If you are the one responsible for getting the Thanksgiving meal together, you might want to start a couple of days before the big day and get as much done as you can ahead of time. If this is the case, don't forget to put plan your special treat for the office gang. It can be an appetizer, dessert, or beverage. But, be sure it's something that you've already planned for your own family so that you don't have to prepare an extra dish.
Whatever you decide to make, be sure you make enough for both your family and the workplace. I have included an appetizer and dessert recipe below. Both can be made ahead of time. The amount you make will depend on how many people you will be serving. Be sure to adjust the recipes.
Appetizer: Cranberry Chutny and Cream Cheese (serves 12)
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 packages cream cheese
- 1/4 cup minced green onions
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tblsp minced and cored jalapeno peppers
- 2 tblsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/4 cup minced, fresh cilantro leaves
- Cranberries and cilantro sprigs for garnish
- Rinse and drain cranberries
- In a food processor, pulse cranberries until finely chopped.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together cranberries, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro leaves, ginger, sugar and lemon juice.
- Cover and refrigerate 4 hours till a flavor develops.
- Place the cream cheese on a serving plate and cover it with the dip.
- Garnish with cranberries and cilantro
- Serve with taco chips
(you can substitute store bought cranberry chutney to save time)
*I serve this a Chrismas time with chunks of French bread
Dessert: Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (makes 16 bars)
FOR THE CRUST
- 20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground.
- Add butter, and pulse until moistened.
- Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom.
- Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth.
- Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted.
- Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
- Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl.
- Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface.
- With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.
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