When I was working on The Thanksgiving Game Plan, I asked everyone what their biggest turkey day challenges were. One that I heard over and over again was, what can I make for guests to snack on that doesn’t require any precious oven space? Good question.
I am a firm believer that appetizers on Thanksgiving should be minimal. Think about it, you just cooked your bum off for days and how annoyed would you be if Aunt Mae passed on your famous stuffing because she filled up on crab dip before she even sat down to dinner? So I keep it really simple. Just a few things for people to pick on while dinner finishes up. Think cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, nuts, snack mix.
I am sharing a few things that are make ahead, and do not require reheating or cooking day of.
1. Almond Cheddar Pinecone – This take on a cheese ball is festive and delicious. It reminds me of the neon colored port wine cheese that is one of my guiltiest of pleasures. You can make this a few days ahead of time and just set it out when your guests arrive.
2. Orange Rosemary Pecans – I love a sweet and salty nut. This recipe was given to me from a friend and it is great to have on hand for any get together. I like to set a couple of bowls around to keep traffic moving and out of the kitchen. You can make these a few days ahead, stored in an airtight container.
3. The Perfect Cheese Plate – A cheese plate is always a good idea. No cooking, just assembling. Everyone loves it and you can have a few small trays around so that people will move and mingle.
4. Toffee Snack Mix – This is great for the kids table as well as for the adults. Everyone loves a good snack mix. This one is delightful with melted toffee throughout.
5. Crudite with Homemade Ranch Dressing – I make this dressing all the time. It is great for dipping into sliced veggies, and will also be great on the day after turkey sandwich.
6. Cheddar Chutney Cheese Ball – this can be made in ball form or served in a ramekin. (It can also be served warm, but that is not what we want on Thanksgiving Day, right?)