This will be our second year hosting Thanksgiving, and if there's one crucial detail we learned last year it's to keep the appetizers simple. Considering how heavy most Thanksgiving meals tend to be, this means beginning the meal with some lighter, no-bake options that don't require much prep on the cook's part, since there's enough time spent hovering around the stove already.
Our kitchen truly is the heart of our home. Whether it's a casual visit or a holiday feast, the first thing people do when they enter is sidle up to one of the stools at the island and snack/sip on whatever is being served. It's one of the main reasons we purchased the house, because we wanted every occasion to take place in a spot that invokes a feeling of comfort and relaxation, and it's the perfect place to begin a Thanksgiving dinner. More often than not, we kick things off with a classic cheese plate since it's a social dish everyone loves to pull from. Mixing in spiced nuts and dried fruits balances the savory richness of the cheese, and feels seasonally appropriate and festive.
For special occasions, we like to serve a slightly elegant stand-alone bite, like sliced cucumbers topped with a little crème fraîche and caviar. It's also not something you'd normally do on a Thursday night watching Netflix (or maybe it is?), so it's important to celebrate the day with a little fanfare.
It's also fun to provide some snacks that aren't the usual suspects, but are the perfect accompaniment to the day. Football is usually playing in the background, so we serve some of the more uniquely flavored snacks from NatureBox, like spicy sriracha popcorn, Asiago and Cheddar crisps, or sourdough cheddar pretzels. There are 100+ options to choose from and it's an easy way to mix in some delicious bites for any event or occasion, year round. They're also delivered straight to your door, so you save one additional trip to the market.
When it comes to drinks, rather than starting with a wine, we prefer something that will cleanse the palate. Champagne is always a great choice, but if you want to get a little more seasonal, it's hard to go wrong with a cranberry-based drink. A little vodka, club soda and juice are the ideal companion to the start of an epic meal.