Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet, Part 5: Cocktail Snacks

Cocktail hour is essential in my holiday happiness (Don't judge, Schick Shadel).

Luckily my inlaws are Midwestern, so instead of water they just drink Labatts starting at noon.  But still, cocktail hour comes around every day around 4pm.

So to complement our Manhattans or martinis, here's what I do: pick up a block of good feta, some of those sweet-hot cherry peppers, a mixture of good olives that even Safeway has nowadays, maybe a salami or two and you've got yourself a cocktail hour smorgasbord that is essentially effortless.

If you're feeling extra-credit-y, drizzle a few good glugs of olive oil and pinch a little fresh thyme or oregano over the chunked-up feta, which you've put in a small oven-proof dish. I like to add a few of those sweet-hot peppers and some olives, maybe a couple of cloves of crushed garlic to flavor the oil and toss the whole lot in a hot oven for 15 or 20 minutes. Serve with baguette and the salami, which people can slice themselves or you can slice for them. Marvelous.

Go the extra-extra mile and serve some pickled green beans or asparagus or whatever else you like. Pickle-y stuff and salty stuff with a martini is pure heaven.