Thanksgiving is tomorrow and if you’re looking for some last-minute appetizer ideas, be sure to try these recipes from Rania Harris!

Holiday Baked Brie

  • 1 – 12 ounce jar chili sauce
  • 1 – 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 wheel Brie cheese (1 kilo)
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • Garnishes:
  • Orange slices
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Fresh mint leaves


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine chili sauce and cranberry sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until smooth, whisking occasionally. Add in the dried cranberries and cool slightly and before proceeding with the recipe.

Using a warmed, sharp knife, cut the brie in half horizontally and place bottom half on ovensafe serving plate. Spread ½ cup of sauce on bottom. Replace top half of brie and lightly press down.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until Brie is softened. Remove from oven and spoon remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with toasted almond slices.

Garnish platter with orange slices, whole cranberries and fresh mint leaves

Serve warm with slices of French baguette

Makes: 20 Appetizer Servings

Cheddar Wafers

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ pound grated sharp cheddar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt
  • Dash Tabasco
  • ½ cup flour
  • 24 tiny pieces crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


In bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and grated cheddar. When it is smooth, add the cayenne, salt and Tabasco. Blend in the flour in small amounts to make a firm dough. Chill the dough for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness and cut it into circles with a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter.

Place a tiny piece of crystallized ginger in the center of each wafer. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes Sprinkle the wafers with sugar while they are still warm. Serve at room temperature.

Candied Butternut Squash

  • 3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (1 large squash) 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


In a pot of boiling water over high heat, cook the squash with 1 teaspoon of salt until the squash is tender, for about seven minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the squash and the remaining ingredients and glaze the squash, shaking the pan and stirring, for about two minutes.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Yield: 3 cups

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