Thanksgiving With the Clark Family

I apologize for the break in blogging, but with all of the holiday madness came a time of busyness that I had not anticipated… and a few days of laziness that I had hoped I could lavish in before the holiday rush.

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family this year. I got to be in charge of the appetizers for the dinner so I was looking forward to trying some new recipes. I made my famous meatballs out of a combination of regular ground turkey and the Italian Sausage variety. They turned out beautifully and I was able to bake them the day before and throw them in the slow cooker for the festivities. Despite sitting in the slow cooker for four hours, they maintained their moistness and I got lots of compliments on them.

I also made a cheese ball that turned out equally delicious! I used turkey bacon that I cooked and crumbled inside of it. I rolled the cheese ball in extra cheddar cheese and it was also a hit. I served it with a variety of wheat crackers.

Bacon & Ranch Cheese Ball

2 (8 ounce) packages of low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 package of Ranch dressing mix
1 cup cheddar cheese
5-7 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled

Mix all of the ingredients together with a mixer until they are incorporated. Shape into a ball and roll in a plate of shredded cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

The other appetizer I made was a sweet dip to serve with graham crackers. It has been renamed “crack” in our house because we can’t stop eating it. I have been gorging myself on this dip since I made it. It tastes just like cookie dough and is sweet, but not too sweet. I used my Pampered Chef chopper to chop regular-sized chocolate chips up for on top and to mix into the dip (that was what we had on hand). Remember, you have been warned about this addiction!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip (or Crack Dip)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
More chocolate chips (optional) or chopped nuts, to roll the ball in

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Form cheese into a ball using hand protection (Saran wrap, wax paper, etc). Optional- just before serving, roll in additional chocolate chips or nuts of your choice. Serve with graham crackers.

Over the holiday weekend, I also got our very first family photo. My son is five and our daughter is almost two and we have never had a family picture done. Emily was most difficult and we had the worst time waiting for pictures and then waiting for the printing of them. It was a very stressful experience, to say the least. We had been waiting for two and a half hours for my photos to print, going back to pick up the prints to find out the prints weren’t ready, going back again to find out they STILL were not ready, and then finally getting them at 11 AM the following day (when they are supposed to be printed right after you get done with your photos). The only plus to the whole experience was that the manager felt horrible and I had tried to be a good sport about it so we ended up with an extra 65 photo cards and our entire portrait package reprinted PLUS a $50 gift certificate for our next round of pictures (all for free!) because he felt so badly about our experience. So I would like to give a shout out to Portrait Innovations for their incredible customer service and amazing manager who made our experience MUCH better after all of that hassle. Despite all off that hassle, I am so proud of our family photo and now have four gazillion pictures to share with our family and friends. I have so many pictures now that I am offering casual acquaintances a 10×13 of our family . I don’t know what we will do with all of these pictures, but I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you enjoyed lots of food and time with your family! I can’t wait to share more ideas and recipes for the holiday season!

Published November 26, 2007 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

comments powered by Disqus