Seasonal Sundays (Week 48) Last-Minute Appetizers

It's a big food week in the U.S., thank you, Thanksgiving. Odds are good, the contours of this iconic holiday meal are set in stone by tradition or circumstances. And it's such a big meal, who does appetizers? Here, I've collected a few ideas, light bites that won't fill up the meal that somebody's gone to a lot of effort to cook. They're ones to inspire all the way into the new year ...

Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

As I write, a light snow falls but here inside by the fire coffee in hand, it's warm and cozy and most of all, calm.

I'm ignoring the yet-to-be-written to-do list, already an overwhelming flurry detailing just the next two days, let alone the blur between now and year's end: it's that funny time of year where the turkey's not yet thawed but already there are cookies to decorate and champagne to pour.

Still, I promise myself: less blur, more calm.

We'll see, yes?

PS For the easiest-ever but-still-kinda-remarkable appetizer, look for a new "recipe" tomorrow. But if you're buying groceries today, may I suggest a box of Triscuits, a good sharp cheddar and some fresh basil?

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Who else collects quick snaps of grandchildren's drawings and cards?

Made Me Think ...

  • Confession of a Christian Consumerist, a thoughtful essay from Anglican priest and NYT columnist, Tish Harrison. I love her work, plus each column's illustrations by are always lovely, give each one a few seconds, many are animated!
  • A SAMPLE: "... I know that material things will not bring me joy. ... I know that a magazine fantasy kitchen is not what will fill my soul. Yet the tentacles of a lie somehow burrow their way into my psyche: If I could somehow make my house look better, my life would be better. I would be better."

  • SIT A MOMENT We all probably know the Gordon Lightfoot classic. But what if the song were illustrated in a mesmerizing way? The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the freighter and crew of 29 lost during a mammoth storm on Lake Superior, not in the 1800s, not in the early 1900's but in 1975. This rendering is mesmerizing, kids will love it too.

  • ALL FOR NOW! If anyone has a "made you think" suggestion, please send it my way. Look for my current email address in the FAQs.

HOLIDAY INSPIRATION: Last-Minute Appetizer Ideas

Herbed Goat Cheese, another Concept Recipe ♥, just a creamy goat cheese base plus veggies and fresh herbs, perfect for impromptu entertaining. Great for Meal Prep.

Party Rye with Tomato & Cucumber ♥, five minutes prep, red and green for the holidays.

Savory Roasted Pecans, a great last-minute appetizer or hostess gift ♥, just pecan halves roasted with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and savory spices.

Three Easy Italian Appetizers ♥, make ahead then quickly assemble. Low Cal. Low Carb. Pretty on a Plate. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Tuna & White Bean Dip ♥, a real crowd pleaser. Low Carb. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly!

Cranberry Salsa ♥, raw cranberries plus an explosion of seasonal flavors for a Christmas salsa vibe. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.

My Guacamole, the restaurant-style house recipe ♥ Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Unusually Low Cal. Low Carb. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Mini Pumpkin Pies ♥, baked in mason jars and ramekins, all filling, no crusts.


Dang spammers. I've had to turn comments off again, thanks to spambots leaving hundreds of spam comments a day, what a scourge.

But I miss hearing from y'all!

So if you've made a recipe from Kitchen Parade or A Veggie Venture, feel free to drop a quick email, my current address is in the FAQs. I especially love to hear about your adaptations.

World's Best Green Bean Casserole ♥, yesterday's comfort food made with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms, no canned beans, no cream of mushroom soup. Rave reviews since 2006.
  • WORDS from DAVE HICKLING THAT MAKE ME BEAM :-) "Hi Alanna. I printed your "World's Best Green Bean Casserole" in January 2007 and have been making it (with no modifications) several times per year ever since. I googled it again today with the idea of printing out a shorter version of the recipe and thought that I would take the time to give you positive feedback. Absolutely everyone that I have made this for agrees with the title and some have suggested that it should be renamed "World's Best Vegetable Recipe". Everything about it - especially the fresh beans and the hand quartered mushroom caps make all the difference. Thanks again."

  • THE RECIPE World's Best Green Bean Casserole Yesterday's comfort food made fresh.

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week.

Hamburger Soup ♥, a hearty meat and vegetable soup, easy comfort food.
  • THIS WEEK What whiplash! Missouri went from 75 and sunny to 25 and snowy in 37 hours. My husband came back from deer camp chilled to the bone, despite leaning into a fire along with his fellow hunters. Soup! It would be. I doubled the meat, skipped the carrots but used a whole pound of frozen roasted corn. I used some BBQ sauce to supplement a shortage of ketchup. So good! We happily souped on it for days ...
  • THE RECIPE Hamburger Soup A hearty soup with chunks of meat and a cornucopia of bright-colored vegetables.
  • ANOTHER TAKE My Chicken Noodle Soup The way I make it, meaty and noodle-y with just a few noodles.

Jubilee Greens, Another Master Technique ♥ How to sauté dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale and more.
  • THIS WEEK Such a good supper! I cooked kale with some mushrooms, then cooked some farm eggs with bright orange yolks on top. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Jubilee Greens How to sauté leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale & more.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Greek Greens How to flash cook dark leafy greens to eat later.

Sweet Pumpkin Seed Crumbles, a fall favorite ♥ A Veggie Venture, crunch clumps of honey-sweetened oats and pumpkin seeds, more nut brittle than granola.
  • THIS WEEK I wanted a little extra topping for vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. These make up in minutes and were a real hit. It was fun to send home a package with our dinner guests ...
  • THE RECIPE Sweet Pumpkin Seed Crumbles Crunchy clumps of honey-sweetened oats and pumpkin seeds, more nut brittle than granola.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Pumpkin Granola Lightly sweetened, gently spiced with our favorite fall spices.

Just Updated!

Slow-Roasted Tomato Salsa, another meal prep appetizer ♥

Smoked Salmon Spread ♥, just smoked salmon plus a few pantry ingredients.

Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon ♥, an easy appetizer with an elegant appearance, tiny potato halves stuffed with smoked salmon in a sour cream & horseradish sauce.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.