It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I don’t know what i’m more upset about; the fact that it’s not a big event here in Ilmenau, or that i’m missing out on Black Friday sales again. But i’ll tell you all this. I’m still going to celebrate. I may not bring home a turkey and stuff it with whatever it’s supposed to be stuffed with (I could never cook a whole bird. They look like they can pop up and run away any second) and I may not make cranberry sauce and gravy, but there will be mashed potatoes on my table, and just to make up for the missing turkey, i’ll make some other things that can totally be the life of the party.
I know Thanksgivings are a family affair, with sit down dinners and endless platters of food, so here are a couple of recipes that can be made in bulk, in advance, cooked quickly, and ultimately get you through the day up till dinner without draining all the energy out of you. But you can’t get away with just making these. YOU still have to make the turkey. For me.
I’m sure you might have come across this recipe, but I just have to post it just in case some of you haven’t. This recipe needs to be in everyone’s life. And the best part is it’s a dip, and it doesn’t have to be cooked; just made in advance so it can be chilled.
1 cup cream cheese
1 3/4 cups sour cream
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
The only thing you have to keep in mind here is that the salsa you use should be delicious! Start off by whisking the cream cheese till it’s smooth and fluffy, then mix in the sour cream and salsa. In a dip bowl pour half of the salsa mix and top off with half of the lettuce and cheese. Then pour over the rest of the salsa mix and sprinkle over the remaining lettuce, the olive and tomatoes and the rest of the cheese. Just a tip: the lettuce has to be shredded very finely, or the dip will turn into a extremely unhealthy salad! Chill this for at least 3 hours, but over night is perfect. Serve with cool ranch Doritos if they’re available in your area, or just plain tortilla chips and potato chips will do. You can obviously add more or less of any of the toppings (tomatoes, olives, lettuce, cheese) but keep the cream cheese, sour cream and salsa just as it’s listed. This is enough for a medium sized party, but if your family accounts for half of the city’s population you might want to make an extra batch or two.
jalapeno popper turnovers!
These are delicious. They’re a little different from the normal jalapeño poppers, but they taste great!
2 sheets puff pastry
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced jalapeños (the ones out of a jar are perfect)
1 egg (beaten for egg wash)
Since you’re making these for a party, make them small. You can be creative with the shapes, but when it comes to bulk food, uniformity is the way to go. So choose one shape and stick to it! I usually just cut the puff pastry into little squares (because it’s easy) and then fold them over once filled to make cute little triangular pouches of cheesy heaven. Divide the ingredients appropriately between each square. For 2-inch squares: Spread 1 tsp cream cheese, keeping a little inside the edges. Then place once jalapeño slice towards a side and top off with a 1 t shredded cheddar. To close just fold opposite corners. Seal with a fork. That ensures the pastry sticks together and also makes the poppers look pretty. You can make these in advance as well. They can be frozen or you can make them a day before and keep them in the fridge till they’re ready to be baked. Before baking preheat your oven to 200 C and brush each popper with the egg wash. They’ll bake in 8-10 minutes and puff up beautifully. If you bake them out of the freezer you might need to add a couple of minutes to the baking time. But you’ll know they’re cooked when they’re golden brown.
*Remember, it’s better to have leftovers than to have food running out before everyones full. There’s something about holidays that make people want to eat like there’s no tomorrow, so make a little more than you usually would 🙂