I’m afraid that when I was planning my little Thanksgiving snack table this year, I forgot that not everyone loves cranberries as much as I do. Cranberries are just so “in” at this time of the year!! My eyes were enticed by all the lovely-looking cranberry recipes online…their beautiful shape and color….and especially the ones robed in cheese!!! I didn’t even think about people in this world who do not favor the red little things.Fresh cranberries were on my shopping list, and didn’t need no “checking twice!” This baked cheese and cranberry dip was very easy and quite tasty. Great for filling one of those hollowed out sourdough breads….I used this recipe called Gooey White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip with only four ingredients: cream cheese, white cheddar, fresh cranberries and olive oil. Of course I added in a bunch of freshly ground black pepper because that’s what we do at our house. It was quite a mild tasting dip, but I really enjoyed it; the tart, hot cranberries were delish.
Then there was this spicy sounding recipe for Cranberry Salsa that just looked so gorgeous and used all of my favorite ingredients. It is pictured in the orange bowl in the middle of the table above. Now this recipe was interesting…..so easy to make. But it was not a favorite with my bunch. In fact, no one really liked it much….except me. I ate it for days afterwards! On and in everything. Sometimes I’d be eating it and it just tasted like a regular tomato salsa, the cranberries didn’t stand out super much. But other times I really got the cranberry flavor. And it was sweet. So sweet and spicy!! I think I will totally make it again and eat it all, by myself if necessary! Such a healthy salsa! The main ingredients are fresh cranberries, cilantro, green onions, honey, cumin, lime juice and a jalapeño (I didn’t have a fresh one, so used some pickled ones. Careful, don’t make it too hot!) You can click on the link above for the how to.
I also made some hot pink cranberry punch with more fresh cranberries and juices (smells wonderful). With all the cranberry going on, it was a good thing there were also a few non-cranberry foods on the snack table, like some cheeses, grapes, chips, Texas Trash and Turkey Cheese-ball for those non-fans of the tart berry!!
It was a fun Thanksgiving snack table to put together, though almost as much work as the main meal! Oh well….. Happy cranberries everyone!
Gobble gobble! That’s something you see written a lot at this time of year. I would say “hear a lot this time of year” but honestly, it’s been years since I’ve heard a real turkey’s garbled yell. Not something the next door neighbors keep in their yard. Maybe your neighbors do…..?
I don’t love turkeys, but I do love cheese-balls! And snacky foods. And cheesy foods. So I saw this baby on Pinterest and felt in my bones that I should copy it! I followed the recipe from Homemade in the Heartland for this handsome gobbler, though I didn’t have all the decoration ingredients. We ended up having a Thanksgiving snack table before the actual turkey dinner, and this gobbly guy fit right on it!Instead of starting life out as an egg, he started out as this (cream cheesy, oniony, pinappley goodness):And then rolled around in this (pecans):I found that after sitting around a while, the pecans started to soften up (especially the next day). I think I would try and roll him in pecans at the very last minute before the party! I used white chocolate chips for his eyes, glued him together with black candy melts. His neck is a pepperoni stick and candy corn for beak and feet!With the extra red candy melt I made his “gobbler” and wrote….a little word….I was in a hurry, ok?!! (and my brain has been turning to mush lately)To go along with Mr. Gooble, I was all excited to try this traditional Texas snack mix! (Texans, tell me the truth in the comments below:) A delicious recipe for Texas Trash! I found it on Little Magnolia Kitchen and just changed her recipe a bit to fit with what I could easily find. The only Chex cereal I could find was Honey Chex (see photo above)!! And the nacho flavored Bugles. I made up half the recipe, and could barely squeeze it into my pan. Little Magnolia’s recommendation to use a large aluminum foil roaster is a good one….next time! I didn’t have steak spice, so just kinda made my own with what I had. So things were kinda different, but kinda……AWESOME!It turned out Y.U.M.M.Y!! Definitely a hit!!! I think it might go on our “traditional” list. We thought of our Texan relatives while we ate it!! 😉 (Oops, should I have said that???)There were some other new recipes that I tried out this year…..let me get it together and I’ll do another post…..
Happy Thanksgiving to our American family and friends! It’s always great to celebrate and give God thanks for all His blessings!
There were a couple of extra Thanksgiving ideas that I forgot to add to my Canadian Thanksgiving post so I thought I’d quickly share them here. I’m always doing things last minute and I’m wondering if anyone else does it too….so here are some free printables and ideas for some last minute Thanksgiving decor!
These lovely printable pages are from Hope Ink, and I printed them off on kraft colored cardstock. Here is the cozy house coloring page and the cute turkey coloring page. Perfect for Thanksgiving! I used them for decorating my piano, and then forgot to let the kids color them! They would look great colored in with those really nice colored pencils (Prismacolor I think?)
I found another great printable at The Creativity Exchange for a child’s chalkboard place-mat. This is such a fun idea, to have a black area that can be used as a chalkboard. I printed out the regular-paper sized one, also on kraft cardstock, so the plate is oval shaped, but if you print out the larger size the plate is round. My printer’s out of colored ink, so the color you see here isn’t what would print out on your printer! 🙂 Here’s our Menu for today: It would make a great place setting with your guest’s name written on it in chalk….or just a fun place-mat for the kids to write on!
Oh yes, there’s also the printable that I came up with for my living room frame…you can find the link here.
Some more last minute Thanksgiving decor ideas….use fruit. Wooden fruit, plastic fruit or real fruit. I was looking through some old Thanksgiving photos and noticed that that is what I tend to do. Especially grapes. Grapes appear adorning a naked turkey (in the family photo), and around jello salad and on plates, cake stands, everywhere! So that’s my big advice. Have some grapes on hand, and maybe a few other fruits. Just in case. You never know. And if you are really running last minute and the turkey isn’t thawed and the pies aren’t baked….You can always do what Charlie Brown did……serve them buttered toast, popcorn, jelly beans and pretzels!!! 🙂 The idea is to be together and to be grateful. The rest is all “dressing”!!
I forgot to post these yummy bites in October….so thought I’d post them in time for our southern neighbor’s Thanksgiving. Funny thing, I was thinking that this weekend was USA Thanksgiving, but just found out it’s next weekend. Happy Thanksgiving neighbors!! But….I just received a flyer in the mailbox yesterday for Black Friday sales…..what’s up with that? This is Canada….Thanksgiving was in October and we….don’t…..have……black…….friday!!! I don’t appreciate retailers pushing something like that on us!!! And that’s my rant for today. Ahem….
Back to these bites of cuteness….in my Thanksgiving preparations I came across this mini pumpkin pie idea and couldn’t rest until I had tried making them!! (Honestly, I spent weeks obsessing about making them, weird, eh?) I found these precious pieces of “pie” here on SHEKNOWS with a how to. They were so cute….but I couldn’t find most of the specialty crackers to make them with. I did find triangle shaped Triscuits, but had to improvise with the rest of them.I found little pretzel stix in a snacky party mix from the bulk food section at the grocery store for the pie crust edge. I picked them out and saved them for these appetizers. The rest is super easy: Cheddar cheese wedges for the pumkin pie. Cream cheese (whipped or softened) for the whipped cream, piped out of a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off. And a triangle Triscuit cracker for the bottom crust. Assemble with dots of cream cheese to keep everything together. I found that after I refridgerated them for a few hours the bottom crackers were starting to soften up, so I would suggest assembling these last minute. They didn’t take long at all…..if you have your crackers in the right size!I completely skipped putting on a crust at the back….and they still looked fine. I found that if I used a whole Triscuit, the wedge of pie was quite large….maybe too large for a kid’s appetizer. So I carefully tried to cut down the Triscuit crackers…..kinda worked, but I was forced to eat up all the ones that just crumbled and cracked up! (quite a few) The big ones were reserved for Dad, and the rest of us ate the bite-sized ones.And where does the pumpkin come in, you ask, (all you pumpkin haters out there!) um, it doesn’t. This is a case of food imitating…well, uh….food!! I don’t know why so many of us have a fascination for food that disguises itself as some other food, but there it is. I know I’m not the only one. And I know there are lots of “haters” out there who find this idea awful and plain wrong. And that’s ok. Just beware…..next time you see a slice of pumpkin pie……beware……..beware the food look-a-likes……
Like I mentioned before, I didn’t grow up celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving…at least not very often. I grew up in Guatemala, in a mainly American and Guatemalan community, so we weren’t exposed to many Canadian traditions back then. Now that I live in Canada and have my own little family, I’ve tried to start a few of our own “Canadian” traditions for our October Thanksgiving celebrations. The other day I saw a quote that said “My favorite color is October!” and I totally agree! I just love everything about fall in Western Canada! Our biggest tradition so far is having my siblings come to our house for Thanksgiving weekend, and I try and put together a Thanksgiving meal. Here are a few photos from our Thanksgiving this year…
We made cookie place cards and chocolate acorns for the table-settings. And yes, we actually ate at the dining room table….I finally got my stuff cleared off it. It happens about once a year, for Thanksgiving (maybe possibly for Christmas). Now that it is cleared off, every time we’ve eaten there recently I feel like we need to have a really delicious dessert after every meal….
The moose is to represent our relatives who live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and just Canada in general. The tablecloth and place-mats are from Guatemala, to remember our family in Guatemala.
The cornucopia celebrates a good harvest and being thankful for abundance, good food and fall!I am so not an expert cooking meat or poultry….and have only cooked about 3 turkeys in my life….so our turkey was fairly amateurish (and would you believe, last minute?). No time for a fancy bed of yumminess for this birdie… I’m finding it really hard work to get a fancy meal cooked, put together and on the table….(really hard, that’s why I have to take a lot of photos of when it actually happens!)
This is the part where I feel a
little lot more comfortable….the desserts. Though I kind of lost my Mom’s pie crust recipe this year, so had to go on a big search….I think I found one close enough that it tasted the same (we use the old-fashioned version that uses an egg and vinegar). Yummy pumpkin pie!! Though we grew up eating a different kind–carrots disguised as pumpkin, since pumpkins were scarce in Guatemala for some reason…
A tradition that I’ve started in the last few years is making Linzer cookies for Thanksgiving. This year I cut out moons, and decided they looked like mouths, so added some eyes for some cute little critter cookies. I used a new Linzer cookie recipe with ground up pecans this year, but wasn’t sure if I liked the pecans in the dough. I’ll try and find another recipe next year. Do you have a recipe for Linzer cookies that you’d like to share?
We watched the cartoon A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and I just happened to have Charlie Brown’s ingredients on hand, so made up a plate for the kids….pretzel sticks, popcorn, jellybeans, and buttered toast!! 🙂
I like to have visual textual reminders of the season…..like a framed Thanksgiving printable
The best part is sharing a delicious meal with family and remembering to live in an attitude of gratitude to God, for Him and all His blessings.