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How Do I Choose the Best Thanksgiving Appetizer?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2016
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Choosing a Thanksgiving appetizer is all about finding easy-to-make foods that please guests. The most important step is determining if any guests have dietary restrictions. If kids want to help with preparation, pick a recipe that's simple enough for them to put together. The amount of time each recipe takes to make is also a factor. Before settling on an appetizer, compare it to the others that are going to be served. Calculate the cost of the ingredients to ensure the final price is within budget.

The dietary restrictions of guests is the most important factor when choosing a Thanksgiving appetizer. For example, a guest might be a vegetarian or vegan or might have a severe allergy to nuts or seafood, so it's best to make an appetizer that all the guests are able to eat. Attach a notecard that states the ingredients in the dish to avoid any problems.

Many kids are anxious to get into the kitchen and whip up a dish, so choose a recipe for a Thanksgiving appetizer that a child is able to easily make. Some kid-friendly recipes include spinach dip, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and a tomato, basil, and mozzarella plate. The child will likely need supervision, but the recipes are basic enough to be completed quickly.

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The amount of time each Thanksgiving appetizer takes to make is also a factor. Those who aren't going to have time to put something together the day of should consider recipes that can be made a day or two before, such as cheese sticks, cranberry salsa, or hummus. Some recipes that don't involve a lot of time but need to be made the same day include glazed cocktail meatballs, bruschetta with toasted French bread, and stuffed celery sticks.

Before settling on a Thanksgiving appetizer, compare it to the others that are already going to be there. Having a good variety is essential, so out of five appetizers, there shouldn't be four dips, three cheese-based recipes, or only meat options. There should be a balance among different types, such as having half of the appetizers include meat and the other half not.

Price is also going to be a big factor. Although most appetizers are budget-friendly, some can cost quite a bit more to make than others. Crab puffs, caviar with blinis, and baked oysters are going to be more expensive to make than deviled eggs, cheese balls, or stuffed mushrooms. Calculate the price of each ingredient for each recipe to come up with an option that's within budget.

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kylee07drg
Post 4

My good friend makes some fried green beans that are so good, it is tempting to eat them all. She serves these as Thanksgiving appetizers, and they disappear rather quickly.

She coats them in olive oil and rolls them in corn meal. Then, she fries them in an oiled skillet. That's all there is to it.

They turn out crunchy yet wholesome. Olive oil is good for you, and so are green beans. At least people are not in danger healthwise by consuming too many of these.

Guests often ask her for more, but she only makes one batch. After all, they are an appetizer and not one of the main courses.

shell4life
Post 3

I like to test out my Thanksgiving appetizers on coworkers a couple of weeks before the big day. If they love what I have brought to work as a refreshment, then I assume that my guests will love it, also.

My biggest hit to date has been my chocolate chip pumpkin pie bars. This sounds like a heavy dessert, but if you cut them small enough, they can serve as yummy, nutritious appetizers.

I use a can of pumpkin, some applesauce, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate chips, and flour to make these somewhat spongy appetizers. I sprinkle them with powdered sugar and cut them in two inch squares. That way, people are not as likely to eat too much and fill up.

wavy58
Post 2

@StarJo – My mother is the same way! She does allow appetizers, but she makes me remove them about two hours before dinner is scheduled to be served.

I totally understand this, though. Who wouldn't be upset if the dinner they spent hours making got barely touched because everyone was full?

I always make sure that no one who is invited has any allergies or aversions to eating meat before I make my sausage dip. I also serve some candied nuts that I make myself, as long as no one has an allergy.

StarJo
Post 1

Wow, I didn't know that people even made Thanksgiving appetizers! I suppose since I've only ever eaten with my immediate family during Thanksgiving, I haven't been exposed to the practices of large get-togethers.

Just about every year, I do wish that there were some sort of snack that I could eat while the bird is cooking. Everything smells so good, and it all takes hours to bake. The aroma leaves me with a growling stomach and strong cravings.

I'm going to suggest that we start having appetizers before our dinner. I will be happy to make them, as long as my mother will allow them. She's always concerned about us spoiling our appetites and being unable to eat all the food she has cooked.

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