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Mini pumpkin pie cheese appetizers

Mini pumpkin pie cheese appetizers

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….denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for Thanksgiving

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.denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingI 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!denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingI 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.denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for ThanksgivingAnd 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……denna's ideas:  mini pumpkin pie cheese & cracker appetizers for Thanksgiving

DIY Fall basket decor for Thankgiving

DIY Fall basket decor for Thankgiving

So I’ve been rushing around, cleaning and decorating.  But this year I decided to try and only decorate with things that I already had….to squeeze my brain for budget-friendly decorating!  Ok, I admit, that I did buy a few very small things for Thanksgiving before I decided to try out this plan.  But they were very few, heh heh.  For this rather awesome crafty decoration, I used some nested baskets that I bought at Ikea about 8 years ago.  The the larger ones usually hold fruit and the smaller ones lurk in dark corners of the basement “holding things”.  So I dug up a nested set.  And then I went for a walk to “gather things”.  They say the best things in life are free, and my  autumn walk was a best thing for sure!  I found a few small pine branches, some little black berries of some sort, and some orange berries, which I should know the name of the tree they are from, but am hopeless at tree-knowledge.

I found this idea on Better Homes and Gardens  for this basket tower.  They used mismatched baskets, which looked cute.  They also used lots of expensive floral foam, which I don’t have.  A temporary tower sounded good to me.  Since it was looking rather large, I decided it wouldn’t be a table centerpiece, but just a decoration, that will be up out of the reach of little hands….so I didn’t do much to anchor it.  It’s another one of my “temporary” ideas.DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comDIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comThese baskets dip down in on one side, so that would be the front.  I found things to stack in between, cans, jars, stuff like that.  DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comI just left the heavy things as is, but duct taped some of the lighter things for a bit of stability.  Ta da, my not too wobbly tower!DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comNow to fill it with nature….start with the pine branches, just some small ones.  Then clumps of berries.  Then a few pine cones.DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comShove everything in….I’m not sure how long this arrangement will last, but it will just turn into a dried fall arrangement!  The example I was following had some really cute kumquats (whatever those are) and some lovely cloved oranges, that I did want to add, but the baskets were full!  No room for oranges.  No prob Bob.  I think it looks nice just like this….DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comUgh, except for the color of that wall!!!  The wall is not supposed to be pink, it’s orange, but for some reason my photos never show the right color!!  I like orange stuff….. 🙂

Anyways, I hope that this little post gives you some ideas for using stuff that’s sitting around your house, and some bits of nature (real or otherwise) to decorate for Thanksgiving or fall in general.  I know not everyone has berries popping up everywhere at this time of year……use lots of pinecones and clove some oranges!!  Some ribbon would be nice, too….oh, and you can put a candle in the top like the Better Homes and Gardens version….but then it would have to be a stable tower…..I could go on and on.  But maybe you should go decorate something….



Against all the laws of food safety, we are still eating up Thanksgiving leftovers.  Ha ha!  It’s only the mashed potatoes, really!  I’m sure we’ll survive! 🙂  This year I added “sweet mix” pickles and pickled beets to our meal, but I think I was the only one who loved them.  No pumpkin pie was baked for dessert…. 😦  instead we made linzer cookies with raspberry jam, which I think is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition for us.  Here are a few photos of our Thanksgiving table….

Place settings (later add my Romany 1975 dishes):Placemats and napkins and table runner from IKEA.

The napkin holders were cookie cutters, also from IKEA. Can you tell it’s my favorite store for bargains? 😉Cute woodland cookie cutters!  (I saw the serviette holder idea on Pinterest)Thankful for pickles!Linzer cookie making time:Thankful for good food, family and friends 🙂

A Snoopy & Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Kids’ Table


Who else grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials on TV?  And I’m sure some of you even watched them in Spanish, like we did!  This year I really wanted to do some sort of Snoopy theme….for something.  There’s just something so fun and comforting about those old cartoons (and when I say old, I mean even before I was born! That makes me feel good, and young).  The Peanuts gang just brings back warm and fuzzy memories!  And in fall especially!  I guess it’s because they had so many fall specials…the Thanksgiving special, the Great Pumpkin special and the one about the origins of Thanksgiving.

So I decided to do a Thanksgiving kids’ table with Snoopy and the gang.  It was kind of a last minute thing, and it was inspired by this box of chipboard embellishments that I bought a few years ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels….I had been saving them for something special.I ran downstairs to the basement to look for something yellow to use as a tablecloth….I knew I had a length of yellow fabric, wait, that was 14 years ago, maybe I’m not going to find it…..so the black and white striped sheet would have to do!  (I have an old stash of colorful sheets that have been handy for everything, especially tablecloths…but no bright yellow one!)Next I added my recent IKEA purchase of cork placemats…they were too cute to resist and perfect for fall.  I set the Charlie Brown chipboard characters on them and they looked…perfect.Now I pulled out a recent gift from my thoughtful Mom….mason jars!!  I had been saving them for something special.  They are the small ones that are all the rage for serving juice or milk at children’s parties (online at least!)  You unscrew the top, and take out the flat metal lid, then turn a cupcake liner paper upsidedown over the top of the jar and re-screw only the outer rim of the lid back on.  Punch a hole and add a straw and it’s good to go!  I used yellow cupcake papers and added a cardstock cutout of that classic Charlie Brown signature chevron to the jar.  It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but looked great with lemonade!For a centerpiece I used a cornucopia basket filled with balls of yarn.  That was a “craft” we worked on another day.  I just plopped it on the table and added a few chipboard embellishments.  (I don’t know why it says BONK.)I had fun putting the table together, and it was pretty quick…except the next part.  We have so many Snoopy comics around, I figured I just had to incorporate them in some way or another, so I scanned in a page from a book,  played around with them on my computer, and changed the text.  Then I printed the comics out to make into little placecards.The next part was the best idea of all….genius, I’d call it.  It happened in one of those spur-of-the-moment flashes that sometimes happen when I’m crafting with the available supplies.  I was winding a ball of yellow yarn to add to the centerpiece, when I thought that the yarn would make a good napkin holder.  I had tried to fold the napkins into paper airplanes, but they weren’t holding together (even with tape).  As I was wrapping the yarn around a folded serviette, I had the brainwave:  the kids could unwind the yarn while they said what they are grateful for.  Like a real THANKSGIVING GAME!  So that’s what they did.  Each kid took a turn to slowly unwind their yarn napkin-holder while they listed things that they are grateful for.  There was everything from food and friends and family, to Benjamin Franklin and Charles Schultz (the creator of Peanuts) on their lists!!  They also listed their parents and siblings in their “grateful lists” and for that I am truly grateful!There are other things that would have been fun to do at a Snoopy and Charlie Brown themed party…like a Snoopy-drawing contest, or a football-holding-and-pulling-away contest!!  I had wanted to make Charlie Brown parfaits, with yellow pudding and oreo crumbs, yum, but ran out of time.  If you don’t have an IKEA store handy, you could get cork at the dollar store or hardware store for placemats, or how about just cardstock or construction paper?  My sister did a Snoopy party and photocopied Peanuts comics and pasted them onto large sheets of cardstock for the placemats and they looked great!!This meal wasn’t our actual Thanksgiving meal, it was the day after, we just didn’t have time to squeeze everything into one day!!  It was so fun, though!  And after supper, we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials together and ate cookies and milk.  For sure it was a warm and fuzzy memory-making time for the kids, and for the biggest kid of all……me!  🙂Hope this helps out with some ideas for a Snoopy themed party or for your (USA) Thanksgiving Kids’ Table (since it’s already come and gone in Canada)!

(my youngest said she wants her next birthday party to be Snoopy, heh heh!)

easy Thanksgiving ideas


It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend!!  Our holiday is on Monday, but many people are celebrating today.  We ended up having a busy schedule this weekend, but that’s fine…we’ll maybe roast a turkey on Monday!  I haven’t been doing much decorating for Thanksgiving yet…still have 1 or 2 days, though!

I thought I’d post a few easy ideas to do or make for Thanksgiving, that we’ve done over the years.

How about going for a walk and picking up some autum leaves:You can use them for decorating or make a craft with the kids, heh heh.  I just love the colors!

Whip up some sweet treats:These strawberries were dipped in orange melted candy melts, then when they hardened up, the stripes were piped on with melted candy melt in a plastic bag with a small corner snipped off.  It works well if the strawberries are cold.  Pipe the middle stripes on while the strawberry is sitting on the wax/parchement paper, then carefully pick it up to pipe a few stripes going up the sides….don’t worry about the backside! 🙂  These were really fast, really! Only ingredients are candy melts and strawberries.No pumpkin flavor in these strawberries!!  But if you love pumpkin, how about baking some pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, topped with a fresh cranberry!  Yum!How about trying a thankful leaves craft: (I’m pretty sure this was my sister’s idea!)Help the kids cut out leaf shapes from colored paper, then have everyone write out things that they are thankful for, one per leaf.  Then find a spot to tape them up (green painter’s tape).  We taped them to the inside of the basement door and going down the walls to the basement…they have been there for years now!!Make a pumpkin scarecrow:This is easy if you have a fresh little pumkin and some hay around (a plastic pumkin would work fine, too!).  Fill a pop bottle with sand or rocks, for the body, and make a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin that will fit over the bottle top.  The clothes we used were my daughter’s clothes from when she was about 1 year old.  We stuffed them with cotton stuffing, then just added some hay coming out the arms and legs and tied them with some string or ribbon.  Two buttons pinned on with straight pins for eyes, and some crocheted curls for hair (they were left over from a Raggedy-Ann wig that my mom made a loooonnnggg time ago!)

And my personal favorite tradition, a fresh flower/fruit centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table:

No matter what else goes on the table, I just love having some fresh flowers!!  One year I hollowed out a little pumpkin and filled it with carnations, so cute!  Another year the arrangement had burgundy carnations, green limes, brussels sprouts and an artichoke.  I loved that one!  I like using carnations because they are sturdy and last for a long time, and I love the look of real fruit (limes, lemons, etc).  Hmm, still hoping to get some flowers or something for Monday…. 🙂  I think last year we had a cornucopia basket spilling out fresh fruit and veggies, and one year the cornucopia had those cool real flowers that are paperlike and dry perfectly…(siemprevivas we call them in Spanish)…What decorating ideas and/or crafts does your family do for Thanksgiving?  Maybe you haven’t had time to do anything, but how about taking just a few moments to make some little thing….or get the kids to do it!  Look around your house and see what you already have that you can use.  The kids will (probably!) enjoy it and it will be a Thanksgiving memory for them.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  (my dear Canadian friends and family!)