Don't Forget the Appetizers and Desserts this Thanksgiving!

Everyone has their favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Usually, people love the turkey, or the stuffing, or maybe they have a real thing for green bean casserole. But my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving dinner menu have nothing to do with the dinner itself -- give me the appetizers and the dessert and I'm happy as can be!

There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, I love to snack. Cheeses, fruit, dips, veggies ... I love them all. I like the informality of grabbing a plate here and there while you're helping in the kitchen or watching football (because, yes, Thanksgiving Day with my family doesn't happen without football on television).

Dessert kind of goes without saying. I mean, I could eat pumpkin pie until it came out my ears, and other than the fact that my pants wouldn't fit anymore, I'd be pretty happy. It's delicious and practically a vegetable. Awesome.

The other thing that I love about these bookends to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu is the fact that, at least in my house, they don't cause much stress. The pies are made ahead of time, and most of the appetizers just require a bit of unwrapping, chopping and presentation. There's no bustling around the kitchen, trying to get it all done at the same time.

They might be show-stopping parts of Thanksgiving dinner, but they're just as tasty. Check out slideshow above for our favorite Thanksgiving dessert and appetizer recipes!

The Total Thanksgiving Package
Thanksgiving Tutorial: Desserts and More