–A guest post by Tara Heath–
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, chances are that you are busy planning your menu. While you may have the main course, the side dishes, and even the desserts planned, sometimes coming up with appetizers is one of the hardest parts of the day.
While crackers and cheese or a vegetable platters have always been the old standbys, why not mix it up this year? Using some creativity, you can whip up some tasty appetizers that will satisfy your guests, but won’t make them overly full before digging into an abundant feast. Try one, or all, of these fantastic Thanksgiving appetizers and you’ll surely be the ‘hostest with the mostest.’
Dijon Cheese and Crackers
As noted above, opening up a box of crackers and setting out sliced cheese is just a little bit bland. With this recipe, your go-to appetizers get dressed up and the word ‘boring’ isn’t even a possibility. To make, you will need:
- ½ cup room temperature, unsalted butter
- ½ pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1 ½ cups flour
Blend the cheese, butter, egg, mustard, salt, and pepper flakes together in a food processor until they are nice and smooth. Pour the flour into the mixture and pulse until it is thoroughly blended.
Remove the dough and form it into a log shape, wrap it in plastic, and set it into the fridge to firm for at least 4 hours. When the dough is firm enough to cut without crumbling, remove the dough from the fridge, slice it into thin slices, and place one piece on top of a cracker. Set the crackers on a baking sheet and heat in the oven until the cheese is golden brown. This appetizer can easily be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to prioritize other things like, say, the turkey.
Image courtesy of ShutterStock
Think deviled eggs only belong at a picnic? Think again. These flavorful bites are scream ‘holidays’ through and through. Begin by gathering:
- 6 cooled hard-boiled eggs
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
Crack and peel the eggs and slice them in half. Carefully scoop the yolks out of each half and place them in a bowl. Mash the yolks and add in the mayonnaise and dry mustard, mixing together until smooth. Fill the empty portions of the egg whites with the yolk mixture and top each egg with a few shakes of paprika. Set them out and watch your guests go to town.
This appetizer is light and simple to make, yet so delicious. The creamy cheese is the perfect accent for almost anything you choose to dip into it. For this appetizer, you will need:
- 1 round of brie
- Sliced apples
- Sliced carrots
- Sliced bread or crackers
Simply wrap the brie in a piece of foil and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Remove the foil, place the cheese on a platter, and surround it with the sides. As guests slice into the brie, it will melt and spread onto the sides, making the most delicious pre-dinner treat.
Pigs in a Blanket
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Although a bit more on the casual side, don’t forget that your younger crowd of guests needs to eat, too. But don’t be surprised if you catch Grandma slipping her hand in for one of these. Gather:
- 2 packages of pre-made biscuit dough
- 12 all-beef hot dogs
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Poppy seeds
- Mustard and ketchup to garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Unroll the dough and slice into small rectangles. Slice each hot dog into three equal slices. Wrap the dogs in the dough. Whisk the egg and dip each wrapped hot dog into the egg. Next, roll them each into a bowl of poppy seeds. Place the hotdogs onto a baking sheet, letting them cook until the dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with a side of ketchup and mustard for dipping. Kid-friendly, but so delicious.
This Thanksgiving, make your guests feel welcomed the second the step in the door by serving up some easy, yet tasty appetizers. Their appetites will be curbed, but they will have plenty of room for dinner.
Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. She loves cooking and can’t wait to serve these appetizers to her guests this Thanksgiving. To find more of her work, you can check out the Candy Concepts Inc. blog.***Top image of deviled eggs courtesy of Great British Chefs on Flickr.com***