Revamp the Thanksgiving Menu with New Appetizers #recipe

 Nielsen-Massey Vanillas offers recipes that change up how families start their Thanksgiving meals.

Waukegan, Ill. (October 12, 2015) – If Americans followed Thanksgiving tradition exactly as it happened, we would be having lobster for dinner. The Thanksgiving menu has evolved significantly from when the Pilgrims first ate at Plymouth Rock to include seasonal favorites such as turkey and mashed potatoes. This Thanksgiving, evolve your traditional menu and add new hors d’oeuvres recipes that are perfect for pairing with wine and cheese plates.

“For many families, the Thanksgiving meal is rooted in tradition,” said Craig Nielsen, CEO, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. “But by adding one or two new recipes to the menu, at-home chefs can keep everyone’s favorite stuffing and pumpkin pie, while also wowing their guests with unconventional starters.”

While guests mingle leading up to dinner, start off simple with Parmesan Zucchini Crisps. The classic Italian cheese mixed with Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder adds extra flavor to the standard zucchini. Pair the crunchy snack with the zesty dip recipe to make an extra tasty starter for friends and family.

Breaded Veal Meatballs with Vodka Sauce are the perfect bite to spice up pre-dinner treats. With the combination of oregano, parsley, and Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, the hearty meatballs have an excellent savory flavor with a hint of sweetness to tie it all together. Served with a tangy tomato vodka sauce, these juicy meatballs will quickly become a family favorite.

Make the spread complete with Sausage Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms, recipe below. With ingredients like garlic, Romano and mascarpone cheeses, and Italian sausage, these savory mushrooms will keep guests coming back for more. The creamy mascarpone mixed with the sharp Romano complements the sausage, while the mushrooms serve as a salty base that is perfect for guests to munch on. The simple recipe and spice-filled flavor make these mushrooms an easy choice before any Thanksgiving feast.

Branch out this Thanksgiving and use these starters to create new and different traditions the whole family can enjoy.

Sausage Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms

Cremini mushrooms, about 1 pound, stemmed, quickly rinsed and patted dry

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

8 fl. oz. mild Italian sausage (may substitute with spicy Italian sausage)

1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1/3 cup plain panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 inches baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, add lemon juice and oil; whisk to combine. Add clean mushroom caps and toss to coat; set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add sausage, vanilla bean paste, garlic and shallot. Cook and stir until crumbles are done, about 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add Romano cheese, bread crumbs and mascarpone cheese; stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Place mushroom caps in prepared baking dish and reserve remaining lemon-oil mixture in bowl. Fill each mushroom cavity with stuffing mixture and drizzle with reserved lemon-oil. Bake until done, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 24

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans. Nielsen-Massey Fairtrade products are certified by FLO-CERT.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, GMO-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

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