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Holiday favorites: Hors d'oeuvres and appetizer tips

Cheese ball not cheesy at all
Cheese ball not cheesy at all
Betty Crocker

The Thanksgiving and holiday festivities are upon us. Whether or not you are hosting a big event or just bringing along a dish or two, play it simple and plan ahead.

Here are some tips and ideas for savory, easy to prepare, make-ahead, festive-favorites guaranteed to get your (holiday) party started.

Hors d'oeuvres

  • Dips including Hot Bubbly Clam Dip (can make ahead and freeze for up to 3 months)
  • Cheese Ball and Cheese Platter (purchase cheeses up to a week ahead)
  • Shrimp Cocktail (make ahead sauce, purchase frozen peeled shrimp and defrost the morning of)
  • Roasted Chestnuts (purchase chestnuts up to 2 weeks ahead)
  • Pigs in the Blanket (make ahead and freeze for up to 3 months)
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs (make ahead and freeze for up to 3 months)

Festive Cocktail

  • Mulled Cider

Don't miss! Easy Thanksgiving appetizer, entree and sides

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp Cocktail sgs

Shrimp cocktail is always a party favorite. The best shrimp "pop" in your mouth and are served on ice, very chilled with a tangy, lemony spicy cocktail sauce. Tips: make sauce up to 3 days ahead. Prepare shrimp in the morning and keep chilled in refrigerator.

Sweet and sour meatballs are retro good

Sweet and sour meatballs are retro good
Sweet and sour meatballs are retro good sgs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a retro favorite at holiday affairs. Make sure they are nice and hot or they will get "old" fast. Perhaps invest in a small electric chafing dish or slow cooker. Tip: make ahead and freeze for up to 1 month.

Pigs in the blanket

Pigs in the blanket
Pigs in the blanket sgs

Who doesn't love a hot, pig in the blanket? It's just not possible considering you can use any kind of sausage, even vegan! Tip: make ahead and freeze for up to 1 month.

Chestnuts roasting on an open "toaster oven"?

Chestnuts roasting on an open "toaster oven"?
Chestnuts roasting on an open "toaster oven"? sgs

Chestnuts roasting quickly takes you back to a freezing day all bundled up shopping for holiday gifts. Yet, they are simple to make in your friendly toaster oven, thereby not tying up your real oven filled with turkey and other festive fare. Tip: store chestnuts in your vegetable bin for up to 3 weeks, uncut and uncooked. Chestnuts are best eaten hot.

Cheese store

Cheese store
Cheese store sgs

Sure, the grocery store has plenty of great cheese options these days- but why not head to your local cheese shop and talk to the cheese monger. Go out of your comfort zone of just Jalsberg, brie and gouda. There are so many delicious options to try... go ahead. Try away! Tip: store your cheese in parchment paper for up to 1 month ahead of time!

Rum for the adults

Rum for the adults
Rum for the adults sgs

Mulled apple cider. Mmmmm. Add a little rum for the adults and see the party pick up. Warms your heart and soul after a little outdoor flag football.

Betty Crocker cookbooks

Betty Crocker cookbooks
Betty Crocker cookbooks Betty Crocker

There are so many cookbooks out there, but nobody does easy like Betty Crocker. And with so many tips and ideas that fit into any kind of family dynamic, Betty Crocker is a must on your cookbook shelf! Their cookbooks make excellent hostess gifts, and even better go-to recipe bibles.

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