As seen on WGN-TV Thanksgiving Appetizers

Pumpkin and Chorizo Pinwheels

1/3 cup pure pumpkin (from can)

11/2 cup cooked chorizo sausage if large crumbled or 1 tube packaged chorizo cooked

1 cup chihuahua cheese (can substitute jack cheese)

1 sheet puff pastry; thawed

Egg wash

Lay puff pastry out on cutting board, spread pumpkin over pastry, sprinkle sausage and then cheese, leaving about a 1” gap at the end.  Roll the puff pastry dough into a log, brush with egg wash. Place on parchment lined sheet pan and place in freezer to firm up. 

Remove the logs and cut it into slices, place back in the freezer until ready to bake these are best baked from a frozen state. 

Place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet spiral-side up, use small spatula to place on sheet pan so filling doesn’t fall out. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 14 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes about 32 per puff pastry sheet. 

Green Bean Casserole in Phyllo Cups

2 Tbls. butter

2-3 mushrooms; diced

1 garlic clove; minced

2 Tbls. flour

¼ cup chicken stock

¼ cup heavy cream (can use milk)

1 can (14.5 oz.) French style green beans; drained

French fried onions (in the can) to top

Dash Worcestershire

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 package mini phyllo cups (15 count)


Sauté diced mushrooms in butter, add garlic and then flour to make a roux, whisk in chicken stock and then cream.  Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire, add green beans and with a wooden spoon stir and break up green beans a bit so they are not so long and will be easier to fill phyllo cups. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the green bean mixture into each phyllo shell and top with French fried onions, serve. Alternatively, you can put cooled green bean mixture into phyllo shell top with French fried onions and place on sheet pan and refrigerate.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until hot.


Mini Turkey Cheeseballs

8 oz cream cheese; softened

½  cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Dash of garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of Worcestershire

2 tsps. chopped chives or green onion

Crackers (I used Melba whole grain snacks)

Mix above ingredients together. Refrigerate to firm up so you can roll into 12 small balls (reserve a little cheese mixture to spread of cracker so that your mini turkey sticks to the cracker).  Now your turkeys are ready to decorate!  

Pecans for feathers

Raison for beak

Pimento for wattle

Makes a dozen per recipe.


Leaf Pie Crust Crackers

1 prepackaged pie crust dough

Egg wash

Garlic powder


Grated parmesan cheese


Everything but Bagel Seasoning

Leaf cookie cutters (I used leaf impression cookie/pie cutters)

Unroll pie crust onto cutting board. Using cookie cutter, cut pastry into leaves, place on parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with egg wash, I sprinkled half with Everything but bagel seasoning and the other dozen with garlic powder, oregano, grated parmesan and salt.  Place in freezer for about 5 minutes before baking, they will hold their shape better if they are not baked at room temperature.

Bake at 400 degrees 7-8 minutes or until crackers are lightly browned. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for a couple days. Makes 2 dozen.