For most of us, major holidays are earmarked by lucid memories that formulate our anticipation each year. As I reminisce about Thanksgiving, I flip through my mental Rolodex and pondered the experiences that have sculpted my holiday…… here are my top 5 that resonate from my childhood

My Top 5

#5.. One appetizer served….a bowl of nuts…which had to be cracked…my families intention were not to develop our fine motor skills as children…..the adults wanted us to leave them alone

#4.. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 🙂 forget that I am dating myself..the kids of 2011 have no concept…one cartoon per season in the 8:00 pm time slot..they just don’t know….we appreciated that one hour of television dominance…

#3..  Rummy 500, Pinochle, Cribbage, and Black Jack…. Lowenbrau and Johnny Walker Black…..and yes a day and age when smoking in the house was still politically correct…a borderline casino

#2.. Playing “steal the bacon” and touch football in the crisp fall air… crisp means cold as all get out and touch football actually meant tackle football according to my brothers…there were scraped knees, black eyes, and possible concussions…my mother is registered one question her “medical expertise” plus a CAT scan might have interrupted dinner..

#1.. Without question The Turkey Bowl…… The Detroit Lions and The Dallas Cowboys have been Thanksgiving Day staples my entire life…Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Jayne Kennedy, John Madden, Pat Summerall, Don Criqui, even Jimmy the Greek (good or bad he is a vivid memory from my childhood plus go back to #3…just say’n Jimmy was a bookie). With that being said, all are a nostalgic pieces to my Thanksgiving pie.

This is not a Thanksgiving Day clip but please look at this CBS NFL Today Footage..and as a

PROUD PSU alum we were ranked #1…

As we must embrace today and look to the future, I will share the differences in my 2011 Thanksgiving and the appetizers that replace a bowl of you know how hard it is to crack a Brazil nut?

Top 5 changes…

 #5...My family doesn’t do manual work to enjoy the appetizers...because my mother won’t fold her hand on preparing the Thanksgiving meal…I am in charge of the apps….no one breaks out into a sweat

#4… Charlie Brown is a piece of nostalgia I will hold in my heart… releases have replaced the excitement..I hope the Muppet Movie can ignite an innocence from years past

#3…I don’t know if they sell Lowenbrau anymore..scotch causes hangovers so I’ve heard, but apple cider with Captain Morgan and Butterscotch Schnapps warmed on the stove is the perfect drink for you holiday guest..the recipe compliments of my friends Tom and Lisa in Garden City, N.Y.

#2..My brothers play touch football with my daughters….ironically they play touch without the intent to harm..I plan to launch a formal investigation with my mother about this…my kids should eat some grass too… minus the blood..once a tomboy always a tomboy

#1..There are 3 football games on Thanksgiving…tryptophan can’t stop me from watching the 8:30 game between the Ravens and 49’s. Jim and John Harbaugh’s poor parents…Ok really both of their sons are NFL head coaches so I don’t feel that bad, but I can only imagine their pride…Even though the voices and the face of commentating have changed, they continue to shape my Thanksgiving Day experience…and hopefully my children’s as well

Here’s the line-up

Detroit vs Green Bay 12:30

Dallas vs Miami 4:30

Baltimore vs San Francisco 8:30

And here is my appetizer line up………

Maryland Crab Fondue with Homemade Soft Pretzel Sticks

– 12 oz. softened cream cheese

-1/2 cup mayonnaise

-10 oz. lump crab meat

– 1 tsp Worcester sauce

– 2 tsp old bay seasoning

– 1/3 c. heavy cream

– 2 loaves frozen bread dough thawed

– 1 whisked egg

1. In sauce pan blend together first six ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low…

2. Cut each loaf of bread dough with a pizza cutter. Each loaf should yield 12-16 pieces. Roll into “sticks”

3. Bring large stock pot of water (seasoned with salt) to a boil….put sticks in the boiling water. Remove with the sticks rise to the surface of the boiling water.

4. Pat the dough dry…..brush with egg wash and sprinkle on additional old bay seasoning

5. Bake in pre-heated of 350 degrees for 20 minutes

6. Cool and serve with fondue

Mini White Pizzas

I took these to a game night and everyone raved!!!!!

– 2 heads of roasted garlic

– 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 1 cup mozzarella cheese divided

– loaf of white bread

– Italian seasoning

1. Roast heads of garlic in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (cut of top, rub with olive oil, and wrap in foil) Place on baking sheet..

2. Allow garlic to cool, simply squeeze cloves and garlic will come out. In food processor, puree garlic, ricotta, mayo, and cheese.

3. Using a cookie cutter…cut disks from individual slices of the bread. Go over each piece with a rolling-pin to flatten and make dense.

4. Butter both sides of bread, place on baking sheet, and toast both side 3 minutes each in oven pre-heated 350 degrees

5. After toasting both sides, spread cheese mixture on disk, add a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and Italian seasoning…bake an additional 6 minutes

Homemade Potato Chips with Beer and Bacon Dip

Potato Chips

– 7 or 8 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes

– oil for frying

– sea salt

On a mandolin thinly slice potatoes, in dutch oven fry potatoes at 350 degrees until they are crisp on both sides..approximatly 8 minutes. Drain on to paper towel season with salt.

Beer and Bacon Dip

– 16 oz. softened cream cheese

– 6 slices of fried bacon crumbled

-1/3 cup beer (not a lager)

– envelope of ranch salad dressing

– 2 cups of sour cream

1. Mix all ingredients together leaving a few bacon crumbles to sprinkle on top!!!!

Please take the time to reflect on what you are thankful for

and all of the people that you love!!!

Remember….Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!!!!!