If you are preparing a Thanksgiving meal for your family or friends and need last-minute appetizers and drink ideas, we put a few together for you. For starters, there are cranberry brie bites, a turkey veggie tray, or a turkey cheese ball, all easy to make. Your guests will love the Thanksgiving-themed drinks. Start with an apple pie martini or Thanksgiving punch, and end the evening with a glass of spiked mulled cider.
Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes
Turkey Veggie Tray
2 red bell pepper
2 cups baby carrots
1 yellow bell pepper
1 crown broccoli
2 cups baby carrots
1 cup snap peas
1. Make the face by cutting the bottom off of red pepper. Make the beak by using a baby carrot, a piece of yellow pepper for the snoods and candy eyeballs.
2. To make the body, gather and prep your veggies. We like to wash and cut to sizes that are easy for grabbing.
3. Layer the sliced cucumbers first in a half-circle around the platter. Then layer the carrots, yellow and red peppers, and broccoli pieces in smaller half circles. End with the snap peas at the bottom.
4. Then add the bowl of your favorite dip. Place the turkey face made out of pepper in the dip bowl.
Cranberry Brie Bites
1 large egg
1 8-oz wheel Brie
1 17.25-oz package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting
⅓ cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl for an egg wash. Cut the side rind off the Brie, then cut the Brie into 32 even pieces. Set aside.
3. Unfold a puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 13-inch square. Cut into 16 squares. Repeat with the second sheet so you have 32 squares in total.
4. Top a pastry square with about 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce, 1/4 teaspoon walnuts, a piece of Brie and a pinch of thyme.
5. Use your finger or a pastry brush to brush the edges of the pastry square with egg wash until lightly coated and tacky. Pinch 2 opposite points together, then pinch the remaining 2 points together so that you have a little package. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares and filling.
6. Transfer the pouches to the prepared baking sheets and brush with the remaining egg wash. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Turkey Cheese Ball
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp. butter, softened
6 oz. goat cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. freshly chopped chives
3/4 c. freshly chopped parsley
1 sprig thyme, stem removed, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine cream cheese, butter, goat cheese and garlic powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add chives, parsley, and thyme leaves and pulse a few times until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Form mixture into a large ball.
2. To make the turkey body, Pulse ¾ cups pecan halves in a food processor until finely chopped. Roll cheese ball in pecan crumbs and chill for at least 1 hour to allow the cheese ball to set up.
3. To decorate: Make the tail by sticking pretzels, pretzel sticks, and multi-colored julienned carrots into the tail end of the turkey. Slice carrots to make the turkey feet. Cut red bell pepper into a large triangle to make the face of the turkey and place on cheese ball using a toothpick or pressing into the cheese ball. Slice a smaller triangle from yellow bell pepper and attach it to the red triangle to make the beak using another toothpick. Slice a thin carrot crosswise to get 2 rounds, for the turkey eyes and place onto red triangle with toothpicks. For the wings, stick pecan halves into the sides of the body, overlapping each other to make a wing shape.
4. Serve cheese ball turkey on a platter along with crackers.
Instructions for Serving:
1 1/4 c. pecan halves, toasted, divided
Red and yellow bell peppers
Orange and white carrots, julienned
Thanksgiving Drink Recipes
Apple Pie Martini
2 oz apple-flavored bourbon, such as Jim Beam Apple
1 oz triple sec
1 oz toasted caramel syrup
Pinch ground cinnamon
Shake the bourbon, triple sec, and caramel syrup together in a cocktail shaker until your arm hurts (around 40 shakes). Add ice to the shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a martini glass. Top with cinnamon.
1 750-mL bottle bourbon
Half of a 750-mL bottle allspice dram, such as St. Elizabeth’s
4 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups fresh lime juice
¼ cup agave nectar
2 navel oranges, sliced
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
Put ice into a punch bowl, add the bourbon, allspice dram, orange juice, lime juice, and agave and stir thoroughly. Garnish with orange slices and freshly ground nutmeg. Ladle into punch cups with matching saucers.
Spiked Mulled Cider
½ gallon apple cider
12-ounce hard cider, bottles
1 cup calvados
1 lemon, juiced
⅓ cup honey
3 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving
1. Special equipment: a 6- to 7-quart slow cooker and a cheesecloth square
2. Combine the apple cider, hard cider, calvados, lemon juice, and honey in a 6- to 7-quart slow cooker. Place the cinnamon and cloves in a square of cheesecloth, tie the ends together to close and toss in the slow cooker. Heat on high to bring to a simmer. Then turn to the warm/hold setting. Serve the cider in a mug with a cinnamon stick.
3. Add a shot of Jack Daniels or Captain Morgan (optional) to spice it up!