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Holiday Appetizer Recipes

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Last night was Thanksgiving and I have to say it was the best one I've had in a long time. There are family members in distant places and others who are no longer living who I miss terribly. But last night there was a real sense of community and and my stress level was low because I'd done all of the major cooking the day before!

We went around the room and shared stories and acknowledged people in our lives who we loved and were not with us, which helped bring many of their faces back into the feast and celebration with us.

My Thanksgiving recipes were all a mishmash of different things I'd cooked over the years as well as some amazing suggestions I'd read of things to try, or seen on one of the hundreds of cooking shows that I adore.

The sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and cream were a smash. The mashed potatoes with milk, butter, cheese and cream went over like hotcakes. The turkey with citrus and sage butter was juicy and divine.

But the thing that everyone kept asking me about, over and over again, were the meatballs and the stuffed mushrooms that I had made as holiday appetizers. In fact, they were so popular that they completely upstaged the ham. That's saying a lot because, as you know, ham is, well ... quite a ham!

Here are the holiday appetizer recipes for the scrumptious stuffed mushrooms and meatballs that I made:

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large stuffing mushrooms
Olive oil, just enough to coat a nice big sautee pan
Chopped Italian hot sausage, about 1/4 of a pound
Chopped Italian sweet sausage, about 1/4 of a pound
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1pinch sage, dried
1 pinch rosemary, dried
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 dollops ricotta cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup romano cheese
Mushroom stems, chopped finely


In a large sautee pan, swirl around the olive oil. Set the flame to medium high.
Add onions, garlic and sautee until onions are transluscent.

Add sausage and then lower the heat to the lowest flame, cover.

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