          And you serve it with a spread knife -- just lop the amount you'd like off of the ball and spread it on a cracker.

                                                                                                          It's the same idea as your cheese loaf-type spreads - just a different format.

                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                        sparky403 RE: mawnyc521 Nov 16, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                        I always make a big bunch of mussels - I do mine with Hard Cider (like ace), saffron, butter, garlic, shallots, and Fennel....

                                                                                                        Serve with Crusty bread - it's communal, folks will kill for the both...

                                                                                                        I love thankgiving!

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: sparky403
                                                                                                          FriedClamFanatic RE: sparky403 Nov 17, 2012 03:12 AM

                                                                                                          oh.................MY...............and the address again? That one is Divine...and I'll bring a shotgun to hold off the other folks..............just you and me........Bring it on!

                                                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                                            sparky403 RE: FriedClamFanatic Nov 25, 2012 08:49 AM

                                                                                                            haha,,,, I love me mussels.... try the recipe best I have ever had... if you have a basque cherizon it puts it over the top...

                                                                                                        2. roxlet RE: mawnyc521 Nov 16, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                                                                          One of the best appetizers is stuffed mushrooms. They can be made ahead and briefly warmed before serving, and the filling can be varied with different kinds of cheese mixed with the duxelles and breadcrumbs. These usually disappear pretty quickly, and are quite easy and unfussy to make.

                                                                                                          1. tcamp RE: mawnyc521 Nov 16, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                                                            We're going to friends and I'm going to bring lots of black olive pesto and red wine as apps. I want my friend to work on my laptop while I cook so it is sort of along the lines of a bribe.

                                                                                                            1. gingershelley RE: mawnyc521 Nov 17, 2012 12:47 PM

                                                                                                              I think the need for aptz. depends on what time you have called dinner for, and how ahead of time you ask your guests to arrive before sitting down.

                                                                                                              If dinner is not for an hour-hour n a half after they start to arrive (and many will have had no lunch, or even breakfast thinking ahead to the meal!), so some aptz. are in order if guests are STARVING when they come, but I keep it light... iced crudite's w/ yogurt herb dip, my pate with grainy mustard and grainy crackers (bread is too heavy here this day), and perhaps some apples with blue cheese dip. If we are dining mid-afternoon, I am pretty sure most people have not eaten earlier, so I add shrimp cocktails or oysters.

                                                                                                              First course is always a sit-down soup, so I can get them seated at the table when I want, have someone pour wine, and I can get a round of 'what-I-am-thankful-for to happen while I serve soup from my big tureen. It helps everyone focus, and turns attention to the table, the main meal, etc. Works like a charm! This year is wild-mushroom with sherry and roasted chestnuts.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                thymeoz RE: gingershelley Nov 17, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                love this -- totally agree

                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                  tannline RE: gingershelley Nov 17, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                  Sounds great - and that soup sounds delicious - would love recipe...

                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                  lagne RE: mawnyc521 Nov 19, 2012 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                  I'm making a roasted cheese pumpkin:

                                                                                                                  1 sugar pumpkin, 4-5 pounds
                                                                                                                  4 ounces smoked gruyere, shredded
                                                                                                                  4 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
                                                                                                                  1 cup heavy cream
                                                                                                                  1 cup milk
                                                                                                                  1/3 cup chardonnay
                                                                                                                  1 1/2 teaspoon honey
                                                                                                                  a few pinches/grates of nutmeg
                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon kosher salt
                                                                                                                  1 12-inch baguette, sliced
                                                                                                                  2 cloves garlic, peeled but intact
                                                                                                                  Vegetable oil

                                                                                                                  Cut the top out of the pumpkin and scrape out the innards. Save the seeds for another use, if desired.

                                                                                                                  Toss the cheeses and thyme together in a bowl. In a large measuring cup or a bowl with a spout, combine the cream, milk, chardonnay, honey, nutmeg, and salt.

                                                                                                                  Toast the baguette slices and rub each slice with garlic. Lay a few baguette slices in a single layer inside the pumpkin. Top with some of the cheese mixture, then pour on some of the cream mixture. Repeat this until all of your ingredients are used up. (You might have a bit left over).

                                                                                                                  Pop the top back on the pumpkin, place the pumpkin in an oven-safe dish of some kind, and coat the outside liberally with oil. Roast at 375 degrees for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is tender all over. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before diving in.

                                                                                                                  Serve with toast rounds, raw veggies, crackers, or pita chips. Try to scoop a little pumpkin onto each bite.

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