Cooking Class – Thanksgiving Treats

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My students proudly display their turkey cheese balls.

Hi there,

One of the many things I am very grateful for this Thanksgiving is the opportunity to work with this fantastic group of young people. These kids work with a zest and an intensity of purpose that I have rarely encountered. My goal for the class was for each student to leave feeling empowered to make something for Thanksgiving Dinner. After the class ended, I went home with a happy heart, knowing that the kids would be able to feel the pride of participating in the creation of their family’s dinner.

They worked in small groups. Their first undertaking was the Heath Bar Crunch Brownie Cheesecake, I was so impressed with the care they gave to preparing this recipe. Since it is a cheesecake layered over a brownie, I was a little nervous about how it would work out. But everyone took their time, and the cakes turned out perfectly, as you can see in the above picture.

While the cakes were baking, we made a fun appetizer that can be served at Thanksgiving.


Cooking Class – Thanksgiving Treats

Recipe by Bernadette Course: AppetizerCuisine: Good Old AmericanDifficulty: Easy Peasy


Prep time


Cooking time



A fun appetizer for your Thanksgiving Dinner


  • 8 ounces 8 softened cream cheese

  • 2 cups 2 shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 jar 1 sharp cheese spread

  • 1 jar 1 pimentos

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1 a squirt of siracha sauce to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Shape into two balls; roll in chopped walnuts, and decorate with pretzels, edible googly eyes, and candy corn.
  • Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving with crackers

If you are cooking this Thanksgiving, I hope you experience as much joy as I saw on my students’ faces.

Coming on Tuesday – Cranberry, Seed, and Grain Quick Bread.

49 responses to “Cooking Class – Thanksgiving Treats”

  1. I will be cooking for family which I love, but I’m not sure we’ll reach the level of happiness shown on these lovely and handsome faces. Pure Joy! I can only imagine this is something you and they will never forget.

  2. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    What fun, those turkey cheese balls. The young people must have had a wonderful time. They look really pleased with their results.

  3. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    What a satisfying job you have, Bernadette. The students look so happy!!

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    What fun you must have had Bernie! Love that turkey appetizer!!!! I bet every one of these kids will make the recipes for Thanksgiving.

  5. Wonderful story! The cheese balls look great!

  6. Thanks for sharing this uplifting heart warming post. 🙂

  7. Awakening Wonders – Everyday life is filled with wondrous things and embraceable moments, but only if we allow ourselves to be fully awakened. I invite you to join me as I share passionate life adventures and ramblings that awaken my spirit. I look forward to awakening your senses to the simple, joyous wonders that are all around us. I feel that we are destined to become soulful adventurers!
    Awakening Wonders says:

    A happy heart indeed! The expressions on the young students are priceless! Blessings to you!!

  8. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    the Painted Apron says:

    They certainly look like they were taking it very seriously! The turkey cheese balls are so cute and fun! Happy Thanksgiving Bernadette!

  9. What happy faces! They will be so excited to share these recipes with their families! How wonderful for you as well!
    Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  10. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    I absolutely love your turkey cheese ball — so adorable!

  11. This is the sweetest thing ever! I love that you slowed down and jumped off the holiday treadmill to do this meaningful activity. I’m certain that it made your day as much as theirs!

  12. God Bless you Bernadette, you are a woman after my own heart. I spent many years teaching my clients how to cook. Helping them make a cake for mom or dad’s birthday and seeing the pride they had. I have since retired but I miss my clients so much that I still pick them up occasionally so we can go out to eat together and catch up. The turkeys are adorable and as always, delicious recipes.

  13. Hi Bernadette, what a wonderful experience. The food items look great and the kids, delighted.

  14. Donna Reidland – I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and Biblical counselor. I love sharing God's truth, hopefully in ways that will help you in your walk with God. I'm certified through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, but mostly I'm just a sister in Christ. To read more about me visit my "about me" page. My story may surprise you.
    Donna Reidland says:

    Beautiful smiles on all their faces!

  15. What a neat thing to do! I love this so much. What a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #16 linkup. Come share another post or two at #17 which opens December 4. Have a great week.

  16. EsmeSalon – I help Entrepreneurs | Innovators | Bloggers & Home Chefs, so please check around and let me know if I can assist in any way. We have a weekly InLinkz party, and it’s free to join, so I hope to meet you there!
    EsmeSalon says:

    What an awesome and wonderful experience for the student and you Bernadette. The smiles says it all.
    Thank you for sharing your links with us at #289 SSPS Linky. See you again next week.

  17. Congratulations, Bernadette! This post was one of the most-visited at the Will Blog For Comments #16 linkup! It will be featured in the spotlight all this week. You’re welcome to hop over to the linkup and copy the “This blog post was a featured favorite” image and share it here with your readers at your blog if you like. Hope to see you at next week’s linkup with another great post. Have a good weekend.

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