Last Minute Thanksgiving Treats

Last Minute Thanksgiving Shortcuts | With Thanksgiving just around the corner here are some last-minute Thanksgiving treats sure to please. The key is ease, things you may already have on hand, and ideas that won't be too costly. | #shortcuts #thanksgiving #thanksgivingshortcuts #podcast #podcastkids #homeschoolpodcastLast Minute Thanksgiving Treats ~ Episode 482

With Thanksgiving just around the corner here are some last-minute Thanksgiving treats sure to please. The key is ease, things you may already have on hand, and ideas that won’t be too costly. In this podcast, Felice shares her best-kept secrets with you!

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I’m all about preparing ahead of time and yet, sometimes I look at the calendar and stress! How did all those weeks fly by what I have left to do will take three weeks instead of the one week I have. So, what am I going to do? I’m going to sit down, with a nice cup of calming tea, raspberry is my tea of choice, and make a list. I use to hate lists, in fact, I would make lists and then go off what I remembered was on my list instead of actually looking at it. No wonder I forgot things on my grocery list. I did have a great memory and for the most part, remembered what I needed to buy but not always. The same with planning for the holidays which I began hosting many years ago.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Treats ~ The Easy Way:

  1. Refrigerator treats, things you do not need to bake.
  2. Dips and chips.
  3. Finger foods.
  4. Pre-made foods.
  5. Fruit platters

Whenever I have a diverse group of guests, like babies to sixty-something-year-olds, I want to have a variety that even the little ones will enjoy. I’ve found that fruit fits that bill, and it came, courtesy of extended family! My daughter’s mother-in-law makes a wonderful fruit platter. A mixture of cut-up fruits, and sometimes she brings packaged and pre-cut fruit, and then she serves it with the fruit fluff. It consists of an 8-oz package of cream cheese and one jar of marshmallow cream. It is easy, festive looking and best of all the kids and adults love it.

Salty treats – Take a sliced cheese (or use firm cheese slices) and sandwich it between mini-pretzels – bake on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (425 for about 10 minutes) until the cheese is melted. Serve hot with spiced or regular mustard. These are yummy but must be made before serving.

Tried and true is pepper jelly over 4oz of cream cheese. Place the cream cheese on a microwavable plate, pour a generous amount of pepper jelly on top, and place in the microwave for about one minute or less. It depends on your microwave, but you want to slightly soften the cream cheese and heat the jelly. Serve with crackers. (Even the kids love this.)

Gouda cheese wrapped in crescent rolls is another favorite. Buy a half pack of crescent rolls (4) and lay them out end to end to make a square. Place a round gouda cheese on top and cover tightly. You can keep this in the frig overnight or for a day or two until you bake. The oven temperature is 350 for about ten to fifteen minutes. The cheese will be warm and gooey and the rolls light and fluffy! You may want to make two of these as they go fast. Place a small knife or precut the portions. Let cool for a few minutes.

Another goodie is anything dipped in chocolate. This does take some prep time, but it so easy. I take large strawberries that I leave whole with the tops on and wash them several times (usually with a few drops of vinegar then rinse). I line a cookie sheet with paper towels and allow the strawberries to air dry. Then once dry (or I pat them with paper towels to hurry the procedure) I dip them in pre-melted (one bag of your favorite semi-sweet or sweet chocolate chips). I melt the chips in the microwave thirty seconds at a time and stir with a fork. Once it is creamy and melted (chocolate burns so be careful), I carefully dip the dried fruit one at a time and place them on another cookie sheet lined with wax paper. If you are blessed to live in a cold climate the chocolate will harden quickly. If not, you will need a quick zap in the frig – be careful not to leave them overnight. These are best fresh. You can get creative if you have time and melt white chocolate chips and drizzle them over the hardened chocolate. Sometimes these sell for $2 each!

You can also chocolate-dip large pretzels. I dip half in chocolate and leave half plain. I’ve dipped graham crackers – each graham cracker has four perforations and I crack these evenly (or not – you get to eat the mess ups) and dip half in chocolate and leave half plain. Again, wax paper and cookie sheets are ready to chill if needed. The kids love making these easy treats as well.

Dips are another great way to serve veggies or pita chips. You can use prepared guacamole, salsa, or a homemade dip such as cream cheese with Knorr packaged seasoning. Their official website is here with lots of food ideas and tips. I keep some of the packages on hand for last-minute prep. My favorite dips are a cold spinach dip that is easy to make and store. You can serve this with loaf bread that is torn into strips or purchase (or make) round bread that you cut up to dip.

Another favorite is mini-meatballs. Do you know I use to hate meatballs? I hate to admit this because being first generation Italian you are supposed to love meatballs! I finally found a recipe I love it is easy to make and it freezes well. I use a small ice cream scoop to keep the size small and bake them in the oven. Once you cool them you can freeze them and take them out when needed. The sauce is optional but yummy. The key to the recipe I like (by Bobby Flay) is that he uses three types of meat. In the past you could find this meat already packaged, now it is harder to get. The meats are beef, pork, and veal. The veal is a tricky meat to find. I’ve made these meatballs with beef and pork and they were still yummy. Due to copyright, I don’t want to list the ingredients here, but you can find them online with a quick search, “Bobby Flay Meatball Recipe.”

My go-to favorites are pulling things out of my freezer, such as small cakes I’ve baked during the year. I use small rounds and have an assortment of vanilla and chocolate cakes. I can serve these frosted or plain with fruit such as raspberry or strawberry, and whip cream. I bake when I have time and keep things in one section of my chest freezer which I keep on the back porch.

And, the last-minute prep idea that works every time is to buy something packaged and already made. Okay, don’t judge but we are talking about last-minute Thanksgiving treats here!

For quick clean up sever the appetizers and desserts on disposable platters. Or get fancy and use those glass platters (I have them in all sizes) that I bring out just for special events and they go with everything. Enlist help. If someone asks what you want them to bring over assign a sweet or salty treat – or better yet, ask them what they’d like to bring. Enjoy the holidays with family and friends! I pray you have a blessed time!

 

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