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Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingWe are hosting Thanksgiving again at our house this year, so last night hubby and I worked in earnest on our menu. With only six of us around the table this year we are planning an intimate feast.

My goal though? To keep it simple and really revel in the time together, rather than spending the entire day squirreled away in the kitchen.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingLast week I attended the Taste of Thanksgiving event at Whole Foods Market and sampled some of the great items they have to offer that promise to make your holiday meal preparation more simple.

As we planned our Thanksgiving menu and assigned things for people to bring I realized that my favorite part of the meal is not really the meal at all, but the pre-meal. The snacks.

It whets everyone’s appetite and sets the tone for the gastronomic experience ahead.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingHummus is one of my go-to appetizers and this Butternut Squash Hummus recipe has a wonderful autumnal twist to it that is perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingServe it simply with some cut fresh vegetables and crackers, or fancy it up by pre-scooping a small amount onto individual leaves of endive.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingBeautiful!

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingBrie is always a crowd-pleaser, but you can dress it up by adding a fruit spread or topping.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingWarm your wheel of brie up a bit in the oven, and then top it with some Sour Cherry Spread.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingA fig spread can also bring one of the most wonderful flavors of fall to this appetizer.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingTo make it even more decadent just sprinkle some crushed Marcona almonds or caramelized walnuts over the top.

What other toppings can you think of to use? Cranberry sauce would be fitting – or even pomegranate seeds.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingSpeaking of fruit and cheese combos – have you seen these elegant dried fruit slices from Simple & Crisp?

The pear option is an excellent fit for a fall themed meal. And a wonderful gluten-free offering for your guests.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingSuch an easy pre-dinner bite to make when served simply with a local cheese.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingIf you’re bringing snacks to someone elses house this year, consider these hot dips. The Shrimp Creole Hot Dip and Jalapeno Crab Dip from Whole Foods each come in their own re-usable ceramic ramekin. All you have to do is warm it up in the oven.

When the meal is finished you can gift the container to your host –  appetizer and hostess gift in one! LOVE that!

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingTo make Thanksgiving even easier, Whole Food Market has posted some great tips for you on their Holiday Cheat Sheet page. Here you will find recipes, DIY gift and decor ideas and even Turkey 101!

Or you can simplify even further and order your entire dinner, pre-made, from Whole Foods. All you have to do is heat and serve!

This year, do yourself a favor and make it all about ease.

Whole Foods Market ThanksgivingKeeping it simple will give you more time to enjoy a little glass of something with your loved ones to toast what you are thankful for. 😉