Tom Turkey Edible Centerpiece
It’s an appetizer, it’s an art project, it’s the perfect Thanksgiving day centerpiece. If your kids love Mr. Potato Head, they’ll love creating this “turkey” from fruit, cheese, bamboo skewers and toothpicks.
1 cantaloupe (or melon of choice)
Cheddar cheese, or aged cheese(s) of choice
1 red, yellow and orange bell pepper
grapes, red or green or combination
bamboo skewers, cut to varying lengths as needed
Create the body of the turkey by cutting a thin slice off the bottom of the melon and turning it flat side down onto a platter. To create the turkey’s head, attach the pear (stem side down) to the melon using a bamboo skewer. Using toothpicks, place the two raisins as eyes, cut a triangle of cheese for the beak, and cut and attach a piece or red pepper to look like the waddle, underneath the beak.
Slice sections of different colored peppers and attach to the melon with toothpicks to create the side feathers. For tail feathers, skewer cubes of cheese and grapes, then attach to the turkey’s rear end. Finish with the turkey feet, carved out of red pepper.
Holiday Cheese Ball
Kids will have fun rolling this simple cheese mixture into a ball and coating it with nuts. This is a great appetizer for any gathering, not just Thanksgiving.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese 3 TB. chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce 1 2.25-ounce can green olives (pimentos optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Using a food processor, combine the cream cheese, Cheddar, blue cheese, green onion, garlic and Worcestershire and process until smooth. Add the olives and pulse until mixed through. With a rubber spatula, scrape the cheese mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and roll into a large ball with your hands. Put the chopped pecans on a plate and roll the cheese ball onto them until it’s evenly coated with nuts on all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for four hours or more. Serve at room temperature, on a plate with crackers.
Dessert-First Apple Pie Appetizer
Who says you have to wait until dessert to enjoy some yummy apple pie? This recipe gives kids some hands-on pie making experience, but it’s simplified, without the crust.
2 tsp. butter
2-3 apples, peeled, cored and diced (try mixing apple types together, such as Granny Smith and Golden Delicious)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. brown sugar
dash of salt
5 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 TB. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 TB. sugar
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and dash of salt. Sauté until apples are soft; set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tortillas with melted butter and then cut them into wedges. On a greased baking sheet, arrange the tortilla pieces and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Place the apples in a serving dish and serve with the cooled tortilla chips.