Recipe Ideas for a Thanksgiving Pre-Party

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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Mini Spanakopita

The only hard and fast rule I have for the perfect Thanksgiving, is not to have any hard and fast rules for the perfect Thanksgiving.  Sometimes, my guests set the tone for an amazing meal, other times I try something new and see how it goes. Some years I get to be a guest or get to escape Thanksgiving entirely.

One year, I served a deconstructed turkey -- presenting a stuffed boneless breast alongside turkey wings and drumsticks (for the dark meat lovers).  Coming to the table with a perfectly tucked and tied turkey breast roast, without needing to ask my father-in-law to do the carving was a real treat (for him and for me)!

For Jews, Thanksgiving is a time of some bemusement.  After all we have just finished 3 weeks of holiday entertaining.  While most of America are frantically planning menus, food shopping and setting tables days in advance, the Jewish woman is thankful to be able to use her oven, microwave and dishwasher.

My dear sister-in-law amfram, is a vegetarian married to an unrepentant carnivore -- so veggie side dishes almost always get equal billing with the turkey. Even better, amfram has managed to circumvent the laws of kosher gravity by inviting guests to enjoy an amazing spread of dairy hors d'ouevers hours before the Thanksgiving meal. Sure it is self-serving, since she won't touch the turkey, but let me tell you something, some of these appetizers were so good everyone was self-serving themselves, too!

So let's NOT talk turkey and let me share with you some great dairy appetizer recipes that your guests will love while they are watching the big game or the Macy's Day Parade on TV.

Tapenade 101

Tapenade

Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola & Toasted Almonds

Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola & Toasted Almonds

Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dip

Low Fat Blue Cheese Dip

Herb-Crusted-Salmon-Cutlets-460x279

Herb Crusted Salmon

Mini Spanakopita

Mini Spanakopita

crispty artichoke hearts

Crispy Artichoke Hearts

Sesame Scallion Lomein Pancakes

Sesame Scallion Lomein Pancakes

Do you have any non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions?  I would love to hear from you!