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Three Thanksgiving Appetizers meet a Cranberry Margarita

vintage-thanksgivingThe night before Thanksgiving was always the same, ingredients for apple and pumpkin pies and my mother’s famous cheesecake were all over the counters, and dinner was offically a free for all, with lots of encouragement to eat simple appetizers or leftovers in the fridge to make room for the next night’s leftovers.

There was a feeling of – well happy – it could have been the smell of baking pies or just the fact that it was time to slow down and laugh with the family. Usually there was a bowl of crab and cream cheese dip on the counter with some Triscuits and a plate of cheese and salami on the side.

For a few hours you would hang out in the kitchen with Mom and just talk as a rotating cast of friends and family sat at the kitchen counter nibbling and catching up while we made Jell-O and prepped pie crusts. This year I am working on recreating that tradition, Wednesday night will be full of friends, family, food, pies and cranberry margaritas.

Mom was onto something, those simple appetizers are a great way to get people to relax and start to get in the holiday mode. A few bites of something and a nice drink is a great pre-Thanksgiving dinner or snack before Thursday’s big meal. Here are ideas for a few holiday appetizers from the Reno Moms that are worth adding to your shopping lists and kitchen counters as we enter the holiday season.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

  •  1 8-ounce package of Neufchâtel or Low-fat cream cheese
  • I cup of plain pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, cloves
  • Apples, Pears, Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafers or Ginger Snaps

Let your cream cheese come up to room temperature so it is soft. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices. You can use a hand mixer or just a wooden spoon. Once smooth, spoon the dip into a bowl and serve with a platter of assorted fruit, Graham Crackers or Cookies.

Sausage Sh*t Dip 

From Jessica Santina: You’re going to laugh, but our family makes an appetizer we call “shit dip.” It’s the name my best friend gave this recipe, and it’s aptly named, because the shit is good.

  • Two tubes of Jimmy Dean sausage
  • Two cans of RoTel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Four blocks of cream cheese

Brown the sausage in a skillet. Drain the fat when it’s done, then put it in a slow cooker with the RoTel and cream cheese, and heat on low until melted and warm and deliciously gooey.

It sits all afternoon in the kitchen and we munch until dinner. Serve it with tortilla chips. It’s the best sh%t


Spinach Balls 

Meagan Sabich: Two words: Spinach Balls…. This is such a yummy appetizer.

  •  6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package of stuffing (I prefer low sodium chicken flavor)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • ¼ diced green onion
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of onion salt
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make sure all of the ingredients are equally distributed. Shape in to balls that are about 1-½ inches in diameter. Place balls on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the bottom of the balls are light golden brown.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!





About Shelle Murach

Shelle Murach
Shelle Murach has been an Aunt since 1985. She specializes in saying things like, “Should that child be doing that to her brother?” “Where did that juice box go?” "Can Aunt Shelle have some of your Cheez-its?” She is an expert at attending dance recitals, soccer games and ice skating competitions all while clapping or cheering at the appropriate moments.While she is very good at passing out cake at birthday parties, due to an unfortunate incident with a stick, her husband has made her promise to never again help with piñatas. Something about lawsuits and personal injury nonsense. She precariously balances being a full-time Aunt with a career in PR and has found that many of her client management skills can also be used on her various nieces and nephews. She is very excited to be part of Reno Mom’s Blog where she will focus on the Reno food and events scene, booster seats and face paint are optional. You can check out her blog at Care & Feeding in Reno, where she desperately needs to post some new stories and recipes. Trust me, she knows, it is on the list.

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