It can make or break a great Thanksgiving get-together, but often the details I leave to the last minute:  Appetizers and drinks to pair with the meal.
Should it be spiced nuts from my oven or an innovative cheese board? Crunchy crudité with snack mix or crackers with a delectable dip? And what wines and beers will tie the meals together?
For the nibbles, the New York Times’ Well blog once again comes to the rescue! This has become my go-to source for great Thanksgiving ideas this year. For appetizers, they solicited help from America’s Test Kitchen, the Boston media group  and obsessive recipe testers that produce the PBS show “America’s Test Kitchen,” publish cookbooks as well as Cooks Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines. You may recognize ATC best from the appearances its founder and editor Christopher Kimball makes on National Public Radio and other venues this time of year.
Here’s some of their suggestions:

  • Spiced Almonds
  • Homemade Whole-wheat Pita Chips
  • Green Goddess and Moroccan Carrot dips

In addition, Madame Fromage (who really knows her cheese) offers Two Thanksgiving Cheese Boards.
As for libations, if you don’t have favorites of your own, the Daily Beast’s Hungry Beast offers some good pairing suggestions for various menu types. The Huffington Post also offers another good guide with its Picks from 10 Winemakers and Experts.
I’m going local and  seasonal this year with beer serving  a nice pumpkin ale along side a hard cider. These are beverages that people wouldn’t ordinarily drink at home, and hold up well to the bold flavors and colors of the harvest table If you’re looking for other beer ideas, Serious Eats offers some good tips on Thanksgiving brews.
Like I said, details matter. What will your guests nosh and sip this year?

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