Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving appetizer’

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

So you have your Thanksgiving dinner game plan all figured out. Festive holiday tablescape, check. Classic sides and a hearty main to please both carnivorous and vegetarian attendees, check. Wine list and kid-friendly beverages, check. Pie, check. (Duh.) But what about appetizers?

Don’t freak out. We’re not suggesting anything that will cost you a bunch of extra time and effort. A few simple snacks will actually make your dinner prep much more relaxing by keeping anxious guests happy and out of the kitchen. So set out some cheese and crackers and choose from our favorite no-fuss dips and spreads below. Who knows? By keeping hunger levels in check, perhaps you have a shot at avoiding some traditional family bickering.

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Gobble This Up: Thanksgiving Cheese Ball

turkey cheese ball

Carving this bird's a breeze.

Forget about the store-bought cheese log or cream cheese-filled celery stalks your sister makes — a creamy, garlic-herb turkey-shaped cheese ball is the savory appetizer your family will ask for every year.

Rolled in crunchy, toasted almonds, this little guy deserves to be the star of Turkey Day.

Garlic-Herb Turkey Cheese Ball

For the Cheese Ball:
2 packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, oregano and thyme)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

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Fall Appetizer: Pumpkin Gyoza

Fall is in the air and with pumpkins inspiring us everywhere we turn, we’re continually looking to create new pumpkin recipes. This is also the season of parties, which means making rock-star appetizers to feed our partying masses. A holiday party isn’t complete without a roster of appetizers that are not only delicious, but that also make it easy on the cooking and planning side.

Crispy warm gyozas are loved because they’re quick, satisfying bites and, most importantly, they can be made ahead of time. With a bit of planning, you can cook the gyozas ahead of time and just warm them up in the oven before serving. We’ve never had anyone turn down room-temperature gyozas before, so don’t worry if they sit out for a while. It’s guaranteed they’ll be gobbled up before you can get the next batch out of the warming oven.

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Give Thanks for Cheese

Thanksgiving Cheese Plate

My all-time favorite holiday is Thanksgiving: A day set aside to give thanks to the bounty of the harvest. Just as the weather starts to get chilly and hearty appetites are sparked, this beautiful autumn holiday rolls in with potatoes in every form, roasted squashes, Brussels sprouts, and of course, crispy turkey with heaps of rich gravy. My mouth starts to water just thinking about it.

The harvest is an important time for cheese, too. This is the time where most animals have been feeding outside on rich, full summer grasses.Their milk is the best by the time autumn cheeses roll through.

For Thanksgiving, I usually start planning about a month ahead, figuring who in my family will bring what, which farm to get our turkey from and how to get my mom to make even more of her famous poppy seed butter again. One ridiculously easy dish that always starts my families’ Thanksgiving feast is, of course, cheese.

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